study abroad

Want Free Tuition? Germany May be the Place for You

Those looking to save on a college education may want to try their luck in Germany. The country just committed to tuition-free higher education for all students, including international students.

germany college

Lower Saxony was the last of seven German states to abolish tuition after the country began charging for it in 2006. Germany has a firm commitment to universal education, so the German states began dropping their tuition fees one by one.

The minister for science and culture in Lower Saxony, Gabrielle Heinen-Kjajic said in a statement, “We got rid of tuition fees because we do not want higher education which depends on the wealth of the parents.”

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Pros and Cons of Summer Classes: Are they Right for You?

With summer enrollment nearing its end, it’s now do or die. You’re asking yourself: Should I or shouldn’t I take a class this summer?

You may be still weighing the options. Do I want to have a relaxing break, or do I want to graduate sooner? Let’s ease the decision making and examine the pros and cons of summer classes.

Pro: You can lessen your fall and spring burden if you take a few credit hours during the break. Students often find it easier to spread out their heavy load to three semesters. If your traditional semesters are too hectic, this may be the option for you.

Con: The summer catalog is typically scarcer than your fall and spring ones. If you don’t have a flexible work schedule, it may be hard to find a class that you can attend.

Pro: Summer classes often have a more relaxed atmosphere, so some students still find that they have a stress-free summer. Read the rest of this entry »



The Best Ways Students Can Live Abroad After Graduation

a segment of a globe showing south west asiaOne year ago, I was like many other college seniors. I was facing my last semester of college and knew that I had to get a job soon, but I had no idea about what I wanted to do with my college degree. I could have done what my parents suggested and gotten an entry-level position at a company near my hometown, but instead I did something a little more extreme. I applied for a teaching position in Spain and was accepted. Eight months later, I was on a trans-Atlantic flight to start my “gap-year” as an English teacher.

So far, this year abroad has been a life-changing opportunity and I am very glad that I am doing it. I have learned more about a culture and a language than I could ever have done if I had stayed in the USA, and my time abroad will make me more desirable to future employers.

If you are a college student and want to live and work abroad after graduation, you have several options. You can secure an internship or job with a company that has an overseas office and ask to be transferred to that office. However, this can be difficult and many companies are not willing to do this. If you want a surefire guaranteed way to live abroad, here are some good options for you.

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University of Washington’s Foreign Student Population Might Be Too Large

University of washingtonIf you are a current freshman at the University of Washington, you could be paying $28,059 for your annual tuition, or you might get a free ride. What determines which students are lucky and which have to foot the bill? It is not academic or athletic based, nor is it need-based. Instead, the students who pay the higher amount are from foreign countries and those who are paying nothing for their education are from low-income families in Washington.

These foreign students who paying a hefty sum for their education compose about 18 percent of the school’s freshmen class; 11 percent are from China. The school recently needed to raise funds after state financing was cut by more than 50 percent in the past three years, and it did so by offering more admissions offers to students who live in foreign countries. This also means that there are less spots available for students who live in the state.

Michael K. Young, the school’s president, feel that by increasing the school’s international population, the school will be setting itself up for success in the future. He is not at all concerned with the fact that the population of students who are from another country is higher than the population of students who are from another state.

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Universities Won’t Allow Students to Study Abroad in Egypt

Old CairoPersonally, I think studying abroad is one of the best things you can possibly do while you are in college, and in recent years, many students have chosen to study abroad in order to gain a better understanding of the world and themselves. Surprisingly, the Middle East has recently become a popular destination for many of these students. Many students want to learn more about the Arab language and culture, so they are now flocking to this region instead of the more traditional Europe or South America.

However, after the recent Arab spring when many governments were toppled by rebel forces, there is now heightened violence and political instability in many of these countries. In November, three American students who were studying abroad in Egypt were arrested and detained. So it is no wonder that many parents and college administrators are now not as gung-ho for sending their students to study abroad here.

“We suspended our program in Egypt last summer,” said Jeffrey Cason, dean of international programs at Middlebury College. “But now we have a program in Amman. Some kids were worried Amman would be a less lively place, but for us it was the safest place.”

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Five Tips for Learning a Foreign Language

different language booksMany students have to take a foreign language class or two as part of the general education requirements. These classes can be a real challenge, especially if you are just going to class a few times a week and not really studying outside of class. So if that’s the problem, then start using those flashcards and learning a foreign language!

However, if you are studying and just can’t get the foreign language vocabulary words to stick in your mind, here are some tips and tricks for learning a foreign language.

1. Listen to music. Have you ever gotten a song stuck in your head and can’t get it out no matter what you do? For many people, words put to music are much easier to remember than just words, so if you are trying to learn some new vocabulary or memorize something in a foreign language, try making a song to go along with the things you are trying to learn. You can also listen to popular songs in the foreign language you are studying in order to become more familiar with the pronunciation of words and grammar structure.

2. Read one of your favorite books in the foreign language. Personally, I love the Harry Potter books and have read them at least several times each. Therefore, reading them in Spanish is pretty easy for me because I know the stories by heart and if I do not know a particular vocabulary word, I can still figure out what is going on in the story. This is a great way to learn new vocabulary words while also seeing the grammatical structure that the author uses.

