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This Is All You Must Know To Study Abroad

This Is All You Must Know To Study Abroad

Studying abroad over a period of time is a good opportunity to learn about and experience a different culture. Every day, thousands of people travel from their universities to begin a new stage of their lives. But studying abroad is not easy, and you need to know a few things before you check in the luggage.

Why study abroad?

When you study abroad you open you expand your world. You learn new languages, taste different foods, and are fully immersed in another culture. You also have the opportunity to experience living alone, which means getting to know yourself away from the comfort zone of your family and your routine.

For some, the prospect of leaving home and heading off into the unknown is daunting, but, in realty, studying abroad is an exciting challenge that often leads to better career opportunities and a broader understanding of how the world works.

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Where should I study?

Choosing the right destination is not always easy. You may like many cities and countries but would you be willing to live in them? Are they safe? Would you feel comfortable? These are some of the questions you need to answer before deciding on which place to choose.

In addition to your own personal interests, you should think about practical aspects like the costs of studying abroad (university fees and living costs), your graduate career prospects (is there a good job market?), and your overall safety.

You should also ask yourself what kind of a student life you would like to experience. For example, if you like big cities, it is understandable that you would choose a big capital. However, if you prefer to live in a quieter place at a lower cost, you can look for small university towns, with few villagers yet still full of life.

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What’s the first step to studying abroad?

Once you have decided the destination, you should look for educational programs. Depending on your field of education, you will be better off at one university versus another. To do this, you can speak with your study abroad director at your university about different study abroad programs that coincide with your major.

Once you’ve firmly decided on your program and institution, you should start to think about the application forms. All universities have an admissions process. You can learn more about this process by selecting the “admissions” tab on the university’s website. There, you should find all the requirements, documents, fees and information necessary for your application.

Note: If you think you might need a student visa, remember that in most cases, you won’t be able to apply for one until you have received a letter of acceptance from your chosen university.

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How will you live in the city?

It is important that you understand how you are going to live in the destination city. Are you going to share a flat or are you going to live in a university residence? According to your hobbies, tastes, and hobbies, you will have to decide if you are prepared to rent an apartment with other students or share a room in a residence.

Each type of accommodation has its advantages and disadvantages, but everything will depend on your personality and budget. If your chosen university has readily available campus accommodation, it is likely you will be able to apply for a place in the student halls. If this is not the case, you will need to find your own accommodation.

So come on, take the adventure and meet new places, cultures, people, and languages. Studying abroad is an experience unlike any other and you will grow in many aspects.

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Featured photo credit: stile via stile.it

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Erick Clifford

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Last Updated on August 21, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. Hello promotion, here I come!
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. No, thanks Alzheimer’s; you and I are just not a good fit.

So how to train your brain to learn faster and remember more?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new.

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.” Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

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But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

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Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

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I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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