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A Step-by-Step Guide to Study Abroad Legally as Nigerian Expat

04 Jul 2024

Think about studying in a foreign country! You find it pretty fascinating. Now imagine that you are going abroad from Nigeria for studies and also happen to get a chance to work and earn a living. Does it not add to your joy? As a student, when you earn a living abroad, you can a) send money to Nigeria to offer financial support back home or b) pay your educational expenses.

However, the first and foremost step you must consider is the process's legality. You may travel illegally to a foreign country, but your joy will be temporary until the truth comes out. Therefore, this blog walks you through how to study abroad by meeting all the legal requirements.

Basic Legal Requirements to Study Abroad for Nigerian Students

There are specific requirements that you have to fulfill if you want to study in a foreign country. These requirements are all legal. Whether you belong to Nigeria or elsewhere, you will have to satisfy these requirements. But there can be slight differences depending on:

·       Which country are you traveling to?

·       Which university have you chosen?

·       Which course are you pursuing?

·       What is your visa type?

However, regardless of all of these factors that can affect the requirements, the following are the requirements that remain fixed. These are some of the documents that you have to provide as a Nigerian for studying abroad.

Your International Passport

Needless to say, the passport is the key to opening the doors of your international journey. If you do not have one, get one immediately, as it will be required for the rest of the process. It serves you as your identity card in foreign embassies.

You can apply for one and obtain it from any of Nigeria’s National Immigration Service offices which are located across the country. Once you get the original one, make sure to keep a few duplicate passport copies of 2 by 2 inches with you.

After all, you cannot travel abroad without a passport, be it as a student or a migrant, to earn a living and send money to Nigeria online for your family’s financial help.

Language Proficiency Certificate

A language proficiency certificate is a document that helps measure your level of competence in communicating in a foreign language. One of the most significant barriers you face in a foreign country is the language barrier. In most foreign countries, the language requirements center around English proficiency exams like TOEFL and IELTS. But in countries like France, these language proficiency exams are called Def/ Dalf. Scoring requirements are given below.

·       TOEFL (minimum score 80)

·       IELTS (minimum band 6)

·       Cambridge C1/ C2 Exam (minimum score 170)

·       CELPIP (7 points)

·       Duolingo English Test (minimum score 100)

Your Birth Certificate

Your birth certificate serves a couple of purposes. Firstly, it helps clarify your citizenship. Secondly, it determines if the date on your passport is the same as this document. You can get it from the National Census Commission of Nigeria or the hospital where you were born.

The Result of WAEC / SSCE

You usually call it the metric result. It is also known as the WAEC or SSCE result and is often recognized by West African countries. It serves as proof of a high school degree and includes your name, date of birth, and citizenship.

Your Character Certificate

This is a letter issued in your name by someone in a position of authority. In most cases, your educational institution also issues it in your name. It is proof of your excellent behavior and conduct during your stay at the institution.

Your Bank Statement

The foreign institution to which you are seeking admission determines your financial health through your bank statements. This is essential as it shows whether you are financially strong enough to sustain yourself during your stay abroad.

Your Student or Study Visa

This is the final permission you get to fly abroad for studies. However, given that student visas are different, choose and apply for the right one that allows you to work after your study hours to earn a living and allows you to either bear your expenses or offer financial aid in every money transfer to Nigeria.

Your Health Certificate or Documents

Certain countries make it mandatory to provide health documents to see if you are physically fit. This is regardless of the purpose for which you are traveling abroad. These documents check you for specific ailments like yellow fever, COVID-19, Hepatitis, etc.

What are the Prime Benefits of Studying Abroad as a Nigerian Student?

As mentioned earlier, studying abroad is fascinating. It is not without reasons. When you study abroad, you get innumerable benefits that help you a long way later in life. Some of these benefits are briefly discussed below.

Extensive Range of Courses to Choose From

In foreign educational institutions, you will get a huge variety of courses to choose from. In foreign countries, you will get to study multiple courses at a basic level, which you can pursue for further studies considering employment prospects.

Fully Funded Scholarships

Another benefit of studying in a foreign country is that you will get several scholarships. These scholarships are fully and partially funded. While studying on a fully-funded scholarship you not only do not spend money but also get a monthly or annual stipend.

Learn more about the UK’s best scholarships HERE.

High Chances of International Employability

Studying abroad brightens your chances of international employability. After graduating from abroad, you can easily find a job in a transnational company. Whether it is working in your native country or a foreign country, finding your way into it gets easy with a foreign degree.

Gaining an International Perspective

Studying abroad also helps you gain a global perspective on life. You develop a broader mindset about the world and your native country. You also develop skills to solve problems and challenges with an international perspective.

Learning and Living a New Language

You cannot overemphasize the importance of learning a new language in today’s interwoven world. The best way to learn a new language is to immerse yourself in the environment in which it is spoken. Studying abroad not only helps you learn a new language but also helps you live it!

List of Countries to Study as a Nigerian Student

You have priorities when choosing a foreign country to study in. While you can choose any country, you must select a country for your studies where you can also work after your study hours. Take a look below.

·       United Kingdom

·       Ghana

·       United States of America

·       Malaysia

·       Canada

·       South Africa

·       Saudi Arabia

·       United Arab Emirates

·       Hungary

·       Russian Federation

Be Careful with Money Transfers as a Student 

Exercise care when you make online money transfer to Nigeria from abroad to offer financial support if the need arises. The process involves your hard-earned money and other costs. So, make sure to be meticulous with your selection. Select, therefore, a service provider that charges you a low fee and offers you live and market-competitive currency exchange rates with safety and speed. These rates will compensate you for the cost of the process. This helps you save money which is what you should focus on as a student.


Why do Nigerian students study abroad?

Several students from Nigeria study in foreign countries because they cannot find quality education in their native country. The education quality in Nigeria is below par in most cases. Even acquiring this education does not benefit the students much. Therefore, Nigerian students make arrangements to study abroad for a brighter future.

What are the basic requirements for studying legally abroad?

Some of the basic requirements to study abroad as a Nigerian student are your international passport, your language proficiency certificate, your birth certificate, your WAEC and SSCE, your character certificate, your bank statements, your student visa, and your health certificate or documents. All of these are the legal requirements for traveling abroad from Nigeria.

What are the benefits of studying abroad?

The benefits of studying abroad are many. You can choose from an extended range of courses, increase your chances of transnational employability, learn and live a new language, get international exposure, develop a global perspective, make international connections, earn a prestigious degree, and embellish your CV.

What are the best countries to study?

Some of the best countries to study are listed below. While studying in these countries, you can work after your study hours to earn a living. These countries are the UK, Ghana, The USA, Malaysia, Canada, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Hungary, and the Russian Federation.

How do you save money as a Nigerian student when transferring funds back home?

While you study in a foreign country as a Nigerian student, your primary concern is saving money, particularly when sending funds back home. Therefore, you should choose a service provider that charges you a low fee and also offers live and market-competitive currency exchange rates that can compensate you for the cost you pay for your online financial transactions.

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