As a Nigerian student preparing for international opportunities isn’t something you must take with levity hands. Opportunities could come your way any day, anytime. Constantly working on yourself is crucial because when a good opportunity comes by, you will be able to make the most of it.
International opportunities may include an offer to study abroad on a full scholarship ride, or a job in an institution. It is different from Nigeria where you need to obtain a form, take an exam, and still use your connections to secure a good job. To have a successful study abroad, you need to tick certain boxes before you even start applying at all.
As a Nigerian student, international opportunities are generally scarce for an ordinary person without connection, influence, and money. However, with the following tips to prepare for international opportunities, you will have an edge. And you’ll also have a higher chance of success for your study abroad.
Tips to Prepare for International Opportunities as a Student
You have the rest of your life to work, but only limited time as a student.
Chances are, you’re only going to be a student for around five years of your life, or more if you count postgraduate years. You have the rest of your life to work and make money.
Don’t be so impatient to get to the “money-making” part. There are so many international opportunities that you can only utilize as a student. Once you’re out of the student category, it becomes difficult to find and take advantage of such opportunities. And if we’re being honest, you’ll agree that what you’ll make as a student in a foreign country cannot be compared to the peanuts you’ll get in Nigeria with the same level of experience.
Take the time to explore your interests. Join clubs, organizations or specific teams. Make strong friendships and build professional networks. These things take time but once you have them, they can bring international opportunities for you as a Nigerian student.
This is very important in preparing for any international opportunities as a Nigerian student. You must understand you are not only a member of this country but also a member of the world. Having the mindset that you are a world citizen enables you to hold a global perspective instead of local or national viewpoints. It also makes it a lot easier to keep an open mind as you encounter different kinds of offers.
Speak English among your peers.
It’s normal to make mistakes when learning a new language because it has different rules from our mother tongue.
English grammar has many rules, and at first, it is difficult to learn them perfectly. But with dedication and patience, you can get significantly better. Speaking and continuing to practice the English language prepares you for international opportunities to a reasonable extent. It may not be enough to get you a 100% in TOEFL/IELTS, but it’ll suffice for daily conversations once you start your study abroad.
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It is quite sad that schools are becoming more tolerant of the pidgin language. Why would a university student find it difficult to communicate in English, but is very comfortable with Pidgin? This is not to say “pidgin” is bad. After all, it’s a recognized Nigerian-made language.
But, if you are a student working towards international opportunities, you need to get comfortable with the English language. If truly you want to be a world citizen, the English language is the language the world understands.
The internet is full of listings of programs that provide extra training for graduates and workplace entrants to upskill. As a Nigerian student or graduate, you must always be willing to add to your skillset. Education is important, but it’s not all you need to be fully prepared for international opportunities. Where certificates have failed many people in this failed country, skill has brought success to many lives and destinies.
To apply for an opportunity to study abroad, you are expected to mention skills and experiences in addition to your academic certificate. A degree can get you the job, but growth is only possible with certain soft and transferable skills. These kinds of skills are attractive to potential recruiters and employers. Without them, you may not be able to hold the interest of your superiors for long.
You can obtain these skills online or on-site by volunteering. It could be in form of modules that cover work-readiness skills and attributes such as e-entrepreneurship, project management, time management, and administration.
Graduate with a good grade
Education is not everything but it’s still very important. There is a familiar saying in Nigeria; “School na scam”. Many Nigerian students say and believe this because they don’t have connections, money, and influence that’ll secure jobs after school. There is also already a set curriculum that students go through, and in most cases is not based on the students’ interests. This situation gives little room for creative thinking and does a poor job of covering topics essential to the students’ development.
The schooling system is designed for reading and writing, not doing; theory without practice. Sometimes, it trains you in irrelevant areas. For instance, some schools still teach typewriting, and it makes me wonder where that will be relevant in this 21st century. Some dedicated their lives to studying only to graduate and discover that they can’t serve Nigerian society. These are some of the reasons why the “school na scam” mantra is held in high regard.
Nevertheless, a Nigerian Student who wants international opportunities must have good grades in school. First-class students have more opportunities to study abroad than their colleagues. If you want to increase your chances of studying abroad, your grades need to be glowing.
Getting good grades requires maximum effort. Nothing will appear impossible to you because you would have developed the mindset that anything can be achieved with the right attitude and hard work. Such thinking will help you have more career opportunities, and set you up for a successful study abroad.
Get your international passport
This is the last but one of the most important things in preparing for an offer to study abroad. Most schools abroad require that you upload a scanned copy of your international passport during your application. It takes five years for the Nigerian passport to expire. That’s a pretty long time, so you need not be uncertain about getting one.
Some people I’ve related with have claimed that they’ll only get their international passport when they’re about to travel out. Even if you want to travel out for tourism, you still have to get your international passport handy for visa purposes. You can always apply for one at any passport office of the Nigerian Immigration Service in Nigeria.
Final Thoughts On Getting Ready to Study Abroad
Nigeria is a tough country where the government shuts down most opportunities for greatness, directly or indirectly. You have to be strategic and prepare yourself ahead for international opportunities.
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Olunlade Toluwalase Joshua is a Certified Content Writer, a Certified Computer Operator, and a Certified Copywriter. He is also a sexual puritan, a youth advocate, the Gospel's Voice.
He is passionate about the gospel and impacting lives with his writing skills and public speaking.
He guides youths to navigate the destructive and distracting hurdles on their path.
He is a reporter in a non-governmental Academic Organization called Aremu Oluwabrain Academy (AOA), the online Community of every Nigeria Student, to interact and get useful information.
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