Tips While Studying Abroad

Studying abroad doesn’t only mean opting for the best university. It’s indeed a big challenge which compromises of leaving home, traveling to the new place, accepting foreign culture, making new friends, studies-exams, huge expenses, fun, a new life altogether. Many students take up this challenge with a ‘dream comes true’ approach. But if things aren’t planned well your dreams could break before they were met.

Here are few basic yet interesting tips to help you plan better while studying abroad.

Research:

Gather information and read stuff about the overseas location where you would be residing during your study. Before you leave, make several international phone calls to grab enough information from your friends about expenses, luggage, study material, eat-outs, etc. Do study a little about the foreign culture so you too can participate with your foreign pals once you are there. Check the news and read local newspapers to teach yourself about the current affairs, laws and advice while you are there. And if you are a travel lover, a travel book could guide you to visit the best monuments, transportation, restaurants, etc of the town.

Communication:

Firstly get to know the reasonable communication methods abroad and then make a choice. Keeping touch with family and friends is something you cannot afford to skip once you leave. VOIP options are these days one of the widely used methods. Skype is a great choice if you have your computer and internet connection at your finger tips. If you want to make several local calls, a cell phone plan could be useful while sometimes landline rates can be quite reasonable depending on the country. Some phone call plans even offer you the benefit of free calls, gifts, and discounts. Make sure you chose the right method that could help you save better.

Stay Safe:

Keep your passport, visa and other important documents safely in another bag; never pile it with your luggage. This would help you to present it whenever needed to official persons. Your University ID could act as an identity for you, specially so that you don’t look like a foreigner to strangers. Be certain about your friend circle, as some could get you into bad habits. Take behavioral cues from locals, about dressing style, local rules and morals. Also, check out for hygienic yet reasonable eat-out joints to keep yourself healthy.

Share Pictures:

Studying abroad is also a matter of pain to stay away from loved ones but you could share your memories to bring them a smile. Make sure you click special moments around your campus, friends, parties, work, etc. and keep sharing all of these with your folks back home. You could probably upload your albums on social sites or use photo sharing websites flickr.com which could let you to organize your photos, without occupying the space of your hard drive.

 

Tips to get a cab in New York

Great tips for our readers in New York to get a cab!

Here are some tips to the tourist, the New Yorker, and the tourist that thinks he’s a New Yorker.

Don’t wait till we are passing you to throw up your hail. We need to see you in advance so we can get over to you. Get off that curb. It’s okay baby, this is NYC—don’t be afraid. Stand in the street. Hang off the curb. Ignore those oncoming cars, they’ll move… (maybe). Just remember, everyone’s on the sidewalk: the masses, mailboxes, streetlights, homeless people, halal stands, cell phone case stands, overflowing trash bins, and red light cameras (Houston and Chrystie, I will get you!). If you want a cab, make yourself SEEN!

Go to a gas station between 4 and 5 a.m. or p.m. The shifts end at five and cabbies need to fill up before they go in. There are only 10 or 12 gas stations in manhattan. Eight of them are on the West Side on 10th Ave. Take your pick.

Lexington Avenue from 30th down to 23rd St. has the largest concentration of Indian restaurants in the city. I like curry in a hurry.

Bond St. between Bowery and Lafayette is a major shift change spot for private drivers that don’t work for a Garage. You will always find a ride when the shifts change from day to night.

If you’re downtown, stand on the uptown side. If you’re uptown, stand on the downtown side. This is regardless of where you are actually going.

Don’t look shady. This applies to all races. There is no other group of workers that work harder at a more dangerous job so crucial to the survival of NYC, and without health insurance. We carry a large amount of cash on us and are easy targets. If you look like trouble, we’re going to keep driving.

Let your girl do the hailing.

Don’t look like you’re going to throw up.

Don’t stand with the large group of people you’re going to ask to illegally jam in my cab.

Don’t stand at the base of a bridge (particularly the Williamsburg Bridge). There’s nowhere to pull over safely to pick you up, and if we’re going over the bridge we probably already have passengers.

Check his website: www.thingsiseefrommycab.com

What am I really worth?

An inspiring note from Denise Palmieri Logan. She serves as a mentor to men and women ready to find work that makes them happy AND supports their families (www.conjunctiodora.com). We wanted to share it with you as we thought this could be helpful when you think about how much you are worth for your future job.

