Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Dangers and Opportunities of Using Writing Services

May 26th, 2017

By Melissa Burns

If you’ve ever had an assignment, you probably know what it feels like to be under pressure. As the deadline approaches, like some kind of fatal danger, we start looking for alternative solutions. Even if you are not the regular procrastinator type (lucky you!), you surely have had to face this type of rush. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, students can now get their essays written for a only a few bucks. Maybe we are entering the golden age for procrastinators? Well, probably not yet. But, we are here to discuss the pros and cons of these types of services. Let’s see if it is worth to get our essays written for cash!

Instant life-saver

These online businesses offer an all-around solution for the ones who are looking for an emergency writing service. The pool of authors is usually huge, where you have the ability to hire an ENL author for the additional fee. Starting from high school essays, to Ph.D. papers you can get everything done. The prices seem to be wallet-friendly, and you are also able to get yourself a personalized quote. After ordering an essay, a plagiarism checker tool ensures that you receive an original piece of work.
Furthermore, if you are not 100% happy with the result, you can turn to the customer service. Usually, without additional fees, you can make edit requests and finalize your essay. All in all, we are talking about a high-quality service. This can easily be a life-saver in those situations, where you simply forgot one of your assignments. Ordering is quick and easy, and it seems like there are no drawbacks. But is that all?

The other side of the coin

We surely need to discuss the effects these quick solutions. One of the most obvious effects is that you will be missing out on the most useful part of writing. That is: research. Research gives you extra knowledge and helps you get to the bottom of a topic. The time you spend on research is usually longer than what the actual writing process takes. By simply ordering your essay online, don’t forget that you are taking away an opportunity from yourself. An opportunity to broaden your knowledge! There might be useful information discovered, which you can leverage in the future.
Secondly, we also know that this type of solution is not the most academic one. After all, you are still going to hand in someone else’s work, under your own name. Fairness can be a secondary factor when under pressure, but it should not be. Essays are usually designed to help you develop specific skills, or to make you an expert on a topic. Also, for example in the UK there are already planned regulations fight off the essay writing industry. In the near future, this could also mean, that you can easily get fined or get a criminal record for using such service. Even though, at the moment it is hard to get busted, but it’s still not impossible!

Handle with care

These types of online services where other people write essay for money can surely come in handy. When you end up forgetting an assignment, finally you have a quick, professional solution. However, the risks and dangers are obvious. It can be easy (especially if you are a true procrastinator) to fall into a trap. Before starting to heavily rely on these services, consider all the pros and cons listed above. Essays are only meant to hone your skills and help you broaden your knowledge. Don’t miss out on these chances, as in the future you can benefit from your academic efforts. The skills you acquire through practicing research, academic writing, etc., can help you boost your professional career. It might seem like a few bucks are worth getting yourself an A+, but there is much more at stake. In the long run, you should surely rely on your own efforts.

And what is your personal opinion? Feel free to share it in the comments below.

Melissa Burns graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University in 2008. Nowadays she  is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Her sphere of interests includes startups, information technologies and how these ones may be implemented.

 

The Importance of Self-Care for College Students

May 25th, 2017

 

By Robert Parmer

Prioritizing our own needs isn’t always an easy thing to do. And focusing on self-care can be especially challenging for students, as day-to-day rhythms are oftentimes flooded with too much to do and not enough time.

But self-care for students is crucially important—we must slow down as frequently as necessary and pay attention to our individual needs in order to be our best selves. The following self-care guide for students will help you understand common forms of “self-neglect” and where they may be hiding in your life.

