A friend of mine relocated to the United Kingdom (UK) in 2022 and after a year, I asked him, “Is relocating to UK from Nigeria worth it?”. He went ahead to discuss with me in detail his journey from Nigeria to the UK, he shared with me the step-by-step process, the advantages of relocating to the UK, and the disadvantages.
In this post, I will share with you what I and my friend discussed and I am sure at the end of this post, you will be able to know if relocating to the UK from Nigeria is worth it or not.
Is relocating to UK from Nigeria worth it?
Yes, relocating to the United Kingdom (UK) is definitely worth it. From economic opportunities to quality of life, job opportunities, educational opportunities, free education for your kids, and travel experiences you will enjoy, I would say relocating to the UK from Nigeria is worth it.
Benefits of Relocating to UK from Nigeria
During my conversation with my friend, he highlighted and shared with me some of the benefits that make relocating from Nigeria to the United Kingdom (UK) worth it. Below is a list of the benefits of relocating to the UK and they are;
1. Economic Opportunities and Job Market
My friend in his words said “Well, my friend, let me tell you – the UK is like a treasure trove of job possibilities and career paths.
First things first, let’s talk about the job market. The UK is like a hub for all sorts of industries. Do you know how in Nigeria, we have sectors like Banking and finance, tech companies like Flutter Wave, healthcare, and more?
Well, the UK does that too, but on a high scale. Cities like London, Manchester, and many other big cities in the UK are like magnets for professionals from all corners of the world.
If you’re into finance, London is like the financial heart of Europe. It’s where banks, investment firms, and financial wizards gather to make things happen. Tech enthusiast? No worries! The UK tech scene is booming. From start-ups to established tech giants, there’s a buzzing community waiting for your skills.
But wait, there’s more! Healthcare, creative industries, engineering – you name it, they’ve got it. The UK doesn’t just offer jobs; it offers opportunities to grow and excel in your field.
2. Quality of life in the UK
The UK takes “living’ the good life” to a whole new level. Do you know how important healthcare and education are? Well, they’ve got you covered. Their education might be quite expensive but it is worth it because they make everything easy, ranging from a good learning environment to using modern equipment to teach. You won’t be stressed about unnecessary things like printing handouts, rushing to 7 a.m. classes, etc.
Their healthcare system is top-notch, ensuring you’re well taken care of as long as you have your insurance which covers for majority of the health challenges one might have.
And education? Oh boy, get ready to be spoiled for choice. From universities with centuries of history to cutting-edge institutions, you can continue your education journey in style.
let’s talk convenience. Public transportation in the UK is like a well-oiled machine. Buses, trains, and the iconic Tube in London – they’ll get you where you need to go without breaking a sweat.
Foodstuffs like fresh fruits are very cheap in the UK, you only spend more on our African foods.
But it’s not all work and no play, my friend. The UK knows how to have fun. Think about all the historical sites, museums, theaters, and natural wonders you can explore. Feeling artsy? You’ll be surrounded by galleries and exhibitions. Craving some adventure? Their countryside and coastlines are waiting for you to explore.
3. Travel Opportunities
The UK’s strategic location in Europe makes it an excellent base for exploring other countries. With its well-connected transportation systems, you can easily travel to neighboring European countries for weekend getaways and longer vacations.
let’s talk about travel perks for Nigerian migrants in the UK – it’s like having a passport to exploration. Imagine this: you’re not just in the UK; you’re a stone’s throw away from hopping over to Europe’s coolest spots.
Thanks to the UK’s prime location, you’ve got easy access to countries like France, Italy, Spain – the whole gang. Weekend getaway to Paris? Absolutely doable. Dreaming of pizza in Rome? You got it.
With efficient transportation systems like trains, buses, and budget airlines, these just make your travel easier.
4. Quality Education
The UK is home to some of the world’s most prestigious universities, making it an appealing destination for students seeking quality higher education. This is particularly relevant if you’re considering furthering your studies or pursuing advanced degrees.
The UK boasts a rich academic landscape that presents diverse options for you if you’re seeking quality education.