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How to Study Abroad in Dublin, Ireland

Dublin RiverSo you have always loved St. Patrick’s Day? There’s just something about little men dressed in green, shamrocks, and pots of gold that really trips your trigger? Awesome! You should study abroad in Dublin, Ireland!

Dublin is home to about 2 million people and was founded as a Viking settlement during the 9th century. Although it is not one of the most popular study abroad locations, it definitely has it’s own merits and will serve as a great base for your study abroad location. What exactly can you do while studying abroad in Dublin? Here are some of our tips for getting the most out of your time in this awesome city!

1. Experience a real St. Patrick’s Day. Sure, we dress up in green in the USA and drink green beer on St. Patrick’s Day. But you have not ever really exprierenced St. Patty’s until you have done it in Dublin. St. Patrick’s Day is always on March 17 (which means you would need to study abroad during the spring semester) and there is a great parade in Dublin that features fantastic street performers. The festivities last for about four-days, so don’t feel like you have to skip school on the 17th to really enjoy this event!

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Study Abroad Programs React to UK Rioting

Masked Rioters in the United Kindom, August 2011The rioting that started in London a few days ago has made a serious impact on the way the city is perceived abroad. Those living outside of the United Kingdom have had mixed responses to the unrest, but any parent of students studying in London or the other cites affected by the violence are bound to feel concerned for the safety of their children.

Thus far, it appears that the day-to-day lives of students studying abroad in the UK have not been much affected. In Oxford, just north of London, students from American universities were asked to stay inside housing at Trinity College, according to Red and Black, a student newspaper from the University of Georgia. The students were participants in study abroad programs run by the University of Georgia, Georgetown, University of Massachusetts and St. Bonaventure University.

Many summer programs are currently ending, and US students will be returning as scheduled. Syracuse University has 31 students participating in a short-term program who were scheduled to return on August 11th. “The areas currently affected are ones where students are unlikely to go, and bystanders do not at present seem to be at great risk,” states the University’s website. Similarly, 17 Indiana University students are scheduled to return to the states this week.

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The Best Study Abroad Apps for Students

Many students take a semester off from their traditional studies and head to a foreign country to study abroad. I spent a summer abroad, and although I had a fantastic time, I really wished that I had had some better apps on my iPhone to help me while I was living in Spain. Luckily, if you are going abroad anytime soon, there now are some great apps that you can download to your phone before you jump on that plane and start your adventure. So, without further ado, here are some of the best apps for studying abroad:

iPronunciation. If you are moving to a foreign country where you do not speak the language, you are bound to make some mistakes when asking strangers for directions around your new hometown. For example, try this one on for size: desafortunadamente. (It’s Spanish for “unfortunately.”) However, if you have iPronunciation, you will not make a simple pronunciation mistake that might have some awkward consequences. This app combines Google Translate and Bing Translate to translate 53 languages with the phonetic pronunciation of 17 of those languages. Bye bye, looking-up-words-in-a-dictionary. Hello, much-easier-conversations!

Word Lens. This is another app that will help you if you’re studying abroad in a country that speaks a foreign language. Have you ever looked at a menu and had absolutely no idea what you were ordering? With World Lens, you can point your iPhone’s camera at the menu, and the app instantly translates the menu into another language. Currently, this app only works for Spanish and English but there are more languages to come in the future.

XE Currency. It is so easy to overspend while you are studying abroad, especially if you are going to a country where the currency has a higher value than the USD. Luckily, this app will help you stay on budget by providing current exchange rates for more than 180 currencies.

Flight Status. Have you ever gotten to the airport on time, learned that your flight had been rescheduled without your knowledge, and been stranded at the airport because your flight left before you got to there? Or maybe it was delayed and you now have a long layover. Either way, it’s not a fun situation to be in. With this app, you will never miss your flight again. The app gives you the latest information for your flight, including departures, arrivals, and delays.

Google Maps. I once got lost in San Jose, Costa Rica. I was walking around the city in the pouring rain for three hours and could not find anyone to ask for directions. If I had had Google Maps, I would have been able to get directions back to my home and gotten out of the rain.

Studying abroad is one of the best experiences of my entire life. If you want to see some of my videos from my summer abroad, visit our YouTube page!



Graduates Go Abroad to Find Work

As a recent college graduate, I am here to tell you: the job market is dismal. Last year, workers ages 16-24 (a generation also known as the Millennials) faced an unemployment rate of 18.4 percent. This is the highest unemployment rate for this age group in the past 60 years. The U.S. Labor Department recently reported that there are four unemployed American for every one new job that becomes available. That’s some pretty tough competition, if you ask me.

So what should recent grads who want to start their careers do? One option is to move back in with Mom and Dad until things improve. In fact, 85 percent of recent graduates are doing just that. By living with their parents, Millennials can reduce their living expenses and focus on reducing the large amount of debt that they probably incurred during college.

Another option will take students far away from their parents’ house. I thought I was being somewhat unusual when I decided to look outside our nation’s boarders for a job, but evidently, that is one of the biggest trends among Millennials. Where are these ex-pats going to start their careers? Many are going to Asia, where they can teach English and learn about a culture that is very different from their own. Japan and South Korea are two very popular options, with high wages and low costs of living luring in many recent graduates.

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