Elise SD – The back Story
My name is Elise, I was born in England. I worked 10 years as a cabin crew for Virgin Atlantic in London before I made the decision to quit everything and come to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa to live my dream.
2 years ago I had about 3 weeks left on my working holiday visa, and I panicked. I wasn’t ready to go home but I had no idea whatsoever about what I could do about staying. My employer at the time was unable to sponsor me and suggested that I looked into a student visa.
I didn’t do my research, I didn’t post on groups or ask other people in a similar situation, I let my employer at the time take me to someone who apparently could help me.
I was totally clueless, I spoke to someone for about 15 minutes, then was told to pay just under $2000 there and then and go away and complete some forms. I walked out of an unmarked office unaware of what I’d just signed up for and what was going on.
Three weeks later, I had sent numerous emails, tried to call the office I’d been too and had had no response, no one had contacted me and I had no idea what was going on. It was now Friday afternoon and my visa was expiring on the Sunday. I managed to get hold of someone and they told me they were applying for my visa that day, and I need to send them another $2000.
Naïve me, sent it, again not knowing fully what was going on, but I was assured that it was going to be ok.
Luckily, it was ok, and I was granted a bridging visa and then about 8 weeks later my student visa came through. I started a school and I was happy.
Becoming Elise SD
Two and a half years later I am now doing the job of the women that helped me. I am the senior student consultant at Study Destination and I truly love my job. I took on board everything I learnt from the awful experience I had and vowed never to let anyone go through that.
My job is to first and foremost help people, it goes beyond giving them some prices for the cheapest business, assisting in writing a GTE letter and applying for the visa. It is about counselling, listening and guiding. I personally, spend a lot of time ensuring everything is perfect and giving the best possible chance of getting the visa GRANTED!!!
My number one piece of advice is to find an agent who is willing to do all of these things. There are many agencies and people on Facebook who will tell you “PM me” when you ask for advice on student visa’s, but have a look through their details, their company websites, the reviews and experience.
So many people fall into the trap of going onto a student visa study something generic and cheap like Business without even being aware of the wide range of possibilities with hundreds of vocational courses available for international students in a variety of different locations including courses that can lead you to PR. Few years ago if I new I had those options I would have done things differently.
My job as a student advisor is now to make sure I give my students all the options and provide all the information and sometimes for an extra 30$ a week you you could do something that would interest you a lot more or help you for your future.
Yoga Teacher / Fitness
Cookery / Patisserie
Barbering / Hairdressing
Carpentry / Glazing
Music Production / Photography
Fashion marketing/ Make-up
Environmental Management and sustainability / Sport development
At Study Destination we really care about our students, everyone here went through the student visa process and knows how it feels and how important is to get the right advice and support.
My name is Elise Savage and I am a Senior consultant at Study Destination. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about student visa and how to extend your stay after your WHV.
You can find me on Facebook: Elise SD or email firstname.lastname@example.org