• Being a Student in Birmingham (Tips & Tricks)

    Date: 2013.08.23 | Category: Language Courses | Response: 0

    Birmingham is a huge city; you could live your whole life here and not know all its secrets. To leave the house is to be bombarded with interesting people, images, atmosphere, history, and culture. Birmingham has so much to offer. However, at the same time it can be a bit of a nightmare, especially if you are a new student in town. So, follow these tips and find out how to survive in Birmingham as a student.

    Transport

    Birmingham has a very integrated travel system. This is no surprise seeing as it is the second biggest city in England. It has a vast array of travelling choices including the bus, train and metro system. So travelling across the city is quite simple. According to ‘The Complete University Guide’ rail links are excellent and a journey to London takes only 1 hour 15 minutes.

    Accommodation

    Looking for somewhere to live? Well, there are literally thousands of student flats and properties located in and around Birmingham. There is a huge selection in nearly all parts of the city. Check ‘Belvoir Birmingham’ for great deals. Also, don’t forget that many current students recommend looking to live in the central part of the city, as you have access to everything that you want and need on your doorstep.

    Entertainment

    In Birmingham there are a whole host of great nights out to be had. According to ‘Visit Birmingham’ entry rates can vary from being free, £3-5 or up to £15 depending on what sort of club you are going to. However, if a good meal out is your preferred way to spend an evening, Birmingham will not disappoint you – it has everything from Mexican to Mongolian cuisine.

    Health and Fitness

    Whether you’re interested in sport as a participant or a spectator, activities like ten-pin bowling, golf, go-carting, ice-skating, squash, tennis and swimming are all on offer at various locations around the city, including high quality sports facilities at the universities themselves.

    Shopping

    Birmingham is a shoppers’ paradise, with shiny, modern shopping centres, restored Victorian arcades and a range of markets offering everything from designer labels to second-hand bargains. The usual high street shops and many designer boutiques can been found in the city centre. The Bullring Centre is the UKs largest city centre shopping mall – with over 500 shops and outlets, and it’s only a five minute walk from the three train stations.

    In summary, leaving home for university can be a daunting task for anyone. Especially, if like many University of Birmingham students, you are travelling from all over the country. However, to be a student in Birmingham is to be active, lively and happy person.

  • The Quality of On Campus, Off Campus!

    Date: 2013.04.17 | Category: Higher Education | Response: 0

     

    Being a student can often have its downsides. As much fun as it is, there are some things about student-hood that I’ve found difficult! Soon after finishing my second year at Lancaster University, I thought it was time to take stock of the previous two years – what I’d enjoyed, what I’d hated, and what I’d like to do in my final year at university before going off to try my hand at being a proper adult. I cast my mind back over my university career so far, over the drunken nights, hungover lectures and my brief and rather embarrassing membership to the university Glee club, and realised that what had caused me a lot of grief over the last two years was the accommodation predicament.

    Everyone’s heard tales of woe about student accommodation. Whether there’s cockroaches climbing the walls, water dripping down them or a strange tapping sound that only sounds late at night, terrible student accommodation is a well-known problem that many undergraduates face. I certainly had my fair share of bad accommodation in my second year. After having spent my first year on campus, I couldn’t wait to live in the centre of town and be in the heart of it all – the nightclubs (my favourite club, the Sugarhouse, was not far from me. Check out their website for a decent Lancaster night out!) the pubs, not to mention the McDonalds situated just a street away. It was all set to be a fantastic year – that is, until I moved into my house. The place was, to be frank, a dive. It had transformed from the clean, bright and airy house it had seemed a few months ago since we had looked round. It looked like it hadn’t seen a dust-cloth in months, and the carpet seemed a distinctly darker, murkier colour than it had done before. I moved my stuff into my room (after giving it a thorough clean) and hoped things would look better in the morning.

    They didn’t. In fact, the longer I lived in that house, the more I noticed its various drawbacks. It wasn’t just dirty – some of the wood panelling had rotted from damp, while the bathroom tiles had turned from a bright white to an off-yellow. The toilet clogged every time it flushed and although it may have been our weakening nerves, we kept imaging that we could see something wriggling in one of the sofas. By the time summer rolled around we packed our things and shot out of that house faster than you can say ‘terminated contract’. I certainly wasn’t going to miss my single bed with the frequently snapping springs or the TV that would occasionally become overcome and simply turn itself off. I even had a look on the student room for advice on how to get some of my money back – their website is really helpful, click here to have a look for yourself!

