The media has made a big impact on society’s perception of higher education where it proclaims that studying abroad is better than studying in Kenya.
That is not always the case. It all comes down to what the student wants and can reach. The grass is greener where you water it.
So what are some of the advantages you enjoy studying in Kenya rather than abroad?
Affordable cost of tuition and living.
This is a no-brainer. The cost of university education in Kenya is cheaper compared to abroad even for self-sponsored students. Below are fees comparison figures between Cornell University (USA) and JKUAT (Kenya).
The fees a self-sponsored student pays in JKUAT is just a drop in the ocean compared to what a Cornell undergraduate pays. The only way around is to get a scholarship to study abroad, and not just any scholarship, but one that caters for most of the fees.
Closeness to Family.
In case you didn’t know, homesickness is a major issue affecting international students. There come these moments when you remember you are alone in a different world and that fact makes your heart sink. So if you are the type who’s much close to you people, then this might be a major issue.
A friend who studies in Japan usually calls to say how much he misses home. There is nobody to call family in Japan and considering how the Japanese are all about their own businesses, he is almost always alone.
Familiar Culture and Environment.
Studying in Kenya is comfortable for most Kenyans, especially for those who cherish the little world here at the cradle of mankind. Having been brought up in Kenya has made us understand most aspects of Kenyan life and hence most of us would only like to imagine what it feels like to live in another country.
Culture shock in overseas universities is a reality for every international student. If you can’t cope with new and strange cultures, relax and study in Kenya.
We enjoy speaking and studying in the language we’ve used since we were young because we are good at it. Learning a new language might be daunting for many.
For instance, if you want to study in Japan, you will have to take a year to study Japanese and then study with Japanese undergraduates. Do you think you can compete well with such students?
If you are up to the task then go for it, but if you like just the way things are, be comfortable.
So that you can later survive in Kenya.
Although international scholars are equipped to tackle world issues, it might get tough for them in the competitive Kenyan field where who you know matters.
Let’s consider two students; Mark and Brian. Mark goes abroad to study Mechanical Engineering and connects with people from all over the globe, then after graduating comes back to Kenya to start a career.
Brian, on the other hand, studies Mechanical Engineering in Kenya, e.g. JKUAT, connects with Kenyan engineers, makes friends all the way to the ministry of industrialization in Kenya and then graduates.
When these two fellows set out to look for jobs, there will be two kinds of stories. The former will have to apply to get jobs in various companies while the latter from JKUAT will have already made connections with the Who-is-Who in Kenya engineering. Moral; In Kenya, it’s mostly about the people you know in the field.
Briefly, the above pros of studying in your local country Kenya are just but a few and since I am subject to bias, you can add what you believe in the comments section to keep this conversation going.
Also, check Why study abroad rather than in Kenya to get the other perspective.