So much hate across social media sites at the moment. tweets asking people to literally attack anyone that looks Muslim. Not safe for Sikhs, Muslims, or anyone else dark skinned wearing anything that looks foreign or Islamic. Beards, headdresses, traditional clothing etc.
Please stay safe everyone, the next few days are going to be rough.
International Applicants to U.S. Schools Rise
A previous post on this blog discussed the many pressures that the modern college applicant experiences these days—from increased domestic competition from increasingly-qualified peers to ever-increasing college costs that vastly surpass the rate of inflation. Add to that, the now mounting pressure for domestic applicants to compete on an international scale with mass influxes of students coming from other countries to take American college seats.
The economic rise of China has created a parallel rise in its citizens’ standards-of-living. Increasingly so, more middle-class Chinese parents can now afford to spend money on grooming their children to be viable candidates in the college matriculation pool in the United States. From NBC’s Behind the Wall series, which examines trends in China, reports have found that the number of Chinese undergraduates has more than doubled in the last two years. In fact, during the 2010-2011 academic years, the number of international students increased by five percent to 723,277, of which forty-six percent claim India, China, or South Korea as their homelands, according to the Institute for International Education.
The controversy lies in the universities’ willingness to accept students from abroad: from the university perspective, foreign-born students are advantageous because they tend to pay the full cost of tuition, thereby subsidizing those students who are accepted domestically. Take the extreme case of California, where in 2010-2011, over 95,000 students were accepted from overseas to buttress its financially dilapidated school system. With a combination of decreased federal funding and budget shortfalls, school systems that lack the financial wherewithal to finance their operations from domestic students are increasingly looking towards the international community to foot the bill. Moreover, foreign students also benefit the American economy—to the tune of nearly $21 billion a year in tuition and living expenses. In fact, the government finds this figure so appealing that it is working on expanding its visa-processing capabilities in China to meet increasing demand for U.S.-bound students.
What does all of this mean for the domestic student? Competition is going to increase exponentially. In fact, foreign students are posing a challenge to even the brightest of domestic students as they vie for precious American university placements. If this trend is to continue, we can expect the international applicant to comprise an increasingly larger percentage of the American university campus. While diversity at the university level undoubtedly enriches one’s collegiate experience, it is worth mentioning that at this rate of change, college becomes increasingly more elusive to even the brightest American mind.This post discusses an article posted on MSNBC’s Behind the Wall series.
You know, I’ve never been one of those people who generally think things happen for a reason. If scientists are anything to go by, we are a blink in an otherwise hugely vast vacuum of destiny that is not meant for us to understand fully.
Some of you may have noticed I’ve been freaking out about uni (haha). Thinking of jacking it in. Losing all faith in my ability to even pick up a pen and write down the date if it’s to do with studying. Writer’s block, some would say.
Yesterday I went for brunch (pretentious word) in Subway on the way to work, and an Indian girl served me. I asked for a student discount (definite perk) and she started asking me what course I was doing. As I hate the human race and assume everyone in Glasgow is usually accusing of others, I assumed she wanted to see my student card. What she really wanted to know is how much I enjoyed my course, and what it was I did and where I saw myself going with it. And ultimately, how much did it cost for me to study.
It was only after I had talked to her for a minute or so I realised that she was asking, in a round about way, how much the fees were to study my course for foreign students. I asked her about it and she sat and talked with me about how she had to work full time as it was to afford to live (amen to that) and she was having trouble saving up to get the education that she would love to have.
So, there I was, standing considering how much of a poor soul I was, with my free education, weighing up why I should bother being there at all, when it literally gets given to me, for free. In some respects, I’m paid to be there (SAAS payments).
What an arsehole I’ve been.
En tant que qu’européen vivant à Taïwan, je me dois de vous faire un billet sur le KTV.
Il y a une chose qui est très taïwanaise (mais qui est valable partout en asie), et dont ils sont très fiers, je suis sûr que vous savez de quoi je vais parler….c’est évidement… le Karaoké ! Eh oui j’ai enfin fait mon 1er karaoké ici à Taïwan !
