Showing posts with label ESL.com | Learn English in the USA - GET SMART. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ESL.com | Learn English in the USA - GET SMART. Show all posts

Internet, Smartphones and AI: How is the trio shaping education

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Thanks to tech advancements, internet, smartphones, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are collectively revolutionizing the education sector as we know it and making learning a little bit “cooler”. Globally, education entities have made AI investments to the tune of billions in an effort to cope with the fast-changing world. Tech companies, on the other hand, are continually designing intelligent systems that “think” through and memorize information in an almost identical fashion to humans. 
 
Smartphones and tablets are also having their fair share of contribution to this new trend. All learners need to access volumes of information is a browsing device and an internet connection and everything else falls into place. There are even university courses on the internet today, not forgetting the articulate, easy-to-follow YouTube tutorials on literally every topic imaginable. 
 
These tech advancements aren’t only changing how learners consume information. It is sweeping across every big and small department within the education sector. I’m talking changing how educators interact with the learners, how classrooms are set, to how grading and awarding are done. In a nutshell, technology has successfully made education a personalized experience rather than a mass exercise. The learner has a direct link to the information sources and the educator’s role has changed from being the information owner to a learning facilitator. 
 
Case Study
 
Osmosis is offering students smart, highly effective ways of studying thanks to technology. The organization has an assembly of thousands of video tutorials, flashcards, and guiding questions that assist learners to access information in a more consumable fashion. All you need is to purchase a study plan amongst a host of their plans and you will be good to go.
 
Learning by osmosis is no longer a far-fetched dream. Learners of pathology, physiology, and pharmacology have greatly benefited from this form of learning. They get personalized learning and exam schedules based on each learner’s potential and previous performances, reference materials, and personalized reminder emails that keep the learners on their toes at all time. At the end of it all, learning becomes fun and effortless. 
 
Ways through which Internet, AI, and Smartphones are Shaping the Education Industry:
 
1.         Enhanced continuous learning
 
Traditionally, learning started at a finite age- say 3 years- and ended somewhere in the mid-20s. It is as if learning has a specified shelf-life and then once it reaches expiry date, it is substituted with working life. This trend is swiftly coming to an end thanks to the internet and smartphones. People in their 60s and even 80s are now learning through their phones. People are using YouTube tutorials to learn about lawn management, rodent control, cooking, and many other areas that they previously thought were reserved for professionals. 
 
2.         Teaching method algorithms
 
Traditional teaching methods have been blamed for putting all learners into a single basket and then teaching, testing, grading, and awarding them using the same parameters, without caring about how unique people are. Some learners are good in sports, others are good in social sciences, others are good in math, while others are good in sciences. Thanks to AI, educators can be able to tell where exactly a student is weak and where he/she is strong. That enables them to focus more on the strengths other than condemning a kid to failure just because he/she is learning the things she can’t comprehend. 
 
3.         Learners are more empowered with information.
 
Previously, educators have been focusing on training learners on how to handle different tasks in an already-established job market. There wasn’t really any room to learn and tweak things in the market- graduates had to fit into the system otherwise one would be deemed unprofessional. Well, not anymore.
 
Thanks to the internet, educators are now challenged to prepare learners to become innovators. Graduates can now enter a profession and change their outlook from within. No one will ever be forced to conform to ridiculous industry requirements anymore.
 
4.         Better grading
 
Thanks to AI, students will soon start getting the grades they deserve without having to worry about impressing the examiners. Machines have the ability to read a learner’s handwriting, mark an exam, and then grade it appropriately. Professors will no longer hold the fate of the students.
 
5.         Kids will be teachers as well
 
If a kid is conversant with computers and programming codes from as early as 5 years, then he/she is a prime candidate for teaching roles. He/she can, for example, help her mother to organize her recipes or teach her grandparents how to use different prescription drugs. In a classroom setup, that kid can teach her teachers how to set up different tech learning tools. In simple terms, technology has made it possible for teachers and learners to change roles every now and then. 
 

Author Bio: Laura is a marketing specialist at SEOforX. She helps her company advertise its products and services and she has a thorough knowledge on developing marketing approaches for products and brands. Besides being a marketing specialist she has a special interest in financial technology. She finds Fintech fascinating and writes about how the new technology is being used to improve activities in the finance sector.



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Why Traveling is the Purest Form of Education

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Is traveling the purest form of education? Without a doubt, it is. My experience as a traveling single mother of two has taught me that there are tons of information and knowledge out there waiting to be tapped into, most of which a four-walled classroom will never satisfactorily provide to its learners. I have traveled both locally and overseas and that has helped me to grow as a person and to see the world with an enhanced optimism. My kids, on the other hand, have had a chance to interact with many different people and cultures and that has opened their minds to great opportunities, now and in the future. 

Unlike a classroom that confines learners to only the knowledge that textbooks provide (some of which is inaccurate), the world out there is one big pool of raw, undistorted data. The more you quench your thirst for knowledge in this pool, the more you realize how thirsty you are for more and more. What’s more, traveling is a fun form of education which doesn’t require you to sit for exams every now and then. And again, where else can you study as you vacation? 
 
Technology has made traveling easier and cheaper than ever before. Like in my case, I’m able to backpack across continents together with my kids with an unimaginably small budget. Vacation rentals are everywhere nowadays so accommodation isn’t an issue anymore while blogging and YouTubing has grown to become reliable income sources for travelers. If you are anything like me, therefore, you will be able to travel the world with only a camera, a laptop, a versatile bag, and anything else that you feel is essential for your traveling.
 
I know what you are probably asking yourself right now: Are there other solid reasons that would convince me to leave everything behind and follow the wind all over the world? Well, here are the 5 reasons that qualify traveling as the purest form of education:
 
1.         History is most real when you travel
 
If you are a history enthusiast like my kids and me, you will find traveling very fulfilling and fun. Everything you have read in your school library is a tiny part of a greater puzzle that is the history of the world. Do you want to understand British history in the rawest form? Just visit London; walk around its streets and visit different museums. Do you want to learn more about slavery? Visit West Africa, the Caribbean, and the USA and talk firsthand to the descendants of the slaves. In a nutshell, you will understand the history of a people by interacting with them and sharing in their pain.
 
2.         A road to self-discovery
 
For those who travel purely for vacation purposes, traveling is a bed of roses whose extravagance and glamour is to be admired. But this isn’t entirely the case. Traveling with the aim of learning takes you to places that you can’t fathom as of now. You will meet people who live in abject poverty, societies that were destroyed by civil war or diseases, as well as people who have experienced the worst form of tribalism, ethnicity, and religious intolerance. I have seen all these; I have volunteered to help where I could. At the end of it all, I have developed a stronger sense of resilience, tolerance, courage, and patience. My kids have discovered strengths, passions, and interests no one would have thought they had. If life is a school, traveling is, indeed, the best class to be in.
 
