Benefits of Joining Student Exchange Programs

 Student Exchange ProgramsMost of you certainly want to join a student exchange program in which a student from secondary or higher education chooses to live in a foreign country to learn language and culture. In line with the fact, now many institutions offer the chances for students to join the program. Some of them are ASSE International Student Exchange Programs, AFS Intercultural Programs, CCI (Center for Cultural Interchange), and many more.

No wonder that foreign exchange students can be found in many different countries all over the world. Therefore, there is always a chance for you to be a foreign exchange student.

Besides you can go abroad freely, you can take many benefits of joining student exchange program. Besides you can study on a country’s cultural traditions, language, etiquette, and history, by participating in a foreign student exchange or cultural exchange program study, you can secure your future career path.

In this program, students usually live with a host family for a relatively short period of time, often 6 to 10 months. A host family is usually unpaid volunteer that is carefully screened and chosen based on certain criteria.

No matter your host family is a traditional family, a single parent, or a couple with no children at home, for the first time, like many students, you are certainly will experience a little homesickness, but day by day you will enjoy many fun experiences in the cultural exchange program.

Yes, it is indeed that cultural exchange programs represent the opportunity for young adults to be mature on a personal and intellectual level. The personal maturity could include personal growth, self-confidence improvement, and leadership encouragement through independent thinking.

In case you would like to get the most actual information concerning the latest exchange programs, I would recommend contacting the Study Abroad Office at your local university. They will provide you with such facts as: momentary application procedure, formal letters and requirements amongst other important issues.

In fact, there are lots of aspects to be considered essential regarding the selection process. The choice of Mr. or Ms. Right is often described as a mixture of art and science- a good balance between subjective and objective criteria is very important to keep in mind.

Vital issues that have to be taken into account beforehand are described as follows:

Cross-cultural savvy: Applicants have to prove that they are apt to deal with a multicultural setting, since a foreign University actually involves numerous different nationalities. Referring to my former University of Regensburg, I was happy to work as a counselor for international students for several years at the Akademisches Auslandsamt (Study Abroad Office) located on-campus.

This temporary job implied such tasks like taking care of the students regarding administrative, social and academic topics as well as joining excursions to distinctive places and sites within Europe. I would definitely recommend this kind of joy very much in terms of diving into the culture and successfully preparing for the program.

Appreciating Diversity: Mainly candidates with a different educational and environmental background are looked for who share and appreciate multiple opinions. Since the applicants are linking pins to their country, the principle of humanity is meant to be crucial as well.

Motivation and Energy: It is necessary to show a strong motivation and a high degree of energy, in order to take such a program seriously. Its length may vary depending upon ones further plans and imaginations throughout the stay. It goes without saying that applicants have to make sure they can cope with the requirements of the program and their personal responsibilities as well as with obligations over a long period of time.

Goal awareness: Interested applicants have to be fully aware of the fact that they plan ahead fair enough and reasonably, i.e. they ought to know for sure the decisive questions like Why do I apply?, How does the program work?, and What do I expect from it in the long run in terms of academic and personal goals?

Team player: Mostly, candidates are looked for, who like to work in a team, since it has been regarded as an essential trait to get the most out of all members of a team: altruism beats egoism.

Success potential: The candidates’ overall performance will be judged as well, i.e. they should be able to prove a sound basis of their grades so far. Besides, there might be letters of reference or other non-academic accomplishments that may also influence the final decision to a certain extent.

Well-rounded candidates: Basically, the applicants should have a wide range of interests and abilities. It can be advantageous of being a member of; for instance, a student club or other institutions, such as a fraternity. Looking beyond the academic world is simply the key factor.

Down to Earth mentality: One of the most vital characteristics of an Exchange Program is a consistent and rational syllabus of each course, trying to practically guide the students throughout the academic process during the year. Vice versa the students are fully expected to be hands-on as well.

Fun factor: It has been highly appreciated if the applicants are vivacious, have fun to work and are able to lively tell interesting stories, which happens to be an important aspect for reaching a good performance, no matter what you do.

Integrity: Since the main purpose of such an exchange program is to promote educational development the candidates ought to know about the concept of integrity very well. Particularly, when they want to take over responsibility later in their jobs, the value system and the perceptions of belief of their personality eventually determine the ability of an ethical leadership role. Thus integrity is a substantial indicator.

