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.

 

Learn how to invest David Einhorn GMCR

It could be helpful to learn from the best investors in the world. David Einhorn from Greenlight Capital is one of them. He has outperformed markets for many years and his research is always detailed and accurate.

Here is one of his presentations done at the Value Investing Congress 2011 on Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR).

Presentation David Einhorn Value Investing Congress 2011 (VIC) Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR)

It’s a great presentation.

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…

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!

5 Ways to Balance LSAT Prep with College Classes

If you have a full college courseload and social life, it’s probably hard to balance the two already. Add studying for the LSAT to the mix, and you may feel overwhelmed. This post gives you 5 ways to balance studying for the LSAT (or GRE, GMAT, MCAT, etc.) with school and life obligations. I’ll speak about the LSAT in this article, but just apply my advice to your relevant exam.

1. Start your LSAT prep early.
It’s much easier to do a little bit each week over the course of several weeks than to cram all your studying at once. It’s less stressful, and it won’t detract as much from schoolwork or your social life. Plan ahead and treat the LSAT as if it were another college class, and study for it over the course of the semester. You may also choose to take a class at an online university if you learn better with instruction.

2. Fit in studying wherever you can.
Doing an LSAT Logic Game or a couple of Logical Reasoning questions between classes can keep you in the LSAT mind-set even if you’re not studying for a few hours each day.

3. Set aside specific days and times each week to study.
This will ensure that a few weeks or months don’t go by while your LSAT prep books gather dust in the corner. Create a study schedule and stick to it.

4. Stay off AIM, Facebook, and Gmail, and close your laptop.
I know computers and Internet are ubiquitous on college campuses, especially for socializing. However, you don’t need a computer to study for the LSAT, and having one around will only serve as a distraction. Get rid of these time-suckers and stick to the books.

5. Form a study group.
If you can find people on your college campus (or in your neighborhood) who are also preparing for the LSAT, it may help to form a study group. Try to find study partners whose abilities complement your own so that you can help each other. Meeting on a regular basis will take some of the isolation out of test prep, and, like a gym buddy, a study partner will help motivate you to study.

6 Tips for Organizing Research

Intro/Hook.

  1. Download the articles you plan on using, and save them in a single folder. You don’t want to pay the penalty for someone else’s site going down, or free content being transferred to a paid archive. If the source website doesn’t allow you to save the article to your website, there are two workarounds. First, you can hit print as if you were going to print it, and then select Save As File (or something like that). This option will divert the output going to the printer and capture it in a PostScript file, which you can open on any Windows machine. My favorite way to save articles is Yahoo! MyWeb. Find out how to use MyWeb to save your articles
  2. Discover new sources using your old ones. Every journal article contains a wealth of research. Look in the bibliography.
  3. Take notes with citations.
  4. Use Google’s Cited By links to judge a paper’s influence.
  5. Read Intro/Conclusion for fast answers.
  6. For multiple papers from same author, start with most recent work

Simplification – The Key to Success

Taking notes during lectures is perhaps the most important part of retaining knowledge throughout your university semmester, but most students are simply not that good at it. They tend to focus on either writing down every word your lecturer says, and just the important points. There is a much easier method which will definetly pay off when final exams come around.

Simplification!

I have used this method for many months and it always works perfectly. The general idea is to write down the heading of the topic, and write down in the simplest way possible what it is about. Try to imagine that you are talking to a younger child. But you also have to remember to include all the complication information towards the end.

The reason this works is that the next time you look over your notes it may have been weeks since you wrote the information down, and you will not remember what you were talking about. Having a simplified description means that you will remember the basis of the notes instantly, and from there you can focus on the complex concepts, equations, or explanations.

While this may sound counter-intuitive, it really does work.

This method is based on the ever popular K.I.S.S idea (Keep it Simple, Stupid). Trying to keep all of your ideas in their simplest form allows you to really understand the principles rather than just memorize facts. It also gives you more time to learn the more difficult concepts.

Learning the basics is key for any student. Most of the knowledge that you will learn are just extensions of the basic ideas given in the first few weeks. Understanding, not only how to use them, but why is very important, and truly is the key to success.

Naturally there are hundreds of different methods of taking notes, but time and time again simplification seems to reign supreme. Although taking notes in an easy to understand manner does not mean that you skip the hard topics. The idea is that you take a hard concept, and re-interpret it in your own words. The use of images or diagrams can also be very beneficial when trying to convert a difficult problem into a series of simple ones.

The main difficulty with converting to this method of note taking is the mental difficulties. Some people will feel that they are leaving out important information, while others will be able to start with little difficulty. The only way to try out this method is to start today. While it may suit some students, others will find it too restricting.