3.         Boosting your social skills
 
Social skills, social development, and a host of other courses taught in high schools and colleges are good at boosting the learner’s confidence, but they cannot beat traveling at that. Traveling necessitates inner confidence that helps you to ask for directions from strangers, speak foreign languages even when you understand very little of it, and trust people you probably could not have trusted had you been home. The practicality of traveling boosts your social skills in ways you can never imagine.
 
4.         You learn new languages
 
Forget translation apps and the foreign language classes you’ve been attending. Traveling and interacting with a language right from its source is invaluable. If you want to learn French, book a vacation rental in Paris and spend some time with French native speakers. During summer, If you want to master English and yet want to visit some of the best beaches in the US, I would recommend visiting Florida. You will learn the official language, the slang, the exact pronunciation, accent, and much nitty-gritty that your teacher cannot teach you. My teenage son speaks 5 international languages fluently and can get along with about ten others, yet he has never been to any language class.
 
5.         You understand the grandeur of nature
 
Are you a nature enthusiast? How many conferences on global warming, nature conservation, air pollution, and climate change have you attended? As many as they could be, their combined value can never exceed the value of a trip to regions affected by all those things. You cannot appreciate the importance of wildlife conservation until you visit Africa, for example, and discover how poaching is swiftly wiping wild species from the surface of the earth.
 
Author Bio: Laura is a marketing specialist at SEOforX. She helps her company advertise its products and services and she has a thorough knowledge on developing marketing approaches for products and brands. Besides being a marketing specialist she has a special interest in financial technology. She finds Fintech fascinating and writes about how the new technology is being used to improve activities in the finance sector.


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What Are the Benefits of Having English as Your Second Language?

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The latest figures show that out of the estimated 7.5 billion people on Earth, 1.5 billion individuals speak English. For those who are looking to adopt a new language, studying English as a second language is a wise choice for this reason alone. Knowing English can be useful in a variety of everyday situations. From business to travel, to daily conversations or consuming media, it is easy to run into situations where the language is important to know. It is also helpful to learn English from native speakers to have the best grasp of correct vocabulary and pronunciation.

If you are considering taking a trip to the United States to learn English as a second language, explore three reasons to do so.

It is spoken in many countries around the globe

Whether studying castles in English history during a university course, or traveling the world, one will quickly find that English is spoken almost everywhere. In fact, English is the official language of about 50 countries. This makes it the third most popular language among the entire global population. From islands such as Barbados and Antigua, to countries such as New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States, it is easy to find English speakers. Knowing the language becomes even more crucial, then, for those who plan to travel the world for leisure, business, or both.

Over 1 billion people speak English as a second language

It may come as a surprise to know that of the 1.5 billion global English speakers, over 1 billion speak it as a second language. Only 400 million are said to have English as their first language. Across all continents, it is common to run into individuals who can hold even basic conversations in the language. Therefore, because of how useful and ubiquitous it has become, it is no surprise that so many individuals choose English as their secondary language. If you choose English as your second language, you will be joining a large global group who has already done so.

It is a valuable skill for employment

Currently, over 50% of the world’s population can speak at least two languages. With the persistent increase in globalization, it is becoming more important than ever before to be able to communicate with people around the world. This is especially true for those who work in businesses that have international employees or clients. Rather than having to hire translators, companies are continuously looking for employees who can speak multiple languages to assist with day-to-day business. Individuals who know more than one language (especially if one of those languages is English) can expect to have better job opportunities than those who do not.

Speaking English as a second language has many significant benefits. Whether you are looking to use your knowledge for fun and travel, or to gain an advantage in your career, learning English can be an extremely helpful tool.



​Author Bio: Karoline left her corporate job to spend more time with her family and indulge in her passions of writing and travel. She now works as a freelance writer, offering advice and tips on a range of topics.


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6 Tips to help you pass an English Exam

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Preparing for any exam can be nerve-racking, especially when you are feeling unequipped for the test. The pressure of making good grades does not make the process any easier. What if there was a way to pass your English exam hands down?

Here are several tips you must incorporate to pass those English exams:

1. Keep up with the reading

Any reading materials given to you in class is essential in the coursework. When preparing for an exam, you cannot afford to lag on the assigned reading. Notice that bits of your test will source from selected texts in the reading assigned in class.

2. Actively participate in class

English courses are designed to train you to read and process all kinds of information. These are invaluable skills that you can only gather by being very active and present in class. That said, do not hold yourself back from asking questions and making necessary comments. Ideally, the more active you are, the more your brain is alert to grasp the new content being shared. Notice that the core areas of English require active learning if at all you are to reflect any of the lessons in the exams.

3. Research more about the exam

In any English test, there are core areas that are tested, ideally, reading, writing listening and speaking. Knowing this, you can go ahead and learn a little more about the exam you are about to sit. For one, how are the nature of the questions? Are they open-ended or not? Does the test major in one testing area, for example, reading and writing? Take it an extra mile by analyzing more about the length of the test, the topics covered, among others, you can even invest in an up-to-date course book based on the exam, and start practicing early on.


4. Practice


Most people do not understand that even the
MyMathLab answers are the aftermath of proper practice. To get better at anything, you must be consistent and intentional in doing it over a period. Since you cannot access the questions that will be on your English exam, the best way to prepare is to practice with another test. Take different tests to check your grammar, spelling, pronunciations, among other aspects of English. Check out some of the free samples that are online on different websites. You can even get the best advice on the type of practice you should do form a reliable data driven research tool. However, ensure you are taking the practice exams under the right test conditions. This way, you condition your mind to be ready for the English test.


5. Show up early


On the day of the exam, you cannot be late because this will get your body all anxious about passing the exams, along with being late. When you arrive in good time, you set your brain at ease in the test environment, and you are likely to attain great results.


6. Read all the instructions carefully


​Whether the instructions are on a screen or paper, take your time to deduce the intended meaning of each of the instructions provided. Even so, be watchful that you do not spend too much of your time on one section of the instructions because of the test is being timed.



Author Bio: Danny Kariuki
Dancun has been working with writing-challenged clients for over five years now. He offers ghostwriting, ghost editing, coaching, and SEO writing for businesses that want to see their sites at the helm of Google SERPs. His education background in communications and public relations has given him a concrete base from which to approach different topics in various niches. His writing skills can be confirmed on upwork.com, where he is a top-rated freelance writer. He especially enjoys writing website and blog content for startups and established businesses. Visit Takeyourclass.com and Linkedin profile.


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Can Diet Help You Boost Your English Language Learning?

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Elbows to the table. Highlighter in hand. Coffee mug filled with Java. Is this all that is required to learn and progress in your English language studies? Science has been moving in a very positive direction over the past couple of decades, with more and more researchers revealing that how we learn, the happiness we feel, and our overall sense of health and wellbeing, are intricately tied into the lifestyle choices we make. Diet is one key consideration when it comes to improving our mood, battling stress, and keeping our memory (a crucial component of English language learning) in optimal condition. How can what you eat affect your memory and your ability to learn a foreign language?