Sooner or later you will have to state the reasons for your intended studies and think about your classes which you plan to take.

In this context, I would like to briefly mention an example for a prerequisite with which I had to comply on a written basis. This specific sheet of paper had the following contents:

1. Please state (in English) the reasons for your intended study abroad:
[Here we go: you had to be absolutely sure to write a paper including the most important pieces of information for the primary selection process. In other words, you should have tried to apply your sound language skills to its best (wording, use of vocabulary, how to structure an essay: introduction, statements, summary etc.)]

2. Please list as specifically as possible the courses you intend to take in both terms:
[For this exercise, I was provided with some major extracts of the official courses at Vanderbilt to cling to when choosing my intended classes to my best knowledge; i.e. you should always take into consideration what kind of goals you have, influencing your choice. E.g. if you plan to have some of your classes acknowledged afterwards, you ought to be eager enough to take courses that might likely be accepted from your professor back home. Therefore, please be seriously aware of this matter.]

Another requirement which had to be fulfilled was the TOEFL test (Test of English as a Foreign Language); this will be your official certificate of language proficiency, since speaking the language sufficiently is basically assumed.
With regard to my personal experience, I also had to pass the required Vordiplom at this stage of the application process and to guarantee that I was willing to graduate as Master of Business Administration within a specific period of time. Moreover, I had to hand in the grade of my exam at high school (Abitur).

Now that you have gone the whole nine yards, you will be informed within an acceptable amount of time whether your application has been approved or not.

Upon receiving this approval letter you ought to be immediately game for starting your journey to this new world without having any doubts that you are the lucky person.

Provided that you will belong to the elite circle of selected students from now on, the necessity of paperwork, however, won’t stop: you need to get an official paper that you are going to interrupt your studies for about 2 semesters. This letter should make clear that you will undertake so-called Urlaubssemester, i.e. the purpose of this information is to officially declare that you won’t lose the red thread of your original studies at home. In other words, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the total number of semesters you need to graduate in Germany will be accumulated in the academic year, which is motivational by any means. In case you firmly plan on finishing your studies; however, the amount of semesters spent there will be added, which makes perfect sense either.

Here we go again listing the most important key issues in terms of the application process:

-Be aware of personal traits and academic goals.
-Take advantage of contacts with the Akademisches Auslandsamt [i.e. Study Abroad Office].
-Get involved in the application procedure: read literature, ask former students, touch base with the International Office.
-Try to work as a counselor regarding student affairs.
-Choose your favorite university among several options or cling to a personal ranking list.
-Focus upon pre-registration: select proper courses/classes being worthwhile for your career/intentions.
-Make sure that housing/accommodation is being solved for the time being abroad and at home.
-Try to figure out way ahead which courses may be accepted by your professor back home.
-Clarify organizational questions concerning faculty matters and administrative topics.
-Mostly, passing the ‘Vordiplom’ is supposed to be a major prerequisite: keep an eye on your grades!
-Guarantee reliable financial assistance (cost of living, daily expenses, room, board, health insurance fees and books).

Are you ready to get valuable know how regarding the life of an exchange student overseas? I can surely offer you a sound manual encompassing hands on tips and recommendations for such an academic adventure.


Tips on Finding University Scholarships and Other Funding

When considering your career, it is also important to think about the education. Many businesses will not hire without a college education. Canada offers many wonderful universities to choose from for furthering your education. If you are worried over how to pay for a college education, there are many options to choose from such as scholarships or a work program.

The work study programs offered through a university will give you employment on the campus and the part of the money you earn will be used for financing classes. It is a great way to gain experience and pay for your education.

Another option is to apply for grants. The grants are government money you apply for to help with financing your education. A grant will normally pay for an entire semester of classes as well as books. The grants are not required to be paid back and you can receive a grant for each semester.

Student loans are also available, however, these need to be repaid so should be used as a last resort for financing. If you do not complete the education and drop out at any time, you will be required to immediately begin repayment.

A scholarship is an excellent way to fund your education. They are sometimes in small amounts so you may have to apply for several or you can apply for them as well as other means of paying for the classes. Scholarships are available in vast amounts for a large variety of options such as the school you choose or some are available only to women or those of a specific ethnic background. Many times while in high school scholarships will be offered for good grades or specific sport programs.

