Tag Archives: Faculty

Study Hacks from a Global Citizen

study hacks
Follow these hacks from a global citizen to fast-track your studies to success!

A successful university or college student is a multi-tasker who needs to absorb useful study hacks in order to achieve their grades and minimise their stress. And let’s face it, whether you like it or not, the modern globalised world requires global citizens who understand cultural differences, and most importantly, have the ability to work with an international team. Ask any current or previous exchange student: interacting with a very different culture can give you some extremely valuable skills to exploit in the future!

Feel free to put on your cultural stereotype goggles and learn these study hacks from different angles of the world and boost your study routines. You may even get a hint for your next study exchange destination!

Check out a few other useful things you can learn while studying abroad: 7 Things I Learned While Studying Abroad

Manage your study group meetings like the Spanish

The first thing that may pop up into one’s mind when thinking about the Spanish studying or working culture might be the siesta: the culmination of their relaxed attitude when tackling daily routines. However, considering their bubbling speech and passionate way of communicating, I have noticed that Spanish people are extremely efficient in their study group meetings. The thing is, it’s perfectly normal for multiple persons to talk at once!

To some foreigners this may seem exactly as chaotic as it sounds (in written and in practice) and one could wonder how to divide attention to multiple sources at the same time. What I’ve learnt is that Spanish people are masters of listening and able to paint the big picture of different subjects handled simultaneously – you can always concentrate on the missed details afterwards. Once you learn their trick, you are able to handle enormous masses of information in shorter periods of time.

Interested in gaining a better understanding of those highly structured meetings? Fun fact: among the Spanish universities, University of Alicante has the highest Study Advisory Rating!

Speak up like an American

I really admire the way Americans are able to speak their mind. It’s not just their linguistic advantage when speaking English; they are verbally very quick-witted and confident. One way they are able to make a study group meeting flow effortlessly is that they speak their mind, not only about their ideas, but they are also comfortable with expressing open criticism. One could say they respond quickly with their honest feelings.

Don’t get insulted or shut completely down when facing their comments: it can be educating to hear constructive criticism. For you it is also a perfect opportunity to work on your negotiation skills.

See a list of universities, academies and colleges in United States here.

Beast-mode on like a Hong Kong native

One might think they are fully capable of handling study-stress and upcoming finals like a boss, but then there are always the students from Hong Kong. Emerging from one of the world’s top economic hot spots in Southern China, Hong Kong natives have learned to work hard towards excellence in order to stand out from the crowd.

The local studying culture is extremely competitive, and the amount of effort they put forth during their studies is something one can see only in top universities of the Western world. Student hostels can be noisy long after midnight, and 24/7 learning spaces full until 4am. All-nighters are common before big presentations or finals.

Therefore, when you really need to meet all those deadlines, Hong Kong natives prove it: you can pull it off a whole lot in a very short period of time. Watching them work this hard tells that you can do it too, especially when you are young, confident and capable!

Feeling competitive yet? Hong Kong has nine universities to choose from, the Chinese University of Hong Kong having the largest number of student ratings on Study Advisory.

Learn to be as efficient as a Finn

Once you engage in a study group with a Finn, you can always count on them to deliver. They are humble, conscientious and respect efficiency. As a legacy of former Nokia engineer inspired work culture, what they don’t appreciate is meaningless dabbling that brings on little results. In general that keeps meetings with Finns short and productive. Killing the brainstorming and free-flow of ideas? Maybe. However, every once in a while keeping it short and simple is what guides you and your study mates through a fully booked week.

The best thing about working with Finns is that the next time you meet with your Finnish group, everyone has done exactly what they promised to do in the last meeting– and they expect you to do the same. Engage in a group work with a Finn if you need good results efficiently. Maybe even bring along those Spanish classmates as well in order to mix things up a little!

Study Advisory has a great deal of highly rated places of learning in Finland. Go and check them out.

Handle pressure like a Colombian

One of my friends did a volunteering job in Colombia, South America. While she had some difficulties with local habits, (such as the more relaxed perception of time and scheduling) she noticed that they were able to handle stress and pressure extremely well.

They can manage to keep it together even in situations where they are expected to perform and they have nothing ready to be presented. Panicking is unnecessary and it usually just stops development short. The key is to always be able to act, and finally, to be happy with the final result. Trust yourself: you did the best you could in the given situation.