The Mediterranean Diet can Enhance Your Cognitive Performance

A 2016 study published in the journal Frontiers showed that a Mediterranean diet improves key aspects of learning – including attention, memory, and language. This is great news considering the fact that the English language has around 200 irregular verbs and even more phrasal verbs. You will need to play close attention to understand how these verbs work and the contexts in which you might expect to use them. To hone these skills, consume a diet comprising lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, beans, seeds, nuts, legumes, and healthy Omega-3-rich essentially fats, found in foods like fatty fish and walnuts.

A Cup of Learning in Just One Olive

When learning a challenging area of English grammar such as verb tenses, mixed conditionals, or false friends, your memory needs to be sharp and your brain, clear as the day. If you enjoy snacking while studying, forego butter and sunflower or corn oil when cooking and opt for cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil. A 2017 study by scientists at the Temple University Health System found that this golden oil can help with memory and learning. Researchers noted that its high Omega-3 content reduces brain inflammation and helps the brain get rid of toxins that can eventually cause diseases like Alzheimer’s. Another study by the American Academy of Neurology showed that fruits and vegetables can also help decrease the chance of memory problems. Ideally, you should enjoy around 400 grams of fruit and vegetables a day. If you are pressed for time, a nutritious breakfast smoothie is a quick, ideal way to start the day with zest.

Forego High Fat, High Cholesterol Diets

If certain foods can promote learning, others can prove to be a big obstacle to memory. Doctors from the Medical University of South Carolina warn that high-fat, high-cholesterol diets can cause memory loss, since they promote inflammation in the brain. Your eye and ear health can also be affected, which isn’t good news when studying is a goal. Don’t underestimate your eye health when studying for an ESL exam. You will have to rely on various sources, not all of which will have large, clear fonts. Your eyes will also be strained if you are studying on the computer or online, so keep your snacks low-fat yet delicious by utilising cooking methods such as grilling instead of frying.

We have mentioned just three studies pointing to the benefits of a Mediterranean diet for learning and memory. One of the best things about this diet is that it is easy to enjoy both in the home and when you are dining. Opt for grilled foods, use extra virgin olive oil as your dressing, and make sure to eat enough fruits and vegetables every day. You may find this diet has additional perks, including helping you shed a few extra pounds or maintain a healthy weight.

​Author Bio:
 Karoline left her corporate job to spend more time with her family and indulge in her passions of writing and travel. She now works as a freelance writer, offering advice and tips on a range of topics.




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How to Pay for a Study Abroad Trip

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Regardless of your major, studying abroad is an exciting opportunity for all students. It gives you the opportunity to learn about a different culture while furthering your own education. It can also help you learn new skills and further your career opportunities.

So it’s not surprising that studying abroad is a popular trend worldwide. In the U.S. alone, the number of students that studied abroad grew by 2.3 percent from the previous year.

Many students hope they will have the opportunity to study abroad while they’re in college. While most hope for the chance, few students consider the logistics of how they will pay for 
the experience.

How to Finance the Learning Experience

Studying abroad is an enriching experience, but it can come with a hefty price tag. Research from the International Institute of Education found that the average cost is about $18,000 per semester.

With an average price tag that high, many students don’t even try to work out the financing, assuming they’ll never be able to afford it. But there are many ways you can pay for your dreams of studying abroad without breaking the bank. Let’s look at four different options below.


Paying out of Pocket

If loans or scholarships aren’t an option, it is possible to pay to study abroad out of pocket. To do this, you’ll need to calculate the full cost of your trip, beyond just the program fees. This includes things like food, travel expenses, school materials, and more.

You’ll also want to consider the exchange rate. In some countries, the U.S. dollar is weak compared to the local currency. This means you’ll need to save more than you anticipated.

You might consider fundraising and asking for donations to help pay for the trip. And it’s also possible to find a job while you’re studying abroad to help pay for living expenses and food. Or you could consider taking on a side hustle to save money for the trip ahead of time. 


This is easily the hardest way to pay for study abroad upfront; however, you’ll have much less of a headache later because you didn’t take on any debt in the process.

Taking Out a New Student Loan

You may want to consider taking out a student loan for study abroad. Your current federal loans may cover some of the costs, but you’re likely to incur some unexpected expenses along the way. Private loans are a way to bridge the gap and cover any expenses left by the gap in funding.

​However, you should think long and hard about this option. Student debt is a well- known problem today, impacting millions of college students. Do you really want to add another $18,000 to that problem?


Finding a Scholarship

One of the best ways to finance your dreams of studying abroad is by getting a scholarship to pay for it. There are thousands of study abroad scholarships available, but most people just don’t know where to look. Start researching early and often. If you get started early, your chances of securing a scholarship will only go up.

Start by contacting your college’s study abroad office and ask them if they know about any scholarship options. From there, you’ll need to do your research and apply for as many scholarships as possible. Keep in mind that scholarships can be quite competitive, so it’s even more important to apply early and often.

Getting a Grant

There are also grants available for students looking to study abroad. For example, the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a grant program that helps students with limited financial means finance a study abroad trip.

The most important thing is to look for every grant and scholarship opportunity you can find. The more aid you can find to pay for your trip, the less you will have to pay out of pocket. And it’ll save you from taking on more student loan debt.

Is the Trip Worth the Trouble?

College students are often encouraged to broaden their horizons and pursue study abroad programs. Studying abroad can give you a broader perspective of the world and help you learn about new cultures.

There are scholarships and grants available as solutions if you’re motivated to look. And it is possible to pay for the trip out of pocket by saving far in advance, fundraising, and working remotely.

But be wary of relying on high-interest loans to pay for the experience. Student loan debt can hamper you financially and limit your options down the road. You should carefully consider whether it’s worth the additional burden.

Studying abroad may be worth the high price tag, but make sure you understand what you’re getting into first. Figure out the real cost of the program and look for scholarships, grants, and other ways to pay for it without taking on more debt.


By Matt Lenhard– the Webmaster of The Student Loan Report


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Can Supplements Help You Ace Your ESL Exams?

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If you are studying English as a second language, what are your biggest bugbears? Are they the verb tenses, irregular verbs, or phrasal verbs? Language study sometimes puts your memory to the test, and some students may seek a little edge through supplementation. If this is your case, make sure that you choose what you take wisely. Not all products deliver what they promise, so go with tried and tested supplements only.

