College Articles


5 Reasons to Study Industrial Engineering

Date: Mar 30, 2016

Author: oiio

I accept it. I acknowledge it. It’s tough for anyone to decide what to major in. What are the career prospects out there? Will the degree be worth it, and will it eventually help you get a good job?

For me, I might have made the most common and costly mistake: following the herd.

I started my bachelor’s in electrical engineering and by the time I was in my second year, I knew this wasn’t the right fit for me. Too late. I felt I’d wasted my degree and the golden years which I could have spent somewhere else.

I knew I couldn’t afford to make such a mistake for my master’s degree, so I carefully researched every single option available, and I came across industrial engineering (IE).

Today, I want to show you some of the advantages of studying industrial engineering. Many people have little or no idea of what IE is, and the types of work industrial engineers do on a daily basis.

Ultimately, I hope this will help you to determine if industrial engineering is the right major for you.

1. Industrial engineers work in every sector        Industrial engineering sectors

You will be hearing this a lot. IEs are in virtually every industry vertical today. Manufacturing, technology, hardware, retail, healthcare – you name it and there is a high possibility of industrial engineering jobs.

After working with eight companies, doing internships, projects and full-time jobs, I feel I can confirm that industrial engineering-related work can be found in every company. If you don’t believe it, try this technique I came up with to test the theory. And check out this recent study naming industrial engineering jobs among the most in-demand for 2016.

2. Combine technical skills with business acumen

Many universities offer business classes parallel to IE coursework, in areas such as logistics, supply chain management and analytics. By taking these classes, you get a good grasp of the business side of a company too. Sure, you can take these with any other major, but IE and business complement each other perfectly. This also makes an industrial engineering degree an ideal starting point for an MBA specializing in supply chain management, marketing or finance, which complement the technical aspects of IE.

3. Understand ‘big data’ Big data

We all know how important the field of big data is getting. Every company today wants to make better business decisions with their increasing and complex chunks of data.   

While working for Mu Sigma, I realized how much data analysis and science can impact a business. Industrial engineering gives you the foundation for work in this domain. Take extra courses and certifications, and you could eventually become a data scientist.

4. Focus on processes

Being in this industry for so long, I know that IE is a relatively less technical field than other engineering majors. What I mean is that industrial engineering is more focused on processes and finding ways to improve processes.

Don’t get me wrong. This by no way means you won’t or cannot work on software, or won’t be involved in coding. However, there is less of the heavy-lifting coding and the focus is more towards process improvement and ways to bring change through strategies such as cost reduction, savings and reducing timings.

5. Customize IE to match your interests Industrial engineering jobs

As an industrial engineer, you will always have options to explore and work in different job roles. Want to sit at a computer doing deep data analysis? There are industrial engineering jobs in data analysis and business analysis.

Want to work on a production floor doing manufacturing work? There are jobs in logistics engineering, manufacturing engineering, production, forecasting, among many others.

Want to travel while you work? Consider industrial engineering jobs in consulting and client-facing roles. There are plenty of other options – these are just a few examples.

Still not sure? Ask these three questions to see if industrial engineering is for you.

Zubin Ajmera Zubin has a master’s in industrial engineering and is currently working full time with CEVA Logistics. He has worked with multiple companies in the past, including Revlon, Caterpillar, Mu Sigma and a couple of start-ups. He provides advice for aspiring IE students and professionals atIndustrial Inside.


How to Make a Successful US College Application

Date: Mar 30, 2016

Author: oiio

Getting into US colleges is becoming more and more competitive, with more candidates applying for a limited number of spaces. The US remains the top choice for most international students, with more than 886,000 international students currently studying in the US on bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs.

That should not scare you, but only make you more ambitious and determined to succeed. So, how can you improve your chances of being admitted to the US college or university of your choice?

1. Start your US college application early

Applying to US colleges will take time and concentration. Each application is different and involves collecting recommendations, writing essays, and other requirements. Entry requirements for each institution are different, but most colleges require completing an admissions test or essay, the SAT or ACT admissions tests, and providing recommendation letters from teachers. In order to succeed without stress, you need to give this step the time it deserves.

