Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Opportunity to Study Abroad

Seaholm High School sophomore Rachel Lee is excited to be getting out of the country, thanks to the Birmingham Rotary Club.As part of the Rotary Youth Exchange Program, Lee will spending her junior year study abroad. According to Rotary President Mark Farlow, this is the first student Rotary has sponsored since Farlow joined the Rotary six years ago.As part of the program, Rotary will fund the costs of insurance and a portion of her expenses, while Lee's family will pay for the bulk of her travel.I was pretty happy to get accepted,Lee said.

Lee was inspired to apply for the program by her mother. Her mother, Melissa Lee participated in a similar program Youth for Understanding when she was her daughter's age, studying abroad in Germany.I was amazed at being able to go to a different place in the world, where everybody was living by different rules and standards,Melissa said.It was my first real understanding of language barriers.Lee won't find out what country she will be living in until January, but she hopes to be placed in Germany like her mother. However, she said she wouldn't be disappointed if she were placed in Spain or Thailand, her second and third choice. Lee already has experience living abroad, and said being placed in Spain would be easy after spending a few years living in Mexico with her family.

Since her family moved back to Michigan six years ago, Lee said she has still been searching for inspiration and her place in the world. Although she enjoys many aspects of school, her mom noted Lee has been a bit bored with her routine and is excited about shaking things up a bit.
I'm not afraid to try new things, Lee said.I think this is a good opportunity to make new friends, maybe learn a new language, and build my character while being entirely submerged in a different culture.While spending time away from family and friends may be intimidating for some, Lee isn't worried. While she said she would miss her younger brother the most, Lee said Skype and Facebook will allow her to stay in touch with those close to her.

During her stay, Bob Baker, Outbound Chair for the Youth Exchange Program, said she will most likely stay with three different host families since the program is set up to provide relief for the families.Hopefully it will expand her hosts' impression of the world,Farlow, said.Lee isn't too worried about fitting in with her host family. She said she hopes her host family shares her her love for music, especially coming from such a musical family: Lee plays the trumpet, her mom sings her father plays the accordion and her brother the saxophone.While Lee is abroad, her parents are planning on hosting an exchange student.I think that's the fair thing to do, Melissa said.It will spin the time she's gone to make it go by fasterI miss her already.

Monday, November 29, 2010

My Dream to Study Abroad

Reuben Ngacha always dreamed of studying at a prestigious university overseas, then coming back home to take a position as a senior corporate executive.While at the Jamhuri High School back in 1999, he secured a sports scholarship to study business management at the University of Minnesota in the United States. However, his dream was not to be as he failed to get a visa to travel on time.I was a good tennis player and that earned me a scholarship. I was focused on going overseas. When I realised that nothing was forthcoming, I had to go back to the drawing board,says Ngacha.

After several other attempts to go to the US failed, he enrolled for an IT course at the Kenya Polytechnic. It was while studying at the college that the idea of starting an organisation of his own came to him.Recalling the experiences of hundreds of young people queuing at the American embassy to get a visa to travel to the US prompted me to set up a consultancy firm to advise and train young people planning to study abroad,he narrates.Ngacha, who failed some of the tests that students are subjected to before getting a visa, is now an expert in handling such examinations.He coaches those required to take the famous Test of English Fluency (TOEFL), which examines one's ability to use English and gauges a student's understanding of the language, and GMAT, a basic arithmetic test.

His job involves offering advice to students seeking to study in foreign colleges. He profiles colleges for such students and assists them to get admission through his firm, Symac Consultants, based in Nairobi.I attend to high school leavers who have qualified for college but do not know which institutions to choose,he explains. The colleges are in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the US.The firm also helps students make their travel arrangements, career counselling, and accommodation.Through his firm, which he formed in 2004, Ngacha says he has been able to successfully secure university placement for more than 100 students.With just two assistants, 30-year-old Ngacha has been able to carve a name for himself in the emerging industry. He says he plans to open branches in other countries in the region.

