Study in Multiple Countries

Many university study abroad programs used to encourage students to study abroad during their junior year. This wisdom was based on the idea that most students would be well-established in their degree field, but would still have time upon return to take any additional requirements and still graduate within four years. But the value of international education has outstripped traditional ideas of academic security, and more and more students are looking for ways to earn their degrees abroad. Still many students imagine that studying abroad multiple times or long-term is completely out of reach for the average student.

Luckily, governments around the world realize the value of international students and campuses around the world are ready and waiting for students from abroad. So why wait? Grab your passport and read on to find out why you should earn your degree abroad!

1. It’s not expensive

Only 10% of American students study abroad, and one of the major deterrents is the perceived costs of international study. And even those students who realize the value of a study abroad experience often believe that their funds will only cover a short-term semester or year program. But the truth is that studying abroad doesn’t have to be expensive, and in some cases completing your degree abroad could be more affordable than staying domestic. Of course, there will always be countries, universities, and programs that can break the bank but if you choose wisely, you can study in one or more locations overseas without wracking up a ton of student debt. If you want to maintain a domestic presence, start by considering tuition-exchange programs. Your school’s study abroad office can help you identify programs where your tuition (and sometimes room and board) will be the same as your home institution. And you’re not limited to a single tuition-exchange experience, so can study psychology in the Netherlands, round off your Spanish minor in Peru, and complete your honors project in Indonesia without paying more for tuition than you would at home.

But what if you want to earn your entire degree abroad? Again, it doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many countries around the world where tuition is low or free for international students, and while living costs can vary from country to country if you do your research a degree abroad could cost a fraction of a four-year program at home. Universities in Germany and Norway are tuition-free, even for overseas students, and in Brazil, Slovenia, and France students at public universities pay only nominal fees. Some countries, like Poland, make it easy for international students to pay tuition feesgradually while others allow international students to pay the same low fees as domestic students.

2. You’ll learn languages

One of the biggest benefits of spending as much time abroad as possible will be the chance to learn new languages. It goes without saying that the longer you spend immersed in a language, the more likely you are to learn and retain your new knowledge. And the great news is, you don’t have to learn the language before you go! International students are a major resource for universities around the world, and you’ll find English-language programs in almost every country. Finland and Sweden both offer numerous courses in English, which means you can study sociology, or computer programming, or music by day, and practice your Scandinavian language skills after class. And while campus-hopping may seem counter-intuitive for language acquisition, for some students it’s the ideal way to perfect and diversify their language skills. For instance, students who study Spanish (currently the second most -spoken language in the world) can benefit from nomadic studies. Like English, Spanish varies according to country and region, so three semesters in Spain, followed by a year in Mexico, topped off with semesters in Argentina, Chile, and Honduras will give a Spanish-language student broad exposure to the variances of the language.

3. You’re not alone

Of course, planning to study abroad long-term or in multiple locations can seem daunting, and it doesn’t matter if it’s tuition-exchange or tuition-free, if you can’t figure out the logistics you’ll never get your feet off the ground. But don’t worry. Study abroad is a priority in many countries, and there are many resources out there for students who want to complete degrees abroad or campus-hop their way to a diploma. There are scholarships, like the Fulbright and Gilman programs, that work to send students abroad. The Erasmus+ Program focuses on student mobility in Europe and abroad. In the US, government organizations like Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs want more American students to study abroad. If you’re enrolled in a university, visit your school’s study abroad office to find out more about initiatives for study abroad, or find directly here the program that’s right for you.

Science Graduates

If you’ve spent the last few years working on your postgraduate degree in science, you’ve probably accrued a staggering amount of impressive experiences. You may have published papers, worked as a lab assistant, attended conferences, taught and tutored undergraduates, contributed to groundbreaking studies, and most likely, you’ve completed an enormous amount of original research. But how can all this valuable experience help you get a job, and how do you present your skills and potential to prospective employers? First things first: if you’re applying for jobs outside of academia or research, skip the curriculum vitae (CV) and draft a smashing resume instead. A CV, especially a well-padded one, will only hold you back in the industry job market. Instead, follow these rules for creating an eye-catching resume that will have you up to your ears in interviews.