You should be starting to collect information and to compile a checklist of all the things you need to do at least 12 months prior to the college application deadline. You may also want to think of a backup plan. Not because you are not going to have a successful application, but because you are a smart candidate and you are making sure that you will have an amazing education no matter what.

2. Prove your passion for the subject

You may need to write some essays and have an interview with the university that you choose and you are probably very nervous about that. But in order to succeed at all these things, you just need to remember one aspect: US colleges love passionate students who are willing to put the effort in.

Of course, your research, writing style and the quality of your information are extremely important, but you should not avoid showing your passion for the subject. Reflect on your intellectual and practical motivation for studying at your chosen US college, and why you find the subject area especially interesting or challenging. You can also point out if there are any particular courses of interest to you and why that is.

3. Seek advice directly from your chosen US colleges

If you really want to get into a US college, don't hesitate to contact the institution personally in order to get more detailed information about the program and the application process. This will show that you are interested and committed. Never be afraid to ask questions; US universities are looking for curious and determined students, and you don’t want to lose your chance out of fear.

Even more, in order to have a successful college application, you need to build up a picture of what is expected of you as an applicant and the best way of doing that is by speaking to the admissions staff of the study programs you are interested in.

4. Put the effort in when writing your personal statement

Writing a stellar personal statement or application essay is one of the most important steps you have to accomplish in order to have a successful US college application. This will be your chance to let the university see that you are interested in the field of study and that you are willing to work hard in order to study and build a career.

You can impress US admission officers with your existing knowledge of your chosen subject. That being said, you need to take the right amount of time in order to make sure you manage to highlight all of your abilities and ambitions.

5. Use your own voice Use your own voice

Many students fall into a trap when trying to impress admission officers and they try to be someone they are not. But if you want to prove to universities that you are the right student for them, you need to be genuine and use your own voice. Present yourself in a positive light, and don’t try to imitate a different personality. Don’t just use clichéd statements when describing your motivation for your field of study. It’s better if you include specific details, examples and reasons; this will help you to stand out.

Try to use personal experiences and avoid overly formal or business-like language. If you wish to say something in a way that no one else did before, you need to find your own words and to allow yourself to be creative. Colleges will be a lot more impressed by someone who has a strong sense of their own identity and ambitions, rather than someone who sounds the same as every other applicant.

6. Create a calendar of application deadlines Calendar of application deadlines

Regardless of the quality of your application, all your efforts will be wasted if you miss a key date. That is why you need to plan ahead and make sure you are organized. After all, your future is at stake.

Create a calendar with all the relevant deadlines so that you are prepared well ahead of time to ensure that all aspects of your application are complete. An incomplete college application is the first step towards rejection. Unless you are focused and start early, you might feel overwhelmed by all the things you need to do during admission period.

7. Be honest Be honest

While you want to show the best side of yourself, it’s also important to be honest. Because you are trying so hard to impress admission officers, you may be tempted to embellish some details or try to be someone you are not. In order to avoid that, I strongly recommend that you show your application to a teacher or a good friend that knows you and ask them if it sounds like you. It’s always important to get a second opinion.

Studying at a US college is a dream that many international students have. The road to get there may seem difficult at first, but now that you’ve gathered all these tips, you will certainly manage to make a successful application.


Manage Article

Date: Mar 05, 2016

Author: OiiO

Manage Article Information


Top 50 Universities Under 50 in 2013

Date: Mar 30, 2016

Author: oiio

A new leader emerged this week in the QS ranking of the world’s top 50 universities that are less than 50 years old. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), one of the youngest universities of all, takes the accolade after moving up from third position in last year’s inaugural Top 50 Under 50 ranking.

HKUST was already the leader in the QS University Rankings: Asia, also published this week. Established only in 1991, it has shown its quality against much older institutions, rising seven places to 33rd in the overall QS World University Rankings in 2012.

The latest QS Top 50 Under 50 sees HKUST replace a fellow Hong Kong university in the top spot. Last year’s leader, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, is now too old to qualify, having reached its half-century along with four others from the 2012 Top 50 Under 50. The universities of York, East Anglia and Victoria, and King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals are all no longer eligible for inclusion.

Partly because of the loss of these five 50-year-olds, 29 of the universities in the new ranking have moved up since last year. However, the progress made by these young institutions is genuine: those in the Under 50 ranking have, on average, risen 2.7 places in the QS World University Rankings in the last 12 months.

