Category: Study abroad

The benefits of studying the International Baccalaureate

“What has inspired me the most about the IB is its ability to encourage students to become internationally minded”

As students start to plan their future, choosing the right upper school curriculum is often a difficult decision to make. Faced with so many options, from A-levels to the International Baccalaureate (IB) or even the American Advanced Placement (AP) or high school diploma, the question is which one is the best fit for their abilities? And which one will more likely lead to a good degree?

I wish there was a simple answer, but it just depends on what type of student they are. Whether a good all-rounder who enjoys studying a wide range of subjects and rises to the challenge of investigative projects and exams like in the IB, or perhaps they are a more analytical mindset who prefers time to ponder their work with a curriculum focused on fewer subjects and graded more equally on coursework and exams like some A levels and the AP or whether no exams at all like the high school diploma.

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Switzerland’s tradition of learning: “a point of reference on the global stage”

“All too often, graduates of traditional academic degrees feel that their studies have left them unprepared for the workplace”

For the eighth year in a row, Switzerland has been ranked the world’s most innovative country by the World Intellectual Property Organisation. It is a country famed for its economic health and political stability.

Some may be surprised, then, to learn that less than a third of Swiss people under the age of 25 enter traditional academic higher education, or what the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development calls “tertiary-type A” education – theory-based programs lasting at least three years.

It’s not that Switzerland doesn’t value education. Quite the contrary: Switzerland has long recognised the importance of providing a range of educational pathways for different needs and objectives. Apprenticeships and vocational training play a key role in the country’s education system, with approximately 70% of young Swiss people participating in these programs either before or instead of attending university.

Vocational education gives teens the opportunity to combine classroom learning with entry-level responsibilities in the workplace, preparing them for careers in technology, services and health as well as traditional trades and crafts. It enables students to develop the skills they want and the skills employers need. As a result, youth unemployment in Switzerland is among the lowest in the world (8.1%, compared to the OECD total of 11.9%), and the Swiss educational model has become a point of reference on the global stage.

The Swiss tradition of learning by doing has also shaped the nation’s higher education landscape. Switzerland excels in research, with the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (EPFL and ETH Zurich) ranked as among the best engineering and technology universities worldwide. In addition to academic universities, the country offers a number of universities of applied sciences specialising in practice-oriented bachelor’s and master’s degrees, where apprentices who hold a Federal Vocational Education and Training (VET) Diploma or Federal Vocational Baccalaureate may qualify for admission. These industry-specific programmes enable graduates to make a smooth transition from studies to their career.

“We have found that this dual approach is key to ensuring that students can apply their classroom learning to real-world contexts”

In the area of hospitality management, for example, four out of the world’s top ten institutions are based in Switzerland. At both Glion Institute of Higher Education and Les Roches Global Hospitality Education, the Swiss model of combining practical and academic learning forms the backbone of the curriculum. Bachelor’s degree students are immersed in hospitality operations, such as guest service, culinary studies and housekeeping, as well as business theory, such as finance, entrepreneurship and luxury branding.

This experience enables them to develop professionalism, communication, adaptability and other essential soft skills as well as business management expertise. In addition, students are required to complete two internship semesters and are encouraged to work and study abroad to further enhance their employability.

We have found that this dual approach is key to ensuring that students can apply their classroom learning to real-world contexts. Specialist programmes that maintain close ties with the industry are better equipped to prepare students with the necessary skills for their chosen profession. It’s an educational experience that is valued by students and companies alike: in the 2018 QS World University Rankings, Glion and Les Roches rank first and third respectively for employer reputation among hospitality management institutions worldwide.

“Youth unemployment in Switzerland is among the lowest in the world “

All too often, graduates of traditional academic degrees feel that their studies have left them unprepared for the workplace. The Swiss model of blended theoretical and practical learning has become increasingly attractive not only in Switzerland but around the world. Today, Glion offers its curriculum through a branch campus in London, UK, while Les Roches also has campuses in Marbella, Spain and Shanghai, China. For career-focused students, the integration of vocational and academic education offers a compelling alternative.

