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TheSilverWolf98

Desperate to move back home for university...

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I grew up in the heart of the West Midlands, in a small village. I loved my time there, and I had three of the best friends one could ever hope for.

Then my parents dragged me to the other side of the planet to live in Victoria, Australia where my father had been offered a better job, it was sold to me as a "new start" and "Better for my education" (Something that I have always treasured). Then I actually arrived here and I saw the reality of it all - the children were two years behind me in academics, the town was boring, and I was quickly targeted for bullying.

I am now of the age where I am seriously considering my choices for university, and my teachers have all said that I have a very good chance of making it to Cambridge, my dream university. But my parents are causing huge issues, they like it here, and my brother was far too young to remember England very well. So they are pressuring me to stay, going so far as to say they will refuse to support me if I move back home. They don't understand how much I hate living here, I feel like a social outcast and have become very isolated and withdrawn, also the climate is not very good for my health; I have very pale white skin and get sunburned even through suncream, and the heat gives me constant migraines and nosebleeds in the summer; my eyes are also very sensitive to light, which means going out in summer can be incredibly painful despite wearing sunglasses. Also, the country is boring, there are only so many times one can walk though a gum forest and marvel at the identical trees. There is no history of culture here at all; whereas in England, I went to castles, poked around ruined houses with my friends and explored the cobbled lane ways of Coventry with my grandparents. Heck, I can't even go into a pub with my parents and get a bottle of coke and a packet of Walkers crisps, because pubs here are just small rooms attached to restaurants that serve nothing but alcohol and are filled with television screens, fruit machines and betting devices.

I wake up in the morning and the reality of living in Australia hits me like a smack to the face, because it means just another day of wandering around, being nobody and belonging nowhere. I'm being held by my own parents, away from my home country and from achieving my dreams - Australian Universities don't even offer the courses I want to take, yet I am threatened that I will be cut off and cast out if I leave. I can't afford university without help, and in fact, it may even end up cheaper for me to study in England after all because of the recent university price hikes over here but they just don't see it that way. They see it as me betraying and defiling their Australian dream, and they can't understand how much they are hurting me by keeping me here.

I've almost given up on the hope of going back, and I am at a loss of what to do next because I can't see a way forward. Any advice on what to do next would be wonderful, and I would also be interested in hearing stories of other people who have been in a similar situation to me.

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I can't comment on the issues you are having settling and with your family but just as a reality check, I can't believe that University in the UK will be cheaper.

 

From what I understand, you will be classed as a foreign student. Unless you have some sort of scholarship then expect course fees of £15k to £22k for non-medical courses (they are closer £35k), then another £6k in college fees (smaller universities won't have this) and another £10k to £12k in living expenses. So potentially £40k PER YEAR.

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Can't help with your personal situation except to say that if you're old enough to go university then you're an adult and are free to do what you want; your parents cannot force you to stay if you want to go.

 

Now, in terms of university admission, in all likelihood you will be considered a foreign student as you don't meet the criteria for home student status which is that you are UK national who has been in the country for three years prior to enrolment for reasons other than higher education.

 

*However*, admissions officers have discretion over who is considered Home or Overseas (or at least did when I was doing it); if your parents are on a 457 and maintain a house in the UK it can be argued that you have been removed from the country temporarily and under normal circumstances you'd still be there - we use that sort of discretion for children of Forces parents who may be posted overseas, for example.

 

If your parents got a permanent visa, sold the house and effectively cut ties from the UK it will be harder for you. You'd be best advised to talk to the admissions officer of the university you want to go to and explain your situation, and go from there; this time of year they aren't busy and should be able to talk. The Student Loan Company is less forgiving though and it's unlikely you'd get a loan. If finance is a huge thing you cannot overcome, and you are desperate to return then you might look into the option of working in the UK for a couple of years until you re-qualify for help.


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How very sad that your parents are behaving like this - so their dream is your nightmare - sad but there you go! They have to let you do your own thing, it's your life! Heck, it's not as if you are proposing a future of drug dependent self sufficiency on benefits for the rest of your days! That would, indeed be something to be concerned about as a parent! If you were my son I'd be moving heaven and earth to help you achieve a very admirable goal.

