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Top 6 Destinations for Nigerian Students Planning to Study Abroad

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Over time, certain study destinations have become popular among Nigerians; these are places that offer them quality education and an opportunity for a better quality of life.

A lot of factors go into choosing a particular country of study.  Nigerians consider how significant the Nigerian community is in a particular country, the tuition fees, the standard of living, post-study opportunities, and racial issues among other factors.

So, if you are looking for a study destination and you want a country with significant Nigerian community, a country where you would have a feeling of home away from home. Places where if you exhaust your Garri or other Nigerian staples you can easily find someone to help out.

Here are the top 6 popular Study Destinations among Nigerian Students:


Though Nigeria has its way of topping South Africa in the contest for the biggest economy in Africa;  however, when it comes to where it matters we know who the leader is in terms of working economic system and standard of Education.

There are just 26 Universities in South-Africa, yet about 6 are often ranked within the top 500 Universities in the world.

With about 36,000 Nigerians living in South Africa, it has become one of the most popular study destinations for Nigerians.

Nigerians in South Africa

Cost of living per year ranges between $6,000 to $8,000 and these include the cost of accommodation, feeding, and other utilities.

Average tuition for undergraduate is between $2,500 to $4,000. For postgraduate education, it is about $2,600 to $3,500.

However, the high rate of crime, and cases of Xenophobia, especially towards Nigerians, are some of the downsides of studying in South-Africa.

Top Five South African Universities that you’d find Nigerians are:

  • University of Cape Town (UCT)
  • Rhodes University
  • University of Johannesburg
  • University of Witwatersrand
  • University of Pretoria


5. China

China is fast becoming the choice destination of study for Nigerians. According to a recent report, there are about 6,800 Nigerian students in China, of which 512 of them are on scholarship.

Chinese Universities are recognized globally for their standard and they often feature in the top 100 Best University’s ranking in the world.

When it concerns quality University education, we can relax the stereotype we all hold about China as a place where counterfeit products are made. In China, you get a top-quality education.


Cost of living in China could cost between $700 to $1,300 per month depending on the city you live in.

The average tuition fees in Chinese public universities ranges between $2,700 to $9,000 per year.

Depending on the institution and the course of study, students pay between $1,800 to $3,200 per academic year. However, in certain Chinese top Universities, programmes in medicine, and engineering cost more, averaging $23,620 to $50,000 per year.

One depressing fact about studying in China is the subtle forms of racism, as Chinese doesn’t seem to be particularly warm to outsiders.

Top Five Chinese Universities that you’d find Nigerians are:

  • Tsinghua University
  • Peking University
  • Fudan University
  • University of Science and Technology of China
  • Zhejiang University


4. Germany

Germany has become a favourite destination for people willing to pursue University education. This has to do with the fact that most study programmes are free for international students.

Among Nigerians, Germany is considered the fourth preferred destination for international study abroad, next to the United States, the UK, and Canada.

Top-notch quality University education system, nominal or zero tuition fees, and Germany’s numerous scholarships attract Nigerian students to pursue their education in Germany.

STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) courses are the most popular degree choice among Nigerians in Germany.

Germans have grown to be quite warm and welcoming towards foreigners, as seen with their handling of the recent refugee crisis.


Some scholarship opportunities available for Nigerian students are:

DAAD Scholarship Programs, Heinrich Böll Foundation Scholarships, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Scholarships for International Students, and DeutschlandStipendium National Scholarship Programme.

International students are also permitted to work part-time for 120 full days or 240 half days in a year to be able to manage their living expenses.

Compared with other major cities in Europe, Germany is fairly inexpensive to live in as on average, students spend around $950 per month on living cost.

Most German universities are public, so you will only have to pay an administrative fee, which usually costs between 100 – 350 EUR per semester. This fee covers student organisation services and your enrolment.

Nigerians mostly apply to public universities in Germany and in most cases, they do not have to pay tuition fees.

Top Five German Universities that you’d find Nigerians are:

  • University of Stuttgart
  • University of Mannheim
  • University of Bremen
  • University of Cologne
  • University of Hamburg


3. The United States

It goes without saying that the United States has one of the best University education systems in the world with about six of its Universities appearing in the top 10 of recent world university rankings.

The USA has the world’s largest international student population and Nigerian students are among the most prominent international student in the united state, with over 10,000 students enrolled in various Universities across the United States.


According to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report, Nigerian students are among the most well-educated and best-performing students in the U.S.

Estimated living cost for the U.S. is around $9,000 to $11,000 per year, which averages around $700 to $1,000 per month.

Your tuition fee depends on the type of University you are applying to – Public or Private University – and your course of study.

But often, the tuition fee cost between $9,000 to $52,000 a year

Top Five American Universities that you’d find Nigerians are:

  • University of Houston
  • University of North Texas
  • The University of Texas at Arlington
  • New York University
  • Boston University


2. The United Kingdom

Thousands of students from all over the world study in the UK each year and this places the UK among the top choices for international students across the world. World-class education and excellent future prospects are what the British higher education system will give you.

Given the historical relationship between Nigeria and the United Kingdom, it has become a second home for many Nigerians.  Among Nigerians, London is often referred to as Lagos annexe as it is common to find everyday Nigerian social activities happening on the street of London.

england 1

The U.K. used to be Nigeria’s Number 1 study destination until recently when Nigerian prospective students began to look for more favourable study destinations that would give them a better post-study deal.

Living costs vary depending on your lifestyle, spending habits, and budget.

On average, international undergraduate fees is around $15,000 per year.

For postgraduate degrees, the average tuition fees range from $13,000 to $17,000 per year.

 Top Five U.K. Universities that you’d find Nigerians are:

  • University of Hertfordshire
  • University of Salford
  • Reading University
  • University of Portsmouth
  • University of Leeds


Over the past two decades, the University of Hertfordshire has been developing a global network of academic partners with collaborative partnerships in countries across Asia, Europe, and North America.

Join other Nigerians at the University of Hertfordshire, UK’s leading business-facing university


1. Canada

With its promise of a fair income and excellent quality of life, Canada has become one of the best and safest countries you could study in.

The labour market in Canada is favourable to immigrant and jobs are opening daily, so the chance of you finding employment while studying and post-study is incredibly high.

Canada is the number one study destination for Nigerians. When prospective Nigerians use the expression ‘Japa’, which can be loosely translated as ‘to escape,’ the destination they often have in mind is Canada.  For many Nigerians, no other country offers better economic opportunity as much as Canada.

Canada 1

In 2019, Nigerians ranked the fourth most represented nationality among new permanent residents in Canada.

About 12,000 study permit holders in Canada are from Nigeria, making Nigeria the ninth most popular source country for international students.

An IELTS score is often part of the admission requirements in popular Canadian Universities.

You can find your nearest IELTS test centre and test dates here

The average cost of living in Canada is usually between $500 and $700 monthly.

The average tuition fee for undergraduate students (international students) is around $21,000.

International students in Canada are permitted to work up to 20 hours during school session and 40 hours per week during the holiday period.

Top Five Canadian Universities that you’d find Nigerians are

  • University Of Toronto
  • University of British Columbia
  • McGill University
  • University of Montreal
  • Carleton University, Ottawa

Other Study Destinations for Nigerian Students

Other study destinations like Australia, Norway, Finland, Netherlands, and India are becoming popular study destinations among Nigerians.

Career Tip

Many Nigerians are beginning to consider a career in Public Health, find out more here about career opportunities for Nigerians in Public Health Science.




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