Archive | Abroad Study

How Long Does It Take To Study Japanese?

Acquiring enough skills within the Japanese language to converse and write fluently still remains a question specifically as to how fast an average individual can learn. The same as to all of the languages of the world, it will rely on many elements similar to your age, your interest to learn and the time you impart in learning. Usually, the same as to all the languages worldwide, studying the language basically relies upon enormously on the learner, on your age, your desire to achieve the skill, the time you give in to learn and all other considerable factors. If you are likely to take a class and didn’t really spend high quality time in doing some self-studying, properly it might positively take you a long while. Going to Japan and exposing yourself to the Japanese folks is likely one of the simplest ways to study the language.

For positive, the greatest challenge one can undertake in the aspect of learning Japanese is Kanji or Chinese Characters. But I feel anyone can do it if they have the motivation to spend the time memorizing and understanding the structure of Kanji. The Japanese sometimes uses round 2,000 Kanji in their common everyday life (both newspaper/media) anything beyond the prescribed list of 2000 is more if you are pursuing any technical fields like medical, legal, enterprise terms.

Most individuals are greatly challenged with the grammar as a result of SOV sentence pattern in contrast to that of the English and Chinese language pattern of SVO. If you are a Korean who’s attempting to study Japanese, then the SOV pattern could be advantageous to you.In terms of pronunciation, Japanese phonetic is pretty straight forward made up of 5 principal vowel and additional consonant sounds in combination. To most people who find themselves English speakers, this won’t be a problem.

On average if you wish to become fluent, it will take some time, usually if you attend college and take a 4 year Japanese class; it should be adequate to get you pretty fluent. But if you want to become fluent conversationally, most probably it might take you 1 up to 2 years to achieve it in case you live in Japan or if you are surrounded by Japanese people. Becoming ‘fluent’ has more to do with the standard of instruction and study rather than any particular time period. The more high quality practice you spend with the native speakers, the much less time you obtain to achieve your goal. For 4 years you would attend a school class and be merely able to order food at a Japanese restaurant or for one day you could relate the entire situation to a native speaker and have it down pat. Remember, it’s all about you, your willpower and perseverance to learn.

You must think that Japanese is not intrinsically exhausting, just suppose that it is a language that evolved on a totally separate linguistic path totally different from the English we’re used to.

To be an professional on japanese classes.
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How to Learn Spanish Easily

Many people have anxiety about learning a new language, but it does not have to be hard. In fact, learning a new language can be a lot of fun! A new language means that you have a skill that can be used in so many ways. When you travel, it can make you much more at ease. Not only that, but you may find you can talk to more people right where you live. You are also required to know another language for many jobs today. For people who live in the U.S., the language that is spreading most quickly is Spanish.

In certain areas, more people speak Spanish than English. For this reason, being able to understand Spanish is becoming an important skill.

There is probably no better way to become fluent in a new language than to go somewhere that forces you to speak it constantly. That’s why visiting a place where the first language is Spanish would be an efficient way to learn that language. If you live in a big city this might be an area of your own city. Traveling to another land will be a more effective immersion strategy, however, as it takes away the possibility of being able to lapse back into speaking your familiar language. The effectiveness of immersion is hard to deny, and some people say it’s the only really good way to learn another language. But not everyones likes to be in such a high pressure situation. It’s up to you whether or not this is the way you’d like to learn.

One trick you can use is to label the objects around you. This can be helpful to do wherever you can, whether in the rooms of your house or your workplace. You will be constantly viewing the words then, without even having to consciously think about it. If you start to form a good vocabulary in the new language, you’ll reduce the risk of making socially awkward errors. When you don’t know what you’re saying, you can end up confusing similar sounding words that mean very different things. By using this technique of labeling objects, you’ll be absorbing all the right names for things, and you’ll find yourself picking up the new language quite naturally.

Practice some organization. Most courses use a very specific approach to teaching languages. Like learning most things, the best approach is to follow a step by step method. If you start with the fundamentals, like how to pronounce each letter and how to count, you’ll have a foundation. The fastest methods always teach vocabulary first and then grammar. It’s best to stick to the rules of the system you are using and not jump from one chapter or section to another at random. This will make your absorbing of the new language much less difficult. If you jump from one lesson to another you might really hinder your learning process!By trying to change the order, you can become confused. You want to learn the language as quickly as possible, don’t you? Learning Spanish, or any other language, does not have to be frustrating. You can find so much help online. You can help yourself learn any language, including Spanish, by having an open mind to it. A more open mind helps you to more easily take in the knowledge. The more you try to make the language sound like your native tongue, the harder you will make things for yourself.
If you have been hunting for a no effort technique for simply learning Spanish then take a peek at this enjoyable Learn Spanish system How To Study Spanish Easily!

