Blog

What can I do with a tech degree in the Swiss job market?

Blog Image

Software Developer jobs in 20 regions of Switzerland (by OLDVP) Software Developer is one of the most popular jobs for tech graduates. See here how many jobs are available in Switzerland: https://flaskoldvp.herokuapp.com/swissJobDistributionSoftDev

More

Job market for Auditors in Switzerland (by OLDVP)

Blog Image

Read here for the job description: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statutory_auditor

More

E-Book: Awesome Places Of Tokyo

Blog Image

Thanks to our guest author Stefan for getting in touch with us. Check his book out when you happen to study in Tokyo.
Check it out on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LXLXDP8.

More

White bear travelling abroad - Part II

Blog Image

Thank you https://www.facebook.com/mimiartstudio for this great comic

More

White bear travelling abroad - Part II

Blog Image

Thank you https://www.facebook.com/mimiartstudio for this great comic

More

Nightlife in Osaka (Japan)

Blog Image

Osaka is the second biggest city in Japan. The nightlife area is very concentrated around ​Dotonbori (道頓堀). This area is considerably smaller than Tokyo.
If you want to add your famous nightlife spot here, please send us a message or comment here below.

More

Nightlife in Japan

Blog Image

Tokyo - The capital of Japan: So you end up in Tokyo for your study and ask yourself what people do at night?Well, Japan’s big cities like Tokyo and Osaka truly never sleep and you can do something basically all the time. Please check out our ebook about Tokyo for some more recommendations. In this article we focus more on nightlife. Surprisingly, for a big city as Tokyo, the nightlife is rather concentrated in some areas. You can find an overview in this article. If you like clubbing, the following night venues are a good start for your discovery at night. Dress up with a shirt, long pants and a nice jacket and you will have a good time. Roppongi area: This is the most popular area for nightlife and especially popular for Western people due to some historical reasons also. The best thing to do there is to go clubbing. You can check out the following clubs which are quite fun. Although the area makes somewhat a shady impression and rightfully so, it is still reasonably safe at night especially when you are used to live in Europe or US. ​One word of caution: Be aware of the touts on the street who are coming up to you and want to drag you into some (shady) place they get commission from and drinks are eventually spiked. Unless you are VERY familiar with the area and Japan in general, I would recommend you do NOT go to the place they eventually suggest you. The starting point for your night out is Roppongi crossing which is the picture just above (jp: Roppongi Kosaten, 六本木交差点) close to Roppongi station (jp: Roppongi Eki, 六本木駅) Lets check out the following venues: Most places charge entrance in the range of 2000 JPY up to 5000 JPY depending on the day, the party or special promotions. In most places the entrance is free for women tho. Jumanji55: http://jumanji55.com/index.php ​A small venue which is open the whole night. Sometimes you get free drinks depending on the night. Can be very packed. Music is not outstanding but the atmosphere is quite fun Greenland: http://greenlandjp.com​Similar to Jumanji55, also a rather small venue which can also be very packed at night. Music is not outstanding but the atmosphere is quite fun. Popular with Philippines for some reason. Gaspanic: http://gaspanic.co.jp Check out the happy hour before 20.00. A drink is 300 JPY. The club gets really packed after 22.00 and they require you to have a drink with you at all times (not strongly enforced tho late at night) Nishiazabu (close to Roppongi): The following clubs are in Nishiazabu which is just some minutes walk from Roppongi crossing Muse club: http://muse-web.com This club is close to the American school (ASIJ) and often many Americans go there too. Their Halloween event is quite spectacular. ALife in Nishiazabu: http://www.e-alife.net ​Another club just some minutes walk from Roppongi crossing Last but not least: Club Ageha: Club AgeHa http://www.ageha.com ​This club is very big and very nice too and has an outside swimming pool. The music is very good and often features internationally known DJs.This club is quite far away but they have free shuttle busses from Shibuya which go there and are free of charge. AgeHa is located in Shinkiba as you can see on the map Shibuya area: Shibuya is generally very safe and there are also no touts harassing you as it is the case in Roppongi. Shibuya is mainly popular with young Japanese. ​You can check out the following venues for nightlife. Club Camelot: A very popular club for young Japanese in Shibuyahttp://www.clubcamelot.jp Atom: One of the most famous clubs in Shibuyahttp://atom-tokyo.com Japanese style night out: Traditional Japanese like nightlife venues can be found in Shimbashi. This area is mostly composed by lots of Japanese style Izakayas and Japanese style drinking places.Ueno is also more a traditional Japanese style area. It is good for doing some Karaoke or eating and drinking but if you want a more Western-like nightlife experience, this area is not for you at night.

More

How to pass the JLPT N1 - Guest post by Rae

Blog Image

Discover how to beat the JLPT test N1 while having fun learning Japanese.​Happy reading: should you have a hard time with some Kanji, you can copy & paste the text here and get English translations:  http://www.rikai.com/perl/Home.pl  今日のテイマは非漢字文化圏生まれ育ちとしている方々を対象しながら様々な日本語の学習方式に対して説明させて貰います。東南アジアと南米から来日して日本語学校や大学で日本語をしっかりと勉強をする希望を持っている生徒達が多いらしいので、私とお互いに非漢字文化圏生まれ育ちの方達も漢字の書き慣れ訓練に時間を潰して習得速度が中国人の同級性と比べると大分遅いことに気が着いて絶望する生徒も少なくありません。中国語の漢字と日本語の漢字は異なっていますが、漢字は表意文字、幾ら単純化された漢字しか書き慣れてなくても、漢字推論が出来慣れてる脳から日本語の漢字に書き慣れるのと表音言語でしか書き慣れてない脳から日本語を同時に始めても、漢字の獲得速度は幾ら天才でも手に負えません。この問題を私は日本人の留学生達に尋ねました。その留学生達の助言によると小学生の教育漢字を(一年生から六年生迄学習する漢字)を徹底的に書き慣れる迄何度も何度も一生懸命繰り返して学ぶ様に伝えられました。この理屈は彼ら達が幼年時代からずうっと高校卒業する迄2136の常用漢字をこの様に学んで来たからです。この助言の様に私も始めは少しやって見ました。でも漢字で文章を書いていたら書く速度が中国人の学生達と全然着いていけなくて、試験問題を研いでいると書くのが遅過ぎて、試験の時間制限の範囲でおわれなかった場合は良くありました。更に、漢字の書き慣れる訓練に時間を掛け過ぎて、文法、聴解や会話の勉強の時間を使ってしまって落ち零れ始めた経験もありました。仕方がなく、自分の日本語の学習方式を見直すことになって学習の優先順位を変える事になりました。私は日本語能力試験が選択解答方式だと気が着いて本当にやれやれしました。何故だと言うと、漢字の書き込み問題は一切ないからです。 日本人達も白人には漢字を書き慣れることを社会的には期待をしない傾向が現在でも極めて強いままです。私はこれも外人扱いの差別の一部で悔しかったから始めは根性を出して漢字の書き慣れ訓練の悪戦苦闘に挑戦しました。でも非漢字文化圏生まれ育ちの同級生達で私と同じ問題に嵌って幾ら努力してもスラスラと漢字を使って文章を適切に書くことに対して苦労していました。私は沢山の生徒達の悩み相談に乗った上で実用的に日本語を勉強をする事にしました。その実用的な学習方式は何だと言うと、漢字の書き慣れ訓練に諦めることです。漢字の部首や書き順序の勉強を避ける方式です。この方式を提唱する上に漢字検定をお薦めします。これは偽善的に見えますが、実際は漢字検定を日本人の様に訓練をするのではありません。漢字検定の語彙を習得する目的で漢字検定を使って非漢字文化圏生まれ育ちの生徒達向けに再加工して勉強をするのです。漢字検定にある語彙を獲得するには、パソコンで漢字を写してフラッシュカードを作ります。裏側には平仮名と英語でその意味を翻訳します。このフラッシュカードを使って語彙の習得速度を持ち挙げて、聴解や会話をする時間を稼ぎ、逆に日本語を学ぶ速度が大分上達しました。漢字を読み習いだけにしたら逆に書き慣れる訓練の時間に潰されず、もっと読み習う時間が出来て実際にもっと早く日本語が出来る様になって自分に日本語が出来始めた自信がついて来て勉強の遣る気になります。あともう一つ大事な助言があります。幾ら変な日本語でしか日本語が出来ないから適切に日本語が出来る様になってからしか日本語を使うことに遠慮する必要はありません。不適切な日本語を使うのは恥ずかしいと思い込んでたらいけません。日本人達は一般的に白人が幾ら変な日本語を使っても笑ったり馬鹿にしたりはしません。日本人達は窓口で手続きを手で書き込む必要があるけど我々は在留カードを証明したら事務員達が手書きを代わりにして下れるから心配なくこの方式で勉強を頑張って下さい。漢字を読めたらパソコンやスマホで漢字を選択するだけで文章が書けるので書き慣れてなくても大丈夫です。この方式で日本語能力試験のN1にも合格出来るので是非確かめて下さい Thank you Rae for this great essay! Should anyone have any questions or get in contact with Rae for more details, please feel free to drop a message here or send us an email.If you are interested in a Japanese language school or online learning, you can also write us a mail or comment