A good education is important in Canada and the country is very good about the funding’s they offer. The universities are excellent in Canada as well. There is funding available through various means such as writing a good essay and doing well on an entrance exam.

The sooner you begin to research the funding possibilities to continue your education the more options you will have. Each university will have additional funding available and they vary according to the school.

If you have been a stay at home mom or are now retired, it is still a perfect time to further your education. It is not unusual for many older adults to go back and complete their educations that they were unable to complete earlier. The best time to go is straight from high school, however, for many that is not possible. There are many funding options available for older adults returning to college.

While in high school getting a position as a volunteer is a great way to seek out possible options for careers. A great many of the businesses that hire volunteers will also provide funding for educations if you continue to work with them following graduation.

There are many excellent choices for Canadian universities and many different available scholarships. The more applications and essays you write, the larger your odds are of getting additional funding for school. For more options go online and search college funding and begin filling out the numerous responses you will get.


How to Keep Your Child in College

Listen to any feelings and/or fears that your child may express to you. College can be overwhelming causing many students to feel insecure or unsure of themselves.

Don’t be judgmental or belittle your child. This will only add to their doubts.

Reaffirm your faith in your child’s ability to succeed. Let them know that you are proud of them for the steps that they are taking to secure their future.

If you yourself went to college, let your child know that you too had fears during your college years. In fact everyone at some time or another.

Furthermore, don’t reinforce your child’s feelings of failure by encouraging them to come home. Once they are home they may find it very hard to go back to school.

Remind them that everyone needs support at some point and that the services of their college’s student counseling center is always available to help them sort out their feelings and fears about college.

If the issue is financial, you and your child should seek help from the Office of Student Aid. Once they explain their situation, they may be able to assist them in obtaining funding through several available options, such as work study, student and parent loans as well as scholarships. For further information regarding financial aid assistance check out the link below in the resource area.

Below is a list of several helpful books that are available through Amazon that can help them deal with some of the issues they may be facing as well as books for parents that will provide further advise on assisting your child.

– Campus Calm University: The College Student’s 10-Step Blueprint to Stop Stressing & Create a Happy, Purposeful Life by Maria Pascucci

– College Survival Tips for Parents: Fostering Growth and Independence in Your Kids by Ceil Hall

– College Survival Tips: What Your Mother Might Not Tell You About Making The Grade


College Success in a Study Abroad Program

I have struggled all my life with books. Some of my colleagues were self proclaimed smart workers and some were modest enough to say that they are hardworking but dumb. In my case I tried both smart work and hard work but, unfortunately neither of the strategies worked. I guess success in college is a goal achieved by maintaining a balance.

Everyone cannot have a balance but definitely everyone wants to be successful in accomplishing their goals. Your goals while you are in an international college / University range from passing a certain number of courses to getting a degree, from eventually getting a job to getting a job that is best. Your goals may range from improving yourself personally, financially and intellectually to keeping your family happy. Whatever your goal is, the bottom line is that you want to make an impact on the college scenario by staying on top while you are away from your home country. The following suggestions cannot guarantee success in a study abroad program but they will improve the probability of success if followed

Be Organized.

To succeed at an American college / European University, a student must be organized. The college will have a counseling department with advisors who can help the student structure the best program. It is then up to the student to handle four or more courses at once, write and hand in term papers on time, and prepare for examinations.

Try to be different things to different people.

Every professor and every employer you face in your quest for getting the best in a foreign university will be different with varied expectations from you. I suggest that all students should invariably maintain a good relation with the instructors and moreover you should be able to find out their academic and professional interests through your departments or websites of your instructors. It pays to have a good knowledge of what the individual professors are looking for, which professors are difficult or have personality problems, which professors are well loved or generate a lot of loyalty among the students. The more experienced students can be helpful sources for this information.

Always abide by the rules and laws.

Throughout a college student’s school career, he or she must pay careful attention to deadlines, school regulations and the paperwork the school bureaucracy requires. Fees should be paid on time. Lack of attention to paperwork and deadlines can cause tremendous problems, especially for foreign students.

Handle your coursework with utmost Care.

