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Archive for December, 2008


Every American decade has its archetypes. If you were heading off to business school in the 1980s, you might have wondered – or even worried – you’d end up like Alex Keaton from the hit TV series “Family Ties.” Alex scoffed at the Peace Corps past of his parents, and believed he could amass all the wealth and status that he wanted without being too concerned about the political affairs of the world around him — beyond, perhaps, advocating for lower tax rates on capital gains.

Today Alex would not survive, much less thrive, in a world marketplace where economic events in nearly every developing and industrialized nation can dramatically impact the fortunes of others. Growing affluence in China coupled with the rise of ethanol, for example, has increased the demand for meat, which drives up global grain prices. At the same time, instability in the Nigerian delta directly influences the price of oil in New York, and a small business in Germany could easily be denied a loan from a distressed local bank that has over-invested in mortgages in the United States. Meanwhile, as we’ve seen in just the past few weeks, the implosion of the U.S. financial system continues to send aftershocks to financial markets and economies across the globe.

Unfortunately, too few colleges or universities are preparing students to understand these global dynamics. According to the Center for International Initiatives at the American Council on Education, the percentage of colleges that require a course with an international or global focus as part of the general education curriculum fell from 41 percent in 2001 to 37 percent in 2006. And 27 percent of the nation’s colleges and universities have no students at all who study abroad. But even among the colleges and universities that do promote “semester abroad” programs, most offer these as add-ons to the required course of study, providing students with only a taste of life in another nation and a small selection of elective courses.

A far better approach would be to make international study a core component of undergraduate education in the 21st century — requiring students to spend a significant portion of their college years abroad (e.g., two or more semesters) and do it while studying in multiple locations. Students would thereby be exposed to the interconnections across multiple countries and cultures, so they have the opportunity to gain insight into the complex economic and political factors shaping our world.

My certainty on the need for this approach has been influenced by 20 years of experience as a business school educator. As a professor at the University of Chicago in the 1990’s, I first observed the prevalence of a “free market ideology” among our first and second year M.B.A. students – a viewpoint that over-simplifies market dynamics and their impact on the social and political landscape. That’s when I first began to think about new models for undergraduate education that incorporate a deeper understanding of global economic dynamics and the interconnection between the private and public sectors.

Now, as dean at the New York University Stern School of Business’s Undergraduate College, I’ve worked with our faculty to create a new bachelor’s degree in business and political economy, designed to foster deeper understanding of the intersections between international business, politics and economics. Our new curriculum not only integrates these perspectives, but requires students to spend three semesters of global study on three different continents, where they experience the course of business in both industrialized and emerging market nations.

During their sophomore year in London, for example, students will study the foundations of economics and politics in Europe’s financial center, under the guidance of faculty from both NYU and local institutions. In Shanghai during the junior year, they will experience life in a developing country where commerce is thriving yet challenged by centuries of strict political rule. From there, they will travel to developing markets in India to gain a first-hand understanding of how a nation strives for capitalistic momentum despite having a large population of undereducated and underemployed citizens — and how these converging factors of economics and politics will likewise impact India’s strength as a developing nation in the world marketplace.

Through the experience, the students will learn how markets, corporations, governments, religions and cultures converge in nations that are inextricably linked to the success of capitalism in the U.S. – an understanding that cannot be easily replicated without spending a significant amount of time living and learning in these nations.

While I recognize that NYU’s existing infrastructure and history of international education enhance our ability to create this type of experience, there are many other ways for colleges and universities to better open students’ eyes to the convergence between international markets, economies, cultures and governments. They can begin by weaving the subject matter into existing coursework, combining international economics and business courses with politics, sociology and religion courses.

They can also augment their current foreign exchange programs — going beyond simply having students “visit” back and forth — by investing in deeper, more elaborated partnerships. For example, colleges from different continents could invest in developing integrated curricula across two (or more) global partner institutions. So that when students study abroad at a partner campus they would have a more seamless academic experience, one that is specifically designed to promote deeper understanding of global economic, social and political issues. These programs could be supplemented by distance learning opportunities and the use of digital technology to connect students across partner campuses for virtual and collaborative learning experiences when back at their home campus.