More

Leisure time in Singapore - What can I do?

Blog Image

What is one of the best leisure time in Singapore which is healthy, comfortable and quite cheap?  The answer is chilling out at a swimming complex: The entrance fee is 1 SGD and there is no time limit how long you can stay there The swimming pools have very clean water and because there are so many swimming pools in Singapore, they are seldom crowded You can also just go there for relaxing a bit even if you don't like swimming

More

What basic sentences do you need upon arriving in Japan?

Blog Image

If you happen to travel in Japan, English speakers are generally quite rare and even in Tokyo, it can be hard to find one English speaking Japanese when you need help. As Japan is structured in a way which does not need much improvisation and most processes are defined implicitly for performing various day-to-day tasks, uncovering these processes for tourists can be difficult and help is sometimes required.As the Japanese have a very good ability to discover what you might want, there is not much needed in terms of communication. (However, if it goes beyond the highly standard thing, matters tend to be different and good command of the language becomes almost a must.)So, while travelling in Japan the following short sentences leverage your stay massively and increase the ability to travel independently. Lets start with the sentences Hi Konnichiwa こんにちわ ​Yes  Hai はい No Iie いいえ Thanks Arigato ありがとう Excuse me / Pardon / Let me pass (on the metro) Sumimasen すみません One beer please Biru o onegaishimasu. ビールをお願いします This please Kore onegaishimasu. これお願いします Where is the bathroom? Toire wa doko desu ka? トイレはどこですか。 Follow up questions from your part as the person most certainly will answer in Japanese which can be difficult to get I’m sorry, but I can’t speak Japanese well. Can you please "take" me?     Sumimasen, nihongo wa mada yoku hanasemasen. annai sitekuremasuka.     すみません、日本語はまだ「よく」話せません。案内してくれますか Where is the closest train station? Ichiban chikai eki wa doko desu ka? 一番近い駅はどこですか。 =Is this the X line (Yamanote line)? Kore wa X-sen desu ka? これはX線ですか。 Does this train go to X? :Kono denshia wa X ni ikimasu ka? この電車はにX行きますか。 Can I order without speaking Japanese?     Nihongo igai de chumon ga dekimasu ka?     日本語以外で注文ができますか。 Do you have pictures of the food? Gohan no shashin ga arimasen ka? ご飯の写真がありませんか。  日本語は難しくないですね。;)

More

How to make a living in Tokyo as a student

Blog Image

If you happen to stay in Tokyo a little longer and want to earn some extra moneyHere are some starting points depending on what you would like to do or where you come from. Some ideas Check out your embassies or related embassies with yours (or in the last step, all other whose language you speak) For example, a Swiss friend of mine landed a job at the Canadian embassy, because his mother tongue was French. So, give it a try. Create an advertisement, print it out and put it on the street corners next to high schools (attach a photo to it preferably you wearing a suit) Advertise yourself at university for any kind of teaching which you can do Do freelance work for other people If you like bartending or being a waiter (which is not a bad thing to do in Japan), search for restaurant themes which match your nationalities (e.g. if you happen to be Portuguese check out the Portuguese restaurants) Go the English teaching route (I won’t cover it here, as enough material is around). Even as we speak, there is enough demand for doing this. Drop us a comment for further ideas Legal hurdles - Ways getting the work permit An important thing to know is the option self-sponsorship of the working visa, which won’t require you to have the visa sponsored by a company registered in Japan as it is you by yourself doing it.Find yourself a couple of deals and apply for the self-sponsored work visa, but get help from a good immigration lawyer as you are basically inexistent without some kind of network.However, I would recommend to anyway live in Japan for like three months without needing to work as you then will find out if Japan is something for you or not and in order to give yourself sufficient time to adopt. No matter where you come from, Japan is quite different and has pretty unique customs which make live there very interesting.If you are not living in Tokyo, you will be able to get by cheaply and you can travel extremely cheaply if you can put in some time, e.g. you can travel from Kyoto to Tokyo by just using local trains and by avoiding Shinkansen. This will save you thousands of yen per trip, or simply just hitchhike, which is both a secure way and easy to do. But again here, you should know the language just for being able to move along a simple conversation (simple means no politics about Japans future and Chinas rise etc. just keep it light and it will be fine).The writers budget in Tokyo was 2000US$ / month which I considered by far enough to live very comfortably (rent was about 400/ month). Starting points for getting a work permit in Japan Enroll yourself in a university for a PhD program (GRE and TOEFL is often enough for admission), if it is not one of the very top universities of Japan like University of Tokyo, Kyoto, Waseda, you’re chances are usually quite good as it is not very competitive and especially Universities outside of the well-known cities are easy to get into. Have you ever heard about Sendai university? If yes, how many people down the road right to your apartment do you think might have heard of it and know where Sendai is? Probably not that many. So, a good place to get started.These programs are not too difficult and work intensive and give you plenty of time to work besides if you wish to do, and they come with the work permit attached. Often they will offer you also a small scholarship which will further accommodate your stay for at least 4 to five years or even longer depending if you can make a pause during the PhD program.At the University of Tokyo you could interrupt your PhD program and stretch it up to 7 years. Basically, after every year you could do a spare year there, with your permit not being taken away (just scholarship, depending on the program).I do not know however, if this is a general rule in Japan. I would suggest, it is best discussed with your supervising professor (which often tend to be quite understanding, if for example you need to go home for a year or so)

More

Overseas Learning Manga Part I

Blog Image

Discover the adventures of White Bear travelling overseas. Dive in with White Bear and assist him in his adventures far away from home Stay tuned for part II - White Bear in Switzerland Thank you Mimi Art Studio for this great manga: https://www.facebook.com/mimiartstudio/

More

Tokyo guide: How can I get affordable housing?

Blog Image

If you intend to stay in Tokyo for a more than just a couple of days, getting a good accommodation in Tokyo, which is acceptable and relatively cheap at the same time can be a very daunting task. While hostels are an excellent start to get your feet on the ground, it can be annoying after a month or so to stay there especially if you need to do some business and private time.The following steps can help you give you more insights into getting started on the ground of Tokyo. Hostel for a start There are some good and very clean hostels in Asakusa which is an excellent starting point for the first time visitor to Tokyo. A good hostel is Khaosan. Sakura house If you want to have an easy and relatively cheap start in Tokyo, the Sakura house is a good option for a start. Even long term if you would like so. I met once a guy who lived 5 years there. It is basically a shared apartment where everyone has its room but kitchen, bath and living room are shared. Rent an apartment with friends Take real estate agents for help, do not do it alone. You will need always someone for introducing yourself to as Japanese culture (Confucian part) does not like it you being without anyone who can “vouch” for you. And the real estate agent of course does this as you are going to pay him. There are some real estate agents who do not deal with foreigners but in Tokyo at least most of them are entirely ok with having to deal with foreigners. Just go from office to office or give them a call beforehand (I prefer the version of showing up in person as it lightly forces them to really deal with you and it is less possible to deny with polite phrases on the phone). Where to look for apartments and determine what are cheap areas and what are expensive areas? There is a simple rule of thumb in order to determine where apartments are expensive and where they are relatively cheap. It is as paradoxically as it is simple. Every neighborhood looking Western-like is very expensive and every neighborhood looking “typical” Asian-like is cheap in comparison. Just walk through a certain neighborhood and observe the shops / restaurants there and how the architecture is looking like.  A good indication are also the train stations and toilets of any given train station. The dirtier the cheaper accommodation in that area tends to be.As a starting point for your Tokyo location due diligence, the following indication can help to get you started. Shirokanedai / Ebisu area à You walk through these neighbourhoods, it feels like a Western city. Roppongi hills à Expensive Ginza à Expensive Aoyama à Expensive Asakusa à cheap Kita-Senju à Cheap Roppongi à relatively cheap Appartments outside of the Yamanote line are cheaper than apartments inside the Yamanote-LineDistance to the next train station. If you have to walk more than 15min / approximately 1 kilometer to the next train station in your reach, rents drop sharply.The further away from Tokyo center, the cheaper it gets. So living in Chofu, Chiba and Hachioji is significantly cheaper than living in Ginza. However, I have mixed feelings about that if you are not yet familiar with Japanese. This was not my cup of tea at the beginning as I could not speak Japanese at that time, but if it is for you and you are into learning Japanese, it’s a good way to go. Just to remember, even if the area looks somewhat run down, with very rare exceptions, it’s not dangerous at all. If someone prefers to live in seemingly western-looking neighborhood, I’d suggest moving to a particular city in Europe or elsewhere. After all, in Japan it may is looking Western but it is really not Western at all. So you may not miss out on anything not living there. If you are into comfort from time to time, go to an all-night spa / Onsen, where it is warm and cozy and there are some Onsen where you can stay the whole night and sleep in comfortable massage chairs all for the cost of around 3000 yen. This is a good deal if you do not mind sharing sleeping facilities with others. But it brings you definitely out of the house, which especially at the beginning of living in Japan is a crucial thing to do. University dorm / university real estate agent In case you apply for a PhD like mentioned in How to stay in Japan, you can also apply to university housing. This accommodation option will stretch your dough a very long way and allows you to network a lot inside the university. Good luck!

More

How can I order food in Japan without knowing Japanese?

Blog Image

The food is one major if not the major point of visiting Japan. Japanese food is world famous but as the Japanese in my opinion rightfully claim, only Japanese food in Japan is real Japanese food. After having had Sushi for the first time in Japan, I now tend to agree with this view.But let’s face it. Japanese is quite hard to learn speaking let alone writing. And since Japanese food is quite usually quite sophisticated, it can be pretty hard to order anything if you do not have a basic command of Japanese.I had known some people who spent their 2 weeks’ vacation in Japan just eating at McDonalds, KFC, Noodle shops and by buying convenience store food.While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, you will miss out a great deal of Japan experience which is unique as well as not incredibly expensive. With the following basic strategy it will become super simple to order most of what you really want and you can access the full potential the excellent Japanese cuisine. It is estimated that in Tokyo alone there are around 55’000 different restaurants. Let’s hope your appetite is big. What you must do So, before we start: Your best bet are restaurants which have their food placed at the entrance as a wax / plastic model. While no one is doing this, you can use them in the following way: Look at the plastic model of the menu outside, decide there on the spot and take a picture of your desired menu. Show the picture to the waiter and say: Kore onegaishimasu (This please) They will understand it very well and it is very efficient to order If they give you a menu with pictures:Point on the picture of menu in which you are interested and say: Kore onegaishimasu (This please) Additional hints: Where to find easy accessible restaurants?Top floor of department stores Can you bring me the specialty of the house?O susume onegaishimasu If you really want to or have to know what you eat and of what ingredients the food will consist, simply asks the waiter to write the name of the dish into your mobile phone and check it out in Wikipedia or some similar site. There is no need to order drinks. Depending on the restaurant, they will serve you water or tea. Sometimes the drinks are on the table (like a small pipe with water or pitcher). In such a case, just help yourself. Very unfortunately, beer is not offered ;) you have to order by yourself… The food served will be looking exactly as the plastic model outside the shop. It works also for all kind of other restaurant types in Japan, e.g. for Indian, Italian etc. restaurants. Have you ever wondered what they scream when you enter any kind of shop?It is: Irrashaimase (spoken / shouted out more like: irashimaseeeeeeee)It simply means: Welcome (to the shop) During my long term Tokyo stay, I had never been rejected in a restaurant and in just two cases had I had some communication issues which were difficult to overcome, which is obvious in a typical Japanese restaurant with only text menu in Japanese.So, chances are extremely high this simple strategy outlined above will work as well for you as it did for me. If you are looking for a more comprehensive method on how to interact with Japanese in Japan, who are not familiar with English, the following book will help a lot: A point and speak book for Japanese is this one:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Japan-Original-Point-Speak-Book/dp/4795818436However, it covers a great variety of areas and applications. Usually with a tiny fraction of it you can get along very well

More

How can I call schools abroad as cheaply as possible?

Blog Image

Before you can finally move abroad, you might have to call school representatives. Even though in these days where calling with various messenger apps is very common, you sometimes have to call landline numbers. For example you want to enquire your dream university something but there is only a landline published. Depending on where you live, this can be very costly and in many cases completely unnecessary. In a lot of places, people also don’t use land lines anymore and rely entirely on mobile phones. One downside is of them is that calling landlines abroad is often much more expensive than by calling landlines abroad from a landline in your home.  In Japan for example, there are a lot of SIM cards which won’t allow you to make any calls to land lines. So in order to make calls, you need to navigate through a whole bunch of regulations. A very good and convenient option is to use one of the popular messenger tools. They are not only convenient but also offer cheap rates which are below the rates charged from mobile telecom service providers or landline providers.You can use the following as a starting point in case you need to make an international call. Skype Skype is a great way of calling international landline numbers. You can use your smartphone for that and rates are reasonably cheap.With Skype you can also get a local phone number. This phone number will be tied to your Skype account and people can call that number from their landlines. You can then answer the call in your Skype app.It is especially popular in USA, Brazil, Australia and Europe.The rates can be found here: https://secure.skype.com/en/calling-rates?wt.mc_id=legacy WeChat WeChat is the number #1 communication tool in China and with Chinese living outside their own country. So, if you intend doing anything related with China, this app is a must.So far, depending on the country you are located in, calling landlines may work or not work.See: http://blog.wechat.com/2015/12/31/new-year-new-feature-wechat-out/ Viber Viber can be used to call landlines. Viber is especially popular in India, Russia, Japan and Thailand.The rates can be found here: https://account.viber.com/en/rates/ LINE LINE can also be used to call landline numbers. This messenger tool is especially popular in Japan and Thailand.The rates can be found here: http://line.me/en/call/price-table Popularity of messenger apps at one glance http://blog.appannie.com/messaging-apps-where-theyre-popular-and-major-revenue-opportunities/  More messenger tools The following messenger tools are also popular in their respective areas, but as per June 2016 cannot be used for calling landline numbers. Whatsapp Whatsapp is especially popular in Europe, Brazil, Mexico, India, Russia and to a lesser extent in South-East Asia.As per June 2016, it cannot be used to call landline numbers, but it is a great way to connect with people if you want to study in one of the regions mentioned here. Facebook Messenger Facebook messenger is especially popular in Europe (France), USA, Australia. You can call people who also use the app, but you cannot call landline numbers.It is a great way to connect with people if you want to study in one of the regions mentioned here. KakaoTalk This messenger tool is especially popular in South-Korea, but also not very well known in other countries. You can call people who use the app as well.It is a great way to connect with people if you want to study in one of the regions mentioned here. Zalo This messenger tool is especially popular in Vietnam, but almost unknown outside Vietnam. Besides messaging, you can make calls to other users who use the app as well.Once you arrived in the country, get a local SIM card. This is normally a lot cheaper than using Roaming services from your home provider.

More

How can living and studying in Málaga look like?

Blog Image

If one hears of Spain, the first thing which comes to mind is Barcelona. While Bareclona is a very nice city, have a look at the following gem of Andalucía in Southern Spain. A city which has the potential to surprise even the suspicious traveler. It offers excellent food, a great climate, and nice beaches, plenty of things to do a never ending nightlife and let you immerge into all facets of Spanish life. Exceptional food: No stay in Málaga is complete without dining at the exceptionally beach restaurants.After you ate there, you will forever wonder why someone can spend hundreds of dollars for a meal. The food you find at the beach in Málaga is world class.Fresh seafood is served. It is fished the same day in the morning and prepared and grilled in the evening. The specialty of these beach restaurants is grilled sardines which come numerously on one plate. If you were ever like to try seafood, there is the chance.But stay away from the tourist trap restaurants in the city center, if you want to have paella ask someone around.A specialty is Málaga dulce, a sweet wine which is great for some dessert or just straight. A very nice souvenir of a great stay in Spain. Friendly locals: As almost everywhere, where the place is not overrun by mass tourism, the locals tend to be very friendly. This was also the case in Málaga.Locals tend to be especially open when to know you somewhat, which is often the case after the third evening in the same bar. In one case, the owner started to get really open and after the fifth tequila (1 tequila is around 1.5$), the subsequent tequila shots were offered de la casa (free). Thank you again for that unforgettable time. ;)Best time for meeting locals is during nighttime where lots of people are drinking on the streets. You find often people selling beers in the street and all kind of drugs. So, you do not need any 7-11 convenience stores at all. Be aware: Speak Spanish, even if it is just with your hands ;). You can definitely get by with English, but if you want to truly expose you to local culture, try your Spanish, regardless how rudimentary it might be. Great value for money: Food, taxi ride, nightclub entrance, renting a bicycle, drinks in a bar, the value for money you get in Málaga is pretty good if you take into account that you have all the amenities of a quite large city. A dinner for two at a beach restaurant with fresh seafood and drinks for 30 US$, cab ride from the airport to the city center for about 25US$ (25min), nightclub entrance for 5$, and a Jägermeister bottle on the go from a bar for 25US$ (Supermarket price 12$). It is not a budget vacation which you can have in some no-name areas of Spain, but it is also far away from any of the very expensive European cities. With a daily budget of around 60US$ (inclusive a stay in airbnb), you can basically live like a king.It also comes with a good weather guarantee. The climate in the summer is hot and dry with temperature around 30°C and rainfall is seldom. So, you can chill out at the beach almost every day and get your 5$ mojito. Great nightlife:Simply put, Málaga means party nonstop. The nightlife is concentrated on the city center with various discos around. One I frequented frequently was Sala Gold. Music is reggaeton and the actual international party tunes. If you are a larger group, you can negotiate entrance fee a little which is an inexpensive way to drink an check out different discos, considering you pay entrance fee of about 5$ with one drink included.As the next day only arrives after you have slept you can have a pizza for letting the night finish.If you want to have a more chilled out atmosphere, check out the rooftop bar at the Marriot hotel. Drinks are not the cheapest in town, but considered the magnificent view from the rooftop bar, it’s well worth to try it out at least once. Festival  Las Ferias de Málaga The “las ferias de Málaga” is one of the oldest festivals in Europe, and probably also one of the best. It takes place in the second half of August. The atmosphere is incredibly relaxed, loaded with positive energy and widely patronized by all kind of different people. It is not uncommon to see families with small kids at 3am, or your grandparents at 5am.The area covered by this festival is vast and contains countless options to eat and drink something. Activities are also plentiful. A lot of open air discos are present, all offering some different kind of drinks and special decoration. For reggaeton lovers, the supply of discos is plentiful and if you could not dance before, you certainly can dance when you are there.A great way to sober up is checking in for a ride at the various rollercoasters and other attractions around. You sober up either because of fear or because you separate with the previously ingested booze.Las ferias de Málaga is a must see. Infrastructure / Sightseeing: Access to Málaga is extremely easy and fast. The airport is pretty small and offers a wide range of flights to many different cities in Europe. I also heard there is a direct flight connection to New York in the summer months.Large spacious US-style highways are very new and almost not used. So you can just rent a car at the airport and enjoy the drive on a “private road”. Drive down the costa del sol.They are building a metro there too which should further facilitate the access to the city center. Taxis are also plentiful and there were one of the most honest taxi drivers I met. Ripping off attempts were way below average compared to touristy cities in Italy and Spain. The city is surprisingly pedestrian friendly, as the whole city center is banned for driving. This makes it very comfortable to walk around day and night, also under the influence of Sangria and Tequila.There are great bicycle lanes just on the beach which are utmost pleasant to use and just give you an ideal way to check out the exceptional food at the beach restaurants. There are even gym facilities on the beach which can be used by everyone and free of charge. A great way to connect with locals and burn some booze calories from the night before.

More

How to finance your stay at a language school?

Blog Image

Let’s think about the following. You have made a life plan and thought about going abroad for studying a language which you will later use for university or for permanently living abroad.But there is one problem. Language schools and staying abroad is very costly and this fact puts it out of reach for your budget.But there is a way around that. Most countries allow you to work (at least part-time) when you have a student visa. Mostly these part time limitations are around 20 hours per week, depending on the specific country where you want to go.Let’s have a look at some countries and happy language learning and working abroad Cooperative Programs (Study first and work afterwards) in Canada Some language schools offer "Study and Work Experience/Internship" programs. These "Study and Work Experience" programs are cooperative programs, which means there is a period of studying followed by a period of work experience/internship. The duration of the work experience cannot exceed the duration of the total time of studies. For example, if you study during 3 months, you cannot work for more than 3 months after you finished your studies. If you study during 6 months, you cannot work for more than 6 months after and so on.. So you won’t study and work the same day, and it is in theory not a financing program that allows you to pay your studies with the remuneration of the work experience/internship: you first study during a certain amount of weeks and then you start the work experience/internship, because in Canada it is not permitted to study and work at the same time.These kinds of programs in Canada will allow you to apply for a work visa, necessary for the work experience/internship part of the program.Language schools offer these programs with or without a placement service (you can look for a host company by yourself or for an additional cost the school can look for a company and arrange interviews for you).Also, in order to start the work/internship part of the program you will need to have reached an upper-intermediate level in English or French, for the French part of Canada.In England, language schools offer study and work programs, but they are open to European citizens only.Note: in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, language schools also offer cooperative programs, but they only arrange unpaid internships, which might not be what you want. Working and Studying at the same time If you are not interested in a cooperative program because you want to study and work at the same time, maybe it will be interesting for you to know that: Ireland When you obtain a study permit it allows you to work up to 20 hours per week in the condition that you register for a full-time English course (15 hours/week) of at least 25 weeks.Also, if you register for a 25 weeks’ course of 15 hours/week you will be able to stay up to one year in Ireland: during the first 25 weeks you have to study English at least 15 hours/week and you can work part-time (up to 20 hours/week). After you have completed this, you don’t have to study for the rest of the year and you can work up to 40 hours/week, which is basically a normal full time job. Switzerland You have to study first for 6 months and afterwards you can apply for a work permit. You can then work for up to 15 hours per week. The amount of money required by the authorities is about 1500 USD / month. Hourly rates at bars, restaurants and cafes are about 25 USD / hour without any tips, so it can easily add up to 35 USD / hour or more when you’re lucky.See more:  http://blog.swiss-permits.ch/de/ South Africa The study permit of South-Africa allows you to work up to 20 hours per week in the condition that you register for a full-time English course of more than 90 days. But you can only work while you are studying. If you stop studying to take a vacation then you cannot work legally anymore in South Africa. Australia The study permit of Australia allows you to work up to 20 hours per week. But you have to be registered in a full-time English course (minimum 20 hours/week) and you cannot start working until your course has started. New Zealand The study permit of New Zealand allows to work up to 20 hours per week. However, you have to register for a full-time English course (minimum 20 hours/week) of at least 14 weeks. France With a student visa you will be allowed to work up to 964 hours per year (60% of the legal annual work time).The pre registration to a 20 hours/week course in a French language school allows you to apply to a student visa which enables you to work in France up to 20 hours per week. http://www.speaking-agency.com/jobs-in-france/work-program-in-paris/french-courses Japan Student visa holders cannot work more than 28 hours per week during school time and additionally, a student visa allows you to work up to 8 hours per day when school is not in session. The school breaks in Japan are quite long. It’s from February to April and from July to October.Read more: http://international.hit-u.ac.jp/en/curr/life/workpermit.html South Korea Foreign students enrolled in a regular course of study may engage in part-time work of no more than 20 hours a week during semester time, and unlimited work during vacation time under the foreign student part-time work provisions of the Ministry of Justice. It is required that you be a foreign student who have received the recommendation of your supervising professor,you have a study visa (D-2, D-4), you must have completed six months study at a tertiary education institution of at least the level of a junior college. http://www.hikorea.go.kr/The D-4 is a general trainee visa for students gaining general skills in Korea, excluding post-secondary learning. Most commonly these students come to Korea to study Korean language, which could be done at a university or language institute. Students could also be training to learn technical skills at a public or private organization, perhaps at a college or company. Additionally, this visa is also given to foreign elementary, middle or high school students completing their studies in Korea. Finally, people doing internships in Korea are issued this general trainee visa. Singapore If you study at one of the schools from the list below, you can work up to 16 hours per week Anglo-Chinese School (International) Singapore Australian International School Canadian International School Chatsworth International School Digipen EDHEC Risk Institute-Asia ESSEC Business School (Singapore) German European School Singapore GIST-TUM Asia Government Junior Colleges Government secondary schools Government-aided Junior Colleges Government-aided secondary schools Hwa Chong International School Hollandse school INSEAD, Singapore Institute of Technical Education, Singapore International Community School ISS International School Japanese School (secondary school) LaSalle College of the Arts Lycee Francais De Singapour Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Nanyang Polytechnic Nanyang Technological University National University of Singapore New York University Tisch School of the Arts, Asia Nexus International School Ngee Ann Polytechnic Overseas Family School Republic Polytechnic S P Jain School of Global Management Singapore Saint Joseph’s Institution International School Sekolah Indonesia SIM University Singapore American School Singapore Institute of Technology Singapore Management University Singapore Polytechnic Singapore University of Technology and Design Sorbonne-Assas International Law School Swiss School Tanglin Trust School Temasek Polytechnic United World College of South East Asia The University of Chicago Booth School of Business University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Singapore) Waseda Shibuya Senior High School Digipen EDHEC Risk Institute-Asia ESSEC Business School (Singapore) GIST-TUM Asia INSEAD, Singapore Institute of Technical Education, Singapore LaSalle College of the Arts Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Nanyang Polytechnic Nanyang Technological University National University of Singapore New York University Tisch School of the Arts, Asia Ngee Ann Polytechnic Republic Polytechnic S P Jain School of Global Management Singapore SIM University Singapore Institute of Technology Singapore Management University Singapore Polytechnic Singapore University of Technology and Design Sorbonne-Assas International Law School Temasek Polytechnic The University of Chicago Booth School of Business University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Singapore) For more details:  http://www.mom.gov.sg/passes-and-permits/work-pass-exemption-for-foreign-students As a general rule of thumb In order to legally work where you are going to study, you need one of the following visa  student visa  working holiday visa  family visa / dependent visa  resident card So these are not really "Study + Work" programs in the sense that the job has nothing to do with the school, it is the student's responsibility to find a job if he wants to work. This however, gives you a good opportunity to get in depth knowledge of your desired country, allows you to train the language and last but not least earns money.One important note first: For any of these countries, you will still have to prove to immigration services that you have access to enough money to sustain yourself for the duration of your stay in the country, because it can never be guaranteed that you will find a job for sure and you are applying for a student visa in the first place.Also it is important you understand that the jobs international students usually find while studying abroad are entry-level positions in restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels, etc. This does not mean however that it does not pay well and if youre lucky and skilled you might be able to land a job which pays well. For example, if you happen to speak Chinese and the local language you might be able to land a job at a jeweler.Do you know other countries where such arrangements exist? Please let us know… One word of caution: As this touches a legal field, this article can only provide a starting point for each country and this matter can by no means be fully discussed here. We advise you to look for detailed and professional help regarding visa issues. You can enquire some more information and advices specifically tailored to your needs from Overseas Learning

More

How to beat the JLPT (Japanese language proficiency test)

Blog Image

Japanese has been one of the most useful languages to know in Asia because of the economic strength of Japan. While these days other languages became very important as well, Japanese is necessary if you intend of studying or working in Japan.One thing which you will be asked often is your score in the JLPT test. Up until 2009, the JLPT consisted of 4 levels. As there was a huge difficulty gap between the old level 2, it has been split up and forms the N2 and N3 with the aim to bridge the gap between the entry levels and the proficient ones. But as a consequence, new learning material does not systematically cover the new levels of N3 and N2. Keep on reading and get some hints how you can beat the JLPT Format of the JLPT test: Interestingly, the JLPT test does not test any speaking ability. You basically spend the whole time without speaking one single word. Only listening and reading is being evaluated. (Also luckily for many, no handwriting ability of Japanese Kanji is needed).It is also a pure multiple choice test, which means you have the option of lucky guessing in case you don’t know the answer.One peculiar thing is that even in low level tests; words from a higher test level are being used (and explained using Hiragana). This fact can be quite confusing as its not only happening once or twice during the test but all the time. So be prepared for that. So which level of the JLPT should you take?: We recommend you take one of the lower levels in order just to have one certificate (e.g. N4 or even N5). This will help you to show your commitment for the language to people and it also helps you for becoming familiar with the peculiarities of this test which is reflection of Japanese test taking culture.The negative point however is the low usefulness of N5, N4 and to a certain extent N3. Neither does the Japanese ability of these levels significantly help you with daily life; employers in Japan also don’t particularity go crazy over these levels and still perceive it as non-fluency in Japanese.The bare minimum which is acceptable in seldom cases is N3, but it is much better to aim for N2. Its like saying that either you passed N1 or N2 or you don’t not have the JLPT test.N1 is more a nice to have and we would not recommend it unless it’s a) you’re really committed and like learning Japanese or b) it is a specific requirement in the field where you want to study or work. Otherwise, the extra effort is seldom worth it and the time preparing for N1 is better spent on doing something else.N2 is definitely good enough to land you most jobs which require Japanese language ability regarding reading and writing on the computer. Speaking you have to train elsewhere anyways. Beat the JLPT: One sure way to pass your test is that you prepare halfway for the level above it. Let’s say you want to pass N2. Have also a look at the N1 preparation material and study it somewhat halfhearted. It will be enough to let you pass N2 with a breeze. If you prepare halfway for your target level, you might fail even if you need about 50% of the correct answers. So if you want to mostly rule out luck from the test taking day, have a look at the test preparation materials which are one level above your target test. If you want to read in more details, you can do so here or write us an email with your specific questions Further material http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2013/11/24/issues/is-the-jlpt-really-worth-it/https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/JLPT_Guidehttp://www.jlptstudy.net/

More

Why does learning at least one second language improve your life?

