Every year, close to a hundred thousand students from India, the Philippines and other Asian countries are recruited to study in New Zealand.
I am one of them.
When I came here, I was full of hope, determined and focused on my dreams. But the stark reality hit me like a ton of bricks.
My story however, is not as bad as the others.
I know of students who were ripped-off thousands of dollars, unable to get a job they were promised to find (easily). Some go home defrauded, and their dreams crushed.
Very recently, ‘education trafficking’ has become a buzzword in New Zealand. It refers to fraud and deception used to lure aspiring migrants to take the student pathway as an assurance to get a permanent residency. This issue has now reached the attention of the government.
I am glad it did.
Many are deceived into this scheme because of insufficient access to basic information in the immigration process. We also lack awareness of the real situation in New Zealand which could have protected us from being conned into the student pathway.
I too lacked information. Relied on the minimal information I got and just jumped off the ship, without really testing the waters (by doing thorough research). My knowledge was not enough when I thought it was. An expanded knowledge would have helped me come up with a well-informed decision. It’s like carrying a well-sharpened axe to chop a tree.
New Zealand is a land of opportunities. But opportunities change and the global and local economy is dynamic.
Today, one of the easiest ways to go to New Zealand is the student pathway. Most of us start this process by attending a seminar held by education agents, usually for free, to aspiring international students.
But how should I know I am already misled? How do I choose a legitimate education agent? Who will I believe? What is the Role of the International Marketing Manager?
These would have been the questions I asked before making the decision, which I didn’t.