Differences When Living Abroad

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Whether it be for study abroad, for work experience, or for any other reason at all, moving abroad can be both an extremely stressful and exciting opportunity in life. Once abroad you will find that many things are different and that some things that to you seem small and insignificant could be a big deal in another country. Here are five things you learn when moving abroad.

What Things Are Worth Can Be Different

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Things cost different amounts in different countries but the changes can be a lot more drastic than expected, especially if you are moving from a country with high costs like the U.S.A to a country such as Greece where the economy is struggling and prices are relatively low. It is a good idea to check conversion rates and the cost of living in the country that you are moving to in order to figure out how much you will need to spend.

People May Judge You

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Although everyone likes to think that they don’t have any predispositions towards other races, everyone has their own stereotypes and views of different cultures and races. It will be different being in a foreign country where people are not the same as you, and you are likely to be seen as different and judged based on where you are from. The liability of foreignness is a concept that says that being foreign is a liability in another country based on cultural views of what it means to be a native.

Other Cultures Aren’t Always as They Seem

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As mentioned in the previous point, you may have predispositions towards other races when going abroad. However, it is often nice to see that some of these can be completely wrong and may catch you by surprise. Although some cultural tendencies and stereotypes may come from a true place, it is important to keep an open mind as you never know how people may behave.

Actions that Seem Trivial May Not Be So

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Things that may seem small in one country, may have a much greater level of importance in others. In Europe and many other countries, check kissing upon greeting is very normalized. The amount of kisses varies from country to country and even within countries. However, this action within the United States would often be seen as an unwarranted familiarity that is inappropriate.

Things Can Mean Something Completely Different

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Signs, phrases, and actions in one country that are deemed appropriate may be completely inappropriate in others. One example of this is gift giving in India. In the United States there are not many real rules to gift giving, but if you hand somebody a gift in India, it can be seen as dirty as that is said to be the hand you use when utilizing the bathroom. The backwards peace sign in the US also means relatively nothing but is a extremely rude gesture in the United Kingdom.

There are a lot of things that might surprise you when living abroad, so do some research on the country and culture to be prepared!

Why Ballet is Great for College Students

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Ballet Culture

Ballet-Culture
A great way to take a short break from your studies during the week and learn relaxation techniques, strengthen your muscles, and endurance is by participating in ballet classes. Most ballet studios have classes for adults and college students can participate in the classes. Also, some liberal arts colleges offer introductory ballet courses to their students to earn an extra half a credit or so for physical exercise. Ballet helps you become a more successful individual and achiever in a multiplicity of subjects, since both your mind and body work at once when performing. The soothing classical music also helps your brain to think on a more advanced level while your body is working. Since modern culture does not possess the features of the past, ballet is one way to help you become a more accomplished and educated individual in a modern world. Modern culture is inculcated in technological advancements that do not promote the drive for individual success because the new devices think for us, as opposed to the specificity and quality of art, intellect, and talent shown as the main dynamic in the past culture’s focus on art. You become acquainted with French words, which not only increase your vocabulary, but also you attain a more complex understanding of a foreign culture and language.

Bar Exercises in Class

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Participating in ballet class helps your endurance, determination, and focus as you have to perform intricate moves and steps and piece them together. Class begins with exercises at the bar. During this time you complete a round of plies in various positions, rond de jambs, and arabesques. There are usually other bar stretching exercises to help you become limber before performing the main routines. At this time, you are warming up to complete more rigorous moves. You must keep your head raised and slightly tilted, your shoulders aligned, your back straight, hold your arms throughout the exercises slightly bent, your toes pointed at the correct angle, your legs turned out, and your fingers slightly separated and curved while doing the bar exercises. It is especially important to do this when beginning the bar exercises because you must start the lesson with technique. You are required to think about this technique all at once while executing the precision of the exercise, which helps you to learn to multitask. Multitasking is often required to succeed in college- so you’re training yourself.

Floor Exercises in Class

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After warming up at the bar, there are floor exercises. The dance instructor begins to work through routines beginning with less strenuous ones that progress into more complex performances by the end of the class. You have to learn to transition from the bar to the floor and keep your balance by tightening up and thinking even more about the technique at the bar. Usually the instructor starts with a series of simpler exercises such as pot de bourrees, piques, glissades, and pas de chats that lead into more complicated jumps and turns. These exercises teach you how to progressively think in more complex terms, and such thinking is necessary to succeed in most areas of life.

Final Performance in Class

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By the end of the class, you learn to put the ballet routines together in a more complex sequence and perform them. Each class is more of a new learning experience than others because each class has new and varied combinations to learn, which makes the art of ballet more intriguing than other forms of athletics. You have to constantly be thinking as you are on your toes when you take ballet to improve your technique, which makes it a worthwhile challenge.

To sum it up, ballet can be an extremely rewarding hobby for a college student. You will increase your vocabulary, learn to multitask and train yourself to think quicker and more complexly. Go ahead, give it a twirl. Find a dance studio near you.

