Posts published in April, 2018

Getting the Most out of Your Free Time in College


The workload you encounter in college may come as a nasty surprise after what you may have been used to in high school. The problem is not just that there is a lot of work but also that you have to organize it yourself, as nobody is looking for you to make sure you aren’t slacking off. However, no matter how much work you have, there will be free time – and making the most of it is as important an art as getting all the homework done on time, as it helps you keep your mind fresh and prevent burnout. And surprising as it may be, getting royally hammered every evening isn’t the only time to have a great time in college – so if you want to have mercy on your liver, let’s take a look at other opportunities.

1.    Get in Touch with Your On-Campus Buddies during Breaks

During your college years, you are going to meet many new people and make new friends, sometimes even lifelong ones. However, many student buddies lose sight of each other soon after graduating. If you want to prevent this (and have a good time in the process), try keeping in touch with your newfound friends during breaks. You may plan ahead to have a camping trip in summer or do something else that you don’t have time for when you study. This will both help you show that your friendship goes further than college grounds and create some good memories along the way.

2.    Organize Thematic Parties

College is all about meeting new people, opening up to new things and getting new experiences. In most colleges, you are likely to meet a fair amount of international students, coming from cultures that are sometimes wildly different from your own. Why not get together with one such community and suggest organizing a party centered around a holiday that is traditionally celebrated in their culture but is unknown in our country? Or you may simply celebrate someone’s birthday using an unusual national stylistic. Giving thematic, personalized gifts will further enhance the atmosphere – after all, aftershave will probably look out of place if everything else is done in a purely ethnic fashion.

3.    Get Involved with Clubs and Teams

Participating in extracurricular activities will help you both create a deeper bond with college and its community and leave a mark on it, creating a well-rounded university experience. It will also help you build new relationships and meet many new people sharing your interests and hobbies.

4.    Attend Extracurricular Seminars and Lectures

What? More studying? Yes and no. An absolute majority of colleges regularly bring in guest speakers and lecturers, offering unique opportunities for learning from famous experts in their fields. Outside of college attending these events would mean paying a hefty sum for such a possibility – but you can do it for free or at a symbolic rate. Many professors are even ready to reward students with extra credits if they can provide some proof of attendance – so it is both an excellent way to learn and save some time later on.

5.    Learn a New Skill

College is a unique period in your life because you have both enough time and easily accessible opportunities to learn. In a few years’ time you will be firmly engaged in day-to-day work, but now you are free to learn whatever you want: a new language, a musical instrument to play, acquire coding skills – and as a student, you are likely to get a hefty discount.

There are many ways of spending your free time in college in ways that are both productive and fun – so let your imagination run free and try out new things!

Sylvia Kohl is an IT teacher with more than 8 years of professional experience. Her main spheres of interest are e-education and she convinced that learning process doesn’t stop after years in school and university.


6 Tips to Keep An Academic Focus During Enjoyable Summer Break



Nothing feels better than finishing your final exams after a long semester and starting summer vacation. On the flip side, though, few things feel worse than starting classes in the fall feeling completely overwhelmed and unprepared for the semester ahead of you. But how do you avoid the latter without sacrificing the former?

These six tips will help you keep your mind sharp during your summer vacation and ready for classes in the fall—without sacrificing fun and relaxation.


  1. Study abroad

Enrolling in a study abroad program is a great way to feel like you’re just on vacation while also gaining valuable experience and school credit. Many programs offer study-specific programs, so you might be able to get credit for your major or minor. But even if there are no major-specific study abroad programs offered, there are plenty that cover general education requirements.


  1. Get an out-of-state (or out-of-country) internship

If you’ve reached the point in your college career where it’s time to get an internship, consider finding one over the summer that will take you to a new city, state, or even country. While you won’t necessarily be on vacation, you’ll be able to explore the new area while still keeping your mind sharp, and improving your resume. You may even find a place you’d like to move to after you graduate—as well as gain important industry contacts.


