Monthly Archives: July 2017

The UK and Australia on Education

We often rave over the many reasons to study abroad. And they’re all true: From learning a second language to enriching your global perspective, the list of benefits of international studies is long. However, if you’re thinking of pursuing a graduate degree, you may also be wondering whether there are any key differences between grad studies abroad and in your home country. Here’s a closer look at five ways US grad school programs and UK and Australiagrad school programs differ.

1. Duration of Study

While the typical master’s degree in the US takes two years, master’s degrees in the UK and Australia can be completed in a much shorter amount of time — many in as little as a year. A PhD, meanwhile, takes around three years in the UK and Australia — compared to five in the US. Not only can trimming time off your degree amp up your earning potential by getting you into the workforce sooner, but you’ll also save money on tuition and living expenses due to the shorter duration.

2. Flexibility

Because US degrees graduate degrees are spread over two years, they are often broader in nature — at least in the beginning. This can be an advantage for students looking for the freedom to explore different specializations and areas of research. In the UK, meanwhile, degrees are more specialized and self-directed. Students who already know what they want to focus on can immediately begin directing their efforts into this area and finish up sooner.

 

The World through Renewable Energies Studies?

Human demand for once-abundance natural resources now exceeds what the earth can renew by more than 60 percent, according to the Global Footprint Network. One of the biggest challenges facing humankind moving forward? Energy. And while one approach involves continued reliance on harmful fossil fuels until they run out completely, another has a very different and sustainable strategy at its core: switching the focus to renewable energy resources. Here’s a closer look at this innovative solution, along with how you can become involved in the vital effort to power the planet while simultaneously protecting it.

Why Renewable Energies are the Future

The U.S. Energy Administration recently forecast renewable energies to be the fastest-growing power source through the year 2040. Which begs the question: What makes “renewable energies” such an important area?  While the world has long relied on fossil fuels, including coal, oil and natural gas, for energy, these are nonrenewable — meaning they draw on finite resources which are not only dwindling, but also increasingly expensive and environmentally destructive.

Conversely, renewable energies — the most prominent being solar, wind and hydropower, but also including biomass, geothermal, ocean and others — can be perpetually created or recreated. In other words, they are self-sustaining and so never run out on the timescale on mankind.

Countries all over the world are turning to renewable energies in the hopes of reversing our dependence on fossil fuels and harnessing the full potential of new technologies. Says Dr. Martin Heinrich, an administrator and instructor at Germany’s University of Freiburg, “Slowly governments and decision makers realized that renewable energies may allow a sustaining electricity generation for the future, which also avoids the huge emission of greenhouse gasses and dependencies on oil producing countries. This has been shown by the COP21 agreement in Paris and also companies such as BP, Shell, Total, Statoil, Repsol and Eni starting to invest into renewable energies or into methods of reducing oil and gas usage.”

In the US alone, investments in the renewable energies sector rose from $8 billion in the first quarter of 2004 to $50 billion in 2015’s first quarter, according to data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, with more utilities companies investing in alternative energy solutions.

Within the RE sector, meanwhile, wind energy is taking an increasingly prominent position, according to the University of Kassel’s Dr. André Bisevic: “[2015 and 2016] were two impressive years for the wind industry worldwide. In 2016, 54,6 GW were installed all over the world. Especially the strong appetite for wind energy in China is responsible for this development.  It can be assumed that the increasing demand will continue in the coming years. According to estimates of the highly reputable Massachusetts of Technology (MIT), wind power could supply circa 26 percent of China´s projected electricity demand in the next 15 years.” The result? Positive environmental and economic effects around the globe.

On a macroscopic scale, renewable energies have the power to change the world. But we also need people to make that happen — specifically, people with the knowledge and expertise to understand and implement renewable energies. Because of this, the field is developing at a staggering pace, and is expected to continue to do so in the decades ahead.

According to HowStuffWorks, “With increasing government and private funding of renewable energy, the industry as a whole is exploding, and along with it the number of potential jobs in the green-power sector…If there were such a thing as a sure thing, expansion in green-energy employment opportunities would be it. It’s a huge market, encompassing solar power, wind power, geothermal energy, biofuels and hydropower, for a start. Research and development are ongoing, large-scale capability is increasing, and real-world implementation of renewable-energy technologies is growing by the day.”

Echoes Heinrich, “The huge interest by governments and companies worldwide increases the need for qualified personnel in the field of renewables and solar energy.”