It’s that time of year, firms are starting to do year-end planning and employees are starting to get antsy wondering “What will my bonus be this year?” Just like clockwork, the recruiters at Pinnacle Group start getting calls from candidates and clients alike, asking what market comp is looking like for 2012. It seems that everyone wants to be reassured of their value. Candidates want to make sure they’re not getting the short end of the stick and firms want to be sure they’re not overpaying for their talent. Because Pinnacle Group recognizes the value of being able to offer reasonable guidance on these issues for the financial services community, it has again prepared a Compensation Study suggesting guidelines for the 2011-2012 bonus/salary season.

Are you antsy yet, wondering where I’ve hidden the link so you can look right away and determine whether you’re being undercompensated? If so, you’re like most of the people we have talked to over the years. I am going to tell you where the link is, but only because it would be mean of me to tell you I have it and then not give it to you. But, first, I’m going to ask you to reflect on why this chart will be so influential on your state of mind.

One of the things that I’ve observed, first as an employee, then as a business owner and later as a mentor but always as a wife/daughter/sister/friend is that how we value ourselves is a constantly moving target. We typically base our determination of our worth or our value on external criteria, things totally out of our control, and those criteria that we look to can inflate or deflate us in an instant.

I’ve seen it play out in my own life, countless times. When I was a young lawyer, I was working at a firm I generally liked. I was succeeding at bringing in business, frequently shined as a top biller and was doing lots of networking and marketing that promised a bright future with clients I liked and whose lives I was impacting in a way that felt genuinely good to me. The firm I worked for had a policy of keeping associates of the same class at the same pay. I’m sure it had a reason, but we derisively referred to it as “lock-step” pay. First years made X, Second years mad X + a little and so on.

Because I just knew that I was “special”, I pleaded my case to my assigned mentor (ps. can I say that mentorship is not something you can “assign” but which comes through organically grown respect and a genuine desire to help someone – but that’s another column!). I showed my mentor my spreadsheet of hours billed &#40mine vs others), the clients I had generated and tooted my own horn about why I was entitled to a little boost of $5,000 more than the other associates in my class. I told him sincerely that would make me happier and ensure that I continued to be a productive member of the firm. He patiently heard my presentation with genuine interest and then told me that he was not going to support my petition for more money. I was floored … and hugely disappointed. How dare they not offer me this pittance I was asking for, after all I was doing for them! Early the following year, I looked for a job at another firm where “I would be appreciated and my real value recognized.”

I did find that job, and I took my growing stable of clients with me, and the new firm did pay more money than where I had been. I felt appreciated and valuable again. For a while. But something funny was happening inside me, I started to become unhappy again when I realized that associates at other firms were making more than me. Even more inflaming to me was when I learned that partners at my own firm, who neither billed as many hours as me nor generated as much new business as me, were making substantially more money than me! Will you be shocked to learn that I, yet again, became unhappy with my work and my choice of firm and felt undervalued and unappreciated?

So on I moved, taking my now quite big stable of business with me and started my own firm, where in the first year I made a pittance of what I had made in my prior job, but I was in charge of my own destiny and I knew then I would be happy. No one would ever again undervalue what I was worth. I began building my platform and my empire.

Yet, in the next chapter of my career, I found that my own inner hungry ghost wanted more! So then I worked hard to generate more clients, to hire associates and paralegals and staffers of my own to leverage, and on and on â?¦ and each of them generated a little bit more for me. The problem was that they, too, wanted to feel valued and appreciated the same way I did. They each wanted more money. I couldn’t understand why they didn’t understand that there was only so much money to go around. After all, I built this business and they worked for me and, yes, of course, they were valued and appreciated. Why did they need to derive their self-worth from their paycheck?

The cycle continued for years and, as many of you know, one day I had a quantum moment where I realized that I wasn’t happy and it didn’t have anything to do with how much money I made. I had plenty of toys in the garage, but no time to play with them. Somehow the relationships in my life were disintegrating because I had spent no part of me in nurturing them. Most importantly, I wasn’t really enjoying what it was that I was doing anymore and I had stopped seeing that serving my clients was a privilege of trust from them. I am embarrassed to say that I had started to see them and their problems as “revenue sources” for me and my firm of hungry mouths. When I looked inside, I recognized that I had lost my internal compass of value and self worth and was looking to my bank account and my possessions on display to determine the answer to the question “How am I doing?”

