This article is completely off-topic for me (if you have not noticed my niche is architecture) but I feel like it is really important because I have been getting so many questions about the process and experience of studying outside Nigeria. I am hoping that I am able to keep this to one article but time will tell. For this article, I am working with the assumption that you already know what course you would like to study.
Choosing a school.
This is the first and most important aspect after you’ve chosen your course. There are a few things that would influence your school choice.
Studying in London is generally more expensive than other places, accommodation and transport costs are almost twice studying anywhere else in England from my experience. The upside to studying there is that you may have more opportunities for part-time work, a bigger community of foreigners like yourself. The Russell Group Universities are also quite expensive.
Some universities tend to offer scholarships for African and more recently Nigerian students, so it is important to take your time and start researching early so that you are able to meet up with the deadlines. I would recommend that you begin your search sometime in August or September before you want to start.
The course content and structure
How do you want to study? research-heavy? more technical? more practical? seminars? self-led? These are all questions you need to get answers to before you choose the school, so you do not get blindsided. My university was a mix of all of these although not as technical. I didn’t know this before I started and it affected me a little. Please do not be like me. Ask as many questions as possible, the admissions office will be happy to answer and possibly direct you to current students to help you get a feel of what it is like on the inside.
The graduate prospects
Studying abroad is one of the easiest ways to migrate/become a permanent resident of another country. This means that after your degree, the plan is to get a job and settle down from there. Your university has a huge role to play in this. It is important to find out what the structure is like to help you in getting employment afterwards. Do they have partners, are there career fairs? What percentage of their graduates go into fulltime employment after graduation? You need to ask and be sure before it’s too late.
Big City vs Small city/town; Diversity
The population of ethnic minorities in a city can affect your university experience in many ways. A big city will most likely have a higher population of BAME. When you get really lonely, there is a certain comfort that comes with seeing someone that looks like you. In addition to this, a diverse town increases the odds of you finding indigenous items- food, hair extensions and products, drinks e.t.c.
When it comes to entertainment and activities outside school, a bigger town means that you would have a wider range to choose from. You would have more artists coming to your city on tour, more Nigerian societies, events and even churches. All of these depend on you and what you want your university experience to be like.
For some weird reason, it took me an awfully long time to finish writing this article but I hope that it touched on some useful points and it turns out to be really helpful.
Thank you for reading!