Supplements that Benefit Brain Health

‘Nootropics’ is the term used to define supplements that have the potential of boosting brain health and memory. The term was coined by a chemist who set out specific requirements for a supplement or food to fit the bill. He stated that nootropics must improve learning or memory, protect the brain against chemical or physical injury, and have few or no side effects. Nootropic supplements and foods enhance the learning process through their powerful effect on neurotransmitters (including noradrenaline and dopamine). Different nootropics have a different effect on the brain, so it is important to make the right choice. The quality of supplements is also key. Any supplements you buy should be safe, concentrated enough to make a difference, and manufactured by a reputable company.

Which Nootropics Can Aid in Language Learning?

It is important to consult supplementation with your doctor to discuss issues like dosage, suitability, and compatibility with any other medication you may be taking. Some supplements you may mention include choline. The latter is often used to enhance learning and memory, and one study by scientists at the University of Granada found (in lab studies) that this nutrient did improve long-term memory and attention-holding capacity. Choline is actually found in eggs, chicken and beef liver, soy, and wheat germ, so that consuming these foods may be useful when you are studying and your memory needs to be in tip-top shape. Other useful supplements include Acetyl L-Carnitine (which enhances creativity – this might be useful when you are completing a creative piece for an ESL class); ginkgo biloba (which has been found to slow down the rate of cognitive decline); and 7-hydroxmitragynine (which is used to battle stress).

The Importance of a Healthy Diet and Sleep

If you follow a Mediterranean-style diet (packed with healthy proteins, fruits and vegetables, and healthy Omega-3-rich fats) and you make good sleep a priority, you may be able to reduce or do away with the need for supplementation. Studies have shown that cramming before an exam can lead to significantly poorer results, yet so many students continue to stay up late, and leave study for a few days before an exam. Create a study plan in the weeks leading up to an exam, dividing what you have to learn into specific chunks, completing a set number of these every day. 

To ace your next ESL exam, tackle stress and nerves from a multifaceted perspective. Make time for exercise and stress-busting activities like meditation and controlled breathing, prepare yourself healthy meals, and make sure to get around eight hours of sleep a night. If you need a little help, ask your doctor about whether or not supplements are ideal for you and make sure to invest in quality products that will deliver the results they promise.



Author Bio: Karoline left her corporate job to spend more time with her family and indulge in her passions of writing and travel. She now works as a freelance writer, offering advice and tips on a range of topics.


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The International Student’s Guide to College Application Types

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The college application process can be overwhelming. There are recommendations to gather, campuses to visit, and, of course, applications to complete. For international students applying to American colleges and universities, this process can be exponentially more complex and intimidating.

While the pieces of the process are not all easily overcome, you may be able to reduce some of your stress by reviewing the various types of college applications that are commonly found in the United States. Each school ultimately has its own expectations and requirements, but if you are applying to American schools, it is very likely that you will see one or more of the following in your future:


1. The Common Application
The Common Application was developed to standardize the college application process and to simplify it for those students applying to multiple schools. Accepted by more than 600 colleges and universities in the United States and abroad, the Common Application first asks for simple demographic information like your name and address. It also asks for general information about your academic history, including courses taken and GPA. Applicants are generally expected to provide a minimum of one recommendation and to complete a minimum of one essay. Keep in mind that the schools to which you are applying may have other expectations, so it is always best to speak with admissions departments before submitting your applications. The Common Application is available online.


2. The Universal College Application
Like the Common Application, the Universal College Application is a platform that can be used to simultaneously apply to multiple schools. In this case, however, the application is accepted by far fewer colleges and universities (i.e. less than 100). The Universal College Application asks students demographic questions, as well as information about their academic, employment, extracurricular, and testing history. As always, verify with your prospective schools that they accept the application and do not require any additional information from you.


3. Institution-specific applications
Although many schools accept the standardized, streamlined applications mentioned above, just as many still rely on their own applications, which are unique to their institution and their programs. With individual, school-specific applications, students are expected to submit multiple supporting documents—like personal statements, test scores, and transcripts—as well as one or more references specifically addressing why the school should accept you into the institution. This must be repeated for every college or university on your short list. 

If you are not certain about what the school expects from you, you can likely find this information on its website. In the event that you need additional information or have questions, admissions counselors are usually available to assist prospective students.


4. The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success Application 
As technology becomes more advanced and more widely available, institutions have begun to embrace new models and templates for their application process, like the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success Application. This model was developed for use beginning in the fall of 2016.

Over the course of their high school careers, students can use the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success Application to organize the work that they have done into a digital portfolio. When the time comes to submit college applications, students can refer back to their work, choosing the best examples to submit. In addition, because the application is worked on over the course of several years, students have the opportunity to address potential problems early and to get assistance well before deadlines. Keep in mind that this application is still very new and is in limited use. 

For more information, here is a comprehensive article on "12 College Interview Questions You Must Prepare For."


David White is a contributing writer for UniversityTutor.com, the world's largest global marketplace for finding independent tutors. 


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5 Easy Ways to Become A Super Productive Student

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Students have a lot going for them in just very little time. Even when you’re full of enthusiasm to get everything done, it will all be useless if you’re unproductive. According to a survey conducted by the Beans Group, 80% of students admit they spend an average of 3 hours a day procrastinating.

Productivity is a valuable quality every student must acquire. The ability to balance between academic and personal life can greatly help you perform better and succeed, both in and out of school. However, human as we are, it’s also as important to get plenty of rest and take care of our health. Luckily, there are some useful tips and tricks that you can use to boost productivity and ensure that you’re leading a perfectly balanced life.

Without further ado, here are 5 easy ways for you to become a super productive student:

Avoid Distractions

Let’s admit it: We’re not built to multitask well, and with the advent of smartphones and the Internet, it’s easier to fall into the habit of procrastinating. So, every time you check your phone and stop studying, it’s already considered multitasking!

Multitasking isn’t a good idea and if you’re dead-set on making progress toward getting your homework done or preparing for an upcoming exam, consider focusing on one task at a time – and putting away all those electronic devices that offer a multitude of distractions!

The common culprits that lower a student’s productivity include social media, phone calls, and online shopping, among many others. If you often find yourself putting these things within arms’ reach during study sessions, now is the time to put them away so you can focus on more important (Read: productive) tasks. Better yet, use apps that can block you from using these distractions on your phone, so you can dedicate more time to studying.

Ask for Academic Assistance

As a student, we often find ourselves feeling stumped on schoolwork, especially when a lot of things need to get done in such a short time. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Being part of a study group can help you become more productive and encourages members to not only establish strong relationships, but also hones one’s creativity and understanding of the study material. If you can’t find one, you can benefit from a tutor who can provide individualized attention and help improve your study habit.

Don’t have enough time or the required skills and knowledge to write a paper assignment? There’s a solution for that, too. Nowadays, you can outsource academic writing tasks to writing companies online. IHateWritingEssays writing agencies reviews is a great place for you to find one that best suits your needs and budget.

Set A Deadline for Every Task

Once you’ve organized your study into individual tasks, setting a competitive deadline will make it easier for you to achieve your goals. By normalizing deadlines and maximizing productivity, you can avoid cramming at the last minute.