Make Sure Your Basic Needs Are Met

When deadlines, chaotic schedules, and side work all start piling up on top of the other variables of life, it’s surprisingly easy to forget to take care of our basic needs. The following basic needs should always be at the forefront of a student’s self-care routine:

 

  • Get enough sleep: As an article by USC Master’s of Public Health puts it, “Sleep 6 to 8 hours a night—it is a critical restorative process for the body. A regular schedule of sleep does more to fend off sickness than vitamins, exercise, and washing hands combined.”
  • Eat enough food and drink enough water: It may seem like a no-brainer to eat, but busyness and stress can lead to students accidentally skipping meals. Depending on your body type, you should drink at least 6 to 8 (eight ounce) glasses of water over the course of each day.
  • Exercise when you can: Did you know that getting to the point of feeling a ‘runner’s high’ is essentially as beneficial to mental health as it is physical health? Daily exercise is ideal for most people. Consider low impact exercise, such as hiking or riding a bicycle if you are worried about long term joint health. But remember, over exerting yourself while running or jogging commonly leads to sore knees.
  • Keep personal hygiene in mind: Take a shower when you need to, and make sure you feel comfortable with your levels of personal hygiene. Studies show that even something as simple brushing your teeth first thing in the morning helps promote wakefulness.

Recognize the Many Sources of Stress

 Pinpointing exactly what is stressing us out isn’t always easy, but it’s a highly advantageous form of self-care. Stress management is so is actually as critical to exam success as studying. This is because stress can consume and distract us, even subconsciously.

You owe it to yourself to eliminate as much stress from your life as possible. Start by taking a quick stress screener to figure out where stress may be hiding in your life. From there, develop a stress reduction plan. Remember: In many ways your stress is as unique as you are.

An interesting stress management technique, highlighted by in a TED Talk by health psychologist Kelly McGonigal takes on the following, insightful approach:

“While stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others.”

Embracing stress may prove to help you win the daily battle it presents for the majority of people in this world. Rather than stigmatizing stress or letting it manifest into another emotions, face it head-on in a positive manner. And reach out to loved ones or a counselor if your stress levels become unmanageable.

 Ditch Tech for a Day

Our smartphones and other tech devices can frequently be the source of our stress. Modern students are swimming in a tech-heavy sea daily. A tech cleanse can also segue into other positive forms of self-care, because too much technology use has been shown to increase fatigue, stress, and depression.

Consider taking a break from your smartphone for even one day on your weekend—it can truly clear your head!

Overcome Creative Blocks Through Self-Care

As students, we may experience roadblocks in our creative processes quite frequently. An article titled But I Have Nothing to Write About! Strategies for Overcoming Writer’s Block points out some ways that being mindful of your own needs can help you get past creative blocks:

 

  • Just walk away: Give yourself a cognitive break, even if just for a moment.
  • Change your format: Are you sick of typing all day long? Take a break and read for a while, or consider writing some of your work out the old-fashioned way—with pen and paper.
  • Remove distractions: Headphones (especially over-ear style) can certainly go a long ways, but if distractions become too prevalent, consider another location to work or study from.
  • Change your scenery: A simple change to your studying space or work location can boost motivation and moral significantly!
  • Do something that inspires you: This is unique from person to person, but it is always worth injecting some inspiration into your day to day life.

If you want to succeed as student you must start by taking care of yourself each and every day. You can’t expect to function to your fullest potential if you are drinking from a dry well. So keep these self-care tips in mind and develop your own plan to address your needs. You owe it to yourself!

Robert Parmer is a freelance web writer and student of Boise State University. Outside of writing whenever he has spare time, Robert enjoys creating and recording music, caring for his pet cat, and commuting by bicycle

How to Survive Your First Job Interview

May 24th, 2017

BY JANE HURST

 

Your first job interview can be a very stressful thing. This is something that is entirely new to you, and that is always something that people view with trepidation. But, a first interview doesn’t have to be so stressful, as long as you are prepared. So, with that in mind, we have come up with some tips to help you survive your first job interview, and maybe even help you to get your very first job.