Second-placed Nanyang Technological University is of the same age as HKUST, although another university had occupied the same site previously. The Singaporean institution has moved up from fourth place, having also climbed in the world’s top 50 universities in the 2012 QS World University Rankings.

All 50 universities in the new Top 50 Under 50 fall within the top 350 in the QS World University Rankings, despite the advantages enjoyed by historic universities in such comparisons. New entrants this year are Argentina’s Universidad Austral, a private university based in Buenos Aires;  Brunel University, in London; King Abdul Aziz University, in Jeddah; Rome's Universitá degli Studi di Roma - Tor Vergata; Linköping University, in Sweden; and Germany’s Universität Bremen. All have been moving up the overall world rankings.

The ranking is guaranteed further upheaval next year, when Warwick, Lancaster and Macquarie universities will all be lost from the top 20 as they celebrate their 50th anniversaries. The number of UK universities will continue to decrease in coming years, giving universities in Asia the opportunity to further tighten their grip on the leading places.


How to Prepare for a University Fair

Date: Mar 30, 2016

Author: oiio

This article is adapted from the QS Top Grad School Guide 2014. For the full version, get your free digital copy (site registration required).

Attending a university fair is a great opportunity to meet representatives from lots of universities all in one place, and get answers to all your questions about university admissions, course content, study options, graduate careers and more. You may choose to attend a university fair focused on study options in your home country, or an internationally focused university fair such as the QS World Grad School Tour or QS World University Tour. Whichever type of event you opt for, here’s a list of 10 tips to help you get the most out of the experience.

1. Research your study options

It’s definitely a good idea to spend some time researching your study options before attending the event. This means you’ll be able to really benefit from the specialist knowledge of the university representatives and advisers on the day, rather than just using them to find out information you could have checked online.

2. Prepare some questions

As part of your research, write down a few questions or issues you’d like to discuss. These might be very specific, or simply a check list of topics, such as course structure, university admissions requirements, application deadlines and tuition fees. Don’t make this too long, or you’ll never get through it; aim for no more than five key points, focusing on the issues most important to you.

3. Check the schedule beforehand

A few days before the university fair, check the final schedule for the day (remember that this may have been altered slightly from earlier versions). Write down the start times of any presentations or panel discussions you definitely want to attend, as well as any you’re at least partly interested in.

4. Orient yourself on arrival

When you first arrive at the event, it may be tempting to just dive straight into a conversation with the nearest university admissions representative, but try to pause and give yourself time to get orientated. You’ll receive a floorplan showing the layout of the university fair, including information about all the schools attending and where to find them, so use this to plan your route.

Also remember that the event is likely to be especially busy towards the start, so don’t worry if you’re not able to speak to a particular university representative straight away – it’s worth waiting for a quieter moment when you can get his/her full attention!

5. Keep an open mind

While it is useful to come prepared and with a clear focus, try to balance this out by also remaining open to new study options and possibilities. You might find your ideal course exists in a form you didn’t previously know about, or that there’s a niche scholarship with your name on it in a country you hadn’t previously considered. Remember that all the universities attending the event are keen to recruit students from your region, and they’ve all potentially got something to offer you.

6. Talk to other candidates

Of course the main reason for attending a university fair is the chance to meet university admissions representatives and experts face-to-face. However, if you get the chance, try and speak to other prospective students around you as well, or at least listen to the questions they’re asking. After all, they will have done their research too, and could also be good sources of information or inspiration.

7. Keep an eye on the time

The event itself is likely to go very quickly once it begins, so make sure you don’t get too caught up in one conversation and miss out on other opportunities. You could consider setting an alarm on your watch or phone to warn you when the event is nearly over, so you can make sure you’ve collected all the information you need. Event staff will announce the start of each presentation and panel discussion in advance, so listen out for announcements!

8. Consider bringing a guest

University fairs such as the QS World Grad School Tour are free to attend, and prospective students are encouraged to bring guests along. This can be really helpful, as your companion can remind you to ask the right questions, keep you focused on your key objectives, and help you recall and sort through all the information afterwards.