Do you have great experiences from a Colombian university and local student life? Be the first one and rate your university on Study Advisory, and be sure to share your own study hacks.

Ready to make your own experiences?

Take the biggest leap forward in educating yourself and start building your own future abroad. Keep these study hacks handy to help you maximise your studies! Use Study Advisory’s search tool and find the best choice for you among nearly 12,000 universities in our database!

Written by Nelli Koutaniemi

How to be the best at studying

You may have made it here because you’re not sure what you’re in for this Autumn, or you’re here because you’re looking for some last minute wisdom to get you past graduation. No matter what brought you here today, you will find that studying can be easy when you follow these simple steps:

First of all, let’s take a look at exactly what “study” means:

Student life
Source: 9gag

Oftentimes, studying can be a little bit confusing to the average student …

Student Life
Source: 9gag

… but don’t worry! With a little motivation, you will start to study efficiently in no time!

Student life
Source: 9gag

(That is if you can find a cure for laziness!)

Student life
Source: 9gag

The key to study success is having access to the right materials …

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Source: 9gag

… having a group of mates to compare your answers with …

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Source: 9gag

… keeping yourself well rested …

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… and keeping yourself well fed.

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Source: 9gag

We know, we’ve been there too. But when you finish that degree, you will be eating steak in no time!

Student life
Source: 9gag

So forget wasting your time on washing the dishes …

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Source: 9gag

… you have some serious studying to do to tonight!

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Source: 9gag

Because the last thing you want to do is cram on the way to school …

Student Life
Source: 9gag

… or answer your exam questions like this:

Student life
Source: 9gag

And just remember that when studying seems to be simply impossible …

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Source: 9gag

 … the next study break is just around the corner!

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Source: 9gag

Good luck and Happy Studies! :)

Best Study Breaks for Spring Break

It’s that time of year again! A much needed spring break to leave the books at home, let loose and have some fun! I know you can already feel the sun on your face just thinking about it, but before you grab your swimsuits and head south towards the usual destination, consider some of our favourite Spring break destinations too!

Paris – For all the art Louvre’s!

Pun intended! Haha! But seriously, pun’s aside, Paris has a lot to offer those who are looking for an alternative to the traditional sun soaked spring break festivities! Especially for those who have a passion for the finer things in life, such as arts and architecture! The spring season in France can be a mixture of beautiful days and chilly romantic nights, and the city comes to life with early blooms and dazzling lights! This is a great chance to see the city in many shades. Photographers and Instagramers rejoice: No filter necessary!

spring break
Spring is a beautiful time to visit Paris! Instagram fans approve!

Due to the fact that Paris is not in the midst of its’ peak season at this time of year, you can be sure to get more bang for your buck and you will face fewer crowds, making this a great opportunity to invest in visiting this European destination of your dreams!

Got your passport out and ready to go? You simply MUST see the Eiffel Tower: worth every penny! On a sunny day with clear visibility the beautiful structure and consistency of the city of Paris is jaw dropping from every corner! The first floor has a transparent floor where you can wonder out onto the glass and take in the view from 57 meters below! At 115 meters, you can take in the views of Paris from the second floor, or if you are feeling adventurous, you can take the lift all the way up to the third floor 276 meters high! Be prepared to experience a serious case of the “Jell-O legs” as you exit onto the viewing platform if you are not a natural lover of heights!

The Musee du Louvre is also so much more than the Mona Lisa and a chance to take a selfie with the glass pyramids outside (though we highly suggest you do this too while you are there)! The Notre Dame Cathedral is another Parisian icon, and taking it in both from the outside and the inside is a must, especially during a mass! Latin songs echo off the steep walls and delicate painted windows. The smell of incense and the soft candlelight is dizzying. Somehow within all the awe, one can find a certain relaxation with the rhythm of the comings and goings inside. It is an experience you have to feel to believe!

Foodie? Paris by Mouth Food Tours is a great way to get the inside scoop on some of the best eateries around town! Travelers are simply raving about Paris by Mouth Food Tours, and there is no question in our mind that you should be too! In 3 hours time expect to taste the best food and beverages that Paris has to offer with special attention paid to the seasonality of the food culture! Prepared to be stuffed, and very happy!

spring break
Your spring break in Paris is easier than you think!