For more information about learning Spanish please visit How To Learn Spanish Easily!. We have been providing useful information for many years to people who wish to learn a second language to enrich their lives.

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Ecommerce Website Design’s 6 Common Mistakes

Online marketing, Search engine optimisation, Pay per click, website marketing, Web design company. Small business Ecommerce is highly competitive field and small businesses need to develop a professional E-Commerce website in order o gain competitive advantage over others.

1.Poor or outdated design
Many E-commerce websites of small businesses reflect a poor outdated website design. It is important for your website to reflect a modern clean cut look and feel. If your E-commerce website design is not professional and the website looks like it was designed in the nineties then it is important to consider re-designing your e-Commerce website. A professional design for your E-commerce website is crucial and the website design task is best left to experts.

2.Not having detailed information on products
Many E-Commerce websites make a common mistake of not presenting detailed information on their product range. A common problem with ecommerce websites, especially small business is the lack of detailed information on products being sold on the website. Even if an Ecommerce website has a large product list it is important nevertheless to have an independent product detail page for each and every product. Avoid only one line descriptions for your products. Information on products can easily be found on manufacturer’s website and in most cases they are happy for you to use it on your website.

3.Don’t hide contact details
Another common mistake with many ecommerce websites is the lack of visibility of the company’s contact details i.e. telephone number and address on the website. Customers often look for this information as it helps build trust knowing that someone will be there to answer questions should a problem arise with the purchase or the product.

It is a often a good idea to include telephone and address on all pages either ion the header or footer. An easily accessible email inquiry form or request call back forms on the website also help build customer confidence.

4.The benefits of buying from your company not clearly evident to the customer
Another common mistake businesses make is failing to convey clearly via the website the advantages or benefits of purchasing form them. Customers usually research competitors before making a decision.

5.Not having an ongoing search engine optimisation strategy
Many ecommerce businesses make the mistake of thinking that if their website is there it will automatically attract new customers. No matter how professionally designed your website is or if you website has been created with search engine optimisation in mind; appearing on the first page of Google is not something that will be achieved on its own.

Thousands of businesses compete for first page ranking for any given keyword however only 10 can appear o the first page. In order receive targeted traffic to your website and generate increasing leads and sales you will need to have an ongoing search engine strategy and commission an ongoing search optimisation campaign. Although it is not something that will be achieved overnight, the benefits far outweigh the costs involved.

Robert Sonnigan writes about oscommerce and is an expert for payment gateway sign up web sites.

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How to Apply to Teach English Abroad?

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) abroad is a popular job, particularly for new graduates. TEFL teaching provides a way of seeing another country while earning money and adding to your resume. The first essential when applying for a teaching job abroad is ensuring you have an accredited TEFL certificate, such as Trinity or CELTA, a certificate for teaching English to adults. You can get a job without a certificate, but your choices will be restricted. Make sure your resume is up to date and list all relevant teaching jobs.

Decide on your ideal destination for a TEFL job. Ask friends and colleagues and research the types of jobs available in your favored location, along with pay rates, holidays and accommodation.

Check out specialist TEFL jobs websites such as,, ESL and Dave’s ESL Cafe to see up-to-date lists of jobs available. Apply directly from the website for some of the jobs. Follow the instructions in the application requests for resume, cover letter and possibly a photograph. Include transcripts from your college course and written references, if required.

Apply directly to language schools on speculation by letter; however, it probably is best to telephone first to find out whether the school has vacancies before submitting a resume and cover letter.

Apply via a specialist-employment agency or job-placement service such as i-to-i. These types of services try to match your skills and experience with a suitable school and age group.
Ask your training course/school for contacts with language schools abroad. Ask your school for help with your application or to give you a reference and advice on your resume and cover letter.
Take a vacation in the location you hope to teach in and visit the language schools in the area to discuss work opportunities, which works well in large, popular locations, such as Cairo or Athens. Time your vacation for just before school starts. Show you are flexible and adventurous by taking such a long shot.

