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Posts Tagged ‘Study Abroad’

Going to a foreign land in pursuit of further study has enticed many with its offer of worldly experiences and opportunities. Three individuals speak about what it is really like studying abroad.

Anthony Michael

Becauseof its worldwide recognition and long history, Anthony chose the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology to pursue his interior design course.

Having studied previously at a local institution, Anthony says that the learning programme at RMIT was more structured.

“I found the head of department and lecturers more approachable. There was more of a friendship than a strict student-lecturer relationship, which made it easier to seek assistance from them. The programme co-ordinator also set up regular one-to-one meetings to review student progress and for students to voice out concerns.”

According to Anthony, studying in a foreign university will give students international exposure as they mingle with both students and staff from other parts of the world. For a design student, he adds, this is particularly important.

He says those planning to pursue their education at an overseas institution should carry out extensive research beforehand on the chosen university and country. And whilst there, he advises them to make the best of the education offered and find time to join social groups on campus.

Of course, studying in a foreign land comes with challenges and Anthony was not spared. He says having to cope with the changing seasons, especially winter was rather difficult.

“Also because you are not at home, you are not in your comfort zone and being away from your family and friends can be rather tough at times.”

But studying overseas, Anthony continues, taught him to be more independent. For example when pocket money was running out, he took on part-time jobs that included telemarketing and leaflet-distribution to help sustain his lifestyle.

Anthony considered staying on in Melbourne once he graduated but as he was offered a job back in Malaysia, he chose to return home. He has since then moved to London where he works as an interior designer.

If asked to do it all again, Anthony says he would not hesitate in choosing the same institution. “I was very happy with the education I received and the study culture so I will definitely choose the RMIT experience all over again.”

Allan Kwek

The Charles Sturt University in Australia was Kwek’s choice to continue his tertiary education. Kwek studied advertising and says he chose Charles Sturt University because it was linked to his college.

He says that the study culture at the university was different from what he was used to in that people were more willing to participate in classes and were more outspoken, which he found to be good. However, what he found challenging was trying to understand the Australian accent.

Like most students studying overseas, funds were scarce so Kwek had to look for an alternative to supplement his pocket money. “I took on jobs as a chef at a few small restaurants cooking Chinese food. These restaurants allowed me a decent wage for my living expenses,” he says.

After graduating Kwek worked in Australia for two years but soon realised that home is really where the heart is; he decided to come back.

“Even though the wages and the lifestyle is better there, Malaysia is still home to me and I do not regret my decision at all,” Kwek says.

Kwek presently works as an animation producer, working mainly on commercials, TV series and anything that requires graphics or animating and has been in this field for about a year-and-a-half.

In his opinion, employers take higher education seriously but he feels that it does not stop there.

“One must have the passion and knowledge in his chosen field. Take advertising for example, you cannot be an advertiser solely through books as you need the passion for knowledge and selling. You need to be in the mind of consumers and think like them. It’s all about presenting and selling yourself at the end of the day,” he explains.

For those planning to go overseas, Kwek’s advice is to go with an open mind. “It was a good experience for me to wake up to something different and unfamiliar every day. If the opportunity presents itself, leave and come back with knowledge.”

“And when you’re there, never forget your roots.”

Audrey See Tho

A psychology major at the Stony Brook University in New York, See Tho says she chose to study at this university because of its high quality of research and teaching in psychology.

“I also chose the university because it is part of a network of New York state public universities called ‘State University of New York’ and it’s relatively near distance to New York City,” she explains.

See Tho says that everything is discussion-based in class and if you don’t raise your hand and ask questions, you lose out. “Professors are also very willing to mentor students and are always welcoming students to come to their office for questions or just a chat,” she adds.

Studying away from home has helped See Tho attain independence and leadership skills as she had to do everything on her own from grocery shopping to paying the bills. Together with the good, studying abroad brought with it a set of challenges.

“The distance from home also brings various stresses such as homesickness, loneliness and in winter when the sun sets really early, one can easily get depressed,” See Tho says.