​If you’re working on a project, you can schedule every step on your calendar so you can prevent procrastination and not miss deadlines. You can also set the right time limit for an activity. For instance, you may have figured out that a homework can take you an hour but if you give yourself 30 minutes, you can get the job done much faster. Just make sure the time limit isn’t too short that it’s almost impossible to achieve.

Also, consider tackling the difficult parts of a task first. Oftentimes, this can spur your motivation and make the rest of it seem easier and faster to finish. And of course, know how to set your priorities. Figure out which tasks are more important and see if you can find ways to save time. And if you ever run out of time, you’ll know which ones to skip or do quickly.

Establish A Good Study Environment

With all the distractions around you, creating an environment that’s conducive to learning isn’t easy. However, it’s not impossible and once you have one, it will keep you motivated to become productive at all times.

One of the best ways to efficiently get your schoolwork done is to set a specific space for studying. It could be a home office, the library, or even a local cafĂ©. Make sure the place you choose is quiet and comfy, with ambient lighting. If you don’t live alone, tell your family or roommates when and where you’ll be working on your assignment so they won’t distract or disturb you. And remember: Don’t work in your bedroom. Let it be a place solely for sleeping.

And speaking of sleeping...

Give Yourself a Break

We’ve all been told that sleeping for at least 8 hours a day is the key to healthy brain function. However, students may need more. But how can you get some well-deserved shut-eye if there are piles of schoolwork to finish?

To boost productivity, you need to take some time to relax at the end of each day and go to bed with peace of mind. Plan your sched around your own rhythm but try to adapt it to your sleep routine instead of the other way around. Go to bed only when you’re tired. Otherwise, you’ll just wind up tossing and turning, and your body will eventually come to associate bed with stress. At the same time, don’t sleep for more than 8 hours before your wake time. There are measures you can follow to tire your body and relax your mind, like exercising or doing yoga.

Achieving one’s academic goals isn’t a walk in the park, but with these simple tips and tricks, you can become a super productive student in no time. If you make them a habit, you can keep procrastination at bay and focusing on completing important tasks will be much easier.


Author’s Bio: Carol is very keen on teaching students new, effective ways of learning. When not freelancing and blogging on education-related matters, Carol enjoys traveling. She takes immense pleasure of visiting new countries.


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How to Write a Good College Admissions Essay

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Are you thinking of applying to study in the USA? If you’ve decided this would be a great opportunity for you and have found the right course, it’s time to start preparing to write your college admissions essay.

These essays are a very important part of your application and tell the college admissions board who you are and what you hope to achieve in the future. In this how-to guide, you will learn some tips about how to write an admissions essay that will help you get into the college of your dreams.

What to Write About

Generally, you will be given a list of up to five “prompts” for your admissions essay and you only need to write about one of them. What is a prompt? A prompt is a topic that is there to give you ideas. It is different from a “question” because you don’t have to analyze the prompt or answer it directly—just use it as a starting point and go from there.

When choosing from the options, its best to choose a writing prompt you can relate to. There are no bonus points for choosing a “hard” prompt, so go for the one that fits best.

Experiences that Have Shaped and Influenced You

In your essay, try to include the following information in a way that is interesting and natural:
  • Extracurricular activities you have done, like sports, music, or debate
  • Vacations and travel in your home country or in a foreign country
  • Your hobbies and interests
  • Any work experience you have
  • Friends, family, and other relationships that have been important in your life
  • Life events and experiences that have changed you

Try to include as many of these points as you can, but if something doesn’t fit, just leave it out. You are usually only allowed 650 words for your essay (this is about two or three pages), so you can’t include everything. The best approach is to choose the most interesting things about yourself and write more about those points. The aim is to stand out from the crowd!

How to Structure Your Essay

For English-language essays in general, your professors will expect you to explain yourself clearly and directly. You will need to get straight to the point and have a clear topic for every paragraph.

The best way to go about writing your essay is to start early so you have plenty of time and make a plan first. In your plan, you will need to add ideas for each main part of the essay:

●  The introduction: In the opening paragraph, state what your essay will be about and use full sentences to mention all the main points you will include in your essay. It is worth spending some time on the introduction because you want to start with a sentence that will grab the readers’ attention and encourage them to keep reading the rest of your essay.

●  The body paragraphs: Plan around 5-6 points to write about in your essay that all support your main idea (thesis), and choose the most logical order in which to present those points so that the flow makes sense. Each paragraph could focus on a life event, a special person, or something else that influenced you on your life journey.

●  The conclusion: This is the part that will stay in the readers’ minds and help them to remember you. Your conclusion should be a summary of what you have learned from the experiences and people you mentioned, and how they helped you become the person you are today. Just as with the introduction, it’s worth spending time on the conclusion to ensure a strong finish to your essay.

Polishing your English Grammar and Vocabulary

The better the grammar and vocabulary in your essay are, the more your application will impress the panel. At the same time, you want to make your essay easy to understand, so if you are not confident with long, complicated sentences and fancy words, it’s best to keep it simple with shorter sentences and use words that you know you can use correctly.

Excellent resources to help with your English grammar include the free grammar checker Grammarly and the spell check tool in Microsoft Word (or the equivalent in other word- processing programs). Make sure you set the language of the document to U.S. English rather than British English so that the spelling suggestions will be correct for the United States. If a colored line appears under an entire sentence, rewrite the sentence or break it up into smaller sentences to make sure it is easy to understand.

Back-Translating Your Essay to Check the Meaning

Once you have made your essay as good as you can, translate your finished essay back into your native language with a free online translator. This will help you to see if each thought makes sense. While online translators are not perfect, this exercise could show you if you have written something completely different to what you thought or if some of your sentences may be structured incorrectly.

Ultimately, the best way to check your essay would be to ask a native English speaker to read over it and help you to correct any mistakes. For something as important as a college admissions essay, many native speakers would be happy to help!

Prepare for a Great Study Experience in the USA

In addition to writing your admissions essay, make sure that you prepare for your USA experience in other ways as well. Use these free English writing resources to improve your language skills and consider these lifestyle services to make your time spent studying abroad smoother and safer.

If you are still looking for courses or want more information about studying abroad, you will find lots of great information on the Study USA website. Good luck and enjoy your study experience!



Author Bio: Tiffany Rauschenberger is a freelance writer, content strategist, and former graduate assistant. She frequently writes about the latest developments in teaching, public policy, standardized testing, and educational technology for sites like HeyTutor.


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Why the US Should Be Your Study Destination

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The American Dream is still alive and many international students stated that it was one of the reasons why they decided to pursue higher education in the US. Statistics have even backed this up by showing that in May 2017, there were 1.18 million international students enrolled in an American university, with a whopping 77% of that figure being persons originating from Asia. There are many reasons why international students opted to study in America such as numerous opportunities, funding, and many others. Whatever the reason may be, it is fair to say that American universities come with many advantages. However, every student aiming to start their studies in the US should consider whether they fulfill the criteria and whether they are eligible to do so. That said, many countries need to have e visa in order to travel and study there, so those students aiming to so should initially apply for a visa and gather the necessary documents before traveling.