    Over the summer I pondered my predicament. I had been put off private accommodation for life – trusting a landlord who you know nothing about is quite a silly idea, I realised. But I didn’t want to live on campus again – being Lancaster, the campus is over a mile out of town, and there were no McDonalds to satisfy my midnight cravings. So I needed to find a happy medium – the trustworthiness of student accommodation combined with the convenience of student lets in town. It was only when someone pointed me to CityBlock that I found it! Their accommodation is specifically for students, which means they understand exactly what my friends and I are all about. The accommodation was clean, comfortable and at a very agreeable weekly price, and by signing up for a CityBlock privilege card I could get all the best deals on the city’s pubs, clubs and restaurants. Click here to have a look at their website – they also offer accommodation in Leicester.

    Living in student accommodation in town gives me the best of both worlds. I can get a McDonalds, hop on a bus and be on campus in time for my first lecture! Third year is going swimmingly – it’s great to be able to get on with my dissertation without having to cling to a cricket bat in case I get an unwanted visit from a rat!

  • Out of the Classroom

    Date: 2013.04.16 | Category: Education | Response: 0

    Traditional teaching methods are the bedrock of the British education system and have seen this nation develop as one of the leading standards in international education. But effective teaching doesn’t always have to take place in the classroom, indeed many would argue that the best teaching constantly pushes the boundaries. Take a look at some of the things you can do to inspire the next generation in new and exciting ways.

    School Trip
    The school trip has long been a staple of the British education system and that’s because getting students engaged outside of the classroom is just as important and effective as doing so inside it. Recent headlines have often demonised the value of school trips, but if you take a look at this article at http://www.teachsecondary.com/outdoor-learning/view/school-trips-effective-learning-outside-the-classroom then you can really begin to see the benefit of outside learning. For some fantastic ideas and helpful hints, check out http://www.ukschooltrips.co.uk/ to begin reaping the rewards of school trips.

    Classroom?
    A classroom doesn’t have to look like a classroom. Just have a quick read of this article to see that learning can take place anywhere: http://www.guardian.co.uk/teacher-network/zurich-school-competition/teacher-blog/outdoor-learning-ideas. By being creative about the environment that students are taught in you can really begin to engage them in different ways. Teach pupils about nature whilst being embedded in that natural environment reinforces their learning in a very immediate way. If you’re looking at investing in an outside classroom then take a look at http://www.pentagonsport.co.uk/outdoorclassrooms/ for some great ideas.

    Mod Cons
    The word ‘modular’ might sound futuristic but in fact we’ve been using modular buildings for quite some time now, even as classrooms. Modular buildings are quick to erect, relatively cheap and portable too, making them a great option for a temporary learning environment. This means you can really go to town when it comes to styling their interiors, leaving your main classroom intact as a working environment. Check out http://www.excelmodular.co.uk and start thinking up ideas about how to decorate your room. One month it could be a Tudor Court, the next it might be Paris!

    There’s a lot of options when it comes to making learning as engaging and different as possible, without ever sacrificing the quality of the teaching given. Changing the environment in which students learn can have a positive effect that can also teach them that not all learning happens in the classroom. For more great reasons, visit http://www.creativeeducation.co.uk/blog/index.php/2011/06/learning-outside-the-classroom/

  • Not Sure Why You Should Learn German? Consider These Benefits!

    Date: 2012.12.26 | Category: Language Courses | Response: 0

    As globalization and communication brings the world closer and closer together, being fluent in other languages becomes a priority for world citizens. First of all, learning a foreign language gives the learner the ability to explore other cultures. In addition, learning other languages can expand your knowledge of a country’s history, literature, art and monumental heritage. What is more, being able to speak and understand other language opens many more job opportunities in the competitive world. Moreover, it also brings about social and cultural benefits. If you already have some good reasons for learning a foreign language, why not learn German?

    According to the Guardian newspaper, German language is very interesting and easy to learn. For instance, German language is a phonetic language, which means that German words are usually spelt exactly as they are pronounced. Also, German is the most widely spoken language in Europe. Not only do inhabitants of Germany speak German, but German is also an official language in Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein. Also according to the BBC, German-speaking communities can be found in Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Czech Republic and Northern Italy.

    Another good reason why you should study German language is the ability to find employment with greater ease.  For example, knowing German language can give you great advantages if you are looking for a job in the United States. In addition, many world renowned companies such as BMW, Bosch, Siemens and many others are always looking for international partners with excellent skills in German language due to a business collaboration between Europe and the United States.  So, it is evident that knowledge of German language increases your global career prospects, improves your relations and your chances for effective communication and success.