Compared to what? Compared to others? Compared to a compensation chart of “averages”? One thing I knew about myself was that I was absolutely not average! So if a chart said that the average was X to X times 5, then I expected to be compensated at or above the X times 5 marker. If I wasn’t being compensated at that rate, then I just flat-out knew that whoever had control over the resources was undervaluing me and my happiness rate plummeted. Do you see my story as a mirror of you?

As long as I was looking outside myself to another marker, another person, another comment, to determine whether I was being properly valued, I was missing the only true source of my value. I could change firms, chase more clients or deals, bill more hours, earn even more money and yet my source of value and happiness was constantly at risk. Friends and colleagues coached me during this existential crisis to “Just do it for a couple of more years, work a little harder, bill more hours or hire another couple of associates, or join a different firm, and you’ll be set for life and THEN you can go do what makes you happy.” That siren song was oh-so seductive! After all, was I really THAT unhappy? Maybe my unhappiness could be remedied by just another bump in what I earned. Everyone said that was the answer and it certainly seemed easier than figuring out what my unhappiness was really about. For me, as long as I was looking outside myself to decide if I was happy or unhappy based on the amount of money I was making, the answer was that something under there that I had to ferret out. If I could get to the bottom of it, I could decide what needed to change.

What I ultimately learned was that the answer to the question “What am I worth?” comes from inside me and it never changes. Through much hard inner work, I am proud to say to you that I resonate with the knowledge that my value comes from the fact I am contributing every day to making lives around me better in real and tangible ways. The smile I offer to the worn out clerk at the grocery store, the way I thank by name the server who brings my dinner at a restaurant which makes him feel seen, the way I nurture my husband and my relationships. These are the priceless markers of my worth and my value.

Yes, I have to make a living, and so do you. I like to go on vacations and have pretty things. But I no longer mistake these trinkets for the real thing. They aren’t substitutes for happiness, they are merely accessories to it. Money IS important. None of our mortgage holders accept smiles and kind words as payment and your child’s day care center won’t likely barter with you instead of swiping your credit card. But it is within each of us to determine our own true worth and our happiness with the work we do, not to allow it to be set or even swayed by the figures on our paychecks or the numbers on a compensation chart or whether we have a boat or a Ferrari.

Winston Churchill said:

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”

If you feel compelled to click next to the compensation chart, I hope you will contact me for a complementary session to chat about what would make your life meaningful and how we can work to bring you more of that instead

International exchange program – Case study of Leeds

Moving to a new city such as Leeds is a big change for any student, so knowing where to socialise is important to settle into the area and get to know your fellow students.

As such, we’ve created a great guide to the best places to drink in Leeds from local pubs to the best clubs.

Leeds is a hidden gem in England that’s a great place to live as a student. Of course, you probably need to consider where you’re going to live in Leeds before you go and study there. For the best student experience in Leeds you should look into city centre flats so you’re within throwing distance of this buzzing, metropolitan city.

Our recommended local pubs include:

Calls Landing

This modern bar overlooks the serene waters of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. The relaxed atmosphere makes this bar a great place to kick back after a day of lectures and sip a cool   drink in the beer garden as the sun sets.

36-38 The Calls

Leeds, West Yorkshire LS2 7EW

Website

Aire Bar

Located in the fashionable area of Leeds, The Calls, Aire Bar is a wonderful place for a quiet pint or a sumptuous dining experience.

Sparrow Wharfe

32 The Calls, Leeds LS2 7EW

Bar Risa

Sitting right in the buzzing heart of Leeds City Centre, Bar Risa is a venue that caters for everyone. During the day, you can relax with a quiet drink and at night the place comes alive as one of the most popular Leeds hotspots.

The Cube, Albion Steet

Leeds, LS2 8ER

Sandinista

If you’re looking for something more exotic than your usual pub experience, this Latin bar is the place to be. Dine on the tapas menu and drink cocktails while listening to live music and DJs.

5/5a Cross Belgrave Street

Leeds, West Yorkshire LS2 8JP

Website

You should also consider these popular clubs in Leeds:

Creation

First opened as a music venue in 1885 by Prince Albert, Creation has evolved into a place to eat, drink and party the night away.

55 Cookridge Street,

Leeds, LS2 3AW

Fab Café

The world’s first pop-culture club where you can grab a beer, play some retro videogames and get down on the dance floor. There aren’t many places where you’re greeted by a Han Solo frozen in carbonite on the way inside.

46 Woodhouse Lane,

Leeds, LS2 8PL

Website

Oceana

One of the most popular clubs in the city and a guaranteed great night out. With multiple floors catering for a range of musical tastes, Oceana is a swish and stylish place to spend your Saturday nights.

