As a Nigerian, getting an international scholarship is a remarkable achievement that opens doors to a world of opportunities. It does not only provide financial support but also gives you a chance to experience life differently, gain a world-class education, and develop a global perspective. It takes you from a one to a hundred real quick. But after you finish your studies, what comes next? For a lot of people, especially those who used it as an opportunity to japa, it can be a confusing phase. That is why we talk about some paths you can consider after your international scholarship, helping you make the most of this life-changing experience.
Some Challenges You Might Face After Your International Scholarship
- Reverse culture shock: Coming back home after an extended period abroad can be challenging. Reverse culture shock occurs when people experience difficulty readjusting to their own culture, as they have become accustomed to a different set of norms, values, and ways of life.
- Employment uncertainty: Finding a suitable job at home or in a different country can be challenging, as the job market is very competitive, and employers may have specific expectations and requirements. Transitioning from a student to a professional role can be an intimidating experience.
- Fulfilling scholarship obligations: For international scholarships that come with obligations, such as returning to your home country or contributing to community development, fulfilling these obligations can sometimes be complex and may require careful planning and coordination.
- Financial responsibilities: Managing personal finances post-scholarship and repaying student loans (if applicable), can be demanding. It’s important to have a financial plan in place to ensure financial stability.
- Career transition: Deciding on the right career path and making the transition from academics to the professional world is a significant change. You will need to adapt to new work environments, job expectations, and employer cultures.
- Maintaining international connections: Keeping in touch with the international network of friends, colleagues, and mentors built during the scholarship can be a lot of work due to geographic distances and time zones.
- Language barrier: For those who studied in a non-native language, maintaining language proficiency and adapting to a different language environment back home will not be easy.
- Lack of recognition: Some employers or organizations in Nigeria may not fully recognize or understand the value of an international degree, which can present challenges in the job market.
- Homesickness: After experiencing life abroad, some people may feel homesick or nostalgic for their time spent in the host country, which can affect their emotional well-being.
- Work visa and immigration issues: If scholarship recipients choose to work abroad after their studies, they may encounter visa and immigration challenges, including navigating complex immigration systems and securing work permits.
10 Steps To Consider After Your International Scholarship
Further Your Education
Some scholarship recipients choose to continue their academic journey by pursuing advanced degrees like master’s or doctoral programs, or even taking a new course of study entirely. This is a good choice if you’re passionate about your field and want to specialize further, or you generally just like to study.
Start A Career
Most times, the next course of action after getting a degree is to start working. A lot of people opt to enter the workforce immediately after completing their studies. Your international education can be a significant asset in the job market, making you more competitive in the field you choose to build a career.
Become A Researcher
Research is an interesting discipline and covers a lot of fields. If you have a strong interest in research, you might explore opportunities to work on research projects, either independently or as part of a team.
Start A Business
Some people have innovative ideas and choose to start their businesses. This can be a great way to apply the knowledge and skills you’ve gained during your studies. It is not compulsory to be 9-5er even after getting an international degree.
Return Home/Stay Abroad
One of the tough decisions you’ll need to make after your international scholarship is whether to return home or stay abroad. This decision depends on various factors, including your career goals, personal preferences, and family considerations. Returning home gives you an opportunity to make an impact and contribute to the growth of your community or even start something with the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired. On the other hand, staying abroad might provide access to a broader range of career opportunities, especially if you’ve studied in a country with a thriving job market in your field.
Enhance Your Skills
Learning doesn’t stop after you graduate. Consider continuing your education and skill development through online courses, workshops, and seminars. There is always a need to upskill. Lifelong learning will help you stay competitive in your chosen field and adapt to evolving trends.
Network With Alumni Associations
During your studies, you’ll likely build a valuable network of friends, professors, and mentors. Maintaining these connections even after your scholarship concludes is important. Join alumni associations and participate in networking events to help you stay connected, share experiences, and discover new opportunities.
Repay Scholarship Obligations
Many international scholarships come with obligations, such as returning to your home country for a specified period or contributing to the development of your community or country. Partial scholarships require you to carry some of the financial obligations, if you took loans to meet up, now is a good time to pay back. Understand and fulfill these obligations, as they are often a part of the scholarship agreement.
As a scholarship recipient, you’ve been given a unique opportunity to receive an education that is not easily accessible to a lot of people. Many people find fulfillment in giving back to their communities, whether through mentorship, volunteering, or supporting educational initiatives. You can either start a project or join an existing one.
Plan Your Finances
Lastly, you should create a financial plan for life after your scholarship. It is not very easy to manage your finances while navigating school and a new country at the same time. Now that you’re done, you can focus on planning and managing any student loans, and start budgeting, saving, and investing wisely if you haven’t started already. Financial stability will empower you to pursue your career and personal goals with confidence.
After completing your studies, it can be a little difficult to decide on what to do next but don’t worry, you have a world of opportunities to explore. Your experiences abroad will shape your perspective and offer unique insights that you can use to make a positive impact in your personal and professional life. Embrace the possibilities that come after your international scholarship, and continue your journey toward success and personal growth.