The UK’s educational facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art resources and faculty expertise so you get to enjoy all these. As a student, you are exposed to the latest developments in your respective fields.
This environment not only cultivates critical thinking but also equips you with skills that are highly valued in the global job market.
Furthermore, the UK’s multicultural society offers a unique advantage. As a student, you will have the opportunity to interact with peers from diverse backgrounds, fostering cross-cultural understanding and collaboration. This exposure prepares you for a globalized world where intercultural competence is crucial.
If you have kids, they also get to enjoy free education in their elementary school.
5. Quality and Modern Healthcare Services
In the UK, when it comes to healthcare, medicine, and medical research, the UK is one of the best in the world. Moreover, the United Kingdom is home to some of the best hospitals in the world, and as a resident, you have access to the National Health Service (NHS).
The National Health Service is a publicly funded healthcare system of the United Kingdom that every resident can use without being asked to pay the service’s total cost.
6. Opportunity to Enjoy Live Football Matches
Nigerians are football lovers. Clubs like Chelsea FC, Arsenal FC, Manchester United, Liverpool FC, Manchester City FC have huge fans in Nigeria and relocating to the UK would give you an opportunity to watch your favorite club live in their stadium and you also get to meet your favorite football players physically.
Why is relocating to the UK from Nigeria not worth it?
As you know that everything that has advantages will surely have disadvantages, my friend shared with me the other side of relocating to the UK that might make it not worth it. The list includes;
1. High Cost of Education
If you have children or plan to further your own education, the UK boasts some of the world’s top universities and schools. British education is renowned for its quality and can provide an excellent academic foundation for your children.
However, it’s important to consider the associated costs, such as tuition fees and living expenses, which can be high most especially when you’re yet to settle or adjust to life in the UK. In my friend’s case, he is yet to have kids and he is not willing to further his education for now, that way, it is easier for him.
Explore scholarship opportunities and budget accordingly to avoid stories that touch.
2. Accessibility to Healthcare
The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) provides healthcare services to residents, and it’s generally of high quality. As a resident or a student with the appropriate visa, you and your family will have access to NHS services, including medical consultations and treatments.
However, unlike in Nigeria where you can easily work in to any hospital to see medical professionals, it is not the case in the United Kingdom (UK). In UK, waiting times for certain treatments can be lengthy because you will have to book appointment to see medical professionals, and private healthcare options are available as well but can be expensive. It’s essential to understand the healthcare system and plan accordingly, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions. This is another reason while relocating to the UK might not be worth it.
3. The Cost of Living
The UK is amazing, but it does not shy about its price tags. Living in cities like London can be quite pricy. The cost of living there can be a bit of a sticker shock, especially coming from Nigeria. Housing, transportation, and even that morning coffee might feel a bit pricier.
But here’s the twist – salaries can often match the higher costs, balancing things out. Just remember, it’s like a trade-off for that fancy public transport, top-notch healthcare, and cultural goodies.
Here is the twist, There are lots of cities in the United Kingdom that are affordable, Do some research about these cities before relocating to the UK, it will help you save money and also live a quality life .
So, yeah, the UK might dig a bit deeper into your wallet, but it’s all about weighing the expenses against the benefits.
4. Family Bond
Moving from Nigeria to the UK is a significant life decision that may not suit everyone, especially those who cherish close-knit family ties. It’s crucial to consider the multitude of factors involved. Foremost, you must be prepared to leave behind cherished friends and family members, which can be emotionally challenging, particularly if you’re deeply rooted in family values.
Moreover, relocating often entails living far from your loved ones, which can be a test of emotional resilience. However, if you possess the financial means to facilitate the move with your family, it can greatly ease the transition and enhance your chances of a smoother settlement in the UK.
5. Weather Condition
The United Kingdom is renowned for its ever-changing weather patterns, which can be quite different from Nigeria’s predominantly warm and tropical climate. It’s important to note that the UK experiences a variety of weather conditions throughout the year, and adapting to these shifts may require some time and preparation.
