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Ask Anna: Can I Work Abroad After My Studies?

Ask AnnaAfter finishing your degree as an international student, there’s a chance you may be considering staying in the country you earned your your degree and taking your career down a path that may not be open to you at home. Working abroad is generally a pretty good idea, particularly in countries that have the best ranking universities, like Canada, the UK, the USA or Australia. There tends to be better opportunity for graduates in these countries and though starting your career abroad might be hard at first, it will pay off later down the line.

The issue with aiming to work abroad is that most of these countries are very strict with their immigration rules – the opportunity to secure well paid jobs makes competition for residency very high. As a result of this high demand, governments are quite keen to only take the best of the best – the skilled workers who have acquired a good degree and are therefore more likely to contribute to the countries economy.

The first step in most countries as far as acquiring permanent residence after your degree is concerned is to apply for a work-experience position/visa. The visa will be called a variety of different things depending on what country you’re in, but most of the time it’ll do more or less the same thing – allow you to work for a limited time in the country in an intern-esque role. You will not be allowed to get just any job; it’ll have to be one that’s directly related to your degree, and you will not be allowed to stay permanently with this visa – only long enough to prove that you can are able to work effectively and do well in the country post-graduation.

After finishing your internship programme (or in most cases, before you finish) there will be an opportunity to apply for a more permanent visa, that may allow you to gain some more work experience, or may grant you a place as a permanent resident. The basic rule is the more work experience you have, the easier it will be to secure a permanent residence visa. Additionally, the ‘better’ your degree is – generally this means a degree in a science/engineering/mathematics (think STEM) subject, the easier it’ll be to be secure a permanent residence visa in a country.

One piece of advice we’re more than happy to give you is to make absolutely sure all of you paperwork after graduation is completely up-to-date and flawless. Your application for a further work visa will be taken very seriously, and even a slight mistake in your work papers could set you back months, and may result in you having to leave the country.

After graduation it’s very easy to relax a little and not worry about anything for a month or so, but generally you’ll only have a narrow window of opportunity to apply for a visa. Start applying as soon as you graduate, and make sure that your paperwork is up-to-date and correct before you graduate so you can go through the process quicker. Often there is a quota for each visa that cannot be increased, so time is of the essence to guarantee work experience post-degree that will lead to permanent residence.

For a more in-depth analysis of the post-graduate schemes available to foreign students in Canada, the UK, the USA and Australia, read our article on The Possibility of Working After Studying – The Different Rules In Each Country.

Ask Anna: How Do I Decide Between Two Destinations?

Ask Anna

If you’re lucky enough to have narrowed your five initial choices of institutions down to two and have been accepted into both then firstly well done. Now it’s time to make one of the biggest decisions of your life, where do you pick to carry out your studies? The main way to do this is to compare the institutions in relation to costs, achievements, location, facilities and much more.

Where do I Start?

A big deciding factor could be the cost of the course you are choosing to study or the location of the university.  Cost is a huge factor in deciding what institution you should study at; especially since the increase in course costs were introduced. Different institutions charge different fees.

You may find there is a difference of £1000. If you are going to be paying more for your course it could be to your advantage to first understand why. Are the facilities at the university of industry standard? Are the lecturers’ specialists in their area of expertise? Are you definitely going to get your money’s worth from that institution?

If there is very little difference between the institutions, their facilities and the course, consider why you might be expected to pay extra at one institution.

International Students

When you are studying abroad then you need to take into account how difficult it will be to obtain the visa needed to study there. It may be more difficult to get a visa to study in one location compared to another and this may go some way to swaying your decision. To find out more on visas click here.

The Universities

It may sound silly but the university itself may be what helps you to decide which is best suited to you and your needs. Look at the universities prestige and history, see what graduating students have gone on to achieve career-wise. Employability after university is always one of the key considerations for prospective students, so it may be wise now to take an interest in ways an institution can help you make the most out of your degree.

Do you recognise the lecturers and tutors? If they are specialists in their fields and are well known then you might expect that this is an institution which could offer you one of the best experiences money can buy.

Take a look at the university rankings, where you can see where each of the institutions rank based on a set criteria. This may give you an idea of what to expect from an institution regarding your education.

Location

For some students the location of a university can help sway their decision as to where they will choose to study. Some people decide it is best not to study too far away from their home country in case they get home sick. Some have strong connections with their family and want to be able to get home as quickly as possible at the end of term.

Of course, you may want to study a bit further away, but bear in mind that flights to the other side of the world can cost over US$1,000 return. So that’s an extra US$1000 every time you want to go home!

You may find that both of shortlisted institutions are very similar in what they can offer to students and the costs of the course may work out to be very similar. If you find that you are drawn to one because your heart tells you that that is the institution for you then maybe you should listen and opt for that. If you feel like you’ll be comfortable there and are confident that it is the institution for you then go for it.

Five Great New Year Resolutions for Studying Abroad

You’ve decided to you want to study overseas. Well done! Now what do you need to do?

