The Pros and Cons of Foreign Exchange Student Program

Foreign exchange is far more than just an opportunity for traveling as what many students fail to anticipate. It is quite an adventure that offers many benefits when dreaming of studying abroad.

However, students fail to foresee and realize later that this adventure isn’t what they expected as it also comes with a fair share of disadvantages. In order to see whether it’s the right option for you, it’s important that you consider both pros and cons of foreign exchange.

The Pros

Meeting new friends

Meeting new friends is one of the main and most exciting advantages of foreign exchange. You’ll also have a special bond with different people because many them will be foreign exchange students like you. You may also have a host family that will treat you like a family member.

Learning a new language

You’ll be encircled by a new language that you’ll have to learn once you’ve arrived in a new country a must that you need to understand so as not to be misleading or fooled by any con man. You’ll be completely saturated in the community, an advantage when it comes to learning a foreign language although it may be difficult at first.

Educational Variance

It will open up new educational opportunities for an exchange student when studying abroad. You’ll have a variety of study opportunities aside from getting to know a completely different educational system. Make sure to research colleges before making a decision as you’ll have more options when it comes to programs.

The Cons

Culture shock

Living in a different country might be quite challenging, especially if the country is completely different from yours but still, traveling and exploring a new country is always fun. You’ll most likely face with strange customs, different beliefs and mentality aside from not knowing the language. To prevent this, make research on your chosen country first to familiarize yourself.

Loneliness and homesickness

It is normal to feel lonely and homesick because you’ll leave all loved one’s behind once you’ve pursued foreign exchange student program. Our friends in home care boyton beach give good advice on how to deal with loneliness and homesickness.

Expenses

Depending on the standard of living in your host country, living abroad may require a certain amount of money. Consider your travel, accommodation and other living costs aside from the cost of admission fees and scholarship. It’s advisable that you have certain health exams before traveling abroad if you don’t have health insurance. This might entail to cost you a fortune for all the exams and medication.

Learning Without Leaving Home

Online classes are starting to become really popular nowadays. Imagine taking a course, and getting a certificate without leaving your home to study. A number of websites offer online classes and courses ranging from foreign language to learning actual skills like photography, or digital marketing.

E-learning, though limited, is one of the biggest breakthroughs in the field of education. Listed below are the advantages of these online classes.

Learn Whatever You Want

In traditional education, you may be required to travel to a different city or even a country just to enroll in the school or university that offers the course or program that you are dying to take. This  may be exciting for adventurous students but can also be really pricey, considering that you will be living in a new city.

With e-learning or online classes, you will have the chance to pick whatever course you want and study in the comforts of your own home. This eliminates actual interaction and socialization with other students that share your interest, but you can find online study groups if you want to share your ideas and get insights from others.

Yes To Comfort & Self-Paced Learning

If you are enrolled in an online class or course, then gone are the days of attending actual classes and sitting uncomfortably, while waiting for the professor to say goodbye. No physical sessions will be required of you when you choose to study online. You get to learn and work at your own pace and comfort. Lecture and other educational materials will be provided in online platforms, which means you can access them anytime and anywhere you want. You don’t have to deal with traffic jams, and getting up early so you don’t miss your class. You can even study in your pajamas, with a cup of coffee, in bed.

Looks Good On Your Resume

Do you know that an online course can make your resume look better? This proves to your potential employers how committed and dedicated you are. Online degrees are in no way inferior to traditional ones. Keep in mind that a degree is a degree. So, go ahead and impress your prospective employers.

Top 8 Ways To Encourage Creativity & Innovation Among Students P II

#6 REAL WORLD LEARNING

 

Your lessons should be connected to real world learning. For instance, if you’re teaching trigonometry, tell your students how trigonometry is used to measure the height of a tree. Demonstrating the lessons through real life situations, will help the students learn and understand the concept in a better way. It will arouse curiosity in them and involve them in the class. You can also make use of different apps to make the sessions a lot more fun and interesting. You could truly blow the roof off the place!

#7 BRAINSTORMING SESSIONS

Go for a brainstorming session in your classrooms. These are one of the best ways to get the creative juices flowing in their mind. When different brains are focusing on one idea, chances are that you will get different ideas and it will also involve everyone in the classroom.

These sessions are one of the best platforms for students to voice their opinion without worrying about what’s right/and what’s wrong. You can always set some rules before starting the session. It can either be a simple brainstorming or group brainstorming or you can also try paired brainstorming session.