About the author: Dr Pierre Ihmle is Chief Academic Officer of Sommet Education, the hospitality education group that includes Glion Institute of Higher Education and Les Roches Global Hospitality Education

 

 

 

Finding Study Abroad Scholarships for Indian Students

“Study abroad scholarships can be an absolute boon, providing students with the much needed financial resources”

What do Indian investor and philanthropist Ratan Tata, journalist and television news anchor Arnab Goswami, politician Shashi Tharoor and actress Ameesha Patel have in common? Well, they all received their higher education in a university abroad!

Ever since the colonial era, Indians have been travelling abroad for education. Apart from the obvious boost to one’s career and academics that an education abroad can provide, the charm of experiencing a foreign culture can also be quite a factor when it comes to attracting Indian students to foreign shores.

But for the most part, this is limited to those with considerable financial resources available to them, and consequently, accessible only to the privileged. There’s one exception to this rule – an alternate method for students to access quality education for close to free – study abroad scholarships.
International scholarships are those scholarship opportunities that are open for students studying in a country apart from their own. For international students, study abroad scholarships can be an absolute boon, providing them with the needed financial resources to pursue their higher education from prestigious universities abroad.

A scholarship to study abroad can cover a meritorious student’s expenses including tuition, flight, visa, accommodation and living expenses.

“Unlike an education loan or study loan, the aid received through a scholarship doesn’t need to be paid back as well, making them the perfect solution for financially constrained meritorious students”

Of course, with many applicants for the same positions, the competition to win scholarships is quite high. Many students are further hindered by the lack of information about available scholarships. Yet, there is no dearth of available scholarship opportunities for Indian students to study abroad.

Study abroad scholarships can be discovered by browsing the scholarship portal of your state or the national scholarship portal, through a web search by keywords, through the student counsellor at your school or college, and on scholarship websites or apps.

One resource to find information for study abroad scholarships for Indian students is Buddy4Study. Started as a website in 2011, Buddy4Study is also available as an android app on Google Play Store. The portal contains complete information on international scholarships for Indian students.
Here are few of the top study abroad scholarships:

1.Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship
This scholarship is offered by Reliance Industries Ltd. in the name of their founder, Dhirubhai Ambani. The scholarship is offered exclusively to Indian students who wish to pursue an MBA from Stanford University in the United States of America. To qualify for the scholarship, the student must be admitted to Stanford Business School. Stanford’s Business School is one of the most prestigious schools in the world, with its MBA Degree frequently ranking among the very best in the world. Reliance CEO Mukesh Ambani, as well as his daughter, Isha Ambani, are among the alumni of the Stanford Business School.

2.Narotam Sekhsaria Scholarship
This scholarship is for graduate students who are looking to pursue a postgraduate degree from a prestigious institution – whether in India or abroad – in any of the listed disciplines. The disciplines include a vast umbrella of courses falling under Pure Sciences, Applied Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities, Law, Architecture and Management.

The scholarship provides financial aid up to INR 20 Lakh to each selected scholar. The applications for this scholarship are open between the months of January to March each year.

3.Lady Meherbai D Tata Education Scholarship
This scholarship is provided by the Tata Education Trust, one of India’s oldest, philanthropic organisations, and is exclusively for Indian women graduates. The scholarship provides financial aid to women graduates from prestigious institutions in India to pursue their postgraduate studies abroad in either the US, the UK, or Europe.

The candidate must also possess at least 2 years of work experience in the respective field which are covered under the program, including social work, social sciences, education, gender studies, child health, public health, rural development work, communication of development, etc.

4.Chinese Government Scholarships
These scholarships are offered on behalf of the Government of China by the Ministry of Human Resource Development as per the joint pacts between the countries in the sector of education. There are multiple full and partial scholarships available for Undergraduate, Masters, Doctoral, General Scholar and Senior Scholar programs.

