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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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By Sean Coughlan, BBC News education correspondent

UKBA

Students have drawn up a protest petition to highlight the delays to processing visas

Overseas students in the UK are complaining they are trapped in a legal limbo by visa delays which mean they do not have the right either to stay or go back home.

Students claim they have waited for up to five months without their passports.

Hundreds have signed a protest petition claiming their “basic rights” are being denied by delays in processing visas.

The UK Border Agency said applications from students would be “worked through by the end of the summer”.

study

The National Union of Students (NUS) says this is becoming a “serious problem” and a “complete outrage” which puts at risk the ability of UK universities to attract overseas students.

A US student, Jordan Junge, who has just finished a £17,000 masters degree at the London School of Economics, says she has been waiting for almost five months for her visa to be processed and her documents returned.

Students should come to the UK to study, not work. That is why this April we stopped the automatic right for students to stay on and find work after their studies”

UK Border Agency

The student from Colorado says that this became “extremely stressful” when her grandmother was taken seriously ill and her parents told her to come home.

“Even if you order a pizza from Domino’s you can track its progress – but I’ve no idea about what’s happening to my passport.”

She says that there are other students who have children that they cannot get back home to see.

Ms Junge says she wanted to carry out further study at the LSE which would have involved travelling outside the UK this summer, but the uncertainty over her documents is making this “very unlikely”.

And she says that the tightening of the student visa system is putting off many other US students.

Along with other students, she was particularly concerned about the inability to communicate with UKBA, and so far the information she has obtained has come via her MP.

‘Deplorable service’

A Canadian PhD student in Edinburgh, who submitted documents at the beginning of April, says the delays have been “incredibly stressful and distressing” – and she is still uncertain whether she will be able to catch her flight home in a few weeks.

An online petition, signed by more than 600 people, says “the deplorable quality of service provided by the UKBA ill befits a nation like the United Kingdom”.

The overseas students who have been caught in this delay are those who have finished their courses and have put in applications to remain longer in the UK.

Vulnerable students are now stuck in the UK unable to work, unable to go home to their families and unable to get on with their lives”

National Union of Students

These post-study visa applications cost more than £500 to process and require students to get their fingerprints taken and to submit their passports.

The visa rules changed in April – and it has been suggested that this prompted an increase in applications ahead of the deadline which has left individuals caught in a bureaucratic backlog.

A South American student, who has just finished a PhD, told the BBC that it had put students in an impossible position.

He said students could not apply for jobs in the UK because they had no proof of their right to be in the country – and they could not go abroad or return home for work because they had no passports to travel.

A UKBA spokesperson said: “Students should come to the UK to study not work. That is why this April we stopped the automatic right for students to stay on and find work after their studies.

“The remaining applications will be worked through by the end of the summer and applicants will be contacted once a decision is made.

“Anyone who wishes to withdraw their application and have their documents returned can do so by contacting the immigration inquiry bureau.”

But Daniel Stevens, international students’ officer for the NUS, said: “It is clear that delays to the processing of visa applications is becoming a serious problem.

“International students are facing the direct financial and emotional costs of an under-resourced UKBA.

“Having paid thousands of pounds in visa application fees and after facing a raft of bureaucratic procedures, their applications have now been put in put in a pile with little hope of being processed in a timely manner.

“As a result, vulnerable students are now stuck in the UK unable to work, unable to go home to their families and unable to get on with their lives.”

James Pitman, UK managing director at the Study Group international education firm, said: “We need to make the UK as appealing an education destination as possible – hold-ups like these do not help.”

Earlier this year, a group of UK universities called on the government to remove overseas students from immigration figures.

But the government rejected such suggestions, saying that targets to cut immigration could be achieved without “fiddling the figures”.

Have you been caught in these visa delays?

I have submitted my documents end of February and sent the biometric details in the beginning of April. It has been almost 5 months now and I have not heard from UKBA yet. My grandfather is currently in very bad health condition which is quickly getting worse. I’m planning to see him as soon as I get my documents back, just hoping I won’t be too late… My education at Edinburgh University cost my family over £70,000 (4 years of BEng and 1 year of MSc) – every penny paid from our pockets. If I had to choose where to go for studies abroad now, it wouldn’t be the UK.

Konstantin, Belarus

I have had to bear a lot of professional and personal losses due to the delays in the visa processing by UKBA. I have had to miss a couple of international conferences , which I could not attend because of the sole reason, my passport is held by UKBA for this PSW application processing. Networking is an important part of research career and inability to attend the conferences is indeed a great professional loss. I had great respect for the standards set by this country but this treatment by UKBA at the end of my student life in UK is greatly appalling and totally unacceptable.

Deepa, Sheffield

Shows a deplorably obtuse and short-sighted outlook. You simply cannot improve the government and economy of the United Kingdom if you encourage the best and brightest young minds in these fields to leave the country upon completion of their studies. I am an American, constantly teased about our “special relationship” with the UK yet I have seen no evidence of anything more than a cold dismissal and frigid jingoism with door after door being swiftly closed shut and my wish to remain in this country becoming an almost laughably naive hope

Louis, New Jersey/ currently in London

Coming to UK for the most important part of my education life is the worst decision I have ever made in my life. It is easy for UKBA, government, PM to change the rules to make things hard for student. At the same time, risking the country’s reputation. At least, I wouldn’t spend a huge amount of money for my kids to come here in the future.

Steve, Kuala Lumpur

I personally have been waiting since 26th of January, when I applied for my visa. I tried contacting the UKBA which basically just asked me to wait till 26th of July. I was told that the time limit for an application is 6 months and that I should call them after the 26th if I don’t receive it by then. I come from India. I must say even Indian authorities are more efficient than UKBA.