16-18 Woodhouse Lane

Leeds, LS2 8LX

The Mint Club

After a £500,000 refurbishment, The Mint Club has become the cutting edge of clubbing. The incredible Disco Panel lighting system is the first in England, creating a party atmosphere like no other.

8a Harrison Street

Leeds, LS1 6PA

There are so many different genres of music to sample (house, R&B, pop rock among others) as Leeds is full of great venues and you will surrounded by people who know how to party!

Finally, take the opportunity to meet new people and have fun! This will be a memorable experience! Enjoy! You won’t regret it…

Some advice for your interviews during college – do not talk about your parents!

At Student Help Forum, we want to help people to find the job they want in this difficult economic environment. We are here to help you succeed!

Recently, we have been discussing with a few interviewers (grad school, recruiters,…) to get their feedback on successful interviews especially for college students trying to get an internship or a full-time position. We thought it could be a great way to support our readers. One of the recurring themes is the dependence over their parents. A lot of students do not realize that they spend too much time on their interviews talking about their parents or their family (brothers, sisters,cousins,…).

A few examples:
– “I decided to go to engineering school because both my parents are engineers”
– “I wanted to become a teacher because my father was a great teacher”
– “I decided to work for company X because my mother has been working there for Y years…”
– “I am actually passionate about movies but my mother told me it would be better for me to work in marketing…”
– “My brother did this so I decided to do the same…”
– “My sister is passionate about gambling and I am a big fan of poker and video slots…”

Though it can be an argument in your conversation, it does not support your candidacy. It proves that as a candidate you might not be able to make your own decisions and you are still dependent and your parents decide you. Interviewers don’t judge that but they just might feel that you are not exactly sure why you are here today. To avoid these traps, there is a simple trick: simply DO NOT mention your parents in these interviews. It’s as simple as that. It does not help your case and it’s not that complicated to avoid this subject. You have lots of topics to discuss for 30 minutes or more and there are many ways for you to be successful and get the job that you are looking for.

And when you get a job you will be able to celebrate with your friends and play beer pong for example…

7 tips to become more efficient at school

You are getting a lot of pressure from your parents to get good grades and you don’t know how to deal with that pressure… Especially at the beginning of college, you don’t know how to become more efficient and succeed to get good grades!

Student Help Forum gives you a few tips to help you get good grades and satisfy your parents…

1/ Find a subject that you really like! It’s nice to please your parents but at the end of the day you want to enjoy your studies and it will be easier if you find a subject that you are really interested in and that you enjoy! It will make it easier to spend hours studying it… When Mark Zuckerberg was studying at Harvard, he enjoyed coding and it was natural for him to spend hours coding and coding….
2/ Be honest with yourself: if you don’t like the subject, don’t do it…it would be waste of your time to study something that you are not interested in… Even if it does look good on your resume, you will not have a good time at school and those are probably the best years… don’t miss it!
3/ try to learn from the best: if you feel that someone gets good grades in your class, work with that person because you will learn a lot from him/her and on top of that you will hopefully make a good friend or even more friends if you want to work as a group!
4/ Be curious and learn from others: ask what they like and what they have done in the past… you will learn a lot from them…
5/ Talk to your professors… again they are probably passionate about their job and they are happy to share their knowledge! Don’t be shy and ask them questions and there is nothing such as a bad question… Just make sure that you understand!
6/ Read read and read… I know it seems boring to read and you don’t see the point but give it a try! start by reading books that you might be interested in even cheap textbooks…
7/ In conclusion, to be efficient, you need to enjoy what you do because if that’s the case you won’t be distracted and you will want to learn more about the subject…

Enjoy and have a good time and school is probably the best time of your life!

Find a job at Google in… 1999

In 1999, Google was a small start-up and looking for talented employees:

http://web.archive.org/web/19991106023352/www.google.com/jobs.html

This was the time to get on board and work for probably the most successful company this last decade…

People who started in 1999 have made some good money since then…

Next question is: who is the next Google?

OPT application

If you are an international student (F-1 visa) and you would like to stay in the US after you graduate, you can consider to apply for OPT that will give you the opportunity to work for 12 months after graduation. Application is not that complicated but there are a few things to understand before you apply. For example, you want to know your options before you travel abroad or when you have to apply and many other questions like that.

Luckily, UC Berkeley has done an amazing job and has answered all the questions you might have on OPT:
OPT tutorial – all your questions answered