Friday, December 31, 2010

Turkey to abet in education sector

Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif met Turkey’s Education Minister Nimet Cubukcu in Ankara, and discussed matters relating to promotion of cooperation in education sector.MPAs Khawaja Salman Rafique and Mohsin Latif, Khawaja Ahmed Hasaan and Chairman TEVTA were also present in the meeting.

Talking to the Turk Education Minister, the CM said the Punjab government was attaching top priority to the uplift of education sector and revolutionary measures had been taken for the promotion in education in the province.The Punjab Educational Endowment Fund has been set up for first time in the country’s history to provide scholarships to students facing financial problems in continuing their studies, besides students of all federating units of Pakistan, who are benefiting from the Fund,he said, adding that the project of setting up Daanish schools, equipped with modern educational facilities, in the backward areas of the province was also being implemented expeditiously and three such schools would be inaugurated next month.Not only free-of-cost education, but boarding and lodging facilities will also be provided to the poor students. He asked Turkey to extend cooperation to the Punjab govt in the promotion of vocational education in the province.

Nimet Cubukcu assured that Turkey would extend all out assistance to Punjab for the uplift of education sector, and a strategy for the uplift and development of education sector between Turkey and Punjab would soon be finalised.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The college study swindle, the student loan bubble, and a lifetime of debt

There was a time when a very good college education could be had for students at the cost of working a part time job.In the 1960's, a 4-year education at a state university equated to less than $2500.00, or an average of $625.00 per year.A private institution such as MIT would cost under $4000.00 for the same 4-years.However, starting in the 1970's, education costs began to rise due to two factors.The inflation that occurred during the 'stagflation' of the Jimmy Carter years, and the influx of government money from the G.I. Bill after Vietnam. The education did not necessarily get better than the decade before, but now that universities had a huge influx of cash coming from Uncle Sam, Universities began to focus on projects outside the educational scope, and began to hike tuition costs to pay for these things.

As we moved from the middle 90's through the first decade of the 21st century, tuition costs for students have skyrocketed. Costs for an education are in many cases 400% higher than just 30 years ago (1980), and those coming out with diplomas are actually less educated than their 1960's counterparts. In a Washington Post report from 2005, a study showed that nearly 31% of college graduates are for better lack of the term, illiterate.Another phenomenon that has taken place is the advent and rise of student loans. For nearly 30 years, banks would go through a student loan clearing house known as Sallie Mae, where these loans were guaranteed by the US government. It was a stigma to borrow money for education, because those loans would affect your credit score and even job applications. However, Sallie Mae has now gone by the wayside, and the Federal government has become the primary source for student loans. And like the 1970's, universities realize that they can charge students what they want knowing that the government will print money at will, and loan it to students like water.

This is why college tuitions at many institutions now are $30,000 to $50,000 per year, not even counting living expenses.How bad has it gotten for college minded adults? In an article this week put out by the American Dream online publication, 16 reasons are laid out as to why college education in America today is now a scam, and how it has become a lifelong cycle of debt to any borrower.This does not even take into consideration the phenomenon happening since the 2008 credit crisis. Due to the recession and high unemployment, the majority of college graduates over the past two years, and looking into the future, have little or no chance of a job in their career field to even begin to pay off their loans, much less begin a life or work towards retirement.College has become the model and paradigm of a system that thrives off of titles and Degrees, but cares little about education and experience. With less learning taking place on campus, and the costs becoming more than it would take to purchase a home with no guarantee of a job waiting once you graduate, is it worth your future to be in bondage to student loan debts that may last decades and hinder your ability to have a decent life?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

S.Korea schools get apprentice English teachers

Engkey, a white, egg-shaped robot developed by the Korea Institute of Science of Technology (KIST), began taking classes Monday at 21 elementary schools in the southeastern city of Daegu.The 29 robots, about one metre high with a TV display panel for a face, wheeled around the classroom while speaking to the students, reading books to them and dancing to music by moving their head and arms.

The robots, which display an avatar face of a Caucasian woman, are controlled remotely by teachers of English in the Philippines who can see and hear the children via a remote control system.Cameras detect the Filipino teachers' facial expressions and instantly reflect them on the avatar's face, said Sagong Seong-Dae, a senior scientist at KIST.Well-educated, experienced Filipino teachers are far cheaper than their counterparts elsewhere, including South Korea, he told AFP.Apart from reading books, the robots use pre-programmed software to sing songs and play alphabet games with the children.The kids seemed to love it since the robots look, well, cute and interesting. But some adults also expressed interest, saying they may feel less nervous talking to robots than a real person,said Kim Mi-Young, an official at Daegu city education office.Kim said some may be sent to remote rural areas of South Korea shunned by foreign English teachers.

