It begins with thrill, continues in hope and ends in despair. Welcome to the world of overseas students! Like many others, I am currently in the second phase of the journey, trying hard to not slip into third.
The expedition starts a few months prior to the course commencement. Rallying around to collect transcripts and recommendation letters, arrange funds and apply for visa. All in search of a world class education and a bright future. While former is quite attainable, latter seems to be highly unlikely.
As an overseas student, I have no great expectations, but to get a degree and a decent job. I do not wish to settle abroad, however I do want to get an insight into job market, acquire a few skills and enhance employability before going back home.
It makes little sense to pay nearly double the tuition fee of home students and incur a total expenditure that runs up to 20 K only to go back to our country with a foreign degree, to start from the scratch.
While it is difficult to trace an employer that can sponsor international students, the surge of immigrants following eurozone crisis has made it all the more tough to get a job.
No, I am not asking things to be served on a silver platter. All I am asking for is time, time to prove my mettle and carve my way. This too has been rendered null and void with termination of post-study work visa and changes in immigration law.
Scrapping of post-study work visa has severely hit the chances of foreign students making a career in the UK. A fall in the number of overseas students is therefore imminent.
While it may amuse Home Secretary Theresa May and a certain section of population, it can be a dangerous precedent for an economy which generates about £10 Billion in Education from international student expenses. Business secretary Vince Cable rightly puts it when he says that international students no more feel welcome in Britain.
In my own research before applying to British universities, I was well versed with the fact that the changes in immigration law would leave me with just 4 months to hunt for employment, but I took my chances and soon realized that odds are stacked against me.
A professor in college once told me that a job is hard to come by, but it's next to impossible for a foreign student to be employed in media industry which largely operates on proficiency in indigenous matters. I was outraged and I felt discriminated. Wasn't I supposed to be told this before?
With a new immigration bill due to receive royal consent in spring, the international student community fears that things may get worse. As for me, with a few months left at hand, I am waiting for the one mail that says my application has been successful.