  1. Get involved with undergraduate research

Many professors have research projects going on year-round, so get involved with those while you have some down time. Reach out to professors in your college to find anyone who needs research assistants during the summer. This can potentially even count for internship credit, depending on your school and program. Only working on the project for a few hours each week allows you still to enjoy all of the fun parts of summer break and even go on weekend trips.


  1. Read

Whether it’s strictly for pleasure or required reading for classes you’re going to take, reading is much better for keeping your mind sharp than a four-month Netflix binge. If you don’t have access to your textbook list yet, consider finding other books that relate to the topics you’ll be studying in your classes. And if you haven’t settled on a major yet, don’t worry. The National Association of Scholars publishes a yearly Beach Books list that you can work through to see what major universities list as recommended reading. This is a great way to keep up with school—especially while relaxing over the break.


  1. Plan an educational vacation

When planning your summer vacation, consider going somewhere where you can combine education and fun. Big cities like New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles are rich with culture and have plenty of museums. If you are enrolled in a US History course, consider hitting all of the Revolutionary War sites on the East Coast. If you’re taking an English Literature or History course, it may be the perfect time to plan that European vacation you’ve been dreaming of.


  1. Take summer classes

Though it isn’t the most exciting option, taking summer classes is a great way to keep busy during the break. Consider taking one of your harder required classes by itself over the summer, when you don’t have other classes distracting you. This is also a great way to get extra help from professors– class sizes tend to be smaller over the summer, so professors have more time to devote to individual students.
A few additional tips to keep in mind

 No matter how you spend your summer, there are a few tips to make the most of your time.


  • Stay safe: If you’ll be on campus throughout the summer, educate yourself on your campus’s safety resources. And in the event that you’ll be away from home a lot, consider looking into home security options around you.
  • Protect your personal time: While there are plenty of benefits to staying studious over the summer, don’t throw your whole break away by overloading on commitments. Learn to say no to things that would take too much away from your down time.
  • Coordinate with friends: Most obligations are less tedious if you do them with friends. So whether you’re planning to take summer classes or study abroad, see if you can convince a friend to sign up with you.

Don’t pass up the opportunity to get ahead in school over the summer. You can still have fun outside of hitting the books, though, so follow these tips to help you plan a summer break that is perfectly balanced between work and play.

Scott Bay is a digital journalist who covers technology, travel, and wellness — catch his latest clips on Twitter.




Leveraging Social Media For The Job of Your Dreams


Once upon a time, the internet existed purely for research, communication or entertainment’s sake. The U.S. military funded a research network named ‘Arpanet’ back in 1969 and since, the number of devices with access to the internet has grown exponentially. Of course, with the growth in computers came a corresponding growth in the number of websites, platforms and applications accessible via the internet, and today there exist over 1 billion websites on the world wide web.

But not nearly enough jobseekers leverage the capacity of the internet when job seeking or when in the process of being recruited. Taking a smart and strategic approach to creating an online presence can help you network your way into a job even quicker than you would do via networking events, late nights with prospective employers and endless coffees with “the right people”. Studies show 92% of companies now use social media for hiring, with LinkedIn rated number one —and three out of four hiring managers will check out a candidate’s social profiles when considering their application. By creating professional profiles across LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and by using them to network, social media can help you score the job of your dreams. Here are some tip tops as to how.

Firstly, while having social media privacy is important for security reasons you should always ensure you keep information that may appeal to hiring managers public, such as your location, professional skills and employment status. Ensure this information is always searchable – even if you have the job of your dreams you could still be scouted by a larger company with a larger salary offering. Sixty-six percent of companies use Facebook for recruitment and networking and, according to a 2017 CareerBuilder survey, 57 percent of hiring managers are less likely to interview someone they can’t find online.