She said the robots are still being tested. But officials might consider hiring them full time if scientists upgrade them and make them easier to handle and more affordable.Having robots in the classroom makes the students more active in participating, especially shy ones afraid of speaking out to human teachers,Kim said.She stressed the experiment was not about replacing human teachers with robots.We are helping upgrade a key, strategic industry and all the while giving children more interest in what they learn.The four-month pilot programme was sponsored by the government, which invested 1.58 billion won.

Scientists have held pilot programmes in schools since 2009 to develop robots to teach English, maths, science and other subjects at different levels with a desired price tag of five to eight million won.Sagong stressed that the robots, which currently cost 10 million won each, largely back up human teachers but would eventually have a bigger role.The machines can be an efficient tool to hone language skills for many people who feel nervous about conversing with flesh-and-blood foreigners, he said.Plus, they won't complain about health insurance, sick leave and severance package, or leave in three months for a better-paying job in Japan.all you need is a repair and upgrade every once in a while.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Three Student win Gilman Scholarships for Study Abroad

Three Kansas State University students Nathen Lippert, Andover; Juan Carlos Mendoza, Garden City; and Sophia Ford, Wilson have received the spring 2011 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.The Gilman Scholarship Program, sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, provides up to $5,000 for undergraduate students to study abroad. More than 850 scholarships will be awarded for the spring 2011 semester.The three students bring K-State's total to 28 Gilman Scholars since the scholarship was first awarded in 2002, said James Hohenbary, K-State assistant dean for nationally competitive scholarships.In their applications the students had to propose a follow-up project for promoting the Gilman Scholarship and study abroad upon their return. Students who gain international experiences are able to promote that experience as they share it with others and exercise the expanded perspective it offers, Hohenbary said.

When they return to K-State, they will bring what they observed and learned from their experience back into classroom discussions and extracurricular conversations,Hohenbary said. Awards that facilitate this kind of learning and sharing help to enrich the university as a whole.
Lippert, a senior in construction science and management, will study in Prague, Czech Republic. He is the chief estimator for K-State's student chapter of the Associated General Contractors. Lippert graduated from Andover High School and is the son of James and Mary Lippert, Andover.Mendoza, senior in hotel and restaurant management, will study at the University of Hertfordshire in England. He is also pursuing a minor in business administration. Mendoza is vice president of the Multicultural Student Honor Society, and has been involved in Pinnacle Honor Society and Eta Sigma Delta International Hospitality Management Society. Mendoza has received a Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association scholarship and a Hispanic Scholarship Fund 2010 award. Originally from Mexico City, Mendoza graduated from La Serna High School in Whittier, Calif., and studied at Garden City Community College. He is the son of Jorge and Rosa Mendoza, Garden City.

I see this as a huge opportunity for me,Mendoza said.I believe that breaking out of my comfort zone and exploring new areas outside my realm will help me grow as an individual and gain more self-confidence and self-reliance.Ford, a junior in geology and political science, will study at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik, Iceland. At K-State, Ford is the community affairs chair of Students for Environmental Action and the vice president of the African Studies Student Association. A Wilson High School graduate, She is the daughter of Howard Ford, Cedar Vale, and Allison Ford, Wilson.

Friday, December 10, 2010

UT wants each student to have an opportunity to study abroad

The University of Tennessee wants each student to have an opportunity to study abroad. Many students do not go because of the time and money, but there are countless opportunities to help students with these issues. Studying overseas enables students to develop maturity and independence, expand their knowledge of the world and increase their sensitivity to other cultures. Have you ever thought about studying abroad, but time and money have stopped you? Fear no more, because the University of Tennessee will do everything in its power to help you.

During the regular school year, the cost for an exchange program's tuition is the same as the tuition students pay at UT in Knoxville.UT gives students close to $1 million in scholarships each year for study abroad, and the lottery scholarship can also be applied during the regular academic year. There are 14 different scholarships to choose from. Students applying will either fill out an application or write a paper as to why they would be the best candidate for the scholarship.I don't care where you go, when you go or how long you stay. Just go and do it, said Sam Swan, director of international and outreach programs for UT's College of Communication and Information.Don't worry about the money. Go for it,Swan said.The cost of the trip varies by the destination the student chooses. Usually, direct exchange programs are the least expensive. Because there is an even swap of students, you generally pay what you would pay if you were spending the semester at UT Knoxville: tuition, fees and sometimes room and board.

