The Study in Australia Exhibition, held in Islamabad, offered an excellent platform for local students and their parents to learn about study abroad opportunities. The fair provided guidance and prospect for Pakistani students to discuss their study abroad options in person with representatives of esteemed Australian universities.
The exhibition, organised by Australian Education Office (AEO) Pakistan, is part of the Australian Education Road-show which plans to visit six major cities of the country: Islamabad and Lahore expos have been concluded while Karachi, Multan, Peshawar and Faisalabad are the remaining destinations.
High Commissioner of Australia, His Excellency Peter Heyward, also visited the expo and commended the initiative. He encouraged students “to take advantage of the opportunity provided to consult with academic advisers and discuss (study) options” with education specialists at the Study in Australia fair.
The education expo featured around 15 top-ranked Australian universities and colleges for students representing study options from secondary school through to post graduate study and vocational training.
Participating institutions at the expo included: University of New South Wales (UNSW), University of Melbourne, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Griffith University, Curtin University, Canberra Institute of Technology, La Trobe University, Deakin University, University of Wollongong, University of Canberra, Melbourne Institute of Business and Technology (MIBT), Swinburne University of Technology.
Australia is recognised globally for its high quality of education, with graduates from Australia being successful in finding jobs and holding prominent positions worldwide, which makes it an attractive destination for students in Pakistan, says Saad Mahmood, CEO and Resident Director of AEO Pakistan, country’s leading educational consultant firm.
Mr. Saad, a graduate of University of Canberra, believes Australia is one of the best options for studying abroad.
“Australia is a safe, multicultural and friendly society where foreign students can learn, study and prosper” Mr. Saad remarks.
Pakistani students are increasingly considering the option of studying abroad. For some, studying in a foreign university is one of the biggest dreams of life, while some young people consider global exposure significant. Many believe an international course/degree would add value to their CV in today’s tough job market.
Foreign degree in Pakistan has more worth than that of a local degree which is the reason Ahmed Naseem, an engineering graduate, has decided to pursue his post-graduate studies in Australia. “My friends and cousins are not getting any good job after completing their studies from Pakistan, while those returning from foreign degrees instantly land up their dream job.”
Financial concern is one big dilemma faced by those wishing to attain a foreign degree. As the cost of studying at world’s prestigious universities, especially in Sydney and Melbourne, is very high which can be discouraging for some overseas students. Australia, with its high fees and cost of living, is the world’s most expensive destination for international students.
“Finances are the main issue as you have to provide bank statement, evidence of cash assets of around PKR 35 lac (A$ 45,000) for tuition fee and living expenses” said Raza Salman, adding “This is why I came to the expo to learn about different options and scholarships available.”
In its 15th year, AEO’s Study in Australia Exhibition is one of the biggest education expo in Pakistan which is held twice a year providing comprehensive education advice students in Pakistan. AEO essentially offers student counseling, application processing, IELTS Test and preparation, assistance with visa application. The firm is also an official International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test centre, which now tests over 30,000 candidates per year, helping students all over Pakistan achieve their goals.