  1. Give Specific Answers – Interviewers don’t want yes and no answers. They want details. They want to know that you know what you are talking about, and that you have the skills and experience needed for the job. Think about ways to play up on your unique strengths and highlight them. If there is something different you can do for a company that will help them to grow, be sure to mention it, and be as specific as you can as to why you think your ideas would work.
  2. Learn about the Company – Before you walk into the interview, make sure that you have learned everything you can know about the company. Find out about the company, and any details you can about the job you are applying for. Then, prepare answers to give when you are asked, “Do you have any questions.” Interviewers aren’t just saying this to hear themselves speak. They want to see that you have done your homework. If you don’t have questions to ask, you obviously don’t care much about getting the job, at least in their eyes.
  3. Bring a Copy of Your Resume – Even though you likely submitted a resume when you applied for the job, you should bring another copy with you to the interview. When you walk in and introduce yourself, offer a handshake with one hand, and hold out your resume in the other. Sometimes, they may not be prepared, and might not have your resume in front of them. This will save them the time of searching, and show them that you come prepared for anything.
  4. Use Outplacement Services – You might find it less stressful if you get interview preparation through outplacement services. These companies act as career matchmakers and help people with preparation for job interviews.
  5. Practice Interview Skills – Before you go to your first job interview (or any job interview in the future), it is a good idea to practice your interview skills. Find someone who can help you by asking you sample interview questions. Come up with what you think will be the best answers. There are loads of websites that have sample questions. A lot of things you will be asked are common questions asked by all interviewers, and these are things you can practice. Also, practice some questions that you think might be asked in addition to the most common interview questions.
  6. Follow Up after the Interview – It is common courtesy to follow up an interview with a thank-you note. This should not be sent via email. Take the time to personally write and mail a real letter, thanking the interviewer for their time. This will set you apart from those who do not send thank-you notes, and it will keep you fresh in the interviewers mind. It is seen as a thoughtful gesture, and it is something that is forgotten about all too often these days.

Byline:

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.

 

Motivation: Getting Students to Engage In Learning

May 23rd, 2017

BY KEVIN FABER

Motivating students is the goal and dream of nearly all teachers at all educational levels. But it’s often easier said than done, considering something like 40% of high school students are “chronically disengaged from school.” While you obviously cannot force anyone to do anything, and should never come across as too pushy in your good intentions, here are some of the ways you can try to motivate your students into action.

Be Enthusiastic

It’s important to not go so over the top as to come off as a caricature, but showing your genuine enthusiasm and love for a particular cause or subject is, in the long run, the best way to motivate students. Roughly 88% of adults will tell you that they truly appreciated a particular teacher or professor who made them passionate about a subject or encouraged them to be their best. Make an effort to be that teacher for someone.

Reward Effort And Specific Actions

It’s usually best to avoid materialistic rewards, though they can be used to good effect if you use them only to get your students to attend events and get active in the first place. Their motivation must come because they truly want to do something, not because they feel they will always be rewarded for it. You do, however, want to give praise for effort and specific actions – doing so demonstrates to your students that they are in charge of their successes, not how they might have been naturally bestowed with talent.

Use Social Media

The students of today use social media to communicate, sometimes primarily. You can take advantage of this by being a user yourself and using it to not only spread the word about meetings and events via Facebook’s events feature, but also to share interesting content and information that will interest your students in your subject of choice. You could also use an email marketing firm to best target students on campus. Using a email marketing company can be very beneficial as they have the tools to increase open and click-through rates of your emails.

Evaluate Your Students’ Abilities And Point Them In The Right Direction

Not everyone is cut out to be in certain occupations. Not every student is even college-grade material. The best teachers are the ones who can understand their students’ abilities and limitations and suggest the best paths forward for them to take. Help your students take action to find the career that is right for them. For example, you might have a student who really wants to be a doctor, but simply doesn’t have the grades or the personality to be a good doctor. You should take a measured approach – encourage the student to follow their dreams while instilling in them a realistic sense of their abilities and what they might really be best suited to doing. Instead of being a doctor, for example, you could suggest he or she looks into nursing or healthcare administration, which require different abilities and skill levels than a doctor but are critically important roles that make a lot of difference in people’s lives as well.