I was very close to not going abroad because of the money.I knew that it was going to be expensive, and I didn't know if I wanted to spend everything I had saved in one place. All-in-all, it cost me about $6,000 to be abroad for a whole semester.I wouldn't take a dime of it back, because it was one of the best experiences of my life, said Danielle Richter, a senior who studied abroad in Italy.There are around 200 programs to choose from, going to many different countries all over the world. Students can go for a whole semester, a summer session, a mini-term or even during spring break. The most popular destinations include the United Kingdom, Australia,Austria and Italy, mainly because of the language barriers. However, Swan said language should never keep anyone from going somewhere.Students can also get a lot of exposure while studying in such universities and different course Computational Engineering and Economics and Management Science.

Don't worry about the language.We are so lucky to be born in America, and the whole world is now speaking English, said Swan.Studying overseas enables students to develop maturity and independence, expand their knowledge of the world and increase their sensitivity to other cultures. These traits help prepare them for graduate school or the job market.Studying abroad was one of the best experiences of my life.I had the opportunity to meet new people from different cultures with a whole different perspective on life,said Liz Goldstein, a senior who studied in Oxford, England.I also learned how to travel alone and fly internationally. Everyone should open up to new experiences, and take the risk of going abroad,she said.If you really want to find out about the ways of the world, staying in another country is the only way to do it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Top 20 Institutions For Short-Term Study Abroad Programs

Texas A&M University has been ranked 15th in the nation for the 2008/2009 academic calendar year in an Open Doors report of institutions offering short-term study abroad programs five places higher than for the previous year. The Open Doors report is based on a survey conducted annually and is published by the Institute of International Education (IIE), with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
One of the major reasons for the success in our national ranking for short-term programs is the number of faculty and departments who promote short-term winter break, spring break or summer programs abroad as all or part of a traditional study abroad trip or a field-based research program,noted Martyn Gunn, vice provost for academic affairs.In the same Open Doors report, Texas A&M moved up one position to 33rd in the category for the total number of students studying abroad among doctoral institutions nationwide. There are several factors that explain the increase in Texas A&M’s ratings nationally.

Opportunities abroad are critically important for our students and are an inherent part of our strategic plans for high impact educational experiences,said Gunn.These increased national rankings are an excellent affirmation of this. Praise is due to the faculty, the colleges, academic advisors, study abroad staff members and the many other support offices that assist students in gaining international experiences.Nationally, European destinations for students studying abroad continue to be the most popular, and this holds true for Texas A&M. This is in part due to the university’s Santa Chiara Study Center in Fiorentino, Italy, Gunn added. He said the Santa Chiara Study Center offers pleasant living accommodations, and presents students the opportunity to study in a variety of academic disciplines, particularly in architecture and liberal arts. Other factors that continue to draw students to European countries are language, shared heritage and safety.Texas A&M’s two other centers, in Costa Rica and Mexico, also provide unique opportunities for learning and living abroad, drawing both students and faculty to participate in programs that range from diverse field studies in tropical ecology and hydrogeology to engineering and agriculture projects and service learning options.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Study abroad in Japan

While studying abroad in Japan last year, the sophomore English education major from Terre Haute landed a volunteer job at an aquarium. She had the opportunity to train dolphins and other sea mammals, but most of her responsibilities involved cleaning cages and training areas.
Because of their temperament, sea lions must be removed from their cages before a trainer can begin cleaning. One day, after finishing a cage, she found herself caught in the middle between two feuding sea lions.One of the 400-pound male creatures charged barking toward Howard, who said she pushed herself against a wall. Meanwhile, bystanders yelled warnings in both English and Japanese.They're like, ‘don't move, don't move!' I'm just, like, standing there up against the wall.Had they not gotten control of them, there was a very high chance that I would have been bitten by the sea lion.Howard was one of two ISU students who spent 10 months studying at Baiko University in Shimonoseki. She and Jack Ciancone, a junior linguistics major also from Terre Haute, returned to the U.S. in July from the city located on the southwestern tip of Honshu, Japan's largest island.

ISU currently maintains memberships or affiliations with six organizations and has individual partnerships with eight institutions throughout the world, said Janis Halpern, ISU's study abroad program director. The Baiko partnership with the Department of English dates back several decades.Howard and Ciancone both said they were already interested in Japanese culture, but came about the trip different ways. Ciancone said he was deciding between studying in Japan or Argentina when ISU offered him a scholarship to Baiko.The scholarship was the big motivator,Ciancone said.A year abroad, with the exception of the plane tickets, was actually cheaper than a year at ISU.Howard learned about the opportunity in a Japanese course she shared with a sister of one of her high school friends. Her friend had already completed the Baiko program.Meanwhile, Howard's interest in Japan strengthened.