8 Reasons Why Re-writing Notes Is Essential

During finals week, time and time again I hear things like “you have such nice handwriting,” and “so much lecture information on so few pages,” and I am always very thankful that over a decade ago, my German teacher (props to Frau Bahr) told me that I’d learn best if I rewrote my notes for every class, condensed them as small as I could and then studied from that. For ten years now I’ve been doing just that; spending an hour longer than “normal” re-organizing and re-writing my notes for each class lecture that I attend. It may sound like a lot of “extra work,” but this re-writing process has been proven to help students cement the information they’ve just been given.

  1. without re-writing notes, students may forget vital pieces of information as well as what abbreviations and other marks mean
  2. re-writing your notes helps you memorize and understand the information you copied during the lecture, the best way to memorize a lot of information is in small pieces over a long period of time
  3. if you have questions about things you’ve heard in lecture, re-writing your notes may either help you understand what they were, or point them out clearer, encouraging you to ask about them during the next lecture
  4. while you are re-writing your notes, you are also able to re-organize them, put them in a format that works best for your learning style; visual learners can add color-coding and diagrams, auditory learners should read the notes aloud a few times, and kinesthetic learners (me!) learn by re-writing notes into outline formats
  5. a note on outline formats: each main point should be on its own line, details for the point should be indented to the right. A fantastic way to either learn or set up an outline is to use a word-processing program’s “bullets & numbering” feature; hard returns and indentations create the next appropriate character for outlines
  6. oftentimes, professors speak too quickly for a student to get all the notes written out; by re-writing your notes, you are able to fill in those blanks that you may have had to leave during lecture. The details are still fresh in your mind and you will be able to clarify them sooner. All of the abbreviations that you create during class should be spelled out and explained while re-writing your notes.
  7. re-writing your notes prepares you for your next class, reminding you of what you were to learn in previous lectures and cementing the foundations
  8. one thing I’ve found particularly helpful in many classes is writing out a short “summary” of the lecture at the end of each set of daily notes. Then, when I go back to study for the exam, I am able to paste all of these summaries together and read a page-long essay about what I was supposed to learn.

It helps best if a student can re-organize and re-copy their notes within 24 hours of the lecture, but if that cannot be done, then at least do it before the final few lectures, just in case you have any leftover questions or misunderstandings. Research shows that 80% of new material can be recalled if you review your notes within one day of presentation.

Want to bring those test grades up? Want to impress your classmates with your typed study guides? Re-write those notes daily and cement things sooner rather than later!

First Year Programs

Please thank That College Kid for this guest post. If anyone else would like to contribute a guest post to The Student Help Forum, please contact me.

My university has a first year program that is designed to help freshmen become accustomed to the college experience. We have a triad of classes that are intertwined. There’s a large political science or psychology class, a smaller composition class and a small seminar class. The science/psych class is a normal large lecture, with about 150+ students, but the others have 25. The coursework is similar and the seminar class is designed to help students with any questions they have and to help prepare for a successful academic career.

My school believes their award-winning first year program helps students and it’s been in use for almost ten years. Texas State University, Ohio State University and the University of Georgia are among schools that have similar programs. While I haven’t researched in great detail the programs of other colleges, I can give you first hand knowledge of the one at my school (name protected for my privacy).

It is designed for students who will not otherwise succeed in college. All classes and instructors in the first year program do not grade or teach on a college level. The classes are on an upper (think Advanced Placement) high school level. For students that do not need to be babied, this program is a waste of time and money. Yes, it’s nice to get easy A’s (assuming you do the work), but it gets you used to easy coursework. Upper classes in college are not easy. Sometimes you will find easier, smaller classes, but for the most part, once you get into your major, you will have to work much harder.

It decreases freshmen dropout rates…

But it increases sophomore dropout rates. These programs get freshmen think college is easy and they can skate by without doing any real work like in high school. Students that otherwise would have dropped out to find a job will stay longer and spend more money only to find out they were misinformed and end up leaving the next semester, when classes get tougher.

These programs do not prepare students for the real world. When you get a job, unless you are the luckiest person alive, your boss is not going to give you a grace period to mess up. He’ll give you the real work on day one. You’re lucky if you get an hour to figure out your way around the office.

High school was the transition into college. Junior and senior year of high school are supposed to get students prepared to enter the workplace or attend a university. Students take advanced placement and honors courses to get used to the type of classes they will encounter in college. AP classes at most public schools are not hard enough, but they’re much better than regular curriculum. Why have another year of that? And why pay an incredible amount of money for it?

Currently, my university does not allow freshmen to opt-out of the first year program, but I wish they did. If you have to participate in the first year program at your university, enjoy the easy work while you can because you’re in for an awakening your sophomore year.

Time Management in the New Year

First, a quick introduction! I’m Sarah, a new writer around here at The Student Help Forum. I’m a full-time post baccalaureate student in public health education. I work over 30 hours a week, write for four blogs and try to have a social life on top of everything. I hope my words of advice within The Student Help Forum strike a chord with you and enhance your student life! I’m always open to writing suggestions and you should feel free to send me some mail if you ever have something you’d like to see me address!

Second, let’s get down to business!