Explore teaching internships if you do not have much experience. See websites such as Teachers Latin America, which offers online application forms and telephone calls to discuss your application in more depth. Check for government-offered TEFL programs; the application process for government programs is usually intense and will require educational transcripts and several references.

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Reasons For Everyone should Study in Abroad

There are countless reasons why everyone should study abroad. Here are our top ten:

See the world and broaden your experience

There are so many amazing things to experience around the world. You can see different natural landscapes and climates that do not exist in America. There are historical landmarks in every country that helped shape the history of the globe. You can expand your knowledge of the world by actually being there, seeing it, touching it, and experiencing it. Pictures in text books simply do not do justice to standing under the Eiffel Tower or on the Great Wall of China

Gain a new perspective on your own country

Being immersed in one country tends to give us a limited view of our world. Traveling outside the country will show you how America affects and fits into all of humanity. From the vantage point of someone else’s culture you can truly see your own. By being exposed to so many diverse traditions you will understand the significance of keeping your own traditions alive. The American anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “As the traveler who has once been from home is wiser than he who has never left his own doorstep, so a knowledge of one other culture should sharpen our ability to scrutinize more steadily, to appreciate more lovingly, our own.”

Explore your heritage

Getting in touch with your family’s heritage can be another strong motivation to study abroad. Many minority students report tremendous educational and personal benefits from exploring countries where their families have roots. Studying abroad can provide you with an opportunity to learn about your own ethnicity and to explore your own identity. Whether your family recently emigrated to the U.S. or has lived here for decades, and whether you are discovering your family’s culture for the first time or interested in learning more, study abroad can provide you with an opportunity to learn about your own ethnicity and to explore your own identity.

Learn a language in a country where it is spoken

The only way to truly become fluent in a language is to be immersed in it. If you’ve studied a language for several years and wish to gain fluency in that language, study abroad. Conversely, if you haven’t studied languages at all, remember that almost half of all Study Abroad programs don’t require any foreign language. Learning a foreign language will increase your educational development, improve your communication skills, and give you a world of opportunities you might not otherwise have.

Improve your professional and financial potential

International experience is a critical and impressive part of any resume. In addition to the personal growth you’ll undergo while overseas, the international and cross-cultural skills you’ll develop will certainly expand your employment opportunities and, consequently, your income potential. Globally-minded employees are in high demand. Many companies seek out individuals with multi-lingual and multi-cultural experience and skills.

Become a full-time learner

While studying abroad you will have the opportunity to truly become a full-time student. Traveling outside the United States will be an education in itself. Many students who go abroad report that in addition to enjoying and learning in their classes during the week, they learn some of the most valuable lessons outside of the classroom. Weekend excursions to museums and cultural sites also add to your academic and personal growth. You learn to interact with people who may not necessarily think or communicate like you.

Gain new insights and outlooks through new relationships

The relationships formed while studying abroad might become some of the deepest friendships you will ever develop. You will have the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds and cultures, and some of these people may even become life-long friends. Study abroad returnees often report meeting others with whom they expected to have no common ground, and then discovering that, despite being from different parts of the globe, they have much in common and much to learn from one another

Fight stereotypes by educating others

There is a distinct challenge everyone face abroad. Many other cultures only have experience with different ethnic groups through the American media (i.e. news, sports, music, and movies). Students may become frustrated when the same stereotypes from home follow them overseas. However, this is also a unique opportunity to educate others about who you are as an individual and as a group. You can illustrate your own experiences in the United States in comparison to what others see and hear

Dispel your own stereotypes

Frederick Douglass, the renowned abolitionist of the 19th century, once said, “Men who travel should leave their prejudices at home.” In addition to serving as a cultural ambassador to dispel other’s misconceptions, studying abroad gives you a chance to break down some of your own stereotypes about other countries and peoples. Not only will you have the chance to immerse yourself in another culture, you will also meet people from different backgrounds and make personal connections with people whom you may have never expected.

Take control of your future

During your time abroad, you will be exposed to countless different experiences that may influence the rest of your life. Some students even end up changing their major or career path as a result of the new things they learn from being abroad. Others discover a newfound passion for travel, decide they want to work abroad, or desire to learn a new language. Elaine Chao, the Secretary of Labor, explains how her experiences in different cultures have influenced her career, “Memories of living in a developing nation are part of who I am today and give me a profound understanding of the challenges of economic development.”