1. State your personal objective

One of the main problems with academic CVs is that they give too much information. Employers in industry are faced with dozens, hundreds, and sometimes thousands of applicants and they’re not going to hunt through six pages of publications, conferences, workshops, coursework, and research projects to figure out if you’re the right person for a consultancy position. Instead, state clearly at the beginning of your resume what type of position you’re seeking and why. Keep it short, simple, and on-target. Try: “Applicant seeks an engaging position as statistical analyst in nano-biology or bio-engineering” or “Seeking position as project manager in human-development and smart-city technology.”

2. Do your research

Other big mistakes that academic applicants make: outdated forms of address and information-overload on resumes and cover letters. The internet makes it easy, and practically mandatory, to research the position, corporation, and hiring team before you apply. And if you’re listing research skills as one of your qualifications, your application material should indicate that you are actually capable of finding all the relevant information. Demonstrate your research skills on your resume by only listing experience and qualifications that fit or enhance those required for the position. Address your cover letter to the hiring manager and try to use keywords from the job listing in your letter. Reference background and interests that are related to the industry. If your skills are not clearly applicable to the position, use the cover letter to demonstrate how they are transferable.

3. Highlight your skills

Speaking of skills, at this stage, your resume should be more about what you’re capable of than what you have done in the past. Forget about chronological education lists, publications, and awards and focus instead on experiences that demonstrate your abilities relevant to the position. If you’re applying for a position as team-leader, focus on your role in group projects and collaborative research. Considering a role as a consultant? Make sure your presentation, communication, and networking skills are evident. Don’t be afraid to include your advanced degrees, even if the position doesn’t require them. But if you’re worried that a Masters or PhD will be seen as over qualification don’t hesitate to focus on your transferable skills and play-down your academic achievements by moving them to the bottom of your resume.

4. Utilize Templates…

You may think that you know how a resume should look, but there are different styles for different jobs and sectors. Do a bit of research online and see what kinds of resumes are best suited to the position. Try livecareer.com or other resume-template sites to get an idea about the various styles and forms. Templates can also help you identify the kinds of information you should include on your resume.

5. But make them your own

Remember, you want your application to stand out. If your resume contains lots of relevant and unique experiences and skills but looks like a clone of every other resume submitted for the position, you may not make the cut. So play around with layouts. Add and subtract sections depending on your specific qualifications and skills. Make sure that your resume reflects you and your personality, but don’t make it too informal. Some people recommend including a picture on your resume, but for professional positions, this can be too personal. The best advice: keep your resume clean, simple, and informative.

 

Degree Abroad Of Getting A Masters

You might think that your junior-year study abroad in Mexico was your only chance to live and study in another country. Or you may think that because you opted to stay domestic for your undergraduate degree that you missed out on the opportunity to gain international academic experience. If so, you would be wrong. While undergraduate study abroad experiences are becoming a vital part of a bachelor’s degree, studying abroad for post-graduate degrees is often as valuable, if not more so than short-term undergraduate programs. Here are five good reasons to complete your post-graduate degree in another country.

1. Economics
Many students assume that a post-graduate degree abroad will be more expensive than a domestic degree, but in many cases, international study for a master’s degree can cost the same or less than staying at home. How is that possible? Well, first it depends on your home country. In the US, post-graduate degrees can be extremely costly, but in many countries around the world master’s degrees are relatively inexpensive. In Spain, a Masters degree can cost as little as $3000. Finland, Norway, and Germany all offer post-graduate degrees for little to no cost for international students. And even though living expenses may vary from country to country, there are ways to earn while you study which can help to offset maintenance costs, and if you finish without a big student debt looming over you, your future will be more flexible.

2. Environment
One of the most important things about continuing your education is to expand your worldview, and while moving across the country to a new university can give you a different perspective studying abroad in a foreign country exposes you to a wealth of opinions, practices, knowledge, and ideas. You may think that coursework will be the same no matter where you go, but each country has a unique approach to academia. That means you have the chance to experience something new, and you can choose a program or culture that suits your academic style. And remember that master’s degrees vary in length depending on where they’re completed, giving you even more options.

3. Prestige
It’s easy for students from around the world to forget that their country’s education system isn’t necessarily superior to all the others. Education has become global and competitive, and prestigious programs in a wide range of subjects can be found throughout the world. Many top business schools have campuses around multiple countries, and Singapore, Dubai, India, France, and Switzerland all have MBA programs that are ranked among the best in the world. But prestigious international institutions aren’t just for business students. China, the Netherlands, and the UK all play host to some the best post-graduate programs in Architecture, while Hong Kong, Canada, and Australia are top-ranked for Masters in Education.

