The Yoruba word “japa,” which means “to run or escape,” has become a common slang term among Nigerians who are attempting to leave their country or who have already done so in search of better prospects overseas.
Due to Nigeria’s economic downturn over the past ten years, a significant section of the middle class has left the nation. Only about 10,000 resident doctors remain in the country, according to the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors. And about 100 of them leave the nation each month.
Younger people are now more eager to start an expat life than older people, according to a Cigna survey. 37% of people aged 18 to 24 and 34% of people ages 25 to 34 are willing to leave, respectively.
Comparatively, only 13% of people over 50 who took part in the study said they were interested in moving abroad.
Meanwhile, 2023 will be a challenging year for the global economy, according to a recent warning from the IMF’s chief, Kristalina Georgieva, as leading nations like the US, Europe, and China all see slowing growth. 2023 will be “tougher than the year we leave behind,” she emphasized.
The Nigerian middle class will find it more challenging to leave the country in 2023 due to the predicted challenging global economic conditions. This is due to the fact that moving overseas can be highly expensive, especially for those attempting the most popular route for Nigerians to emigrate through academia.
Many Nigerian students are already dealing with growing food insecurity as a result of the challenging economic conditions in Europe and elsewhere. The National Union of Students (NUS) in the UK published their Cost-of-Living Research in November 2022, which revealed that more than one-fifth of the 4,500 students polled had less than £50 left over after paying their rent and other expenses.
90% of the students surveyed said that the rising cost of living in the nation had negatively impacted their mental health. Additionally, students acknowledged that they were worried about how they would be able to pay their bills, feed their families, and eat.
The cost of living crisis does not spare the United States. Between $10,000 and $18,000 is the typical annual cost of living for students in the US.
Apart from tuition, rent is the highest expense for Nigerian students studying abroad. Around 45% of the average student’s monthly living costs are made up of rent. According to the National Union of Students (NUS) and Unipol’s 2021/22 Accommodation Costs Survey, the average annual rent in the UK for purpose-built student accommodations (PBSA) is £7,374 per year. This is an increase of 16% from the previous survey in 2018–19.
Australia is regarded as one of the most costly countries for international students, with annual living expenses ranging from $14,290 to $19,288.
The highest yearly tuition costs are found at universities in the United States and Australia, where they can range from $32,000 to $60,000, and Ireland follows close behind with rates as high as $45,000. The tuition costs for international students in the UK for undergraduate and graduate programs range from $14,100 to $38,000.
However, this does not imply that studying abroad is expensive everywhere. For between $2,500 and $4,000 a year, international students can live well in Russia and Argentina.
Similarly, with annual living expenses between $3,200 and $4,000, India is one of the most affordable nations to study abroad.
One piece of advice for those who can still afford to go the academic route is to start saving right away so you can at least afford basic necessities.
To determine whether you can afford it, use the internet to properly examine the cost of living in the nation you have decided to study in. In particular, conduct in-depth real estate searches. Perhaps the biggest obstacle that a Nigerian student studying abroad must overcome is housing.
If you’re fortunate enough to find employment, your income may be sufficient to pay for the majority of the costs related to moving abroad. Emergency funds can be used to handle unforeseen circumstances.
When planning a budget for your emergency fund, take into account what an emergency would look like for you. If you chose a high deductible insurance plan, it will partially cover the costs of theft or medical care. Set aside money so you can buy a plane ticket at any time if seeing your family again is important to you.
Finally, keep in mind that exchange rates can change unexpectedly. The change can result in you having to spend less money in your final destination. With a bit more money, you’ll be able to cope with variations in exchange rates.