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Preparing Your Child for Study Abroad

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Study Abroad

By FBNQuest

Parenting is a full-time job no one prepares you for. First off, you are putting someone’s life, cares and burdens over yours consistently for the reward that takes the form of an indescribable love you feel when you look at your child.

That desperate desire to give this other human being everything that you never had and more, while always thinking about their best interests and preparing for their future. Such is the path of parenting which often leads you to make the move to prepare them for a study abroad in the first place.

Education is an investment that provides a firm foundation for the future and the better the quality of education, the higher the chances are of securing an enriching or fulfilling future, which is what you are probably looking to afford for your child or ward.

Although, affording quality education for your child is easier said than done, especially if you are considering education in a foreign country. But it does get easier with the right plan and preparation ahead of time, so you don’t have to worry about the next move to make for their progress. How exactly should you prepare to give your child this quality education abroad? Below are a few helpful tips for every parent preparing their child for education abroad.

Create a Checklist

Firstly, you will need to make a list of every requirement for your child’s education abroad. From information about the school and region you are considering to requirements for the study and immigration, you would need to take everything into consideration before your child leaves and tick the boxes once each task is completed. This will help you keep track of your progress and serve as a record of your activities, so you would not miss anything important. This list should include timelines, deadlines, cost implications, long and short term steps.

Review the Region, School and Course of Study

The next step is to work with your child to determine what their plans and aspirations are and guide them through choosing courses as you prepare them mentally for the journey. Also, work with them to choose schools that offer courses related to their shared plans.

Please note that Ivy league schools for example are not in the same financial category as state universities. These are factors that you should consider as a parent or guardian when you are making school choices with your child/ward.

Make Emotional and Physical Preparations

Once you decide to send your child abroad to study, you need to prepare them emotionally and physically. Prepare them to be independent, to be able to be away from home, to be able to make spur of the moment decisions without consulting you.

Also, teach them how to be financially independent. They need to know how to budget, plan and spend without you looking over their shoulders. Prepare them emotionally to be goal-oriented and remember where they find themselves, there is a goal and their eyes should always be on the ball.

Register for External Examinations

A couple of external examinations are a prerequisite for admissions in most Western countries. These exams differ by country sometimes and by the school too.

There is the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Test de Connaissance du Français (TCF) and Test d’Evaluation (TEF) for Francophone countries, International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) for the United Kingdom, American College Test (ACT) and Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) for the United States of America, Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH) and German as a Foreign Language (TestDaF) for Germany just to mention a few. Ensure your child is prepared for these exams and that their results meet the criteria provided by the alternatives you have both decided on.

Get the Required Documentation

There is an extensive list of documents that cannot be obtained overnight.

  • A passport is extremely important because it is needed for them to even leave the shores of your home country.
  • A Student Visa allows your student to live abroad for a specified period. Each country has a different application process. You can visit the school’s website for the embassy or consulate of the country they are travelling to. They should provide you with all the necessary details you need for the visa application process.
  • International Certificate of Vaccinations should also be considered especially in light of the COVID-19 Vaccine which is now a travel prerequisite. As you prepare these documents, do not forget to make copies before your child leaves.

Schedule a Health Check

Schedule doctor visits before your child leaves. Some schools and visa application processes make health and medical checks mandatory. Ensure your child is in good health and can take care of themselves or manage a health condition on their own.

In cases where the child has pre-existing medical conditions, be sure to inform the school and make accommodation choices based on proximity to clinics and or weather information and convenience. Ensure to also get a health insurance cover that will step in if they need it.

Make Funding Arrangements

Securing citizenships, visas, enabling environments via vacations are fantastic and being proactive. However, it would be prudent for you to start planning financially even before the child is born.

Proactive planning will help you save money, take away the pressure, prepare you and your child for the future and generate dividends for the present. You can consider the products offered by FBNQuest that support children’s education such as the FBN Children Education Trust and the FBN Education Endowment Plan.

Here are a few ideas to help you build up funds for your child’s education abroad.