    You should note that it is never too late to learn a foreign language. You can always find great help from academic books, Internet resources and language professionals. For example, if you are looking for professional German Tuition in London you can find many great specialists who are willing to share their excellent language skills with, one recommendation can be found by following the link. So, if you are really interested in learning German language do not hesitate and try!

  • Film And Media Production

    Date: 2012.12.07 | Category: Training | Response: 0

    Getting into the television and film industry is a dream for many, but it doesn’t have to be a reality for few. There are many courses available for people to enroll on to get the right skills, from being in front of the camera when acting and presenting to the work behind the scenes such as make up, production, filming and sound. All of these professions and more are needed to give you the media you enjoy every day on the radio, television and in films.

    Many people get into the entertainment industry without the help of professional courses or qualifications, but through dedicated hard work. If you have great ideas it can be difficult to get funding for projects, but there are schemes in place where you can access the equipment you need to realise your dream.

    Most people will just think of television production being limited to larger entities, such as the BBC and film studios in Hollywood, but this is far from the truth. Many shows that you watch on television and huge swathes of independent cinema are made on small scales by dedicated people who may work full time on their projects, or just do it as a hobby as a part of their day to day lives. These may not produce the flashiest of shows, but are arguably the best when it comes to originality and content.

    The increased use and access to production technology and professional broadcast equipment really increases the possibilities that smaller production have. Once you have gained knowledge through different courses, you can start learning properly by working within an exciting industry – getting relevant experience and hopefully letting you move upwards.

    Of course, you can try and get into the industry without training, but it can be extremely difficult. Centres such as the London Academy of Media Film & TV can help you work towards your goal, get some great contacts and meet new people at the same time!

  • Sailing Into a Job At Sea

    Date: 2012.11.28 | Category: Training | Response: 0

    It takes a special kind of person to work at sea, away from home for many months at a time, spending extended periods of time with the same people day in day out. But for those looking for a job in yachting or aboard larger vessels, there lays a rewarding and interesting career where you can expect a new challenge every day.

    Without a STCW95 qualification you will find it very difficult to find a job in this sector, so if you are looking for cadet opportunities or you already work on yachts and want a job in a boat larger than 24 metres, you will have to consider getting yourself onto an appropriate course.

    When working at sea you don’t have the luxury of an ambulance or a hospital down the road should things go wrong, and working with the engines and on deck in all weathers isn’t exactly risk free, which is why it is so important that you learn the basics of first aid and sea safety, even if you have been around boats your whole life. Without having to take responsibility in an emergency situation no one can really know how much they actually know, and what the appropriate way to react should be.

    The STCW95 qualification is intended to ensure that you have all the knowledge that you will need for any emergency situation that could arise, and it is an internationally recognised qualification that is legally required for any one working on board larger boats. You will learn personal safety and social responsibility, fire prevention and fire fighting skills, personal survival techniques and basic first aid.

    This particular qualification will be an integral part of many other training courses and qualifications, so if you are already registered for a nautical course of some kind you should find out from your provider if the STCW95 modules are included. If you’re not then consider getting yourself enrolled on a course and prepare yourself for a career on the waves.

  • Inspector Gadget at your local library

    Date: 2012.10.25 | Category: IT Training | Response: 0

    I’m the first to admit, my grasp of technology is far from advanced.  I’m pretty much a technophobe.  My Blackberry phone may as well be a retro Nokia 3210 for all I use the extra features which come with my model.  Internet surfing I resolutely reserve for my laptop as opposed to my phone and the only reason I really got a Blackberry in the first place is because one of the features it didn’t have was a touch screen which unfortunately my sausage like fingers just can’t contend with.  My phone is used for phone calls and texting, and even that I sometimes get wrong.   But in a technology run world, is it wise to be so computer clueless?

    Ovens, kitchen appliances, communication devices, business and even beauty are now run by technology.  Doing things the old fashioned way probably seem eccentric nowadays and I have to say every time an appliance breaks I get nervous because I know it’ll take me an age to work out how to use the new one we’ll have to buy to replace it.

    Not only is the world run by technology, but increasingly, it’s saving consumer’s money too.  Many retailers and even the likes of British Gas will offer discounts if your billing or purchasing takes place on line.

    Terms such as shared hosting and VPS/ VDS and bandwidth and surge and binary code leave me confounded. I can manage email and browsing and that’s pretty much it.