London – Harry Potter and History!

Admit it: You are all about London because of Harry Potter! No? Well then you are certainly going for the history! These are two of the hottest attractive features of this grand city! None the less, in London there is always something for everyone! Grab your umbrella, because there may be a little rain, but don’t let that dampen your spirits!

Spend a half-day at the Tower of London. Wow, all that history! Can you hear the calls of the murder of crows that call the tower home? Can you almost feel the powerful emotions of those who were held captive and met their untimely end here? How about the pull of the crown jewels, or the undeniable presence of a long timeline of valuable historic movements? Do take advantage of the audio guide! There is a LOT to take in here!

Want the best view in London? The View from the Shard is an exhilarating experience beginning with two quick 30 second leaps to the observation deck spanning the 68th, 69th, and 72nd floors. At the top, take in the one of a kind experience to see 360-degree views of London from 244 meters high!

Big Ben and the London Eye are two of the most iconic and photographed sights in London, hands down! They are also in close proximity for a good stroll! Any trip to London would not be complete without exploring the area around these giants! Take in the might of the River Thames, which separates these two beauties by way of the Westminster Bridge. This is a perfect place for a sunset stroll to take in this legendary neighbourhood in various light settings, making it a fun place for photo-ops! Stroll a bit away from the river and explore the Westminster Abbey where a multitude of famous unions and burials have taken place by royals!

spring break
Spring break in London is perfect for history buffs!

Let’s face it, we are all still recovering a bit from the fact that our owl got lost while trying to deliver our letter to Hogwarts! Luckily for us, there is a place full of the magic that has roots deep within our childhood, and that is the site of the Warner Brothers Studios where almost all of the 8 Harry potter films were shot!

Pass the cramped cupboard under the stairs where it all began and walk right threw the doors into the great hall, and zig zag your way threw the wide variety of props and sets taken strait from the films, as well as the technical rooms which unveil the secrets and tidbits that made all the magic come to life! Sip on an ice cold butter beer midway and don’t forget to snap a picture of your butter beer moustache! Towards the end of the self-guided tour, pause to admire the original artwork created for the movie storyboards, as well as the model of Hogwarts castle from which all of the outside castle scenes were shot!

Last but not least, enjoy the ends of your evenings in London over a hearty meal and an ice cold drink. You will not be lonely long! The people of London can be very warm and inviting, so be prepared to extend your night in the city with the buddy you bumped elbows with at the nearby pub! Cheers!

Ireland – St.Paddy’s day

Ahhh the luck of the Irish! You can feel it in the air particularly in March as the Irish ring in their annual St. Patrick’s Day celebrations!

First and foremost, if you want to be in the centre of all the action, Dublin is where it’s at! Whether you are visiting because of roots or because of curiosity, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day! For the full experience, squeeze yourself into a local hostel to meet up with several other spring breakers who crossed the puddle to have a good time!

Put on your greenest frocks and make your way down to the festival area. The parade is something that is certainly NOT TO BE MISSED! This colourful and engaging experience full of live music and performances is certainly one of kind in its’ own right! Follow the crowds afterwards to find wonderful food, drink and company to fill your evening with!

Taking part in this all is also a great way to take an informal walking tour of all of the sights of downtown Dublin, as the festival area and parade are located in such a close proximity that they would be hard to miss! There are also parties on-going and on-going, so you can be sure to never be bored! In your free time between celebrations, don’t miss the Guinness Storehouse and the Irish Whiskey Museum, because: reasons!

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Feel the passion of Irish culture during one of the most exciting festival events!

Classic Caribbean!

So Europe just can’t kick the call of the sea? We understand, with summer just around the corner, why not get yours in a little early?

Bahamas – The new Cancun!

Yep, you heard right! Cancun is a classic, yes, but why not explore another island paradise instead this year? In Nassau, the capital and largest city of the Bahamas, you get the full spring break party experience as well as a chance to relax in paradise!

Go with the flow, and do what you want! A wide variety of parties can be found all over the island day and night, so you will never run low on options to mix, mingle, and get down! From hopping bars, to wave beaten turquoise beachfronts and every little detail in between, this could be the best spring break of your entire life!! Why not try a party boat? Or why not take part in few wild water sports?  You know you always wondered what its like to go parasailing! Grab your swim gear and get ready to soak up the sun with thousands of other students from all around!