 

Cambridge is awesome and if you are determined you will make it but I fear you may find it financially out of reach - if you've been away for 3 yrs you will have to pay international fees unfortunately unless you can make a case that they will waive the fee and just decide on local fees (Unlikely). My suggestion would be to look at possible scholarships in the first instance. If that isn't a possibility then maybe take a longer route to your goal - Melbourne Uni then postgrad scholarship to Cambridge perhaps. Some other lateral thinking might be - and this depends on a whole heap of stuff - but any chance of getting an employer sponsorship for Uni? Join the Forces perhaps?

 

Its going to be really hard for you but if you're determined you will get there and make the most of your life!

 

Good luck!

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I really feel for you hon.For your parents to be behaving like that is unacceptable. I'm thinking though,is it possible for your grandparents to help you out with board.Even if you have to work for 2 yrs once back and then apply? It might cause a rift between your parents and grandparents but your happiness outweighs any of that so I would'nt worry about that aspect. Australia does'nt suit everyone,but you might find later in life it does,so don't write it off completely. Kudo's to you and your determination though.I like strong minded people hon,and I have a feeling you'll make it come hell or high water!Best wishes to you and stay strong.You'll be fine.:wink:


When the power of love overcomes the love of power,the world will know peace ~ Jimi Hendrix

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Just repeating what the other posters have said is that you need to be resident in UK for 3 yrs to be eligible for home fees and a loan. However, it is up to the individual university's discretion if you can put up a good enough case for yourself so always worth a try. There's also the option of universities in Europe. Some countries do undergraduate English speaking courses and are even free or way cheaper - worth a thought. The Netherlands have several universities that do that and most of the Dutch speak perfect English as do a lot of countries in Europe. However, I do know where you're coming from, lots of people put England down but the university education there is excellent and some are the best in the world. That's why my daughter wants to go to uni there and is even willing to wait out the 3 years as a last resort.

 

It sounds like you're probably yr 12 - just guessing here! Maybe start thinking and suggesting about a "gap year"? You could travel over to the UK, spend some time with your family left there, do bit of work, travel and also suss out the universities. You could always apply to an Australian university and defer for a year as a fall back and maybe going to a uni in a city away from home might be an option? Maybe your parents might warm to the idea of a gap year? Anyhow good luck. You're young so just chill and do what makes you happy!

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Oh, you poor thing. What a horrible situation to be in. You are a similar age to my girls and I can't imagine taking the line your parents are taking, although I'm sure it's done from a position of love (misguided perhaps, but they're probably very worried about 'losing' you).

 

I can only reiterate what the others have said. You would have to convince a university that you have a case for home status which might be easier given that you're young and had to go as part of your family (rather than going as an adult, selling your house, giving up bank accounts etc). However, please don't underestimate how expensive university life is even with home fees, or how much support you will need from your parents wherever you are. If your parents earn over a certain amount there is no help with living expenses at all. We have to pay for our girls' halls - circa £5k per year each otherwise they simply couldn't afford to go as their student maintenance loan (£3.5kish) goes nowhere near covering it. The loan goes on living expenses, travel etc. There would be a bit more help if your parents are low earners, but not enough to mean you wouldn't have to have a job which most Cambridge students are not allowed to have.

You could have a look at the possibility of a scholarship - they are VERY competitive, but maybe worth a look. You could also look at less popular courses - you might find universities are more willing to help with courses where there are places to fill.

 

Otherwise, as Quoll suggests, you could do your undergrad degree in Melbourne, then come here for something post grad. Or you could look at doing a semester/year in the UK as part of your first degree. My daughter's friend from Sydney has just arrived to do just that as part of the Study Abroad programme. She's in Bristol, like my daughter, and it's lovely that they can spend time together. She's here until July.

 

Good luck. That trapped feeling is horrible, but if you do stay in Melbourne, just think of it as the next step to doing what you really want. You may even find that uni life in Australia is the turning point for you and you end up wanting to stay! If not, you'll find moving with a degree much easier than moving for university.

Edited by caramac

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Oh you poor thing, the Australian lifestyle certainly doesn't suit everyone, I share a lot of your feelings about it (& I'm probably older than your parents!)