This is a big decision, and deciding to study in a different country can have many pitfalls, such as language problems, visas issues, distances to travel etc.

The key is to make sure you’re suitably organised before you go, and that way you won’t stumble upon any unexpected problems, and you will always keep a calm head.

With the new year upon us, what better time to set some resolutions and deadlines and make 2014 the year YOU study abroad!

Let’s look at five of the top tips to help you get organised for your overseas study adventure.

Get organised – write a list

List writing is the one thing that will make certain that you are organised and you don’t forget anything. Write down every task that you need to do, and tick each one off when completed.

Every time you think of something else, write it down. Your mind better able to concentrate when clear and not trying to remember all the tasks you need to complete.

Research!

This is probably the most important thing on the list. You need to do extensive research into the country you’ve decided to study in, the requirements of your course and the cost of study. Can you find any financial help for your studies?

Most importantly, when are the deadlines to apply for your course at your chosen university, and what the grades will you need? Finally, when are the application deadlines for funding help?

Visa Requirements

Certain nationals may require a study visa to study in certain countries. This differs worldwide from country to country and when you’re doing your research, this is one of the things you need to look into.

Apply for your visa in good time, because without the visa, you’re going nowhere.

Create a Back Up Plan  

Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, so it’s important to have a plan B. Of course, we hope you’ll never need to go to plan B, but if you do, then you have that peace of mind.

Try to have another course or two in mind, in case you don’t reach the requirement for your first choice, another university, or even something as simple as another flight.

These are all things that can create problems, so having alternative options in place will ease your worries.

Shopping!

You will need to give some thought to what you are going to take with you. Of course, you will need text books etc, but can you buy them over there? Consider buying a guidebook into your chosen city, and read it thoroughly before you go, picking up local knowledge, so it won’t feel quite so alien once you arrive.

Also, begin to think about your personal belongings and what you can take, cutting out any unnecessary luxuries that will take up valuable space in your suitcase.

SEE ALSO: What Not to Pack When Studying Abroad

There are many factors to consider when in applying to travel overseas to obtain your degree and it may seem like an uphill battle at the moment.

But studying abroad will never be something you will regret, as you meet new people, widen your horizons and hopefully take your first steps into an exciting new career.

Make sure you’re organised beforehand and your journey will be a smooth one. What is your plan for 2014?

Ask Anna – 2013′s Best Articles

Ask AnnaQuestion: What did we cover in 2013?

Answer:

2013 has been a very busy year and we have covered lots of ground in these advice columns.

As we near 2014, some of you may be about to embark upon your study abroad adventure. Some of you may be at the very beginning and just starting to plan to study abroad.

Whatever stage you are at, you may find a recap of 2013′s best articles useful, so let’s take a look at my top ask Ask Anna articles of 2013:

In 5th place…

What is Erasmus Mundus

Erasmus Mundus offers exciting opportunities for students and academics, with numerous scholarships for students from all over the world who wish to study at European universities.

In 4th place…

What is ECTS?

We talk about the European Credit Transfer System and what it means to you and your grades.

In 3rd place…

‘Proof of Funds’ Explained

Proof of funds is an important one when studying abroad, as you need to prove you can afford to stay in the country your choose to study in.

The runner up…

Studying in Asia: India or China?

We analyse the benefits of studying in India and China, two of the most rapidly growing study abroad destinations in Asia.

And the winner is…

When Should I Start Looking for a Course?

We give advice about when you should begin looking for your ideal study abroad course. This is the starting point of your adventure, and proved to be the most popular article of 2013.

Have a wonderful holiday season wherever you are and what ever you decide to study. If you are embarking upon your study abroad adventure in the new year, then good luck! If not, then good luck with your exams and applications. And best of luck for 2014!

Do you have a question for Anna?

Let us know on our Facebook wall and Anna will address the best question: www.facebook.com/StudyLink

Ask Anna: How to Improve Your Presentation Skills

Ask AnnaFacing a large audience or even a group of people can sometimes be a difficult task for those who are new to it. It can be a particularly daunting task when you’re studying in a different country, and are possibly asked to present in your second language.

However, there is always a way to face your fears and use your weaknesses in your favour. This article provides some actionable advice that will make presenting easier whilst you’re studying abroad.

Gaining confidence is one way of improving your presentation skills, and this is a very old rule that we all know. But what if you just lack the confidence that you feel you need. Well there are ways to cover that weakness. The safest way you can deliver a good presentation is to do your homework, intelligently. Here are some important things that you should be prepared to know:

Know Your Audience

Even the very finest presenters, comedians and artists need to know what kind of people they are going to face. When you think about your audience, ask yourself: What are they prepared to listen to? What do they expect to learn from your presentation? What will be the average age? How many people? How patient the audience is going to be? These questions will give you a real sense of direction. Tailor your presentation towards the ‘need’ of the audience. Knowing to whom you are presenting will help you to gain a grasp for the tone of your presentation required and the time limit you should set. Feel free to ask people, visit social networking sites and research the top queries in their minds before preparing the presentation. Following this step will save you a lot of time and effort you put into this presentation.