Ngacha also organises fairs to educate students about different courses Bilingual Master of Science, Economics and Management Science and Electrical Engineering that they can take up while abroad.He says that he is able to earn a decent living from the commissions he gets from the services he offers.Ambitious and determined, Ngacha, who started operating from a cyber café, now has an office at the Kenya Cinema Plaza in the heart of the central business district.However, things did not come easy. He had to slowly build trust among his clients by dealing honestly with them, given that many prospective students have been conned by firms offering his type of services.I spend about two months ensuring that a student gets a placement in an institution. It is a delicate process and my clients exercise extra vigilance,he confides.

Friday, November 26, 2010

More students go to study abroad

wa's public universities have been sending more and more students to study abroad amid a decline in such studies nationally.Also, the number of international students enrolling at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa is increasing at a greater rate than the national average.I think students these days are really opened up to the idea of travel and getting perspectives they can only get overseas, said John Rogers, a U of I assistant director for study abroad.

Nationally, the number of Americans studying abroad decreased 1 percent from 2007-08 to 2008-09, to 260,327, according to a report released this month titled Open Doors.International student enrollment at U.S. colleges and universities increased 3 percent to 690,923 in 2009-10, according to the report, which is compiled annually by the Institute of International Education.
The U of I appears to be driving Iowa's increases in students studying abroad. ISU had a slight decline, and UNI did not have appropriate figures available to compare.Students can also get a lot of exposure while studying in such universities and different course Global Production Engineering,Biomedical Engineering,and onstruction and Real Estate Management.For the years compared in the report, the U of I had growth of 5 percent in students going abroad, to 1,283 in 2008-09.Phil Carls, an assistant director in the study abroad office, said that the 2009-10 report is not complete but that it appears the number will increase slightly.ISU recorded a 3 percent decline, from 1,200 students studying abroad in 2007-08 to 1,161 in 2008-09, according to online reports. Participation dropped again in 2009-10, by 16 percent, to 974 students.In part, it was a self-fulfilling prophecy,said Trevor Nelson, director of the ISU Study Abroad Center.Some of the programming directors felt we would have difficulty recruiting students, so maybe they didn't recruit as hard as they could have, and some programs were dropped.

UNI's figures for 2008-09 were not available, but participation increased from 447 in 2007-08 to 482 in 2009-10, according to the UNI Study Abroad Center.International student enrollment has been increasing at all three state universities.The number of international students increased by 739 students, or 14 percent, from 5,152 in fall 2008 to 5,891 in fall 2009. The national average for that period was a 3 percent increase.International enrollment has increased again this year by 13 percent, officials said. The majority of international students at Iowa's public universities - 86 percent - come from Asia, according to a Board of Regents enrollment report.ISU has had the greatest growth in this area. International enrollment at ISU grew 21 percent, from 2,497 in fall 2008 to 3,017 in fall 2009. Enrollment grew again this year by 10 percent, to 3,327.UNI saw a slight dip in enrollment of 2 percent, from 464 students in fall 2008 to 453 in fall 2010, but it jumped back up 6 percent, to 480, in fall 2010.The U of I's international student enrollment increased by almost 9 percent in fall 2009, to 2,589. In fall 2010, there are 2,825 international students enrolled - another 9 percent increase.This is the fourth year I've been to the Middle East,said Scott King, assistant dean of U of I International Programs, and it's gone from, 'Iowa who?' to people who actually seek us out at these meetings these days.We've started to make a name for ourselves, and that is going to help in enrollment."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

young Bulgarians go to Study Abroad each Year

About six thousand Bulgarian high school graduates choose to continue their education abroad, the Education Ministry said. Last year, the education ministry experts sealed the secondary education diplomas of 5,856 Bulgarian school-leavers who had been accepted in universities abroad. In other words, about ten percent of all high school graduates in Bulgaria go to study abroad each year. The problem is that few of the young Bulgarians who complete their higher education abroad come back afterward.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Study abroad in Denmark