Comment below with your thoughts and experiences of ballet.

Basic Studying Tips Reinvented

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Everyone knows the basic studying tips: note cards, reading and notes. These are cookie-cutter study tips everyone knows, but they don’t always work for everyone. These tips below are variations on the basic tips and allow you to make studying fit your personality! If you make your studying habits your own, this allows you to learn and understand the material, instead of just memorizing it.

Note Cards

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The basic version is to write a word on one side and the textbook definition on the other. Instead, try reading as much as you can stand about the topic: read the chapter, an article, etc. Once you feel like you’ve got a grasp on the topic, that’s when you write your note cards out. Write the note cards in your own words and in whatever style fits you better: lists, prose, shorthand, anything.

Why it Works: If you understand a topic before you write about it, or take notes on it, the notes then become a review-not a lesson.

Reading

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Reading the textbook is a necessity to taking most classes. Studies have shown that just reading the textbook and rereading it until you know it is one of the least effective ways to learn material. So, this tip is for anyone who doesn’t like notes or note cards, and just reads the material. Read something other than the standard textbook. Read the material in the book for the class and then find another source-be that another book, an article, a documentary, or YouTube video about the topic- and study that one too. Sometimes reading the same book written in the same voice causes people to zone out while studying. Don’t zone!

Why it Works: Supplementing your reading with other sources will give you a better idea of the material and be more familiar with it.

Notes

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Notes can be basic: you write down things you think are important as you read. This works for some people, but for others its just going through a motion. Instead try a similar tactic to the note card strategy: read in its entirety and then take notes. Write the notes in your own words, and write them as if you’re explaining it to someone else.

Why it Works: When you’re going back through and reviewing the notes, you’ll be able to easily understand them and follow the material without having to crack the book open again.

These are variations on studying tips I’ve found to work for me.Understanding the material is the best way to remember it. Good luck hitting the books!

Comment below if they helped or if you’ve found variations of your own. 

Why be an Orientation Leader?

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orientation-leader

School is starting back soon and one way that you can improve your leadership and communication skills is to choose to become an orientation leader. Participating in leadership opportunities while you are in college not only helps you attain the capabilities to become a better student, but it also strengthens your ability to become successful in the world outside of college once you complete your education. Becoming a student leader demonstrates your public speaking and communication skills that are necessary to become an accomplished student. By becoming an orientation leader, you show the incoming students how receiving a college education is both empowering and worthwhile.

Teaching students the importance of communicating in groups is critical for their success during the first year of school, since they are becoming acquainted with college studies and student life for the first time. The orientation leader sets a positive example for students to become active participants in classroom discussions and to become group leaders outside of class. Students befriend other classmates in orientation that they would not ordinarily meet during their class schedules. This allows them to make other contacts that will help them succeed, and the role of the orientation leaders is to encourage these connections. The orientation leaders share their college experiences to set an example for students as they make new friends and embark on their college journeys and new college experiences of their own. The activities orientation leaders use during orientation week show students how to be creative in both the thought that goes into their school work and to complete group work assigned by the professor. Orientation leaders take the first step in making a difference in the future student’s success and involvement in student life.

Being an influential student leader encourages students to participate in other student activities such as sorority and fraternity rush, SGA, band, multicultural and diversity events, and sports. Orientation leaders teach students that they should do their part and strive to become actively involved in leadership and social events in college to help the college become more appealing to new students. College participation is an active process that requires students to both complete their studies and prove the college’s rank among other schools regarding academics as well as participation in extra-curricular activities. Orientation leaders receive the opportunity to display the outstanding traits to the faculty and staff that exemplifies their abilities to complete the rigorous college school work and demonstrate their extra-curricular qualifications that made them successful in school.

How to Improve Your Political Efficacy

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As 2016 gets nearer and the presidential election looms closer, it is more and more important for voters to be informed. For many college students, it is the first time that they will be able to vote in a presidential election. It is thus very important to be informed to make sure that you are voting for the candidate who reflects your views and who you believe will do the best job. Here are some ways to become more informed about politics on the main stage.

Join A College Political Group

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Most colleges have political groups for many different interests. These offer an opportunity to talk with like-minded individuals, increase political knowledge, and attend political events and speeches that many others would not have the chance to. These groups can have varying levels of involvement so check before joining or do a trial to make sure it is right for you.

Figure out your Own Stances

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Spend time reading over each topic in the internet or watching on television in order to figure out what you believe and your personal views on topics. Often your view may change slightly after reading more information and learning more about the topics.

Learn the Candidates’ Stances

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Charisma is an important trait, but most elections come down to stances. In order to figure out who you want to vote for, you should take a look at each politician’s stances on issues that are important to you. This can help separate out the candidates that you would like to be president from those who you think would be wrong.

Attend Political Speeches and Debates

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It is much easier for college students to gain access to political speeches and debates. Try to gain access through school affiliations first of as it may be the cheapest and easiest way to get in. However, events that are not affiliated with schools also tend to allow students to attend, sometimes for a small entrance fee.