MISCONCEPTIONS OF NIGERIAN STUDENTS ABOUT STUDY ABROAD
Study abroad is always an experience to treasure.
It can be both exciting and daunting. However, it is not the going abroad alone that matters but how to make the best use of the opportunity. Many Nigerian students have made assumption drawn from evidences that are not actually true about study abroad.
Therefore, they have not taken the decisions that will not only make them study abroad, but make the best use of the opportunity. Some of these misconceptions are highlighted below:
1. Success comes so cheap abroad
For some, study abroad is an opportunity to leave home country for a holiday in a new environment. Other people believe things are quite easy when it comes to succeeding academically in a foreign country.
On the other hand, the reverse is actually the case. The perfect study abroad experience is rather a healthy balance between fun and studious learning
You have to work hard and prove that you are worth a good grade. If you are going to study abroad, you must realize that it is not about getting the certificate alone but also the understanding of the practical knowledge you will be exposed to.
So, as a matter of fact, you must know every detail of your course. Your time abroad is an opportunity to broaden your knowledge and gain global perspective. Make the best out of it.
2. Everything is free for a student abroad
In a foreign country, you may have to pay for almost everything. It is not likely that as an international student, you will have access to many social benefits. In some cases, you may benefit from some discounts such as in public transports.
Many others items however can be expensive.
For example, in the United States and Canada, textbooks and other reading materials are extremely costly. Fortunately, some student societies or social media groups do share used one at a lower cost. You might find that useful.
You would have to live frugally and always spend less than you earn.
Also, apply for student jobs if available and seek financial aids, scholarships, student loans or any other financial assistance.
3. Examinations are easier abroad
This is another common misconception. In contrast, there are tons of items to cover.
You will be surprised to see students suddenly turn into night-owls or library dwellers. In fact, exam stress for international students can be overwhelming sometimes, especially when there are family pressures to graduate with a top grade.
As an international student, it is better to revise your notes everyday. You should be well prepared for exam so that while other students may be panicking, you will remain confident.
4. Online study abroad is the same as in class-study
You may take too lightly the impact of never meeting the instructor and other students in the class while running an online programme.
However, research has revealed that online study create an environment for monologue and not a real dialogue.
It will require a lot of extra efforts to build a relationship between your instructors other classmates. Online courses also demand that you have a sound time management skill and good sense of organization.
There are lots of task to complete within a time frame. The fact that most people taking online courses do not face it full time makes them prone to procrastination.
It is also important to note that financial aids are barely available for students taking online programme unlike their counterparts in traditional classroom settings.
Most online courses also have accreditation problems that you need to verify so well.
However, consistent efforts are made daily by institutions towards improving the quality of their online courses.
Before you start an online degree, verify its authenticity and prepare to spend up to 15 hours on each course.
5. It is too expensive to study abroad
In an uneven society like Nigeria, money equals opportunity.
This naturally brings a misconception that study abroad is reserved for the upper class. Therefore more Nigerian students ditch their ambition to study abroad day by day. While this does happen, it is essentially not supposed to be the case.
There are means to study outside Nigeria even if you come from a modest background. We live in the 21st century where most institutions put information on their websites for the public.
The fact is when it comes to study abroad; right information precedes any financial inclusion.
There are many countries where you can study abroad for free as a Nigerian student.
You can as well apply for some financial aids, scholarships or students loans. So, don’t let your financial status discourage you. Seek the right information and apply.
6. It is impossible to study in a non-English speaking country
The fact that Nigeria is an English speaking country does not mean that you have to restrict yourself to applying for admissions in other English speaking countries.
There are countries who have an excellent educational system but whose formal language is not English. In fact, most of the countries where Nigerian students can study abroad for free don’t use English Language as a medium of instruction.
You may need to spend a semester learning the language before commencing your study proper. This would be an added advantage in the long run.
In these countries too, there are many institution that teach in English Language but most of them are private and will attract tuition fee.
7. Study abroad experience means nothing to employers
In our age, study abroad is a great boost for curriculum vitae. It adds value to your education.
A time abroad shows employers that you are able to manage risks, can work better with people irrespective of backgrounds and cultures and you are more independent.
Most globally oriented organizations indeed prefer those who have the intercultural immersion and travel abroad experience. Your experience might also be richer if you speak a second language.
You will be seen as a great asset to the company!
So, there you have it, please comment below: