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Everything you need to know about becoming an international teacher in Nigeria

International teachers

Living and working as an international teacher in Nigeria offers a unique and rewarding experience enriched by a combination of cultural vibrancy, warm hospitality, and professional opportunities.

Nigeria’s diverse landscapes, from bustling urban centres to serene rural areas, cater to a range of preferences, with the country’s rich cultural heritage, marked by traditional dances, vibrant music, and colourful festivals providing a captivating backdrop for cultural exploration.

In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about becoming an international teacher in Nigeria, including visa requirements, cost of living, healthcare, cultural expectations and norms, and expat communities.


Visa requirements for international teachers in Nigeria

International teachers who wish to live and work in Nigeria must obtain a work visa. The initial step is securing a job offer from a Nigerian educational institution, which serves as the foundation for the visa application process.

Once successful, you’ll then need to gather necessary documents, including a valid passport, a letter of invitation from the employer, a completed visa application form, and proof of academic and professional qualifications.

The visa application process may also require a medical examination, police clearance certificate, and evidence of financial means to support yourself. The duration of the visa processing can vary, so starting the application well in advance of the intended start date is advisable.

For detailed information, visit the Nigerian government website.


Cost of living for international teachers in Nigeria

While the cost of living in Nigeria is typically far less than many western countries, the overall cost can vary depending on the city and lifestyle choices.

Major urban centres like Lagos and Abuja generally have higher living costs compared to smaller towns. Accommodation constitutes a significant portion of expenses, with rental costs varying based on the location and the type of housing chosen.

While expatriate teachers often receive competitive salaries, it’s crucial to consider factors such as housing, transportation, and schooling for dependents. Utilities, groceries, and dining out are generally affordable, especially if one embraces local markets and cuisine.

Transportation costs can vary, with options ranging from public buses to private vehicles. Health insurance is advisable to cover potential medical expenses, as private healthcare services are often preferred.

Cost of living in Lagos (USD)

Rent for one-bedroom apartment in city centre – $590 per month
Rent for one-bedroom apartment outside city centre – $385 per month
Loaf of bread – $1.05
Litre of milk – $2.15
12 eggs – $1.35
Takeaway coffee – $2.10
Meal for two at mid-range restaurant – $28.80
Meal at inexpensive restaurant – $2.10
Public transport – $0.60 one way


Healthcare for international teachers in Nigeria

Nigeria’s healthcare system presents a diverse landscape with both public and private sectors catering to the needs of residents and expatriates. The public healthcare system, while accessible to all, faces challenges such as limited resources, overcrowded facilities, and occasional shortages of medical supplies.

Private hospitals and clinics boast modern facilities, English-speaking medical professionals, and a more streamlined healthcare experience.

While healthcare quality and availability may vary across regions, major cities such as Lagos and Abuja generally provide a range of medical facilities, including specialised clinics and international-standard hospitals.

Staying informed about local healthcare providers, accessing preventive care, and understanding available medical resources contribute to a positive and well-supported healthcare experience for international teachers in Nigeria.

Many international schools in Nigeria offer health insurance as part of their employment package.


Cultural expectations and norms for international teachers in Nigeria

Hospitality and warmth are foundational aspects of Nigerian culture, with locals often going out of their way to make newcomers feel welcome. Respect for elders is paramount, reflecting the deeply ingrained values of family and community.

Greetings play a significant role in social interactions, and taking the time to exchange pleasantries is appreciated. Nigerians are known for their vibrant and diverse cultural celebrations, encompassing traditional dances, music, and colorful attire.

Additionally, religion plays a central role in daily life, with a majority of the population identifying as either Christian or Muslim. It’s essential for expatriate teachers to be open-minded, patient, and adaptable, as Nigerian communication styles may involve indirectness and a preference for harmonious interactions.

Embracing local customs, participating in community events, and showing genuine interest in Nigerian traditions contribute to a positive cultural integration for expatriate teachers in this dynamic and welcoming nation.


Expat communities for international teachers in Nigeria

Nigeria boasts vibrant and welcoming expatriate communities that serve as invaluable support networks for international teachers seeking to make a home in this diverse country.

Major cities such as Lagos and Abuja host thriving expat scenes, offering a sense of camaraderie and connection. These communities often comprise individuals from various backgrounds, fostering a rich tapestry of cultural exchange.

Expatriate groups and organizations are active, organising social events, networking opportunities, and practical support for newcomers. Whether it’s sharing insights on navigating local markets, recommending trustworthy services, or providing guidance on cultural nuances, these communities play a pivotal role in helping expatriate teachers feel at home.

Additionally, online forums and social media groups contribute to the sense of belonging, enabling teachers to connect, share experiences, and seek advice from fellow expatriates.

Embracing the warmth of the expat community in Nigeria not only eases the transition but also opens doors to lasting friendships and a deeper appreciation for the diverse and hospitable spirit of the country.


Schrole international schools in Nigeria

Ready to find out what Nigeria has to offer you? Explore Schrole international schools in Nigeria now:

American International School of Abuja
Charterhouse Lagos

Full access

To career opportunities across the globe

$50 USD per year
Paid membership
  • Ability to create a unique educator profile that holds your references and important documents, such as teaching qualifications, all in one location.
  • Access to our entire database of 400+ international schools representing 100+ countries.
  • 5,000+ teaching vacancies every recruitment season.
  • Unlimited number of job applications.
  • Custom alerts so you’re the first to hear when your preferred roles are posted.
  • Access to virtual and in-person recruitment events with school leaders and recruiters.

Limited access

To career opportunities across the globe

Free membership
  • Ability to create a unique educator profile that holds your references and important documents, such as teaching qualifications, all in one location.
  • Access to our entire database of schools to discover your next teaching role.
  • Submission of three job applications.

The majority of our new international faculty now come to us through Schrole. In fact, our school exclusively uses Schrole as our global recruitment tool, having tried and stopped using other sites. This is how much faith we have in Schrole as a valuable resource with good customer service.

Donald Holder Foreign Principal
Tsinghua International School, Daoxiang Lake
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Tsinghua International School Daoxiang Lake