About one-third of African students studying in the U.S. are Nigerians, an official said on Wednesday.
The Cultural Affairs Officer of the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, Malia Heroux, made this known during an education fair for Nigerian students seeking admission into American universities for undergraduate and graduate studies.
The fair, organised by the EducationUSA Advising Center, is to familiarise Nigerian students with scholarships in U.S. universities.
The event was attended by students from over 20 public and private schools in Abuja.
Some of the American institutions present were Millersville University, Columbia College Chicago, Calvin University, University of Illinois, University of Chicago, and Webster University.
According to Ms Heroux, about 13,000 Nigerians go to study in the USA yearly. She said about 39,000 African students study in the USA indicating Nigeria makes up about a third.
Also speaking, the Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy, Kathleen FitzGibbon, said the embassy assists the students in securing admission in universities in the United State.
She said the embassy helped to secure about $9 million worth of scholarship from colleges and universities last year.
“Individual universities in the USA gives scholarship, it is not us giving out the money as the government. In Abuja last year, the students got scholarship worth of $9 million and that is for Abuja alone,” she said.
She said there is a wide variety of programmes being offered in the U.S. and Nigeria universities.
“We also have people who come from the USA to study the Yoruba and Hausa language,” she said.
Some of the students who interacted with PREMIUM TIMES said they attended with the hope of eventually security scholarships to study in the U.S.
A 16-year-old, Rhibetnan Plang, from Olumawu college said she hopes to go study in the U.S.
“I am here to look for schools that will have my course. I want to study public health. I grew up in Nigeria, I will like to move somewhere else,” she said.
Dudu Oluwapelumi, a 15-year-old from Government Science Secondary School Pyakasa-Maitama, said he wants to find a school that will have merit scholarship to study animal science.
The U.S. Embassy’s Education USA Advising Center in Abuja is part of a global network of over 400 educational advising centres in more than 170 countries.
Education USA Abuja also places particular emphasis on supporting talented and determined students who are likely to be awarded full scholarships from U.S. colleges and universities but who lack the financial resources to cover the mission including testing, application fees, and airfare.