Change your academic life in Britain
YOU are at a crossroad in your life. It’s time to make an important decision – what and where to study. It can be a confusing time for a young person who has just finished school and has not quite decided what to do.
Add to that the myriad of courses offered by thousands of universities around the globe, and it is easy to figure out why this can be a daunting task.
So what do you do? The following steps can be useful:
> Decide on your intended career path first before deciding on the course to pursue. At this point, don’t think of the course of study nor the cost because these will distract you. Try to picture yourself doing what you want to do as a professional and imagine the feeling of happiness or fulfilment you get from it. That should help knock some of the mental barriers down.
> Determine how you will get to be what you want to be. Write down all the things you need to do to get there: What sort of course do you need to do? Where would you need to get a job upon graduation? What sort of job would you have to do first before you progress to doing what you want? This will enable you to zoom in on the specific things you will need to do to help your vision become a reality.
> Next, find out as much as you can about the degree programme that will help equip you with the knowledge and skills. Surf the Internet, attend education fairs, talk to career guidance counsellors at local colleges and if possible, talk to professionals in the line you have chosen to gather information and advice. Make a list of all the reputable, recognised educational institutions, both local and abroad, where the course is being offered.
> Once you have short-listed the educational institutions, find out more about the relevant courses they offer and whether they fit in with your budget. Check on how the courses are structured, the sort of practical training that’s involved, the university location and range of subjects involved. Then, based on a consideration of all the factors, make your choice.
Of course, the above advice is only hunky-dory if your financiers (in other words, parents) are in complete accordance with your ambition. But what if they want you to study finance and you want to do fashion design? Well, sometimes compromising is the best way to get what you want in the long term.
Try to work out a way where you can do both. There are two ways: look for an educational institution that allows you to combine courses from different disciplines. One of the advantages of studying in a place like Britain is that it offers flexibility to those who want to study more than one subject. Look for an institution that will offer you the best combination.
Another way is to sign up for finance and work during your course to save some money so that when you’ve graduated, you’ll have some savings set aside to do a course in fashion design.
Full-time students in Britain are allowed to work up to 20 hours a week during term time and full-time during their holidays for a minimum hourly wage of £6.31 (RM34.70) for adults and £5.03 (RM27.66) per hour for those aged 18 to 20. Another way to finance your degree course would be to apply for scholarships, bursaries or other forms of financial aid.
To get some helpful advice, head to the British Council’s exhibitions which will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak from March 8 to 15.
Log on to www.educationuk.org/ malaysia for the exhibition dates and venues.
The British Council’s exhibitions will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak from March 8 to 15.