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Study Abroad at Germany

German qualifications are regarded as being of the highest quality, based on their system of education which blends thorough theoretical knowledge with cutting-edge research, informed by contemporary technology and discoveries. There are more than 300 institutions of higher education in Germany. Study abroad programs in Germany have two strands of education such as general and specialized.  Through general education, international students can gain essential analytical and scientific skills relevant to their chosen area of study.  On completion of an intermediate examination, students then move on to a period of study that is much more focused on their precise subject, developing an in depth knowledge and understanding of their specialization.

Admission and Fee

Students with strong academic backgrounds and fluency in English are encouraged to apply. Applications of international students are evaluated by deliberation of the academic record, standardized test scores, extracurricular activities and recommendations from teachers and counselors. Students with test scores of the GRE or the ACT are also eligible for admission. The TOEFL or other recognized test of English language ability such as the IELTS is required for those students whose native language is something other than English and who are not studying in English.

In Germany, the tuition fees are borne by the State and so students only have to worry about their living expenses. Normally, the stay in European countries is costly and it would be wise to contact DA AD or any of its partner organizations in India like the UGC, CSIR, etc. as there are plenty of scholarships for those who are looking to do advanced studies or research.

Immigration Details

With new immigration law, it is possible for foreign students to remain in Germany for up to one year for the purpose of seeking employment after successfully completing their studies. If the students are able to find a job during this period, their residence permit can be extended, and after a five-year stay they will be eligible to apply for permanent residence. The law provides for highly qualified persons to be granted permanent residence right after their studies. There are three types of visas available for international students.

·                A language course visa, which cannot be subsequently converted into a student visa.

·                A three-month study applicant’s visa. After admission, it must be converted as quickly as possible into a resident permit for student purposes at the office for foreigner’s affairs.

·                The visa for study purposes, valid for one year.

The below documents are required for visa.

·                Passport Size photos

·                A valid passport

·                Evidence of previous academic performance

·                Entitlement to university admission, as recognized in Germany

·                Proof that complete financial support for one year is guaranteed

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Study in US

Study in US has always been a dream for all aspiring students. The higher education programs offered in the US are simply the best. The post secondary or the higher secondary course of study includes 4 years of study in a college or university. Students send application for study in colleges after the end of high school. Entrance examinations are arranged by various colleges and universities for the admission of the students. The enrollment is done on the basis of high school courses, class ranking, the students GPA and standardized test scores. The extracurricular activities and personal background of the students are also taken in to account during the admission of the students.

Scholarships in USA

The scholarships in USA are offered not only as financial aids to the students but to fulfill the ambitions and prospects of the bright students. It also supports with the monetary help to the students. US offer a large number of scholarships to the deserving students, thereby assisting the students coming from both the developed and developing counties. The scholarships are given based on various categories. Some of the different categories of scholarships offered in US are as Merit-Based, Need-Based, Ethnicity-Based, Institution-Based, General-Scholarships and Prominent Scholarships. The most prestigious scholarships that are awarded to the brilliant students are scholarships offered by the Fulbright Program, Marshall Scholarships, Miss America Scholarship and AFLSE Scholarships.

Journalism Courses in USA

The Journalism Schools in USA has very planned course of study programs for the students. Graduate and post-graduate journalism courses are presented by diverse universities and colleges of the US. Some of the popular journalism programs, which can be pursued, are Journalism Studies, Public Relations & Advertising, Broadcasting & Digital Communication, Photo Journalism along with Communication & Media Studies. Some of the well known Journalism Schools in the US are as follows:

  • School of Journalism and Mass communication, University of North Carolina
  • USC Annenberg School for Communication, California
  • College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida
  • Medill School of Journalism
  • Columbia University, Graduate school of Journalism
  • E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University
  • UC Berkeley Graduate school of Journalism
  • School Of Journalism, Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Missouri school of journalism, Columbia
  • Madison school of Journalism and Communication

Medical Courses in the US

Medical sciences have achieved great heights in the US. In this country, you will be left with various options from medical sciences to choose from to pursue your higher studies in Medical sciences. The specialized medical courses include Radiologist, Pediatrician, Gynecologist, Orthopedic, Cardiologist, Pathologist, Anesthesiologist, Oncologist or a Surgeon. After the completion of the study program, you will have work opportunities as a Doctor or a Medical Researcher in Hospitals, Rehabilitation Centers, Nursing Homes, Correctional Facilities and at diverse Federal or Government Health Departments. Some of the promising medical schools in US include:

