study abroad preparation tips
Studying outside Nigeria is the dream of many Nigerian students, either travelling out for the first degree or other degrees by means of furthering their education, it seems to be very much at the heart of many. Considering the situation of the educational situation in Nigeria, this is almost expected. Developed countries like the US, UK and others of course have good systems in place to foster proper education. Travelling out to whichever country for the purpose of education has its own terms and conditions different from someone who is relocating totally. Nonetheless, it is an enviable feat if you are able to achieve your dream of overseas study. The following tips can be helpful as you work towards your target.
Decide What Type of Programme
Be clear about what type of programme you want to apply for, BSc, MSc, PhD and what exact field. Check up on which of the universities or colleges in your host country has a good handle on such programme. Know their requirements and see if you have what it takes to meet up. Search for a school where your grade points can be accepted, know the duration and their policies.
Consult with Students Who Have Studied Abroad
Get in contact with people you know have studied abroad, or are still in it presently, preferably someone who studied in your choice country – that is the country where you wish to study. Ask them questions, they will have more practical and useful advice to give you as to what and what not to expect or put in place. They perhaps can even serve to guide you in your application process and can tell you mistakes to avoid. If applicable, you can also ask them how they were able to get funds for their travel.
Ensure All Your Documents are Complete
All necessary paper documents required to successfully process your application should be ready with you. Find out in details all needed documents and secure their acquisition early enough to avoid being stranded. Your visa, international passport and other documents that might be required should be in place. Also ensure that all the academic records your host school abroad will require are also made available. For instance, if you have to process the sending of your transcript from your home school here to your host school over there, you want to know early enough how to go about it, and to do it.
Write International Examinations
To study abroad, there are some exams that may be required for you to take so as to be eligible. Some of those exams are TOEFL, GRE, IELTS, GMAT, ACT, SAT. You should do a qualifying exam that will make you to be eligible to apply to your choice school. This is the more reason why you should research about your desired institution very well, and know all their requirements so as to make yourself eligible to apply. Performing brilliantly in these international examinations can increase your chances of a scholarship.
Apply for Scholarships
To increase your chances of studying abroad, especially by eliminating the cost factor, you can seek for scholarships. There are partial scholarships and full scholarships. Try your chances with different types of scholarships relevant to your field of study or programme. Getting a scholarship can make your dream of studying abroad come true early enough. You can sign up with sites that can intimate you with scholarship opportunities as they come. Don’t be pessimistic about applying especially when you think there’s still a chance for you to get the scholarship.
Do Medical Check Up
You should have an appointment with your doctor for medical check-up, to be sure you are medically fit to travel to your host country. Also get advice from your doctor on which vaccines you will need to take to protect yourself. As you are going to a new environment where you are unfamiliar with, there might be necessary medical advice you will need to guide you in keeping safe. This will help you to avoid exposing yourself to unnecessary harm. Endeavour to see your doctor like a month before, also obtain specific advice about your destination.
Studying abroad can be quite expensive, it will even be more pronounced when you are leaving a country like Nigeria to another country whose exchange rate is far above that of Nigeria. Converting their fee to Naira will look very big, but the most important thing is to know what you are in for and work towards it. If you are really serious about studying abroad, after you must have found out about the financial details involved for the whole application process and for every document or paper you will need, the next thing is to find ways of getting funds. You could begin to save massively toward it, involve your parents/guardian so as to obtain some kind of loan which may be helpful or some other legitimate means. Don’t look at it as an impossible thing, push the possibility. Ensure you don’t obtain loans that will put you in trouble.
Keep Up with News About Your Destination Country
It is also a good idea for you to always keep in touch with news about your choice country and institution. Be aware of things going on there presently, and new policies that are being put in place for their citizens and foreigners alike. This may well help you to consider or reconsider your interest in such place. You don’t want to get to a country and you begin to be afraid of xenophobic attacks, if they are countries prone to racism or the likes, you should already have a good knowledge and handle on how to deal with such. Knowing as much as you can about your destination, in terms of both the country and the school will prepare your mind to face these issues. Understand their climate too, and be prepared to adapt and protect yourself against any unfavourable condition.
Know Their Culture/Customs/Laws
It is also good to know about their culture and customs, the way of life of the people there, be informed about what is allowed and what is not allowed in such places. You don’t want to get to a place and you begin to break their laws due to ignorance. Inform yourself about their basic laws as much as you can. You can also get to know that from people like you who are either still there or have lived in those countries before.
Have Emergency Numbers Handy
This is very important. Be very deliberate about getting to know the emergency numbers you could call when you get to your destination, in case anything comes up. Not only that, try to know and have your host institution’s emergency number as well. Don’t just assume that you won’t need it. In a foreign country where you probably don’t know anyone or much people, you don’t want to take chances that could be risky.
Have in Mind to Stay in Touch
Know and make use of ways you can stay in touch after you’ve travelled out. You could use WhatsApp video calls, FaceTime (For Iphone USers), skype and others.
Inform People About Your Travel
Let people close to you – friends, relatives and others know that you are travelling out for your studies. Don’t make it a hidden agenda, this could help in a number of ways.
study abroad preparation tips