M MURSHED HAIDER*
Dhaka, May 29, 2014 (Alochonaa): Are you planning to go abroad for higher study? Have you decided which course you would like to enroll into? Which country do you prefer to go too? What’s you plan after you’re done with your study overseas – are you going to stay back or come back to your motherland? There can be so many different answers for the above mentioned questions. It’s indeed not an easy decision to make. There are lots of ifs and buts; there are lots of cause and effect; there are lots of plans and pains to go through before once can come up with some decision regarding studying abroad.
I always had a dream of going abroad for higher study & I knew it will happen someday. With the limited income of our family, it was just not an option till then. I’m talking about 2001 when I was a final year student of MBM. During that time my elder brother, after completing his three year student article-ship with a CA firm, was working for a company as Assistant Manager, Accounts. ACCA was just a new concept in Bangladesh during then. With a plain master degree under his belt, he was finding it tough to see himself in a better position in his career in the long run. Being ambitious, he was not just content after getting the job. He made a bold decision then. He decided to quit his job, move to UK and study ACCA. He had a PURPOSE. He wanted to make a DIFFERENCE.
My father did not agree initially. With his honest income, it was not possible to arrange such a big fund. I also thought my brother is daydreaming! But he was firm in his decision. And if you are persistent on something, you’ll always find a path. My father sold some of his lands, my brother prepared heaps of papers for the embassy and soon with tears in our eyes we were saying good bye to him at Dhaka airport.
I still regard this decision of my brother as one of the turning points of our family. He took a timely decision and eventually it paid the dividends. He is now a Chartered Certified Accountant and Managing Director of one of the top merchant banks in Bangladesh.
December, 2001. I was one of those luckiest guys who got job offer from a private commercial bank as Senior Officer even before my post-grad final exam. I was over the moon. Soon I started enjoying my career. I’ve seen so many guys just being so content after getting a job, they think student life is over and they don’t need to study further. But the truth is if you want to build up your career, there is no ending to learn. After completion of my first year of career I started feeling my inside that I need to study further. I started browsing websites of different universities, applied for few scholarship opportunities and also started attending seminars relating to study abroad. I knew my brother was struggling in UK during that period, mostly because he didn’t have anyone to guide him.
His fund was perishing quicker than he thought and he was worried. He couldn’t concentrate on study and I could sense the difficulty he was in. So, when I decided to go for higher study in abroad, I chose Australia not only because I got the course I wanted to study and ranking of the university that I selected was fair enough, but mainly because I had one of my closest friends in Canberra who was over there for more than three years. Initial guidance and support matters big time and I wanted to make sure that I need not to worry much once
I am there. And it happened exactly that way. Once again, my father had to peddle one of his lands that he bought from his water drop savings over the years to fulfill my dream. It was July 12 2004 when I left my beloved family for Australia. The journey was superb and there was hardly anything that I didn’t enjoy. And the initial support and guidance that I received from my friend and others were incredible. I stayed at my friend’s apartment for three to four days and got the best advices on all the aspects of my Australia life. My friend arranged my accommodation as a paying guest with a nice Bangladeshi family and they welcomed me like a younger brother. I didn’t need to worry about cooking (and eating that food!) or shopping, so I could get enough time to kick off my study there. After 7/8 months, I moved to another three bed apartment (nearby my campus) with two of my university mates. So, overall, compared to my brother, I was less stressed and had more time to study because of some of those advantages that I got there
In 2005, one of my friends got an Australian visa for higher study but couldn’t take the stress of adjusting with the whole new environment. He returned Bangladesh within seven days to join back his earlier job. There are many cases like this. Also, some guys go abroad for higher study but never finish their study. They just renew their visa and do everything else other than study. They might earn some extra money by working full time but these are short term gains. Before you decide to go for higher study in abroad, you need to have a PURPOSE and you have set your GOAL accordingly. Your parents are going to invest their hard-earned money for you; it’s your responsibility to make the best use of that and make them proud. On top of that, the time that you would spend in abroad is extremely valuable for your life as well as for your family. So, you need to select your course, university, country and state very carefully by analyzing the options and pros & cons of all those options. Collect information and double check by yourself instead of depending on others. Even if you get some scholarship, it still might not be an easy decision to leave your family or settled job position and take the opportunity. Your decision would vary if you are at your early 20 or if you are heading towards 40.
One simple mistake can ruin an important passage of your life. So you need to consider all the aspects before you make up your mind. Just be wise before it’s too late.
* M Murshed Haider is the Co-Founder and CEO of OptiMA HR Solutions and a Motivational Speaker and a Corporate Coach in Bangladesh. Mr. Haider is a Fellow of Chartered Institute of Management