9. Bring pen, paper and a bag

Whether or not you bring a guest, do make sure you bring a pen and paper so you can make a note of anything you want to follow up later. You might think you’ll remember, but there will be a lot to take in. You’re also likely to end up with a collection of information packs and prospectuses, so make sure you have a bag to carry them in.

10. Be ready to sell yourself

Finally, remember that while you’re assessing universities, the university representatives at the event are also on the lookout for top applicants. This isn’t an interview, but it won’t hurt to prepare as if it was one. So think about your appearance, how you introduce yourself, and the impression you’re making through the quality of the questions you’re asking.

Of course it doesn’t all end when the fair finishes – you’ve then got the task of sorting through all the information you collected, following up any interesting opportunities, and reaching that final decision. If you attend the QS World Grad School Tour, you’ll also be eligible to apply for an exclusive QS Scholarship.

This article is adapted from the QS Top Grad School Guide 2014.


7 of the Best Freelance Jobs for College Students

Date: Mar 30, 2016

Author: oiio

There is no college student who wouldn’t want to earn some extra pocket money. On the other hand, working full-time or even part-time is not viable for many students, as it’s important to keep time free to concentrate on studies, assignments, classes and exams.

So what is the best way college students can earn an income without putting their grades at risk? If you answered “freelancing”, then 10 points for you! Freelancing is one of the best ways you can earn money at college, as you can adjust the projects according to your own time and get decent pay as well. By now, you must be wondering just what freelance jobs you could do, and how much you could earn.

Here are seven options to consider:

1. Online tutor/teacher Online tutor

Here is something every college student will be comfortable with. With a lot of online learning websites popping up, you can go for any subject you are good at. Most online teaching platforms will set up an account in your name, and you will get the pay according to the number of sessions you have dedicated to your students.

You can teach according to the level you want, from K-12 students to peer-to-peer tutoring. You can schedule the timing of your sessions according to your own convenience and you do not have to worry about completing a fixed amount of hours because you are paid per session. And the most exciting part is that you do not even have to leave your dorm room or apartment to teach anyone. You can also become a tutor in an indirect way, by creating a course video and selling it to online learning platforms.

2. Graphic designer

If you are very good at designing, you should consider using your skills to earn some money in your free time. Design students can become freelance designers and use this as an opportunity to gain some valuable experience which can be part of their résumé in future. Competition in the freelance designing sector is very high, as there are a huge number of freelance designers in the market. Try to get started with some small projects, like marketing materials and posters for small businesses.

3. Online marketer Online marketing

Online marketing is in high demand nowadays, with people worldwide spending so much time online, not just on computers but increasingly also on smartphones. The basic job of an online/internet marketer is to increase traffic to websites, social media pages, or online markets by using a range of online platforms. Freelance jobs in this area are perfect for marketing students who want to get useful experience – as well as for any students obsessed with the latest online trends, social media and apps.

4. Content/blog writer

If you are a journalism student or simply enjoy writing and blogging, you could look for freelance jobs as a content or blog writer. Though you will gain useful experience, you should also expect to not be credited for all the content you write. But, on a positive note, freelance writing gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of schedule, and the opportunities in this field are huge. You could also write blog posts for small businesses or individuals who will pay to get good content for their websites.

5. Freelance editor Freelance editor

Another good source of freelance jobs for college students, editing and sub-editing roles are ideal for all students with a good eye for detail and excellent fact-checking skills. Editing jobs may be less time-consuming than content writing roles. Again, having this experience will be a good starting point for your future career, providing good preparation for a wide range of communications-based roles.

6. Freelance website developer

Everyone who has a business wants to establish their presence online, and website developing offers great opportunities for freelance developers. If you are good at developing simple websites that are suited for small businesses, you can earn steady money by selling your website designs. Nowadays, with the help of open source codes for incorporating e-commerce capability, you can even sell these websites to local businesses.

7. Tourist guide Tourist guide

The last of our top freelance jobs for college students is one for the more adventurous students out there! If you enjoy working directly with people, have a lively communication style, and you’re good at remembering facts and figures, this could be for you. Even if you’re studying far from home, there’s no reason you can’t become a guide – you’ll just need to invest some time in learning interesting facts and stories about the local area. If studying abroad, you could be the perfect tour guide for tourists from your home country, who want someone who speaks their language.

