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20 year old looking to move from Australia to Europe to study/work/live, advice?

20 year old looking to move from Australia to Europe to study/work/live, advice?

Old Apr 28th 2008, 1:03 pm
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Default 20 year old looking to move from Australia to Europe to study/work/live, advice?

Hi,

First, I've been to this website a few times since I got back from my trip overseas in December. It's about time to make the first jump, start a thread and ask for some people who have done for their advice. I'll try and keep this short but I'm prone to ramble.

My name is Luke, I was born South West of London in 1987 and moved to Australia with my family in 2001. Last year in September I went over to Europe for 15 weeks with all the money I had, a measly $3000aud. I managed to make it to London, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Norway, Longyearbyen, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and France before sadly boarding the plane home.

Since I came back at the start of December all that's been on my mind was the lifestyle difference over there, for a 20 year old it's all very exciting and new when you spent all of your teenage years in Sydney. The only thing I can think about is moving. It doesn't seem like there's any other choice, I'm finding it hard to be happy being back here.

I know a lot of it comes down to being young and needing to explore, the fact I was on a holiday for the first time by myself and it was my first adventure. It's something I need to do or I know I'll regret it.

So those are the basics, few more little points, I didn't make it to the HSC (Australian equivilent of A-levels) due to a lot of family and personal problems at the time. One of the main reasons I'm looking at moving is to study. I'm looking into studying fashion design in The Netherlands.
I got into contact with the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, explaining my situation and seeing what their opinion was. They told me that I can do something called the Taal- en Schakelonderwijscentrum, which will then get me into any course offered by the university. So far this looks like the best choice for me.
I dont speak Dutch but am very keen to, I can pick up languages fairly easy.

I'm currently working full time at David Jones and delivering pizzas at night to try and save up enough to propel me over there and keep me afloat for a while. Realistically I'd be heading over around November with about $20,000aud (around £9400) under my belt. I'm eager to get over as soon as I can but realise without money I will probably sink. I realise I wont have great amounts but it's all that I can get.

This is more of just a ramble but I need to get it out and get some advice on it so I can start to form a proper plan.

I've looked at a few threads about moving to Amsterdam, most of them seem to be budgeted for a working family. My only qualifications are a certificate IV in photography and a certificate IV in film and television production, I'm not sure what the equivilents are overseas and am sure they dont hold too much weight, so getting a job with either of those might be quite out the questions. I work in retail but only speak English so that limits me to a very few countries, so working seems like it might be a problem. Would it be hard for a student to get night or weekend work over there? With £9400, living a student lifestyle, how long do you think I would last?

Are there any other countries in the EU that offer a way into university without the required education?

One last thing that I can think of, I'm very fond of languages and very interested in learning some, in particular, Dutch, French, German and Norwegian/Swedish/Danish. I've tried searching to find language courses taught in the country of the language spoken but just find all these dodgy third party companies. Same with work overseas, I'd rather not have to pay a company to get me underpaid work on a contiki tour of working holidays.
An idea I was throwing around was helping on a farm/vineyard/cheesery in France, learning the language and learning some great skills. Even Au Pauring sounds fun, I realise for a male that's a bit harder and you'd need to go through an agency, are there any anyone would recommend?

Thanks for listening to the mostly incoherent babble, I hope enough of it made sense to get a few opinions.

Anything is helpful

Thanks again,


Luke.

Last edited by lukemdc; Apr 28th 2008 at 1:06 pm.
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Old Apr 28th 2008, 2:01 pm
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Default Re: 20 year old looking to move from Australia to Europe to study/work/live, advice?

Hi lukemdc.

I can give you info on the UK, being from there myself and also on Sweden, which is where I live now. But you'll have to be a bit more specific with your questions as a lot of your post was a bit vague. I've figured out 3 that I think you wanted answers to, so here goes.

1. Learning the language:

England - probably not necessary

Sweden - All immigrants, once properly registered, are entitled to free, state funded, Swedish lessons. The local colleges also run Swedish courses but you have to pay for these.

2. Work availabiliity:

England - A doddle. If you are prepared to do anything, such as cleaning, barwork or dishwashing, you can find work pretty much immediately.

Sweden - A bit of a nightmare. It's not impossible, but it is very difficult. The impression I get is that you really need to speak Swedish, even though all here speak very good English. Saying that, many non-swedish speakers find jobs, they just have to work very hard to get them.

3. University access:

England - I went to TVU (Thames Valley University). They do both further education (A-level type level) and higher education (normal university level). I was very lucky, I started on a further ed course and was then bumped up to the higher ed one after 4 weeks as they realised I was very capable. There were also people on the higher course who had completed the further one in the same subject who got to skip parts of the higher course because of what they had already done. You will have to pay international student fees though, which can be expensive.

The UK also has something called The Open University. For this, you study at home, in your own time. All the materials are sent to you and you talk to your tutors online. Obviously this is in English but you can study while living in another country too, altough the costs are a bit more. There are no entry requirements for this university, you just have to feel you will be able to do it. It's up to you to decide whether you are capable or not.

Sweden - I'm sorry but all I know about this system is that you must be able to speak a good level of Swedish first. Unless you are on a masters program.

I think that's it. If you want to know anything else, just shout.

Good luck.
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