Want to live the life of luxury? Splurge to stay at Atlantis, or at one of the notorious all-inclusive resorts around the island. Nothing more to worry about than having the time of your life! On a Shoestring? There are loads of amazing places to stay on the island, and food is quite affordable in the Bahamas!

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Views to take your breath away, and all of the fun of spring break at night!

Puerto Rico – Unexpected Adventure of a Lifetime!

Even though Puerto Rico is not as virally advertised as a spring break destination, for a very affordable price and without the need for a passport for American travellers, Puerto Rico has the potential to become one of the hottest spring break destinations in years to come!

From its’ stretch of beautiful beaches, to the call of the wild in the rainforest, the landscape itself is breath-taking and an excellent host for various outdoor activities to explore in the daytime! The nights are also full of life, and parties are not in low supply either!

You can find all the basics for an excellent spring break in Pureto Rico, so grab your ticket and just remember to not forget your sunscreen! Have a blast, stay safe and best of luck to you for the rest of your semester!

spring break
Looking for a new place to soak up the sun? Look no further than Puerto Rico!

Goals: New Year, New Possibilities!

First of all, allow me to introduce myself! I am Aija, the new marketing intern at Study Advisory. I’m happy to start my internship here in Hong Kong, especially as the Chinese New Year celebration has already begun, and I’m so excited to see what will happen this week!

The start of every year is a time filled with optimism, hopes and aspirations. It is when plans and goals are made. I just met one of my own long time goals – to live in Hong Kong!

I am from Finland and I have travelled a lot around the world. During the years I have done several student exchanges; I have studied in Mexico, South Korea and Germany. I need to admit, it’s pretty crazy to do three student exchanges in less than two years, but for me it was an adventure to meet new people and to get to know about other cultures. As it is my final year studying at university, I wanted to do an internship before graduating, and then I magically found myself in Hong Kong!

So in the spirit of Chinese New Year and the hope of new beginnings, I would like to say a little bit about how to reach your study goals in 2016.

Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is in full swing! What are your goals for 2016?

Setting goals

What’s sad is that most people fail to realize their goals. In most cases it is only because goals are not 100% clear and therefore it is difficult to know what actually to do to achieve these goals.

Some might be struggeling to decide where to study. Luckily, Study Advisory was founded to help students make the best possible decisions for possibly the most important decision of their life: knowing what and where to study.

Which university? What to study?

When trying to decide where to go and what to study, it is good to consider the following things. So, grab your pencil and write down the answers to what is important to you when deciding your future study place and career path.

  • What am I’m interested in?
  • What do I want to study?
  • What will I learn?
  • Do I have the appropriate grades/ background for it?
  • How flexible is the program?
  • Do I want to study abroad?
  • Do I want to gain work experience while studying?
  • Do I want a programme that leads to a specific career or a variety of careers?
  • What do I want from the study location?
  • What do I want to do while I am not studying?
  • What type of institution is best?
    • New/ old?
    • Vocational orientation/ research-led?
    • Campus/ city?
    • Big/ small?
    • How many students?
    • Where do the students come from?
  • What is the level of competition among peers?

Most people go to university only once, so it’s important to think broadly about what you want to study and where. Surely, after graduation you want to be able to say, “I enjoyed my time”. It is all about the overall experience – not just top ranking.

What do rankings mean?

There are both official (state sponsored) rankings and are unofficial (newspaper) rankings. Each ranking list uses different definitions, criterias and indicators to measure quality and different weights for each indicator. For this reason, the ranking results are also very different. Have a closer look at the rankings and you may find that the aspects covered by one of the ranking is more important to you than those included by another ranking.

Universities can be ranked very differently on different lists due to the criteria used – not just the characteristics of the school itself.  What these lists can provide is a good starting point for researching different universities, and can even help you discover universities you have not even heard of before.

Deciding moment

You can use rankings as one of the, rather than just the, source of information to research universities. Just because a university is at the top doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right university for you. Equally, just because a university is towards the bottom doesn’t mean it isn’t right for you.

Every student looks for different criteria in a university. Decide on your priorities up front. The most important things to you could be the content of the course, or the distance of the university from your home, or even the entry requirements or the long-term career possibilities. Create your own list of courses and universities based on these priorities.