Freelancing is all about finding a role you’re good at, which you can do any time. This means you’ll still be able to devote enough time and energy to studies and exams. If you think of any more great freelance jobs for college students, share your ideas in the comments below.

Hasibuddin Ahmed

Hasib is a career coach, blogger and a professional writer working for jobs With an interest in providing career counselling for professionals, he has contributed a number of articles related to the topic on various online platforms. You can follow him on TwitterGoogle+ and LinkedIn


Five Pointers for Choosing Your A-Level

Date: Mar 14, 2016

Author: Elizabeth K

First, let's take a moment to recap. A-levels (short for General Certificate of Education Advanced Level) are academic qualifications awarded by many educational institutions in the UK, Commonwealth (and former Commonwealth) countries, and other countries around the world. A-levels are normally split into two years – AS and A2 – and demonstrate that a student has achieved a level of competence in certain subjects. Most universities in the UK, and in other countries, consider both the subjects studied and the marks earned when assessing applicants for undergraduate programs. This is why it's very important to make good choices when it comes to your A-levels. While some university degrees have no specific A-level requirements, others will expect you to have completed certain qualifications and just about every program will look at your exam marks, as well as your academic portfolio. So it's crucial that you choose subjects that a) will interest you; b) you can succeed in; and c) will qualify you for the degree(s) that interest you. So, without further ado, here's a quick guide to choosing the right A-levels.


 Remember that A-levels are harder than GCSEs

A-levels are hard. Really hard. Your course work will be more advanced, and there will be more of it. Lessons will be a lot more about independent learning, and you'll be expected to motivate yourself to complete work and study for exams. So, as tempting as it might be to overload your A-level schedule with advanced subjects or to take loads of courses to 'keep your options open' it's better to focus on a core that will help you apply to your chosen schools and programs. A good starting point is what are known as “facilitating subjects.” These eight subjects (math, chemistry, biology, physics, history, geography, English, and modern and classical languages) are the most likely subjects to be required by university programs. Choosing two of these, plus a third subject that interests you and relates to your potential degree, is a sure-fire way of making sure that you have lots of options when it comes to applying to universities.


 Check entry criteria for the degree (or degrees) you're considering

Facilitating subjects are a fail-safe for entry requirements, but that doesn't mean that they cover every degree or that they're always necessary. Make sure to take some time to give serious thought to your future. Do you want to studymedicine? Teaching? Technology? Figure out a few potential degrees and research the kinds of courses and experience necessary to succeed. And don't forget to check the requirements at individual universities. Take architecture as an example. Architecture programs don't normally require any specific A-levels, but the degree (and career) will require both mathematical and artistic skills. Furthermore, some architecture programs lean more heavily on the artistic side of the subject, while others concentrate more on the math and engineering aspects, so a strong art portfolio or good marks in maths will count more depending on where you apply.


 Pick subjects you're good at

So, your grandpa was a barrister, and your mum is a solicitor, but you're really good at computer programming and web design. Don't pick subjects because someone else has told you to, or because you think everyone has to study maths, a science, and English to succeed in life. Choose your A-level subjects based on your goals and strengths. If you hate a subject or struggle to achieve good marks, you're only setting yourself up for frustration and failure. Instead, consider what interests you, what makes you happy, and where you are most likely to succeed and pick courses based on those criteria. Even if a subject is hard, if you love it you'll work hard to succeed.


 Contact universities directly

Don't be afraid to approach your top-pick universities to find out more about their entry requirements and specific programs. Schedule a visit. Email the departments where you hope to study. Talk with the representative when they come to your school. Ask the questions you have about degree requirements, entry criteria, portfolios, and joint honours. Remember this is your future and the more information you have, the more informed your decisions will be. you can contact the admission offices directly on this wesbite by filling the form and ask you questions on the school profile of your choice.


 Don't just follow your friends

School friends are for life, but just because you've grown up together doesn't mean that you have the same academic interests or career goals. It may sound fun to take all your A-levels together, but you won't get into your top-choice university by socializing. Besides, if you take A-level courses that interest you and help you achieve your goals, you're likely to meet and learn with other like-minded students. You'll have plenty of time to catch up with friends after class, and just think – twenty years from now, your reunions with old school friends will be way more interesting if you've all chosen exciting, unique careers that you love!