4. Skills
Undergraduates are told that studying abroad is a great way to develop marketable skills and experiences. The same holds true for graduate studies. While a master’s degree will enhance your resume no matter what, a degree from abroad will make you different from your competitors. Many employers are looking for applicants with international experience and foreign languages, and a Masters abroad will give you a chance to develop your ability to work in challenging environments and learn a new language (or become fluent in one that you studied earlier). In fact, because most post-graduate degrees take at least a year to complete, your time spent abroad as a master’s student will be more impressive than a short-term study abroad during the summer after your junior year.

 

The Most of Your Textbook Reading

The typical college student reads at a rate of 450 words per minute, according to the results of a speed-reading studyby Staples. The world speed reading champion? 4,700. That’s more than ten times as many words in a single minute! The value of closing this gap becomes very clear when you factor in the massive reading assignments many grad students face throughout their studies. Luckily, there are some things you can do to read more effectively and efficiently. And while you may not have a speed reading title in your future, these give techniques can help you accelerate your reading pace without sacrificing comprehension or retention.

1. Eliminate Distractions
Did you know that multitasking is pretty much one big myth? In fact, a growing body of research points to the fact that attempting to juggle multiple tasks at once can have detrimental effects. Not only do distractions lead to decreased productivity, but they can even cause a 10-point IQ drop — the equivalent of losing a full night’s sleep! In our techno-centric world, electronic interruptions have changed the way we go about life, and not in a good way — at least when it comes to concentrating on schoolwork. The takeaway? Turn off your ringer and other notifications and only check in during designated break times.

2. Preview the Reading
If you’re like most students, staring down an 80-page reading assignment can be overwhelming. Before digging in, set yourself up for a more successful, active reading experience by previewing the material.

Begin by reading each chapter’s title, introduction, and headings, subheadings and summaries. This helps establish a framework for what to expect. Ask yourself why the topic is relevant, and what important concepts you’re expected to learn along the way.

While this task takes less than 10 minutes, it has significant payoffs in terms of helping you connect to the material as a reader.

3. Read Back to Front
While you wouldn’t dream of cracking open the latest bestselling thriller or action novel and skipping straight to the end, reading a textbook is an entirely different story. To further enhance your understanding of a chapter’s most important concepts, start by reviewing the questions at the end of the chapter. As a complement to previewing, this non-chronological approach will help you identify the “big ideas,” connect them together, and focus your attention exactly where it needs to be from the get-go.

4. Start Skimming and Scamming
Children initially learn to read by sounding out letters and words. While this is a necessary practice for new readers, it amounts to wasted time for skilled readers. Enter two different yet related reading techniques: Skimming and scamming.

Instead of sounding out every unique word within the context of an ordered sentence, practice focusing on chunks of words instead. Called skimming, this allows readers to quickly take in main ideas and overall meaning without bothering with time-wasting filler words. Scanning, meanwhile, is the act of looking for a specific piece of information within a block of text.

While both of these techniques take practice, they not only improve how quickly you get through the material, but also how effectively you retain key points. Need more tips on these useful reading strategies? Check out HowToLearn’s handy how-to on skimming and scanning.

Care of Your Mental Health

Mental health issues are increasingly prevalent among contemporary college students. How much so? Three-quarters of all chronic illnesses start by the age of 24, according to figures from the US’s National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI). Not only that, but 95 percent of college counseling center directors agree that psychological problems are on the rise on campus.

In response to these and other troubling statistics, a number of organizations — both campus-run and student-led — are emerging to help students gain access to the information they need to cope with mental health difficulties. While taking advantage of these resources can be a vital part of the journey to better mental health, these five tips can also help college students manage stress and overcome challenges to mental health.

1. Recognize the Signs
According to NAMI, 80 percent of students feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities and 50 percent have experienced anxiety so significant that it caused them to struggle in school. If you are experiencing increased worrying, difficulty concentrating, increased agitation, changes in eating and sleeping habits, tension, tight muscles or headaches, you may be suffering from stress.

While experiencing stress is to some degree part of learning to cope with the high academic expectations of college life, it can have far-reaching consequences when it starts to interfere with your ability to attend class, complete assignments on time, and other performance-related factors. In fact, in many cases particularly stressful times act as a “trigger” for mental health episodes, which is why recognizing the signs of stress can help mitigate their impact.