The Danish Ministry for Science, Technology and Education has launched a campaign to substantially increase the number of Danish students studying abroad. Charlotte Sahl-Madsen, Minister for Science, Technology and Development, said she wants studying abroad to become the rule rather than the exception.It is important that as many Danish students as possible study abroad. At the same time I wish to attract talented foreign students to study in Denmark and hopefully work here, upon completing their studies, she said.In 2008, only 2.7% of Danish students awarded a degree had studied abroad as a part of the degree. The number taking a full degree abroad has fallen by 25% since 2002-03.Data just published by the ministry for 2008-09 show that 8,466 Danish students were studying outside Denmark, while 16,657 international students came to Danish institutions. The number of foreign doctorate students has increased 80% in three years.I have just launched the campaign Grib Verden which focuses on inspiring Danish students to go abroad, Sahl-Madsen told University World News.At the same time we are marketing Denmark as a great place to live and study through. I am currently discussing with relevant parties in parliament how to alleviate some of the bureaucratic barriers that Danish students encounter when they wish to study abroad.

The campaign is being fronted by a prominent Danish television personality, Clement Kjersgaard, and the website features interviews with him and the well-known designer Stine Goya who have both studied abroad as part of their training.The website is planned as a motivational and inspirational portal, where the young can see how a global view and experiences from abroad are rewarding both personally and professionally,Sahl-Madsen said. Companies are increasingly looking for candidates with an international competence, so if the young are to be equipped for the work place of tomorrow, such an element is important.

Danish students are able to take abroad the money allocated for their study place in Denmark and use this to pay for tuition fees.John Edelsgaard Andersen, director of international affairs at Copenhagen University, said:All study programmes shall have a mobility window, where there is room for studies abroad that will be recognised at Copenhagen University.Through attractive exchange agreements we can offer our students places at, for instance, New York University, University of California, Columbia University and so on.He said his university had not yet got the balance right.We still have 1,000 more incoming students than we send out, and that creates a balance problem. We are glad that Copenhagen University is attractive abroad, and we are intensifying our work in having our Danish students going abroad,he said.Four out of five exchange students in Denmark come from another European country, but only 49% of Danish exchange students are studying at European institutions 28% went to the US, Canada and Australia.Of the incoming 5,634 students funded by the European Union exchange programme ERASMUS, half came from Spain, France, Germany and Poland.

Sahl-Madsen writes a blog to communicate directly with Danish students. But it sparked a heated debate, with 83 comments, many reporting difficulties in planning studies abroad.Many also report difficulties in finding work in Denmark on returning with a degree from another country, and some have emigrated.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Academic advisers ask Obama to lift study abroad restrictions on Cuba

In 2007-08, approximately 250 students from the United States studied in Cuba, compared to 2,100 in the last year before the regulations were imposed.Last week, a coalition of twenty-eight universities from NAFSA: Association of International Education sent a letter to President Obama calling for the removal of current restrictions to academic travel placed on study abroad to Cuba in 2004.

Academic exchanges are often seen as a critical component of U.S. engagement in the world and have historically been a successful tool in building relations between nations,the letter says.They also present students with an unparalleled educational opportunity. Both of these values of academic exchange hold true regardless of where in the world a student studies abroad, whether in China, Indonesia, England, or Cuba.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Study abroad offers new experiences

Immediately upon my arrival in Angers, France, I was introduced to La Gastronomie Française! What is La Gastronomie Française? Putting it simply, it is the art of growing, preparing and eating rich, fine, fresh food. Thousands of varieties of cheese, foie gras, pâté, duck and goose are just a few examples of famous French cuisine.The meals I eat with my host family consist of several courses as customary,Veterinary Public Health. It served me duck the day of my arrival, complete with a detailed explanation of how they cooked it. At first, I was very hesitant to eat a duck and was nervous about the taste. However, I wanted to experience French culture and thus I tried the popular French dish. To my surprise, it tasted rather like pot roast. Although duck doesn’t taste that bad, I do not think I would choose to eat it again.