So, while you're hanging out in front of the fire eating chocolate oranges and watching old movies, take some time to consider your degree plans. University might seem a long way off, but the next two years will fly by and if you make good choices now, you'll be on track for a brilliant and exciting future.


Student Debt Takes Center

Date: Mar 14, 2016

Author: NPR

Moving On From Common Core

The controversy over the much-maligned Common Core State Standards will diminish. States will continue their efforts to re-brand or rename the standards, while for the most part following them. Despite the political controversy, the push for high academic standards will continue, and we'll see little of the "race to the bottom" that happened under NCLB.

 Charter Schools Under A Microscope

The charter school movement will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2016. With 6,700 schools and nearly 3million students across 43 states and the District of Columbia, charters are a powerful force. The federal government has poured billions of dollars into charters, and polling shows that a majority of Americans support them. But you can expect these publicly funded, privately run schools to face new scrutiny, and new criticism.

We'll see more scandals involving fraud, corruption and mismanagement, despite efforts to weed out "bad actors" who've exploited weak charter laws in several states. As Joe Nathan, a senior fellow at the Center for School Change, who helped write charter school legislation in 32 states, puts it: "We have not done enough to deal with the crooks and charlatans, of which we have our share."

Charters will also be one of the very few education issues to get any attention in the presidential campaign.

Dreamers Dreams Deferred

There will be an even stronger backlash against the push for greater access to college for undocumented students. Dreamers — students brought to the U.S. illegally as children — will face greater opposition because of the stalemate over immigration reform. The angry, anti-immigrant rhetoric from Republicans running for president will also shape this debate. Look for state lawmakers to consider even tougher measures to deny dreamers any benefits and push them deeper into a legal and educational limbo.

 Goodbye Race-Conscious Admissions

Watch for the U.S. Supreme Court to ban race in college admissions, forcing institutions to abandon affirmative action policies. Schools will have to rethink how they recruit and enroll students in efforts to increase diversity. This will fuel an already tense situation on many campuses. Expect minority student protests and campus unrest to intensify.

 Student Debt Takes Center Stage

Higher education leaders, or what presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio calls "the higher-ed cartel," effectively killed the Obama administration's attempt to create a more transparent, consumer-friendly way for students and parents to rate colleges. But with many of the presidential candidates calling for tuition-free or debt-free college, we'll see these institutions undertake a more serious discussion about changing their pricing policies — largely out of fear that lawmakers in Washington will step in and do it for them.


Three Great Reasons to Attend Winter School

Date: Mar 14, 2016

Author: E.K

First, let's be clear. Winter school is a type of short-term study program that usually run during the (northern hemisphere) winter season, and most often during the winter holiday period (December-January). Some winter school courses begin as late as March, but regardless of when they start most winter schools run only for a week or so. Winter school courses are offered throughout the world, including in the southern hemisphere, and they can be a great way to complete some extra credits or explore subject options. Here are few reasons studying during your winter break could be an adventure waiting to happen.


Four Steps to Boost Your Creative Thinking at Winter School

Date: Mar 30, 2016

Author: oiio

Global creative thinking is among the skills that are highly valued by international communities, and that can help students gain a competitive advantage at university and beyond, as a type of education that UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova has called “the ultimate investment in the future.” However, knowledge and skills are investments that need to be constantly upgraded at every step of life, and winter schools for students create a unique global experience and opportunity for learning. Here is how attending a winter school can help you improve your global creative thinking skills…

1. Search for top winter schools   

Not many universities organize winter schools. However, those that do often invite prominent speakers who are not readily available at other times. Therefore, it is worth investing time and effort in finding top winter schools that focus on global topics close to your area of interest. Search for winter schools

A good example is the Winter Journalism School “Internet and Digital Literacy” organized by the Faculty of Journalism at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (KazNU) in conjunction with UNESCO, the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and the UN Information Office (UNIO) in Almaty, Kazakhstan in February 2016. About 120 students received an opportunity to discuss important global challenges not only with prominent academic thinkers, but also with UN personnel and international media practitioners – people who are at the front line of the news and work on really pressing regional and global issues.

