4 Tips for Choosing Where to Study Abroad

Tips For Choosing Where to Study Abroad - Nicholas Fainlight

There is nothing quite like studying in a foreign country and learning about a different culture. While many students make lifelong friendships and experience memorable adventures studying abroad, it’s important to choose wisely before making this decision. For many students, traveling far away from friends and family can be a scary concept, but there are ways to choose which places are a better match than others.
Choose your likes and dislikes

The first thing you should do is start asking yourself questions about your likes and dislikes. This is the best way to begin the process of choosing a host country. Many people might enjoy an ultra-rural setting, whereas some people would prefer the modern-day conveniences of a city. There are people who’d prefer to be centrally located so they can use their free time to travel more extensively, while others might want to fully explore their host location. You should also ask yourself whether you’d be content in a place where you don’t speak the native language, whether you’ll be comfortable being away from home for an extended period of time, how much you can afford to spend on essentials and luxuries, and what your main goals are (academic vs social). The more honest you are with yourself, the happier you will be with the choice you make.

Research

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of countries, it’s time to begin your research. Fortunately, there are tons of resources available online, as well as the study abroad office within your university. Another option is to read independent blog posts by current and former students living at various locations around the globe, and official sites like GoOverseas.com or GoAbroad.com, which have reviews from actual study abroad students discussing the positives and negatives of various programs. You could also reach out directly to study abroad alumni and ask questions about their experiences.

Timing

Timing is also an important factor when deciding on a host country. It’s advised to start researching countries nine months to a year in advance because most programs require about six months for the whole application process. You can also use that time to save money for costs involved with preparation for, and the duration of, your experience. Depending on your climate preferences and your program duration, you should also check the average historical temperatures for the length of your stay.

Program lengths range from summer classes to semester- or year-long programs. You should intensely explore all factors of each program duration before deciding which one suits your financial, academic, professional, and personal needs. Make sure you meet with your academic advisor to establish how many total credits you will be earning, as well as what classes you need to take before, during, and after in order to graduate. If you plan on choosing a program that is outside your university’s scope, enquire about a study abroad “status” and whether you’ll be able to transfer your credits upon your return.

Talk to program directors

Start reaching out to program coordinators, then evaluate their response time and their overall willingness to help you. Ask thorough questions about the culture, emergency care and the daily costs of living. Keep in mind this is the first indication of how your entire experience will go, so you want to work with people who will be readily available to answer your questions, be supportive and informative, and above all, be enthusiastic about your journey.

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5 Reasons to Become a Business Major

_Reasons to Become a Business Major - Bobby Geroulanos

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), business has been the single most common college major since 1980. There are many reasons why so many students choose to study business at the undergraduate and graduate level.

Useful in any industry

No matter what industry you end up leaning towards, a business degree can help you land a job and find success. The reason it has a reputation as the one-size-fits-all degree is that there will always be a need for job candidates with core business skills such as management, accounting, planning, and organization. Having these abilities will make your post-grad career choices endless and will set you up for a lifetime of long-term success.

Specialization

If you aren’t quite sure about the path you want to take in life, business is still a great major. Within the field of business, there are numerous specializations, so a student can start on a regular business trajectory, then switch if they decide to specialize in a more specialized area, such as finance, marketing, accounting or human resources.

Great salaries

For students looking for the quickest return on their educational investment, starting salaries for business majors are in the top five, even at the undergraduate level. The highest paying jobs go to entrepreneurial graduates, either with a bachelor’s degree or an MBA, with e-commerce and marketing following closely behind. For those who take their degree further and invest in getting an MBA, the benefits are consistently higher and the payoff is worth it. There are many companies who won’t even look at a candidate unless they have an undergraduate business degree.

Become an entrepreneur

If you are the entrepreneurial type, then a business degree will provide you with many of the tools you’ll need to start your own company. If you aren’t ready to start your own business immediately, an entrepreneurship minor or a dual entrepreneurial-business major can still help you get a variety of jobs. Being a business consultant is perfect because your core business classes can help you identify other people’s problems and fix them. If you have above average writing skills, becoming a business reporter is also a good match for you if you enjoy researching and reporting on current trends in society.