My favorite meal I have had with my host family is la raclette, a speciality of Eastern France. Raclette is a type of cheese made from cow milk. Much like with fondue, everyone sits around the table with center plates of this cheese cut into thin square slices, potatoes, tomatoes and charcuteries.Each person takes a slice of cheese and places it in a poêle, which is like a little square frying pan. These individual pans are then all placed between the top and bottom of the electrical machine called la raclette.This heat source melts the cheese in a special way so you can use a small wooden scrapper to place the cheese on top of the food. This meal was very enjoyable and delicious!

Each region of France has its own culinary specialty. Crêpes originated from Bretagne. In France, a crêpe is made of wheat flour and is filled with sugary substances. A galette, another French food, is made from buckwheat flower and is salty in taste due to ham, mushrooms and other similar food additions. Cidre, made from fermented apples, is a great complement to galettes.When I visited Saint-Malo in Bretagne, I tried a crêpe au caramel salé. No trip to the region would be complete without trying this specialty. I have not yet eaten a better tasting crêpe than this one!Weekdays, I often eat lunch at the restaurant universitaire, or RU. Unlike the Dining Commons at Eastern Michigan University, I must walk about 10 minutes off campus to get there. Each day, there is a fish course and a steak, similar to hamburger, with french fries. Sometimes another meat course or a pizza choice is also available. Besides a main course, there are two other options (desert, salad, prepared salads, cheese or fresh fruit) from which to choose. A small loaf of bread is always included in the meal ticket.

I never thought I would say this, but I find myself missing the many options at DC1 especially the stir-fry! I also like the taste of DC1 food better. I guess the lesson here is the grass is not always greener on the other side.Throughout the past month, I have learned a lot about French table manners. For example, Frenchmen do not eat bread off of their plates. Instead, the bread is placed on the table. Why? Well, as my host family explained to me, prisoners eat bread off of their plates, sheltering it from greedy hands. Therefore, one places bread on the table to show he or she is not a prisoner and not lacking money. This is just one of many French traditions still present today.Before visiting France, I did not realize the folding of a napkin after a meal could signify different meanings. Folding the napkin into a square and placing it beside the plate means you expect to come to dinner tomorrow. However, loosely folding it in half and hanging it over the table edge means that you enjoyed the meal and are not inviting yourself over for tomorrow’s dinner. Now I am much more aware with how I place my own napkin after I am done eating at a restaurant and with my host family.

Frenchmen also eat with their hands above the table; it is considered impolite to do otherwise. Often, both hands are holding an eating utensil, or one hand is resting on the table. For me, this is one of the harder French table manners to adapt to because I am so used to having one hand below the table. Having both hands constantly above the table feels unnatural to me. However, I am trying my best to adapt to this French way of eating. I encourage everyone to do the same while eating in a foreign country because natives can often tell if you are foreign simply by how you eat.There is no better way to experience a foreign culture than by sampling its cuisine. When studying abroad, I invite everyone to leave your comfort zones and taste the culinary specialties of your surroundings!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Study abroad is value the cost

Even with a struggling economy and increasing unemployment rates, the university study abroad programs are still going strong. University study abroad rates have only been slightly impacted during the past few years of economic downturn, a university study abroad official said.Plenty of students are looking for a little adventure to another country.However living abroad can cost you. Is studying abroad really worth all that money? If your only reason for going is to sip martinis on the coast of Spain, probably not. But for those students who are looking to broaden their horizons past the U.S. borders, studying abroad can be both beneficial and life-changing.Different course Automotive Engineering,Master of Science Programme in Chemistry,Bioinformatics etc.

Our university's mission statement encourages us to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community.What better way to learn how to do that than to immerse ourselves in a community other than our own for a little while?For students majoring or minoring in a foreign language, time spent in a country where that language is spoken can enhance their skills exponentially. Imagine speaking French in class two or three times a week for three semesters versus speaking it every day for four months.Yes, studying abroad can take a chunk out of your bank account. If all you care about is the fact that British accents are cute, consider staying home. But if you're going with the intention of getting an enriching cultural experience, go for it. After all, studying abroad really is a once in a lifetime opportunity.