I’ve always been curious about how parents afford international student tuition for their children who study outside of Nigeria. I learned that the reason international student tuition is so high is because the government (at least in Canada) subsidizes tuition costs for citizens (and permanent residents? Not sure) while international students must pay the unsubsidized cost.
In my corner of the world, the cost for one year of college as an international student is approximately $12,000 Canadian dollars, and university is more than that, closer to $20,000 CAD per year, not including books and lodging. I can say right now that if my parents had had to pay that kind of money for my schooling and that of my siblings, we would not have received an international education and maybe I’d already be an entrepreneur by now, having had to hustle! As it happened my sister and I were able to pay our own way through university by working during the school year and in the summer, made easier by the fact that our tuition was about half of the international student fee, and we lived at home so we didn’t have to pay rent. It would have been nice to be able to focus completely on my studies rather than work 20-25 hours per week as a full-time student, or to experience life in another city or country while learning so much about yourself living away from home, but in the end everything worked out (I supplemented my earnings with student loans).
So my naive question is: Are those who send their kids out of the country for school wealthy, or have they been saving for a while, or are loans the answer? Are there many scholarship options for international students? I’ve noticed in quite a few cases that if one child goes abroad for school the siblings follow, and the thought of having, as a parent, tuition costs of that magnitude per year is scary to me. Education is important but if I were in the position my parents were and we had lived in Nigeria, I know I wouldn’t have been able to come to Canada for school, and I probably wouldn’t have even looked outside of Nigeria for fear of the cost. Like in any country I know Nigeria has schools offering an excellent education, though the timing would no doubt be affected by strikes! My dad was able to get some good scholarships from the Nigerian government decades ago to cover most of his international student tuition for his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, but those days are long gone I suspect!
So, if this isn’t too touchy a subject, please educate me on how people pay for international school fees: are there some ways to avoid these huge costs, or some countries with a more affordable level of international education? If you were an international student, were you able to help pay the tuition after some time?