Education, as we all know is the bedrock of any progressive nation.
The importance of education cannot be overstated or overemphasized. Nigerians have continuously shown a passion for the pursuit of education. Perhaps, in an attempt to salvage the nation from its current state.
Education is the process of acquiring knowledge by training or learning. It can be obtained from various areas.
Institutions are set up all over the world to impact knowledge. While there are various educational institutions in Nigeria, it’s no secret that a large part of the country’s population long to have more exposure and will prefer to have their education over the shores of the country.
But, all these require money. A lot of money. Money that the average Nigerian might never earn in their lifetime.
But this is where scholarships come in. Different organizations, governmental and non-government have continued to provide a forum for young and promising Nigerians who long to broaden their scope of knowledge, to finally be able to have their dreams come through.
There are various types of scholarships, various methods and how these scholarships are awarded, and we are going to discuss them but first, in case you are not convinced on the need for studying abroad.
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Below are reasons why people aim to study abroad;
Your Preferred Course Is Not in Your Country
Let’s take, for example, aerospace engineering. Very few institutions in the world offer this as a course and there isn’t any in Nigeria that does.
There is no way a Nigerian who is planning to study only in Nigeria will ever be an aerospace engineer.
For this dream to be achieved, one must aspire to study outside Nigeria since it will be the only way to become a professional in their dream field.
Some courses are offered in Nigeria but one wouldn’t be offered the full experience and exposure due to a lack of materials for effective studies.
Courses like genetic engineering, Aeronautical engineering, etc.
These courses are offered in Nigeria but one might not get to benefit much from the course as it is taught in a limited scope.
For Relocation Purposes
A lot of the country’s population are hoping to relocate to another country, someday.
It’s no secret that the majority of people will do almost anything to permanently leave this country.
Study route is one of the surest ways of achieving relocation.
When relocating, you are planning to start your life in a new country and one of the things that will make you enjoy your new country fully is by becoming a citizen of the country.
Different countries have different pathways to follow to achieve their citizenships.
Most countries however usually award citizenship to individuals who have lived in that country for 10 years.
An individual who is willing to relocate to a particular country and subsequently, earn citizenship can decide to go via the study route.
Study Visa is one of the easiest Visas to obtain, especially in countries like the UK.
Some individuals even spend all the 10 years it takes to be awarded citizenship, studying. Jumping from one program to another.
Anything to get the prize. People also use the study route when planning their relocation because, in the search for a job in the new country, a certificate from a local institution will probably be more recognized than that of a foreign institution they have probably never heard of.
People might decide to study abroad for the reasons listed above and various others. Scholarship makes the whole process easier.
For some, it may be the only way to ever achieve their dream profession.
Scholarship to Study Abroad from Nigeria
Who Can Apply for A Scholarship to Study Abroad from Nigeria?
Anyone with a credible O’level result can apply for a scholarship to study abroad from Nigeria.
There are scholarship offers for every educational level. You just have to look in the right places.
Requirements for Scholarship Application Abroad
Different requirements are depending on the scholarship.
A general criterion for all scholarship programs being offered to Nigerians is a minimum of 5 credits in your O’level (WAEC, NECO OR NABTEB).
Scholarship requirements for undergraduates is usually a minimum of 3.0 CGPA for a 5.0 CGPA.
Most require a higher CGPA and the higher your CGPA, the higher your chances of being awarded the scholarship and the more scholarships you will qualify for.
For postgraduate students, scholarship offers are usually numerous because they already have a background in their chosen field and most of the scholarships are given as a platform or forum to further broaden their scope.
Research scholarships are also awarded to this set of people. Postgraduate students are usually required to have graduated with a minimum of a Second class Lower Division (2’2).
As seen above, Scholarships are usually only given to the best students out there.
So as a student studying in any Institution in Nigeria, you should endeavour to not joke with your studies as your grades can determine how you get to live your life shortly.