 

#8 LEARNING WITH NATURE

Some lessons are best taught when they are taught by the beautiful nature. Go to field trips or you may take the students out for a nature walk. This is one of the most exciting ways to learn, and also helps students to remember the lessons for a long time. Role-playing is yet another strategy which you can try with any of the age groups. Keep all these innovative ideas in mind to make the teaching method more successful.

Good luck!

 

Study Abroad

I don’t regret much in my life. Everything happens for a reason. Everything falls into place. Sometimes, things happen that we don’t like, or want. Sometimes, thing don’t happen even when we look back and think that it would be fun. That something for me is studying abroad.

There are a few things I think about when it comes to this topic. First of all, I’m finished with college. Well, I should say that I’m finished with my undergraduate years. I can tell myself that college is only four years long and that it’s alright I didn’t study abroad. At the same time, I can tell myself that there is still time! If I really wanted to, I can study abroad. But it would be towards my Master’s degree. The thing about studying abroad is that it doesn’t have to be four years long. Or, in my current situation, two years long. Instead, some people only spend one semester aboard. What an amazing opportunity!

I would probably consider this if it weren’t for a few things. First of all, I work full time and taking a few months ago isn’t in the question right now. Secondly, part of the purpose of studying abroad is to visit foreign countries. But I’ve already done that! Surely, I haven’t visited them all. I haven’t even come close. But I’ve been to over 15 countries. That’s a lot more than most people can say they’ve visited, I think.

If I were ever going to study abroad I would choose to do it in a European country. My favorite countries I visited were all there. I enjoyed Spain, France, and Italy, among others. If I had to choose, I would probably study in France. I love the bakeries there that seem to pop up on every corner! If I do study abroad, I’ll make sure to write about it here in the future.

Online Classes

I would define the latter part of my education as being quite all over the place. I went to a private grade school. I went to a public high school. College was a bit wild for me. No, I’m not talking about parties or anything like that. Though I’m not saying it didn’t happen. What I mean is that I started off at a community college. I transferred to another community college. I did some classes online. I transferred to a major university. I took classes in person and online with them. And I finally graduated from the major university. Wow! Did you follow me? Again, I did mention it was a wild ride.

Let’s talk about the online schooling portion. There’s one main takeaway I have from my time with online school. I loved it! College is a time when people try to save money. Online schooling was great for me because I didn’t have to pay for gas. That’s only one part I like. Also, during the time I was in online school, the average gas price in my area was $4 a gallon!

Another reason I loved online classes was I didn’t have to wake up early to go to school. This was the biggest change for me after getting out of high school. With this type of situation, however, I needed to stay motivated. It’s easy to go to school every day if that’s what people do. It’s harder to log in online if it’s not required to do so every day.

With online classes, I never had to present to the class. I never had to give a speech. I consider that a perk of online schooling. On the other hand, I had no classmates to talk to. So, there are both benefits but some drawbacks to going to online school.

The Path Forward

I did walk the traditional path when it comes to education. Normally, someone will go to elementary school first. I did that. Then, they will go to high school. I did that as well. Then, some, but not all, will go to college. I went to college after high school. However, I did not finish. At least I didn’t finish right away.

When I began college I started off with general education classes. I think most people do this, to get those classes out of the way. After completing the general classes, students move on to classes that involve their major and minor, if applicable. I did not do this right away.

My college life was different because I didn’t choose a major. I guess you can say that, if “general” was a major, that was mine. I started at a community college and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after school. Students pick a major based on what their interests are and what profession they would like to pursue. My problem was that I didn’t know either! And it slowed me down.

Because I was unsure of my future, my grades were affected by it. After many months, I decided school wasn’t the best option for me at that point in my life. Instead, I enlisted in the military. I was the best choice I ever made!

The military gave me discipline, among other virtues. After a couple of years in the military, I slowly began taking classes again. It was also great that they paid for it! This time, I was more focused. My grades had substantially improved. I even graduated with honors.

For those unsure of what they want to do, I highly suggest adding the military as an option. Not only will they pay for school, but they also instill priceless virtues that will last for the rest of your life.

Education Today

Education has always played a large role in the development of children. It will always do the same in the future. It might look different one day, just as it looked different 100 years ago.

