Living and studying in Finland_ Arctic safe haven for international students

Finland is becoming more international with each passing day. While proud of their rich Nordic culture, Finns are curious about new cultures and put effort into making Finland a remarkable connection between Europe and the rest of the world.

The climate in Finland is a mixture of maritime and continental, depending on the location. The Golf current flowing from the south bring warm winds and thus the climate the northern Europe is warmer than in other locations in the same latitude.

Finland is a country that offers many career and life opportunities, may it be for students, expats and even families! Why it is the new perfect destination for foreign students and immigrants and the happiest country for the second consecutive year? There are 3 perfect answers: Let’s find out.

Study life: In general, Finland is well known for its highly ranked education system.

This is not merely a myth, but it also seems to be experienced by many international students. Students appreciate the universities in Finland mainly for its high academic standards and the teaching staff, especially mentioning about everyone being very student friendly.

Freedom: This is no doubt one of the best qualities of Finland. Students has freedom to choose and study on a phase that is not too competitive and fierce, thus allowing students to be more creative while improving self-learning and problem-solving skills.

Haven for travelers: One of the most well-connected countries in the world: Finland is located in North of Europe and you can travel to over 130 destinations in Europe, Asia or North America in just a few short hours. It is home to Vanajavesi, a long narrow lake, Aulanko park and the famous red brick castle as noted among the few landmarks of the country. For a quick escapade of grand architectures, you can also visit Hämeenlinna Historical Museum, the Santa Claus Village or a quick tour at Åland Islands, students and families and travelers van visit the islands on midsummer’s eve and join the ancient celebration marking the longest day of the year!

Be it adventure or calmness that you’re looking for, you will find it in Finland!

Find out more about our Host universities and study programs here: https://bit.ly/2PluTBt    

The ultimate student test is, without a doubt, the exams. But they have a reputation too tough for what they really are. If you think about it, every graduate survived university examinations and is alive to tell the tale. I myself have been asked this question many times during our webinars. So here is what came out: how I survived uni exams, and how can you do it!

It is important to understand why exams exist. They are not there to make you suffer (hopefully), but to achieve a certain set of goals: to inform the teacher of your progress, to help you crystallize the knowledge, and to help the institution prove that you are worthy of the title they are providing you with.

Think about it! This is just another bureaucratical step in giving you an official title. So whether you consider exams as an aid to memorize or quite the contrary, you need to be friends with them in order to pass. And there are a couple of tricks to get it over with.

Many students asked us about exams during our webinars

NO, I´M NOT TALKING ABOUT CHEATING

As much as it might sound fun, universities take cheating very seriously. Maybe you or someone you knew did cheat in high-school, but this is not it. Cheating in university exams is considered illegal in many places. Provided that you might already be of legal age, you just cannot risk it. One of the big steps towards maturity is becoming an honest person.

So then, how do you survive university exams? You can check our last blog to see a list of all suggested studying techniques, but here are some tricks.

-“The sneaky summary”-

This is technically not cheating but I am sure teachers would hate it. But I have successfully used it in many occasions: If you are able to summarize all of your content (or the worst part) in a short scheme or summary, you just have to keep that in your mind. But if you still have problems with that, here is what you do: you look at this short checklist until the last minute, then put it away. When you are given the exam papers, you use the last blank paper they give you to very quickly write it down by memory. Even before reading the questions. Then, when you start writing, you have the support of your “cheat sheet”.

-“Exam simulation”-

Not many people use this technique, but you might find exam papers from previous years, or last year students might remember what the exam was. It is very useful to try to accomplish these “fake exams” at home, with an alarm clock stating the time. This way you can know for sure if you are prepared.

 -“Behind-the-door posters”-

It is also great to make big posters with the content, and stick them behind doors, on the wall or wardrobe doors, windows etc. If you take quick glances at it many times a day, you will reinforce your long-term memory of those and therefore find it easier to remember during the exam itself.

Other important things

Clothing: It is more important than what you think: Being able to strip to a t-shirt if it is too hot or wear a jacket and light scarf if it is too cold is vital for your performance: you are going to be put to the test so don´t let your body draw you back: maybe you are very nervous and feel very hot, or maybe the AC has been cranked up and you start feeling shivers.

