Friday, November 30, 2007

Other Services...

Why should I talk about other migration services?

As I said before, my migration process is been care by the organization “VEA”. But as my wife and I have been going through this process, we have met other families or people with the same dream as we have.

A quick search gave us two options and a chat with a friend gave us another. I am not going to discuss live in Australia, mostly because is the same company as “Viva en Australia” which is Southern Cross Alliance.

The other option was Migration Expert, which is a online organization with some free services. Their main objective is to assist a large number of skilled and business professionals wishing to migrate to Australia, Canada or United Kingdom. Their services are notable less expensive than SCA services or AMES. But you must spend some time doing your forms, getting help with the document construction process and sending your papers to Australia.

Oceania Worldwide services, is a private company which help the emigrant to move to Australia or New Zealand with a very personal treatment. Isn't the largest, recognition or the one with more customers, but certainly is the one with the more loyal customers as I have seen in forums.

The last recommended service was AMES (Adult Multicultural Education Services), is one of the largest employment and settlement services which provide assistance to the emigrant with government contracts or insertion in the educational and laborer fields. The friend who told me about this service is not on its productive age and so, it is difficult to find sponsorship with the Australian government and some services... He started the migration process with AMES because they told him not to worry, they wanted to do the best to help him make his dream come true; meanwhile SCA told him they couldn't accept their case because of the age issue.

I am not going further with these topics because my information can’t relate experiences but at least gives you a idea of where to look (besides of Google :P)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I decided to join up a yahoo group labeled “gotoau”. Obviously is a community of families in the same migration process as I am. Why I wanted to join? Because I need to start knowing people in Australia before I get there.

A couple of weeks ago, I read a internet article exposing that most of the people moving to somewhere else, fail to adapt when they don’t have people around them in their new environment.
Once in, I started having some new friends, talking a lot and dissipating every migration related doubt.

It is important that if you have under consideration to moving to another country / place where you don’t count on some backup or support you should better start chatting over internet or meeting some new people which are having the same intellectual context as you do.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The post should have been named “IELTS Ready!” but I had to change it!!

As I said before, i had to take again the IELTS… I did and I got a solid 7.0.

I must confess to those thinking to take the IELTS, is a very tricky test. Those who haven’t take it yet here is a short description of the IELTS and a couple of tips.

First you are going to have the Speaking module (In some cases this test is the very last because this section of the examination is individual and usually in a separated date) which isn’t difficult. Don’t worry; you are not going to be asked to tell the entire theory of relativity, just the half of it… Ha ha, joking. First you are going to be asked to give a short description of yourself (your name, your age, if you are from around the area and stuff like that). Next you are going to be giving a situation, the first time I took the test was “globalization” and next time was mass transportation. The very last part of these module consist on chatting with the examiner about the previous topic taking out the most of your vocabulary out, this activity takes about 5 minutes. It was fun both times because the people are very nice and they try to get you calmed. The entire module examination takes 15 minutes the most.

All the other modules are taken at the same day (I took the speaking module the Wednesday and the other examination started the Saturday noon).

The first of these modules are the listening module, this is one of those tricky test which takes more speed as it goes by, so don’t take it for granted because you did it great at first. It requires concentration more than anything… I was having the test near someone which started to cough every 5 minutes… I wanted to kill him. Anyway, you will hear people calling to an info centre asking prices on items or subscriptions, a guide talking in the visit to a museum, infomercials or related stuffs. The listing module takes 30 minutes divided in 20 minutes listening the recording and 10 minutes (30 seconds after every dialog completing 6 dialogs, and several minutes at the end to check your answers). My advice, avoid people with a sick look… Another good advice would be try to read your questions before listening every dialog, this is vital, otherwise you will be lost in the context of the conversation and you will not catch the answers.

The second module is the Reading Module which is fun (if you are taking the general training) because you are given a bunch or articles telling you very specific things (such as a hall’s/building’s description, painting course’s description, newspaper articles, magazine spots, etc. If you are taking the Academic training it would be like reading manuals or book short chapters. Then you are asked to respond things such as which is the name of the hall with lots of parking lots or, do you have to take your own colors to the first class of painting? The module takes about 60 minutes. My advice, sum the article and then read the questions, if you find something familiar you would know where you read it, confirm your reading and set the answer. If you read the entire article you are screw, because you will be wasting time… the sick men next to me didn’t matter.

The third and last module is the writing module (which you might take after a nice break, so try to call the muses). Here you will be given two ideas which you have to develop. The first idea is to write a letter directed to a manager, friend or government because you had a defective item (or want to say something nice to the manager) or want to have a meeting with someone or want to serve to your community… The second idea is based on your opinion… when I took the test for the first time I was asked to give my opinion related to the education of kids with their parents and the second time was related to the importance of drama, art, music and languages for balanced minds. I pretty much recommend practice it because you’ll better be quick thinker in order to reduce the thinking and start writing something coherent and not just throwing lots of ideas into the paper. The first idea should take about 20 minutes and the other one 40 minutes, don’t count the words and just write till the paper is filled up. When the paper is full write a quick end and jump to the other idea till its paper ran out. If you think at this point you can add some thoughts to any of the reasoning ask another sheet and keep writing but keep in mind that at any moment the examination will be ended and you will have 30 seconds until the examiner tell you to avoid writing. So, any extra reasoning must sound like a closure. The sick person might help you with reasoning about how annoying are or to write the friend later and you just want to tell him how bastard he was coughing at the EILTS test…

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Yes, sad thing, I had to take twice the IELTS.

Which was the reason?

Well, to begin with, the IELTS was taken by 200 people at once, in the very same hall at the Caracas place hotel. The idea of a huge room where everyone could make weird sounds avoiding you listen the tape in some modules or someone getting you out of focus in the huge room wasn’t a pleasure. The British Council wasn't prepared at all to handle this kind of situations. The test started at 1 PM and everything was done at 6 PM.

Isn’t necessary to remark, a 5 hour test is not a good test. I only enjoyed the first module (speaking module) where I stood open minded, speaking about everything I wanted to… When I got the results back I notice this module was the only one I was great.

This doesn’t means that I fail the test, I just got the pass mark in 1 module (5.5) and just a bit better in everything else (6.5 to 7.5). It wasn’t good enough for the Australian migration process.

If you think the IELTS is a hard and tricky test, don’t worry anymore. I think is a practice matter. Those who take the test without the concern of not practicing at all, must have a great confidence and concentration.