Monthly Archives: September 2010

The Four Phases of Cultural Adjustment

If you plan to study in a foreign country, most likely you look forward to finally reaching your destination. After all, you’ve spent so much time preparing yourself for the trip: you’ve packed and repacked, saved money, worked out a travel itinerary. It’s only natural to place so much importance on the moment of your arrival. However, you should know that there’s so more to prepare for! The journey doesn’t end once you arrive. In fact, that’s when it really begins.

Those who have studied abroad often talk about ‘culture shock’ or ‘culture fatigue,’ a process they underwent once they arrived in the host country. Often they describe it as a series of phases through which they passed during their time abroad. If you’re planning to spend quite a long time in a foreign country, consider familiarizing yourself with these phases.

Phase 1: Cultural Euphoria

You’ve just arrived in a foreign country. You’re standing outside, watching people walk by. Your luggage is at your side, and you’re far from home. You’re excited. You’re eager to explore new things, meet new people, and finally begin your studies. As you gaze about, you realize that here for your observation is an unfamiliar culture. How exciting!

Phase 2: Cultural Confrontation

But later, you finally understand that, like it or not, you are also a part of that unfamiliar culture and subject to its whims and fancies. You’re both observer and participant, and as such, you must confront this new reality. You’re no longer immune to the stresses of everyday life. In fact, you’re overwhelmed by them, because everything is so alien to you in this new land! You’re terrified, perhaps lonely, and you miss the familiar life you once had.

Phase 3: Cultural Adjustment

You seek solace in the predictability of your daily routine. You throw yourself into your studies. Maybe you explore a little further beyond your area of comfort. Time passes and you one day realize that you’ve suddenly gotten pretty good at maneuvering through this new country. Sure, you still occasionally feel like an outsider, but you’re comfortable with this label because you understand the your struggles.

Phase 4: Cultural Adaptation

By this time, others mistake you for a local, so confidently do you carry yourself into every situation. You communicate well with all kinds of people. You can spot subtle differences in the culture of your host country. More importantly, you’re attuned to how these subtle differences create new and exciting situations to experience. You eagerly explore beyond your comfort zone. You can’t get enough of this new world, and you can’t bear to leave it. Ultimately, you understand that while you have adapted quite well to the culture, there is much about it that you still don’t know understand. And you’re okay with this.

This guest post is contributed by Angelita Williams, who writes on the topics of online colleges and universities. He welcomes your comments at his email Id: angelita.williams7 @gmail.com.

5 Student Tips to Teach Foreign Languages

If you’re a foreign student in the UK and if you’re allowed to work part-time, then perhaps one of the best jobs to find would be as a foreign language teacher, tutor or translator. If your native tongue is not English, you hold a major advantage over the rest of the foreign student crowd because your versatility in and strong command over your mother tongue could easily get you a gig as a foreign language tutor or teacher. However, in order to make the most of your abilities and be the best teacher you can, there are a few other tools you must add to your arsenal. Your chances of success are boosted if you:

  • Are fluent in English: No matter how good you are in the foreign language you’re going to teach, unless you’re fluent in English, you’re going to find it very hard to get through to your students. The people in your class are not going to be able to understand what you’re teaching them if you’re not able to express yourself properly in English, probably the only language that they know and understand. So before you take on a job that allows you to teach your mother tongue as a foreign language, brush up on your English skills.
  • Have a natural flair for teaching: Fluency in the foreign language and English alone does not make you a good teacher; for this, you need to have the flair to deal with students and be able to get across to them effectively. You must have an air of authority around you, and even if you’re not an expert, you must be able to convincingly project yourself as one. Teaching is all about confidence and knowing how to impart knowledge, so if you’re a shy and reticent person, work hard at your social skills before accepting the job.
  • Brush up on job specific skills before you start out: You may be only a student who’s working part-time, but in order to do justice to your job, you must have a plan according to which your teaching sessions must play out. If you have no experience in teaching your mother tongue, get help from various resources including books, tutorials and the Internet. Formulate lesson plans well ahead of class and rehearse them beforehand if you’re nervous or not sure of yourself. Be prepared to answer questions and doubts from your students without getting flustered, and also be ready to deviate from your plan once in a while and go extempore if the situation demands it.
  • Are familiar with shortcuts: In every language, there are shortcuts that allow you to master it quicker and more effectively. If you’re not familiar with them in the language you’re teaching, find out using your research skills and pass them on to your students so that the whole exercise becomes easier and more interesting for them.
  • Focus on what your students need: Some people in your class may want to learn how to speak your tongue while others will want to know how to write and read it as well. Find out what your students are hoping to gain from your class, and tailor your lessons accordingly. When you understand what your students need and want and are able to deliver it, you’re well on the way to becoming a good teacher.

This guest post is contributed by Carrie Oakley, who writes on the topic of online colleges. Carrie welcomes your comments at her email id: carrie.oakley1983(AT)gmail(DOT)com.

