Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Or How to get ready to take the Eilts?

Easy, the EILTS general course is based on the common language you will be using day to day and a little more complex phrases.
First thing to do is getting the IELTS preparation guide. It gives you a better understanding of what to expect of the exam.
If you want to practice a little bit every exam’s module you can take a couple of times spaced some week between each or, you can search some papers, articles and posts all over the internet to practice your skills to sum up, quick searching and reading. For the speaking module all you have to practice is your pronunciation and consistent ideas over your speech.
The non speakers of English should prepare very well for the examination. For example my wife took a full year course (her preparation was two months before taking the test) not just for the examination, it was also getting ready for the big change when the time comes.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Believe it or not, the IELTS is one hell popular exam. The day before the reservation, my wife and I planned to wake up as early as possible to get to the British Council (Caracas) before the exam runs out of vacancy. We woke up at 4am almost dressed, got a light breakfast and jump out the apartment searching for a cab or maybe the nearest bus in the streets. We were hoping to get to the British Council one quarter to 6am.

Several minutes after we arrived the building just to hear an unpleasant “oh, you too are going to the BC? Boy the hall is full of people and I think there aren’t room left for you two, want to wait somewhere around here?”… My wife and I exchanged looks a little shrieked and worried, is not possible that at 5:45am the British Council were fully crowed…

Then the elevator doors come to a full opening…

As the security guard told us, there were people everywhere. Nearly 150 persons asking who was in charge and how could they made it to take the test. It was essential to take it quick in order to advance with their processes for migration, study, career, etc.

Then, among the crowd a woman spoke at loud leaving a couple of whispers between every now and then… “Please, pay attention… there are not more spots for the upcoming exam, if you are gentle can all of you leave the institute?”

Wrong phrase… little light in up a match in the gunpowder room. The people were yelling, some others were expressing a mixture of hate, dislike and chilling sensation. The manager popped out from the woman’s back trying to find a way to deal with the massive request. It was the very first time in Venezuela that more than 100 people wanted to take the test at the same time. The solution was asking for more exams and rent a place big enough to fit in 250 people.
As you may read, our situation wasn’t normal; the massive request was product of a modification of migration’s policies and those with a very low level of English wanted to remove this obstacle as fast as possible.

My advices are,

  • Call the institute where you want to take the test to get as much information as you can about reservation and exams demand.
  • Find out if there are online procedures to reserve a place or if you have to make it the hard way.
  • Remember, the institute is always going to request enough exams to cover the normal case of use. If you think you’re in a not common situation better take actions before the day.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Shortly after signing the contracts to start the migration process with the agent, you must get all kinds of papers. I thought it would be less time consuming but this government takes 3 to 4 weeks to give you a silly paper as the birth certificate (that’s the revolution inefficient power… but I won’t keep talking about the retarded Chavez or this Venezuelan government). I was asked to get the following documents and items:

  1. Valid passport of both applicants (simple copy would be fine, all they need is the passport number and info to check your status).
  2. Document ID (certified copy) of both applicants.
  3. Some passport size pictures (white background – watch out the nasty looks. Hehe)
  4. Birth Certificates of both applicants (originals or certified copies).
  5. Wedding certificate (in my case, but aren’t necessary, if you are living with your couple since a couple of years you can ask for a certificate to prove you are a couple).
  6. Main Applicant’s curriculum vitae. This document is required as detailed as possible, in my case the document was asked as the Australia Computer Society specifies which includes everything you have done to contain much grained detail. Here in Venezuela de curriculum is a very resumed and short paper where you remark the most important things you have done. I had to remember everything in a range of 4 years to the present and write it all down.
  7. Main applicant’s bachelor degree (computer science bachelor degree in my case, certified by my alma mater “Universidad Simón Bolívar”).
  8. Degree’s certified grades (again, signed by the institution).
  9. MIA contact signed (Migration Institute of Australia).
  10. Some forms which may change from year to year but you must signed it.
  11. Some other contracts (the “Viva en Australia” contract).
Next step to take is the IELTS.

See also:

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The month of October, 2004 started and very strong candidates to migrate to were in the list.

  • Canada. Excellent place, need young productive people but very cold. Wasn’t a problem at all for me because I could find a place to have a growing career, but her career is a little difficult to develop and implement. Plus, none of us speak French and if we wanted to migrate to Canada, we had to start having a French course in order to get the visa.
  • Spain. Not so excellent place, but is economical steady and in almost every sense I good for planning a family and a future. The country has history and culture but isn’t growing so much, not to mention some people denigrate Latin-Americans and doesn’t matter so much your formation, if you come from South America you probably learned how to get dressed yesterday and surely you don’t know how to behave or to think…to be part of the society drop every believing and behave/talk/walk/eat just as they do, otherwise you are the nasty foreign trying to steal their jobs… uf, Spain out of the list..
  • Australia. We knew very little about it. Researching was a must; find the must we could to know more about Australia. Soon, the nice weather similar to Venezuela in some cases, growing economy, excellent education, awesome security and plenty of work became an outstanding rival of Canada. The only con was the distance, so far of everything was something to get used to if Australia was meant for us.

With just two paths the only thing to do was pick one. Distance Vs Career and language limitation. A friend telling us tons of good things of Australia made the final touch. The next step was choosing the agency to help us with the paperwork and experience to obtain with success the residential visa. At this point, 2 years had pass, January 2007 was on and the contract was signed. The process will be handled with a agency named “Viva en Australia” (South Cross Alliance).

Doing some calculations, July 2008 is the deadline. Australia get ready because am going.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Early in 2004, my wife and I started to think about the security, economical and political issues bothering my natal country, Venezuela. According to Chavez everything is great here in Venezuela, but oddly (for him of course) everyone I know, have left the country to find a new, peaceful, rewarding and better tomorrow.

And so our searching begun in the first quarter of the year, meanwhile we were finishing our university studies. At first Canada was my only choice…

Why? Because I was in Quebec for a while and it was wonderful… Peaceful, beautiful, secure and the people take good care about things near them. At that moment I just could remember the memories when I was kid, running and looking everything for me was another type of society. Somehow, I wanted deeply in my heart to belong there, because the people really wanted to have a better tomorrow with their sacrifice and effort.

But then, my wife (at that time, my girlfriend) told me to consider other paths. We set some points of evaluation to determine which country and city will be the best to migrate to. Those points are:

  • Benefits for raising and planning a family.
  • Higher quality education for our kids and for us.
  • Health in every aspect.
  • Good environment.
  • Security.
  • And economical stability.

And so, the dreaming began… Dreaming a better tomorrow for us. Someday, the dream will be made true, no question about it.