In the end, your top 10 list may be completely different from any magazine’s—or even from your best friend’s list.  So don’t take the rankings too seriously—the most important question is what university is the right fit for YOU?

As a hint of advice

Do your research, be realistic. Ranking is just a way of measurement. Look at the indicators that matters to you. Think beyond the rankings. Do what you enjoy. If you have studied abroad it shows that you are not afraid of challenges!

From all of us in Study Advisory, we wish a happy Chinese New Year, and we hope that we have helped you plan for achieving your study goals! Go out in the world and face new challenges head-on, grow and discover just how awesome you are!

Goals for 2016
Happy Chinese New Year from Study Advisory!

7 things I learned while studying abroad

Our lovely intern Polina will share some of her very honest thoughts about what she has learned while studying abroad. Sit back and enjoy! 😉

I just decided that it could be quite useful for you to know what I have faced while studying abroad and what lessons I got from that experience. I hope those 7 tips will help you.

7 things I learned while studying abroad:

People are different

That statement seems to be a bit too obvious, I know. However, this is the very first thing I realized, and also the first thing caused me millions of problems, especially when I was on exchange in France, living in the same house with 12 people of 10 different nationalities. You cannot even imagine what we sometimes had to handle there – starting from simple misinterpretations and ending with fights over of stolen food and dirty kitchen. How many times I heard that my way of thinking is “just so typical Russian”! Especially concerning the topics “Men should be like…” and “Women should be like…” =)

Even within one culture you can meet people with different views, values and opinions. Just imagine how huge that difference is between people who speak different languages and come originally from different cultures! What makes a challenge here is to understand that there is no right and no wrong way of thinking. If you want to study in an international society, you simply need to take something as a rule: keep all your opinions, express them when needed, but never EVER expect anyone to see the world the same way you do. And, what is even more important, never try to persuade people to change their opinion, unless they come to that on their own.

7 reasons on why to study abroad

It is very difficult to work in an international team

If you ever had any problems while communicating with people whose views and opinions are slightly different from yours, then during first weeks of studying or working in an international environment you will definitely face a following dilemma: “Should I continue my attempts to prove something to my teammates or it is easier just to give up and later, when we get a bad grade, appear suddenly from the shadows with my favorite I-told-you-so?”.

Being serious, that second point comes directly from the first one. It can cause you a lot of problems, but that is why we have those teamworks; to gain important so-called people skills, learn how to express yourself, how to keep your point of view till somebody proves you it is not completely right and, finally, how to work with people. How to talk to them. What team role to choose. All that becomes quite easy after the first year, trust me.

By the way, working in teams is the best way to meet new boys and girls to go and have a party afterwards!

Studying in foreign language requires additional effort

Once again, a little bit too obvious, but you will have to accept the fact that after each class you will have to go through the lectures with Google translate or dictionary and also search for additional sources of information like books or articles. Well, of course, that is if you want not only to pass all your exams, but actually also learn something.

The ugly truth is that you will never have enough time to get ready for an exam. At least I never had. Especially while being on exchange in France, where we had one course lasting just two weeks and then we had an exam, I always promised myself to start getting ready a week before, but of course I ended up starting the night before. Anyway, going through lectures afterwards helps you to understand and memorize information.

Studying in foreign language requires additional effort.

“What-is-important-in-studying” accents also differ from country to country and from field to field

Some countries are more practice-oriented, as well as some fields of study. Others are more theoretical. Each university, each specialization, each subject and every teacher will wait for a special and unique approach from you. And you definitely will not be able to pay enough attention to everything. Life abroad will be full of various studying, working, entertaining opportunities, and that’s why it is also of high importance to:

Understand what you would like to do in the future (at least have a slight idea).

That basically depends a lot on what you enjoy doing now. Student life offers us a huge choice of activities, events, competitions to take part in, and you definitely should be able to prioritize. If it is still difficult for you when you are entering the university – try as many activities as you can in the beginning and then it will be much easier for you to decide.

Never try to take part in everything: you will suffer from lack of time, will miss all the fun and won’t be able to enjoy the activities fully.

Moreover, understanding your preferences helps to think of your career plans and even start actually building your working life. It is actually even scary how quickly the time runs. You can have all the fun and have a feeling that just yesterday you had your first day… And then find yourself standing with your diploma with absolutely no idea where to go. Things like that happen way too often. Do not let them happen to you as well.

Studying abroad helps you to prepare for the future.

Life is too short to be shy (especially when studying abroad 😉

I do not even have much to add here. I am shy myself but still I think that the worst thing about studying abroad is the fact that one day you will have to say goodbye. It is unavoidable. And you will never be ready for that. So what is the point of wasting time on being antisocial and sitting alone waiting for others to say “hi”? What is the point in not doing crazy things while you can?

The only thing you will definitely regret afterwards is that you either didn’t take part in something or didn’t spend enough time with somebody. So, never be afraid. People in international environment are very nice, and you will definitely have an awesome time while being around them, because:

You would be surprised how many amazing, nice, kind and interesting friends, coming from all over the world, you can find.

They will be with you no matter what and will help you no matter where you are. Those are the kind of friendships that last a lifetime. And this is probably the best thing about studying abroad – all those people you meet.

6 tips on how to study economically abroad

Let’s hear top tips from Maria, one of the Co-founders at Study Advisory, who has years of experience from the banking industry. Bring it on, Maria!

There is a lot to consider before going to study abroad; Where to study, where to live, how to get there… Planning can be one of the best things before heading abroad to study. I remember having planning nights with my friend before leaving to study abroad. It was so exciting! I never thought that I would say so but although being impulsive, young, wild and free it really is a good thing to make plans in this matter.

This post is the story of my exchange studies: what I learned about planning and budgeting my studies abroad few years ago – and by few years I mean six. Wow! Was it that long ago? Well, time flies when you’re having fun. Here are some pieces of advice for how to study economically abroad.

Advice 1. Choose a cheaper place to study. There is a big difference in budget if you are going to study in Oslo, Norway or in Bali, Indonesia. Use a price index when comparing your options to get an idea of living costs in a certain area. Cheap and cool options are Thailand, Vietnam or Philippines, for example. (Find more information on www.expatistan.com or www.priceoftravel.com)

Top tips for a cheaper study abroad experience
It is easier than you think to study economically!

Advice 2. Look up every possible way to fund your studies abroad well before your trip. Is there a possibility for a scholarship, financial aid or student loans? Is there a local company or a trust that provides sponsorships? You can start with our Study Advisory Scholarships.

Advice 3. Make a budget. How much are your living costs per month? Rent, food, transportation, partying… Write everything down to get a realistic idea of your consumption. For example, in Vienna a bottle of wine is four times cheaper than in Finland. And for the record this had nothing to do with me choosing Vienna six years ago 😉

Advice 4. How to top-up your budget? Work and save money, sell stuff and rent stuff. Did you know that people rent almost anything today? Bikes, guitars or even dogs. Do you have an extra bike, for example? Another buck earned. (Find more information: www.renthything.com)

Advice 5. Try to stick to your budgetbut prepare a plan B in case that something goes wrong. A recent study says that 8 of 10 travelers spend more money than they have planned. I’m definitely on that sad group of 8, but then again, I usually don’t mind. So, make a budget and add 20 % extra and then you might be close to your actual spendings. Otherwise you might end up selling your blood to finance your partying abroad… (This real story came from a medical student and yes, in some countries they pay you for blood donation and of course organs too… but please keep that at least in somewhere near Plan W).

Okay, so back to business with some plan B options: get a part-time job, get a credit card, stash some extra cash and try not to use it if it’s not an emergency (this one is hard – I know). You can also just leave really specific and easy directions for your parents how to send you money abroad quickly. (Find more information: www.westernunion.com)

Advice 6. Travel plans. Here are some easy tips for travelling cheaper: be flexible with travel dates (some studies say that Tuesday is the cheapest day to travel), follow travelling-related newsletters, sign up for e-mail notifications from airlines, become a Facebook and Twitter fan for travel sites, use low cost carriers, remember to ask student discounts and keep an open mind when travelling =)

Hopefully you will find that these pieces of advice are helpful. Finally, my last plea in this manifest: if you are still hesitating whether to go and study abroad… stop that immediately! Now that you have some advice in your pocket on how to study economically, go out there right now – study hard, party hard and enjoy the world!

Explore the world economically!