  • University of California San Francisco
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin Madison
  • Oregon Health & Science University
  • University of New Mexico
  • University of Minnesota Duluth
  • University of California San Diego
  • University of Rochester

Top Universities in USA

US is dotted with numerous universities offering different study programs to the students. It is because of the presence of the top universities in the US that thousands of students from all across the world take admission in the universities of USA. The best universities of the US are:

  • Stanford University
  • Massachusetts institute of Technology
  • University of California
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • University of Michigan
  • Cornell University Day
  • University of Wisconsin
  • University of Texas
  • University of Washington
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Minnesota
  • Carnegie Melon University
  • University of Chicago
  • Columbia University New York
  • Texas A & M University
  • Princeton University
  • Yale University
  • Harvard University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Duke University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Washington University in St. LouisCampus
  • Brown University
  • Northwestern University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Emory University
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Colleges and Universities in USA

US boast of having a large number of both public and private colleges and universities. Till the last count there were 168 universities. Apart from these, there are several other smaller universities, liberal arts colleges and local community colleges spread across the country.

Online Colleges in USA

Online education has become greatly popular in US. It is of great demand of late because of its flexible nature. Thousands of students prefer online college degrees in the US. These colleges admit anyone who applies for the course regardless of the age. The applicants need to fulfill certain basic criteria that are set for the online education in America.

Business Schools in US

If you are a business and management student, then there are some of the best business schools in US awaiting for you. Some of the most popular ones are B. Freeman School of Business, Adelphi University School of Business, Kelley College of Business, Auburn University College of Business, Atkinson Graduate School Of Management, Edward S. Ageno School of Business, Ancell School of Business, Babcock Graduate School of Management, T. Bauer College of Business, The Belk College of Business, Boston College Caroll School of Management, College of Business and Economics, California State University, The Bryan School of Business & Economics, Columbia Business School, School of Business and Daniels College of Business.

Animation Schools in USA

If you want to pursue your career in animation, there are numerous animation schools in the US, which offers different animation courses. It has become highly popular in the recent times. The students can show their creativity at their best while pursuing this career. Quite a large number of animation schools have cropped up in the US to offer various courses to the animation artists. The courses, which are largely focused on by the animation schools are computer graphic animation, flash animation, 3d animation, cartoon animation and other digital animation courses. While choosing from the course, you should keep in mind the prospect of the animation course in the US. Some of the popular animation schools include:

  • Academy College
  • Alfred State College
  • American Animation Institute
  • Animation Workshop
  • Ai Miami International University of Art and Design
  • Academy of Art University
  • Art Institute of Colorado
  • Abram Firedman Occupational Center
  • Orange Unifield School
  • Animations Creations
  • Art Institute of Atlanta
  • Cartoon Animatio Institute
  • Croog Studios
  • Gnomon School of Visual Effects
  • International Academy of Design and Technology
  • Island Animation
  • Students Visa for USA

For applying for student’s visa, you need to complete the higher education. The requirement of the student visa occurs when a student pursues a course of study for more than 18 hours a week. The students need to apply for a student’s visa at US Embassy or Consulate. There are two types of students visa, namely F-1 (Student Visa) and J-1 (Exchange Visitor Visa). For the procurement of the student’s visa, one needs to show various documents, including the following:

  • Valid Passport
  • One Passport size photograph (Color or Black and White)
  • Proof of financial ability to cover education and maintenance costs involved.
  • Visa fee to be paid in Indian Rupees by Bank Draft
  • Form I-20 executed by the authorizing official of concerned institution and signed by the applicant
  • A Non-immigrant Visa Application (Form 156) available at Consular section.
  • Career opportunities in the US

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Study Abroad at Australia


Higher education in Australia is quality regulated by the Australian Government across all universities. There are national agencies to monitor teaching, learning, administration and research in institutions. Australia has an ESOS Act (Education Services for Overseas Students) which protects the integrity of the system, safeguard the welfare and rights of an international student. The Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) must approve the courses offered to international students. There are 64 Cooperative Research Centers (CRCs) which bring together industry, government and academics.