Next: clean up your social media profiles. Having a brilliant online presence across Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook could push your application to the top of the ladder, but on the other hand posting questionable or inappropriate content on those same platforms could kill your chances of getting a particular job. It’s incredibly important to portray a ‘squeaky clean’ image via your public social media profiles – and that doesn’t only mean removing drunken party pics, drug references, photos of ex-boyfriends and profanities but also removing any updates, photos or shared media that express a potentially offensive or politically incorrect opinion. It’s worth noting that one in three employers reject a job applicant based on something they find on that applicant’s social media profile. There exist a number of tools and websites that can help you to remove questionable content. Delete or ‘untag’ yourself from any photo that may come back to bite you without hesitation, and for every post you have shared ask yourself “does this add to my personal brand?”.

On this note, it’s also important to recognize your social media profile is a reflection of your personal brand. You should portray a clear, consistent, professional image across all platforms – an image appropriate to the field you are seeking to enter. Consistency means ensuring your employment information, location and professional experience are the same across each of your separate social media profiles, as many hiring managers will cross check to establish whether applicants have lied about particular information. The articles, videos or comments you post should reflect your professional values, interests and opinions – to the appropriate extent, of course. For example, if you are seeking to enter into the environmental sector exhibiting support for Donald Trump online is not recommended, nor is sharing a photo or article celebrating the arrest of an environmental activist. Those may be unrealistic exaggerations, but you get the gist.

If you are going to leverage one social media platform in order to find a job, make it LinkedIn. Internationally recognized as the number one platform for recruiting and job seeking, Linkedin was used by a whopping 93 percent of companies even as far back as 2012. Spend some time really perfecting your profile, using specific headlines that correspond with your core skills, updating your professional experience (with details), volunteer experience, network of contacts and summary section, outlining your top accomplishments and your career goals. If possible, use a professional photograph – this demonstrates you are willing to invest in your future and understand the importance of having a professional image. It’s also worth using this same photo across your other social media profiles, to show a sense of consistency. It goes without saying you should make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date with any relevant experience to the industry you are wishing to enter into. For example, if you are moving to the editorial industry from the non-profit one, ensure you have included any editorial internships you completed, published articles you may have produced in your last role and any other accomplishments that relate to communications. If you are interested in a particular job, it’s often worth reaching out to the individual hiring manager via LinkedIn as the response rate is generally higher than it is via email.

It is also recommended job seekers post valuable content on LinkedIn once a day, at around 10am. Shared media content will likely receive more attention than standard text updates, and if you are building your LinkedIn portfolio for work purposes you should ensure the topics you are posting on relate to your industry or field. Tagging other professionals will help generate activity and following for those posts. Most importantly, use LinkedIn to network effectively. Use the LinkedIn directory to find groups within your industry and reach out to potential contacts and employers. Lastly, ensure you are logging onto LinkedIn regularly to engage with those new contacts and networks.

When used properly and professionally, social media platforms are a great place for sharing professional experience, valuable contacts, major accomplishments and volunteer experience with prospective employers or companies. Many companies directly hire through social platforms as well. Social media is a vital cog for any organization looking to expand its branding power. Most importantly, it is what social media is all about – making meaningful connections. Active social media presence will help in better understanding the customer needs and demands. Measuring Social Media ROI for organizations is essential to further grow in this digital world.

Just ensure you do it the right way – otherwise it could harm your chances of success.

Byline – Anton Lucanus is the Director of Neliti. During his college years, he maintained a perfect GPA, was published in a top cancer journal, and received many of his country’s most prestigious undergraduate scholarships. Anton writes for The College Puzzle as a means to share the lessons learnt throughout his degree and to guide current students to achieve personal and educational fulfilment during college life.


Things to Consider before Traveling After College Ends


Now that you are graduating from university, what are your plans for the immediate future? Have you thought that you might like to do some traveling before you settle into your career? You have the freedom to do it, and there is no time like the present. But, just because you do have that freedom, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t several things that you need to consider before you just take off. The more you plan ahead of time, the better your post-university travels are going to be, and the more you will be able to enjoy yourself. Let’s take a look at some of the things that you need to consider before traveling once you have graduated.