Below are the top 7 reasons why you should consider studying in the US.

1. America is the center of the world

Let’s be honest, even though the American economy seems to be dropping a bit and China seems to have a chance of being the next world power, the USA still has a lot of influence. From TVs, movies, news and whichever country you live in, you are aware of the American culture. Studying in the US will provide you with the chance to live the ‘American Dream’ and experience its way of life. Furthermore, the US is the birthplace and home of growing innovation in fields like medicine, business, robotics, computing, physics and so much more.

2. A variety of funding options

Getting a higher education is not a cheap venture. You will have to consider tuition fees, housing and accommodation, food, travel and other expenses. Therefore, a huge deterrent to studying abroad is the lack of student financing. And if they are available, sometimes you will have a hard time going through the application process. Luckily, the American school system caters to the financial needs of international students by providing a variety of funding options with an easy application process. For example, you can check out scholarships, grants, bursaries and, assistantships. It is recommended that you do your own research about the financial aid options available and apply for those that you are eligible for.

3. American degrees are renowned worldwide

What if you studied in the US but you don’t wish to remain there to work? Not to worry. A degree that you received at an American university is usually recognized and trusted worldwide and can be used if you are applying for a job overseas.

4. Renowned Professors

As stated before, the US is the home of many new innovations, therefore it is also the home the men and women who have paved the way for their field. At times, these pioneers will teach at certain universities, whether that university is their alma mater or not. Some of these people would take on a permanent position at the school while others will just give guest lectures. Whatever the case may be, it is a great opportunity to learn from and possibly meet these powerful people. For example, Elon Musk, a man that left a huge mark in the technology sector with his most popular creation, SpaceX, at times gives lectures at his alma mater, Stanford University.

5. Great Career Opportunities

The end goal of studying for 2-4 years and acquiring a degree is that you can obtain a job in your field of study. Unlike the US, other countries may expect, that at the end of your study, you will pack your bags and go back home. But what if it is your dream to work, live and raise a family in that country? Fortunately, the American school system provides international students with a sound and trustworthy methods to attain one of the available jobs in your sector. One of these trustworthy methods is the Optional Practical Training program or the OPT program. This program allows you to stay and work in the US in your field of study for 1-3 years. In addition, other programs promise that they will source a job for you within 60 days of graduation. Now, it is your job to research these and similar programs to see how best they can fit your specific needs.

6. Practice your English skills with a diverse group of people

If one of your dreams is to achieve fluency in English, here’s your chance. If you choose to study in the US, you will be thrown into a different culture and language which will give you the push you need to master the language. Also, since we all know that the US is a melting pot of different cultures, food, people and languages, it is a great chance to find persons from the same country as you, or meet others from a different background.

7. Various customizable programs

Did you know that 41% of the top 100 universities worldwide are in the US? Also, there are approximately 4,400 degree-giving institutions currently in the US that you can enroll at. So it is safe to say that you have a lot of options to pick from. You have the option to choose based on location, programs offered, known professors, available research facilities or the history of the university. Moreover, you are allowed to customize your wanted program to your liking.
If this article has piqued your interest in studying in the US, how can you approach applying for a visa so you are able to attain this goal? Well, there are many companies that are eager to help you through the process of applying and getting your visa. They will make the process easy, seamless and not stressful at all, so take this advice into account when you are ready to start your journey of studying in the US.

Hopefully, these points are all you need to convince you to study in the US. Remember to research and browse around until you find what you are looking for. All the best!



Author Bio: Elliot Rhodes is a writer, content marketer, ESL teacher, and writing coach. He loves all things cultural exchange and is always planning his next trip. 


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The Pros And Cons Of Learning English Online

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​As of 2014, https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2016-02-09/study-enrollment-in-online-learning-up-except-at-for-profits in subjects ranging across the board. That’s only counting the United States, and we know that millions upon millions of students learn an unlimited spectrum of subjects on sites like Udemy and various other online learning platforms. We’re lucky enough to live in a world where an incredible amount of learning is done online and worldwide, and http://schools.esl.com/en/schools/p/fl007/florida-intensive-english-consortium. But is online learning right for you? Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of online learning to help with such a decision.

Staying Mobile

The most obvious plus is that learning online can, with very few exceptions, be done from anywhere. While some schools or universities may require you to be on campus even for online classes, the vast majority of online learning is done independently. This means that you can learn on the go, utilizing audio lectures and lessons with https://gosoundshack.com/best-bluetooth-headphones-under-100/, whether you’re in the car or the gym. And while you might think that completing a class from your computer would be easy, you can https://www.usnews.com/education/online-learning-lessons/2015/10/02/discover-the-weekly-number-of-hours-online-students-study - you’re still learning a new language, after all.

On Your Own Terms

There can be exceptions to this, but the dominant majority of online language learning can be done on your own schedule. One of the greatest perks is the ability to make your own timetable. Rather than having to report to class and keep attendance, you can work on your lessons whenever your busy schedule allows! This is incredibly useful to those of us that might be working while also going to school. The added flexibility makes it so that rather than constantly stressing deadlines, a student can take what workload they can to suit their life.

Stay Motivated

One of the drawbacks to consider is the lack of a structured classroom. Depending on your style of learning, this may be a pretty sizeable con, as some students require a rigid structure to retain learning. If you’re not one of those students, then fantastic! You can keep on learning on your own terms. On the same theme as missing a classroom, you might also be missing an instructor. A risk with online classes is that the professor can feel distant, amorphous, or just nonexistent. Research the class you intend to take to ensure that you’re comfortable learning in this manner.

​All in all, online learning is one of the fastest growing styles in the world. A massive number of universities and other such online learning tools utilize online classes or connections. Do your research into each class to make sure that you’re using the right platform to best learn English, or any other subject.



Author Bio: Karoline left her corporate job to spend more time with her family and indulge in her passions of writing and travel. She now works as a freelance writer, offering advice and tips on a range of topics.


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Can You Work and Study At the Same Time In the U.S?

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Let’s face it, higher education is extremely expensive over the world and for that, anything that could bring in an extra income is always welcome. Studying in the U.S, in particular, can get really hectic without some reliable sources of pocket money due to the high cost of living in the country. Unless you are an American by law, however, acquiring a job in the country isn’t the easiest thing to do. However, luckily for students, there are always scholarship opportunities and availabilities which students can gain from. Even though, not so easy to get, universities place very strict rules or criteria for students applying for such scholarships. Nonetheless, there have always been other means of scholarships provided by private companies in order to motivate and help students reach their goals. One example is with a Florida Rental company which provides students with a vacation scholarship, to help ease their tuition fees.