Controlling your nerves: This is one of the reasons why many people have a bad performance during exams. The accumulation of stress and sleep deprivation that precedes an exam can break most and ruin an otherwise perfect exam. It is important that, even if you cannot eat and sleep well before an exam, you know how to control your pulse and body reactions. Devote the 15 minutes previous to the exam to breathe slowly. You will realize that when you breathe very deep and slowly, your heart cannot accelerate, and you will find your symptoms reduced. Practice deep breathing and other techniques of nerve control to improve your results.

Write in the comments if you ever used one of these tricks, or if you know any others! Check our upcoming webinar opportunities here, and also check our other blogs in the series “surviving uni” volume one and two!

Barcelona College of Chiropractor (BCC) is the world’s first bilingual college of chiropractic, it offers the Master´s program and undergraduate  course credits in both English and Spanish. Chiropractor is a discipline that developed in the Western World due to a fluke experiment. In 1895, Daniel David Palmer, a magnetic healer living in the Midwest of the U.S., restored the hearing of a patient who had been deaf since injuring his spine 17 years prior. Palmer located and adjusted a displaced vertebra in the patient’s spine. Palmer hypothesized that the patient’s deafness had been caused by the effect of the displaced vertebra on the patient’s nervous system.

Learning Chiropractics

The college is now one of the top colleges for chiropractic medicine and the college is affiliated with one of Spain´s top leading universities; The Pompeau Fabra University and students get to have electives at the university. The program consists of a 4 year undergraduate degree program and then a one year Master´s Program. This will result in the certification of a double degree: BCC and IDEC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

Upon completion of the program your skills as a chiropractor will be fully in demand. According to recent statistics Spain has only one chiropractor for every 370,000 inhabitants, in other anglophone speaking countries the statistic is only slightly lower meaning that the employment rates upon completion of the program is very high, regardless of what country you are in. As part of the course as well students get to carry out work experience in the field.

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Furthermore living in Barcelona will give the students who study the course the opportunity to live in one of the most metropolitan and beautiful cities in Europe. The city has a great international student vibe and has lots of artistic and cultural history. The music scene is booming and there are dozens of restaurants and tapas bars to eat at. As well as studying an up and coming chiropractic course you will be get to live in a great city.

If you would like to learn more

about the degree and Master´s in chiropractic from Barcelona College of Chiropractor then be sure to sign up for the free webinar available on Demand. During the webinar you will learn about the admissions process, the course structure and career options.

Although you might not believe, some people do not struggle with uni. Some people even find time to do other activities. And others are so passionate about something that they overcome the titanic task of studying and undertaking extra-curricular activities. There are many you can do, and you will soon find many people that are willing to share their time with you in doing such activities. Hence, we are going to go through most of the university extracurricular activities that you can do while studying abroad

Sports

Universities always promote sport among students. It is known that a healthy mind lives in a healthy body. It is not strange to find sports teams built around faculties or classes. But you will have to choose wisely, for this kind of activity is very vast:

  • Competitive sport vs not – Sometimes, the adrenaline of competition makes the experience worth it. Other times, the sport is about enjoying physical exercise or competing against yourself. Be aware of what kind of sport is played in each form (swimming, football, running, can all be both competitive or not competitive sports!).
  • Team vs Solo – If you are very social, you will enjoy any team sport, even if you are not great at it, just because you will get to be around other people. Or if you need time to disconnect from classes and classmates, you can choose a solo sport. Swimming is probably the most isolating sport, whereas rugby is normally prone to forming close groups.
  • Skill vs Health – All true sports are about physical condition. But the way in which this is expressed is different. You might need coordination, balance, control, resistance, brute strength, speed or great reflex. And the level of exhaustion after practice will also be different. On the one hand, CrossFit will drain all of your energy and have you ready to sleep. On the other hand, ping pong will require a lot of concentration and preciseness.

Research groups

Probably, the absolute opposite of sport is research groups. Some students gather to research about specific subjects, normally related to their studies. Research groups and PhDs are part of the life of University Professors, and those students that are to take the same pathway can take part in this adventure. This means you will spend more and more time in the classes and offices, library and others, helping teachers and research groups and also learning more than the average. It is a great opportunity to use university resources and learn if this new form of life is what you want to do in the future.