 

As others have said you have a number of challenges to overcome even if your parents were supportive and the residency requirements is probably the biggest one.

 

I think you are going to have to suck it up and do an undergraduate course in Australia - it doesn't have to be Victoria, although it is one of the cooler states weather wise. I am wondering if NZ Uni is available to you? I met a women on the way back from Auckland who'd been moving her daughter out there for Uni.

 

The he climate and culture of NZ may suit you better.

 

What I wouldn't do is allow your parents to trap you there what an awful thing to do. A 7 years old my son said when he left school he wanted to go to university in Scotland. I rather flippantly said 'well you better start saving your pocket money because mummy and daddy won't be paying' and he crumpled into tears. I quickly said I was joking and if he wanted to do that when the time came we'd find a way. I was then mentally wondering if we could send him at 16 to do A levels at boarding school supported by my parents in holidays etc. and then take a year out before applying. In the end we moved back and it was a small factor because I knew he would move back as soon as he could anyway. He's 11 now and even thinks England is too far to go to Uni!

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That's quite an assertion by your teachers about your chances of going to Cambridge. Unless they have significant experience in Oxbridge entrance I think I would treat their comments with caution and ensure you consider all of your options, both here and away. Remember, you are not far away from being able to move away to university here too.

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Would your parents perhaps let you go to UK to do A levels and stay with your grandparents/other relatives - then you'd get 2 yrs residence plus, perhaps, a gap year to earn some cash. Just a thought.

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I would be doing the IB if I were you if you haven't already committed to the VCE- plenty of Melbourne schools offer it. I would aim at Melbourne Uni because I think Oxbrdge is a bit farfetched at undergraduate stage. If you do really well you could apply for a Rhodes scholarship down the track which would pay for your tuition. You may well find university life here is quite acceptable and a lot more your thing than school life. Another option would be the ANU.

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The IB is a good call and dont give up on Oxbridge. I volunteer with someone who did the IB at Kelving Grove Academy in Brisbane and is now at Oxford for her undergrad. However.....I am not sure about the funding arrangements, so you would probably have to fund yourself, which from the circumstances outlined may be difficult

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Or get the best Aussie Uni education available and move home after as they don't chase up HECS debt overseas. That will stick it to oz...

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You should apply to Cambridge anyway, I am sure your teachers are right in terms of your academic abilities but that alone will not get you a place. Everyone that applies to Cambridge is academically capable so selection is based on other criteria.

 

The reason I say apply is you can end up spending your whole life regretting something that was never going to happen anyway.

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I'm not sure what you mean by "Australian Universities don't offer the courses I want to do" - it must be a very obscure course you are thinking of. If you don't think you can afford university without your parent's help, then unfortunately international fees will probably be way out of your reach - and international students can't get a student loan in the UK either, so you'd be looking at ways to find the money to pay up front.

 

I think maybe you should consider doing what my daughter did, who was probably in a very similar situation to you. She took a gap year after Year 12 and travelled on her own to the UK, where she found work and travelled around - that also had the bonus of getting us as her parents used to her not being here and being independent. Then my daughter took a second gap year and worked at an American Summer Camp, before travelling around America. This enabled her to meet so many different people, get so much experience in so many areas, and really to clarify what she wanted to do with the next few years. She is now back in Australia, has been accepted on a University course which is internationally recognised and in demand, with the plan to study here in Australia for a year then perhaps look into the possibility of doing an international exchange either in the UK or America. She deliberately chose her Uni course with this in mind, as well as being something she enjoys.

 

I would highly recommend taking a gap year from your studies - partly because it sounds like you may be suffering from a bit of depression on top of everything else, and partly because it will get you and your parents used to the idea of you being an independent adult who is able to make her own life choices.

 

I wish you well.


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I'm not sure what you mean by "Australian Universities don't offer the courses I want to do" - it must be a very obscure course you are thinking of. If you don't think you can afford university without your parent's help, then unfortunately international fees will probably be way out of your reach - and international students can't get a student loan in the UK either, so you'd be looking at ways to find the money to pay up front.

