If you haven't had the good fortune yet to be advised by one of our Student Advisers or Visa Counselors yet, read on as we're giving away some tips to help you make a decision:
- Are you budget conscious? Check the amount of funds that you and your family are willing and able to invest. Are you going to fund your studies on your own or will your other relatives help you out? How strong is the commitment of your family to help you? Are you willing to overlook other factors and enroll in a school that offers the lowest tuition fee?
- For many, the main reason for studying overseas is to grab the opportunity to eventually apply for permanent residency. Knowing that New Zealand's Skilled Migration category is points-based, you therefore have to check that your program will give you maximum migration points.
- Ensure that the institution you enroll in offers a program that represents a logical career pathway for you. The academic course you intend to study must fit your academic credentials and work experience - unless you are enrolling in a "Conversion" course. If you are, then your background won't matter.
- Check New Zealand's Long Term Skill Shortage List (or LTSSL) first. If the program you enroll in will allow you get a job in an occupation on the LTSSL, you might be eligible to apply for permanent residency sooner than you think after graduation.
- If you wish to bring a family member with you, remember that you can do so ONLY if you enroll in certain programs. These are usually Level 8 and higher courses although there are exceptions. However, if you don't have sufficient funds to cover all of your living expenses, then you'll have to leave your family member(s) behind for the moment. You can always include them in your application for permanent residency later.
- And finally, whether you are going to study overseas to avail of New Zealand's migration benefits or just to further you career, we suggest you look inward rather than looking outward. When friends, relatives recommend "good colleges," think first "Good for whom?" If the recommendation is to get to an institution offering "cheaper" tuition fees, you should ask "How can they afford to mark down the tuition fee so much?"
Most of the school representatives we talk to say that the right college is where the student will be happy and successful. We agree. We would also add that the "right institution" is where you know that you'll be able to pursue that all important career overseas.
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