Motivating your students is not always the easiest job in the world, but neither is being a teacher, and it’s a crucial part of your work. Mastering the ability to motivate your students will make you a very successful and popular teacher as well as result in the next generation going out and truly making a difference in the world. So try the methods outlined in this guide and your students are sure to be motivated to take action.

Give Away Free Food

As many student organizers of college clubs can tell you, it’s difficult to get college students to show up at all, because they’re often busy with schoolwork, having fun when they can squeeze it in or busy with other extracurricular activities. Simple laziness can be a problematic force as well, especially when they work so hard at other things throughout the day. To get the attention of students who might be interested in taking action for various causes, offer free food at club meetings or other events. The students who are interested will continue to come back while the ones who only came for the pizza will not. It’s a good way to jump start getting students interested and involved while weeding out the ones who are not truly interested.

As students what would motivate you to act?

Kevin Faber has experience starting his own business from the ground up and he is passionate about helping others achieve their goals. His background is in finance/investing.

 

5 Ways to Stay Involved with Your College after Graduation

May 22nd, 2017

BY MARTHA KARN

For a lot of people, college is just a stepping stone on the way to bigger and better things. Others truly enjoy their college experience, and want to stay involved with their schools even after they graduate. If you are one of those people who want to stay involved with your college after graduation, here are a few ways that you can do it.

 

  1. Join the Alumni Association 

This is a great way to stay in contact with your college after graduation. Generally, you are required to pay a fee when you join. This is usually a recurring, annual fee, and it is used to pay for things like alumni events and scholarships for students who are currently attending the school. The fees are also used to pay for networking events, career services, and more. Contact your school to get the information for the alumni association, and then join and start keeping involved with the college long after graduation.

 

  1. Make a Donation 

After you graduate, don’t be surprised to get a telephone call or an email from your college, asking for donations. This is a common thing, as a lot of schools need donations in order to continue providing a lot of programs, scholarships, etc. to current and future students. Did you receive a scholarship to study at your school? If so, making a donation yourself is a great way to return the favor and help another student in need. When schools are able to improve their facilities and programs, it strengthens their prestige, and the degrees become more prestigious. So, even though you aren’t still a student, you can benefit from making donations to your school.

 

  1. Further Your Education 

If you can handle sitting in classes and taking exams again, you can go back to your old college to further your education. Not only is this going to help you get back in touch with your old school, it will work in your favor to further your career. “Apply for grad school, and get another couple of years of education under your belt. Too much education never hurt anyone,” suggests an expert from Miller & Company LLP. Just keep in mind that now that you are older and have already graduated, your new college experience will likely be a lot different than the last one.

 

  1. Volunteer Your Time 

Another great way to stay involved with your school is to give back by volunteering. Talk to your alumni association about volunteer programs and opportunities that you can take part in. Not only is this a wonderful way to stay in touch with your school, fellow graduates, professors, etc., it is also a great boost for your career. Volunteer work looks great on a resume. Even if you do not live near your campus, there are still ways that you can get involve, including things like online work such as sending out emails informing people about upcoming events, scholarship programs, etc. There is always going to be a job that needs someone to volunteer for it.

 

  1. Go to Sporting Event 

You may no longer be a student, so you can’t sit in the student section, but you can still go to sporting events to cheer on the home team. You can make some pretty incredible memories at sporting events, cheering with your friends, watching your team take on their rivals, and of course, tailgating prior to the game. If you have friends and family members who also love sports, bring them along and get an even bigger cheering section going for your home team. Going back to volunteering, there may even be things you can do to help out with sporting events.

 

Bio:

Martha Karn develops online educational courses and writes for students.

 

Ace A College Admission Interview With These 5 Tips!

May 19th, 2017

BY JENA BURTON
College admission interview is your stepping stone get into your dream college. You’ve come this far and now you have only one chance to study in your favorite institution. Therefore, it is important that you give your best shot at this important stage.

