November 23, 2008

My 5-year plan

To borrow the idea from E...

I definitely need to start looking into what I want to do in the coming 2-3 years and stop just talking about it. All I know right now is that I desperately want to go back to Australia, to Melbourne, to live there more permanently. I've spoken about leaving Holland for years, almost as long as I've lived here, but I never was sure of where to go. Now I know very well where I want to be and I hope I can get there. I'm determined to get there.

The main problem, I think, is that I don't have very specific skills. I mean, it's good that I have a university degree and am a native English speaker, but my degree, and my subsequent job experience, is rather vague and hard to sell as particularly worthy of a skilled-worker visa. I've taken the points test to see if I could get a visa now and I fall short of the required number of points.

So, I am considering going back to school to study something more specific. The first idea I had is to become a librarian, preferably a university/research librarian. Natasja suggested museum curation to me, another area that would be interesting, and both are professions with a higher number of points for getting the visa. I'm quite conflicted though about studying again. One moment it all sounds so exciting and I have many areas open to me that I could go for, but then I panic about the money it would take and wonder whether I want to be a student again.

I'm not even sure which country I'd go to school in. Holland might be easier because I already live here. The US would be easier in terms of not needing a visa to study there, but it would be more expensive. (Though, dang, the price difference at a Dutch university for EU nationals versus non-EU nationals is huge: at the University of Leiden it was something like 2000 eur versus 13,000 eur. And I don't know if my permanent residency counts for anything.) Or I could study in Australia, already get to live there, and then hope to get employment there after school.

Hm, it seems like the study-in-Australia option is actually the best because they don't recgonize study done outside of Australia as valid for getting the visa. So if I studied in Holland or the US, I would then have to do a year of work to meet the work experience requirement, which means longer before trying to go to Australia.

Another option I've been thinking of would be to go back to the US for a couple of years and get work experience in an area that would qualify me for going to Australia. Or an idea some people have mentioned is to see what my company could do for me regarding connecting me with a job in an office in Australia. Unfortunately, most of their offices are in the Sydney area, though if I had to, I would settle for Sydney. ;)

For the next year, at least, I'm not going anywhere since I hardly have any savings. So 2009 will be spent saving and mulling and planning. And dreaming. Lots of dreaming.