She also had to cut down on her spending as she realised she could not just rely on her parents for funds so took up a job in the library as a student assistant.

See Tho says that she would definitely encourage students to study overseas as it has exposed her to so many different people and experiences and she now looks at things from new perspectives.

“New York City has broadened my vision of the world. I have been provided with so many opportunities and have met so many interesting people during my time here,” she elaborates.

Once she graduates, See Tho plans to stay on in the US if she is offered an opportunity. “I do not, however, intend to live here for the rest of my life. Malaysia is my home and I want to bring better changes to my home country with the knowledge I have gained overseas.”

Source by Gregory Basil, New Straits Times MY

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As a third-year commerce student at Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business, Marcel Glaesser spent an academic semester at the University of Mannheim last year. After completing his studies in Germany, he decided to stay longer and landed a six-month contract with BMW in Munich.

A worker puts an emblem on a BMW 5 series car at the plant in the Bavarian city of Dingolfing.

“The coolest thing is that I got to do so many things,” he recalls, citing marketing-related assignments that included preparations for the company’s annual meeting held in a stadium, complete with a display of prototype cars.

His experience typifies a growing trend among undergraduate and graduate business students to study and work abroad while earning their business degree. For Mr. Glaesser, Germany held appeal because he was born there before his family came to Canada 10 years ago. He took his classes in English at Mannheim, but had to brush up on his German to work at BMW.

His advice to other students is “go abroad, go abroad. It will set you apart.”

The same message comes from Canadian business schools, some with formal and informal arrangements to promote international experience opportunities for students before they graduate.

For example, Beedie recently signed an agreement with the British Columbia and Caribbean branches of the Certified General Accountants for an accounting student to spend a work term in Barbados every year.

“We feel it is a great opportunity for students because they get to work and learn,” says Andrew Gemino, associate dean of undergraduate programs. “We would love to do more,” he adds. “It is a matter of finding those opportunities and working on them.”

About 1,700 Beedie commerce undergraduates – about half of the enrolment – are at one stage or another of the school’s co-op program, either completing a prerequisite semester, applying for a placement or actually on the job. Every semester, between 170 and 240 students are actually working, with about five per cent choosing to go abroad.

“Through a variety of different ways, the students are becoming more comfortable and more interested in working internationally,” says Shauna Tonsaker, co-op education program director.

Her office provides financial and other assistance to students before, during and after their work stint. Prior to departure, all students complete an online course to minimize culture shock. This summer, students have chosen placements with major firms in half a dozen countries, including China, Japan and Germany.

“They get the experience of working in a culturally diverse work environment, gain experience for the first time of living on their own and get a global perspective,” she says. “It is of huge value when they are out there to apply for careers, locally and internationally, and can bring that [experience] to the workplace.”

Now completing his fourth year at Beedie in business marketing, Mr. Glaesser says the biggest bonus of working abroad was his new level of confidence. “It was the first time working in any big organization and seeing how it works from the inside,” he recalls. “For me, it was really valuable.”

excerpt from The Globe and Mail, by JENNIFER LEWINGTON

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eric stein; d-day; study abroad
Senior history major Eric Stein bags sand from Omaha Beach for his grandfather during the 2012 D-Day study abroad program. Stein’s grandfather landed on the beach during D-Day and asked him to bring sand back as a souvenir.
study abroad; american cemetery
The D-Day study abroad group poses for a picture in the American Cemetery at the grave of Louisiana war hero Sgt. John P. Ray. On D-Day, Ray dropped in behind enemy lines as part of the 82nd Airborne Division and was fatally shot in the stomach by a German solider. Before he died, Ray saw the German aiming his gun at two other American soldiers and saved them by shooting the German in the back of the head.

by Bryan Perissutti

We all know the story. On June 6, 1944 the Allied powers began the liberation of France from Germany on D-Day.

From June 16 through June 24, 24 Southeastern students went to the place where it all began to study first hand the D-Day Invasion. The trip was one of Southeastern’s study abroad programs and took the group from London to Paris, visiting numerous sites in between.