  1. Your Destination 

Obviously, one of the first things you need to think about is where you are going to travel to. For instance, do you love the idea of backpacking across Europe, or would you rather go to a tropical island, or some remote destination? Once you figure out where it is that you want to go, you can really start getting into planning your trip, including what to pack and your exact itinerary.

  1. The Weather 

One of the main things to consider about any location you want to travel to is the weather. After all, you want to make sure that you pack accordingly. You are not going to want a snowsuit in the middle of a tropical jungle, and you are not going to want a bathing suit in the middle of Alaska during the winter. Make sure that you research other things about the area as well, such as local transit, restaurant prices, etc. so you can travel within your budget.

  1. Working while Traveling 

If you don’t think you can afford to travel after graduation, think again. There are plenty of opportunities for working while traveling, so you can basically work your way across almost any country. Opportunities include working as a farm hand, an AU Pair, volunteering as a missionary (your expenses are paid), etc. Or, you may want to become a remote worker, which allows you to set your own hours and work from anywhere.

  1. Bring the Right Gear 

The closer it gets to travel time, make sure that you have a list of everything that you are going to need to take with you. There are some things you may need and that you cannot get in some parts of the world. “If you will be traveling with a DSLR camera, make sure you have extra memory cards, a USB stick or hard drive, a card reader for downloading photos, etc. It is a good idea to get into the habit of downloading photos at the end of each day to make room for new ones,” suggests an expert from Sell Laptop service.

  1. Booking in Advance 

The more you can plan in advance, the better. Sure, it may sound like fun to just fly by the seat of your pants, but the reality of the situation could be much less fun, and you could find yourself in some pretty strange situations. Therefore, it is a good idea to book as much as possible in advance. Research the best room rates, hostels, etc. Look for places that offer free services, free food (buffets, breakfasts, etc.) so you can save as much money as possible.

  1. Be Open about Travel Options 

Sometimes, you have the best experiences when they aren’t planned, or happen at the last minute. Yes, you do need to plan your itinerary, but you should always leave some room for last-minute changes in plans. In fact, leave a couple of free days in your itinerary so you don’t miss anything due to bad weather, not feeling well, etc. Or, plan to spend an extra day or two exploring each stop, without any particular plans in mind.


Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter.


4 Tips for Staying Healthy in College


College may be fun and full of new experiences, but sometimes it seems that the entire habitual college lifestyle is built around the idea of causing as much damage to student’s health in as short a time as possible. Irregular meals often replaced with fast food, all-nighters before exams, partying, long hours spent hunched over books and in front of laptop screens – all these things may not be obligatory, but when everybody around you follows more or less the same pattern, it is hard to be different. However, in reality, it isn’t all that difficult to stay healthy throughout college – you simply have to follow some simple rules.

1.    Exercise Regularly

On the one hand, incorporating a fitness routine into your college timetable may be a challenging task if you take into account all the other things you are supposed to do with your limited time. On the other hand, colleges give their students many cheap and accessible opportunities to do so. There are on-campus gyms and swimming pools you can sometimes use for free, and many discounts for students in private-owned ones – so why not make full use of them while you are eligible?

2.    Take Care of Your Immune System

Your immune system is your main line of defense against illness – the stronger it is, the better you feel and the less likely you are to come down with sickness when you are exposed to pathogens. Therefore, every investment you make into boosting it translates into time, money and energy saved through staying healthy during the time you would’ve otherwise spent recuperating. The best way to do so is maintaining a naturally healthy lifestyle: eating nutritious and wholesome foods, exercising, having enough sleep. If or when it isn’t possible, you may need to boost it in other ways: by taking vitamins, essential minerals and other beneficial substances like fulvic acid. This way, even if you let yourself lapse in other areas, your immune system will be able to compensate for these deficiencies to a certain extent.

