By Author: Navneet Singh
Starting your journey to becoming an International Student can be an exciting but also an overwhelming one. One of the first things you will need is a good education consultant. So, you need to start the search. There are various terms you can use for your search such as student visa agent, or you might want to pick a certain area to search and use terms like education consultant Nigeria or education agents in Nigeria. These may bring up many options for you to look at so how do you know which one to pick?

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever
Mahatma Gandhi

Do your research
You need to know that the Education Consultant is professional and has the experience you require. You cannot put your career plans and future dreams in the hands of someone who you feel is not experienced or who does not understand your goals.

Firstly, you must not be intimidated by the prospect of asking questions, remember your education consultant is working for you and should have your best interests at heart. Your education consultant should also be open to any questions, discuss and give suitable answers. If they are not forth coming with answers or they are not explaining them clearly then you may be dealing with some one who lacks the experience or professionalism. Your Education Agent should make you feel comfortable with their understanding and should be able to answer any questions you may have. You will be working with them for a considerable time, so it is particularly important that you are sure that they are the right fit for you, and you feel confident to use them.

Below are a few pointers that may help make your search easier.

International Student Visas
It is important that your Education Consultant be very well versed in the legal requirements for your visa application. They must be an experienced student visa agent to understand your needs and requirements fully to be able to help you. Below are a few questions you need to ask:

Do they know about the different types of visas?
Can they explain which would be best for your needs?
Are they going to assist you fully with your applications?

Educational Providers
Whether they are education agents in Lagos, or other areas within Nigeria they need to know what courses are available and with which educational providers. Your educational consultant should be able to help guide you as you decide which would suit you best and where. A well established and professional international student visa agent should be able to provide you with a list of the appropriate education partners in line with your goals and aspirations. Below are a few questions to ask:

Can see their list of providers? remember the more providers they are affiliated with the better your chances of getting exactly what you require.
Are they familiar with the educational provider within a specific region or area you are looking at studying in? for example Sydney
Do they have an in-depth knowledge of the courses on offer in your chosen field?
Will they guide you to the one that would be best for you?
Can they tell you what is the best time to apply?

The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark
Thomas Paine

Experience and Professionalism
There is a lot of competition within the international student market and this unfortunately can attract unscrupulous companies looking to cash in on the naivety of trusting international students. So how can you make sure you do not fall into these traps? Below are a few questions you should ask your potential educational consultant before engaging anyone.

How long has the Company been in business?
Where are their offices? Do they have more than one office? This may give you a view of the stability and size of the business.
How many students have they helped?
Can you get reference from other students?
Can you see a list of their Educational Partners?
Can they offer advice on lifestyle issues such as accommodation, work or part-time work for students, student activities etc?
Do they offer an “end to end” service? This means if you work with them, are they going to be able to help you from the first enquiry, to applications, right the way through to permanent residence and citizenship.
Do they have a good, comprehensive website? And online presence?
Most importantly do you feel comfortable and confident they can answer all your questions and support you through every step of your journey?

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