 

I think maybe you should consider doing what my daughter did, who was probably in a very similar situation to you. She took a gap year after Year 12 and travelled on her own to the UK, where she found work and travelled around - that also had the bonus of getting us as her parents used to her not being here and being independent. Then my daughter took a second gap year and worked at an American Summer Camp, before travelling around America. This enabled her to meet so many different people, get so much experience in so many areas, and really to clarify what she wanted to do with the next few years. She is now back in Australia, has been accepted on a University course which is internationally recognised and in demand, with the plan to study here in Australia for a year then perhaps look into the possibility of doing an international exchange either in the UK or America. She deliberately chose her Uni course with this in mind, as well as being something she enjoys.

 

I would highly recommend taking a gap year from your studies - partly because it sounds like you may be suffering from a bit of depression on top of everything else, and partly because it will get you and your parents used to the idea of you being an independent adult who is able to make her own life choices.

 

I wish you well.

 

By the way, I hope I haven't offended anyone with the depression comment - it just rings so many bells with me. :hug:


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Sadly, it's not possible to board with my grandparents, as they live in a retirement village and have only 1 bedroom. :/ Working for a while may be an option if push comes to shove, but I'm hoping that won't be the case because I'd rather do university as soon as possible (i.e. straight out of school); I will think about it though.

Thanks. :)

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IB is the course I'm on, I do understand that Oxbridge is a bit of a stretch, but my physics teacher went to Oxford straight out of high school, so it's not impossible, however it is still very hard. I've never heard of a Rhodes scholarship before, so maybe that's something worth looking into. Thanks for the advice. :)

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The school I worked at in the UK had a number of kids who went to Oxbridge on the IB. If you're getting top marks, there is no reason why you cannot apply for them.

 

At the end of the day (and this sounds harsh), your parents wont be around forever. They can't expect you to do everything that they want you to. Be your own person and spread your wings and you will be better for it. I most certainly would never stop my son from going back if he was that unhappy at your age, although I would have to make sure he had somewhere to live and a decent plan.


Don't have regrets because you were too scared to try something.

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I grew up in the heart of the West Midlands, in a small village. I loved my time there, and I had three of the best friends one could ever hope for.

Then my parents dragged me to the other side of the planet to live in Victoria, Australia where my father had been offered a better job, it was sold to me as a "new start" and "Better for my education" (Something that I have always treasured). Then I actually arrived here and I saw the reality of it all - the children were two years behind me in academics, the town was boring, and I was quickly targeted for bullying.

I am now of the age where I am seriously considering my choices for university, and my teachers have all said that I have a very good chance of making it to Cambridge, my dream university. But my parents are causing huge issues, they like it here, and my brother was far too young to remember England very well. So they are pressuring me to stay, going so far as to say they will refuse to support me if I move back home. They don't understand how much I hate living here, I feel like a social outcast and have become very isolated and withdrawn, also the climate is not very good for my health; I have very pale white skin and get sunburned even through suncream, and the heat gives me constant migraines and nosebleeds in the summer; my eyes are also very sensitive to light, which means going out in summer can be incredibly painful despite wearing sunglasses. Also, the country is boring, there are only so many times one can walk though a gum forest and marvel at the identical trees. There is no history of culture here at all; whereas in England, I went to castles, poked around ruined houses with my friends and explored the cobbled lane ways of Coventry with my grandparents. Heck, I can't even go into a pub with my parents and get a bottle of coke and a packet of Walkers crisps, because pubs here are just small rooms attached to restaurants that serve nothing but alcohol and are filled with television screens, fruit machines and betting devices.

I wake up in the morning and the reality of living in Australia hits me like a smack to the face, because it means just another day of wandering around, being nobody and belonging nowhere. I'm being held by my own parents, away from my home country and from achieving my dreams - Australian Universities don't even offer the courses I want to take, yet I am threatened that I will be cut off and cast out if I leave. I can't afford university without help, and in fact, it may even end up cheaper for me to study in England after all because of the recent university price hikes over here but they just don't see it that way. They see it as me betraying and defiling their Australian dream, and they can't understand how much they are hurting me by keeping me here.

I've almost given up on the hope of going back, and I am at a loss of what to do next because I can't see a way forward. Any advice on what to do next would be wonderful, and I would also be interested in hearing stories of other people who have been in a similar situation to me.