“You are able to do anything”

Howdy y’all! Welcome to read more about what the students really think. Let’s hear it first from our Karelian student Polina Zakharchuk:

“Modern world does not have state borders anymore”– I have heard this phrase from many people during my life, and now, apart from some exclusions, I can definitely say that it is true. I am sure that each of us has a friend or a relative who has moved to another country for studying or working, sometimes even without the necessary knowledge of local language. And the high level of English opens the whole world; you just need to be brave enough to leave your familiar life in search of adventures. Just like Bilbo in the novel “The Hobbit, or There and Back Again” by J.R.R. Tolkien, you need to make a difficult decision – are you ready for something new or not?

My name is Polina; I am from a Russian town called Petrozavodsk, which is a capital of Karelia region. There are two parts of Karelia, Russian and Finnish, and so our town always was closely connected with Finnish people and Finnish culture. It is not a rare thing among Russian students to go to Finland for studying. When the time came to decide, I had a number of choices: to study in Finland, to stay in Russia and go to a bigger town with better universities or study in Belarus. Why I have chosen Finland? First of all, Finnish education is widely recognized as a high-level education and, in addition, as applied education. It is very good for a future career of graduates that they already have some subject-related working experience, and in Finland it is obligatory to have practice during studies. This is also a great way to meet new people and get useful contacts for after-studying period. Finally, studying in Finland kind of “helps to integrate into the life of European Union”.

Sometimes it is thought that those students, who have chosen International Business as the subject to study, just have not decided yet what do they want to do in their life as this subject is very broad. I am studying International Business, and frankly speaking, if anyone would ask “Who do you want to be when you will grow up?”, I could not answer for sure. But I have always been interested in Marketing and Economy and also Journalism so I have some plans how to combine those interests. The broadness of International Business is an advantage: students can check their abilities in different spheres and their attitude to them, and then make their decision about the career.

For anyone who is planning to go to another country, I can tell that it is not easy at all. You will have to become an adult earlier; you will need to accept the fact that your mother and father with tasty food and some mysterious “all-problems-solving” superpower will not be all the time near to help you. You will have to study harder, especially if the language of your studies is not your mother tongue. People around not always will understand you, not only in terms of language, but in terms of opinion and behavior as well. So it is always better to learn the local language, local customs and traditions. Home country is always easier to live in, but going abroad is definitely a good idea and it’s worth all the time and energy it takes. After looking back at all the difficulties you have managed to overcome, you will understand that you are able to do anything.Students having a break

Studying abroad gives you new, unforgettable experiences. You meet many people in terms of friendship and in terms of useful career contacts. World is full of wonderful women and men who will be ready to help you in difficult situations, and it is very important to try to communicate not only with someone from your country. I have already said that in Finnish universities there is usually a high percentage of Russians, and it helped me to get used to live in Finland, but now I am studying in La Rochelle University in France, and here we have a company of students from different countries. The communication with all of them makes you confident, independent and somehow proud of yourself – you exchange customs and really learn how diverse all the human beings are. You study languages, you get the opportunity to travel a lot, go for an exchange program and study for free in some exotic places. Everything depends just on your abilities and your belief in yourself.

What can I advise for anyone, who is thinking of going studying to another country? That should be your choice. Of course, you can ask your parents, your boyfriend or girlfriend or your friends for their opinion, but people tend to be quite egoistic in such cases. The friendship will not be broken by the distance if it is a true friendship, your partner can always find money and time to visit you, and your parents will be enormously proud of you when, after some years, you will be able to buy them a house in a foreign country so you can all go there for a vacation. First of all, you need to think about yourself and about you career plans. If there is anything you like to do and you know that in order to “make a path” in your life and become a specialist in that sphere, it is better to go to another country for studying – then perhaps that is the best choice.

I am currently on exchange program in France. Some may say that it is banal to like France, but I would love to stay here forever. And I will do my best in order to make my dreams come true.

Yours truly,

Student Blog Polina

Why should you rate your university?

So, we are building the best place for students and universities to find each other. We have an enormous database consisting of almost 12 000 higher education institutions. But that’s not enough. We want you, your friends and everybody else also to rate your university. But why do we want that in the first place?