So if you’re feeling nervous about the outcomes of your personal interview with the review committee of the college, we present here some helpful tips overcome your anxiety:

  1. Research About The Organization
    First things first.

Just like in a job interview, the interviewer for college admission will ask you reasons about why you want admission in their organization. Therefore, it is important that you acquire some important information about the institute that includes its history, faculty, mission, and future goals.

All these details would allow you to make a strong case about why you want admission in that particular college. So get yourself prepared thoroughly before appearing in the interview.

  1. Show Your Unique Element

College assessors probably meet with a large pool of potential students. Think about what you can do to make yourself stand out from the crowd. One must be careful not to be too wacky or too staid in such proceedings. You need to show the interviewers that you have something unique to offer, preferably something only a few people have.

This could mean knowing more than one language, being diverse in some way or going through an experience that has molded you a bit differently. Additionally, it could also involve making memorable responses.

Additionally, you need to think about ways to show your passion, ambitions, and plans for your chosen field. Just like you hire the best academic writer when you search “who will do my dissertation?” because you want to shine out in the exams, you need to put your best foot forward in the college admission interview to set yourself apart from the crowd. Anything that stands you out will be helpful in making you a prime candidate.

  1. Be Particular About What You Write In The Admission Form

Your admission forms contain your personal data as well as the personal statement. So the interviewers would likely to bring these things up in the interview in an effort to get to know you.

Hence, you should be prepared for otherwise confusing questions. For example, you can mention the last book you read. You can even share your childhood memories, or describe your love for a hobby.

  1. Perform Your Research

You could seriously impress your interviewers by reading up on the goals, objectives, and interests of that particular college. By reading up on the courses offered as well as their descriptions, you can also find fodder for your own questions. This will leave you more informed and enlightened than if you were to simply try to wing it in a university admissions interview.

  1. Be On Time

Nothing can be worse than arriving in the nick of time in disarray. Showing up in a messy state will reflect badly on you and the interviewer will form a bad opinion about you. Therefore, you need to be sure to set the alarm an hour earlier and arrive at the venue at least half an hour before time. This would give you enough time to unwind yourself and you’ll be able to get yourself prepared for the interview.

Wrapping Up…

While preparing for a university admission interview, one should be calm and relaxed. They should also be confident in themselves. However, their self-confidence should not make them sound like a cocky or rude person.

While it is commendable that you reached this stage but that may be taken away on the whim of an interviewer. Just follow the aforementioned tips and you’ll be on your way to secure admission in your favorite institution.

Author Bio: Jenna Burton is a Student Counselor, Academic Advisor, and a Blogger. Her interests revolve around education, traveling, and blogging. She is also a professional writer and has published books on academic topics, and career management.

Exercising as a Vital Part of Better Academic Performance

May 18th, 2017

BY MELIISSA BURNS

It is a well-known fact that exercising regularly is a great way to keep your body healthy and functioning at peak level. But did you know that sports are also really good for your brain? Over the years, it has been scientifically proven that exercise and mental acuity are tightly connected. Research on the subject has demonstrated time and time again the fact that physically active people perform better in academics, compared to their more sedentary peers.

According to the CDC, only about 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. meet the recommended minimum of 2.5 hours of exercise on a weekly basis (2008 Physical Activity Guidelines). Most people claim that they simply don’t have the time for it and, given the busy schedules of American students nowadays, it’s understandable why they think that way. However, the CDC’s guidelines are more flexible than you may think. If students can manage to do some form of moderate physical activity throughout the week (even if it’s only for 10 minutes at a time), they will see great improvement in both their health and their cognitive function.

Most studies show that the more exercise one gets, the better the benefits in cerebral performance; that alone should make you want to start doing sports. However, we urge you to be careful and not to overdo it, especially if you’re a beginner. Give your body plenty of time to rest between exercises, and enjoy a session of deep tissue laser therapy whenever your muscles are too sore.

How Exercising Helps Your Studies

There are two main ways that practicing sports can help improve your academic performance:

  • Sports help your brain: Studies have shown that exercise increases blood flow to the brain and helps the body build more connections between nerves in the hippocampus (important for learning and memory). This leads to increased concentration, enhanced memory, stimulated creativity, and better-developed problem-solving In short, playing sports helps your brain grow and makes it work better.