100 years ago was a world of no widespread electronics. Students did not have graphics calculators for advanced math subjects. They did not even have basic calculators! What did they do? Are we smarter than them? The answer to that is yes and no. We are smarter as a whole because our technology is superior to our technology from 100 years ago. However, we cannot say we are smarter because they back then excelled in the best way they could.

More and more, computers are finding their way into the classroom. When I was a child, the only computers in school were in the “computer room” where we learned typing. I loved Mario Teaches Typing! Games like that made it fun for me to learn to type. I don’t even know what games they have today, but I’m sure they are something similar.

Another game I played was called Math Blaster. I was a full action game based on space. The catch was that to win, the gamer would need to learn math! To get to the next level, the gamer would need to answer math problems to defeat the enemy. There were also different levels of Math Blaster. There were the basic math game, the algebra game, and upwards in math difficulty.

As we become smarter as a society we will develop different methods of education. These methods would be designed to be better than the methods used in times recent past. They will be meant to be a step up and a path to the future of education. We will never stop this constant mission of improvement in education just as we continue to excel in other areas of life.

Top 8 Ways To Encourage Creativity & Innovation Among Students

Innovation and creativity are the most common words which are heard frequently in the field of high school education. One of the most challenging aspects for the teacher is to capture the attention of students and present the ideas in such a way that it stays in their mind even when they have left the classroom. Reimers-Hild and King (2009) said that the components of innovation should be fun, creative, diverse, collaborative, and intuitive.

First and foremost, you should take baby steps to accomplish the goal, but there should always be support and encouragement so that it becomes easy to achieve it. Learn to take risks and even when you “fail”, it will be your fuel to continue the process. If some strategy is not working, you can learn from it, rectify where it is required and try again. Here are some of the key strategies to encourage creativity and innovation in students:-

#1 ACTIVE LEARNING

Always make use of the active learning techniques to engage students, encourage creativity and innovation among students. You may also try games or songs, maps to teach a concept to student. What you should remember is that “Learning will always happen in a kind of environment where they will think and won’t escape”.

Here’s a list of the practical ideas to incorporate more active learning into your teaching techniques:-

  • Encourage interaction among peers that will help them to participate in all the activities together. It will also develop skills to solve the problems. Every time you ask a question, you will see many hands up in the class.
  • Create excellent opportunities for hands-on field work – it will take them out from their comfort zone and they will develop adaptability skills.
  • Go for a roundtable discussion.
  • Write questions on the board. Let the students answer the questions. What kind of answers they’re giving? Is it logical?
  • Let them create questions for the next exam.

 

#2 COMMUNITY BUILDING

Creating a reliable and trustworthy environment is one of the most critical components of encouraging creativity and innovation among students. It’s very important for the teachers to create an environment of trust where students get the opportunity to voice their opinion. Here are some more ideas to build community:-

  • Encourage spontaneous interactions. For instance, if there is any debate or discussion going on, let students speak their mind without sharing any feedback with them. In case, if the discussion is not going in the right way, you can always interfere and guide them.
  • Create some informal class opportunities; for instance, give some time to let the students know each other. It can either happen through small group discussion or any other games, hands-on activities during the class. Most of the times, these informal opportunities help the students to bond with each other.
  • Learn each and every student’s name. You should also ensure that everyone in the class should know each and everyone’s name. It will be a great thing if you can arrange chairs in a circle so that everyone can see each other.

 

#3 COLLABORATIONS

Simmons (2012) also discussed the importance of faculty discussions in the staff room. They should share their ideas and challenges which they face on a daily basis. These kinds of conversations not only help you to learn new teaching strategies, but you will also develop the confidence to take risks.

 

#4 TAKE RISKS

To create a creative and innovative environment, it is very important to take risks. Have a look at the following strategies shared by most of the teachers and administrators:-

  • Create a safe environment that encourages the risk taking process.
  • Explore and experiment with new ideas.
  • Teach them to make mistakes, accept the same and rectify it.
  • Let the children get out of their comfort zone.
  • Forget everything at the end of the session and start new.
  • Speak to the other teachers and ask about what worked, and what didn’t.

 

#5 AUDIO AND VIDEO TOOLS

To make the process of teaching more effective, add audio-visual materials in the sessions. Use movies and pictography materials to teach students. Info graphics, mind mapping and brain mapping tools can grow and develop a student’s imagination. It not only develops their listening abilities, but they will also get a good understanding of the concept. For instance, you can teach history through small videos. There are many other school apps that can create slideshows and presentations.