There are many hurdles that international students have to contend with first before landing a job in the U.S, particularly due to the limiting nature of a student visa (F1 Visa). The country’s Department of Homeland Security is extremely strict on foreign students who try to go around the rules and seek employment where they shouldn’t. Such students risk getting prosecuted in a court of law, deported back to their home countries, and/or their student visas being canceled. That is the last thing that you would wish for, right?

But even in the midst of all the said challenges, is it possible to work and study at the same time in the U.S if you are a foreign student? The good news is that as limited as your chances could be, it is not entirely impossible. You can liaise with your Designated School Official (D.S.O) to apply for and acquire a social security number (SSN) which is mandatory for any student seeking employment in the U.S. If you haven’t interacted with your D.S.O yet, don’t feel intimidated to contact his/her office now because it is his/her job to make your life as an international student as stress-free as possible. Also, in order for you to have all the necessary documents available and correct, f you are coming from a non-English speaking country, it is advisable to hire a translation company, to help you with the translation as they are very sensitive and minor mistakes can cost you really much. That done, you will be legally allowed to try your luck in the following four employment opportunities.

The 4 Employment Opportunities That International Students Can Pursue in the U.S

1. On-Campus Opportunities


The Department of Homeland Security permits international students to work as dorm attendants, cafeteria attendants, bookstore assistants, and library assistants. You are free to start work immediately after you are admitted to your school, even before you start attending classes. The only limitation to this opportunity is that you cannot work for more than 20 hours in a week within the course of your semester, although this ban is automatically lifted during school holidays. If you take up multiple jobs, then you will have to split up your 20 hours between all the jobs.

2. Off-Campus opportunities

There are two types of off-campus employment in the U.S, i) “Educationally affiliated” off-campus employment Universities often enter into contracts with research institutes in a bid to jointly collect data and conduct extensive research. If your university enters into such a contract, then you are legally eligible for employment within that research project. This opportunity is usually a preserve of post-graduate students.

In another instance, your institution may enter into educational partnerships with other universities or open satellite campuses to support its established curriculum. You are free to seek employment in such off-campus institutions.

ii) “Hardship Circumstances” off-campus employment

If you face sudden economic hardships into your second academic year (first years don’t qualify here), your school’s D.S.O can recommend you for off-campus employment. The hardships could be as a result of the increased cost of living or tuition fees, sudden reduction or total discontinuation of your financial support, emergency medical needs, or any other legitimate cause.

You, however, must prove beyond any reasonable doubt that you didn’t have any direct contribution towards the said severe hardship. If, for example, you messed up in your on- campus employment, the financial crisis that would precipitate from your termination cannot qualify you for an off-campus employment opportunity. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers reserve the right to approve or decline your application. If approved, you will be limited to working for 20 hours off-campus every week.

3. Temporary OPT

Undergraduate students world over are required to partake practical training before or after completing their coursework. In this realization, the U.S Department of Homeland Security allows foreign students from recognized American universities and colleges to find Optional Practical Training (OPT) jobs that are relevant to their university major.

If interested and have completed your first year of study, you can liaise with your school’s DSO to apply for such a job. However, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officers reserve the right to approve or decline your application so applying doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be approved for the job.
If you apply for these jobs before completing your degree, you will only be allowed to work for a
maximum of 20 hours in a week when your session is active and full-time when on recess. If you have completed your course, you are allowed to work full-time for a maximum period of 12 months.

4. Internship or Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Just like OTP, students across the world are entitled to an internship in order to equip them with hands-on skills in readiness for the job market. The Department of Homeland Security fulfills this necessity for foreign students by giving them CPT authorization. Your DSO will help you with the application process after completing your first undergraduate year.

You are eligible for either CPT or OTP employment, but not both. The advantage of taking up CPT employment over OTP is that your working hours are unlimited.

Whichever form of employment you find when studying in the U.S, it is imperative that you play by the book to avoid getting into trouble with authorities. If you ever need help in the process of applying for student visa to the U.S, you can contact a travel company to do it for you.


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15 Things Every Student Should Know About Studying in the United States

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Making the decision to study abroad and away from your own country is a tough one and it can be very stressful. Living and studying in the United Stated will be something completely new to you if you are from any other part of the world and there are certainly a lot of things you won’t know before you actually start living there.

In most cases, movies are painting an ideal picture of what it is like to study abroad and most students are expecting a lot more than they will actually get. While some things might be similar, there will always be things one should know about applying to a college in the United States. Here are some important things to keep in mind.

1. Universities vs. Colleges

The very first thing you should know about studying in the United States is that universities are called colleges. In most countries around the world, the term college is being used to explain a type of education less valid than that of universities.

In the US, colleges and universities are the same thing and this is something you should know from the beginning in order to avoid any confusion when picking the course of your choice.

2. The price of textbooks

You have probably seen a movie or two, or even a post on Reddit, where an American student is complaining about all the money they will have to invest into buying their textbooks for a semester. These are in fact the most expensive thing you will need to pay for during your college years.
In order to make this a little simpler and more affordable for you, you should make sure to always ask the professor if you will need to study from a certain textbook or not. In many cases, you might end up never needing the textbook and wasting your money for no reason.

3. Keep notes in your classes

Attending your classes and especially keeping notes is the number one thing that will help you succeed in your studies in the US. Textbooks aren’t always needed and most of the time they are too heavy to carry around with you.

By keeping notes throughout the semester you will be able to know exactly what to study when exam time rolls around. Sharing your notes with other people in your class could even help you make some new friends and find people to study with when you come across a difficult subject.
This way of studying will be a lot easier and you won’t have to struggle with memorizing everything from scratch since you will have already gone through everything once through your notes. An online
platform for translators such as The Word Point can help you get a better understanding of how to keep notes the right way and excel in your studies, especially if English in not your native language.

4. Finding the right studies

One of the best things about the American educational system is that you don’t have to compromise with studying something you are not enjoying. If you find that you don’t like the course you applied for, you can always change the courses and even the college you are attending.
It’s not rare for many students to have more than one major and you can even change your major as many times as you wish if you realize it’s not the right one for you. Lastly, you can also use your college credits in order to swap colleges and not have to pay anything for it.

5. You should have your ID at all times

Carrying your ID with you is always important. Being an international student, you should always have your ID and/or passport with you in order to prove your country of origin and your credentials.
On top of this, you will have to show your ID when buying drinks in any bar, as most have a strict 21 and up policy!

6. Managing your expenses

You have probably heard that US colleges are some of the most expensive in the world. While this applies for some, it is not the general rule. In fact, your college expenses will cover a lot more than just your education. You will be able to have medical insurance, accommodation in the dorms and other important benefits.