Blog Image

Learning another language increases your IQ, ACT and SAT scores Because the brain is made to operate differently, it develops a variety of cognitive skills. Studies show that the benefits of learning a new language included higher scores on standardized exams in math, reading comprehension, and vocabulary by multilingual students compared to the scores of monolingual students.These were observed in ACT and SAT exams. Continued immersion was known to increase IQ and develop innovativeness in students.see for more info: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-27634990 Learning a foreign language boosts your brain power: Basically any foreign language comes with a whole new system with distinct rules, etymology, and a lot of new words. Learning a new one puts your brain to work by recognizing this new language structure.It helps you with developing your skills on reading, negotiating, and problem-solving.See for more details: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-17892521 Foreign language expands career potentials: With unemployment problems being present in most countries, being able to speak more than one language is definitely a competitive edge over others. It is an ability that tells of a person’s intelligence, flexibility, openness to diverse people, and decision-making skills. And these are just some bonuses to the evident ability to communicate in several languages and across cultural barriers. Last but not least it helps you to move to the country where your second language is being spoken and will get you started there more easily.See for more details:  http://www.careerealism.com/career-second-language/ Your ability to multi-task is developed: Multi-tasking can be very stressful to those who are not skilled at it. People who are multilingual are proficient at slipping from one tongue to another, one language system to another one. This can be especially demanding for your brain. People who speak more than one language are highly proficient at multi-tasking and make considerably less errors than people who just speak one language.See for more details:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1358234/People-speak-languages-better-multi-tasking-likely-develop-Alzheimers.html The onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s is stalled: Being able to speak a second language has also a large medical benefit as one study shows.With other factors held constant, several researches suggested that multilingual adults experienced the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia at a later age of 75 compared to monolingual adults who had the first signs at age 71. The studies were conducted with other variables such as gender, overall health, educational level, and economic status.The most significant factor was the factor of being (at least) bilingual, whereas the other factors proved not being significant.See for more details:  http://www.mayoclinic.org/benefits-of-being-bilingual/expert-answers/faq-20058048 Your memory is going to improve: See for more details: Very like other muscles from your body, the more your brain is used, the better it is working, whereas the less you use it the worse it is working.Learning a new language structure means familiarizing yourself with vocabulary and grammar rules, and applying these memorized information into context and communication. This strengthens your brains memory.The increased training results in multilingual people possessing brains which are not only able to process the new language, but it has also massive spill-over effects into other areas. Multilingual people have brains that quick to recall names, directions, shopping lists and other items. See for more details: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationopinion/10126883/Why-learn-a-foreign-language-Benefits-of-bilingualism.html Your mind becomes keener: A study conducted in Spain showed that polyglots, or multilingual people, have alert and keen minds. They easily spot anything that is irrelevant or deceptive. The study was conducted comparing multilingual and monolingual subjects; and the former notably had the edge. The discipline that they developed in studying an unknown subject has molded them to become more perceptive.You will become a better critical thinker if you speak more than one language. See for more details: https://www.businesslanguageservices.co.uk/general/learning-a-foreign-language-improves-mental-and-physical-health/ Polyglots are seen to display improved decision-making ability: The decision-making ability becomes an easier process for multilingual people. Aside from the rules and vocabulary that go with learning a foreign language, there are nuances and vernacular expressions that a student of language frequently judges for appropriateness and hidden meanings. Decision-making becomes more prudent and discriminating. See for more details: http://www.wired.com/2012/04/language-and-bias/ Your first language is improved: If you study a foreign language you are going to be exposed to a whole new language structure and make him more conscious of vocabulary, grammar, conjugation, idioms, sentence construction, comprehension and conversing. Hence, you will become more aware of your first language as well and develop a good ear for listening to the subtle gradations of each language. The first language, being your mother tongue is usually not as thoroughly studied, for the simple reason that it’s a given. But with the new language inside your brain, you will become more aware of your first language as well. See for more details: http://www.omniglot.com/language/articles/benefitsoflearningalanguage.htm It makes you more flexible and open to other cultures: Since a language is a doorway to a particular culture, learning a new language enables a person to have a broader understanding of the other culture. Opening up to a culture allows you to be more flexible and appreciative of other ways of doing and looking at things. As a result, if you are multilingual, you have the advantage of seeing the world from different angles. In today’s interconnectedness, this is a more valuable tool than in any other time of history.See for more info: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/03/speaking-second-language-may-change-how-you-see-world You build self-confidence: Self-confidence is a natural consequence after summing all benefits of learning a new language. By simply mastering one skill, the other faculties are developed. People tend to gravitate around multilingual people because of their skills; others simply find the polyglots’ openness and quick-mindedness naturally attractive It will help you in self-discovery and self-actualization. It is an interesting outcome, not at all something that you list as your expected result when you embark to learn a new language. But trying to understand a language and the heritage that goes with it will put you in a position of self-discovery. It makes you come to terms with how you view the world and other cultures, and have more appreciation of your own at the end. Last but not least, you come to terms with yourself, too. To sum up, people who speak more than one language show the following benefits have higher general intelligence be better at planning, prioritizing, and decision making  regarding various tasks score higher on standardized math, reading, and vocabulary tests  (like SAT) be more perceptive of their surroundings avoid falling for marketing hype understand others’ points of view have better focus, concentration, and attention delay immediate gratification in the pursuit of long-term goals have better memory and memorization skills, including better working memory exhibit mental flexibility multitasking be creative have good listening skills The following example illustrates the brain changes in a lively way Looking at MRI brain scans can also tell us what parts of the brain are active during a specific learning task. For example, we can see why adult native speakers of a language like Japanese cannot easily hear the difference between the English “r” and “l” sounds (making it difficult for them to distinguish “river” and “liver” for example or “lip” and “rip”). Unlike English, Japanese does not distinguish between “r” and “l” as distinct sounds. One single sound unit instead (known as a phoneme) represents both sounds.When presented with English words containing either of these sounds, brain imaging studies show that only a single region of a Japanese speaker’s brain is activated, whereas in English speakers, two different areas of activation show up, one for each unique sound. For Japanese speakers, learning to hear and produce the differences between the two phonemes in English requires a rewiring of certain elements of the brain’s circuitry.How can this be learnt and what can be done about it?Early language studies based on brain research have shown that Japanese speakers can learn to hear and produce the difference in “r” and “l” by using a software program that greatly exaggerates the aspects of each sound that make it very different from the other. When the sounds were modified and extended by the software, participants were more easily able to hear the difference between the sounds. In one study, after only three 20-minute sessions (just a single hour’s worth), the volunteers learned to successfully distinguish the sounds, even when the sounds were presented as part of normal speech. This shows how sometimes simple trainings can completely rewire the brain and enhance it with a new skill. See for more details: http://www.medicaldaily.com/pulse/how-learning-new-language-changes-your-brain-and-your-perception-362872 

More

Khusus Indonesia – Untuk berbagai penggemar kami dari Indonesia

Blog Image

Bagaimana saya mengetahui berapa pengeluaran dari tujuan impian saya? Pernakah kamu menanyakan pada dirimu sendiri berapa pengeluaran untuk tempat tinggal di tempatmu belajar? Banyak sekali bermacam informasi diluar sana dan mencari tahunya sendiri akan menjadi hal yang membosankan karena kamu harus mencari di berbagai halaman web, statistik dan peringkat. Singapura sebagai contohnya.https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/comparison/jakarta/singapore?currency=SGD Inilah gambaran dari salah satu kasus yang paling banyak, jika kota itu bukanlah yang biaya hidupnya paling mahal. Walaupun sebagian besar mungkin benar, namun hal itu bergantung dari bagaimana cara kamu hidup disana. Dua hal yang paling mahal dalam tagihan bulanan adalah mobil pribadi dan biaya tempat tinggal. Jika kamu hanya tinggal untuk jangka waktu singkat, sepertinya kamu tidak membutuhkan mobil pribadi.Namun jika kamu mempertimbangkan apa yang membuat kota itu sebagai kota dengan biaya yang mahal, mungkin dikarenakan biaya mobil sangatlah tinggi.Dalam situs ini, kamu dapat memperoleh rincian daftar dari beberapa hal yang mempengaruhi perencanaan biaya bulanan mulai dari transportasi umum sampai dengan tiket bioskop, menutupiCobalah mencari tahu; akan menjadi hal yang menarik untuk mengetahui perbedaan biaya hidup berdasarkan pendapat nyata dari berbagai orang yang berbeda.

More

How to deal with money at your stay?