I fell in love with the language, she said.So I went to learn the language, even though it doesn't have anything to do with my major.The students soon discovered how important learning Japanese would be. Unlike some of Japan's larger metropolitan areas, no one in Shimonoseki speaks English.Chelsea and I both [were] in the same Japanese class and we'd only taken Japanese for one year, so we thought we were all big and expensive going over there with our one year of Japanese,Ciancone said.So we thought we were proficient, but looking back on it we were terrible.Howard said she developed a way to talk with her hands.I learned a new way of communicating without words, which was interesting to say the least,she said.With time, and because they were totally immersed, both said their Japanese language skills greatly improved. In fact, Ciancone said his Japanese is now much better than his Spanish and Howard noticed she often has a difficult time communicating in English.For Howard, it all comes down to how much effort a person invests into learning the language.

Had I made only friends who spoke English and not studied and not had any goals with my Japanese, I wouldn't have done well,she said.But because Jack and I had a little subconscious competition going on, and we both wanted to do our best.we were able to succeed.Most of their classes were language-intensive and tailored to the other students who had more experience with Japanese. With that in mind, Ciancone said, the teachers cut Howard and him some slack.
They also had a few courses taught in English about Japanese culture and literature. Howard said she took a course covering the effect poverty has on children living in third-world countries.
Classes met only once per week both a blessing and a curse for Ciancone. While he could fit more classes into his schedule, that left more time for him to procrastinate.

He said he was still trying to become accustomed to classes meeting every other day.A professor will say,Do this and have it done by Wednesday,and I'll be thinking,I have a whole week'.and then Wednesday morning, I'm like,Wait a minute, I've got something due.Living arrangements between the two differed significantly. Howard stayed in a female-only dormitory and had a 9:30 p.m. curfew each night. The sun set at five, she said.It surprised me the first night,she said.
Ciancone was provided a fully-furnished apartment that he described only slightly wider than a small coffee shop table. There was no stove; instead, he had to use a hotplate. But he was blessed with a refrigerator and washing machine.While Howard worked in the aquarium, Ciancone spent some of his free time practicing Kyudo. That form of martial arts, similar to archery, is relatively unknown in the U.S.Kyudo is the way of the bow,he said, explaining that it focuses on inner peace and reflection.If you can find the target within yourself, you can find the target on the range.

Halpern, the study abroad program director, visited the students in November. Among other things, she said, she went to the aquarium, sat in on their classes and accompanied Ciancone to his Kyudo practices.I was just so impressed with how both of our students adjusted to the life in Shimonoseki and at the university," Halpern said.Folks at the university went out of their way to make sure they had the classes they needed and made sure they were involved in a variety of activities.Many students study abroad during their sophomore year as a way to complete their general education requirements.The experiences he had in Japan has inspired Ciancone to see more of the world and revisit some of the countries he's already been, including Taiwan and South Korea.Travel broadens your mind - greatly,he said.I believe when you're traveling and you're actively paying attention to your surroundings and people in the culture, you learn much more abroad than you ever will in a classroom.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Study Abroad Offers Free Roundtrip Airfare In Celebration of Iberia Flights From LAX To Spain

In celebration of Iberia Airlines' announcement that it will resume nonstop service next March between Los Angeles and Madrid, Magellan Study Abroad is offering free roundtrip airfare aboard Iberia to all high school students enrolling in the Spanish immersion programs for summer 2011. This unique promotion is valid until December 31, 2010. There's never been a better time to go study in Spain!Iberia Airlines of Spain has announced that it will resume nonstop service from LAX to Madrid with four weekly flights. This route will be the only nonstop service between Spain and the US West coast. It will fly the Madrid-Los Angeles route with an Airbus 340-300 with a capacity of 247 seats. Iberia last served LAX between 1984 and 1997.

Chris Chabaudie, Executive Director of Magellan Study Abroad, a leader in summer immersion programs for teenagers in Spain, couldn't hide his excitement.The arrival of Iberia at LAX is a huge advantage for our clients. We will soon be only 12 hours away from Spain!" With most of its camp locations in Spain, Magellan Study Abroad, based in Los Angeles, has been flying teenagers for many years between the continental US and Spain.For our California based customers it's a huge plus and an incredible peace of mind for parents,continued Chabaudie.For the students, the new direct flights cut about 6 to 8 hours of traveling time by elimination of any East coast connection and they will be flying planes especially equipped for long haul routes."Magellan Study Abroad, founded and staffed by educators, provides a variety of supervised immersion programs in Europe and Central America. Students are chaperoned by California high school language teachers on group flights to their program destinations.