I am an international student in NZ and am from the UK. I have just submitted my thesis and it has been a long hard slog to get there. I was very lucky to get funding for three years but I am now totally broke and unsure how I am going to pay the rent. On my visa I am only allowed to work 20 hours per week and it's just not enough to survive. I'm obviously not eligible for benefits etc because I'm not from here. My visa runs out at the end of August and to stay for longer I have prove I have around a thousand pounds in my bank account and pay an application fee of around 80 pounds. As I said I can barely pay the rent so there's not much chance of that working out!
I'm really independent and hate asking for help but I actually feel on the verge of a breakdown and I just need to stop for a month and collect my thoughts. I feel totally drained. So I bit the bullet and emailed my dad and admitted I have run out of cash and really need a break. He has offered to pay for a flight home. But if I go home I'm not that sure whether I'll be able to afford to fly back for my viva. I have the option of doing it via video link if I have 'compelling circumstances'. I think my circumstances are pretty compelling really but I'm just not sure whether that's a good idea. It sounds awkward as hell. But at the same time the idea of going home and getting out of this stupid situation is just amazing.
I'm not really sure what advice I am looking for, I just needed to get it out of my head and thought that people might relate and have some words of wisdom!
Even before I read the second paragraph I was going to suggest doing your viva via video link. It would suit me I'll admit but this is very important and so you must do what makes you feel comfortable. How did you find NZ, out of interest? Brave thing to do, to study so far away from home for three years.
I think your circumstances would be described as compelling so if you feel that you would be able to do your viva via video link I think you should do that if you all will agree. Does your supv team know your dire straits? You're between submission and viva so there seems little point you staying around doing nothing 'til it's viva time. Perhaps contact the International office in your current uni and ask them for advice although having said that the Intl Office in my university isn't great.
Have you costed what it would cost to fly home 'til your viva and then return for the viva itself, including the cost of accommodation for those few days. Might that be less than what it would cost you to stay where you are now 'til your viva happens although the wear and tear on your body would be tough.
I have heard of people whose external examiners were on video-link so I think in some circumstances it seems fair that the student can facilitated in the same way.
Good luck Slowmo, it's a tough situ to be in. Let us know what you decide.
I think in the first instance you have to speak with your supervisory team and your uni international office about how best to proceed with this. It may be that the video-link viva is the way to go but you need to be sure that they will do this in your particular circumstances (although I don't see why not!). At least by emailing your dad you have the means to go home but you also need to check what affect this may have on your visa application ie extending it as you are in the country vs leaving the country and having to re-apply. I assume that if you just fly back for the exam it can be classed as a 'holiday' type visa? BTW, video-link is how I conduct my tutorials and it isn't that bad, in fact if you do this approach it would be good to arrange a tutorial with your supervisory team when you get home just to try it out. Good luck Slowmo, nearly there!
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