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Why Now Is a Great Time for Africans to Get an MBA in North America

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Buoyed by numbers from countries like Nigeria, Africa remains an important source of international students studying in various parts of the world—and its students are increasingly considering a wider array of destinations.

According to data available prior to the pandemic, Nigeria was one of the top sources of international students in Canada and the United States.

As a result of several factors, it is an unfolding trend that Nigerians and other Africans are increasingly seeking knowledge and expertise from foreign countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, China, Ireland, and Malaysia.  

The US and Canada remain top destinations for African applicants

With a growing number of leading destinations competing on the basis of affordability and visa policies, the United States remains a preferred destination for Africans—most especially Nigerians.

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The global COVID-19 pandemic may have halted foreign travels and studies for African students for a while but with the gradual easing of travel restrictions across the globe, there is no better time than now to enroll an MBA program in the United States.

African students can also take advantage of a wide variety of MBA scholarships to many notable institutions in the United States and Canada they might consider for MBA programs.

Several universities in North America have been able to swiftly adapt to the challenges imposed by COVID-19, with many of them quickly pivoting to online learning in a bid to support their domestic and international students. Many also have flexible year-round intakes, but September and January intakes remain the most popular choice for many international students.

Why now is a great time to begin your MBA applications

According to Ikenna Obi of UKEAS Abuja, "January will be the best time for most African students to start their program, the reason being that many of them are self-funded and rely on being able to work part-time to pay tuition. A January start will shorten how long they have to wait for summer to begin so they can take advantage of that season to earn enough money to continue their studies."

Ifeanyi Chinanti, of Synergy Lifeline Consults, thinks that now is both the best time and the worst time for many Africans to go for an MBA in the United States.

"It is the best time, on one hand, because the Covid-19 pandemic has shown the fragility of some economies around the world, the Nigerian and many other African economies included. As a result, many ambitious African youths have been spurred to embark on their MBA quest, for dual reasons: academic pursuit and career progression or even outright economic survival.”

He continues, “On the other hand, regrettably, the high volatility of several African currencies in the forex market is adversely affecting the chances of the aforementioned youths pursuing their MBA in the US, since the value of their savings in their local currency is continuously being weakened with each passing day."

For several prospective African international students, it's a case of cashing in your chips when you can still get good value from savings already earmarked for study abroad.

Interest amongst Africans to study abroad for an MBA is spiking

Even though there are mixed feelings from the sentiments shared by the admission consultants and students, there is no denying the truth of a keen interest by ambitious candidates in pursuing their MBA degrees in the best institutions and highly rated global programs in the US and Canada. Many test prep centers across the continent are experiencing a surge in the number of prospective candidates seeking to find a suitable destination for their MBA degree programs.

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For academic reasons, career progression or outright economic survival, North America remains the most preferred destination for African applicants and there is no better time than now to start the MBA journey.

How to get into a top MBA program abroad

Looking for some expert guidance for your MBA applications? In our free guide, Full-Time MBA Application Guide, we provide you with the information and guidance you need to craft MBA applications that elevate your story and help you stand out from the pool of other qualified applicants.

Get exclusive, insider advice on how to:

  • Define your personal brand and tell a compelling story with your application
  • Be strategic about when you submit your applications
  • Put together an MBA resume (and how it differs from a professional resume)
  • Write unique and authentic admissions essays
  • Choose who will write your letters of recommendation and tips for managing the process