Study What You Love

The voices of Pragmatism and Passion sit opposite each other, one on each of your shoulders, telling you what you should—or shouldn’t—do.  We’re here to tell you that you should study what you love.  If what you love happens to be practical for your career, so much the better.  If it’s not, you’ll figure out a way to make it lucrative.  Want to paint?Paint.  Want to act? Act.  Want to manage money? Manage money.  Want to teach?  Do it.  Want to sing? Sing your heart out.  Here’s why:

 

1. Money ≠ Happiness

A 2010 study by Tim Judge shows what we’ve heard all along: money doesn’t buy happiness.  If you study something that you don’t enjoy in the hopes of getting a job that you don’t enjoy, but that pays well, there’s a good chance, you won’t be happy.  You’ll just have lots of money.  The results of that study show that the correlation between salary and job satisfaction is weak.  Corollary: if you want to engage with your job, money isn’t the answer—it doesn’t buy engagement (see #2).

2. Engagement

You can go through the motions of a job or course of study for which you don’t care and do just fine.  But why would you want to?  You can pursue something you love and have a job you like less—but the ideal?  Pursue something you love, engage in it, and let it drive your job search and your life.  Studies show that to be engaged in your work, you need to find something that gives you meaning and that you enjoy doing.  The desire to do what you want will allow you to engage in your work and feel inspired (see #3).

Tourism Can Make the World A Better Place

The United Nations (UN) designated 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.  Why?  Tourism brings people to places they’ve never traveled, encouraging cross-cultural understanding—and bringing business to those places.

With eco-tourism and other forms of “responsible” travel on the rise, consider some salient reasons why sustainable tourism may offer you a chance to make a difference by using your entrepreneurial and business savvy.

Done the right way, sustainable tourism will make the world a better place.  Let’s find out how—and what to look out for:

1. Fast-growing Economic Sector

One of the fastest growing sectors not just in tourism, but in the whole economy, sustainable tourism stimulates economic growth and job creation.  When tourism is “sustainable,” there is an implied permanence—and a conservation of resources.  As sustainable tourism takes off, the need for jobs to protect wildlife, biodiversity, and fragile ecosystems for people to visit becomes clear—as does the need for experts who can act as “tour guides” of a sustainable tourist destination.  In addition, tourists need places to stay, places to eat, and things to do.  See #2 and #4.

2. Tourism Linked to Development

Sustainable tourism generates jobs, which generates increases in incomes, which creates options for people—and allows them to improve their quality of life.

Consider the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), an international development agency that promotes private entrepreneurship in the developing world.  One of their subsidiaries includes Tourism Promotion Services, which owns and manages 26 hotels, resorts, lodges, and camps in Africa and Asia—all under one brand name.  Their goal?  To catalyze local growth of private sector ventures by coalescing international investment, business skills, and local knowledge.  AKFED focuses on using local or regional suppliers whenever possible, relying on local networks, offering internship opportunities for local youth, and building local infrastructure, in addition to building its properties.  One project that AKFED has encouraged?  Access to clean drinking water in places where they have projects.

For more examples of how tourism and development are linked, check out Harvard University’s report on “The Role of the Tourism Sector in Expanding Economic Opportunity.”

Help Students Stay On Track

Talk to any university student, and a common concern rises to the top: keeping up with the massive demands of a college course load. Luckily, today’s students have a huge advantage over students from 20, 10 or even five years ago. The best part? It fits handily in their back pockets. Of course, we’re talking about smartphones and — more specifically — the many apps designed to keep students connected, organized and on top of the demands of university life. Here’s a closer look at five popular organizer apps for today’s college students.

1. myHomework

This isn’t your mother’s planner. From receiving homework reminders to automatically downloading course files, this user-friendly, cross-platform planner syncs across all devices supporting easy access to classes and assignments at any time from any location. The result? A one-stop shop solution for tracking homework and assignments.

So how does myHomework stack up in a crowded field of similar options? AppPicker says, “With so many homework planners, organizers, and journals out there available to students it can be hard to wade through them to find the best one for you. This one just so happens to be a well-laid out, simple to use, and very effective app that may bring your search to an end. It’s ideal for college students who have multiple classes with assignments, tests, and homework they need to keep track of.”

2. Class Timetable (iOS)/Timetable (Android)

Think nothing will ever come between you and your conventional organizer? Class Timetable may overhaul your way of thinking.

Says Lifehacker, “Timetable takes all of the great things about a paper student organizer and puts them on your Android phone or tablet. You’ll always have a view with your schedule on it, so even though you eventually come to know by memory where you’re supposed to be at what time, you’ll always have a place to look at it. Timetable also makes it easy to note which days are holidays and vacation days, what assignments you have due on what days, which days you have exams or quizzes, and more. You can even search across assignments and classes…The app also supports DashClock Widget, so you can see your events on your lock screen, and comes with home screen widgets as well for a quick view of the class that’s coming up, or any lessons and tasks you have to do right now.”

Not only does it save timetables and tasks including everything from homework to exams, but it even automatically mutes during classes. Added points for its beautiful display.