    Luckily, local libraries and online resources offer internet and computer classes for the computer illiterate and those who need an extra boost when it comes to technology.  A lot of these courses are free to library members and it is definitely worth making inquiries and booking onto them to enrich your e-ducation.  Local libraries also cater to older uses who may not even know how to switch the blasted computers on and in no time you’ll be saying things like “email me your documents as attachments via my PDA  and Skype me later”

     

  • Studying Accountancy and Choosing Accountancy As A Career

    Date: 2012.10.24 | Category: Higher Education | Response: 0

    When it comes to choosing a course to study at university, you need to be sure to choose something which you both enjoy and are good at. There’s no point choosing a course which you aren’t going to enjoy and there’s no point choosing a course which you’re going to struggle with. As such, it always makes sense, when choosing a course, to focus on courses which you know you’ll enjoy and will be able to cope with.

    One such course which is suitable for those with an interest both in business and maths is accountancy. It’s widely known that accountancy courses offer fantastic career prospects at the end of them and, if both business studies and maths were strong points for you at school, then it’s definitely a possible career path. Many of the UK’s top universities offer accountancy courses and it’s one which you can be sure to land a strong career at the end of.

    In terms of considering whether or not going into accountancy is for you, we spoke with one of the UK’s leading accounting firms, Melanie Curtis Accountants in Reading, who outlined the choice of an accountancy course at university as being, “one of the best all round career choices you can make. You’ll, of course, be met with daily challenges, however that’s part of the enjoyment of the job. You’ll be dealing with a range of different companies each day in a job as an accountant and getting to know each of them personally is great. It’s a very varied career and that’s one of the things which helps to keep it exciting and current.”

    At the end of the day, it’s no hidden knowledge that landing a job as an accountant is a respectable career and, if you feel it may be for you, it’s certainly encouraged. It’s a career which you’ll no doubt enjoy and get a lot of job satisfaction out of as well.

  • Leaving Education and Getting That Job

    Date: 2012.10.10 | Category: Language Courses | Response: 0

    We get taught how to do most of the major things in life. When we are learning to walk, we do it over and over again with our parents help until we master it, we learn to drive with an instructor, and we are taught the lessons that we need to learn at school to pass exams. But when it comes to getting a job, one of the most important things in anyone’s life, we are just left to it and expected to know what it takes to ace an interview.

    If the thought of an interview makes your knees turn to jelly and all of the words fall out of your head then you’re not alone. Most people don’t know what to do when it comes to interviews, and failing to prepare is preparing to fail. This is why more and more people, especially graduates who are new to the world of work, are considering interview coaching and all of the benefits that it can bring.

    Interview coaches are normally people that have had experience in recruitment or HR, and have interviewed many different candidates for positions. Sharing the benefit of that experience they will be able to tell you what employers will be looking for, as well as how best to sell yourself under the pressure of an interview situation. You will normally go through a mock interview, followed by a feedback session, and you can tailor the experience to the kind of jobs that you will be going for.

    Once you know how an interviewer thinks, you will be able to better understand the kind of answers that will really impress them, and as with most things, practice really does make perfect.

    Not only can this really boost your confidence, but by being prepared you will come across a lot better at interviews and learn how to ask intelligent questions. You really don’t want to leave something as important as getting a job that you really want, to chance alone and coaching is the best way for you to prepare yourself for what lies ahead. Good luck!!

  • Language Courses

    Date: 2012.10.08 | Category: Language Courses | Response: 0

    Language courses are a viable option for people looking to increase their career prospects, fancy a change of scene, or just want to learn something new. Whether looking to undertake French language courses, German language courses or in fact a course in almost any language, it can be an enjoyable experience as well as one which will provide you with a skill for life.

    Being able to speak a modern language has great value on the job market, and a proficiency or even fluency in a foreign language can be achieved through a foreign language course. By making yourself a valuable asset to a company on an international level, you can increase not only your chances of finding a job, but of progressing up the ranks of your chosen profession in quick, valuable and interesting ways.

    Of course, learning a language has other, less mercenary benefits. Just to be more relaxed on holiday, perhaps to go further off the beaten track, or to travel the world for longer, can all be made easier by learning more of a foreign language. It can certainly make life easier on the locals, which will in turn make life easier on the traveler!

    But learning a language can just be an end unto itself. Imagine being able to read the works of famous poets and writers in their native language? To understand foreign films without watered down dubbing or abbreviated subtitles? The language we speak influences greatly how we think; learning another one can open you up to whole new possibilities you may never have thought of before.