  • FBN Education Endowment Fund – The FBN Education Endowment Plan is a goal-based investment management solution specifically created to help parents/guardians save for their children’s education and ensure continuity of their education by providing added benefits such as Insurance and Trust. The good thing about this plan is that it is time-based. It can span for as long as 5-10 years and as short as 6 months. It allows for flexible contribution plans so you finance hassle-free. It also assures that all education needs will be met.
  • Liquidity Management – Stacking up shares and stocks and liquidating when you need physical cash is another means of planning for the beautiful future that you want for your child. However, there is a need to work with a portfolio manager who can advise you on what stocks and shares to buy, when to buy and then to sell to grow the education funds for your child’s study abroad. FBNQuest offers excellent liquidity management solutions.
  • Mutual Funds – Mutual funds as an investment plan provides you with access to investment markets by pooling your money with the money of several other individuals with similar investment goals. This allows you to diversify your investments and assists with minimising the potential risks typically associated with investing.

It’s flexible and allows you time to be consistent at depositing or to just put in what you intend to multiply for future use. FBNQuest offers a wide range of mutual funds to invest in, including; FBN Money Market Fund, FBN Bond Fund, FBN Balanced Fund, FBN Eurobond Fund, FBN Smart Beta Equity Fund and FBN Halal Fund.

  • FBN Children Education Trust – An educational trust specifies that trust funds are to be used for education. In the trust document, the grantor names a trustee and beneficiaries, and also specifically states your true intention and goals and details on how the trust money is to be used. You can create an education trust fund for your child and the Fund shall be locked up for an initial minimum period of 2 years before withdrawals can be made.

Conclusively, education on its own is an investment and giving your child the best is an investment into the future and this comes with a price. However, preparing and planning with a holistic strategy makes your child’s experience whole and hassle-free.

Education

Educating Every Nigerian Child Our Priority—Stanbic IBTC Trustees

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Stanbic IBTC Trustees

Stanbic IBTC Trustees Limited, through the Stanbic IBTC Education Trust (SET), has made assisting Nigerian parents and guardians to secure their children and ward’s academic future one of her top priorities.

SET is a flexible and easy investment plan with long-term benefits that support parents and guardians striving to provide quality education for their children and wards.

With SET, parents and guardians can ensure the payment of their children and wards’ school fees as education-related expenses are directly effected by the institutions of learning, be it elementary to tertiary levels. This action ensures that unforeseeable events do not cause a disruption in their education which may negatively impact their future.

Education trust funds are invested in conservative-type instruments and professionally managed and administered by a reputable Corporate Trustee and Fund Manager.

Parents and guardians can also nominate their children and wards’ SET accounts as a beneficiary for their life insurance policies; a clear example is the Group Life Insurance Policy. Situations like this would ensure that the portion allocated to each child’s SET account is received and utilized for the child’s education. This has proven to be extremely beneficial if the child is a minor (under 18 years of age) or still in school.

Speaking about the positive impact of SET on the Nigerian child, Mr Charles Omoera, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Trustees Limited, said that the organisation understands the significant impact of quality education on every child and the positive effect it will have in shaping their future.

Mr Omoera urged parents and guardians to put in place SET for their children and wards to help them address any adverse circumstances likely to halt their education. He stated that parents and guardians must always strive to give their children and wards quality education to position them for rare opportunities attached to the benefits of having quality education.

Stanbic IBTC Trustees remains committed to ensuring that Nigerian children have access to quality education from elementary to tertiary education to help develop their minds and contribute meaningfully to society.

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Education

Orevaoghene Whiskey Emerges InterswitchSPAK 4.0 Winner

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Orevaoghene Whiskey

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A student of Top Faith International School, Akwa Ibom State, Miss Orevaoghene Whiskey, has won the fourth edition of the prestigious InterswitchSPAK National Science Competition.

She is now the first female winner of the 13-week Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) show, which had over 20,000 applications across the country.

With the win, the 16-year-old best STEM student in Nigeria will receive the grand prize of N7.5 million in scholarships, among other exciting prizes.

InterswitchSPAK Nigeria is the corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative of Africa’s leading integrated payments and digital commerce company, Interswitch.

The programme aired on domestic and terrestrial television stations, providing a platform for brilliant young Nigerians to showcase their knowledge in STEM subjects.

