Change your aca­demic life in Bri­tain

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - STAR SPECIAL EDUCATION GUIDE -

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.

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