Le FSA (Foreign Student Association) avait organisé un KTV pour tous les étrangers du campus, histoire de se connaitre un peu plus et de passer une bonne soirée tous ensemble… Et bien c’est réussi ^^
On est donc tous partis en ville, dans ce fameux KTV dont voici l’entrée :
C’est quand même un immeuble de 9 étages, avec 20 ou 30 chambre de Karaoké à chaque étage, donc c’est un gros truc ! Parce qu’on était une petite quarantaine quand même, on a eu le droit à la VIP room, la plus grande chambre du KTV, pour nous seuls… Les taïwanais nous ont expliqué qu’à Taiwan, le KTV c’est une religion, c’est l’endroit où les jeunes sortent le soir, pendant les week-end, c’est aussi là où ils se font des amis, rencontrent des filles, bref c’est un peu comme sortir dans un bar chez nous en Europe. Sauf qu’eux, ben, en même temps ils chantent……
Voilà à quoi ressemble l’intérieur du KTV, je vous laisse vous faire vos propres opinions….
Comme tout européen qui se respect, on (les européens) a pas pu s’empêcher du prendre 2/3 bières, mais bon ça aide à prendre le micro et à chanter sur YMCA ou ABBA ou Britney Spears, ou je sais pas quoi par exemple ! On peut même accompagner les chanteurs avec des tambourins, fourni par le KTV…
Ils pensent à tout ces Taïwanais ! On voit même le songbook, où on peut choisir la prochaine chanson parmi des centaines de chansons !
Un autre truc aussi sympa, c’est qu’on peut commander à manger dans les KTV, vu qu’au minimum, on y reste pendant au moins 3 heures ! Les Taïwanais eux peuvent y passer la soirée entière à chanter ! Bon clairement on y vient pas pour écouter forcement de la bonne musique… mais plus pour passer un bon moment à rigoler, à ne pas se prendre au sérieux. En tout cas il n’y a pas mieux pour rencontrer les étrangers du campus !
What a great and funny night !
It's been a while since I've talked about this
So far my time in the Conversation Partners Program is going well this semester! We also have a third American student leader, so “A” and I aren’t the only two. There are eight guys again, all from Saudi Arabia. A few of them are very shy and hardly know any English, but I’m sure they will improve drastically over time. That’s usually what happens.
Most of them have freakin’ GREAT senses of humor. We were going over the correct pronunciation of words and Hussain (I’ll just use his real name; I don’t think there’s any harm in it) kept pronouncing “success” as “seckess.” We were dying of laughter because he just could not pronounce that word! Also, Fahad was telling us a riddle he had learned from his psych class and “A” guessed it correctly, so he told her that he would do for her anything she wanted. Well, she said that she could send her calculus homework to him to do (of course not at all serious about it) and he stood up from the table and said “Okay, see you!” and waved his hand as if he was going to leave. Hahahha it was just one of those things where you had to have been there for it to be as funny as it was.
What can I say? I LOVE this program I’m in. I love learning about their culture and customs. It is so fascinating. I also get $800 worth of scholarship money for studying abroad. It’s not much, but it’s something!
I’ve got two options…
1. Stay with my senior chemical engineering plant design group and try to do the project we’ve been assigned. The rest of the group speaks Chinese as a first language and the team communication is nonexistent. I know I’ll be the one doing all the writing for our formal report. We don’t even talk during meetings. It’s frustrating and awkward and nothing gets done that I couldn’t just do on my own. Of course, I could just deal with it and try to act like we’re a coherent group for the next five weeks until we finish the project.
2. Ask the professor if I can do this whole project by myself. This would be a lot of work, but I feel like I’m already working on my own as it is, because the “team” doesn’t even talk during our time in the lab together. If I stay in the group, I’ll just be doing the writing and hope that my teammates get the actual technical calculations done correctly. I wouldn’t actually be learning how to do that part. If I took on the project by myself, it would be hard but at least I would understand what I was doing, because I would have to figure it out. And then I could write the report myself (which I’ll be doing anyway) without having to edit out the poor grammar of two other people.
I’m entirely torn. I feel guilty for wanting to quit the group, but at the same time I’ve felt sick to my stomach since I saw our three names on the group assignment page on the first day of class.
Please, anyone out there have any thoughts for me?
I have been leading (along with another American student) a group of eight foreign students - six guys from Saudi Arabia, one from Kuwait, and one from South Korea - for about a month now and I really really love it. It has given me the wonderful opportunity of getting to know people from an entirely different culture.
Throughout this time, I’ve kind of developed an attraction to a couple of these guys - one from Saudi Arabia and the other from Kuwait.
First of all, things that are “foreign/exotic/different” from what I call “the norm” are extremely attractive to me. Men who are darker-complected and speak an entirely different language are therefore very attractive. Exotic is sexy.
Second of all, many of the guys in my group meet this criteria. Not all of them, because I am more physically attracted to some than to others (facial structure, etc.), but many of them do.