2. Learn about your winter school’s global agenda
Benjamin Franklin once said: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” It is extremely important to treat winter school as an opportunity for professional growth, and to arrive well prepared. Today, reading newspapers and magazines or checking out the latest news on TV and the Internet is not enough. Specialized publications such as UN, UNESCO and World Bank reports on global topics and trends, and those put out recently by the Davos Global Forum are very useful as they provide in-depth analysis of many prominent decisions, actions and trends in the international arena.

3. Find out how to contribute and how to sharpen your skills Brainstorming
The secret to gaining knowledge, experience and expertise at such events is to be deeply involved in all discussions and brainstorming sessions. For this reason, it is important not only to come with in-depth knowledge of the subject matter, but also with your own evidence-based opinions and views. It is also worth learning about various brainstorming techniques, which can help you (and others) to be more productive and effective.

For example, at the winter school organized by Al-Farabi KazNU, experts from the UNESCO Cluster Bureau in Kazakhstan and leading practitioners in the field not only discussed with students the hotly debated issue of relations between new and old media, but also practical issues of the usage of radio and other media channels in emergency situations. In addition, training and brainstorming sessions with leading experts in the media field helped participants to learn about cutting-edge global trends in the development of Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

4. Make the most of the experience Career skills
Learning from others at this kind of event will help enhance your professional strengths, especially soft skills – the ability to think clearly, analyze and develop critical thinking. There are several important aspects here. One is looking around at prominent faculty, experts and guest speakers and noticing what you really like and admire in them – in both the content and the technique of their presentations. Second, identifying the strongest skills in others will also help you develop your own winning presentation style. Third, expanding your ability to see the complexity of big global political, economic and other issues can help you develop critical thinking and analytical skills to apply to your own innovative views and ideas.


Six Truths About Teaching Abroad

Date: Mar 30, 2016

Author: oiio

These days, practically everyone is hurting from poor job prospects. The millennial generation is notorious for staying with their parents longer and not wanting to have children because they can’t find employment from which they can get sufficient income. Similarly, many teachers also find it difficult to find suitable jobs in their own country. And because of horror stories about the soul-crushing nature of corporate employment, more 20-somethings are choosing to travel and study abroad. So to satisfy their needs and desires, millennials, educators, and career students are looking at one solution: teaching abroad.

Being a teacher gives you the chance to touch many lives; doing it in another country can let you have an even greater impact. Maybe you’re already dreaming of crossing borders and oceans to educate young minds, but there are lots of things you need to know before signing up to teach abroad…

1. Relaxed hiring requirements could be a red flag Research the company

The first hurdle most people face when considering teaching jobs abroad is the issue of qualifications. Not everyone is trained to become an educator. Some individuals may not have a teaching degree or they may not have the required certifications. Most would think that’s an automatic deal-breaker. The truth is that educational institutions differ in their requirements for teaching positions. The market for teaching abroad is very wide, so you can find different opportunities. For example, some institutions will require you to have a TEFL certification before they hire you, while others will not demand this. If you’re lucky, your employer may even help you get the certification as part of the job.

Beware, though: while certain schools may not require certifications, they are more likely to require you to work unreasonable hours for low pay. To protect yourself, ask questions about compensation, clarify leave policies, ask for the contact details of current teachers working for the organization, and check out their reputation online.

2. Being a native speaker isn’t enough Grammar

One of the main reasons to consider teaching overseas for many people, particularly those looking to teach English, is that it’s seen as an easy paycheck. All you have to do is teach your language to another person. You’ve been speaking it and writing it all your life, so how hard can it be?

It can be pretty hard, as a matter of fact. While you might not need to have a degree in education or formal qualifications to be a teacher, you’ll still need to master the rules of grammar. Students will write or say things that you know are mistakes, and you need to be able to explain the proper form or rule to them. In your everyday experience as a native speaker, you won’t need to know when to use the subjunctive past tense, nor will you be expected to be able to diagram a sentence, but as a teacher, be prepared to address such higher-level questions.

3. Bonding with other teachers can be a mixed experience Bonding with other teachers

For people who teach abroad, programs and difficulties differ depending on where they are. Teaching in a country such as Tanzania presents challenges of poverty, such as miles-long walks to school. In Korea and China, challenges may arise in the policies of the educational institution you work at. You may be required to teach classes while being monitored, or present a doctor’s note for every sick leave you take (or maybe you won’t get enough sick leave credits). Making friends with other teachers can be great because you can give each other emotional support through tough times.

