Monday, January 26, 2015

Oh The Places You Will Go...

We’ve all been pushed into applying for a Study Abroad. Likewise, we’ve all made excuses on why we couldn’t do it:
“I don’t have time”
“It’s too expensive”
 “I’ve never been out of the country before”
 If you have a sincere desire to see the world, these reasons should be the last thing on your mind.

 Here at KSU, you have greater access to cheap and safe travel then you will ever have again in your lifetime. Every person that goes on a study abroad is eligible to receive numerous scholarships, some of which are guaranteed! If your job now gives you a hard time asking a few weeks off, your career after college will likely be that much more difficult.
We’ve all heard the reasons not to go on a study abroad.  Let’s take a look at just a few of the reasons TO GO:

 Enhance Your Global Awareness: You can enhance your awareness of the world around you by studying abroad. To be an educated citizen today requires students to able to see the world through others' eyes and to understand the international dimensions of the problems we confront as a nation skills that are enhanced by an education abroad experience.

Enhance Your Academic Learning: You can help enhance your academic learning by studying abroad. A study abroad experience will introduce you to new professors who can expose you to new viewpoints beyond your campus, and a diverse student body that can introduce you to different customs and cultures. A study abroad experience also lets you expand your academic learning outside of the classroom, because you live what you are learning.

Develop Your Leadership Skills: You can strengthen your leadership skills by studying abroad. An educational opportunity outside the United States can be among the most valuable tools for preparing a student to participate and lead effectively in an increasingly interconnected international community that demands cross-cultural skills and knowledge.

Advance Your Career: You can help advance your career by studying abroad. In today's increasingly global society, obtaining international skills and knowledge can make you more marketable in getting a job and more productive once you're in the job.

Experience Personal Growth: You can experience significant personal growth by studying abroad. Students who study abroad discover that in the process of learning about other countries and culture they end up learning more about themselves in ways that simply cannot be replicated in the comforting and familiar confines of an American campus.

Learn Another Language: Students can better learn another language by studying abroad. Immersion in another language through study abroad is one of the best ways to gain proficiency in that language.

Ok, so let’s say this convinced you and you’re ready to go take on the world! Where do you go? Luckily, KSU offers a great search engine that can cater to your exact situation. First, go to It should look something like this:

Or you could simple ask to list all of them. If none of them look interesting, there are also options of designing your own through an exchange program. These can last anywhere from 2 weeks to a year! Pick any that look interesting and you can see more detail:

Once you’ve found a program that you like, select apply now. It will ask you to login with your KSU NetID and Password. After login, you will have to select apply again. Unless there are special criteria, you should have your acceptance letter very soon if not immediately.

However, you aren’t done yet. Going to your program page you’ll notice several steps with blank boxes (mine are checked):

The most important one for all of these is the $300 deposit. You will be removed from the registration if you have not submitted this by the registration due date. The rest of them are all very straightforward. Most simply require acknowledgement that you have read it. Once you have completed this step, the Education Abroad office will contact you on when to have your at-home orientation. They will explain everything you need for passports, visas, and packing as well as the classes themselves. Don’t forget that February is the deadline for all applications!

Good luck and have fun!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Getting The Best Bang For Your Holiday Bucks!

Oh, the holidays. The parties, the songs, the snow, the negative number in your bank account. For those of us on a budget, the holidays are rough. We all want to go to every party in a stunning outfit and give fabulous gifts to everyone we know but that costs a pretty penny.

Tip One: Budget
 If you are doing a Secret Santa with friends or giving gifts to family, then establish how much is going to be spent and stick to it. We know you’re looking for coolest friend status, but you can achieve that by flexing your awesome personality, not your bank account. 

Tip Two: Hand Made Presents
Being broke sucks but being creative and broke sucks way less. People cherish a homemade gift, so bring out your inner Martha Stewart and start creating. There are many homemade gift ideas online and on Pinterest!

Tip Three: Pick Up Some Extra work
            If you want to make a little more money over the holidays (and you have the energy and time) then there are usually opportunities with retailers. You could try to sell clothes and items that you don’t use anymore for extra cash as well. There are many online yard sales which are a great way to get quick and easy cash!

Tip Four: Traveling
            Traveling can be fun and enjoyable; however, can put a big dent in your wallet. Planning is key to saving money when traveling. Plan and pack meals when traveling. Food can add up if you are constantly eating out. You can save a lot of money on plane tickets if you fly the day of a holiday. If carpooling is an option, then do it! Gas is expensive and can add up quickly.

Tip Five: Credit Cards
            Ideally, you'll want to pay everything off immediately. Have a choice of cards? Always use the card that offers the lowest interest rate. A good idea is to track your credit card spending just as you would if you were writing a check. Remember: It's really easy in the flurry of the holiday spending to run around and not keep track.

Tip Six: Send E-cards

They're free -- or only cost a couple of dollars -- and don't require postage. Some even play music, making them a fun, free way to catch up with far-flung friends and family.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Wise Owl's Guide to Surviving Finals

Finals week in college can feel like the academic version of the Hunger Games. We’re stressed out, exhausted and doing everything we can to stay sane. Surviving finals is all about finding the balance between getting everything done on time and not overworking yourself. Check out these tips for surviving finals week.

Pick a Good Place to study!
Pick a study space that is quiet and free of distractions, whether that’s a cafĂ© or a quiet corner of the library. Know what works for you and what doesn’t.

Plan out your studying!
Keep in mind how many exams you have to study for and how much time you’ll need to spend on each one. This way, you can focus on one project at a time, which will prevent you from getting overwhelmed.

Build in breaks!
Build breaks that are nourishing in body, mind or spirit into your studying time. Some examples may include spending quality time with friends or exercising.

Take advantage of programming!
Take advantage of RA programming. Many RA’s will be throwing programs giving you great tips on how to de-stress during finals week and things to do to get your mind off of finals for a minute.

Stay Hydrated
Your brain works best when it's hydrated. Dehydration causes fatigue and headaches, which will distract you from your work. Caffeine dehydrates you more, so for every coffee you have, have a glass or bottle of water; your body and mind will thank you.

Catch some ZZZ's
Everyone has different sleep habits, but it is never healthy to pull an all-nighter. If you do, make sure you have time to take a nap so you get the sleep your body needs. Sleep will improve the quality and retention of studying, even though you may have less study time. Less is more.

Relax you will do fine!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Holiday Decor & More!

Decorating can be extremely important during the holidays and can put pressure on an individual or family who is hosting dinner, festive activities or just having guests over for a visit. Some may need help thinking of ideas or just making their decorations pop. Here are some simple things one can do to have memorable and favorable decorations for the holidays.

  •        Adding fruit decorations to the greenery can add a pop of color and brighten up the decorations. This can make the room have more color over all and can even make a positive atmosphere. If fruit decorations are not available, ribbon works as well.
  •       Recycling old decorations is wonderful tools you can use to make something look nice as well as save money. You can use old ornaments to create a centerpiece for the table or countertops. Select a few colors to stick to and place the ornaments in a bowl, vase or even a cake stand. You can add leaves or pinecones as well.
  •       Wrapping greenery around the staircase and doorway can help bring a more forestry atmosphere to the room. You can even decorate the greenery with lights or ribbon.
  •       Adding bells to the door handles are a nice simple way to decorate as well. These can help make you guests feel welcomed when they enter the house or room because people are guaranteed to notice them.
  •       Having soft music playing is also a good way to help “decorate” the atmosphere because it can calm, excite, and just bring a positive feeling into the room music with lyrics can even spark conversation if someone has certain memories connected to a song.
  •       If a special toast is planned a simple bow tie with ribbon around the glasses can help bring decoration as well. This is also a good idea for parties as well.
  •       You can also make your guests feel special by creating goodie bags and placing them on a table or rack near the door. Or you could leave a jar of candy or treats for them to eat while visiting.
  •       Placing positive notes or favorite holiday quotes or phrases around the house or room is a good way to help your guests feel welcomed. You can even give them a note to take home with them. A simple thank you note or you favorite quote or phrase can have your guest leaving with smiles.