3.    Eat Smart

Avoiding to eat highly processed foods is always a good idea, but it is especially true for students because it is during your college years that you establish many of the habits you are going to follow for many years to come. Getting used to eating burgers and pizza five days in a row is bad for you right now, and it will form a habit that is going to be hard to break. So set a limit on how much fast food you are going to consume, stock up on healthy foods so that you don’t suddenly discover that your fridge is empty, and try to cook on your own more often.

4.    Drink More Water

Although some studies suggest that you don’t actually need to drink 2 liters of water every day, most health authorities agree that you should probably drink more water than you do now. Potential health benefits from it ranged from faster metabolism and lesser appetite to improved brain function and decreased risk of certain diseases and conditions (e.g., kidney stones and constipation).

How healthy you are right now, in college, defines not just how you feel at the moment and how you spend the next few years. It sets a foundation for decades to come, and avoiding everyday student health troubles like Freshman’s 15 can mean a far better quality of life, later on, fewer health problems and less expenditure on setting things right. As they say, prevention is better than cure, and the sooner you start following this principle, the better.

David Gutierrez has worked in the field of web design since 2005. Right now he started learning Java in order to get second occupation. His professional interests defined major topics of his articles. David writes about new web design software, recently discovered professional tricks and also monitors the latest updates of the web development.

5 Advantages of Attending a Pre-College Summer Program



What are your plans for the summer? It could be that you want to relax and take it easy with your friends after a busy semester at school. Maybe you’re planning to earn a little money with a summer job. Or maybe you’re heading off to see a little of the world during your free time.

Another option certainly worth considering is a pre-college summer program, available at a number of colleges across the country. Students thinking ahead to college applications or those still pondering what their lives after school might look like, stand to learn a lot from such an experience. It’s an opportunity to gather the information you need to make an educated decision about your future.

Here are five advantages of attending a pre-college summer program:

You Get a Real Life College Experience

Sure, you’ve heard about college life from older friends. And you’ve seen it depicted endlessly on TV and in the movies. But until you experience it for yourself, it’s difficult to imagine whether you’ll enjoy it or not.

The right pre-college summer program will give you a taster of all aspects of college life. That means living away from your family and friends, staying on campus, attending classes and being totally responsible for yourself. How you feel about the experience will help you to choose a particular college or a different path altogether.

You Learn About College Facilities at a Particular College

Attending a college you’re thinking of applying to is a great idea. That means you don’t need to rely on just one open day to get a sense of the place you’ll be hoping to spend the next few years in. Instead, you can get to know your prospective college over a number of weeks and determine whether it’s really the place for you.

During this time you can find out about the facilities and familiarise yourself with the learning opportunities available. You may get to meet a few undergraduates and you’ll certainly get a sense of the town or city you’re thinking of moving to. This all makes it much less likely that you’ll drop out in your first semester of college, surprised by the course or the college you’ve chosen.

You Can Prepare for Tests

During the school year, it can be difficult to find time to prepare for your SAT and ACT exams. As a result, some colleges offer exam preparation as part of their pre-college summer courses. Combining study of a few different subjects with a college experience and a little exam prep, can be a really structured and productive way to spend a few weeks of your summer.

It Helps you Stay Focused

We all need a little downtime from time to time. But it’s also important to start a new school term with the drive and determination it requires. A pre-college summer program will allow you to keep your brain and your study skills ticking over, making them more ready and raring to go at the start of a new semester.

You Get Used to Meeting New People

Attending a pre-college summer program, you’ll meet new people from across the country. They could become lifelong friends if you meet again as undergraduates. And, even if you choose different paths for the years to come, you’ll have learnt valuable skills that will help you to be confident and make new friends if or when you move to college.

There are lots of reasons to choose a pre-college summer program. Meet new people, get to know a college and brush up on your exam skills too.  If you are thinking about attending colleges, why not give a pre-college summer program a try?


About Evie:

Evie Cooper is a lifelong learner, a green living enthusiast and a careers and education blogger. She constantly juggles her home duties and her work at UK Area Code, and often shares her career and productivity tips with both the experts and the people who are just entering the workforce.