The flip side, however, is that you may develop an unhealthy codependent relationship. While habitually going to the closest eating place to dine and discuss the good, the bad and the ugly in teaching abroad, you may not realize that you’re spending your paychecks faster than you can cash them. In addition, staying in a bubble with your peers can bring about an unhealthy “us vs. them” mentality, which may prevent you from treating your employers and students with the proper respect expected from a professional educator. So even though you’ll want to have work buddies, you must make your ties weak enough so that you don’t get dragged down into a toxic atmosphere.

4. Students want to learn for all kinds of reasons Teaching seniors

Maybe in your mind, you equate teaching abroad with volunteer teaching. In reality, overseas education jobs cater to many different types of students with very different motivations. You may wind up with Korean students whose parents want them to eventually attend an Ivy League university. Perhaps you’ll deal with French or Japanese adults who need additional education to move forward in their careers. You could even have sessions with senior citizens who are just looking for something to do to take their minds away from their empty nests.

Teaching abroad is not always an act of charity, and you’ll have to adopt a teaching style to suit the needs of your students. If you’re teaching underprivileged children, try to make the lessons encouraging and fun. If you’re dealing with honor students being pressured to get an academic edge, be firm yet nurturing. Adult students are less vulnerable, so you can deliver constructive criticism without having to sugar-coat it as much.

5. Traveling will become a primary motivation Wanderlust

Even if it’s not the mindset you start with, you’ll eventually think about teaching to travel, rather than traveling to teach. Being in a foreign land can get lonely and frustrating, and homesickness will take its toll at times. You can stay in the place you’re renting all day and feel miserable, but it’s better to take the situation for what it is: an opportunity.

Traveling while teaching overseas is a more immersive experience compared to being a mere tourist. You get a shot at seeing the true culture of your host country, and not just the mainstay attractions tour guides recommend. Getting to know this strange new land little by little, day by day, will give your soul a much-needed jolt. At its core, education is an exercise in exploration. When you take a job teaching abroad, that concept can take on a deeper and more literal meaning.

6. You’ll learn more than you can ever teach Self-discovery

Aside from learning about a foreign culture, experiencing the pros and cons of teaching abroad firsthand will give you valuable life experience. You probably won’t know the local language, so you’ll be forced to learn it, or at least make friends with someone who can. A lot of teaching positions offer just enough compensation to let you either save money or live large, but not both. In the worst cases, you may not get your salary on time (if you land in a less-than-reputable educational institution), so be ready to take side jobs just to pay your dues. Interacting with foreign students and managing classes on a daily basis will help you realize local nuances and universal truths about people, teaching you valuable social skills. If you’re lucky, you’ll form a deep personal connection with a student or two. If you’re miraculously fortunate, you’ll be close to all of them.

Bottom line: teaching away from your own country is a path to self-discovery. By leaving behind your friends and family, making your own decisions and taking your own risks, you’ll find out more about yourself and what you’re capable of. So unless you already lead a life that’s worth turning into an Oscar-winning biopic, teaching abroad is likely to be one of the most challenging and rewarding things you’ll ever do.

Patricia Evans is an interior designer, residential designer, art crafter, DIYer, freelance writer and a full-time mother. She writes about interior decorating, lifestyle, education and anything under the sun. She is also into green and simple living, and she loves cooking and having tea.


The New Federal Education Law

Date: Mar 14, 2016

Author: NPR

The long, grueling fight to overhaul the 14-year-old No Child Left Behind law is over, but that'll turn out to be the easy part. The new Every Student Succeeds Act returns most government oversight of schools back to states. But there are no guarantees that the states will do a better job than the federal government in two key areas: closing the achievement gap and raising the performance of the absolute worst schools.

There will be some relief for students burdened by excessive testing. But for the most part states will continue to rely on test scores, using them to punish schools rather than for improving curriculum and instruction. Reading and math scores will drop for all kids on the new, tougher standardized tests linked to the Common Core. But the dismal performance of groups that struggle will trigger more scrutiny from civil rights groups in 2016. We'll also see those groups pressure states to deal with teacher quality and funding.


Choose a Subject Area: