UNSURE WHERE TO START?
What are my Career Options? Where should I go, what do I need to consider? How much will it cost?
These are very common questions for students. The amount of information circulating can be overwhelming. To help you identify the appropriate course and the university or college, there are some useful factors to consider:
To learn what careers are available to you try to speak to people who work in the fields you are considering. Ask your teachers or parents to help you make connections. Organisations such as Rotary or Lions often have members who are willing to give advice to students about specific occupations. They may also be able to connect you to a company, clinic or even an NGO to do job shadowing. If your school offers job shadowing, that is also a great way to learn what a person does in a specific occupation. MES staff can also offer guidance as to where you can research the specific career options.
For students whose skill set is more practical than academic there are excellent opportunities for very highly paid employment in the technical areas. Institutions such as TAFE in Western Australia offer a very wide range of tertiary options for students who want to do a more practical course.
International recognition - It is important to verify that your chosen course has international recognition and where relevant, international accreditation.
University ranking - Although websites can be a powerful tool to assist you in researching your study options, some less reputable institutions may falsely claim they have a high “World Ranking”. Students are advised to exercise caution in believing such claims, but if in doubt, MES has the background knowledge of each institution’s verifiable status.
Institutions have numerous ranking tables, not all of which are relevant to your requirements. Some rankings are based on the amount of research done at the university. This is important if you plan to become an academic or undertake a PhD. The more important rankings for most students will be about employability and student support. This ranking is normally done within each country.
Cost - It is imperative to consider all costs involved when choosing your course and institution. There may be additional costs you have not considered. The cost of living indicated by each Government usually only includes the cost of accommodation, transport, clothes and food. You should also factor in the cost of any resources required for the course, such as a computer, books, specific clothing, or equipment. There are considerable initial expenses when you apply for a visa. These may include an English Language test such as IELTS. All students must do some form of medical clearance or examination, depending on the country. Most countries have compulsory health care cover for the duration of your studies. You must pay for this cover before your visa is granted. You will also have the cost of the airfares.
Given the economic constraints post COVID, many students are looking for more affordable, internationally recognised options. Some Australian and UK Universities also deliver some of their degrees in off-shore campuses in countries such as Dubai, Malaysia and Mauritius. The degree awarded is an Australian or UK degree. It is not a Malaysian, Mauritian or United Arab Emirates Degree. Currently Australian Universities, Curtin, Murdoch and Swinburne offer a number of degrees outside Australia (offshore) including, Business, IT, Nursing and Engineering for under US$20,000 per year including tuition fees and the cost of living. Some UK universities such as Middlesex also offer degrees outside the UK for under US$20,000 per year. All these campuses are very safe and have a considerable number of Zimbabwean students on campus. Students may also start their courses at an Offshore campus and then transfer after one or two years of successful study to the Australian or UK campus. However, to transfer they will have to pay the onshore fees and apply for a visa for Australia or the UK.
(i) During study – All countries have different regulations regarding paid employment as a student, so it is worthwhile finding out about the immigration rules. Currently you can work part time in Australia, Canada, Mauritius and the UK. The hours per week students may work vary from country to country. Make sure you keep within the stipulated number of hours designated to international students. Working outside of stipulated hours will put your visa in jeopardy.
(ii) Post study – Many students wish to stay and be employed in the country where they have been studying. Currently students can stay and apply for a post study visa in Australia, Canada, Mauritius, The Netherlands and the UK for various lengths of time. Conditions for obtaining a post study visa vary from country to country and can change. Check with MES for the current immigration rules for your chosen place of study.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: There is great appeal for students to earn money whilst studying overseas, however, it is crucial to always prioritise your studies. Do not jeopardise your academic assignments by working too many hours during term time; there is an opportunity to work full time during the holidays.
Although many students think they can self- fund after the first semester, it is very important to understand that you cannot cover your fees by working the legally allowed hours. The cost of the fees alone is more than a student can earn doing the legally allowed hours for part time work. Students trying to work to pay for their fees may also have serious mental health issues due to the stress of trying to juggle study and work.
There is currently a widespread accommodation shortage for students, especially in Australia and the Netherlands. We advise you apply for accommodation, if allowed by the institution, as soon as you receive an offer letter. Staying in on campus accommodation is recommended if you are not staying with friends or family. On campus accommodation will mean you are close to the lecture and study facilities, and it will also afford you the chance to make friends with both domestic and international students.