 

  • They help relieve stress: Stress is a part of life, and it certainly makes itself known in a student’s life, especially when final exams and midterms come around. When you are stressed, it’s common to feel fatigued and unable to concentrate. Luckily, sports produce endorphins, which not only will help you feel more alert but will also give your mood a boost. Endorphins make people happy, and a happy student is a productive student.

Exercise is Beneficial for Students in Other Ways Too

As stated above, physical activity, in general, is very beneficial to your health and your cognitive ability. However, sports, in particular, can also teach you important life lessons that will be useful to you as both a student and as a person in the long-run. For example, team sports are a great way of learning about teamwork; knowing how to work with others will most certainly help you in your academic endeavors and your professional life later on. Sports can also teach you the value of hard work, time management, discipline, and how to accept defeat; all of which are important things to learn as you pursue your educational goals. They’re also great soft skills to have in your arsenal when it’s time to enter the workforce.

To sum up

Improve your grades, get healthy, and learn valuable life lessons, all thanks to something as simple as practicing sports. So, go ahead and start getting more active: take the stairs instead of riding the elevator, skip the bus and walk, dust off your old bicycle, or maybe even find a sport you really enjoy and join a team. Your body, as well as your mind, will thank you for it.

Melissa Burns graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University in 2008. Nowadays she  is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Her sphere of interests includes startups, information technologies and how these ones may be implemented.

 

8 Tips for Students To Be Good Digital Citizens

May 17th, 2017

BY LORRAINE McKINNEY

 

Even if we think about the internet as a world in itself, we don’t often think about ourselves as citizens of that world. But it is important that as students, we take the time to learn how to be good digital citizens. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going out and volunteering for stuff, cleaning up trash, etc. A good digital citizen is someone who uses the internet wisely, follows internet etiquette and helps to make the net a great world for themselves and everyone else. Here are some things that you as a student can do to be a good digital citizen.

 

  1. Protect Your Privacy 

The first thing you need to do is protect yourself. While you are trying to be a good digital citizen, there are plenty of others out there who aren’t. Do you know how easy it is for someone to use your private information for identity fraud? Make sure that you know how to protect all your private information, including phone number, address, email address, etc. Also, be careful about the personal information you post, or at least whom you share information with.

 

  1. Understand Password Security

Don’t make it all too easy for someone to steal your personal information. Learn how to use a system such as LastPass to remember all your passwords, or use a secure app to safely store all your password information.

 

  1. Be Careful With Photos 

It is also important to be careful when you take photos. The most innocent photos can still reveal a lot of things that shouldn’t be posted online. For instance, if you take a photo of your home, make sure the street number isn’t showing. If you take a photo of your car, don’t include the license plate. Also, learn how to turn off geotagging features. Did you know that there are some facial recognition software programs that can find you even if you aren’t tagged?

 

  1. Use Backup Software 

Make sure that you are using software to backup all your files and data. The best solution is a subscription-based, centrally hosted, online backup tool which can save your files on the cloud and can protect your data from ransomware.  A great example of the type of software you should be using can be found at reevert.

 

  1. Respect Personal Property

Over the years, it has been drilled into your head that you have to put things in your own words instead of plagiarizing the work of others. This holds true for anything you take from the internet. You should learn about copyright, creative commons and licensing, not just for others, but for your own work as well. You can use anything that is public domain, but to use anything that’s not, you will need permission, and you will need to cite the source.

 

  1. Tweet Politely 

You probably don’t like it when people send you rude tweets. Well, think of those rude tweets as a great incentive to be careful about what you tweet. It’s a do-unto-others type of thing: If you expect nice tweets, you have to be nice yourself. Make it a point to be as positive as possible when you are online, no matter what kind of mood you are really in.

