The Benefits of Studying Abroad For Nigerian Students
For four months and counting, over 2.1 million students from over 50 tertiary institutions in Nigeria have been at home; idle, hopeless, and frustrated. This is not an unusual holiday for many of them, as some have had to encounter this unwanted break in academic activities more than once during their program. Sometimes, this break that disrupts the academic calendar may last up to one whole year. Sadly, a 4 year degree program in a Nigerian university can take up to 6 years to complete because of strike actions from the nation’s academic union.
In the most recent of these nightmare scenarios that has kept students at home for many months, two sets of fresh admissions have been carried out by the nation’s tertiary education regulatory body, the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB). This means that the 461,745 young persons who graduated from high school over the past two years (two sessions) and have been granted admission into the various federal universities are yet to begin their university education as all the universities are on strike. This makes the option of studying abroad no longer something to think about for young Nigerians as it has now become the only sure option.
Aside from the constant disruption of academic activities caused by unnecessary strike actions, there are so many other benefits of studying abroad for Nigerian students. To begin with, the standard of education offered in foreign schools in countries like the United States, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand can never be compared to that of Nigeria. Attempting to make the comparison is like comparing the English Football League One to the English Premier League.
Studying abroad also gives you the opportunity to see the world, experience new cultures, learn a new language and be exposed to a different style of education.
Unlike in Nigeria where jobs for graduates are very scarce, studying in foreign countries gives you the unique opportunity of working even while schooling. Many foreign countries permit students to work for some number of hours a week. This will help you as a foreign student to earn, save, offset bills, get study materials, and even support home in a little way. Additionally, working will studying, unknowingly gives you international work experience and exposure. This can help boost your CV for other better opportunities either at home, or abroad.
Studying abroad also exposes you to quality research tools and materials. While the federal government of Nigeria is struggling to meet the 220 billion naira (522 million USD) demand from the Academic Staff Union of Universities which led to strike action and shutting down of all federal public universities, the Canadian Government in 2021 invested 77 million USD in supporting research in 50 universities. This shows how important the educational sector is placed in foreign countries.
Finally, as Nigeria goes deeper and deeper into its war with insecurity, the safety of schools and students in all institutions is a matter of concern. From terror attacks to kidnapping and armed robbery, the safety of students is not guaranteed as terrorists are known to purposely target places of large gatherings. It is therefore wise to think about the enormous benefits that studying in foreign countries presents and grab the opportunity with both hands.
Article submitted by Benjamin Peter