The trip was led by associate professor of history Dr. Harry Laver who believes that study abroad brings popular topics into a unique perspective.

“The topic has considerable interest among the general public which includes students,” said Laver“Walking the ground brings a greater understanding as I think most of the group saw.”

The group listened to guides, browsed museums, met new people and took in the culture all while earning up to six hours of college credit.

For history graduate student Natalie Worsham, this was exactly why she decided to participate in study abroad.

“I decided to participate in study abroad as a way to earn credits while visiting Europe, a chance of a lifetime,” said Worsham.

Among the sites in Normandy, France, the climactic moment for many students was visiting Omaha Beach, the site of the battle that was dramatized in the 1998 movie “Saving Private Ryan.”

“Being on Omaha Beach was surreal. Our grandparents were part of the Greatest Generation, the generation of soldiers that made the end of the war seem within reach on the sands of Normandy,” said senior history major Eric Stein.

For Stein, the trip was much more than class work, it was a way to walk in his grandfather’s footsteps. Stein’s grandfather, Nick Stein, landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day as part of the 1st Infantry Division known as “The Big Red One.” While on the beach, Stein collected two bags of sand to give back to his grandfather.

“Collecting the sand was an experience,” said Stein. “You go through all the emotions as you dig your hand into the sand and you become overwhelmed.  In the back of your mind, it’s like a scene from ‘Saving Private Ryan’ playing in a permanent loop.”

Graduate student Michelle Dufrene also collected some sand from the beach and is excited about sharing it with her students at Madisonville Junior High.

“I’ll be able to share first-hand knowledge, artifacts and pictures from my experiences abroad,” said Dufrene. “Want to know how to hook a kid into your lesson? Pass around a bag of sand from Omaha Beach.  That’ll get a discussion going.”

Laver expressed the possibility of doing this trip again next summer and suggested that students who were interested start the application process early. He believed that students with an open mind and adaptability were the perfect candidates for study abroad.

“For someone to have a successful study abroad trip, it’s got to be somebody with an open mind and somebody with flexibility and someone willing to adapt,” said Laver. “Eisenhower’s point, which we all learned within hours of starting in New Orleans, once the operation starts, throw all the plans out.”

Source: The Lion’s Roar

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When we signed up for study abroad, we were told in so many words what to expect and what the experience was going to be like. We were told that we would visit historical sites, monuments and museums while also getting the opportunity to experience a different culture while earning college credit.

Well, after embarking on the journey and making it home, I can tell you that those things are true, but what it is more difficult to explain is just how memorable and life changing study abroad can be.

While I’m not going to sit here and say that I suddenly discovered a solution to all my problems while drinking a beer in London or found the meaning of life while sipping on wine in France, I will tell you that the things I saw are something that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

The study abroad I went on was a 10-day trip themed after D-Day, the 1944 Allied invasion of France. Our journey took us over the Atlantic into London, down to Portsmouth, across the English Channel into Normandy and ended in Paris.

Beach of Normandy

While on the beaches of Normandy, I had a great epiphany that I think is worth sharing, one that I think encapsulates the thing that makes study abroad so valuable. What I realized was that no amount of reading, lectures, movies or any other retelling of an event can come close to actually experiencing it for your self.

Only when I was standing on the damp sand of Omaha Beach, staring from the water’s edge back to the towering cliffs, did the magnitude of what the Americans accomplished really sink in. Only when I was standing in a crater on Pointe du Hoc did the true power of the navel warships I had read about truly make sense.

My point is that there is no way to completely explain the feelings and thoughts a place will evoke without being there. That is the true magic of study abroad. Through the program, you can go to those places, experience those emotions and create those memories.

So to those of you who are considering study abroad, I hope this helps inform your decision. Remember, you only live once so get out there and see what the world has to offer.

Source: The Lion’s Roar

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A lot of students and their families are justifiably concerned about the cost and quality of education in the United States.