In college go straight and turn right. A major part of college success involves the choice your curriculum. There are various forms you have to fill before you actually start the course or during the course. These forms are predictive of your graduation plans and decide your future in a study abroad program. It is important to consider the employment situation after college, or whether or not graduate study is planned. Advance planning will give the college student a good career foundation.


Effective Ways to Pass the College Admission Exams

University admission or College Admission exams is an examination for which a student needs to undergo to enter tertiary education at colleges/universities.

This examination plays a very crucial role in determining the student’s advancement in education and career opportunities. Passing the College Admission exams in sought-after universities gives the student an edge in preparation for his future. We will be discussing some ways or tips on how to prepare and pass the College Admission exams.

Taking review classes is certainly useful. Learning again the things that you have learned yet might have forgotten is one way of passing the exam. These review classes usually give out tips and studying ways specifically created for this type of examination. Usually, teachers or instructors on these review classes scored flying colors in the exam. They could share their best practices and key points in winning that prized score.

Patience is a virtue. The preparation process is no joke. Hours of hard work pays overtime. So burn the midnight oil and muster what you can in the time being. It is essential that you have a plan for studying. A study plan is like a to-do list for the day. You can set a number of lessons for a specific number of hours on a day to day basis. You can manage your time and at the same time, not clogging your brain with too much information.

Get as much information about the exam or the contents of it as much as possible. Develop the skill to be resourceful and have the initiative to make things happen. Try to research on topics that are unfamiliar and broaden your knowledge by reading things that might be asked on the exam. It pays to read.

Some experts say that it is best that on the day before the exam, you should treat yourself. Try to relax and not think about the exam. Refrain from reading reviewers or manuals. Give your brain some time to relax and rest. It will be beneficial since it will be bombarded with questions the next day.

On the day of the College Admission exams, be early as possible. Prepare the things that you need the night before to avoid cramming. Grab a big bite. It is best to have a full stomach before taking the test. Wear something comfortable on that day. It wouldn’t be wise to be wearing something that might hinder you from concentrating with the test.

College Admission exams are usually with multiple choices though it varies from institution to institution or country to country. The exam has a limited time and it is best to set a pace for answering. Speed and accuracy is a vital factor here. Having enough time to answer the remaining questions or if done, review your answers is an advantage. Remember that your score will depend on how many correct answers you can have for the entire duration of the test hours. Read all the questions and be sure with your answers. If unsure, mark the number and proceed to the next question. But before you proceed to the next phase or part of the test, be sure to go back to the marked numbers and answer them.

Since the exam is composed of multiple choice questions, try to eliminate the wrong options first before answering. It is easier to answer if you only have a lesser number of choices and it gives you a bigger chance of getting the right one. Some questions can be alien sometimes, or topics that you don’t have any idea what they are about. Making an educated guess after eliminating the obvious wrong choices will also give you a better chance of bagging the gold.

There are times that you will want to change answers. This is normal especially if you have no idea what the question is about or might have forgotten what the answer is. The answers that we put in first are often the right ones. Make sure that if you change answers, you have a reason behind it. It is not advised to change answers just because you feel like doing it or if you base it on a gut feel. Be as sure as you possibly can when answering the first time in order to avoid changing of answers and best of all save time for more difficult questions.

Passing the College Admission exams is no easy task. Try to relax while taking the exam. You will have a bigger chance of finishing the test on time if you take one question at a time. There is no need to rush. Read the instructions and questions carefully to avoid mistakes. Breathe in. Breathe out.


Tips on Adapting to Academic Culture

Acculturation is the process in which a person adapts to a new culture by adopting the beliefs and behaviors of that culture. The faster and more effectively a person can adapt to a new culture, the more likely he or she is to feel accepted and relaxed.

Academic acculturation happens when students adapt to the post-secondary environment by adopting the customs of a tradition of a higher learning institution that dates back to the ancient Greeks.

If you think about a new culture, ideas about language, behavior, customs and dress, among other things, probably come to mind. You don’t have to agree with all aspects of the new culture. For example, you may believe that women shouldn’t have to cover their heads. Yet, if you go to a place where it is customary for women to do this, then women who travel there fit in much better if they do. The point is not to judge the beliefs of the new culture as being good or bad, but rather to adapt for the purposes of fitting in. Adopting and honoring the customs of the new culture demonstrates your respect for it. Whether or not you agree with a custom is different from whether or not you choose to adopt it. Your success in a new culture may depend on how well you can adapt to it.