Register of Tier 4 Sponsors – 14 September 2010

Differences against the Tier 4 Register 10 September 2010

From now on, Highly Trusted Sponsors will be dealt with on the Highly Trusted Sponsors List, whilst Tier 4 Sponsors Register posts will cover A-rated, B-rated and Trusted Sponsors.

The following schools and colleges were removed from the Register:

  • London Education And Development Academy

The following schools and colleges were added to the Register:

  • Bfluent School of English
  • Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education
  • London Capital College
  • Tudor College London
  • Yeshivas Lubavitch Manchester

Download the Register of Sponsors Tier4: 14 Sep 2010

UK Student Visa Refused for Lack of Bank Statement Logo

hello Daniel

I have applied for student Tier 4 visa and it has been rejected stating the only reason that i have not enclosed the bank statements which bear logo on it. Now i have rectified my documents and took my account statement on a HDFC bank logo sheet with adequate stamps on it. I have also taken a balance confirmation letter as on date before applying. Luckily i came to know that the CAS letter can only be used once and therefore i have requested my college to issue a new cas which they did and i have enclosed new cas.
Now am worried whether it would please the visa officer or not? i have all my documents according to the published guidance of tier 4 policy.
the first refusal letter only stated the want of logo on my bank statement and nothing else. If any other discrepancies are noticed, would they have been mentioned in the first refusal itself or can they mention it after re applying. All my documents are same as first except the bank statement and CAS.

kindly advise.

This post was submitted by rajneesh.

Complaint against Shakespeare College

I have paid UKP 4000 to Shakespeare College London But UK High Commission has not given any decision on my file even after about 100 days of submitting the file. So i have to withdraw my case. I have asked the to refund the tuition fees. But the college has asked me to withdraw my file and only after that they can refund the tuition fees. So i have withdrawn my case from UK High Commisison. I have informed the college quite within time and also sent the Refund Request Form. But now they have become mute. They are not replying to my emails. They have sent any refund. What can i do in this case?

Hope you will help me and tell me where can i complaint about this college. Who can provide me justice.

Thanks

Anil Chugh

This post was submitted by Anil Chugh.

Register of Tier 4 Sponsors – 10 September 2010

Differences against the Tier 4 Register 09 September 2010

From now on, Highly Trusted Sponsors will be dealt with on the Highly Trusted Sponsors List, whilst Tier 4 Sponsors Register posts will cover A-rated, B-rated and Trusted Sponsors.

The following schools and colleges were removed from the Register:

  • None

The following schools and colleges were added to the Register:

  • Havelock Academy
  • St Nicholas Preparatory School
  • Wakefield Independent School

Download the Register of Sponsors Tier4: 10 Sep 2010

Register of Tier 4 Sponsors – 09 September 2010

Differences against the Tier 4 Register 08 September 2010

From now on, Highly Trusted Sponsors will be dealt with on the Highly Trusted Sponsors List, whilst Tier 4 Sponsors Register posts will cover A-rated, B-rated and Trusted Sponsors.

The following schools and colleges were removed from the Register:

  • Train 4 Care Limited

The following schools and colleges were added to the Register:

  • None

Download the Register of Sponsors Tier4: 09 Sep 2010

Vonage Gives Free Calling to Facebook Friends

Vonage Gives Free Calling to Facebook Friends

New Mobile Application Provides Free, One-Touch Calling
For Facebook Users Worldwide

HOLMDEL, N.J., [Date TBA] /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ — Vonage Holdings Corp. (NYSE: VG), a leading provider of high-quality voice and messaging services over broadband networks, has recently introduced the Vonage Mobile application for Facebook.   This new service allows users to make free mobile calls to all of their Facebook friends who have the app.

Keeping in touch with your studies is difficult and keeping in touch with friends and family can make all the difference when it comes to achieving. Vonage have developed a mobile app that allows Facebook friends to keep in touch for free, regardless of time or location.

The downloadable application is free to get and free to use. The new service enhances the ability to connect with friends on Facebook through the addition of voice calling.  It is available for iPhone, iPod touch and Android devices. And the service works over Wi-Fi and 3G /4G networks in most countries.

The new service is easy to use. The app works with a user’s existing community of Facebook friends, so there’s no need to remember screen names or to input numbers. The application eliminates dialing – users can just click on a friend and start talking. When placing a call, the friend’s profile picture and status update display on the screen.

“The Vonage Mobile app for Facebook is a tangible example of our commitment to deliver extraordinary value and a better communications experience for individuals and their social networks, across broadband-enabled devices, around the world” said Marc Lefar, Chief Executive Officer of Vonage Holdings Corp. “This is just the start.  In the future we will expand on this service to include a wide range of integrated voice and messaging services that change the way people communicate.”

How does the Vonage Mobile Application for Facebook work?