In the fourth edition, Adesayo Elumaro of The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State, clinched the second spot and went home with N4 million, while Precious Akinyemi of Rhema Chapel International School, Oyo State, grabbed the third position and N1 million in scholarship.

Speaking on the essence of the initiative, the Chief Customer Experience Officer at Interswitch, Ms Oremeyi Akah, emphasised the need for more young Africans to tow the STEM path, thereby underscoring the goal of the InterswitchSPAK National Science competition.

”Research by the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) reveals that less than 25% of African higher education students pursue STEM-related career fields,” Ms Akah said.

Based on this premise, she expressed concern about the retrogressive impact this could pose on Africa’s talent pool which may not be opportune to acquire the necessary tech skills to drive innovation on the continent in the near future.

However, she submitted that through initiatives such as the InterswitchSPAK National Science competition, hope holds sway because “Interswitch is inspired by its vision of a prosperous Africa, driven by the exchange of value and commerce; an Africa where Africans are equipped with the requisite knowledge to solve the unique challenges faced on the continent.”

She added that the reward and prizes totalled N12.5 million was a way to fund the “dreams and aspirations” of the winners as they work towards creating an impactful future for Nigeria and Africa in general.

Last season, 16-year-old Jubril Dokun of Brainfield College, Salolo, Lagos State, who snagged the first prize, also emerged among the top 10 highest scorers in the 2022 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Exam (UTME).

With a vision of a prosperous Africa, Interswitch has pledged to provide enabling platforms that encourage the future generation of STEM professionals who will contribute to the growth of Nigeria and Africa at large. This has been evidently demonstrated with InterswitchSPAK rewarding 12 outstanding STEM students with a total of N50 million over the last four years.

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Education

InterswitchSPAK 4.0 Finalists Nudge for N7.5m University Scholarships

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InterswitchSPAK 4.0

As the semifinals of the InterswitchSPAK National Science Competition draws to an end, nine contestants are left in the race for the crown as the best Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) student in Nigeria.

The student who emerges tops will bag the grand prize of N7.5 million in scholarship for a five-year period, a brand-new laptop, and a monthly stipend. The second-place winner will go home with N4 million scholarship spread over a period of three years, a brand-new laptop, and a monthly stipend.

The third-place winner gets N1 million scholarship spread over a period of one year, a brand-new laptop, and a monthly stipend.

It is interesting to note that these students emerged from over 20,000 students that sat for the Crux Computer-Based Test (CBT) held nationally last year to compete for the bragging rights as the country’s best STEM student.

Preparations for the grand finale are in place and the excitement is high as followers of the show anticipate a stiff and rousing competition between the unusual mix of contestants left in the race.

While girls have made it through to the finale of previous seasons of the competition’s 4-year run, this season has the highest number of female finalists, they include Precious Akinyemi of Rhema Chapel International School, Oyo State, Joyce Onubogu of British Spring, Awka, Anambra; Towoju Atinuke of Seolad International College, Ogun State; and Orevaoghene Whiskey of Top Faith International School, Akwa Ibom State.

Other finalists equally competing for the grand prize include Zulqarnain Abubakar of Apt Scholars Universal College, Ogun State; Chimdubem Duruji of The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State; Oraibi Okari of Jephthah Comprehensive Secondary School, Rivers State; Adesayo Elumaro of The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State; and Stephen Nwaneri of Adedokun International Schools, Ogun State.

Over the years, InterswitchSPAK has remained committed to driving the interest of young African students in STEM subjects by encouraging and rewarding them in their pursuit for excellence.  InterswitchSPAK is a flagship CSR initiative of Interswitch, Africa’s leading integrated payments, and digital commerce company.

To catch the grand finale, tune in to DSTV Africa Magic Family 154 on Sunday, 29th January 2023 at 5:30 pm, with a repeat broadcast on Wednesday, 1st February 2023 at 3 pm; and on the AIT Network at 7.30 pm on Sunday, 5th February 2023. You don’t have to miss the action while on the go, you can watch the show on platforms such as LinkedIn and YouTube.

Stay tuned for the finals. It promises to be nothing short of entertaining, educating, and thrilling. Bond with family while at it. What better way to inspire the budding generation than to give them something to aspire to, knowing that if they can dream it, they can achieve it.

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