I didn’t even mention the Arabic language. I never realized what a beautiful language it was until now. It’s one of those languages that “flows off the tongue” like French. I know that there are some out there who would beg to differ, but I think Arabic is so pretty!
I have to tell myself, “Jenna, you did NOT sign up for this to find a guy. You signed up for this program to help students with projects and with their English skills.” But, damn it, you can’t help it when you feel attracted to something. You can’t control attraction any more than you can control a strong emotion.
Now, a whole different issue is my religion. I am Christian and these two guys are Muslims. I know that both religions have many of the same beliefs from a moral standing, but there are also many stark differences as well. Basically, I need to find a good Christian guy because I would need someone to share the same beliefs that I do. It only makes sense, doesn’t it?
It’s highly improbable that something will ever happen, but I can’t help but fantasize at times. It’s that girly, soppy side of my brain that gets in the way sometimes. I need to stay focused. Oh, but they’re such gentleman and look so… different, beautiful, etc… STAY FOCUSED! lol This is literally what happens in my mind. Ugh!
Foreign student chic
Identifying foreign students is easy and you can usually tell where they’re from when you start to speak with them, but are styles from different countries so different you can recognise the country they’re from by observing their outfits?
Although London street fashion is known throughout the world for its edginess and trendsetting, this is not entirely replicated throughout the country. Most people from the UK accept that foreigners often have a much better sense of style.
Despite our general lack of fashion sense, for English courses England continues to be an attractive destination for foreign students, and it can be an education to see how they dress. Here are some of the best unmistakeable styles…
French elegance is a cliché for a reason. Although your average citizen won’t prance around in a suit or a black dress and stilettos, French students will usually have a much more sophisticated dress sense than us Brits! Dark and neutral colours are usually preferred to bold prints, and even students will tend to have staple pieces that are usually well cut and versatile, such as chinos and plain blouses.
Spanish students are usually adept at achieving an effortlessly cool look. In Spanish street fashion more emphasis is placed on the quality of the clothes and the functionality and comfort rather than timely fashion. Many Spanish students can be seen wearing jeans with trainers, in a sporty, casual style. Young girls’ fashion is often slightly less feminine than in other countries – they rarely wear skirts or dresses, and make-up is usually reserved for special occasions.
Often the best way to spot Italian students is by their shoes. Any students off on an ESL language travel programme to Italy would do well to address this aspect of their wardrobe. The first important thing to acquire is a pair of high-quality smart leather shoes. The outfits are often slightly more personalised fashion, as Italians often like to express themselves through outfits in the form of slogan T-shirts or wacky accessories.
Despite the socks-and-sandals combinations that German tourists are sometimes notorious for, foreign students’ outfits are often much more stylish. Classic jeans and a checked or pinstriped shirt is a staple outfit for German men and women alike. It is important to remember, however, that Berlin is becoming a hub of independent fashion, so it is not unlikely to see a young person from the capital dressed in a style similar to that of London.
North Americans are often difficult to distinguish because their style can differ so drastically. While east coast New Yorkers will often wear edgy outfits to rival the east London scene, Californians tend to have a stylish yet laid-back style. North Americans often enjoy a retro look, whether it is a throwback to 80s punk rock or 60s free love, looking for references from the last few decades is often the best way to recognise them.
Learn about Italian fashion from Life in Italy
Find out about fashion and trends in Germany from Young Germany
A blogger’s rundown of fashion trends in different countries
Symposium on March 11 Japan Earthquake
Some foreign students in my department (Civil Engineering at University of Tokyo) have organised a symposium/seminar on the March 11 Tohoku Earthquake and tsunami.
The event will be entirely held in English. This symposium is made by foreign students, for foreign students, and it seems to be the very first one to be so.
Information on the symposium can be found here: http://www.isisjapan.moonfruit.com/
This kind of initiatives makes me very happy to be studying civil engineering, especially in these difficult times for Japan. I do think more of these international-type events should be held, at least in the graduate schools of the university, where most foreign students can be found. It is important not to forget that although Japan is not our country, it does not mean that we do not care.
Also, it is rather nice to finally be able to attend a seminar in English. It’s so rare.
First Conversation Partners Program Meeting Tonight
I got to meet my new group members. My student leader partner “A” and I have eight students - all guys - and all from Saudi Arabia. They’re all low-leveled as far as their English skills go, but they were assigned to us because, apparently, we had the best group of all eleven groups last semester! So, they trust that we’ll do a good job with these guys again. One of them was actually in our previous group and I’m very happy with that because he is a sweetheart!