The Vonage Mobile application is simple.  It’s simple to download, and so simple to use that we have eliminated the need for dialing altogether.  To get started, the user:

  • Downloads the app from the iTunes Store, Android Market, the Vonage fan page on Facebook or vonage.com/talkfree.
  • Enters Facebook ID and password (one time only).
  • Views Facebook contacts after they are automatically loaded. They’ll be grouped by friends who can be called for free and friends available for instant messaging on Facebook. A Vonage logo will appear next to the names of friends who have downloaded the app.
  • Invites additional Facebook friends to get the app at the Vonage Fan Page on Facebook or vonage.com/talkfree.
  • Touches a friend’s name from the Call Free list to make a free call anywhere in the world; no need to be online.

Rings the phone for incoming calls, even if the application is closed.

Vonage Mobile for Facebook App Proving a Success

With tens of thousands of downloads during the first week of launch, keeping in touch for free whilst on the move clearly matters. Since it’s introduction, the application has stormed the download charts globally, appearing frequently in the top 10 app download charts in several international markets and is currently number one in several countries.

This new service continues Vonage’s commitment to be the leader in low-cost communication services that connect individuals and social networks through any broadband device, worldwide.  The application can be downloaded from the Android Market in 48 countries and from the iTunes Store in 87 countries.  Users who don’t have an unlimited data plan should check with their carrier to see if any charges apply.

To download the app, visit www.vonage.com/talkfree. To follow Vonage on Twitter, please visit www.twitter.com/vonage and to become a fan on Facebook go to www.Facebook.com/Vonage.

About Vonage

Vonage (NYSE: VG) is a leading provider of high-quality voice and messaging services over broadband networks. Our award winning technology serves approximately 2.4 million subscribers. We provide feature-rich, affordable communication solutions that offer flexibility, portability and ease-of-use.

Our Vonage World plan offers unlimited calling to landline phones in all cities and locations in more than 60 countries with popular features like call waiting, call forwarding and voicemail — for one low, flat monthly rate.

Vonage’s service is sold on the web and through regional and national retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and is available to customers in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. For more information about Vonage’s products and services, please visit http://www.vonage.com.

Vonage Holdings Corp. is headquartered in Holmdel, New Jersey. Vonage(R) is a registered trademark of Vonage Marketing LLC, a subsidiary of Vonage Holdings Corp.

Facebook is a registered trademark of Facebook, Inc.



How to Start a Study Group as an Online Student

One of the benefits of being an online student is that you have extraordinary flexibility and the opportunity to dictate your own study times and even class participation, in some cases. But with all of that self-directed learning comes loneliness, too. Whether or not you were expecting to feel isolated is irrelevant: feeling frustrated because you can’t understand a problem on your own or finding it hard to stay motivated when you’re always learning by yourself can really hurt your morale and even your grades. Study groups are rampant on traditional college campuses, but they can also serve as valuable mood and grade boosters for online students.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to your fellow students. You should have an e-mail roster on your class page or that was sent to you at the beginning of the semester. If you have a general question about an assignment, throw it out to your classmates on a message board or feed, but if you’re interested in starting a study group, you can either contact everyone in your class or narrow it down to a few individuals. Once you’re a few weeks into your class, you might be able to figure out which students are on your level and which would be solid additions to your group. Look for students who regularly participate in chats and offer productive commentary, and who seem to be on-time with assignments or when logging on to class discussions. You can e-mail these students and just ask if they’d like to start a study group with you online. Keep your tone friendly, welcoming and flexible. You don’t want to come across as bossy or like you’re going to be keeping track of everyone’s work and participation in the group the same way a teacher would. Online learning is based on a cooperative, open philosophy, and your study group should also reflect that attitude.

Since you’re taking a class online, you know that you don’t need a single location to connect with teachers and students in order to learn. Study groups can also function from remote-access points, and you can also keep the same flexible schedule. Divide up work and supplemental readings, and then each of you can e-mail your outlines and notes to others in the group. Skype and video conferencing tools work well when you want to chat in real-time, and Google Groups is a good place to keep files, links and other materials. Hoot Suite has applications for Facebook and Twitter, letting you share information and keep track of assigned tasks on those social sites, too. Just as you’ve found success taking exams and answering your professors’ questions in an online format, you can get to know your classmates and benefit from each other’s differing perspectives through an online study group.

This guest post is contributed by Angelita Williams, who writes on the topics of online college courses. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: angelita.williams7 @gmail.com.

Register of Tier 4 Sponsors – 08 September 2010

Differences against the Tier 4 Register 07 September 2010

From now on, Highly Trusted Sponsors will be dealt with on the Highly Trusted Sponsors List, whilst Tier 4 Sponsors Register posts will cover A-rated, B-rated and Trusted Sponsors.

The following schools and colleges were removed from the Register:

  • London School of Science & Technology

The following schools and colleges were added to the Register:

  • Bolton School

Download the Register of Sponsors Tier4: 08 Sep 2010