Double Your Effort

If you feel that you have a limited understanding about your presentation topic, then the safest bet is to double the preparation material. Accept the awkward fate that usually people forget most of their material when they are doing the actual presentation. This is a common fault that everyone faces, but you can avoid it by knowing twice as much so that you never feel short of words. This is what you call ‘fillers’ in your speech, which allow you time to think and recall all that you prepared. Learn some examples, case studies, or even some good humour to entertain the audience. This is a great way to also boost your confidence prior to a presentation. If you’ve got plenty to say, you’ll probably never be short for words.

Remember Your Body Language

Your body language is plays a massive part throughout a presentation. The good news is that you have to do very little to enhance this, as opposed to your verbal communication. Instead, focus on the main ‘giveaway’ parts of body language, including maintaining eye contact, hand gestures, your tone and consistency. If maintaining eye contact is difficult, try to imagine a ‘T’ symbol between eyebrows of the people in the audience. This will help to make you appear more confident, and as such, be treated this way. As a knock-on effect, you’ll probably feel more confident in yourself too. Some people overdo body language by moving around too much or making too many hand gestures. Movement will keep the audience engaged for a while but prolonging it will make them feel uncomfortable. A steady movement with some pauses will help your blood circulation and also maintain contact with the audience. Likewise, speaking loud and clear will make you feel better and assert your point better. If you feel discouraged, it is always safe to speak from a lower tone and then rise as you speak.

The Bottom Line

These guidelines may sound difficult to follow, but nonetheless they will get easier after a few attempts. After some practice, you’ll master these basics and you’ll want to shift your focus to the quality of your content, as this will become a bigger priority. Critics will expect better choice of words and the most appropriate way to approach subjects with delicate emotions. However, there are some consistent facts that tend to be true in all speeches and presentations.

People Usually Don’t Listen

If you ever feel discouraged and overwhelmed by a task, be assured that it is normal to feel nervous. We have all listened to presentations and we are often distracted by our daydreaming habits, cell phone usage or just whispering among groups. This happens in most audiences and it is easier to wrap up a presentation to an audience that is not listening. Your message may not reach everyone in the audience but your delivering your presentation regardless is the most important outcome.

Nervousness is Normal

Feeling nervous is normal even for experts when addressing a new audience. They use this weakness to their advantage by using the adrenaline that comes along. Nervousness provokes them to speak louder, quicker and think on their feet. Some presenters are creative enough to come up with spontaneous humour to keep the audience engaged. Impromptu speeches will become less of a gamble if you learn manage your adrenaline better.

Relax

If it’s the night before the big day, it is high time that you should have a break and unwind. Trying to make last minute amendments will rarely result in an improved speech, in fact it will usually reduce the quality as your judgement is clouded with the looming deadline. It is difficult to stop thinking about the presentation, but it’s vital to try to switch off. You may choose to watch a movie or hang out with friends to relax before you start your presentation.

What are your tips to giving an excellent presentation? Do you struggle with presentation skills or is this something you are naturally confident at?

Ask Anna: What is the CRICOS Code?

Ask AnnaCRICOS stands for the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students and is in place to ensure international students studying in Australia and New Zealand get a good quality of education. All universities and colleges in Australia that accept international students must be CRICOS registered, to meet the requirements set out in the National Code of Practice which was set up to protect the interests of international students studying on Australian soil.

It is similar in New Zealand where universities that accept international students must meet the New Zealand’s Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students. This system creates minimum standards the courses and institutions have to meet, especially in concern with good practice procedures and a system implemented to allow students complaints.

Institutions

It is the Australian institutions responsibility to ensure they are listed on CRICOS before they begin enrolling students from overseas. The same is expected of institutions in New Zealand. If a university wish to attract students from countries across the world CRICOS is key.

SEE ALSO: Study in Australia and Study in New Zealand

All about you

Studying abroad can be a frightening experience, especially if you have not moved away from home before, but you can feel assured that the CRICOS Code is there to ensure you as the student in a foreign country are receiving the quality of education you deserve. When studying abroad it is soothing to know you are at the centre of your education and that the institution you study at is required to meet certain standards before international students can apply.

Finding a course or institution CRICOS approved

To help you in your search for a course to suit your needs as an international student in Australia the Australian Government provides a website which published the institutions and course which meet the CRICOS code. The site may help you to locate a course which is just what you are looking for, just search the institutions or course section at: http://cricos.deewr.gov.au/ 

The CRICOS website lists all of the institutions and courses that are available to students applying to study in Australia on a student visa, making it an essential tool in your search when contemplating studying in Australia. It is there for you, so make the most of it.

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  • About
  • StudyLink have been helping students find their perfect course since 1991.

    Not only do we offer a large database of courses available all around the world, but we provide advice and tips on studying abroad.

    Whether you are looking for information about a specific destination, advice on getting a visa or are just starting your journey into studying abroad and need advice on what and where to study the StudyLink study abroad blog has it covered.