Get into teaching

If you like educating others, teaching some of your newfound skills is great practice for public speaking and for someday having your own team. The world of sales and marketing is also a great career choice for recent graduates because of the skills every business major learns in their core curriculum. If you have a fondness for numbers, becoming a financial analyst could be a good choice, since you will have the ability to recommend investment opportunities, study current economic trends and prepare detailed reports.

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3 Benefits of Having a Mentor While in College

Benefits of Having a Mentor in College - Bobby Geroulanos

mentor is someone who helps a less-experienced person navigate life, school, or business. The relationship between the mentor and mentee is based on mutual trust and a common respect between both parties. A good mentor understands the role they play and adheres to boundaries, knowing their main purpose is to be reliable, caring, and supportive. When it’s a good match, having a mentor while you’re in undergraduate or grad school can be a priceless tool, providing you with advantages other students will never get to experience.

Motivation

The life of a student is filled with stress and worry, and it’s very easy to get overwhelmed, even questioning your choice of major at times. Sometimes all you need is a shoulder to cry on and a word of encouragement. A mentor can pick you up when you’re feeling down and help you keep your focus on long-term goals, instead of just panicking about the next assignment or exam around the corner. For those moments when you think that you don’t have what it takes, a mentor can help bring you down to earth and offer comfort. Boosting someone’s confidence in the form of a kind word can carry a lot of weight and mentors understand that.

Learn time management

Time management is another way mentors are invaluable. Most students tend to struggle with all of the different aspects of college life. They know they need to set aside the right amount of time for work, classes, socializing, and studying, but there are only so many hours in a day, and sometimes multiple things can seem equally important. A mentor provides an unbiased opinion about how you should organize your time and priorities. This perspective can help stop you from aimlessly juggling your responsibilities.

Get answers

Most people who volunteer their time as mentors have years of knowledge and experience, so take advantage of this and ask plenty of questions throughout your mentorship. If you are planning on entering the same industry as your mentor, they might have even gone through some of the same challenges you are facing, which means they have first-hand experience with solving your specific issues. Don’t be afraid to confide in your mentor and seek all the advice you can. They also have access to a wide network of potential connections that you should definitely get to know. Often in business, knowing the right people matters, so the more connections you can make early on, the better your changes once you graduate.

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6 Moves to Make for Your Finances at Your First Full-Time Job

finances-fulltime-job-bobby-geroulanos

When you get your first full-time job, it’s a wonderful feeling. You’ll get a sizeable paycheck, probably higher than you’ve ever gotten before. It can be tempting to go out and spend it on something awesome to treat yourself, but it’s vital to start making smart money decisions as soon as possible. You can enjoy some of the money you’re earning, but a full-time job means you need to make some serious financial decisions. Here are a few tips to follow in order to get yourself in the best financial standing possible.

Negotiate your salary

The initial step to take when you get your first full-time job is negotiating your salary. You might simply be happy that you were hired, but it’s always worth negotiating your starting salary. Your employer might say no, but they likely also expect you to try to negotiate your compensation. Do some research to increase your chances of successfully negotiating.

Create a budget

Far too few people actually create a budget once they get a full-time job. Having a budget to follow is vital for your financial health. Find time to sit down and evaluate your income each month and what your regular expenses are. Once you create a budget, you have the freedom to make informed decisions regarding your finances.

Save for retirement

The earlier you can start to save for retirement, the better. The sooner you begin saving, the more time your investments have to build up your retirement account. Even if it’s just a little each month, it’ll build into greater wealth. Learn what kind of retirement account your company offers and make sure you meet any company match available.

Pay off debt

If you recently finished college, you probably have student loans. You may also have credit card debt or a car loan. Make it a goal to pay off this debt as quickly as possible; start with the highest interest rates first, make all minimum payments, and put extra money toward paying off debt more quickly.

Make some goals

After you’ve created a budget and figured out how much money you have to work with each month, it’s time to set some concrete financial goals. Start creating a solid emergency fund and plan for any larger purchases you want to make. Setting aside a bit of money each month to use at your own discretion helps you stay within your budget and be prepared for emergency expenses.

Regularly check your finances

In order to truly take control of your finances at your first full-time job, it’s crucial that you regularly check said finances. Stay on top of changes in your credit score, how quickly your debt is decreasing, and be generally aware of how much money you’re saving and spending. By regularly checking up on your financial health, you avoid fraud or overspending.

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