The UK’s climate varies significantly by season:
- Rainy Reputation: The UK is often associated with frequent rainfall, particularly during the autumn and winter months. The rainy season typically begins in September and extends through the winter, with November being one of the wettest months from my friend’s experience
- Temperature Fluctuations: The weather in the UK is characterized by temperature variations throughout the year. Summers, from June to August, can be relatively warm, while winters, from December to February, are notably cooler, with the potential for snowfall in some regions.
- Unpredictable Weather: One of the distinctive features of the UK’s weather is its unpredictability. It’s common to experience rapid changes in weather conditions, so carrying an umbrella or waterproof clothing is advisable year-round.
- Seasonal Adjustments: Be prepared for daylight hours to vary significantly throughout the year due to the UK’s northern latitude. Days are longer in the summer and shorter in the winter, which can affect daily routines and outdoor activities.
- Regional Differences: The UK’s weather can vary by region. For example, Scotland and northern areas generally experience colder temperatures and more rainfall compared to southern regions like London and the Southeast.
- Climate Change: It’s important to acknowledge that climate change has also impacted the UK’s weather patterns, leading to more extreme events, such as heatwaves and heavy rainfall
So the change in weather condition in the UK might not make it worth it for you if you’re the type that doesn’t like cold weather or allergic to cold.
Practical Steps to Consider to Make Relocating to the UK Worth it
1. Thorough Research: Before making a decision, conduct thorough research on the specific region of the UK you’re considering, including its cost of living, job opportunities, and lifestyle. This will help you set realistic expectations and make an informed choice.
2. Travel Routes: As a Nigerian, you have various migration options to the UK, each serving different purposes and criteria. Some of the different pathways Nigerians can take for migration to the UK are:
- Skilled Worker Route (Formerly Tier 2 General): This pathway is for skilled workers who have a job offer from a UK employer with a valid sponsor license. It’s designed to address specific skill shortages in the UK job market.
- Student Route (Formerly Tier 4 Student Visa): This option is for Nigerians wishing to study in the UK at a recognized educational institution. It requires acceptance into a course of study and proof of funds to cover tuition and living expenses.
- Family Route: Nigerians who have immediate family members (spouse, partner, children, etc.) who are UK citizens or permanent residents can apply for family visas to join them in the UK.
- Start-up and Innovator Visas: These visas are for individuals with innovative business ideas or established business expertise who want to establish or run a business in the UK.
- Spouse Visa: If a Nigerian is married to a UK citizen or permanent resident, they can apply for a spouse visa to join their partner in the UK.
It’s crucial you thoroughly research the specific requirements, documentation, and application processes for each migration route, as they can vary significantly. Consult Gov.uk for more information.
3. Financial Planning: Assess your financial situation and create a budget that takes into account potential costs such as housing, transportation, healthcare, and daily expenses. Ensure you have a safety net to cover unexpected expenses during the transition.
4. Networking: Utilize professional and social networks to connect with individuals who have experience in relocating to the UK. Their insights and advice can be invaluable in understanding the challenges and opportunities you might face.
5. Language Proficiency: English is the primary language in the UK, so having a strong command of the language is essential for effective communication, both professionally and socially.
6. Emotional Preparation: Relocating to a new country can be emotionally challenging. Prepare yourself for homesickness, cultural differences, and the initial adjustment period. Staying open-minded and proactive in seeking new experiences can make the transition smoother.
After a deep conversation with my friend, I would say that relocating to the UK from Nigeria is indeed worth it, considering the economic prospects, job opportunities, quality of life, educational opportunities, quality healthcare and travel experiences the country has to offer.
However, If you agree with my points and would like to relocate to the UK, I would say it’s essential to approach this decision with careful consideration of the potential disadvantages, including the cost of living, accessibility to healthcare, high cost of education, family bond and weather.
By thoroughly researching and planning, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your personal and professional goals. Remember that every individual’s circumstances are unique, so take the time to assess your situation and make the decision that feels right for you and your family.
For more relocation and migration tips, visit Relocate.com.ng