NGO´s

Another way of spending your time in university. If you feel a vocation to help others, if what you have learnt makes you see the world in a more critical way and you want to contribute to make it a better place, you should definitely become a volunteer in one of many NGO’s that cover anything from environmental issues to animal rights, political matters or socially demanding causes. Joining and NGO will not only give you a sense of purpose but provide you with many skills required in adulthood.

Internships & part time jobs

For some people, that are really focused on their future and want to quickly escalate the corporate ladder, it is a great idea to start having internships early on in university. Also, people that need to earn money or want to start saving can take part-time jobs. Both aspects are very demanding but will have you learn two very important lessons. The first one is the need for resilience and organization that a job requires. The other is the application of what you have learnt in class in the real world.

Music bands

If you spent your high school dreaming about being a rock star, you will certainly meet people in Uni that shared the same passion for music. It is also very usual to find music around universities: choirs or marching bands are a great tradition in many universities in America, and even in Europe.

University newspaper

It is very common in communication faculty, but you do not have to be part of the journalism degree to take part in the university newspaper or magazine. It is a great way to establish communication between students, outsiders, and teachers. You will also gain culture and knowledge while meeting new and interesting people.

Are you planning on joining any of these? Tell us in the comments!

You can review our Recommended Online Open Days to see webinars that can interest you. There, you will also be informed about university extracurricular activities. Studying Abroad is the way to go!

If anything, University parties are like nothing you have seen before. You will have to develop special skills to survive these university parties, and you better be prepared. So let us tell you our tips for surviving university parties and what types you will find. We will also share some fun anecdotes so that you get a real taste of what it will be!

Types of university parties:

  • University-organized parties: These are not the favorite ones, but sometimes attendance is compulsory.
  • Student association parties: They are actually very nice! They are organized by students or ex-students, who understand how to have fun and enjoy your time. You would be surprised of how well organized they can be (some even have rules). But more about that later.
  • Smaller groups of friends also organize parties in private buildings. These are great to stay safe and meet new people closely.
  • Erasmus parties – Understanding who organizes these parties is a mystery, but whoever does, he or she knows what fun is. These can be the wildest, funniest parties of all.
  • Galas and Balls – Just like the prom dance in high school, these are more ceremonial, but still, they never end well.

Many things happen in university parties, and unfortunately (or not), most people just forget about what happened, due to the side effects of spirituous beverages. And you want to make sure you follow the Uni party etiquette, don´t you? Follow this tutorial to not look like a rookie.

Drinking

No wine in uni parties. No wine. These parties are a celebration of fun and youth, not a celebration of style and class. So do distribute yourself between the “shot” community and the “beer” community, or even better: gravitate from one to the other. Some mixes are allowed, however. Just make sure to never drink them alone, and especially not while wearing a fedora or colorful socks.

Social Aspect

These parties are not about drinking, but about making friends and having fun. They are very social. Be nice and joyful and seek refuge in the community if something does not look right. You will find that these groups are organized in very funny ways, like Facebook groups and boards (where the most stupid quotes of the month are posted) or Informers, where a list of “who hooked up with who/m” is posted every Monday.

Theme parties and dress up

Students are constantly looking for excuses to celebrate, and they have some experience in doing so. From St. Patrick to Noche de Muertos, Oktoberfest to New Year´s Eve, every special event requires a dress up, a special attitude and songs. Also, many parties are held related to sports events (normally, when this or that team has won). Always be prepared, and never turn up with the wrong dress up: you will lose all your cool points.

Pranks

Although student parties are all about respect, pranks are also played in certain situations. For examples, first graders or freshmen go through pranks organized by the older students as a preparation of what is to come. In other cases, is the organizers that go through tests to make sure they can withstand the stress and responsibility.

Games

Leisure is also structured through various games to keep no one bored. These have also evolved over time: Pool and ping pong soon gave way to Beer-Pong and Challenges. Truth or dare (a rather old game by now) gave way to “Never have I ever”. And some card or dice game might still be played, but with the internet world, challenges have become more popular. Be aware that some of these challenges can be dangerous: always be rational and never be the first one trying something!

Wondering if you can survive university parties? Read on…

University parties will require preparation and training, but it is also O.K. to be a bit of a noob in first year: you will gain experience and, as much as you will become a professional after studying in uni, you will also excel in parties by that time. Just remember these basic No-nos:

  • Never drink more than you know you can´t handle. A friend was duct taped to a pole once because he couldn´t stand still after drinking… And there he was left until next morning!
  • Never ignore the Student Association’s Rules, like “never turn your back to the bartender, or never drink alone”. You will find that they all have a practical or social meaning.
  • Long live Rock n´ Roll… but do not destroy property.
  • Never drink and drive. You might have your keys removed by the bartender! One of our friends was taken home in a shopping cart because he couldn´t even stand.
  • Do not steal drinks from people: it is very not nice.
  • Do not drink alone, do not sing alone!

Finally, let´s close this blog with some anecdotes to remember. Check out our Recommended Online Open Days to study abroad and be able to attend these crazy parties. And check out our other blogs on how to survive university (parties, exams, classes…).

Party Stories

  • First graders have a private party and ask to close one of the floors of the pub. However, the waiter had to go up and down and cannot attend the bar the whole time and relies on the security cameras. One of the students realizes that there is a dead angle and that he can steal a bottle from behind the bar and drink for free, but when he tries to jump over the bar, being tipsy and nervous, he falls and faints on impact. When the bartender finds him asleep inside the bar, he carries him outside. He wakes up outside the back entrance with no coat and no way back in.
  • The last bar of the village is closed but the third-year students are not done, and they are very hungry. It is 5 am and nothing is open. No gas station or 24h place to buy food. But they realize that the train has a cafeteria service, and there is one leaving the train in half an hour. So they buy tickets and wait for the half an hour until they can get in the train and rush to the cafeteria wagon. Then they buy literally everything, and when they arrive at the next village and get down, they realize they do not have enough money to buy the tickets back. They just sit there in the station, still tipsy, and with one of them playing a piano that was sitting there in the middle of the train station.

Studying Abroad can carry a heavy load on your wallet. From university fees to plane tickets, and all expenses in between, it’s hard to make it work from a financial standpoint. You want to be able to explore and experience as much as possible while studying abroad, and we’re here to help.

In this blog post we will give you all the best tips to avoid overpaying for your study abroad experience and still fully enjoy the adventure!

1- Do your research

The first step to studying abroad on a budget is to properly plan prior research about where and how to do it. Look into all the most affordable universities, programs, and countries for the type of study and degree that you wish to complete. You can use some online tools to compare the cost of living in different places and make your selection from there. Make sure to also book your plane tickets in advance for your new country, as they can get quite pricey with time! Same goes for the accommodation, try to have your pick before others as the places with the best value for money are always the most popular. Once you have moved abroad, research remains key as you will have to keep an eye on potential offers for the different activities you’re into, always book your trips in advance, and check as many sources as you can before you dig into your wallet.

2- Learn to budget

For every purchase you make you will need income. And no matter where your monthly allowance comes from, the principles of budgeting are the same for everybody: what goes in must come out. But don’t stress, budgeting is much easier than it seems. Start by listing your income somewhere and remember to document every expense you make on a monthly basis. This includes but is not limited to: rent, utilities, flight tickets, groceries, restaurant bills, accommodation, school supplies, clothes, insurance, phone bills, and transportation. You can easily find apps to do this for you or if you are more old school, keep a notebook handy for this purpose.  If you wish, you can set an estimate of the savings you wish to reach in a given month and do your best to save up to that number every time. One simple trick for managing your finances: if you notice that you’re spending more than you’re earning, it’s time to rethink your strategy.

3- Scholarships

There’s no shame in applying for financial aid. It’s there for you to ensure that students enjoy all the benefits of a degree that will take them towards the ideal career path, no matter their personal background. Scholarships are available at a variety of universities worldwide, so have a look today to make sure you are eligible and know the specifics of the whole process. A scholarship will often depend on your previous accomplishments and grades and is reserved for highly performing students, so make sure to work hard in school and you will be rewarded with a financial peace of mind when looking for your higher studies.