If you’re anything like me, once finals week is over, your brain shuts down until about a week into the next term’s classes. However, over this winter break, I’d like to challenge you to keep thinking; start thinking about next term, and how you’re going to push yourself to do even better in it.

My first suggestion on how to improve yourself in the new year & the new term is:

USE A CALENDAR

Use a Calendar!Whether you choose to use a paper calendar, or Google’s wonderful calendar application, write things down, keep track of where you’re supposed to be and when you’re supposed to be there, and then celebrate as you cross things off your list!

I use my calendar to plan telephone calls, to make doctor’s appointments, to keep track of my work schedule, to remind myself I have a blog entry due (or blog inspirations), to write down lunch dates with friends, and even to write myself notes about how my day went.

When you have big events that you need preparation, pre-reminded yourself! I write down my finals during the first week of classes, and then one week before the final, I write “PHE 355 Final – 1 week!” and high-light it to remind myself that it’s coming up.

If it’s your thing, I’ve found that color coding my calendar is incredibly helpful. I have a colors for school, for work, for blogs, for WEGOHealth (where I am a community leader), for photography, for exercise and for personal stuff. It’s a bright looking calendar and even when there’s a lot of stuff going on, at least it’s shown in fun colors!

On paper calendars, sometimes it’s hard to write about your “to-do’s” in detail, but I recommend you write down all the details (address, contact name & information, things you may need to bring, etc) when you’re writing on your calendar. I often keep paperclips in my day planner so I can attach things to the days that they belong with as well.

Another tip that I have, which comes in handy for students is to write down all the family birthdays or anniversaries you need to remember when you first get a blank calendar. Most of us get calendars when we’re home for the holidays and since your mom is most likely to be right there, have her help you out. This will help you remember to send Grams a birthday card and remind her how great she is!

While it may seem daunting to use a daily calendar to keep track of your life, I promise you that in the long run, it will pay off and you will be incredibly pleased (not to mention organized) with the results!

7 + 3 Ways to Boost your GPA

Reading

GPA or Grade Point Average, is the one deciding factor that compares the quality of your work with your classmates and ranks you accordingly. The higher your GPA the better. But sometimes it is much harder to increase this simple number than it first seems. Thankfully, there are some simple steps you can take to boost your GPA. Pick the Brain has provided a few tips on this very topic, but I have found a few more that prove very useful.

John Wesley’s original 7 tips include:

  1. Go to class – You would be surprised how often this is not followed. When you get to university you will learn that nothing is compulsory, and none of your lecturer’s will care if you go to their courses or not, so it is extremely difficult to stay focused and motizated.
  2. Sit in the Front Row – Not my favourite place to sit in a class, but it will get you involved, and make it easier to learn more.
  3. Take Notes by Hand – I am a massive supporter of this idea. I don’t think that you learn as easily just by following through printed notes. Actually writing the information down engages a different part of your brain, meaning that you are thinking about the concept and memorizing it at the same time.
  4. Do a weekly review – I have never tried this, but I suspect that it would work well. Most of the time you do this automatically however, whenever you are studying for an exam or preparing an assignment.
  5. Go to office hours – Again, I have never tried this, because I do not think that intruding on a lecturer in their time is of any benefit. If you have any questions, just ask them during your classes or directly afterwards.
  6. Find smart people to work with – Working through questions, and analysing key concepts can be a great way to fully understand the topic you are studying. It is for this reason that I encourage everyone to get a mentor. Someone older who can help you out, but have a smart fellow student in your same course can often be just as good.
  7. Avoid all-nighters – All-nighters are not the most pleasant experience, but most of you will do at least one of two in the next few years. Sometimes they are unavoidable, but I would try to eliminate them as much as possible.

My three additional thoughts on how to increase your GPA are of a different thought process, but are still highly valuable.

  1. Take easier courses – Make sure they are related to your major, but taking a few easy courses is a great way to boost your GPA. You just have to make certain that you will score extremely highly in all the assignments and exams. Remember, most courses are weighed the same, so a quick, simple course can be a great way to increase your GPA.
  2. Focus on the important assessment – It can be very irritating, but it is often the case that some of the least important assignments in terms of marks can be the hardest and take the most amount of time. Try to focus on the assignments and exams that will have the biggest impact on your overall grade.
  3. Remove distractions – Acquiring a high GPA can mean a lot of study. This is a very hard thing to do for many people, so you must help yourself out as much as possible. A good way to do this is to remove all distractions from your study area – TVs, computer games, mobile phones…

Having a high GPA can mean a lot when you are trying to get your first major job, or if you are trying for scholarships and academic awards. Often it is not easy to increase this number by a lot, but it is worth a try!

It’s very difficult to keep yourself focused when studying for an online degree through an online education course. You can consult from encyclopedias and dictionaries i.e. german english dictionary or the online french english dictionary to take help in your studies. Always choose the best online courses offered by a reputable institution like the University of Maryland.