If you look at the post-secondary institution as a new culture, you can apply the same principles as if you are traveling to a new country. If you honor and respect the customs of the institution, even if you don’t personally agree with them, you are more likely to be accepted and successful in your environment.

Universities are institutions of formal learning. So if you are in doubt about how to act, opt for a more formal approach over a less formal approach. Don’t overdo it, or you will look ridiculous. But adding the slightest touch of formality to your language, behavior and dress can make an incredible difference to your success in a formal learning institution. You may not agree with the traditions of formality, or customs that may seem outdated and stuffy. The point is that by learning and adapting to the customs of the environment, you’re more likely to be accepted and even protected and helped by the senior members of the culture, which in this case would be your professors. Win their respect and you are likely to achieve success in the academic setting. For example:


Universities (and to some extent, colleges) are based on an old European model that dates back to Greek and Roman times. As a result, the language of the academy is full of words that have Greek and Latin roots, such as:

Greek-root words:

academic, academy
Latin-root words:

process, procedure
cognitive, cognition
study, studious
objective, objectivity
When speaking and writing in the post-secondary environment, try to choose words of Greek or Latin origin. Providing you’ve chosen the right word to convey your meaning, you’ll sound more academic. Fluency in academic language will set you above those who do not respect the linguistic traditions of higher education.


Learning how to behave in a new culture is tricky. You want to be yourself and at the same time, you want to fit in. In an academic environment behaviors that will help you fit in are:

Inquisitiveness – Express curiosity about what you are learning when you are talking to your professors. An inquisitive attitude, evidenced by you asking intelligent questions, shows you are curious. You win points for that.

Attention – Falling asleep in class, doing computer work or texting when the instructor is talking and staring off into space are all signs that you are not paying attention. Your instructors will notice. Focus your attention on what’s happening in class. Even if you’re not really into it, fake it if you need to. Just stay engaged.


Scholars are not known for their fashion sense. Having said that, there is a tradition of conservative dress among academics. While this doesn’t mean that you need to go out and buy a tweed jacket and a pair of Birkenstocks (unless you like that look), it does mean that opting for more conservative clothing choices for class, meetings with professors and group presentations will help you fit in and seem more academic. Adding a sports jacket or blazer to an outfit adds a touch of formality that will meet with approval in an academic setting.


Address your instructors by their title (e.g. Professor Smith or Doctor Smith) unless they invite you to do otherwise. Start e-mail correspondence with “Dear…”, not “Hi” or “Hey”. Don’t use excessively formal language or you’ll sound completely pretentious, but dialing up the formality just a notch can help you win respect and develop good rapport with professors in an academic setting.


Tips for Securing and Succeeding in Your Internship

Tip 1: Choose your internship wisely

Do not stand for any old internship. You must aim for an internship that best suits your career ambitions. I have seen many students and graduates simply accept an offer to then end up quite literally serving as tea boy or coffee maid. Unless this is the only way into the organisation or industry of your choice, avoid such internships. The whole point of the internship is to provide you with skills you could otherwise not obtain. Serving teas and coffees is something you can do in your spare time and even be paid for it. There are many unscrupulous organisations out there who dangle the carrot of the internship in front of students and graduates who are however only interested in cheap (or free!) labor.

Tip 2: Get the internship you want

This tip follows from the previous one. The first step is to identify potential internship providers, the second is to ensure you get the internship. The advice here conforms to general advice on how to secure a job, however, with some added insight into how this might work for you as a student or recent graduate.

If possible, draw the employer’s attention to work you did while at college/university. I always advise my dissertation students to use their dissertations as exemplars of what they are capable of and furthermore to demonstrate knowledge of an industry, product, market etc. If you have yet to start your thesis then consider how you might use this to promote yourself in future.

Be creative in drawing attention to yourself. A recent example was a graduate who found out when employees at a particular firm had their lunch break. The student prepared labels for coffee cups with a brief version of his CV. He then bought a round of coffee, added the labels to the cups (the labels were professional looking by the way) and delivered them to the organisation. He got an interview and the job!