 

College vs. Education

#3  Information Can Be Accessed Anywhere

And, that’s absolutely free.

Education is important, college is not.

Remember Matt Damon’s character in GOOD WILL HUNTING which said, “You wasted $150,000 on an education you could have got a buck fifty in late charges at the public library”. Information can be accessed anywhere and it won’t cost you a lot of money.

There are many online sources which are offering the university classes for free and you can also visit the local library which is a source of information. Look for the other alternative options to education. Talk to people. Listen what they say, how they eat, where they go, what they do and it will be more productive for you than going to college.

#4  What Success Really Requires?

For most of the students, college is the only place where they can figure out the things easily. Needless to mention, this is the place where personal growth and social learning takes place- but this is something which commonly happens at your age. And if you get out of your comfort zone, challenge yourself and talk to new people, it will happen. It’s a guarantee.

What you exactly need to be successful is very simple. You just need to find out what you love- where you’ll always excel. Then look for an easy and reasonable way to be the best at it, or you can also try to be the best at a particular part.

You may love playing tennis but not enough to be the Wimbledon Champion. That’s absolutely fine. However, you can be a great instructor that offers you with good job opportunities. It assures you with excellent monetary benefits. Success becomes easy when you choose something which you love doing. No one will ask for a tennis degree if you’re playing well.

You are already aware that whether your career- even when it’s not so popular-will need a degree or not. Most of the times, it doesn’t. If that’s the scenario, you should not spend your valuable four (or more) years in taking courses that will cost a lot of money and won’t offer any special benefit.

A degree may not be so important, and a four-year college start can just motivate you to find success.

Choice is always yours.

All the best!

Is Having a College Degree Important?

One of the most frequently asked questions among young people is this – Do You Need A College Degree?

A: Of course. You need a degree to get a job.

B: No. Not really.

Needless to mention, when you have zero experience, a degree will only help you let the world know who you are, what you did, and how you deserve to get a job after everything. Isn’t it?  

When you don’t have a degree or let’s say you are degree less and other 50 people are applying for the post of theatre teacher in a private school, then the people with a postgraduate degree will definitely get a place at the top if compared with the ones who have an undergraduate degree.

What will you do? What will be your position? However, it doesn’t mean that you need a degree. What you probably need is a way to build your brand- and work hard to achieve your dreams.

 #1  Analyze the statistics

Just do a thorough research on the data of college degrees, and it may become easy for you to make the right choice. For instance, it was mentioned in the survey by ECONOMY POLICY INSTITUTE that college graduates who had degrees earned more than the non-college graduates. It’s 2017. Things have changed. Don’t worry (if you don’t have a degree).

There’s no denying that students with a college degree will definitely get better job opportunities. After all, they have worked hard, invested their valuable time and energy- okay, let’s say their parent’s money- and if they understand the value of their money or are a little ambitious, they will get an entry-level job.

Here’s what the statistics didn’t reveal: You can also make great connections in the industry without spending a hefty amount of money on college education. The most important word here is “CONNECTIONS”. You need to connect with the right people at the right time. Most of the times, ambition is always there. You just need to nurture it or probably need someone who can guide you.

When you’re an 18-year-old kid, you won’t be able to create a “success plan”, so you have to do what your parents and well-wishers encourage, or something your best friend is doing and what most of the people in the society have done for years. But, there are many other options which you can explore.

#2  College Won’t Teach HOW TO THINK

Each and every student reads the same book in the college and this is being taught by someone who has never worked in the industry practice. This is what mostly happening in all the colleges. A classroom is a place where students are getting the same information from the professor which they can easily find in a textbook or an online study portal.

There are few colleges which are exceptions to the rule and encourage “CRITICAL THINKING”. At college, you’ll get the opportunity to meet new people with different backgrounds and lifestyles who will challenge your approach to life. But college is not the only place where you’ll get such an environment. You can also meet them in your neighborhood or may be the nearest coffee shop which will let you know things which are not taught in the college.

Learners Learn at Each And Every Phase of Life- That’s What Makes Them Successful

Colleges are theoretical and their approach is not real. The biggest problem is that there is no change in their approach. For many decades, Americans have assumed that they need a bachelor degree to get a job. However, it’s not always true.

Things have started changing.

Nowadays, the most important thing you need is the right skills to get a job, not a certificate which won’t ensure whether are eligible for the job. A bachelor’s degree is not a bad idea, but you can also be successful in America without a college degree.