Admission Test

Australia and India share similar education systems, and there is no entrance exam (except GAIAT, which is required by some B-Schools). Their admission is based on academic background, work experience and English Language proficiency. While a good TOEFL score is, acceptable for admission to an institution, obtaining an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of 6.0 is a mandatory requirement for the student visa to Australia unless the institution has a higher requirement.

Areas of Expertise

Australian universities provide the major research and development programmes. Most of the courses deal with state-of-the-art knowledge. The fees are significantly lower and it requires three years to complete an undergraduate degree in Australia. A Ph.D degree can be completed   in three years. More than all, the cost of living for international students is significantly lower.

Immigration Details

The Australian Government through its Overseas Student Program (OSP) allows people who are not Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents to study in Australia.

The following is the list of student visa types and required courses or qualifications.

Student visa subclass Courses/qualifications
Subclass 570
Independent ELICOS
English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) undertaken as a stand-alone course, not leading to an Australian award
Subclass 571
Primary school
Secondary school including junior and senior secondary
Approved secondary exchange programs
Subclass 572
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Certificate I, II, III, and IV
Diploma, Advanced diploma
Former RATE system qualifications: Certificate, Advanced certificate and Associate diploma
Subclass 573
Higher Education
Bachelor degree
Associate degree
Graduate certificate
Graduate diploma
Masters Coursework
Subclass 574
Masters (Research) and Doctorate
Masters Research
Doctoral degree
Subclass 575
Non-award Foundation Studies/Other
Enabling course: non-award foundation studies
Other full-time courses or components of courses not leading to an Australian award
Subclass 576
AusAID and Defence
Full-time courses of all types undertaken by AusAID or Defence students sponsored by the Australian Government

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A Few Tips for Higher Education in US

Studying abroad has long been a desire for an Indian, shrouded with myths and magic. But now, with most of the aspirants having direct access to the information superhighway, studying abroad is no longer the mystery it used to be. So let me give you some tips that you can use in your quest for higher studies. My tips are intended with an education in USA in mind, but fear not, if you are going elsewhere some of the tips might still apply to you.

Course and College selection

This part needs to be set in motion as early as possible. The ideal time to start would be the June of the year before you intend to go study. For a student who intends to start his/her education in Fall 2010, starting right now is very advisable. Even earlier would be better as it will give you a more time to shortlist the prospective schools and mull over the course you want to take. Selecting a course might seem easy, it is indeed so if you keep in mind a few pointers:

It’s easier to get an admit in a course related to your bachelor’s specialization. For example, a BA Economics student will have difficulty getting an admit in a Fashion Technology Masters degree unless he/she can prove a definitive link to the applied field in his undergraduate studies. An Electronics and Communication graduate might be able to secure an admission in the Computer Science department but he/she will be needed to demonstrate that his/her skills are equivalent to or greater than other CS applicants. The safest route is to apply to a course that is the closest to the one in your undergraduate studies.

Do remember that courses like Nuclear Engineering, Nano Technology and Artificial Intelligence might raise flags during your visa interview and you might need additional processing[a delay of up to a month], where they run all sorts of background checks against you at DC and make sure everything is kosher.

Note for ECE students: There is no Electronics Engineering course available. You’ll need to choose Electrical Engineering and then specialize in a Electronics/Communication related course.

College selection is a bit difficult if you’re pressed for time. You’ll need to select colleges based on your degree, specialization, degree value, school value, location and most importantly cost. Make sure you can afford the degree you’re taking and keep in mind that you’ll also need to pay living expenses. Private universities like MIT or Princeton are expensive while public universities like Virginia Tech and University of Maryland are cheaper. If you cannot afford the tuition, for get adding the school to your must apply list. Remember, cost of living in cities like New York City, Los Angeles are pretty high so make sure you factor in the typical living costs into the equation.

The best sources include your college’s higher studies department, seniors, friends, relatives and the Internet. I recommend getting a subscription at US News as it provides a definitive ranking of schools of almost every discipline in the US. It is definitely worth the $10 or so that you pay there. Internet is your friend if you need any help, google it.

Taking the exams

Book your GRE/TOEFL/IELTS date as early as July to make sure you have time for a second attempt if needed. Do plenty of practice tests online and offline to get a feel of the real thing. Use flashcards to learn when you are waiting at the doctors or travelling in a bus. You most definitely shouldn’t learn by rote, word lists from Baron’s. There is something elementally wrong about force feeding 1000s of words in a short span of a month or so. Try reading books or at the very least newspapers and the online news articles. Watching a few Hollywood movies might be in order, if you need to analyze and assimilate that American accent for your TOEFL and watching BBC is very helpful for that delightful English lilt for IELTS. Just don’t go overboard though!

