Posts published in May, 2018

Student Perspectives on Paths Through College

Giving Voice to College Students: Gates Foundation

Today’s college students take a lot of different paths to a certificate or degree. What do those paths look like from the student’s perspective?  What can colleges and universities learn from students’ stories about their journeys? The latest episode of To A Degree features four of those stories…you won’t want to miss it!

Why USA Can Be A Good Choice for Foreign Students


If you are looking for a college to continue your studies, then you have definitely considered USA, because let’s face it, it has a special allure. If you are a talented student, then there are great chances to consider the option to study abroad to an American college. People consider that this country offers them the possibility to grow personally and professionally. But your main question might be, why do people consider this destination the Holy Grail when it comes to abroad studies.

Students do not have difficulties in overcoming the cultural shock

If you decide to choose the USA as a destination for your college, then you should not worry that you will have a cultural shock. This state has always been known for the mix of cultures present there. Yes, there will be a little shock, but you will definitely adapt to the American lifestyle. Americans do not make people feel like they are outsiders. As soon as you arrive there you will notice that you are not the only newcomer, because students from all over the world choose American colleges. You will definitely find a neighbour from your country, so you will not feel alone.

You have the possibility to be part of a research project

People wonder why students strive to get American study visas, well, one of the reasons is that this state is the leader in numerous areas of research. International students get great support and funding if they take part to research projects. If you enrol to a university as MIT, then you can even initiate your own project, and benefit from credit pay. As an international PhD student, you have the certainty that your work will be published.

Now, it can’t be denied that the American visa process is somewhat cumbersome, and a huge share of visa applications often ends in rejection. But the good bit is there are some companies now that are specifically dedicated to help to make the visa application process simpler and more effective for travellers. One of them is surely American online travel service company Backed by state of the art govWorks technology, the company has successfully eliminated the perplex bureaucracy usually associated with government visa application process through its consumer-friendly practices. You will just need to select & purchase your visa and create your govWorks account to complete the visa application order. Put simply, with Travel Visa, you won’t have to fill out the paperwork as the govWorks will electronically fill out each needed documentation for your visa. It will eliminate risks of human error and highly increase the chances of a successful visa application.

Travel Visa is the brainchild of tech veteran Adam Boalt who comes with almost 20 years of experience in visa and cutting-edge passport technology solutions.

You can have a successful career after you graduate

When you will enter the job market you will have an advantage if you study in the USA. You will have better communication skills than other applicants, because during college you will get in contact with diverse students. Companies are aware that employees who graduate an international university adapt easier to the work environment.

The campuses do not have equal

There is something unique when it comes to US campuses. You will notice as soon as you will arrive that they are organized as small student towns. Their purpose is to help students make friends and socialize. You will decide if you want to stay in the campus or not, but if you want to experience the American student lifestyle, then you should not refuse this opportunity. In the campus you can do whatever activity you want, you can take part to yoga classes, eat burgers and even organize picnics.

Get in contact with independently minded people

If you decide to go and study in the USA, then you definitely are an independent and motivated person. The advantage would be that you will be surrounded by people who share the same qualities as you do, and in time you will become more communicative, confident and outgoing. This will be the challenge of your life.

A bit about myself:

Emma Bonney is a successful blogger whose articles aim to help readers with

self-development, Women’s Empowerment, Education, entrepreneurship and

content management. My work has been featured and mentioned in a wide range of publication.

How to Maximize Your Benefits From Professor’s Office Hours


You may be top of the class when it comes to maximizing your free time at college, but do you make proper use of your professor’s office hours?

Attending office hours can make a real difference to your grades, you approach to college life and your final qualification. Here are a few tips on how to maximize your benefits from professor’s office hours:

Plan Ahead

Don’t just turn up unannounced. Booking in an appointment with your professor a few days in advance will allow you to prepare for the meeting properly. You can look over materials and decide what you plan to get out of the appointment. Having a scheduled slot also means less waiting around and guaranteeing that your professor will have enough time to see you.

Build a Good Relationship

Having a good relationship with your professor can be really useful. They’re much more likely to go out of their way for someone they know is truly dedicated to their subject – there may be research opportunities or industry contacts or just a bit of insider information on the syllabus that they can pass your way.

So arrive to appointments on time and arrange to see your professor regularly. The more familiar and friendly a face you are, the more likely they are to invest time in you and your progress.

Be Specific

Going to your professor with a vague desire to improve your grades won’t make for a useful meeting. Instead, go in the run up to an exam to discuss any topics you’re worried about. Go to talk about a presentation you’re due to give in class to assuage your nerves. Ask for a breakdown of your latest assignment grade so you can find ways to improve next time.

Have Some Questions Ready

Whatever you plan to talk about with your professor, have some questions ready. Open-ended questions that prompt discussion are best. Going into a meeting with your professor prepared will help you both hit the ground running and address all of the issues you have.

Don’t Nod Along if You Don’t Understand

Whilst you want to make a good impression on your professor, it’s OK to tell them that you don’t understand what they’re talking about. They don’t expect you to know everything. That’s what keeps them in a job! Speak up if you’re not following the train of the conversation and ask for clarification.