4- Student ID

One of the first things you should do as you land in your adoptive country is acquiring your student ID. This will give you a lot of discounts to cinemas, museums, parks, and all types of benefits that cannot be overlooked! You never know when you might have access to a unique perk only available to students, and this extra piece of identification can always prove useful. If you have no way of getting one, you can always try getting discounts with your regular identification card, but it is widely advised to carry a student ID with you at all times.

5- Prioritize!

This cannot be stressed enough. Starting university and leaving your home is the perfect opportunity for a transition into your serious adult life. Studying abroad especially pushes you to learn on your own and hopefully not make too many mistakes on the way. Part of this aspect of your uni life means you must learn to manage your finances and find out what you should spend money on, and more importantly what you shouldn’t buy. Of course, this all depends on the budget you have at your disposal, and what lifestyle you choose for yourself. Try to avoid going shopping too much, as you will still need to fit everything in your suitcase for your trip back home. Learning to cook will also cost you less than eating out every day and will add another useful skill to your arsenal. Choose right over wrong, choose wisely over foolishly, and choose success over failure. In the end it’s all down to your personal priorities. Should you skip a few meals so you can party on the weekend? Maybe, but that’s part of the learning process.

5- Avoid the obvious

Many students going abroad will make the mistake of taking the typical touristic road and doing all the advertised excursions by fear of missing out on However, oftentimes this will be the most expensive option for you, and most likely the most boring one as well. Try looking into joining student groups through your friends, your campus society, and social media apps and you will find plenty of unique, fun ways to experience all that your country of choice has to offer. Besides, going on spontaneous adventures and discovering unknown paths is what will give you the most entertaining stories to tell at the end of the day.

6- Make your own money

Being a student means having fun, but it also means learning how to handle increasing responsibilities, and getting a part-time job is a great way to do just that! Although you might need to complete an internship near the end of your degree, it will most likely not be paid – or not very much – and can generally only last a few months, while working full time. Instead, you should opt for a casual student job that will not only break the monotony of your student life but will give you real life experience for the future. There are many options for getting a job as a student, as long as you have previously made sure that you have the proper visa to work in the country of your studies. Simply create a CV with all your relevant experience if you haven’t already, print it and go hand it to the manager of your favourite coffee shop, bar, supermarket, etc. With this job, you will earn the money you need to fully enjoy your free time and will also learn to appreciate that free time even more.

Hopefully, some of these tips can help you better plan your student journey abroad, and make sure you remain on top of your finances during the whole experience. In the end, money should not stop you from pursuing your dreams and studying abroad. Remember to be careful because every little thing adds up to a lot! Every year, thousands of students become victim to overdrawn account syndrome, but you don’t have to join them. Plan further for your studies by signing up to some of The Study Abroad Portal’s Online Open Days now, and get a head start on your finances!

Thrones season is upon us!

Winter has come and gone, and we finally got the long-awaited closure to a show that made us cry, scream, and suffer for so many years. But now that it’s all over, the survivors have to find something to do with their lives. How about earning a degree to pursue a real career that doesn’t have to do with raising dragons and fighting ice zombies? Therefore, we have imagined the ideal study destination for some of the key characters in the now classic fantasy/sci-fi HBO series Game of Thrones to help you choose the next step in your educational journey! Read on to get inspired and maybe you can follow the path of your favorite hero to earn a degree in a unique, magical place.

“It’s a big and beautiful world. Most of us live and die in the same corner where we were born and never get to see any of it. I don’t want to be most of us.”

– Oberyn Martell

1- Cersei Lannister: France

Going by the often-overused stereotypes of French people, Cersei would fit the mold perfectly. She is a beautiful yet unfriendly woman who has a habit of drinking to cope with a series of unhealthy life choices, and although we don’t know whether she is fond of eating frog legs, it is clear that if cigarettes existed in the GoT universe, she would be chain-smoking on a daily basis. In her student fantasy, Cersei rules over Europe from atop the Eiffel tower, clutching a glass of the finest Bordeaux while updating her Instagram story, hashtagging croissants and hoping her dad approves of her lifestyle. But that’s none of our business.