Tip 3: Make a good impression

This one is tricky. You obviously want to shine in your role as intern (at least I hope you do). The only danger here is that you may step on others’ toes. This has happened a number of acquaintances. If you are joining a high-flying organisation with a culture of commitment then your efforts to shine are likely to be rewarded. Bear in mind though that not all organisations work like this. In fact, one of the realities of organisational life is that things are often a lot less orderly and ‘business-like’ than you might expect. Spend the first week or two just getting a feel for how things are done before you try to make changes to the status quo. Believe me, no-one likes a know-it-all even if your suggestions make sense. No-one likes the employee who works harder than all the rest thereby shining a negative like on co-workers. By all means, get recognised, but do so smartly without upsetting the rest of the crew.


Tips for Attending a College Fair

Attending college fairs is one way that students can begin the process of narrowing down what schools to apply to for higher education. There are many institutions available with representatives on hand to explain the application process. This is a key step for high school students, especially those who have not yet made decisions on where they want to attend or what major they might pursue.

The Set-Up
Most college fairs are sponsored by a school or local career counseling agencies in an effort to help high school students find a career path through higher education. Many private schools and local government educational systems offer college fairs as a means to help their students excel in education and attend college. The event may be held during the school day or in the evening, depending on the location. It typically features representatives from at least dozens different colleges, universities and trade schools. The fair is usually set up in a large room, such as the cafeteria or gymnasium with separate tables for each school. At least one representative from each university – sometimes more – sits at the booth with a few empty chairs for students to sit and chat. Brochures and paraphernalia from the institution are available for visitors to take as they wish. Students walk around the room and visit each table to learn more about the schools and their programs. Most participants are from local universities that draw a large number of students from that high school or district, or would like to boost their recruiting class.

The purpose of college fairs is two-fold. The schools want to find potential applicants that can enhance their student body. The students want to find a university that offers their major and is a good fit for earning a college degree. Students can find out more about various undergraduate scholarships for college, as well as grants and financial aid packages, by speaking to these representatives. When planned in advance, some universities will use this as an opportunity to interview potential bidders for academic scholarships and early admissions applicants.

Students who want to make the most of the fair should do a little bit of homework beforehand. They should secure a list of attendees and determine whether any hold their interest. If the student does not know anything about the school, they might consider looking up location, school size, tuition costs and whether they offer the student’s major interest or have a reputable sports program that fits the player’s talents. Making a list of each university of interest is the first step. A list of questions will help to narrow down the choices for applications.

Visiting Tables
Each table will hope to have as many possible recruits visit with them as they can muster. The student should take time to visit only those tables that pique their interest. Most representatives will ask each child to fill out an interest card. This will put them on a mailing list. Kids who plan ahead will create and bring along stickers imprinted with their name, address, telephone, high school, expected graduation date, major of interest and sports or extracurricular interests. These stickers can be affixed to the interest cards, saving a lot of time and hand cramping from excessive writing.

Some fairs will offer informational sessions or seminars about choosing the right college and familiarizing high school students with the admissions, acceptance, scholarships and financial aid processes. Those seeking more information will want to attend these free and objective events.


3 Tips to Help You Earn Your Education

Interested to find out about studying in a tuition free college? Education for some has been an impossible dream largely due to the expenses to be incurred when getting a degree. But now, there are tuition free colleges where you can earn your degree from.

Locating resources about tuition free colleges is not that hard. You will find below tips that will help you earn your degree from a free tuition college.

1. Information on any tuition free college is very much available online. Thanks to technological advancements, it easy to get information on almost any subject you want to learn about.

Just key in the topic you want to research and with a click of the mouse you will have in front of you a volume of information on what you have searched for. You will just need to point and click on what you want to know about.

2. Go over the different free tuition colleges one by one and get to know each one of them. See the different courses they offer. Find out what degree you would want to earn from any one of them.

Familiarize yourself with their admission requirements and procedures. Make a checklist of what you have and don’t have. This will help you know what you need to secure to earn your degree.

3. Verify the credibility of the tuition free college. Even if you do not spend for the tuition, all your hard work and time invested will be wasted when you find out that the college you had enrolled in is not authorized by the accrediting bodies.