 

  1. Find Your Personal Brand 

What do you want your online reputation to be? Do you already have a pretty good internet presence? Or are you still trying to create the right image? Remember: Everything you share is out there forever, and it all reflects on you, for better or worse.

 

  1. Be Professional 

Just because you’re a student doesn’t mean you’re free to behave however you want to when you’re online. You are going to be looking for a job after you graduate, so start acting professional now. Don’t post those photos of yourself passed out at last weekend’s party. Use proper spelling and grammar, and of course, internet etiquette.

 

Lorraine McKinney is an academic tutor and elearning specialist. 

How Traveling Students Can Experience Cultures Authentically

May 16th, 2017

BY SYLVIA KOHL

One of the biggest benefits of traveling as a student, especially internationally, is becoming exposed to the entirely different culture. However, most cultures end up getting filtered by tourist traps and “mainstream” experiences offered by a given area.

If you’re distracted by tourist centers and driven by the behaviors usual in your country (such as selecting cuisine you know from back home), you’ll end up missing out on the enrichment and exposure that travel is intended to bring you.

But at the same time, it’s hard not to be a tourist, because, in most respects, that’s what you are. You have to deliberately resist temptations and sometimes go out of your way to experience international cultures authentically.

How?

Strategies for an Authentic Experience

Use these tips to experience cultures more authentically:

  1. First, don’t drive everywhere. Don’t take public transportation. Don’t even bike. If you want to make the most of your experience, you have to walk. Walking forces you to slow down and appreciate every inch of the city. You’ll notice more buildings, discover more nooks and crannies, and ultimately meet more people. Even better, you’ll enjoy your time more because you won’t be rushing to cram everything into a packed schedule. Most major cities offer free walking tours, which you can use as a jumping-off point. From there, we recommend you wander around as much as possible; some of the most authentic and surprising experiences will be ones you stumble across unintentionally.
  2. Don’t make detailed plans. For those same reasons, it’s a good idea to avoid making too many plans. The temptation here is to pack as many items into the limited time of your vacation as possible—after all, you have a finite amount of time, and you may never come back here. However, if you do this, you’ll end up short-changing yourself on destinations you find truly worth visiting, and you’ll stress yourself out to complete the plan, rather than absorbing the culture around you. Feel free to chart out some “must-sees,” but leave wiggle room for things you discover at the moment.
  3. Talk to natives. One of the simplest and best ways to experience a new culture is to talk to the people who live and breathe that culture every day. Even if you don’t know the language very well, there are other ways to communicate. It won’t take long before you’re able to start seeing the world through their eyes—as long as you’re truly listening. Locals will be able to recommend the best places to eat and visit, and they’ll share tips about how to travel, and about the “hidden gems” that you won’t find with a simple Google search. Talk to strangers—it’s worth it.
  4. Don’t spend too much time on the big draws. There is always a handful of major attractions in a given city, such as a museum or a historic landmark. Visiting these places can be rewarding, but don’t spend too much time on them. They’re usually geared toward tourists whose only purpose is crossing this item off their lists, so they aren’t valuable opportunities for seeing what a culture is really like.
  5. Take fewer pictures. It’s tempting to take as many pictures as possible. After all, you may never come back to this location, and you want to be sure you remember it, right? This logic is flawed in a couple of ways, with the most notable being that taking too many pictures can actually impair your memory of the event or location you’re taking pictures of. It also serves as a distraction; are you living in the moment, or trying to come up with the best way to remember this experience in the future? Try to focus on the present as much as possible; you’ll thank yourself later.
  6. Learn to live like others do. Finally, try to live the way everyone else in the area does. Do they wake up earlier or eat meals at different times? Do they seem to walk slower than usual, or have different customs for daily rituals? Learn by watching those around you, and mimic what they do. If you can – live with someone from the area so you can be even more immersed.

What to Take Away

So why does it matter? Experiencing a culture gives you new perspectives on everything from food and social discourse to fundamental philosophies on life. You may find that people in other countries live life slower and more relaxed (like in Southern Europe), or aren’t as concerned about personal space (like in Egypt), or have different priorities than most people you know in the United States.