2- Ned Stark: Sweden & Finland

In the North, everything is better. It is known. A strong economy, unwavering loyalty, and the enduring need to pave the way for others are the values of the North. In this regard, Eddard Stark leads by example, being for many the moral compass and father figure of the first season of the show, before suffering his untimely demise. With their unmatched infrastructure, social values and systems, Sweden and Finland bring various unique benefits to international students coming to pursue their dream programme. These Nordic countries are also the ideal place for a proud northerner looking for a break from the city life, in need to get their head back on their shoulders.

3- Danaerys Targaryen: Morocco

For an international student who loves blazing heat, arid deserts, and unique challenges, Morocco may be the ideal place. Similar to her experience in Essos, joining the Dothraki and proving herself to be a fearless leader and breaker of chains, studying in the Maghreb is a challenge Danaerys Targaryen would complete without breaking a sweat. In fact, some of the most notable and breathtaking locations in the country are places she’s already familiar with and conquered: Ouarzazate (Pentos), Essaouira (Astapor), and Ait-Ben-Haddou (Yunkai/Pentos). What is more, the savory North African culinary culture will give you a dragon’s breath, whether you are into spicy tajines or tasty traditional mint teas.

4- Theon Greyjoy: Ireland

Putting a map of Europe side by side with one of Westeros, it’s easy to pinpoint exactly where the Iron Islands are meant to be. The personality of the Irish also reflects that of those who do not sow. Proud and independent, both of these lands believe that in order to live you must first drown, although in the case of the Irish they are most likely to drown in one of their many rich, local beers, while the ironborn drown in seawater. Theon Greyjoy, along with the rest of his family, would not hesitate to study in Ireland, if only for the sumptuous rocky landscapes reminiscent of the isles of Westeros.

5- Margaery Tyrell: Croatia

The Tyrells, rulers of Highgarden and wardens of the South, are known for their motto: “Growing Strong.” This relates accurately to the stunning Mediterranean land of Croatia, a country that has been growing for the past 24 years since the end of their war for independence from Yugoslavia. This timeless resilience coupled with the graceful scenery of this pearl of eastern Europe would surely make it Margaery’s study destination of choice. After all, Croatia’s Dubrovnik was the main filming location for Margaery’s most highly coveted prize: King’s Landing (and the crown that comes with it, of course).

6- Jon Snow: China

International students feel it’s important to find a country that matches their needs, habits, and personality. Jon Snow, the former bastard, lord commander of the Night’s Watch, king in the North, and eventual rightful heir to the Iron Throne is above all a man of honor with a particular fondness of impressive walls meant to keep enemies at bay. With this curriculum, there is no better place for a student like Jon looking to earn a degree abroad than China, the land of dragons.

7- The Night King: Russia

Who said that ruthless, icy killers did not need to get an education? Maybe it’s the reason the Night King is angry in the first place. After all, the white walkers are the furthest people from the Citadel in all of Westeros, yet they deserve knowledge same as everybody else. And what better place than Russia for a merciless leader who can effortlessly unite various forsaken peoples across a vast and cold territory? So if like the Night King, you live off your thirst for knowledge and unrelenting drive, this is your destination!

8- Arya Stark: Italy

A headstrong, feisty student such as Arya would fit perfectly in Italy. She’s a nimble, independent individual who could roam around the streets of Venice or Florence with much ease, checking items off her travel guide as she once checked names off her list of victims. All along the duration of show, Arya has made wonderous things happen to herself when it seemed all was doomed, so there is no doubt she would make a great international student. When you charge headfirst into an exam, just make sure to stick it with the pointy end! What do we say to failure? Not today.

9- Oberyn Martell: Spain

The people of Dorne are known for their likeness to warm weather and good southern wines, making them very at ease in the Spanish environment. In this setting, as long as he does not get into fights, Oberyn – and any other international student in Spain – will have the time of his life basking in the culture. Between all the distractions, however, let’s just hope studying in Spain won’t make your head explode!

10- Viserion: Canada

Any student who has gone abroad to Canada for their studies will tell you that going up north will quickly turn you into one of them, and as we saw in season 7, Viserion was in a similar predicament. Additionally, Canadians are renown worldwide for their warmth, and this is the least we can say about this reptile. These are all reasons that a beast such as Viserion would fit perfectly in this haven of North America.