In addition to being aware of your own mental health, be aware of others’, as well. There are many ways to support a friend who is dealing with mental health problems. Even something as simple as expressing your concerns can go a long way.

2. Take Care of Your Body
While all-nighters and junk food binges may seem like they’re part of the typical college experience, they can also contribute to poor mental health. Factors like lack of exercise, poor diet, and insufficient sleep can exacerbate the impact of stress. In fact, researchers have linked all three with depression! The takeaway? Healthy lifestyle habits are an essentiall part of both physical and mental self-care.

3. Reach Out to Others
Feeling connected to others is an invaluable part of good mental health. Unfortunately, college students often feel isolated from friends and family members back home — particularly when adjusting to new environments.

Luckily, there are many ways to meet friends with similar interests — both on and around college campuses. From student organizations to club sports to spiritual groups, participating isn’t just fun, it can also contribute to your emotional wellbeing. Additionally, social media makes it easier to stay in contact with far-off loved ones, as well.

But remember: quality trumps quantity when it comes to cultivating meaningful friendships. Having a healthy social life is not about having a large network of friends, but rather about having a handful of close friends.

Stem on Museum World

1. Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany

The Deutsches Museum is one of the oldest science and technology museums in the world. It was founded in 1903 and now houses 66,000m2 of exhibits dedicated to scientific endeavors. The museum is enormous, and its extensive collections require more than a single visit to appreciate. In fact, the museum recommends concentrating on specific attractions and offers expert-guided tours to help visitors access the information exhibits. But that doesn’t mean you need to be a scientist to enjoy a visit to the Deutsches Museum. There are resources, tours, and seminars geared towards children, adults, professionals, and students, and the museum’s DNA Visitors’ Laboratory gives guests the chance to do their own experiments.

2. National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C., USA

In 1946, American President Harry Truman established the Smithsonian’s National Air Museum to celebrate aviationtechnology and innovators. In 1976, the museum was reimagined as the Air and Space Museum, and now houses aircraft, spacecraft, and more than 60,000 items associated with aeronautics. Exhibits include the Wright Flyer, the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia, and other notable pieces of aviation history. But the museum isn’t just retrospective. The National Air and Space Museum is also home to on-going research in aeronautics, earth and planetary science, and space history, which means that visitors have the opportunity to see and interact with science in the making.

3. Science and Technology Museum in Shanghai, China

The Shanghai Science and Technology Museum may not be very old, but it’s impressive collections and inspiring vision belie wisdom beyond years. The museum opened in 2001 and now welcomes between 2-3 million visitors per year. Guests can wander through more than a dozen exhibition halls that house collections ranging from animal life to robotics. In addition to general science and technology features, the museum has three galleries devoted to Chinese science and technology. But that doesn’t mean the museum focuses on China or even Asia. Recent special exhibits included a film exploration of the North American Great Lakes, an African wildlife display, and a special forum on global climate change.

4. Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, Canada

The Ontario Science Centre aims to inspire “a lifelong journey of curiosity, discovery and action to create a better future for the plant.” The museum works to engage visitors with exhibits and challenges them to question and explore. Exhibits include the interactive Science Arcade, The Living Earth where visitors can explore a rainforest and other natural wonders, and the introspective ‘A Question of Truth’ gallery which asks guests to reassess their assumptions. The Centre also features an impressive planetarium and an IMAX theater. And if that wasn’t enough, students can spend a semester at the Centre’s school where they can earn secondary school science credits!

5. National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo, Japan

This iconic Tokyo museum, known simply as Miraikan, opened in 2001 to “fulfill Japan’s aim of becoming a scientifically and technologically creative nation.” The museum serves to stimulate research and interest into science and technology and is divided into three permanent exhibits – Explore the Frontiers, Create your Future, and Discover your Earth. The combine the expertise of science and engineers and give visitors a chance both to explore and question the role of science and technology in society. There’s even an Opinion Bank where guests can contribute to the scientific conversation. And it shouldn’t be too surprising to find that recent special exhibits included an in-depth exploration of the past, present, and future of video games, and a special exhibition analyzing ninja skills from a scientific perspective.