Getting the relevant documents and getting the visa

The worst part is waiting for your decision. Checking your inbox or the school site every morning will become a ritual for a couple of months until you get your admit decisions. Do not bombard the admissions office or the department with emails asking them about the status of your applications. Patience is the key here. make sure you send all your application packets via tracked mail so that you can see and confirm delivery. Most international couriers like FedEx or DHL have special rates and benefits for students. Ask for them.

Get yourself the vaccinations that your school requires and make sure you have a record of them. You’ll be needed to produce them later on. Apply for an education loan at the earliest to avoid processing delays at the last minute. And no matter what you do, do NOT forge or fudge your documents for the visa interview. If you get caught presenting fake documents at the visa interview[trust me, the visa officer will know], you might be disbarred from entering USA even on a tourist visa and you might be criminally prosecuted by the Indian Government. Just don’t do it.

Though the whole process is sometimes as frustrating as crossing Anna Salai at 10 AM on a Monday morning with a bunch of hyperactive kids with a seeing eye dog, the satisfaction that you get in the end more than makes up for it. Remember don’t give up, persevere and stay clean.

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Love Skiing and Culture? Do you like study in France?

Love to ski? A skier’s repertoire can’t possibly complete without a trip to the French Alps. Unequalled by any other region in the world for linked terrain, it appears one can ski forever in the French Alps!

Located in Western Europe, France is sandwiched between Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Spain, with Great Britain just across the English Channel. France is a hub of refinement. Drink the best wine in the world, see the most famous paintings ever made, eat the most sophisticated cuisine, watch cutting-edge films, relax on the most pristine beaches… France appears to have it all.

Great places to study French are Bordeaux, Nice, Normandy, Montellier, and of course, Paris. Paris, the capital of France, is known as the “City of Light”. It is also known as the most popular tourist destination in the world, and for good reason. Paris is home to the Eiffel Tower, which was the tallest building in the world when it was completed in 1889. The Louvre, a spectacular art museum, is home to such works as the Mona Lisa, Madonna of the Rocks, and the Venus de Milo. Famous artists whose paintings and sculptures are displayed at the Louvre include Leonardo da Vinci, Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Rubens. In total, there are over 35,000 works of art at the Louvre. Another art museum in Paris is the Musée d’Orsay, which holds an extensive collection of French Impressionist works. Major painters such as Monet, Renoir, Manet, Degas, Cézanne, Van Gogh, and Seurat have work displayed here. The Musée d’Orsay also has an exceptional collection of sculptural masterpieces and furniture design.

A short side trip from Paris will take you to the Palace of Versailles, built for the Sun King, Louis XIV. Versailles is one of the largest and most absurdly luxurious palaces in the world. Vast formal gardens extend in all directions and include fountains, sculptures and the Grand Canal. The Palace of Versailles has been an architectural inspiration for many later buildings, including palaces in England, Russia, Poland, Sweden, Germany, and even Rhode Island.

Another location in France that is a hotspot of activity is Provence. Located in southeastern France along the Mediterranean coast, Provence is known for its beaches, mountains, lavender fields, art, wine, and food. Popular destinations in this region are the French Riviera, known for its exclusive beaches; the town of Arles, known for Vincent Van Gogh’s tenure in its mental institution; the Cannes Film Festival, one of the most important in the world; the French Alps, with arguably the best skiing to be found; and proximity to Monte Carlo with its Grand Prix and casinos.

A true skier’s paradise, the French Alps include the largest ski areas in the world. Les Trois Vallees (the Three Valleys) are three interlinked valleys that can be skied on one ski pass. This is the largest ski area in the world connected by ski lifts and slopes, encompassing 410 square miles. Another famous ski area, Les Portes du Soleil, connects thirteen resorts between Mount Blanc in France and Lake Geneva in Switzerland. It covers 400 square miles and fourteen valleys. France… come for the culture, stay for the skiing!

Looking to study abroad in France? Try All Study Abroad, Languages Abroad, or AmeriSpan Study Abroad. Each has a wide selection of programs to help you find exactly what you are looking for.

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