A hundred US colleges now have a cost of attendance (COA) exceeding $50,000; two years ago, only five did. Worse still, the price tag continues to escalate at around 4% per year.

 Add to this state of affairs the revelations contained in the book, “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses,” which asserts:  that 36% of students “did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning” after four years of college.

You have every reason in the world to look elsewhere for alternative educational opportunities. The world, however, might very well be on your doorstep in the form of our Canadian neighbors to the north. Canadian universities have a high standard of educational rigor, their COA (depending on province) is usually much lower, and most award degrees in three years, not the six years it seems to take students at many US schools nowadays.

 Most Canadian universities have big, safe, and in many instances, beautiful campuses

Be aware that Canadian universities are different from their US counterparts. In the US, the federal government has various programs such as FAFSA and Title IX that ensure some consistency within the university system. The Canadian universities, on the other hand, are funded and regulated by their provinces or territories. Consequently, there isn’t a lot of uniformity among Canadian universities. If you apply to the University of Toronto in Ontario, and McGill, in Quebec, you will use different applications, and confront different admission’s requirements (though most of the schools do take SAT I, SAT II, ACT, and FAFSA forms) and have varying costs depending on your intended major.

Another minor note, educational terms and degrees are different in Canada than in the US. In Canada: “college” means a two-year school, while “university” refers to the four-year schools. Additionally, many Canadian universities award a bachelor’s degree after completing three years of university. A student then needs another year to gain an honors degree, which is essential for getting into graduate school.

There are 90 universities to choose among in Canada. Some are the most competitive and eminent in the world. McGill University in Montreal is ranked regularly among the top 20 universities in the world. University of Toronto, with a number of Nobel Prize winners among its faculty, has many elite departments.

Additionally, professional studies in medicine, dentistry, and engineering, for example, start at the undergraduate level and lead to graduate school. Coursework is challenging and expectations are high.

The cost of university education, though certainly below that of comparable US universities, depends on where you choose to attend. It also depends upon what it is you’re majoring in. At the University of British Columbia, which is ranked 36th (ARWU) in the world, for international students, the annual tuition is around $23,000 (again, it depends on major—and international students are not allowed to study dentistry or medicine). At McGill, the annual tuition for international students in a standard BA program is just more than $17,000 annually. Tuition, however, will vary by major, and fees will vary by meal plan, or even by dormitory selected. Be aware that the provincial government has announced that tuition rates will be rising annually by 7-11% for, at least, the next seven years. Still, even with these expected escalations, the costs are still well under comparable American universities.

Another concern. If a large campus intimidates you, Canadian schools are enormous. University of British Columbia has 20,000 undergraduates (about the size of Boston University); the University of Toronto, with its three campuses, enrolls just under 50,000 undergraduates.

by Ralph Becker, a resident of Long Beach, has been counseling students for seven years. A former Yale Alumni interviewer, he holds a certificate in college counseling from UCLA Extension, and has published SAT* Vocab 800 Books A, B, C, & D.

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At the register section, Thao Tran, a fulltime student in SCCC commented while waiting in line to pay her tuition fee “My tuition for this fall quarter is cheaper than last quarter because I did not have any English as Second Language (ESL) classes”, she said. One of her friends, Nancy, who is American, was surprised about Tran’s comment. Looking at Tran’s amount, Nancy thought Tran was taking about 30 credits for that quarter because Tran was paying $3,000. She asked Tran why she is taking so many credits this quarter and how she will be able to complete all homework. “They are just 3 classes which are 15 credits”, Tran said. Nancy was astonished and asked Tran “Why is your tuition so expensive? Tran replied “I am an International student so I have to pay more than American students.”

Being an International student means students have to be prepared to pay the higher tuition fee that is often three times than the local students.

Tuan Nguyen – another International student, is saying that he is so busy and being stress with homework. “I have to take at least 12 credits every quarter. However, tuition fee for 12 and 15 credits is not much different so I decide to take 15 credits to save money and time”, he said. One of his host family member asked “Why do International students come to America to study when it is more expensive than their own countries?” Tuan replied that” American education is more valuable in my country to our employers, so when I go back, I will have higher chance of getting the career of my dream.”