6. Heureka Finnish Science Centre in Helsinki, Finland

At the Heureka Finnish Science Centre visitors can practice winter sports, watch rats play basketball, explore risk and probability in the electric roulette, interact with a digestive tract, and mint their own coin. In fact, the Centre has something for everyone – including a frank discussion of the human aging process. Heureka boasts Europe’s most modern digital planetarium. Visitors can hear the shows in Finnish, Swedish, English, and Russian. Current offerings include films about dark matter, moths, and trees. And if visitors exhaust the Centre’s extensive indoor exhibits, there’s always the Science Park Galilei, which features a bedrock exhibition and a garden based on Linnaean plant classifications.

Career in Your Future

Last year Inc. declared it to be one of “the most promising industries ” but have you even heard of it? We’re talking about fintech, and it’s revolutionizing how banks do business. In fact, the field is experiencing such rapid growth that US banking regulators are calling for new regulatory measures aimed at promoting “responsible innovation.” Is a career in fintech in your future? Let’s take a closer look at this game-changer in the financial industry, along with why a career in fintech may be right for you.

The 411 on Fintech

A portmanteau of the words “financial” and “technology,” fintech has been defined as “a line of business based on using software to provide financial services.”

Typically the domain of startups, fintech largely focuses on disruptive innovation.  (Although some argue that fintech is more augmentative than disruptive in nature.) Fintech sub-industries span everything from algorithmic asset management to peer-to-peer lending. Additional fintech sub-industries? Thematic investing, payments, digital currency, credit scoring, education lending, cyber security, working capital management, and others — all sharing a common theme: the imperative to improve the efficiency of financial markets and systems through technology.

But is fintech truly worthy of all the buzz it’s been generating? The numbers speak for themselves: According to a report from Accenture, global investment in this sector spiked to $12.2 billion in 2014 — tripling the prior year’s $4.05 billion. And while the US tops the list in terms of fintech investment, it’s on the rise everywhere from Asia to Africa with Europe exhibiting the fastest rates of growth.

In short, fintech is transforming the traditional business model. And with that transformation come near-endless opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to start businesses as well as for existing companies looking to expand.

Why Fintech Matters

For many years the financial industry rested easy. While new technology might have penetrated its operations, banks ultimately retained control over how and when new digital financial products and services were introduced to the market. The combination of fallout from the 2007-2008 financial crisis and increasingly sophisticated technology has dispersed the power beyond banks thereby restoring balance and reshaping the industry.

In other words, fintech is changing the finance world for the better. From lower costs to more options, the potential of data-driven lending is not only huge, but uniquely profound in that it serves a previously underserved constituency: consumers.

Is Fintech Right For You?

We’ve already established how fintech is making a difference, which might leave you wondering whether you should add your talents to the effort.

If you are thinking about a career as a financial technologist, there’s good news: there’s a major fintech job boom underway. Consider London, for example, where experts are predicting that the sector will add more than 46,000 jobs in the decade between 2014 and 2024. The takeaway? If you’re looking for a job that combines security and financial payoffs, fintech is well positioned to offer both.

Fintech is also uniquely suited to Millennials — not just in terms of the fact that the products and services offered by fintech speak to their particular sensibilities, but also in terms of their role in driving the market. After all, Millennials are not only the first truly digital generation, but they also witnessed their parents bear the brunt of the financial collapse. It follows that, according to Fintech Week, “Many of the younger generation have completely lost faith in the banking world – and who are we to blame them? They need an alternative solution, and what they understand is technology and relentless innovation – a gap in the market which Fintech has now filled.”

For some younger people, meanwhile, the allure of fintech is also a very personal one: With student debt crippling the futures of many of today’s grads, fintech’s potential impact on the student loan refinancing market — both in terms of the creation of new products and serves as well as in prompting the banking industry to raise its own game in response– is particularly compelling. Imagine a future in which student loans are inherently affordable. Fintech may hold the key.

The best part? Not only is the fintech industry alive, well, and ripe with opportunities, but there are many ways to get in on the action. From formal business and finance studies to a foundation in engineering and technology, a multitude of avenues lead into this red-hot field — all with the potential to change your life, and maybe even the world, too.

 

A Chance on Sweden for Study

Sweden’s university system is among the top performers in the world, and the Scandinavian country aims to be one of the “most research-intensive countries in the world.” But that’s not the only reason Sweden is the perfect choice for global graduate students. We asked two international students in Sweden to tell us why earning your master’s degree in Sweden isn’t just about picking a place – it’s about picking a future.