In the end, it doesn’t matter who your favorite character is, nor where you choose to study abroad. What matters is that you take the leap and start living the life you deserve: a life of adventure, risks, and discovery. Oberyn himself said it best, “It’s a big and beautiful world. Most of us live and die in the same corner where we were born and never get to see any of it. I don’t want to be most of us.”

If you’re ready to see more of the world, check out the Study Abroad Portal’s upcoming Online Open Days to help you decide your future!

Surviving University, Volume 1: University classes.

University is, for many, the best period of a lifetime. It will prepare you for adulthood and equip you with the knowledge and memories that are worth having. But it is also a very challenging period. There are a series of quests and tasks that you will have to get good at, and we are going to address those here. For you, here it is: Surviving uni, volume 1.

Yes, you went through school and high school. You might think that you know all there is to know and that you will have no problems doing your degree or masters. But be aware, university lessons are different from the ones you had before.

-Teachers-

Teachers are definitely more knowledgeable in uni. If you have a genuine interest in the subject and want to present your questions, you will get a lot of information, and probably some recommendations as what to read to expand on the topic. As my tutor used to say: do not trust a teacher that does not own a lot of books. However, uni teachers are also very busy people that sometimes stick to a very “bureaucratic” behavior. Make sure you show interest in the subject if you want to gain their favor.

-Subjects-

There is one very positive aspect related to university subjects: you have chosen a branch of education that you like, so you will not have to study subjects that you do not like. True? Not completely. In fact, I have not found a single university student that liked every single subject they were studying. The trick is to try to relate every subject to something you love. Think of the football fan that studies the physics of footballs, the history of sports and so on.

-Classes-

The lessons themselves are different from what you know. University lessons are called “lectures” or “masterclasses”, and it is so because uni teachers have a certain level of freedom of what and how they can teach. Most probably, they will not be following a guidebook, but instead be reciting their own content, that they have refined with time. They might also provide you with a paper copy of it, or show a powerpoint presentation of it. But the most impressive fact is that university classes can contain up to two hundred students. So be prepared to take notes surrounded by many other people.

-Taking notes-

Provided what we just explained, you have to refine your technique. Some people will just copy every single word the teacher says (no surprises if you suddenly read “hey you! Wake up!” in between the notes). This becomes an automatic task. Others just take pictures of the powerpoint notes or ask their colleagues for their copy of the content. My preferred method was making schemes and simple notes of the content. Therefore, I made sure I was followed by the content and could later ask for the full pages to my colleagues. That was one of my keys to surviving Uni.

-Where to sit-

Normally, in amongst a university class, there are three groups of students: the first row, the average crowd and the last “rebels”. You should decide wisely on where to sit down, for it is not usual to change places, and you will soon realize that the teacher´s perception of your interest is also based on this. I remember a friend that had severe problems with staying awake in class, and he decided to sit on the first row. He was so nervous about the teacher that he would no longer fall asleep.

-Attending or not-

Attending uni classes or not is a whole topic of discussion by itself. Many students argue that you can totally pass your exams without attending, while some teachers make attendance compulsory and will fail anyone that did not take interest in the lectures. The fact is that attending can get tedious, but it is a great way to complement your studying routine: by attending regularly and making an effort in understanding the content, it is easier to remember the content later. Also, building up that resilience is important to be prepared for the future job market.

In the end, you will be strong and find a way to overcome university classes. Surviving Uni is possible!

But hopefully, now you know what to expect! If you feel you are ready for the challenge, check our recommended Online Open Days to Study Abroad!

Some of you have written to us about our first blog about classmate stereotypes. And you are right! We were missing so many, some of which belong to the European stereotypes. Europe has a variety of countries and cultures, but also many things in common. Schools and universities are very different than those around the world, and that is how students are very different from other students around the world. And therefore… Can we find funny and exaggerated stereotypes for these ones? Yes, we can! Here is a list of some European Classmate Stereotypes for you to enjoy!

European Classmates Stereotypes!