In our previous blog post I wrote that 9 out of 10 young people think that their peers provide important information when it comes to deciding about their future university. So first of all, we really want to make the voice of the young people heard. Those people who have studied in a certain institution have first-hand knowledge that universities’ promotional material usually can’t provide.

We have come up with six different categories – you can give your feedback by just clicking the scale. We wanted to emphasize things that are not measured by the traditional rankings: quality of teaching, the atmosphere on the campus, student services, international buzz, value for money and security.

We also have a spot for comments. You might be wondering: “So what is there to write about?” Our recommendation is: anything you please. What would you have wanted to hear about your future university when you were applying? Maybe there were some unique courses that you wouldn’t have had in your own country. It might be that the sport facilities were off the hook. How was the student life? Do you have any practical tips: where to live, what to eat or what to do on your free time? So just write about anything!

And hey. It doesn’t matter whether you are already an alumnus or alumna from then years back or a freshman – everyone’s opinion matters. So just search for your university and let your voice be heard.

Oh, and we also want to do our share: that’s why we are donating 25 cents per each review to UNESCO’s Programme for the Education of Children in Need – so your review also does some good!

So what are you waiting for? Rate your university and spread the word. Let’s work together to revolutionize education!

Students on a campus

What do students really want?

Every good start-up will boldly go to the grass root level to figure out what are the true needs and ambitions of their target groups. So did we at Study Advisory – with the help of some of the most awesome interns ever!

So we have had really talented and hard-working interns from Häme School of Applied Sciences, also known as HAMK, for this ongoing summer. In a weeks time we collected over 400 unique answers from students in 48 different countries with the help of our interns. We got the most answers from Finland, Russia, Vietnam, Kosovo and Germany but also countries like Brazil, Libya, Nigeria, Taiwan and Uzbekistan were represented – how cool is that?

The questionnaire gave new insights into what’s really important to students when choosing a university. First we wanted to know how the youngsters value different information sources. It was no surprise that direct contact with the universities was the most important one:  almost 70 % agreed that university web sites are the most or very valuable source and university visits scored almost 60 %.

But maybe the most important finding was that, for students, friends are an extremely valuable source of information; only 13 % of the youngsters think that friends are not such a valuable source or that they wouldn’t use friends’ opinions at all. We can conclude that almost 9 out of 10 agree that friends provide useful information about different study possibilities.

Last but not least: it was intriguing that only 7 % of the youngsters felt that university rankings are the most important factor when deciding about the future university. Maybe the existing rankings do not provide interesting information or maybe they are not that easy to use. How do you feel about them? What could be done better when it comes to ranking the universities?

Looking at the results of our questionnaire it seems that there is definitely demand for a service like Study Advisory. We shall bring together the opinions of actual students all around the world. We will also create our own rating which will be totally different from the existing academic rankings. We can’t wait to tell you more about it soon… 😉

Criteria about choosing the university as seen on Study Advisory's questionnaire results in the summer of 2015
Criteria about choosing the university as seen on Study Advisory’s questionnaire results in the summer of 2015

Where it all started…

All over the world millions of youngsters are asking: where to study? We at Study Advisory have also asked the very same question and ended up to places all over the world.

For many people higher education is the last step before entering the hectic working life. While studying we not only process as much information for our future careers as possible but we search for ourselves, develop our identities and build networks that will hopefully last for a lifetime. Briefly: when studying we have the time of your lives.

There are as many reasons to choose a university as there are students. Someone might want to study law in the most famous university in the world, another wants to study near the best ski slopes and some people may just want to experience something completely different from their own country. I’ll deal more with this subject some other day since it’s so fascinating!

Study Advisory started from the idea to offer a truly global service for students to find the university of their dreams. We want to cater for the needs of the top students but also for those searching for themselves and for what they want from their life and studies. Study Advisory’s team consists of seven rather young and resourceful co-founders and we are sure that we can change the way youngsters search for information – and for themselves.

I sure love good quotes and I think this one from the philosopher John Dewey would be appropriate: “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” I couldn’t agree more. The time I spent at the University of Tampere, Universidad de Alicante and Universität Klagenfurt sometimes didn’t even feel like studying; it felt like living.

So welcome to our blog to follow our story on our way to be the most student-friendly service to search for information about different universities! No matter whether you are a youngster, a student, a member of a staff at a university or just someone interested in higher education – join us to follow our story!