Blog Image

One crucial thing when you travel abroad is to figure out how you will pay for daily expenses. This is especially important as when you arrive at a place for the very first time, you normally do not know many people and hence help would be harder to find than at home. Depending where you come from, bringing money to your new place can be a tricky endeavor.   Change some money at home before you arrive: Especially if you in your country do not use US Dollar, Euro or Pound Sterling, it will become an issue. Change some of your home currency in your home country and bring it with you. Calculate the amount used by consulting the other blog posts from here were living costs are being covered. Bank cards: The most convenient to get money at your destination is by using bank cards. Very unfortunately, relying on just one single bank card is risky and should be avoided because cards sometimes do not work abroad.Sometimes bank card just do not work and hence money can’t be withdrawn with it, leaving you standing in front of the ATM clueless.  Reasons could be that your card is blocked by your home bank for overseas travels, you reached your withdrawal limit for the current month or the network of your card is incompatible with the current ATM.Some countries also don’t accept cards which have been issued overseas. For example in Japan, cards issued outside of Japan are hardly accepted at ATMs which are not from Japan Post bank or 7-11 Bank. But in Japan there is now one notable exception, UnionPay cards are now accepted everywhere in the whole country.There are also some other distinction between real Visa / MasterCard Credit cards and Visa / MasterCard debit cards. Depending in which country a certain type of card has been issued, the card may not work at an ATM or in shops.It is also important to notice if your card has an electronic chip in addition to the magnetic strip. In Europe for example, ATMs often require cards with electronic chips due to scamming attempts.To sum this complicated thing all up, you ideally will be able to bring more than just one card with you (e.g. one VISA credit card and one UnionPay ATM card for example). To be extra safe, bring at least one backup means with you like cash, Bitcoins or have some money transmission organized before your leave your country.One hint at the end. If it does not work out and you absolutely need to make some withdrawal, you can go to a bank at your place with your passport. Some banks will deal with the card and can hand out some cash to you. Money transmission: Another way is having someone at home transferring you money by using money transmitting services like Western Union or MoneyGram. The transmission is almost instant and you can go to the next place near you with your passport and collect the money at home. You can for example coordinate this with a family member back home. Change money by using money exchange in your destination: If you decide to take all your money with you in cash, you have to figure out before where you will be able to exchange that money. In places like Singapore and Hong Kong, this is not a problem at all because you find good money exchanges in literally every shopping mall. They happily take almost every currency. In other places however, the options are more limited. Depending in what currency you have it might be even impossible to have it exchanged.Try airports and central train stations as the probability to find good money exchanges is higher. Alternative currencies like Bitcoin: More and more vendors accept Bitcoin these days. In some cities, there are even Bitcoin ATMs where you can exchange your Bitcoins against local currency. This is an extremely convenient way because it’s very cheap and near instant.Consider this as a backup method only. Relying on Bitcoin alone will not do the trick.                          Travelers checks: Calculate what you need and change everything at home into travelers checks. You can exchange them at reputable banks Last but not least: If this seems too troublesome and you feel like you’re not ready yet, give online-Learning a first shot.

More

What to expect from staying with a host family?

Blog Image

Staying with a host family (homestay) is just one option of a language travel. It gives you an unique opportunity to immerse yourself not only in the language but also in the culture of your destination country. If you feel like trying out Bring something typical from your host country Bringing a small gift from your home country is a very nice gesture. It does not have to be something very pricey or fancy. In case you are struggling with deciding what to bring, you can start with a product which you personally use often (weekly), is easy to transport hence has some meaning for you. When you arrive, you can talk about your gift which is a great way to start a good conversation and help to get to know each other. Try out their language In most cases, the host family will interact with you mainly in their native language. It is also common that they don’t speak much English in countries where English is not one of the national languages. But don’t be afraid of that and also don’t be shy, it is now the opportunity to dive in a new culture.  Try to keep a conversation going. If you’re lucky the members of your host family are the best teachers! Living together Normally a home stay is not a school where you have to follow rules all the time. Some basic rules are to respect some basic customs of the family and in case you have meals, showing up for dinner. If you do not show up for dinner, please let your host family know before such that they do not prepare a meal in vain Relax yourself Don’t come with too much of an expectation and let yourself surprise what kind of a host family you will get. In most cases, it will go along smoothly and you will like that new exciting environment. In the rare case of problems with a host family Although most host families are being checked and in most cases the stay is perfectly fine and a fruitful experience, there is still a small possibility that some problems arise. Most problems can be due to a mismatch of interpersonal chemistry between the student and the host family. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, your first stop should be the school. Go the reception and ask for changing your host family and state what was the problem. Normally, such changes are without any problem for most reputable schools (2 changes in a four weeks stay are normally acceptable). Hopefully, these tips will ease your anxiety of doing a home stay wherever it may be. You can ask directly in our forum for some basic customs about your destination country or get in touch with us. Enjoy the unique opportunity to share your life with people who are different than you. You can be sure it will create memories, learning experiences and friendships which will shape you for life.

More

How do I figure out living costs of my dream destination?

Blog Image

Have you ever asked yourself how much it costs living at your study location? There are a lot of various information out there and figuring it out all by yourself can be a tedious task as you need to scroll through various homepages, statistics and rankings.Take Singapore for an example.https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/comparison/jakarta/singapore?currency=SGD It is portrayed in many studies as one of the most, if not the most expensive city to live in. While this is true to a large extent, it mainly also depends on how you live there. The two most expensive tickets on the monthly bill are a private car and accommodation.  If you are only staying there short term, it’s very unlikely that you need a private car.But when you consider what exactly makes it such a high cost city, it turns out that it’s because car costs are extremely high. On this site, you can get a detailed list on several items which make up a monthly budget starting from public transportation up to a ticket to the movies, coveringTry it out; it can be quite interesting to know about different cost of living based on real life findings from many different people.

More

Trends in Europe

Blog Image

Political trends in Europe like the Brexit votation or the refugee crisis seem frightening at first and might be a major issue that prevents you from studying in Europe. But with the concept of Overseas-Learning we ensure that you will be best prepared to tackle such challenges by putting you in touch with people who already live there, before you arrive. If you decide that your ideal destination is too dangerous, you can simply stick to a pure online-learning from the safety of your own home.As a general rule of thumb, study locations in the countryside of Europe, for example, Tropea in Italy and even Malaga in Spain are still very safe and are generally a lot cheaper than European first tier cities such as Rome, Paris and London.New economy issues and implications (e.g. taxi driver being replaced by self-driving cars etc.) as well as the trend of globalization is not being tackled by most educational systems worldwide, regardless of where you are from.  Overseas Learning gives you an edge in our globalized world. Higher education, languages and technical knowledge will hold you in good stead going forward.Link to the article in German: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LrymrarQx4

More

Higher education reduces your risk of facing unemployment

Blog Image

A new study confirms what is or should be common knowledge. A strong education will enhance your career prospects which will enhance your future.Overseas Learning helps you find your ideal education, be it a traditional university degree or language skills. The article also states that graduates from natural science are confronted with a higher unemployment rate. This might seem surprising at first, but students who majored in biology and chemistry face particularly tough times as their labor market is quite competitive and few employment possibilities exist outside of their designated sector. As a consequence, most graduates in these two fields have to compete for jobs within the Pharmaceutical and chemical industry. In Switzerland, few companies exist in these two sectors. One key factor which sets you apart even in very crowded labor markets besides acquiring a university degree is studying overseas and knowing one or more language besides your mother tongue.Link (in German) http://www.srf.ch/play/tv/tagesschau/video/tagesschau-vom-28-04-2016-1930?id=34203987-6026-40a2-b797-7376336af9eb

More