While these recommendations may sound daunting, I would argue that moving undergraduate education in this direction is a social imperative. Given the ever-increasing connectedness of our complex world, students need to understand how political tensions, conflicting attitudes about globalization and religion, and the ever-expanding reach of free markets will impact worldwide security and the future of the global marketplace. And the best way to make that happen is to send them packing — inspired and determined to understand the wonders of the world around them.

Source : http://insidehighered.com/views/2008/12/19/blountlyon

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Hundreds of thousands of international students choose the UK every year. From India alone there are currently more than 7,500 students studying in UK universities and colleges and if you are reading this article there is a very good chance that you too are considering your future studies in the UK.

Here in the UK we have been welcoming international students for generations. We have long experience of looking after your needs, and will give you special support from the moment you apply throughout your time in the UK.

For example, your local British Council office or British Library will advise on where to find information about courses and how to apply. We find that the most popular subjects with Indian students are Business and Management Studies, Engineering, Information Technology, Medicine and subjects related to medicine, Law, Science and Technology courses and Art & Design courses. However, with courses on offer from Equine Studies to Video Games Technology you may find it difficult to choose!!

One question that I am constantly asked is “How much will a UK education cost me?” The answer? It costs less then you think!

The cost of an education in the UK consists of two areas: course fees and living costs.

Comparing course fees between countries is by no means a clear-cut process. But because courses in the UK are often shorter, the total cost of study can be lower. Shorter courses also mean students can realise their earning potential sooner than their counterparts elsewhere. All of which makes UK courses better value for money overall.

The information below gives a rough idea of annual overseas fees in the UK, but remember it is always best to check exact costs with the institutions you’re interested in.

Universities

Undergraduate classroom-based courses £6,000 – £7,000
Undergraduate laboratory-based courses £8,000 – £9,000
Undergraduate clinical courses £16,000 – £17,000
Postgraduate classroom-based courses £6,000 – £7,000
Postgraduate clinical-based courses £16,000 – £17,500
MBA courses £6,000 – £16,000

Further Education Colleges

Access Courses £3,750 – £5,500
Further education courses £3,000 – £4,250
Higher level courses (such as HNC/Ds) £4,000 – £7,950

The cost of living is not the same throughout the country. Generally, it is more expensive to live in London and the South-East of England, and cheaper in the North of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Average annual costs of living for a typical student in the UK are given below:

London
Academic year £7,300
Per month £811

Outside London
Academic year £5,936
Per month £659

It is also worth remembering that there are many benefits available to international students that can make life in the UK more affordable;

  • NUS Discounts
    The National Union of Students negotiate discounts on behalf of their members which Can mean up to 50% off anything from books, stationery and food to clothes, travel and entertainment.
  • Free Healthcare.
    All international students staying in the UK for a period of six months or more qualify for free healthcare through the National Health Service.
  • Part-time Work.
    If you want to earn extra money, you can work for up to twenty hours per week during term and full-time in your vacations.

So now that you know it is affordable your next questions are likely to be about the institutions themselves and what you can expect once you get to the UK.

Universities and colleges in the UK are increasingly international. When you study here, you are likely to find yourself meeting students from all over the world. More than ninety countries may be represented on campus and each student makes a unique contribution to the life of the institution, both academically and culturally.

You can see some of this diversity in the student societies established within students’ unions, where those centred around religious or geographical themes are numerous.

Many UK universities and colleges have specialist international officers whose job is to provide support for international students. You can approach these officers for independent advice and information on almost anything, from accommodation through to how to extend your permission to stay in the UK.

