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Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

Volume 8, Issue 4; February 11, 2009

THE PLAYING FIELD

Getting a UK student visa: it’s a rap

ABROAD PERSPECTIVE

UK/Pakistan summit highlights market prospects, challenges


OVER THE COUNTER

Smile… you’re on the “candid” consultant’s camera!

GLOBE TIPPING

Winter delays

1) THE PLAYING FIELD – Aberdeen’s international students worth £75 million a year

No one can dispute the anxiety caused by the fear of rejection. For young people it’s magnified. For young people applying for a student visa, the fear (of rejection) can be paralyzing. So much so that many never even try for visas.

Kudos to the British Council in New Delhi, India, for coming up with a hip new video targeted at youth and with a straight forward message: “Let’s go, let’s get a UK visa. Forget the rest coz this is so much easier!”

Done in a hip-hop style, it promotes UK education, lifestyle and the British Council. It also urges students to seek out trusted and British Council certified education agents. As the young rappers warn about faux advice from slick salesmen, “It’s just a big lie. They say they get you on a course to London or Cambridge, but they run off with your money and get rich.”

The message to be an honest applicant dominates the video. But it’s far from being too earnest. It’s aimed at teens who want an education and fun. A winning message as the song says: “The UK’s best for education – that’s right. You can study all day and party all night.”

You can view and dance to the video at: http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=AkDUuIrBZR0

2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Getting a UK student visa: it’s a rap

Representatives from UK educational institutions, the Pakistan National Education Consultants Association (PNECA), and the UK Border Agency came together for a summit in London in January to discuss the issues Pakistani students face when applying for UK institutions.

Pakistani education consultants and advisors offered harsh criticism, highlighting the UK’s abruptly changing admission policies and entry clearance rules and lack of involvement on the part of British Council and British High Commission officials based in Pakistan.

Syed Abidi, CEO of Falcon Education and Consultancy Services, estimates that the UK £40 billion in annual revenue from students who would study in the UK but choose to go elsewhere because of frustrating admissions procedures and harassment at ports of call, cultural centres, and embassies.

Ms Rubeena Hoodbhoy, Chairman of the PNECA, hopes that the unique conference will foster a dialogue that will inform future recruiting practices and help promote the current Pakistan market potential and challenges.

Source “http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=160150&Cat=1&dt=2/1/2009,” The News, 01 February 2009.

3) OVER THE COUNTER – Smile… you’re on the “candid” consultant’s camera!

It sounds like strange advice, but be wary of posing for pictures with education agents. There are many stories of agents smiling, shaking hands or simply standing next to a university president, registrar or faculty member, and the next thing you know, a camera clicks, a flash pops, and the pictures show up on a wall of an agent’s office or web site. Why? Well of course, to claim that these photos are evidence of an official arrangement to represent the institution. Once framed on a wall or linked to a web page, getting the pictures removed is a problem. For students and families looking for study abroad advice, seeing is believing and they are regularly fooled.

This sad and even comedic practice is commonplace in India and China. It’s why visa officers and other government officials are loathe to have their photos taken in forums where agents are present.

4) GLOBE TIPPING – Winter delays

Little can be done about mother nature’s recent onslaughts, but there are ways to make winter-related airport delays more comfortable.

Check weather reports and airline websites for conditions and delays in your point of origin, your destination, and especially the cities where you change planes. This could prevent you from getting stuck half way home.

Know your airports. Figure out where your rest and entertainment options are before you arrive at the airport so you don’t have to waste precious energy searching.

Make friends. Talking to people may introduce you to a new travel partner or even land you a business or work deal.

Plan your next pleasure trip. Imagining a relaxing vacation somewhere warm is a great way to bring the heart rate and stress level down.

Keep your carry-on luggage light, drink plenty of water, and remember to breathe. These may seem like small things to consider, but when surrounded by the hustle of a winter-bound airport, your being relaxed can make all the difference in the world.

For airport information visit Worldairportguide.com.

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