 

Hang on their soldier......ig you need a reality check pm me .....the erst mids is a very tough school....bunbury


BUT I DONT FEEL AFRAID

AS LONG AS I GAZE AT

WATERLOO SUNSET

IAM IN PARADISE

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Hang on their soldier......ig you need a reality check pm me .....the erst mids is a very tough school....bunbury

 

Sorry had a few beers......spelling is ****


BUT I DONT FEEL AFRAID

AS LONG AS I GAZE AT

WATERLOO SUNSET

IAM IN PARADISE

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I grew up in the heart of the West Midlands, in a small village. I loved my time there, and I had three of the best friends one could ever hope for.

Then my parents dragged me to the other side of the planet to live in Victoria, Australia where my father had been offered a better job, it was sold to me as a "new start" and "Better for my education" (Something that I have always treasured). Then I actually arrived here and I saw the reality of it all - the children were two years behind me in academics, the town was boring, and I was quickly targeted for bullying.

I am now of the age where I am seriously considering my choices for university, and my teachers have all said that I have a very good chance of making it to Cambridge, my dream university. But my parents are causing huge issues, they like it here, and my brother was far too young to remember England very well. So they are pressuring me to stay, going so far as to say they will refuse to support me if I move back home. They don't understand how much I hate living here, I feel like a social outcast and have become very isolated and withdrawn, also the climate is not very good for my health; I have very pale white skin and get sunburned even through suncream, and the heat gives me constant migraines and nosebleeds in the summer; my eyes are also very sensitive to light, which means going out in summer can be incredibly painful despite wearing sunglasses. Also, the country is boring, there are only so many times one can walk though a gum forest and marvel at the identical trees. There is no history of culture here at all; whereas in England, I went to castles, poked around ruined houses with my friends and explored the cobbled lane ways of Coventry with my grandparents. Heck, I can't even go into a pub with my parents and get a bottle of coke and a packet of Walkers crisps, because pubs here are just small rooms attached to restaurants that serve nothing but alcohol and are filled with television screens, fruit machines and betting devices.

I wake up in the morning and the reality of living in Australia hits me like a smack to the face, because it means just another day of wandering around, being nobody and belonging nowhere. I'm being held by my own parents, away from my home country and from achieving my dreams - Australian Universities don't even offer the courses I want to take, yet I am threatened that I will be cut off and cast out if I leave. I can't afford university without help, and in fact, it may even end up cheaper for me to study in England after all because of the recent university price hikes over here but they just don't see it that way. They see it as me betraying and defiling their Australian dream, and they can't understand how much they are hurting me by keeping me here.

I've almost given up on the hope of going back, and I am at a loss of what to do next because I can't see a way forward. Any advice on what to do next would be wonderful, and I would also be interested in hearing stories of other people who have been in a similar situation to me.

 

 

I think as others have said - try to present a plan to your parents that feels well thought out and which has considered the options, one of which I feel has to be how you would part fund/support yourself whilst overseas. My daughter is at Uni, if she decided to study overseas, realistically, we could offer limited financial help and she would be aware of that. She would, however, have our full support in other areas. Don't let your skin colouring stop you from enjoying the outdoors - my daughter has a very Irish complexion - red hair and pale skin and just ensures she wears sun screen, T. shirt if getting hot etc..


I just want PIO to be a happy place where people are nice to each other and unicorns poop rainbows

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I really feel for you hon.For your parents to be behaving like that is unacceptable. I'm thinking though,is it possible for your grandparents to help you out with board.Even if you have to work for 2 yrs once back and then apply? It might cause a rift between your parents and grandparents but your happiness outweighs any of that so I would'nt worry about that aspect. Australia does'nt suit everyone,but you might find later in life it does,so don't write it off completely. Kudo's to you and your determination though.I like strong minded people hon,and I have a feeling you'll make it come hell or high water!Best wishes to you and stay strong.You'll be fine.:wink:

 

I'm not 100% sure the OP's happiness outweighs the relationship of her parents with their parents do you? Surely a better way would be engage in a dialogue that wouldn't' cause a rift (fortunately the OP has said that she can't live with grandparents anyway).

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