1. Study in English and Learn Swedish

Last year Sweden ranked first out of seventy countries for English Proficiency, and most universities offer programs and degrees in English. Of course, international students are still encouraged to learn Swedish, but they don’t need to be proficient to earn a degree. Marina, a grad student from Brazil studying Digital Media and Society in Uppsala, feels that this bilingualism “gives students a chance to learn a new language” while creating “a friendly and open environment since everyone can communicate.” This open environment isn’t just reflected in language. Sweden is committed to student mobility and offers more than 1000 degree programs in English.

2. Support for Creative, Innovative Research

Sweden ranks among the top five countries in the world for commitment to higher education and research, but the country also emphasizes autonomy and freedom within its universities and master’s students have a lot of time and support for independent learning and collaboration with other students. Satu, a computer science student from Indonesia studying at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, found “a lot of things [to] learn” in Sweden and was impressed with the country’s “support [for] start-up and innovation minded” students. For digital media student, Marina, Sweden offered infinite opportunities. “You can work with a Professor, do internships in amazing companies and do different courses.” Master’s students like Marina find that Sweden offers the freedom to think creatively and experiment with new ideas. With so much support and so many chances for hands-on experience, it’s no surprise that Sweden is one of the top nations in the world for innovation.

3. Soak up Swedish Culture

If your only experience with Swedish culture is Abba and Ikea meatballs, you’ve got a lot to learn. From the daily fika(coffee breaks that include tasty Swedish treats) to gender equality, Sweden exudes an individuality that is both subtle and distinct. In fact, Swedish culture could, perhaps, be summed up in one word – lagom – which means, ‘just enough’ and applies to everything from behavior and social responsibility, to sustainability and shopping. For Satu, the biggest advantage of studying at KTH is “Swedish culture itself.” Satu believes that Sweden’s culture has “many good things we can follow…[and] by living among this value, [he] believes [he] can get used to it, and bring it home and spread it to people in Indonesia.” International students in Sweden will find that the informal, inclusive university environment encourages the spread of ideas and an open dialog, and Swedish university student unions and nationer make campuses open and inviting.

4. Something for Everyone

Sweden is an obvious choice for winter sports enthusiasts, but this Nordic country is more than just a winter wonderland, and Brazilian student, Marina loves that “Sweden has so many different experiences to offer.” If you love soaking up sunshine by the sea, summer days in Sweden are almost never-ending and the country’s long coastline offers a variety of maritime activities. Sweden’s cities are full of art and culture, with music festivals, cafes, and a vibrant international feel. For the more forest-minded individuals, nearly 70 percent of the country is covered in forests and their pristine natural beauty should be a major draw. And there’s huge bonus if you’re the adventurous type – Sweden has codified the Right of Public Access into its constitution, which means that you can strap on your boots and pack, and explore Sweden’s wilderness without any obstructions. Plus, easy access isn’t limited to trails and camping – according to, Marina, it’s easy to “go around without any trouble and having public transportation with good quality around you is amazing.” So whether you want to spend, your days trekking the rugged tundra of Lapland, your nights dancing in Stockholm, or watch the sunset from a kayak along the rocky coasts of Götaland, you’ll find something to suit your taste and shape your future in Sweden.

Balancing Your Master Thesis

You’ve got one camp telling you that an excellent thesis will help you make a name for yourself in your field. Another waxes on about the value of having an internship for landing a job. Given these dual imperatives, it hardly comes as a shock that many driven master’s students find themselves performing a daily juggling act. No one said graduate school was going to be easy, but it doesn’t have to feel like you’re always one dropped ball away from disaster. Let’s count down four ways to successfully balance your master’s thesis and internship.

1. Schedule Daily Time to Write
The fact that your boss expects you to be at your internship everyday provides meaningful motivation to show up. Unfortunately, the same element of external accountability is missing from the thesis scenario. The unhappy result? It often ends up getting moved aside and pushed back — ultimately leaving you in a bind when the deadline is suddenly bearing down and you’re weeks behind where you’d hoped to be by now.

The best way to avoid the last minute rush? Rather than letting your thesis become the thing you do when don’t have anything else to do, make it your priority by establishing a regular writing routine. Not only will this help keep you on track, but it can also get your brain in the habit of writing. Like any other form of “exercise,” the more you write, the easier it becomes. In fact, in committing to write every day, you’re likely to experience all new levels of productivity.