Staying Safe on Campus: Security Tips for Students


One’s time at college is supposed to be fun and chock-full of new experiences – for many students it is the first time they get entirely independent, and there is no one to overlook their movements and actions. In addition to that, you may feel a false sense of security due to being surrounded by your peers, people who are just like you.

Unfortunately, human nature is the same everywhere, and a college campus isn’t an exception. The majority of people around you may be genuinely nice guys, but there will always be a few who will look for ways to take advantage of you – and you shouldn’t make their job easier than it could be.

1.    Know Your Way Around

The first step to keeping safe when getting into a new environment is studying it. After you move in, spend some time learning the layout of the campus, its most prominent landmarks, ways that connect its different parts and so on. This way you will be able to make more informed and faster decisions if you ever get into trouble.

2.    Learn the Locations of Emergency Systems

The majority of campuses have a number of emergency call buttons and phones scattered in different places. If you want to be able to use them in case of emergency, make sure you know where they are beforehand.

3.    Consider Using GPS Trackers

These can be used to keep track of either your valuable possessions or yourself. Thus, if your property gets stolen, you will be able to locate it, and if something happens to you, your loved ones will have a better chance of coming to your rescue. Mostly, GPS tracking is used to provide an easy way to look for stolen vehicles, but some models are created for personal use and even have panic buttons, allowing you to send out a signal if you feel you are in danger.

4.    Be Careful at Parties

While meeting new people is fine and going, make it your rule never to go parties without at least one friend whom you can trust, and never to stay there after the friend leaves. No matter how nice all the people around you may seem, you don’t know them and cannot trust them.

5.    Avoid Overdrinking

It may be harmful to your health in more ways than one. Drinking too much makes you think and act irrationally, you lose control of yourself and your surroundings – which makes it all too easy to get into trouble.

6.    Always Keep Track of Your Surroundings

People today are all too used to get lost in their own worlds, separated from the outside by technology: once you plug your headphones in or have your eyes fixed on your phone, you lose all track of what happens around you. Avoid doing so, especially if you are alone in an unfamiliar place – it is all too easy to get into a dangerous situation without even realizing that something goes wrong.

7.    Don’t Forget to Lock Up

Life on campus does a lot to make one feel relaxed, but some things should always remain the same. It is never a very bright idea to leave doors unlocked, either when you leave your room or when you stay there. If you want to keep yourself and your possessions safe, make sure always to check your locks.

Of course, it doesn’t mean that you should spend every minute in college afraid for your life and continually looking over your shoulder – but following these simple tips, you can make the chances of something terrible happening to you that much slimmer.

Melissa Burns graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University. Nowadays she is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Follow her @melissaaburns or contact at


How Students Can Parlay Internships Into JobsAfter Graduation


The job market appears a bit more promising for soon-to-be college graduates than it has been for most of this decade.  Just four years ago, CNN Money reported that 260,000 college grads held minimum-wage jobs. Barely 25 percent had a job related to their college major. But this year, the National Association of Colleges and E mployers projects, U.S. companies will hire 4 percent more new college graduates than they did from the Class of 2017.

Yet with more optimistic employment prospects, there’s still stiff competition for those first “real” jobs. Who stands the best chance of getting them?
Several studies show that college internships make a significant difference. According to Gallup, for example, recent graduates who had an internship in college were more than twice as likely to be hired for a good, career-related job immediately after graduation.

“The solution for college students is to increase job experience while still in school, and that means obtaining a hands-on internship every summer while in college,” says Matthew Stewart, co-founder of College Works Painting (, which provides business experience for thousands of college students each year.
“Unless you graduate college with a significant amount of real-world job experience, finding a job will be incredibly difficult.”