Successful College Preparation Tips For High School Students

The transition from high school to college can be a stressful time for many students, therefore college preparation for high school students is something that should not be overlooked either by the students themselves, or their guidance counselors and mentors. The senior year is a time when you should sit back and think about your future career plans. By giving this some serious thought, you are less likely to end up on a course that you subsequently realize is not what you want to do.

The fall of your senior year is when you need to decide which colleges and universities are best suited to your needs. If you have a long list of possibilities, it is worth spending time thinking about which criteria are the most important to you. Read a college preparation guide for advice in helping you draw up a sensible shortlist.

Take the opportunity to visit the colleges you are interested in to find out what they offer and to see if they feel right for you. Talk to friends who are already at college to gain some first hand experience of what college life is really like. While you still have plenty of time to save up some cash, find out all you need to know about how you are going to finance your time at college. Make sure that you do not slack off in your studies. It might feel like you have reached the end of a long road, but now is not the time to take a rest and chill out. Advanced courses in English, math, science, and foreign languages, will help you be better prepared for your first year in college. They may also help earn you college credits for courses you are preparing to take.

It is a good idea to get involved with plenty of extra curricular activities. Even if you have already been accepted at the college of your choice, taking on voluntary work for the local community helps to develop important career skills and sometimes it can help crystallize your future career plans.

Use the summer break prior to college to start a reading list. It is a great time to get some early preparation done before you start your courses in the fall. Speak to your counselors for more useful tips for college preparation for high school students as well as obtaining a college preparation guide.


Home School Tips For Working Parents

Home school families tend to be busy. They are busy because there seems to be more time available for many other activities along with schooling. Because of this scheduling is a priority. As a family, time is needed to not only school but to get along as a family. If you find your self running in different directions with out time to breathe or relax, you are in need of a schedule.

It is very possible to home school your children and have a work at home business. Many people I know have such situations are very successful. But again, the main reason is scheduling. It is important to have a routine set in place for you and your children. With a routine, you are able to school your children, maintain your house and run a successful business all at the same time. I am living proof of that very thing, and of course had to go through trial and error before finding what worked for us. I hope to share some insight on that so that you can be successful too.

Here are some tips to guide you:

* Family Calendar – sit as a family and design a calendar. It can be very simple or more elaborate with color coding for each family member and their activities. Determining the time needed for each activity including schooling will help you design your hours to work at home.

* Set time limits on electronics such television time and computer time. This is very important since this seems to take up a lot of precious time. We limit computer time for each child to an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. Sometimes it changes because of the school work that needs to be accomplished with the computer but setting time limits makes them get their work done quicker.

* Do not use the television as a babysitter. Having many children, it is very easy to rely on the television to entertain your children while working with another child, but this can also be avoided. Choose some quiet time toys or games for them to play with in place of the television.

* Incorporate siesta time or quiet time into your daily routine. During this time children can take naps or read books or color which in turn will give you time to work at your business or other chores you may have. The children must be made aware that this is quiet time and you can use this time wisely for your business.

* Use a helper. You may either hire a helper or have an older child help with the other children, so that you can get work accomplished. This is a great opportunity for a fellow home schooler to earn extra money or for an older sibling to learn responsibilities in caring for the younger ones or help tutor them as well.

It has taken me some time to develop a schedule that works for our family and it is one that continuously changes, but with a daily routine the children know what to expect. It is amazing home much time we truly have if we remove the distractions of electronics. We read together as a family and cook as a family. These are times that we are not only bonding as a family but the children are learning as well.

The beauty of home schooling is that we are not restrained by time schedules. What I mean is that we do not have to be up at the crack of dawn to catch a school bus. We can determine our schedule according to the activities we have planned for the day. We can schedule classes to begin at 10am or schedule ourselves to be finished by lunchtime. We are able to take family vacations and still school our children if we choose. Every moment is incorporated into our home school life.

Having the flexibility enables us to have a work at home business. The children will see us incorporate our time wisely and will learn valuable lessons from watching us. Scheduling has worked for us because of our home business. When not working we are schooling and because home schooling is basically one on one tutoring, the time spent teaching is valuable. You will be amazed at how much schooling can get done in a short amount of time. Use your time wisely and you too, will have a successful home school environment and a business you can be proud of.