Most institutions also arrange orientation programmes for new international students at the beginning of the academic session. The duration and content of these programmes vary considerably: some last only one or two days and others for a whole week. Typical elements include: a tour of the campus, an overview of the facilities and how to use them, explanations of the institution’s rules, help with registering for your course, an outline of teaching methods, discussion of important aspects of life in the UK, and social events where you can meet staff and other students.

Once you’ve settled in, you’ll find that the support continues. Advice on personal, financial, practical and health matters is always on hand, and at the end of course you can even seek advice from qualified career counsellors who will help you make a decision about your future career options.

If so, congratulations on the wise choice you have made – I can assure you that it is a good one!

So if you decide to join the thousands of international students in the UK in becoming the best you can be, congratulations – I can assure you that your decision is a wise one!

Source : http://internationalstudy.in/uk.htm

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Communication Skills


Probably the most taken for granted yet most essential skill that you can possess. Let me explain why and you will see how you aren’t getting everything that you really want from your life…

First though lets look at some really powerful people. ( or at least that’s what most folks think they are ).

What is it that makes someone powerful ? Well usually it’s because they have told us how wonderful they are. Hundreds of polticians spring to mind here. They have planted ideas in your head…and mine…that they are the person you and me can trust to look after us.

They do more than just talk though..

You can see that by planting those ideas and you and me accepting them they have occupied the primary position in the front of your mind. They have also worked out EXACTLY what they want you to think about them.

How was this done ? Well communication skills are a part of this but there’s so much to learn here about this rather complex process.

In future posts I’m going to break this down into a step by step process that you can follow easily so that you can start to use the exact same skills in your own communication and get the success that you really deserve.

For now I’d like to invite you to consider what it really is that you want from life ( as I said previously, there’s more to this process than just talking )

If you want total success in life work out EXACTLY what you want other people to think you are and then I’ll show you ways that you can become that ideal you.

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The holiday season is coming quickly and the time to write your “seasonal” articles is now. Personally, I am against making Christmas something that I do not believe it should be: a blatant commercial sell. For me, Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. Yes, I know others celebrate Christmas differently or not at all and some celebrate the “sell” and not the “Savior.” Ultimately, the Christmas season is a terrific time to create holiday themed articles that get noticed, so here are some suggestions on how you can get started:

Family Time: Starting with Thanksgiving and lasting all the way through New Year’s Day is a time of the year that we call The Holiday Season. This nearly 40 day period is an enjoyable time for some, but a disaster for others. Much of how one perceives the season depends on how strong of a relationship a person has with his or her family. For some, Christmas evokes warm memories, while for others it can be a very painful time. Article suggestions: Home for the Holidays; Gift Giving Ideas; Family Holiday Traditions; My Secret Santa; Traveling Over the Holidays; Alone, But Not Lonely at Christmas; etc. In addition, articles centered on Thanksgiving or the New Year can also be birthed out of this theme. For example, “Thanksgiving Dinner Meal Planning” and “Resolutions I Will Never Keep” are two ideas.

Faith Time: Writing to an audience that celebrates Christmas primarily as the advent of Jesus Christ can be a great way to generate many topics of interest. Article suggestions: All About Advent; The Christmas Miracle; Christmas All Around The World; Favorite Christmas Hymns; Ministering to the Lonely at Christmas; The Mass of Christ; Christmas Caroling Adventures; A Very Dickens Christmas; etc. In addition, some topics can successfully blend the secular and faith aspects of the holiday which is how many people celebrate Christmas.

Work Time: Like it or not, the dreaded “holiday party” comes up for plenty of employees in December. You can have some fun with this theme too. Article suggestions: 7 Excuses That Work: How to Skip Your Office Party; Coping at Your Office Christmas Party; 12 Christmas Grab Bag Suggestions; Christmas Bonuses: Myth or Reality?; Working on Christmas Day [great for nurses and all those who must work on a major holiday]; The Dreaded Business Christmas Card; Office Christmas Trees: Paper or Plastic?; etc. One thought: a little humor can go a long way!

