By Saheed Ibrahim
Against the expectations of many ill-informed Nigerian youths, studying abroad, especially in the United Kingdom, is tougher than imagined, Nigerian international students have revealed.
The Hope gathered it cost an average of £9,000 to £15,000 to study master’s programmes in the UK and some universities charge higher based on their global rating.
We gathered that although there are funding and scholarship opportunities, they are usually meant for certain courses and very competitive.
We also observed that many Nigerians studying in the UK are on self-funding programmes.
The UK allows international students on full-time programmes to work for maximum of four hours a day and 20 hours per week. This is increased to a maximum of 40 hours during vacations and festival holidays.
We learnt that an average hour pay is between £7 to £15, depending on the job and location and this leave the students with very limited fund to pay for rent, groceries, transportation, utilities and general survival.
Aside other bills, an average accommodation cost gulp an average of £300 to £500 per month, depending on location and facilities provided and in some areas, the cost is as high as £600-£700.
Some of the students shared their ordeals with The Hope.
According to Adekunle, a master’s student at Birmingham City University, “The best thing is to get your tuition from home before coming here. Don’t think you will work and pay by yourself. That’s very difficult to do.
“The 4 hours per day policy is not helping because if you go above it, they have their way of detecting and they will use it against you sooner or later.
“So, someone like me usually get money from home to augment whatever I am able to make with that 20 hours weekly pay. But to be honest, it is never an easy thing to do.”
He told The Hope that many Nigerian students were doing ‘side’ jobs, which no one must detect, to survive while some skip classes to ‘hustle’ since they have no one to call at home.
“We do a lot of jobs here to survive. To be honest, these jobs are meant for illiterates back in Nigeria but you need to survive first,” he said.
Another student, Bisola, who studies at Sheffield University, told The Hope about survival for self-funding students.
She explained that, “Tough is an understatement. I have friends here that are “squatting” because they could not afford accommodation.
“If you are on a paid scholarship, you are a little bit lucky because you are given stipends and must meet certain grade requirements. But for those on self-funding programme, you must learn to cut down your expenses.
“I hardly buy things. You consider necessities first and here, you pay for everything you use: water, electronics, cars, anything. So, you can’t be wasteful; you will pay for it.”