Understanding these differences firsthand—rather than just reading about them or passing by them—will help you empathize with others, and may even change how you see the world. That takeaway is far more important for your college career, and for the rest of your life than simply visiting the top tourist traps in the area.

 

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.

Going To Graduate Business School? Tips For GMAT Exam

May 15th, 2017

By Branda Winters

The GMAT Exam (Graduate Management Admission Test) is taken mainly by bachelor degree-holders and undergraduate students who are close to graduation. It has three different sections: a quantitative section, a verbal section and an analytical writing assessment. The test aims to assess the abilities that people have in analyzing and solving problems, evaluating data and having logical and critical reasoning.

The GMAT is accepted and required in more than 2100 universities (located in 112 countries) and is used to as one of the metrics in evaluating whether a student should be accepted into a graduate program, usually an MBA program. The exam is the first choice of MBA aspirants, it has a validity of 5 years and it can be taken 5 times a year if you want to study or practice and get a better score.

So, how can you prepare for this exam? Whether you already took it or you are going to do it for the first time, there are some strategies that you can choose to improve your evaluation and increase your chances of being admitted into a graduate school.

  1. Obtain a Business and/or Management Certification. By doing one of these programs or courses, you’ll start to familiarize yourself more with business terminology and get yourself in the mindset of the GMAT exam. This is going to give you a big advantage, not only in the exam but also in the Business or Management Program that you’ll start studying if you’re looking to do an MBA.

 

  1. It sounds too “cliché”, but practice is going to give you a lot of improvement. Spend some time focused on just doing GMAT practice exams, and try to imitate the setting by using a chair and a table in a quiet place. Time the test so that it will be exactly the same as when you take it. Every practice is going to show you where you need to improve. Take extra time to practice these topics, but don’t stop practicing the entire test: we don’t want you to forget about the sections where you are excellent!
    1. Practice some reading comprehension. The exam is going to test your level of reading comprehension, so practice by reading and extracting main ideas and details. It is going to help you to have a summary of the readings to look for the right answers to comprehension questions.

You can also practice by looking for hidden information in some readings, as the test hides information a lot of times in the “Data sufficiency” section. Sometimes you’ll feel that you need more than one statement to answer a question, but if you read really carefully, you’ll realize you’ll have the answer in only one statement.

Practicing reading comprehension is also going to help you to resolve the “problem solving” section. One advice: check the answer choices before solving the problems. Sometimes you can find interesting facts in there that can help you to finish faster.

Another strategy is to read the newspaper on a daily basis and really try to think about the content that you are reading. Analyze it as if it was a reading comprehension text on an exam. This will get you more and more comfortable with the reading comprehension section.

  1. Practice some critical reasoning. Don’t focus too much on what you know about a topic. You need to evaluate if the conclusion of an argument seems to be true or not, before choosing an answer to the questions in this section. It will be good to study the types of misleading notions that the exam tends to insert. It will also be good to learn to recognize the key elements of an argument: evidence, conclusion and assumptions. This will help you to identify if a conclusion strengthens the argument or not.
  2. Practice some analytical writing. Remember you’ll have to work with the time limits, and you can’t forget that. Follow the process: brainstorm, outline, write and revise. Be clear, simple and specific when writing your points of view.

 

  1. Study some grammar for the “sentence correction” section. Sometimes it is more difficult for native speakers to identify mistakes in the sentences as they don’t study grammar rules as much as English learners do. A good way to improve your grammar skills is to get a TESOL / TEFL certification and spend some time teaching ESL learners. When you teach grammar, you will be forced to really understand nuances that you might not have realized before. If you practice sentence correction exercises without studying grammar rules, you won’t get to the real reason for the mistakes. But if you teach sentence structure and correction, you will learn about your students’ mistakes and your own.

 

Bio: Branda Winters is an MBA student at the University of Houston and a passionate writer. She enjoys helping her fellow friends on the hard path of getting admitted to an MBA program.