There are numerous Christmas and/or Holiday themed web sites on the internet that are content rich and always looking for fresh material. Write your articles now so that webmasters can plan accordingly on how they want their sites to look in the coming weeks.

If I haven’t inspired you yet, pop in your favorite holiday themed video to get in the mood immediately. Nostalgia is a big pull and it tugs no harder than at Christmas time.

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A recent study found that nearly twice as many women as men study abroad every year. Ellen Wernecke, assistant editor of Jaunted and lady, might just have an opinion on that.

Aaron Hotfelder of Gadling should have checked the label on the can of worms he opened up by reporting on a study of gender imbalance in study abroad programs. The Institute of International Education found that female students study abroad at nearly twice the rate of male students, a fact that given my study abroad experience (which was even more imbalanced, at about 20 percent male) I find completely unsurprising.

Somewhat more surprising? The first theory Inside Higher Ed advanced in reporting on this story.

IHE puts forth the idea that women go abroad during college because they want to hurry up and make babies. They quote a study-abroad associate director as saying that women “can’t imagine being able to travel abroad and also be a mom. So if they’re going to have an overseas experience, they’re going to do it before they become mothers.”

While women are trying to hurry up and procreate, men are all about the FUN parts of study abroad–like drinking and sports! Inside Higher Ed leads its coverage of the study with this priceless comment from a supposedly real study abroad director from Austin College about promoting study abroad for men:

Of course, if you’re a guy who doesn’t do languages, Australia and New Zealand are attractive and you can do guy things like kayaking and bungee jumping and so forth, pub crawling.

How smooth and subtle, Truett Cates! This reading does as much disservice to men–many of whom have better reasons for studying abroad than boozing it up and having some totally rad nights out–as women.

Then Gadling goes on to suggest that women study abroad more because they’re dumb with money:

Study abroad can be expensive, and men are often, shall we say, “more frugal” than women.

Silly girls, spending their money on experiences they’ll remember forever! My trips abroad have been priceless, and I’m sure men and women out there would say the same. Besides, the declining dollar affects travelers equally, does it not?

Now that I’ve alienated you all, here are my suggestions for why women study abroad more than men do:

1. Our superior communication skills make us less apprehensive about adapting to new places. Even though those “Women use twice as many words per day!” studies have been debunked, good interpersonal skills and high emotional intelligence help any traveler adjust to the social norms of a new culture. And women consistently score higher on tests of relationship management and social awareness.

2. To spin the “ticking clock” argument in a positive way, we’re multitasking. Back in my college days, the biggest excuse I heard from my friends on why they didn’t study abroad was that they couldn’t find a way to manage major requirements, on-campus responsibilities and time away. Perhaps female students are more apt to grasp the possibilities that accompany the complications of enrolling in a study abroad program and see that opportunity as a way to “do it all” in college. I exploited my six months abroad to the hilt in all areas and still graduated on time.

3. Because we can. Maybe it doesn’t come up on most applications, but the weight of history is a factor here. For so long women were discouraged from traveling alone anywhere, let alone to a foreign country where they might be exposed to less than ideal conditions or lecherous men. It was unthinkable for my grandmother, who got a journalism degree but married immediately after graduation; travel-wise, she’s making up for it now, but there’s no reason to wait that long. Our freedom to go to places like Egypt or Madagascar or Chile (to name a few) without a chaperon was hard won, so why should we give it up easily?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in favor of the imbalance; the opportunity to study abroad should be available to everyone. But must we be blamed for that ratio, too? The onus is on overseas study providers and college deans to encourage more men to take advantage of these incredible opportunities, not to dissuade women at the same time.

Source http://www.jaunted.com/story/2008/12/5/133846/146/travel/So+Why+Do+Women+REALLY+Study+Abroad%3F

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The classroom of a preschool can be a chaotic but organized and fun environment. Anyone who has worked with preschoolers knows they are a busy bunch of people. When setting up your classroom, it is important to remember the theory of Maria Montessori that a preschool classroom should be child sized. Shelving should be at a level that they can see every shelf, tables and chairs low for them to be comfortable, etc.