Stewart gives college students four tips on maximizing their college internship in order to improve their post-grad job prospects:

•    Find an internship that challenges you.  An internship experience that will be meaningful on a resume should make demands of the student, Stewart says.   Ideally, they’re getting a preview of their chosen profession and an idea of the skills they’ll need to succeed. “College students should be looking for experiences that will challenge them,” Stewart says. “When they get out of school they will be competing with thousands of other graduates. They need to ask themselves, ‘Will the internship offer real experience that will separate me from my peers?’”

•    Treat your internship like a career. “The easiest way to treat your student job like a career is to ask your boss to mentor you,” Stewart says. “Under the mentorship of your supervisor, you can expand your basic job functions.”

•    Be proactive, take initiative.  Going above and beyond in your internship will set the foundation for your career. “You’ll gain confidence by taking initiative, which is a core skill in the business world,” Stewart says. “It’s important to set goals and have a plan of action around those goals.”

•    Seek promotion opportunities.  “Again, the mentor factor comes in,” Stewart says. “Build a strong relationship with your mentor, and let him or her know you are eager for more responsibility and that you’re up for the challenge. Always check the company job board.”

“College is not the time to relax,” Stewart says. “You need to treat college and an internship seriously; it’s your future. College consists of three summers of internships,
and by the fourth summer students should have what it takes to find a career.”

About Matt Stewart
Matt Stewart is co-founder of College Works Painting (, which provides business experience for thousands of college students each year. The award-winning program also offers high-quality house-painting services for homeowners. Stewart received the Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award from the Orange County Business Journal, and College Works Painting also has been recognized as an entrepreneurial leader by Ernst & Young, Entrepreneur, and other periodicals. Stewart is a past chairman of the global board for Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO).

International Student in the USA?: What You Should Know


The United States is one of the most attractive studying locations in the world and have the largest international student population – at any given time, more than a million students from abroad are enrolled in America including Stanford higher education programs (about 5 percent of the nation’s total student population). So, if you want to join them, the road is already well-trodden before you. However, there are still some aspects of studying in the USA that you should be well aware of before you even start entertaining such a possibility.

1.    Make Sure to Apply for ESTA Beforehand

ESTA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization that determines whether this or that person is admissible to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. In practice, it means that whatever your goal for entering the USA and whatever other documents you have, you must obtain ESTA application authorization before you go. Fortunately, in the recent years, getting it (at least for those living in eligible countries) wasn’t very complicated – you can apply for it online. What’s even better, it allows multiple entries in the US, which means that if you study there, you will be able to go back for summer break and return without getting any additional approvals.

2.    Choose Your Classes Carefully

It may be tricky, especially if you come from a country where students don’t get much freedom in defining their curriculum. So do your research before settling on anything in particular. Make sure different classes you choose don’t interfere with each other and that you will be able to deal with all of them realistically. The best course of action would be to consult your advisor to find out which classes will be the best to complete your major. However, it doesn’t mean that you should take a purely utilitarian approach – if you like a class and think you will be able to complete it, why not?

3.    Take Care of Your Housing Assignments Early on

And again, do your research. International students often end up in unpopular locations simply because they aren’t very well aware of what the campus has to offer, don’t know what to look for and agree to anything offered to them. Even if you already got into a location you don’t like; it isn’t set in stone – in most cases, you can ask to be transferred.

It is also a good idea to stick to campus accommodations at least for the first few semesters. You don’t know anybody yet and have no car to get around quickly. If you end up in an off-campus apartment, it will make meeting new people and be participating in campus life all the more difficult.

4.    Get a Job on Campus

Even if you don’t need extra money all that much, do it for at least one semester. As an F-1 visa holder, you aren’t allowed to work off-campus which would be a natural decision for any other student, but on-campus jobs (tutor, library assistant, etc.) are all yours. The most important thing about it is that you will be able to get a social security card that will make things like getting a driver’s license, credit card, opening a bank account and so on much, much easier.

5.    Make Full Use of Students’ Discounts

Students in the United States can save lots and lots of money through various discounts their status entitles them to, so make sure you learn all about them.