Our group number is one and we named ourselves the “English Gladiators” haha! I love it!
One of the guys also told me that my name (Jenna) is Arabic. They told me that’s a fairly common name in SA. Pretty sweet, huh? Muy interesante!
Indonesian International Exchange Students Program (IIESP) 2012
Indonesia International House (IIH) proudly presents Indonesian International Exchange Students Program (IIESP) 2012. experience our cultural trip in 3 cities (Jakarta, Bandung, D.I Yogyakarta)
here in IIESP, You can meet Indonesian people and share with them.
besides, we will learn Indonesia language together and introduce you to Indonesian culture
this program is opened for every foreigners and also Indonesia Citizen
the registration will be closed in August 1, 2012.
Bach I : September 11-21
Bach II: October 11-21
Bach III: November 11-21
Foreigners : US$650
Indonesia Citizen : Rp.3.000.000
(Travel insurance, airport pick up and drop, Hotel accomodation, Indonesian language course, Indonesian language book, Indonesian traditional dance performance,travel note, certificate, etc)
UK Tourist Visa 101 for Foreign Students: The Application Process
*Note as of August, 2012: I’ve just come back from my UK Tourist Visa and it wasn’t as easy as was expected. I waited for 1 hour and 30 minutes and I was told that I would be receiving text messages regarding my application for an additional fee (110 pesos). I didn’t get to confirm when my visa would be finished (and this has got me worried as I am flying on the 13th). But I was told 5 days would be a good expected time, but it could take 2 weeks. Fingers crossed I get it on time! I’ll keep this updated.
*Note: This is for foreign exchange students who are studying in a European country and hoping to get a UK Tourist Visa as well. Even if you don’t fall under this category, this post is still applicable, though there are some portions that will not concern you.
So, if you’re like us and you’ve been thinking about heading out to London or another part of the United Kingdom while in Europe, you’ve probably thought about how to get the UK Visa applications done. For those who are in need of information, I’ve compiled some things to be accomplished.
I haven’t gotten my visa yet, but I have pestered people who have, and they say that the UK Visa is easy to get because the system is quite efficient. I find that’s quite true even if I haven’t gotten there yet.
For this, you’ll have to keep in hand the following: your current passport, your older passports and a (cancelable) hotel booking.
It’s important to note that the UK Embassy requires proof that you’ve got your trip planned out; that’s why you already have to be aware of which date you’re going (even if it’s subject to change, set one anyway), your budget for the trip, etc.
You will also have to book a hotel. The Embassy will ask for the proof of booking, so there’s no escaping it. You can, however, book with a hotel that offers cancelable bookings for free. For that, find a hotel through this site or through your travel agent, and then just cancel your booking after if your plans change. Make sure they offer the option free of charge by reading through the clauses. If not, then you’ve secured a home, so hurray!
Additional note, the application form is quite long. But hey, at least it’s online!
2. Book a date for your interview and prepare your documents.
First of all, thanks to the advice of an upperclassman, I have discovered that it is better to first secure the student visa and then get the UK visa. In fact, some people were rejected because they did not accomplish this.
The reason is that this step of the process, going to the embassy and being interviewed, is supposed to show that you have the means to support yourself and an actual concrete plan. Therefore, you’re required to prove your entire story; that you’re a student studying somewhere in Europe, hoping to see the United Kingdom over a weekend. So, in order to make sure that you secure a visa, make sure to get your student visa done with!
Now, back to the point. First of all: Use this site to book the date! You have to follow the instructions they have set; be on time, bring all required documents.
Here is the list of supporting documents. For those already applying for student visas, some things are quite similar.
Aside from the things listed therest as e-mailed to me, is 5,460 pesos.
4. Go to your appointment and get the visa! :)
Be on time and answer questions truthfully, based on the information you gave. Make sure your story matches! Also, make sure to ask for multiple entry visas! This allows you to go back and forth between the UK and the EU countries! :)
According to upperclassmen, it only takes about 30 minutes for the lineup process and then 2 days to get your passport back with the visa, as long as there is no problem and they’ve decided to accept your application. This may not be the same case for us, but it’s reassuring to know the system seems to be really good.
Hurray, you can go to the UK! It will be valid for 6 months.
If you’ve missed out (or if I did) on any information, no worries. The UK visa site is quite good, and it will send you confirmation, lists of what you need and instructions. Some are vague, but just ask around and you’ll figure it out.
Good luck to us all!
*Thank you to Rafa Marasigan for answering my many questions! :) He’s the upperclassman I keep mentioning.