7. Networking is important

Making friends and meeting new people will really help you feel less lonely and allow you to create contacts with people who could help you evolve professionally in the future.
Since you will be a foreigner, networking is really important, especially if you wish to live and work in the US after your studies have been completed.

8. Participating in classes

The best way for your professors to notice you is by you participating in their classes as much as you can. While you might feel shy and nervous, don’t hold back from replying to their questions.
Even if English is not your native tongue, you should still try asking questions and answering to your professors so that you can practice and get to know them too.

9. There is no special dress code

You really don’t need to worry about showing up to class in a certain uniform or any sort of proper clothing. Most students will just roll into class in sweatpants or leggings and their warmest, most comfortable hoodie.

10. College clubs play an important role

College clubs in the US turn strangers into good friends and they can play a very important role in your networking and friendships. The good thing is that there are many different clubs you can join based on your interests and skills and you can learn a new skill while going through you studies.

11. Ask for help if you need it

Studying abroad will be difficult for you and you might not be able to fully understand your textbooks or you might have issues with understanding what you need to do for a certain assignment. Asking for help from your professors and peers should always be your priority if you come across a difficulty.
You will definitely not come across as annoying. In fact, your professors will be happy to see that their international students truly care about their subject and about learning.

12. Your driver’s license is probably valid

Even though you should make sure to check the laws that apply in the state you will be living in, it is most likely that your driver’s license will be perfectly valid. This way you will be able to get a car, especially if you plan on staying in the country for a while.

13. Always be on time in class

While some countries might be more lenient when it comes to arriving to class, in America most professors will expect you to be there on time, every single time. Arriving on time, even a few minutes before your professor does will help you create a good impression.

14. Interacting with local students

If it’s your first time in the States, you should keep in mind that many of your fellow students who are Americans have probably never left the country. For your first few weeks there, you will sort of be a new attraction and people are bound to ask you a million questions.
While it might get a little annoying if it happens all the time, you can use it as an opportunity to socialize, make new friends and network with people from your campus.

15. Have a vocabulary list

If English isn’t your native tongue, you might have some difficulty understanding complex words and phrases. The good thing is that it is all a matter of practice, and you will be able to fully understand everything in a short amount of time.

The best thing you can do in order to help yourself in this situation is to always carry a notebook with you, where you will write down all the words you are unfamiliar with. You can even use an app on your phone such as Evernote and make audio recordings of the words you hear in order to practice them again later.

Studying in the US will be both stressful and fun

Above all else, you need to keep in mind that people will be very understanding about the fact that you will most likely not be familiar with the “American way” of doing things. Ask for help when you need it and make as many friends as you can. At the end of the day, your studies will one day end, so you should make sure to enjoy yourself as much as possible and not worry about the little things.

Which of these things about studying in the United States did you not know about at all?


Author's Bio: Pauline speaks Portuguese, English, Spanish and Italian. She travelled the world to immerse herself in the new cultures and learn languages. Today she is proud to be a voting member of the American Translators Association and an active participant of the Leadership Council of its Portuguese Language Division.


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Memory Exercises to Speed Up Learning a New Language

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It’s common knowledge that we can train our muscles to be stronger and better by exercising. What you might not know is that we can train our brains in a similar way. Obviously, you don’t need to go to the gym to exercise your brain though. We can train it by giving it certain mental exercises to do and with this training we can learn any language at a much faster pace. Whatever language you are trying to learn, these techniques will help you to learn it faster.

Some languages are much easier than others. Languages which have similar origins, for example in Europe there are similarities between French, English, German, Dutch etc. Due to these similarities they can be easier to remember because some words may sound similar or have a word in your native tongue which can be associated with that word. However, there are some languages which are so different to any other language that you speak that it makes these kinds of associations impossible.


Memory Processes

There is a process involved in creating a memory which everyone’s brain goes through. The first part is known as encoding: this is where you have noticed a piece of information and your brain is perceiving all of the information surrounding it such as sound, sight, smell, emotions. Linking a sensory input to the piece of information helps our brain to encode that knowledge and makes it easier for you to recall.

“Every piece of information you have come across is stored within your brain. When we practise recalling this information or building upon our information, we form stronger, longer-lasting connections to that piece of information,” shares Lloyd Jones, author at Draftbeyond and Writinity. Similarly, to how you build up your muscles through exercise, exercising our brain builds up the strength of our connection to the stored information. Repeatedly recalling information is one way on how to strengthen these connections. This is why flashcards and other such revision techniques help us to remember what we have learnt.


The Tried and Tested Memory Palace

You may have heard of a technique before known as the memory palace. In case you haven’t, a memory place is a mnemonic device that has been practised since ancient Roman times. Creating a memory palace is as simple as selecting a location that you’re familiar with such as your home, school or favourite café. How it works is you virtually place representations of your memories within a place you already have a strong connection to.

How to use a Memory Palace to learn a language

1. Imagine yourself standing in your memory palace

2. Mentally make your way through the place, notice any objects or features which you could use as your memory stores. This can be anything as long as it is easy to remember, for example your desk might be one memory store, your business cards another and your lamp another. It’s important to remember these objects so that they become imprinted on your mind.

3. The next step is to replace those memory stores with what you need to remember. For example, if the word you are trying to remember is train, maybe the business cards on your desk are all replaced with train tickets, or if you’re trying to remember the word for plant maybe the lamp on your desk has transformed into a plant.

It can be easiest to write these down first and read through them then implement them into your Memory Palace, one room at a time, which will help break it down into bite sized chunks. Practise going through each room by making a story of it that’s easy to remember and soon you’ll know the words off by heart.


Create a consistent routine that works for you

A Memory Palace is just one way to learn the words you need to remember. Other techniques include flashcards, rhyming mnemonics and word association. Even if the association isn’t exact you can make up outrageous ones that might only make sense to you! “Whichever technique or combination of techniques you use it’s important to keep it consistent. Turn it into a routine. The routine itself will also help to build up your memory,” says Terry Kay, foreign language specialist and writer at Last Minute Writing and Researchpapersuk.

Eat well, sleep well, learn well

Aside from the actual exercises, just like muscle training, our brains need other things. We need a good night’s sleep. When we sleep our brain processes the information from the day and helps to strengthen the connections we have been forging. Plus, if you’re tired it makes it much more difficult to concentrate. Your diet can also affect your memory. Brain function and development relies upon a lot of nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, folic acid, Vitamin E and anthocyanin. You can also make your diet a part of your language learning? Learn the words to the food’s which contain these vital nutrients, learn recipes which contain them and practise them every day.

​Practise makes perfect. Every time we practise, we strengthen the connections in our brain to the information we’re recalling. If you make a routine of doing those exercises every single day it will help you to learn your new language at a much faster pace.


Author Bio: Charles Phan is a content writer and proofreader at Gum Essays and Lucky Assignments with years of experience. Chris has a degree in Marketing and enjoys writing about business strategies, entrepreneurship and startup companies.


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