While the full scholarship covers the entire tuition fee, accommodation, monthly stipend, and medical insurance expenses, the partial scholarship would only cover one or some items of the full scholarship.

What International Students Should Know About College Admissions

” It’s your college experience, so make it what you want, not what anyone else says it should be”

Applying to college is an exciting time in a student’s life – especially if you’re looking at studying in a different country. With additional requirements and transitioning into a different culture, the college admissions process and attending college for international students can be a bit stressful if you’re not aware of some important points.

Not every college admissions process is the same, so it’s important to pay close attention to the details your prospective colleges require. Here is a list of some key factors to look for when researching.

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The Study-Abroad Experience & Cross-Cultural Friendships

” It is important that academicians and educational administrators incorporate sufficient scope for students to make cross-cultural friendships”

“Living abroad should mean loving abroad,” said Marina Meijer, a TEDx Talks speaker, defending studying abroad. The study-abroad experience is more than just about studying – It is about learning. It makes students richer and well-equipped individuals.

Following the heart and heading out into international terrain is a challenge. Let’s not discount prejudice, cultural gaps, homesickness, and adjustment issues. Integrating into another community need not be so much of a fuss despite all that. Students have to pick up challenges as they come.

Over the semester, students can develop friendships that help cultural immersion. It is important that academicians and educational administrators incorporate sufficient scope for students to make cross-cultural friendships.

A few benefits of acculturation:

  • Novelty: A variety of people collaborating gives students the opportunity to see problems from a new perspective or offer insights that had not been thought of before.
  • Personal Transformation: As students start to become proficient in one thing, they need encouragement for the next. They might be self-motivated, but having work-groups and course clubs might help them interact with multinationals better. They grow as individuals and it equips them better to set out for their different career paths.
  • Network: Students may tend to make friends with those from their community. International networking helps build creativity and teaches important lessons in teamwork and communication.
  • Empathy: This ability to climb under another’s skin, walk around in their shoes for a bit. Empathy is vital to overcoming prejudice and narrow nationalism. It helps crack difficult people and complex situations at microcosmic levels.
  • Cultural Intelligence: This is a vital skill set to be able to work efficiently and relate to people who do not come from the same background.
  • Experiential Learning: New activities, experiences, and information like learning a new language, visiting a museum, or simply boarding a bus in a foreign land, exposes students to new things. It creates new neural connections that build on each other and create an optimal environment for learning.

 

Engaging in co-curricular and extracurricular activities like clubs, sports, community events, and tutor programs ensures that guest students integrate with the community, interact with people, and understand the way others live. International educational administrators need to incorporate these activities upon or before the arrival of students on campus.

“Investing in students and the educated youth of the nations will ultimately help build meaningful ‘glocal’ friendships”

It is important that international educators develop a plan for the benefit of the overseas student community.

Here’s a things-to-do list for international educators:

  • Establish intercultural platforms like clubs, community events, coffee-house discussions, social events, etc.
  • Host inclusive Model United Nations conferences so students can play delegates and become sensitive to contemporary world issues.
  • Encourage students to talk about issues in their native lands so they form strong opinions and grow in their identity
  • Create educational content that is relevant to international student affairs
  • Develop good hiring and job exchange programs in the global market
  • Enable digital learning and interaction for better access and collaboration of skills and knowledge
  • Assess student performances and provide them with a list of developmental opportunities and programs

While students need to be self-responsible and auto-motivated, educators also need a skill set of competencies to guide students through their educational journey. International educators are major stakeholders in helping students think critically, master a foreign second language, work in multinational teams, facilitate cross-cultural communication, widen job horizons, and in improving access and opportunities to thrive.

