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### Key Indicators for Students Considering Overseas Education

Many individuals in Nigeria view sending their children to study overseas as a significant indicator of success in life. Consequently, many take pride in having their children pursue education in countries like the United Kingdom (UK), the United States of America (USA), Canada, and Australia, among others.

However, in their pursuit of this aspiration, some individuals have encountered challenges due to a lack of awareness.

As per the 2023 Open Doors Report on International Education Exchange Nigeria, there has been a notable 22.2 percent increase in Nigerian student enrollment, reaching a total of 17,640 for the academic year 20222023. This surge positions Nigeria as the primary source of students from Africa and the seventh largest contributor globally to the United States.

This statistic represents the highest number of Nigerian students studying in the United States since the 1986-87 academic year.

The report highlights Nigeria’s advancement from the tenth position in the 20212022 academic year to surpass countries like Japan, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia in sending students to the U.S.

When considering sending children abroad for education, it is crucial for parents and guardians to remain vigilant and cautious.

Having a comprehensive understanding of the requirements for international students and the specific regulations of each institution is essential to ensure the safety and well-being of students while they are away from home.

To achieve this, there are ten warning signs that both students and parents should be mindful of before selecting a country and educational institution.

These indicators include verifying the authenticity of the program, confirming the university’s accreditation, ensuring financial transparency, questioning unrealistic assurances, evaluating safety measures, avoiding communication barriers, assessing program reputation through feedback, making informed choices, trusting instincts, and establishing a reliable support network.

Embarking on an educational journey in a foreign land can greatly enrich one’s perspectives and personal development. Nevertheless, parents must remain vigilant and address any potential concerns to safeguard their children’s welfare.

Here are 10 cautionary signs regarding studying abroad that students and parents should consider:

1. Authenticity of the Program: Parents should conduct thorough research to authenticate the legitimacy of foreign educational programs and avoid falling prey to deceptive schemes.

2. University Accreditation: It is crucial to verify the program’s affiliation with a reputable university by visiting the official website or directly contacting the institution.

3. Financial Clarity: Parents should exercise caution when programs demand substantial upfront payments, as legitimate options typically offer flexible payment plans.

4. Realistic Expectations: Question programs that make unrealistic promises regarding job placements, especially if the student lacks the necessary qualifications or experience.

5. Safety Evaluation: Prior to enrollment, parents and students should assess the safety of the program’s location by reviewing crime rates and security concerns in the city or country.

6. Communication and Organization: Beware of programs with unclear communication and organizational issues, as these could indicate potential challenges.

7. Reputation Assessment: Check online reviews from former students to gauge the program’s reputation and the experiences of past participants.

8. Informed Decision-Making: Avoid succumbing to pressure and take the time to thoroughly research and gain confidence in the chosen program.

9. Trusting Instincts: Pay attention to your instincts; if something feels off about a program or institution, investigate further and explore alternative options.

10. Establishing Support Systems: Prior to selecting an educational institution or country for your child’s academic pursuits, ensure you have a support system in place. Having friends, family, or local contacts who can provide assistance during your child’s studies is invaluable.