Thursday, April 5, 2018

Beyond IELTS: The International Student’s Guide to Life in the US

Done with your course at the IELTS review center in Manila? Gearing up for your big move to America to continue your studies? Be prepared for life in the land of opportunity! Reduce culture shock and shorten your adjustment period by considering the guide below.

IELTS Guide to Life in the US


     1.    Finding accommodation
Don’t have a family or friends with whom you can live with when you study in America? Check out the accommodation options below.

·         On-campus dormitory
Living in a dormitory has a lot of advantages. It removes the need to commute to and fro the campus. It puts you in a place where you can easily engage in campus activities and access your university’s facilities. If your school offers on-campus lodging, apply immediately after admission. Don’t assume that you’re automatically reserved a dorm room because you’re an international student.

·         Apartment
Not up to following dorm curfews? Consider leasing an apartment. It might be more expensive compared with on-campus accommodation, but the freedom it provides is often worth it. Choose your apartment wisely. Ask around and find off-campus housing providers that really care for their tenants.

·         Homestay
A homestay arrangement happens when an international student stays with an American family for the duration of his or her program. It’s an accommodation option that mostly only available for students that are not older than 18.

     2.   Getting to know the college life in the US
Universities in the US are certainly different from those in the Philippines. Here are some things about college life in America that’ll surprise you.

·         The academic year is usually either divided into semesters (in which you have midterms and then finals) or into quarters (each capped off by finals).

·         College social scenes are not always frat-based. They vary from school to school. Some are wild and liberal while some are formal and conservative. Some are frat- or sorority-centered while others are sports- or organization-focused.

·         You don’t have to settle on a major immediately. If you’re not sure on what course you want to pursue, you have until the end of your sophomore year to decide.

·         Engaging in extracurricular activities is a must. These can help you develop your skills, gain experience, meet new people, and expand your network. You don’t have to participate in an activity that’s in line with your major. Join one that catches your interest and learn a new skill!

Still attending classes at the IELTS review center in Manila? Ask your instructors for their movie and book recommendations for people aiming for the US. Watch programs set in an American university to get to know college culture.

     3.   Adjusting to know your new place
Preparing for your life as an international student shouldn’t be limited to getting to know the American college system. You should also study up on the other aspects of life abroad. Below are the basics of the US transport system, weather, and currency.

Regarding transportation
Commutes in America are more efficient and extensive compared with commutes in the Philippines. You can travel by bicycle, bus, train, and subway. If you live off-campus, consider all the possible routes you can take going to school. Explore your transportation options.

Regarding the weather
There are four seasons in America, and they usually follow the schedule below.

·         Spring – March to May
·         Summer – June to August
·         Autumn – September to November
·         Winter – December to February

To understand the weather in the US, you must know that the time and attributes of the seasons vary from place to place.

Winter in the southern states, for instance, is fairly mild compared with the heavy snow and cold temperatures experienced in the northern states. Southern states during the summer, on the other hand, often experience extremely high temperatures while northern states experience a fairly warm climate.

Regarding money
The United States Dollar (USD) is the official currency of America. Here are the different kinds of USD bills and coins.

USD notes: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100
USD coins:
·         Penny – 1 cent  
·         Nickel – 5 cents
·         Dime – 10 cents
·         Quarter – 25 cents
·         Half Dollar – 50 cents
·         Dollar coin - $1

Memorize these figures before leaving the Philippines to reduce transaction blunders. Also, take note of the many names (e.g., bucks, cash, greenbacks, etc.) that US currency can take. If you’re still taking IELTS review classes, add US currency to your must-learn vocabulary list.

Knowing what to expect when you move to America will help you ease into your new life faster. So, do your homework. Research about life in the US before you leave the Philippines—or, even better—during your IELTS review period, so you can hit the ground running when you start your college life abroad. 