Prasanna, London

It has been the most frustrating period as I cannot travel outside the UK. I have several research projects and unable to utilise my research funds as it involves travelling outside the UK. My local MP wrote to the UKBA about the progress of my application but the reply from UKBA was even more frustrating as the letter from MP indicates that ‘due to the sheer volume of applications no indication can be given as to when your application will be dealt with’.

Shahina , Southampton

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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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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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DETROIT, June 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — High-quality early education programs are vital to future economic growth and maintaining a highly skilled workforce.  Support and investments at the national, state, and local levels for early education programs must continue to be a priority despite the downturn in the economy.  CEOs and prominent business leaders must assume a more active role in advocating for early education programs.

Those are the main recommendations announced today in Detroit with the release of Unfinished Business: Continued Investment in Child Care and Early Education is Critical to Business and America’s Future, a new report from the Committee of Economic Development (CED), a Washington D.C.-based, business-led national policy group.

CED President Charles Kolb joined James Rohr, PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Carl Camden, Kelly Services Inc. president and CEO at an event to discuss “Unfinished Business” and the need for business leaders’ engagement and commitment.

“Detroit is a city on the rise where many of our nation’s top business leaders are positioning their companies for new growth,” said CED President Charles Kolb. “In Detroit and across the state of Michigan, the next generation of workforce needs to be well-educated and poised to compete globally for jobs in their own state.  Early childhood education is what will give them that competitive edge.  It is essential to the prosperity and future of this state and the nation to have policymakers and business leaders engaged in this initiative and to put early childhood education on their agenda.”

Key findings in “Unfinished Business” include:

  • Global competition and a growing achievement gap have brought America to an economic and educational crossroads.  As the need for unskilled labor falls, the demand for a more educationally prepared workforce rises.
  • Investing in early learning and development is the best foundation for human capital.  Learning is cumulative.  Quality child care plus quality early learning sets students on the road to success as they progress through the grades.
  • Child Care and early education play a critical role in our national economy.  Local spending on the care and education of young children has been shown to strengthen families, communities, and economic development.
  • Other countries are well ahead of the United States in early learning and development.  The United States spends a smaller percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on the critical stages of early learning than other developed nations.

“As a nation, we have no greater moral imperative than to ensure that all of our children have access to quality early childhood education programming,” said PNC’s Rohr who is also a CED Trustee.  “Children who arrive at school ready to learn are more likely to graduate high school, go on to college, secure sound employment, contribute to the economy, and help to stabilize families and their communities.  We all have a stake in preparing our children for their future, and this report is less a collection of data and more a call to action for leaders from the public and private sectors to get involved and invested in that effort.”

PNC is a private-sector leader in supporting early childhood education.  It created PNC Grow Up Great,  a bilingual, $350 million, multi-year initiative designed to help prepare children – particularly underserved children – from birth to age five for success in school and life.

In its report, CED calls for a national strategy to ensure that all children have access to high-quality child care and early education from birth to third grade that promotes their learning and development while strengthening and engaging families in their children’s education.

“Unfinished Business” challenges business leadership to do more towards ensuring opportunity for every child in America.  For more than a decade, CED has engaged business leaders to work to expand quality early education in this country.

CEOs can, for example:

  • Use their power and influence to keep early childhood at the forefront of all decisions at the community, state and national levels.
  • Ask elected officials to support significant increased investment in early childhood.
  • Voice support of early education with peers, at public events, and through the media.
  • Invest at least 1 percent of corporate profits in public/private partnerships that support early childhood in your community or state.
  • Make their company policies more family-friendly and educate employees about the importance of early childhood.

“Early education is the first building block of a good education.  I believe that American companies and business leaders must step up and ensure that we continue to expand and improve early education programs.  The CED report is a call to action for business leaders and a research-based blueprint for getting our children off on the right foot in their education,” said CED President Charles Kolb.

For a link to Unfinished Business: Continued Investment in Child Care and Early Education is Critical to Business and America’s Future, go to CED’s website at http://www.ced.org/programs/early-childhood-education.

For more on CED’s business-led effort to increase early education opportunities for all American children, visit CED online at www.ced.org

CED is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of more than 200 business leaders and university presidents. Since 1942, its research and policy programs have addressed many of the nation’s most pressing economic and social issues, including education reform, workforce competitiveness, campaign finance, health care, and global trade and finance. CED promotes policies to produce increased productivity and living standards, greater and more equal opportunity for every citizen, and an improved quality of life for all. www.ced.org.

Source: PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1g3sR)

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In 2007, Brian Solis wrote an article entitled, “Social Media is About Sociology Not Technology.” It’s a statement that after five years, He thankfully continue to see shared every day on Twitter. As time passed and experience matured, He amended that statement to now read, “Social media is about social science not technology.”

Why did He change such a powerful statement? He believe that it is not only stronger now, it is also truer.

See, sociology is just one part of the equation. Social science is the study of society and human behaviors. As an umbrella term, we should think about social media and mobile behavior as it’s related to psychology, anthropology, communication, economics, human geography, ethnography, et al. After all, everything comes down to people.

Unfortunately in new media, we tend to put technology ahead of people. Think about your current social media, mobile, or web strategy for a moment. Do you even know who you’re trying to reach? Do you know what customers or stakeholders expect or the challenges they face? Are you familiar with how they connect and communicate and why? Lastly, do you understand the journey they take to make decisions?

Whether we do or we don’t isn’t stopping us from embracing social and mobile technologies to reach the new generation of connected consumers.

Excerpt from BrianSolis.com

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