Be Honest

If you are currently facing problems – be they personal or academic – don’t be afraid to open up to your professor. Being honest about the things you’re struggling with can really help your professor to see things from your perspective and try to help. They may be able to give you an extension on that assignment or find ways to offer extra academic support for any topics you’re trying and failing to grasp.

Remember Who You’re Talking To

Your professor is the person who sets the syllabus, who grades your assignments and who compiles your exams. You don’t want to get on the wrong side of them. Whilst honesty is a good policy, don’t make lame excuses regarding your attendance or your late submission of papers. Don’t criticise their teaching style or methods. And always present yourself in a professional and courteous manner.

Your professor is a wealth of knowledge and experience on your chosen topic. Make the most of them. Schedule office hours appointments regularly, prepare what you want to talk about in advance and try to build a long-standing relationship to really maximize that extra time you spend with them.


About Evie:

As a lifelong learner, a self-improvement supporter and an education blogger, Evie Cooper is very vocal in the topics of careers and learning. Currently writing for, Evie might often be found online, sharing her tips and strategies with both the experts and the young people entering the workforce.







Redesign Dorm or Apartment For Better Study Habits


You might be surprised to learn how much the design of your working environment can impact your ability to study. Most businesses realize this and spend thousands of dollars redesigning their offices and workspaces to improve employee productivity.

If you could flip a switch and improve your ability to focus, or make your studying schedule more consistent, or improve your recall abilities, you’d do it—so why not make a few changes to your dorm or apartment to facilitate those changes in your daily life?

Key Challenges to Overcome

Some of you may be wondering how it’s possible to make meaningful changes to your dorm or apartment. There are three key challenges students face in this endeavor, but they’re all capable of being overcome:

  • Dorm rooms can be less than 130 square feet, and you might be sharing that space with a roommate. That doesn’t give you much flexibility when it comes to installing new furniture. So rather than dreaming up the perfect workspace and transplanting it to your location, you’ll have to start with the parameters of your location and reverse engineer new solutions.
  • In some cases, you won’t have much control over alterations to the living space. You might share it with someone or be in a lease that prohibits significant changes, like painting the walls. Again, the solution is to focus on what you can control—what you can change—and select improvements to make within those parameters.
  • If you’re like most college students, you won’t have the much spare cash to spend on paint or furniture. However, using promo codes and taking advantage of discounts can help you redesign your apartment without eating into your thin monthly budget.

Key Variables to Control

Knowing those challenges, and how to beat them, these are some of the key ways you can change the design of your dorm or apartment to support better study habits:

  • Colors and light. While some areas of research on color psychology remain dubious, there’s no doubt that color and light have a pronounced effect on your mood. Investing in better lighting can make it easier to read your material, and might help you stay alert and in a good mood. Choosing a wall color (or the color of objects in your dorm) that fits your personality and makes you happy may also be beneficial. And if you aren’t sure what you like, you can always go with “pacifying pink,” which has a consistent calming effect.
  • You may have read memorable quotes or heard stories that geniuses prefer cluttered environments, but that’s wishful thinking. Research demonstrates that most people, when surrounded by a disorganized environment, have decreased task performance and increased stress. Take the time to organize your dorm, with shelves, containers, and other key items, and do a little bit of upkeep each day. You can also minimize the random objects that accumulate in your surroundings with a more minimalistic lifestyle.
  • Noises are going to distract you from studying, but creating a more stable, ambient environment might help your efforts. Consider getting a high-quality speaker system, or noise-canceling headphones, that will allow you to play music that boosts your focus and productivity. Just make sure to stay away from anything with decipherable lyrics and anything too loud.
  • Let’s turn our attention to the main space you plan on studying. It should be a distinct space (i.e., not your bed) so you learn to associate it with studying, and won’t be as tempted to engage in other activities while you’re there. Investing in a comfortable chair and a desk you like can be helpful, but if you can’t afford or can’t fit those things in, just make sure you have an organized space where you can set your books and materials.
  • There’s some scientific evidence to suggest that scents from some essential oils can result in increased focus and productivity. This won’t require you to restructure anything in your apartment, and essential oils are relatively cheap, so there’s no reason not to try it.
  • Things that make you happy. Finally, make sure you have a handful of objects and pieces of artwork nearby that make you happy. Having something to handle or look at that boosts your mood after a rough studying session can make you feel better or motivate you to keep going.


There may be cases where you aren’t able to make changes or invest in your living space the way you want. But this doesn’t mean you should give up hope. Many alternative locations in your surroundings are either custom designed to facilitate studying or coincidentally well-suited, including:

  • Libraries
  • Cafes
  • Bookstores
  • Parks
  • Community centers

Most of these are free or cheap, and can support your study habits—plus, the change of scenery might be useful in helping you retain new memories. In any case, there are changes you can make to your environment that will drastically improve the consistency, value, and comfort of your studying sessions—so take advantage of them.

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.