Being a student in the United States is a fun and rich experience, so make sure you deal with all the technicalities as soon as possible so that they don’t distract you later on.

Sylvia Kohl is an IT teacher with more than 8 years of professional experience. Her main spheres of interest are e-education and she convinced that learning process doesn’t stop after years in school and university.


3 Steps to Making a Lifelong Learning a Natural Habit


Many individuals live in the idea that once they leave the four corners of their school with their college diploma on hand, there’s no longer need to invest on continued learning. This is not true. Life- long learning is vital and there are scientific facts to prove it.

What you have learned in college is no longer suffice to essentially prove what you can actually do but what you are willing or able to learn. Also, ongoing demographic changes have put momentum into this development and demand for skilled individuals is ultimately high to be complied or met by ordinary college graduates alone. Nowadays, most companies are reliant on innovative and extensive academic knowledge brewed by tones of college homework more than before. This knowledge can be acquired through providing continued education to individuals.

An important education concept was explained by Professor Sylvia Heuchemer. She explained that we are now faced with technological and scientific progress with an increasingly rapid cycle of innovation. This therefor requires individuals to keep their expertise, skills and knowledge up to date.

Knowing this, it is just fair to say that learning should be a continued process and even you completed your college degree, need to learn more in order to master your skills, get a high paying job and more.

If you take time to look on most successful individuals, even these people still have passion for continuous learning and are committed to deepening their knowledge and understanding the world constantly. If you wanted to make lifelong learning a natural habit, there are ways to help you.

How to Make Lifelong Learning a Natural Habit-Suggested Ways to Follow

You do not really need to execute lots of ways to make learning a natural habit because just these 3 ways can help you do so:

Figure Out What You Really Wanted to Know

Having this overall love and passion for learning is actually wonderful however, if you wanted to channel this love and passion, you must develop some particular thoughts about the things that you wanted to focus on. If you do not have goals, you will surely end up with shallow understanding of many different important subjects. By determining personal passion and the desired outcomes, one can really chart learning path for themselves. It is highly essential to realize that your focus can significantly change over time. Lifelong learning is a natural habit that you must cultivate for it gives shape to directions of your learning.

Make Learning a Part of Your Schedule

Another step to make lifelong learning a natural habit is making an effort to carve out energy and time for everyday learning. This means that you need to make learning a part of your schedule as much as possible. Time block does not really need to be that huge; even 15-20 minutes of reading or writing can be great. You then need to decide what you need to do, when to do it and where you are going to do it. Put that particular period on calendar then stick to it. Remember that most successful individuals in the world make lifelong learning a great priority.

Never  Stop Learning

Putting effort to learn is not enough, you should not stop learning instead. Continue the passion and the drive to learn. You need to accept and then enjoy that learning and believe that learning never ends. There are always things that you wanted to learn more and there are those skills and experiences that you wanted to improve. When learners accept the fact that their learning journey is not yet over completely, they become more motivated to push through and continue learning and gaining knowledge every day.

There are many good reasons to never stop learning. As you are actively seeking to learn new things, you become happier. Several studies revealed that the more ambitious individuals have become especially in the goals they set, they become happier. And as they decide on their own goals, their happiness does not become reliant on others.

If one continues to learn, he or she becomes irreplaceable. If you are fine with the knowledge you accumulate during your college years, then you’re limited by your contributions. If you learn more, you will be able to build, create, develop and more making you irreplaceable.

These are actually just a few of the many ways to make lifelong learning a habit. If you take time to search, you will discover more ways to help you become the better version of who you are.

These steps are what you need to take in order to make lifelong learning a natural habit. By incorporating these steps in your life, you can certainly establish this good habit that can benefit you in many ways for a lifetime.

About the author:

Amanda Wilson is a creative writing assistant at Columbia College of Chicago. Her favorite thing in this process is an open conclusion, thanks to which people can build own practical theories. According to Amanda’s world view, this makes any writing purposeful. Feel free to contact her at G+.