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Preparing for an Education Fair

March 14, 2012 | Editor's Desk
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Each year the StudyMalaysia Education Fairtravels to Sabah and Sarawak to bring various education exhibitors as well as experienced academic speakers and career counsellor to interested higher education candidates. The fair gives students the opportunity to obtain important information and speak with representatives of various higher education institutions.

It would be less useful if you attended an education fair with no clear idea of the questions you want to ask and the type of information you want to get.  So how can prospective students get the best out of each fair? Read on to find out.

Who should attend the fair?

The StudyMalaysia Education Fair caters to all secondary school leavers interested in pursuing post secondary education such as pre-university or foundation studies, and courses ranging from certificate to postgraduate levels.

Other visitors to the fair include parents or guardians of prospective students and school counsellors.

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How should a candidate prepare?

Start by finding out more about the range of programmes in the subject area you are interested in, explore how the programme is structured, how it is taught, and who teaches the programme.

Candidates should prepare a shortlist of some programmes or subject area they are interested in. If you are unsure about what courses may interest you, there will be counsellors to guide you. However, it would be helpful for you to think about the things that appeal to you and how you would describe your career interest and personality so that the counsellors can give you better advice on what courses may be suitable for you.

In addition, candidates should discuss with their parents or guardians on how much they can afford in terms of course fees and other expenses. Do not fret if you think you cannot afford to pay for all these expenses on your own. You can find out more about how you can apply for a study loan by attending the talk on PTPTN loans at the fair. Most of the institutions also offer bursaries or scholarships to deserving students. You can get a copy of ‘Guide to Education Financial Aid 2012’ complied by the event organiser.

What should a candidate bring?

Bring along your NRIC and transcripts of your past examinations or expected results (if the results have yet to be released). Bring along your parents, a mentor, or a friend whom you trust so that they can guide you should you need to make a decision at the fair, or even after. news-1331683200-03.jpg

Attending the fair

When you are at the fair, locate the institutions you are most interested in on the floor plan and make your way to see them. The fair can be quite busy, so do be patient and wait your turn to talk to one of the representatives.

Refer to your list of questions and take notes if you think this will help you. Take brochures on the courses you are interested in to help you decide later. Ask for a business card so you can follow up with any questions you may have after the fair.

While your purpose at the fair is partly to assess the institutions, it is equally important to project a good image of yourself. So dress smartly and it could make a world of difference.

What sort of questions should candidates ask at a fair?

Candidates usually ask about admission requirements, course fees, duration of course, financial aid and study loan, accommodation, accreditation and recognition of the qualification obtained and facilities offered on campus as well as career prospects. You may have thought up of some questions of your own but here are some sample questions suggested by the event organiser.

  • When is the next intake?
  • What is the application process?
  • How much does the total programme cost (student fees, other fees, accommodation)?
  • How long is the programme?
  • Who award the qualification?
  • How many students are there in a class?
  • What is the passing rate for  the last 3 batches of students ?
  • Does the programme include field experience or an internship?
  • How many faculty members are there?
  • Is there anything unique about your programme?
  • What is the employability of the graduates in this programme/institution?
  • What percentage of graduates is employed within 6 months/ 1 year of graduation?
  • What types of personal and leadership development activities are available?
  • Can you tell me more about the types of accommodation available?
  • Could you tell me more about student life on campus (diversity of the students, student organisations, student activities, what students do at weekends, attire, etc.)?
  • Does the institution have medical facilities?
  • What type of insurance coverage is available to the students?
  • Would it be possible for me to arrange a campus visit in which I could meet with admissions representatives, current students, and faculty?
  • May I contact you if I have additional questions (business card)?

Can a candidate apply to an institution on the day of a fair?

Many institutions accept applications at the fair but most may only be able to make a conditional offer. Do bring along your transcripts, references, and CVs to facilitate the application should you decide to sign up on that day.

Can a candidate apply for a scholarship at a fair?

Many institutions offer scholarships in the form of tuition fee waivers, but each requires its own unique application process. Candidates should ask about scholarships at the fair or check out the institution’s website.

The StudyMalaysia Education Fair 2012

The StudyMalaysia Education Fair will be in Sabah and Sarawak at the following venues and dates from 10am to 5pm. All are welcome and admission is FREE.

Sabah:

  • 17 & 18 March 2012, Saturday & Sunday

Suria Sabah Shopping Mall, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Sarawak:

  • 24 & 25 March 2012, Saturday & Sunday

Permata Exhibition Hall, Taman Kereta, Kuching, Sarawak

  • 31 March & 1 April 2012, Saturday & Sunday

Sibu Trade & Exhibition Centre, Power Road, Sibu

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