Investing in students and the educated youth of the nations will ultimately help build meaningful ‘glocal’ friendships. Innovation, progressive thought, acceptance, and other human values will follow as consequence. It is a long-term investment in the human race which will engineer a generation for a better tomorrow.

About the author: Ethan Miller is an online ESL instructor and EdTech enthusiast based in Illinois.

The Netherlands, identity & the internationalisation of education

“In contrast to what some parties maintain, internationalisation poses no threat to our Dutch identity”

 

Director-general of Nuffic Freddy Weima believes that the internationalisation of education is not a threat to identity. On the contrary, he writes, it strengthens the position of the Netherlands in the world.

International students predominate‘, ‘Stop this English madness‘, ‘Universities aim to reduce international student numbers‘ – the past few months have seen a headline bonanza. The public debate has focused on the problems supposedly caused by the internationalisation of higher education, such as a lack of student accommodation and the imminent demise of the Dutch language.
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Project-Management Tools To Help International Students

“Great project management tools will help students save time, break language barriers, and communicate in real time”

There’s no question that managing multiple school projects simultaneously, whether personal or with a group, can be challenging. International students may find this more difficult as they face language barriers and time differences if they travel home at any point during an academic term.

Luckily, there are several tools online that can assist students in making productivity a reality. Trello, Slack, and Asana are all 100% online and give students the ability to track progress wherever they go.
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How will Brexit affect the UK’s international student community?

“The changing landscape of immigration laws could mean that youngsters need to choose their degree more wisely in order to study abroad”

Since Brexit negotiations began, UCAS has reported a surprising surge of European and international students applying to study in the UK – with figures exceeding the 100,000 mark for the first time. Many have speculated that the increase in applicants is due to a fear growing among international students: that access to further education in the UK will be limited once freedom of movement has ended come 29 March 2019.

What we know:

There is no abrupt close-down for students wishing to study in the UK in the immediate future: students starting in the academic year 2018/19 can continue undisturbed since they are secured under ‘transitional protection’.
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Chinese parents boost the UK’s £20bn higher education market

 “Parents in China are expecting to contribute on average £72,738 towards their child’s higher education abroad”

Thinking of international education and the boom in mobile students in the near past, we often think of the students as the drivers of change. And of course they are at the centre of the business – it wouldn’t exist without them – but there is another group that also deserves our attention, writes Trista Sun, global head of international and cross border at HSBC. Parents of mobile students, especially Chinese parents, are key to the international education economy.

Despite many concerns about the international political environment, globalisation of education showed no sign of stalling in 2017, creating vast opportunities for universities around the world. The UK in particular saw strong benefits from this, with international students bringing an estimated £22.6bn to our economy, as revealed by new figures from HEPI. We owe a great deal of this income to ambitious parents in China who are going to great lengths to make their child’s plans for university abroad a reality.

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International Education in New Zealand: New Applications for “№8 Wire”

“Policymakers are positioning international education within a fragile eco-system where sectors of the economy could collapse without the contributions of international students”

 

In 19th century New Zealand, №8 wire was the preferred wire gauge for sheep fencing, so farms often had plentiful supplies. It was said that one could just about fix anything with a handy piece of №8.

Over time, the idea of №8 wire came to represent the ingenuity, resilience and resourcefulness of New Zealanders and became a symbol of the nation’s ability to improvise and adapt. Today, New Zealand faces an array of more complex challenges.

As if with a piece of №8 wire in hand, Anthony Ogden, executive director of education abroad and exchanges at Michigan State University writes, the nation’s leaders have begun to reimagine international education as a viable strategy that can be repurposed to solve some of the country’s pressing challenges.

Although international education is generally discussed in relation to international student and scholar mobility, it is being framed in New Zealand as a dynamic industry in terms of export value, immigration, and as “supply chain management” to bolster the domestic workforce.

The nation’s policymakers are positioning international education within a fragile eco-system wherein certain sectors of the economy would potentially collapse without the economic and workforce contributions of international students.

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