References:
"Accommodation Options for US Schools | Study in the USA." International Student. Accessed March 19, 2018. https://www.internationalstudent.com/study_usa/way-of-life/accommodation/.

Cooke, Daniel. "Studying in America: The College Experience." The Independent. September 23, 2013. Accessed March 19, 2018. http://www.independent.co.uk/student/study-abroad/studying-in-america-the-college-experience-8835048.html.

Dawson, Rich. "The Top 10 Myths About Attending University in America." CollegeXpress. Accessed March 19, 2018. https://www.collegexpress.com/interests/international-students/articles/campus-life-culture-shock/top-10-myths-about-universities-and-colleges-america/.

Diane, and University Language. "Types of US Currency." The Campus Commons. Accessed March 19, 2018. https://www.universitylanguage.com/guides/us-currency/.

"Graduate Study in the US: Guide for International Students." Top Universities. November 01, 2016. Accessed March 19, 2018. https://www.topuniversities.com/where-to-study/north-america/united-states/graduate-study-us-guide-international-students.

Pranabudi, Indira. "What to Know About the U.S. College Experience Before Applying." U.S. News & World Report. Accessed March 19, 2018. https://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/international-student-counsel/2014/09/09/what-to-know-about-the-us-college-experience-before-applying.

"Public Transport in the USA." InterNations. Accessed March 19, 2018. https://www.internations.org/usa-expats/guide/29462-transport-driving/public-transport-in-the-usa-16259.

"Student Accommodations—International Student Travel Center." International Student. Accessed March 19, 2018. https://www.internationalstudent.com/travel/accommodations/.

"Study in the USA Guide for International Students." International Student. Accessed March 19, 2018. https://www.internationalstudent.com/study_usa/.

"Survival Guide for International Students: Your First 168 Hours in the United States." Times Higher Education (THE). September 14, 2016. Accessed March 19, 2018. https://www.timeshighereducation.com/student/advice/survival-guide-international-students-your-first-168-hours-united-states.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Top 5 Universities in Australia Accepting IELTS


With its unique landscape and exciting culture, Australia is not only one of the most popular destination for travelers, but is also high on the list for IELTS test takers who want to study abroad. Aside from that, this country is also the home of seven of the top 100 universities in the world. In addition to that, the Australian government invests around $200,000,000 in international scholarships annually.

Do you want to study in Australia? Universities in Australia require a minimum IELTS score for those students who wish to apply for either an undergraduate or postgraduate course. Most test takers enroll in an IELTS reviewclass in order to enhance their IELTS preparation and meet the needed IELTS score.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Spotting Keywords in IELTS Reading Test

Keyword spotting is an effective strategy in acing your IELTS reading test. It enables you to look for specific words in the reading questions that can help you to locate the right answer. Moreover, keyword spotting lets you read long passages in a shorter period so you can have more time to check your answers properly. Practicing this strategy in your IELTS review class can increase your chances of attaining high scores on your reading exam.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

How to Use the Charting Method in Note-taking


Note-taking isan essential tool to keep all the information, tips and strategies that you get in your IELTS review center. In Manila, instructors require their students to practice note-taking during their review session. Aside from that, reviewing your notes at home increases your chance of getting excellent results in an IELTS exam. But did you know that there are ways to enhance your note-taking skills? Using the charting method is one of it.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

5 Habits of Excellent Speakers

Although enrolling in an IELTS review center is a surefire way to boost your chances of acing the English-proficiency exam, it is still imperative that you engage in self-study sessions.
·         Engaging in self-study sessions allows you to level up your test-preparation.

      ·         It lets you discover other review strategies that might be helpful in pursuing your score goal.
      ·         It boosts your English communication skills.

Engaging in self-study sessions also allows you to determine your weaknesses and implement ways to strengthen them. For instance, some students in the IELTS review center find the Speaking section the most challenging part of the exam. Admit it or not, speaking in a foreign language can be challenging, especially if you lack proper training. This is when practicing on your own becomes essential.