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Life After completing Studies as a Foreigner

By: Awino Fredrick

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Life After completing Studies as a Foreigner

It is one thing to settle on a tour of study in a foreign country and another thing to make end-of-studies decisions. In most cases, the initial period of stay in a new place can be so harrowing, strange, and uncomfortable to say the least. In fact, most students would feel the urge to abandon their studies altogether and return home.

After staying in this new country that initially looked strange, you slowly begin to love it. In fact you develop a carefree attitude with the locals, culture, food, language and what no. With good friends by your side, a couple of outings, parties and just chit chats, you don’t want to leave this country anymore. But the reality just downs on you that its over with studies and so now, get ready to go home unless there is something else worthwhile to keep you back.

Anyone who stays in a new country for more than twelve months will have to some level gotten used to the system and way of life there. Students who are easy-going and less sensitive to cultural barriers take quite a short time to integrate. But the trouble hits home when now the end of the study period is nigh….your student residence is soon expiring and you have to move fast with your next adventure.

Post studies period in a foreign country

This may sound controversial but it’s true that nobody studies just for the love of it. There is always this nagging desire to get a good and rewarding job after the long periods of intense research and bustles as a student.

For the best post studies experience as a foreign student, it is always important to have an idea of what steps to take next. In fact, brilliant students always have a map of what to do even before setting off to study in another country.

It is highly rewarding to have an initial idea about the job market in the country where your destination institution of higher learning is located. Even if you have taken a study leave from your job at home, it is not disingenuous to explore other opportunities even as you study abroad.

To anyone interested in or on the verge of moving to another country as a student, it is recommended that you think yourself over, set a plan, and be sure to have some idea of your post-studies life. You can imagine the folly of just finishing up your studies and going back to your home country when better opportunities for self-development exists in the host county.

Transitioning from student to the job market in a foreign country

For most students, the period between completion of studies in a foreign country is the most challenging. In fact, sometimes it becomes a make-or-break moment. The dilemma is even much more in situations where the foreign student comes from a developing country where the unemployment rate is high and the extra degree does not assure them of a soft landing back home.

It can be so frustrating thinking of whether or not to go back to your home country after studies. By the end of your tour of studies, there you are of course market-ready and would expect to get a job. I assume that you are very competent in your field with immense knowledge and skills to change society. But, the million-dollar question is, is it more promising to go back home or stay back?

In most cases, most foreign students go abroad to pursue higher education, mostly a Master’s degree, Ph.D., or post-doctorate. These are people who should ideally go back to their home countries and participate in their development. But, no one wants to entertain this reality, not even for a second, that it is not a guarantee to find a commensurate job level.

Ways to Improve the transition from student to a worker in a foreign country

Any diligent and dedicated student is sure that sometime, in a few years, he or she will be done with studies. So it is important to put premium value on what this transition will look like when you finally get there.

One important step towards securing your transition from studies to work in a foreign country is balancing studies and job search. In most cases, student residence permits allow controlled work hours per week…take advantage of this allowed work period and get in touch with all the would-be employers.

It is important to be aggressive and even overzealous at times to breakthrough in a foreign country. Having a strong resolve and self-drive to start your career in a foreign country may just be the primary requirements.

During the period of studies, it is recommended that a student participates in multiple jobs and career fairs, internships, and projects with possible employers. Through such activities, one gets a critical insight into the workings of the country’s job market, avenues for personal and career development, and many more.

Balancing studies and work throughout the study period gives a student the chance of rubbing shoulders with the who is who in the job market. Some of the student jobs may seem unattractive and less satisfying but they may pay back a great dividend when you are at the phase of transition. As a foreigner, anything you do counts for something at the end of the day.

Moving from Masters degree to a doctorate

Most foreign students have this aspiration to continue to the next levels of education in their country of choice. In fact, most of the students will make comments such as “I will be glad to return to my home country after completing this phase of learning” while they know that it is not true.

Students who want to continue in the line of academia will try all means possible to move from masters to Ph.D. without a long waiting period in between. This approach is good because it keeps the brain connected with books, research, experimentation, and faculty at large.

Managing this transition from masters to Ph.D. or any other higher-level requires that the student strikes a rapport with the faculty members or at least one member of the teaching or non-teaching staff. This contact person must be someone who believes in your abilities and shares in your sheer drive to improve yourself. If anything, the person should be your referee.

Also, it is helpful to get involved with helping lecturers in their projects, data entry, reporting, data analysis, preparation of conference papers, and such kind. Through such activities, they will pick your motivation and abilities to nurture it. Most of them have a lot of information on available opportunities that may just be what you badly need.