How to Apply for A Scholarship Abroad from Nigeria
Scholarships come from different places. From bilateral government relations to cultural groups, religious organizations, research institutes, educational institutions, to even private individuals.
Let’s take a look at these scholarship sources and how their application forum works.
Bilateral Government Relations
A memorandum of understanding can be signed between any two countries to foster the relationship between them and this process usually involves the exchange of students between these countries.
The way of selection is usually random. Nigeria usually does this with some North African countries. The mode of application is usually publicized by the government.
As a student who meets the general requirements listed above for most scholarships and is interested in getting one, Google should be your friend.
You should optimize the use of the internet and social media. Everything is usually on social media these days.
By following the right people on social media and visiting the right websites or blogs, you will be able to access various scholarship schemes and subsequently apply for those whose criteria you meet.
Most ethnic groups in Nigeria usually have their erected organizations and body.
This organization is usually funded by philanthropic individuals/members. Some of the funds are usually organized to provide scholarships for bright students who are members of the ethnic group and will like to further their education overseas.
The beneficiaries for this kind of scholarship can be hand-picked or will be open for application for all qualifying students within that society.
Aside from the institutions cited above, scholarships can also be awarded by international bodies or international Educational institutes.
For example, World Health Organization (WHO) can decide to organize a health contest in Africa for aspiring medics.
The winner of the contest will then be awarded a scholarship to one of the best medical schools globally.
Every instance we cited above follows a pattern, most scholarship awarding organizations are always searching for the best in every field.
As a student studying in Nigeria, you should try as hard as you can to attain the highest grades that you can attain, especially if you have plans of furthering your education overseas.
There are also scholarships awarded to individuals based on their skill set. Nigerians who have shown a noticeable dexterity in their show of skills can be awarded scholarships abroad.
For example, a football scout for a foreign football academy might coincidentally be watching a local match in another country and might be impressed with the tactics of a local player and might decide to offer him a scholarship at a football academy abroad to further hone his skills.
This may sound bizarre but a lot of your favourite players were discovered this way.
Consideration for Scholarship Application
One important factor you should consider before applying for a scholarship is the country in which the institution you are applying, is located.
You should endeavour to know about the country as you will be making plans to go live in it for some time.
Racism is out there and it’s true. As a Nigerian preparing to study abroad, you should be ready to receive some negative attitudes from people simply because of the colour of your skin.
This might come as a huge shock to a lot of people because in Nigeria, everyone is of the same race and such discrimination is alien to a lot of us.
One should also prepare for the weather. Whether you are welcome going to a hotter or colder climate, one should aspire to be prepared for it.
The language might be a barrier if one is planning on applying to a non-English speaking country.
You should be ready to start learning the new language from the moment your application is approved.
This is something one will need to consider. If you can’t handle learning a foreign language, maybe you should stick to only English speaking countries then.
The mode of teaching will be different. This is to be expected. People vary.
But don’t worry, the concept is usually the same. As 1+1 is 2 here in Nigeria, it is the same in every part of the world but the execution might be different from what we are used to here.
The stuff listed above are things you need to consider before picking a suitable country.
The list is a long one and one will have to train and ready their minds to adapt to a whole lot of stuff.
Types of Scholarship Abroad
Some scholarship packages are fully funded, others are not.
Some include accommodation and allowance and other types of scholarships will only pay a certain percentage of your fees. Before even applying for a scholarship, one should consider the contents of it and how it fits.
You don’t want to end up having gotten the scholarship you’ve been hoping for, for months but lack money to process your flight tickets. No, you wouldn’t want that.
The basis of the scholarship application is making research. You can find a lot of things, discover opportunities you have never even thought about.
After making enough research and finding a suitable option, you can then go ahead and apply.
Apply only to those whose requirements you meet as it will only be a waste of time and effort, sending applications to those whose requirements you do not meet.
If you meet all the requirements and thoroughly follow the application process, there is a good chance that your life will change for the better in a few months’ time.