Rasta Rosie

  • Carries juggling balls everywhere
  • Loves plants, hates bras
  • Is nice to everyone
  • Steals toilet paper from uni toilet

Wannabe Willie

  • Loves vinyl
  • Only drinks homebrew beer
  • Plays the banjo

Healthy Heather

  • Is vegan, and also gluten and lactose intolerant
  • Argues with the Biology teacher
  • Arrives late to class because of CrossFit training

Rich Ruben

  • Already owns an Audi
  • Plays polo and rowing
  • Holidays in Cancun

Erasmus Elena

  • Doesn´t know the language
  • Attends every party
  • Gets the credits somehow

Social Sven

  • Hands out flyers
  • Remembers everybody´s names
  • Knows too many jokes

Unstable Ursula

  • Reads Nietzsche
  • Changes hair color every year
  • Calls classmates for help in the middle of the night

Attached Arthur

  • Gets picked up by his parents
  • Can´t cook
  • Acts tough, but passes out first

Do you know any of these? Did we miss any? Comment below! Watch our recommended Online Open Days and chose a degree or masters so that you can meet more people like this. You can find these people in programs in France, Italy, Spain or Germany.

We´ve said it a hundred times. Studying abroad in Europe is one of the best things you can do. Not only you will have a better-looking CV, but you will be more all-rounded and knowledgeable. But did you ever wonder why Americans love Europe to Study Abroad? First of all, choosing where to study in Europe is also a challenge. You might know Europe with the stereotype of being the land of “temperamental people” and “movies in which nothing happens”.

But Europe is full of surprises and opportunities: There are more than 25 different countries in Europe, and they are all very different and rich in history and costumes. Therefore, we are presenting this fun and stereotypical guide. Take it lightly and with humor but choose wisely: there are many destinations that you can select from!

France

Probably, one of the first countries that people think about when referring to Europe. France is known for good taste and style, which of course shows in its cuisine, fashion and classical music. This country is also known for social and political activity. This might be why French sometimes are portrayed with the stereotype of being “whiny”. If you look at recent past events, like “la defense” and “yellow vests”, it is clear that France is full of active and cooperative citizens. Enjoy the lovely views of Paris, Rennes, Lyon, or Nice, and even the sunny south coast of Marseille while you Study Abroad.

Italy

Italy has a personality of its own but is known to battle France in cooking and fashion. It has a dryer climate, however, and is completely different. Surrounded by coast and fields of wheat, its art and history have earned worldwide respect as a destination for tourists but also for studying abroad. Italians are renowned thanks to the stereotype of speaking too loud and too much. But they are very friendly people that will help you however they can. Being one of the countries with the richest ancient history, you cannot miss Rome, Milano, Venice, or Florence.

Germany

This country leads Europe in many ways. Its marvelous educational system, together with cheap tuition fees make it the nº1 destination. This industry/research-based country is known by the stereotype of “workaholism”. Germany is, however, an extremely aware, sustainable and culture-friendly country. And of course, you can enjoy many varieties of beer in Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Koln, or Stuttgart while you meet new people also studying abroad.

Spain

Spain is the great opposite of Germany: Spain has a hot climate and a culture of joy and happiness. Spain´s great coasts and landmarks make it one of the favorites for European tourists. Spanish carry the stereotype of being “lazy”. But if you meet one, you will see how hard-working Spanish people get to organize a great, fun party. Enjoy wine, fresh fruit, and olive oil while studying abroad in Madrid, Barcelona, Granada, Sevilla, or Valencia.

Holland

Unfortunately, not many people realize that Holland hosts a gem of European Tourism: Amsterdam. As much as you might like the city of canals, bikes, and weed, Holland is a small country with a lot of educational opportunities. The people in the Netherlands seem too picky and straight forward. But the Dutch are the entrepreneurs of Europe and have even managed to gain land to the sea! Visit the mills and nature of Maastricht, Rotterdam, or Utrecht and attend classes at cutting-edge universities.

Scandinavians

You can find several countries that are cataloged as Scandinavians. Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, mainly, but we could also include Finland, Iceland, and even Greenland. These are the descendants of Danes and Vikings and deal with very tough climate and very strange sun schedules. Even though they carry the stereotype of being tough or brute, they have very good educational systems and very innovative and minimalistic lifestyles. Studying Abroad in Helsinki, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, or Reykjavik is a challenge and will look great in any CV.

Need a hint?

Thinking about Studying Abroad? Refer to our webinars to learn more about international European Programs. This is why Americans love Europe to Study Abroad! Come join us!