The area of a preschool classroom is divided into smaller sections sometimes called centers. Normally there are seven basic centers: art, blocks, dramatic play, science, library, manipulative, and music. In my classroom, I included a writing area in the library. Children need to understand though there is no writing in books though. One center I worked in made a huge large muscle/playground indoors. I never had a music area. If music was a focus of an activity, it was done during circle time. So I had an area set aside for our group time that included a calendar, weather chart, and an attendance chart.

Some areas will need lots of space for play like dramatic play and blocks. Then there are areas that may require a quieter atmosphere for learning such as manipulatives and library. I drew a sample layout for you to have as a visual for these articles.

Even though most preschoolers can’t read any words when first starting preschool, it is important to label everything. In the manipulative/math area, if you are providing beads to string or puzzles to used, label the bead container with words and a picture of what belongs in that container and place a picture and word label on the shelf where they are to be stored. This will encourage the children to clean up after themselves and take pride that they know where things belong in their environment.

When sectioning your room to centers, make sure you take time out to sit in the spaces and have a look around. If you are with children at the science table, will you be able to see the children across the room in the block center? Can children move from one activity to another without interfering with other children’s work?

Group quiet centers with quiet centers and busy, noisier centers with the same. Clearly mark boundaries of centers with shelving units. Colored duct tape could be used as well. This prevents blocks from the block area migrating to the art center for a color makeover.

Signs hanging above a center or on the back of a centers shelf will help the children know what activities are done where. Above the writing center, a mobile made of a sign that says “Writing Center” with pencil, a small square of paper, and crayon shapes would be a decorative touch.

Source : http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art42646.asp

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Many Indian students want to study abroad, paying through their nose in the process. At the same time, students from across the world are filling university seats here for ‘cheap, professional and internationally ranked’ Indian education.

On an average, about 3,500 students visit India on educational programmes from over 70 countries every year, courtesy the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), one of its officials told IANS.

The ICCR awards 2,000 scholarships to these students every year.

‘People from my country come to India because the cost of education here is very low. Besides, India offers really high quality and good education in a very short duration – the courses here do not take that much time to complete and we can go back home and easily get a job,’ Jessica Dayal, a special education volunteer from Tanzania, told IANS.

Dayal is in Delhi for a year to learn how to help out children with disabilities.

Sam Kast, anothr Tanzanian, is studying pharmacy at the Jamia Hamdard University: ‘India is constantly developing in terms of technology and that is also one reason we want to come here,’ he said.

‘Pursuing pharmacy back home for me would have taken around eight years and if I’d failed, it might have got stretched to even 12 years. However, in India, it’s only for four years and I can do a specialization in the time I’d have taken just to graduate in Tanzania.’

Dody Siregar from Indonesia is majoring in economics from Khalsa College, Delhi University (DU). ‘India is much cheaper in education costs compared to studies in the Education University (EU) of Indonesia,’ he said.

‘It is even more advanced here and easily accessible to outsiders. If we study over here, we get better job opportunities back home or anywhere in the world.’

Hasan Mir Ali, a musician from Uzbekistan studying Indian classical music at the Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra’s college of music and dance, had the same reasons for shifting base.

Nick Mohammad Sultani from Afghanistan, a Bachelor of International Business and Finance (BIBF) student at Jamia Milia Islamia, came here to avoid ending up working in his country.

‘Every student in Afghanistan prepares to come to India. In fact, most of the students don’t want to work in their own countries; they want to study abroad and serve as a UN member and studying here makes it easier for them,’ he said.

But 33-year-old Andre Deamidenko from Moscow, another student at the college of music, had a different reason for coming here.

‘Most of our local culture was wiped off during the 70 years of Soviet rule and it is the thirst for culture that brings us here. There is no place to learn it but India. The well-preserved deep roots and the Vedic culture here call us,’ he said.

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