2. Prioritize Your Productivite
Do you work best in the earlier hours of the morning while it’s still dark outside? Or perhaps you thrive in the wee hours after everyone else has gone to bed? Do you find working in a coffee shop surrounded by hordes of other people invigorating, or do you need a more solitary environment in order to concentrate?

Not everyone finds inspiration in the same environment. Understanding where you find yours is extremely beneficial when it comes to promoting peak productivity. After all, making time to write is only part of the “big picture.” Also critical? Maximizing that time.

3. Keep Your Employer In the Loop
One of the good things about internships is that they’re often designed to accommodate student schedules. In most cases, your employer will be more than happy to work with you to come up with a mutually agreeable work schedule which allows ample time for thesis writing, as well. If you end up in a position where you need to cut back on your internship hours to devote extra time to work on your thesis, open lines of communication are key. Just be upfront in expressing your needs from the start in order to avoid confusion and/or bad feelings in the future.

One additional thing to keep in mind? If you’re planning on continuing to work for your current employer after you graduate, the completion of your thesis — particularly if it’s germane to the work you’re doing — can add to your marketability.

4. Accept Multitasking as a Myth
While much has been made of the benefits of multitasking, a growing body of research not only suggests that doing multiple things at once may not only be all it’s cracked up to be, but may actually lead to decreased productivity.

A recent study from McGill University indicates that in constantly shifting from one task to the next, the body uses up its oxygenated glucose stores — the very same fuel which would otherwise be used to focus. Concludes researcher and professor of behavioral neuroscience Daniel Levitin, “That switching comes with a biological cost that ends up making us feel tired much more quickly than if we sustain attention on one thing.”

While multitasking may no longer be of use to you, something else can be: Scheduling regular 15-minute breaks. Stepping away from your work — whether during your internship or while writing your thesis — can actually help you be more productive, but only if you let your mind truly wander. Just don’t let it wander over to the internet, however, as research also shows that online distractions can be particularly destructive. The takeaway? In order to make the very best of your time, stop checking your social media and shut off all of your automatic notifications.

While it’s easy to think of your internship and master’s thesis as warring entities, the fact is the two can be surprisingly symbiotic. Rather than focusing on how they’re working against each other, shift your mindset to acknowledge what they can help you accomplish together.

Collage Voting

The countdown to this year’s presidential election is on with just over a month to go before Election Day. And while exercising your right to vote is always important, most would agree that the stakes are particularly high this year in the U.S. But being a busy student, away from home, or even out of the country is no excuse for failing to follow through on your civic duty.  We know it may seem like a hassle, but the truth is that not only is voting easier than ever, it’s also well worth the effort.

Voting in Your State of Residence?

Just because you’re voting in your state of residence doesn’t mean you can automatically expect to walk into your local polling place, grab a ballot, flip a few levers, and call it a day.

For starters, most states don’t even allow walk-in registration. Not only that, but registration deadlines vary from state to state. For example, voters in Alaska must be registered by October 9th regardless of whether they’re doing so online, via mail or in person, while voters in Vermont have nearly a full month longer to register. Furthermore, how you plan to register is also a factor with some state deadlines for registration methods varying by as much as a month.

Looking for information on your specific state? Lucky for you, the New York Times has assembled a comprehensive guide of state-by-state deadlines, which also includes handy information about supporting materials you’ll need to register. (Usually, a driver’s license or other state-issued form of identification will suffice.)

Additionally, the U.S. government’s website Vote.gov is a terrific starting point for determining how to register in your state, while Vote.org is also a useful portal for streamlining the registration process.

Not sure if you’re registered? Check here to find out.

Voting Outside Your State of Residence?

If you’re planning on being out of your state of residence on voting day, you can utilize Absentee Voting (also known as “mail-in voting” and “by-mail voting”) to cast your ballot.

Depending on the requirements of your state, you can register to receive an absentee ballot to fill out and return. Some even allow early voting and in-person absentee voting. While 21 states require that voters provide an excuse before being permitted to vote by absentee ballot, others — including Washington, D.C. — offer no-excuse absentee voting. (You can check out which category your state falls into here.)

In addition to students who are out of state, other valid excuses for being absent from polling sites on Election Day may include illness, physical disability, religious constraints, public service or membership in the military, age, and even vacation.

Again, the rules regarding absentee voting and early voting depend on the state. Taking time to educate yourself about Absentee Voting and Voting by Mail and Early Voting and In-Person Absentee Voting can help ensure your ability to make good on your constitutional right.