According to the Institute of International Education (IIE) – Office of the Spokesman in Washington, DC, the number of International students at colleges and universities in the United States has increased by 8% to an all-time high of 671,616. In 2008/09 the number has increased by 16%. This represents the largest percentage increase in International student enrollments since 1980/81. Those finding were released at the Open Doors conference in 2009, and the annual survey report published by (IIE) with funding from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

International students pay higher tuition as if they were non-residential students. Furthermore, they haven’t previously paid the state taxes. In general, the taxes people pay still contributes to their kid education. More than that, they are required to pay for insurance which is included in the tuition only if they are not already covered in their countries.

Another reason, the international students generally receive their educated, and return home. They are not part of American’s community, and will not contribute to the community wellbeing when they leave. Most students who are from other countries and enrolling in SCCC said they would like to return home to work later.

Sibel- a Turkish student is going to graduate the AA degree in next two quarters, said that she will go back home after she graduates. She said “I will use all knowledge that I have learned to work for my family business. The majority of International student have the same response that American education is worth any price. In theory, again, native students are from American’s community, to whom people wish to give the advantages of education, and once educated they will remain part of the community and enrich it, both by their skills and by the higher taxes they will pay. Therefore, the community gains more from educating native students than overseas ones, and is willing to subsidies them.

Also because the number of oversea students is just increasing really fast, so charging higher fee for overseas students is a way to protect local students. Otherwise, seats at internationally reputed colleges will be flooded by rich students from other countries. The tuition fee is a way to limit the quota for applicants.

In addition, their economic impact—tuition and fees, living expenses for themselves and their dependents, and U.S. support mainly from the schools they attend. As it has been year after year, more than 60 percent International students receive the majority of their funds from personal and family financial assets. The next largest funding source is the college or university they are attending, according to the Institute of International Education (IIE).

Source: New City Collegian, by Trish Tran

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Finding a Job

There has been a lot of coverage in the media surrounding the job market and the high level of competition job seekers face. This is true in some aspects, although there are numerous employers looking to fill positions and new job opportunities are posted on the Internet every day.

Also, many industries are growing and employers are looking for qualified workers. Recently there was a CareerBuilder and CareerRookie.com survey, which revealed that “employers (54 per cent) reported they plan to hire recent…graduates in 2012, up from 46 per cent in 2011, 44 per cent in 2010 and 43 per cent in 2009”. This survey shows that grads and entry level employees are in demand for new hires. If you are currently looking for a job, consider the following tips:

1. Be proactive in all aspects of the job search. Many times this involves taking several approaches to find companies that are hiring, creating connections with those companies, and networking in person. This can include joining social networks, volunteering your time, blogging, and talking to your current connections to see if they can assist in some way.

2. Don’t make excuses for yourself. When it comes down to it, you need to be accountable for making your job search successful. That means not giving up and putting in the time to change your resume, as well as your cover letter, for each job posting. Also, it involves applying for those jobs that you may not necessarily be a perfect candidate for and remaining optimistic about your job search. In all honesty, you are just looking for one job that fits your qualifications.

3. Pursue two or three companies for a job. This is easier than targeting the whole industry and not knowing who you are contacting. You can do this by contacting several people in leadership positions within those companies and making connections with them. They may not have a job for you right now, but if you show initiative and make a good impression then you may be offered a job down the road. People are more willing to engage with you concerning opportunities than you would expect.

4. Make sure to market yourself in interviews. Resumes get you the interview, but it is the impression you make, your communication skills, and your personality that gets you the job. Be prepared to answer questions about your strengths, weaknesses, success stories, and experiences. Explain what you can bring to the table and that you will immediately become an asset to the organization.

5. Show that you are excited to work for them. Express how you feel to the interviewer and that you are eager to work for them. Do your research and communicate what you can offer if you were hired.

Source: http://www.careerbuilder.ca

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