Celebrate the festivals responsibly

01 Fetivals

Celebrate the festivals responsibly

Festivals are special. For students studying abroad, they are even more so.

Living in a foreign country during the time of festivals could feel very different. People, surroundings, celebrations. They have a unique quality to it. Perhaps the locals – natives to a particular country – joining the celebrations make it uniquely different. 

Students living and studying in the U.S. and U.K. especially would find a huge number of Indians, and Americans & Brits alike, to celebrate with. 

There is a word of advice though – as the headline of this blog suggests – celebrate with fervor, but do so responsibly. 

You are in a foreign land, celebrating a culture that does not belong to its people. Ensure that you do not offend their sensitivities. What could be innocent and innocuous for you, may not be for them. 

Maintain your space and decorum while greeting and celebrating. Chances are that the ones who are not introduced to Indian festivals and celebrations may feel awkward. Show respect, and share the reason of festivities when asked. Request politely if they would like to join. Accept their denial with grace. 

Under no circumstances indulge in public displays unless you have taken an official permission from the local authorities. 

There could be some mischievous characters who may deliberately poke and incite, as is seen in some parts of the U.K. and Canada recently. Do not respond. And do not forget the very reason and spirit of the festival – irrespective of your religion. Remember the fact that your celebrations are in reverence of the almighty, and not to show off the pride. 

Above all, spread the message of love and humanity without intruding anyone’s private space. 

Here’s wishing you happy and safe festivities. 

Who wants to be a Win’ionnaire?

Whowantstobe

Who wants to be a Win’ionnaire?

Apparently everyone. But how many are willing to or are prepared for taking failure in their stride? Very few.

The old and wise will often say that one can’t know the true meaning of achievement or winning if one hasn’t failed. And they are right every time they dole out this wise ol’ nugget.

This is relevant even more so to students. The young and ambitious people – more than a third of global population – can learn a lot quickly if they can accept failure as an inevitable part of growth. How so, you may ask.

Let’s say, you are a student studying abroad. You have taken first few steps in exploring and realizing your potential. You are given an assignment – academic or extra-curricular – in which you fail miserably. 

You could either choose to respond to the situation positively – observe where you went wrong, or what went wrong. Identify the room for improvement and how to better tackle external circumstances if the failure was indirectly or directly caused by an outsider. Put these insights to practice.

Or you can choose to react in dejection. You can be like: Oh no. Here I am studying in Australia / Canada / U.S. / U.K. (or wherever you may would be). I have failed myself and my parents. I am no good. How will I ever finish my Graduate / Masters program!

Do you know the ones who fulfill their academic and career aspirations are often the ones who choose to respond rather than react. You just need to read biographies of those you consider successful and you will find this fact in their story.

You may think – easier said than done. To which we would respod – easier said and done.

So, the short point of this short blog is to encourage you to accept failure as a part of life, and learn from them in order to achieve desired success. Good luck.

Indian Students Studying Abroad – The World Is Your Oyster

Image 007

Indian Students Studying Abroad – The World Is Your Oyster

Yes. Quite literally so. You may ask how?

Definitely not just because you have decided to study abroad in a foreign country. But more so because the country of your choice for overseas education would have plenty of places to explore.

Let’s start with Europe, and the Schengen Visa. If you are, let’s say, studying in U.K., Poland, FranceGermany or any other European country, the Schengen Visa would give you access to travel the length and breadth of 26 European countries. Twenty Six!

During your semester breaks, you can explore the modern and Victorian Western Europe to the classical Eastern Europe. From Amalfi Coast to San Sebastian, Florence to Mykonos, Dublin to Madrid there are hundreds of locations to visit. Each country and each location is as awe-inspiring and unique as the other! 

Moving to the North American continent, if you are studying in the U.S. of Canada, you would be equally spoilt for choice of travel options. Both – the U.S. and Canada – are unique in their landscapes and have thousands of places to visit. But a word of caution…

Unlike Europe – which is fairly small in size compared to these humongous countries – make an informed choice of places to travel. Travel within the 500 mile radius in order to make the best of all the places you’d visit. It would not only be pocket-friendly but also time-friendly. Unless you just want to take off on a road trip! 

Australia and New Zealand are in a completely different ‘travel type & zone’ altogether – obviously so.

If you are studying and want to travel in New Zealand, you’d come across more sheep and exotic type of landscapes. Being a relatively small country spread across islands, you could cover many top spots in two or three semesters. But not In Australia.

The land down under is huge. No. It is huuuuuuugggeee.

For students studying in Australia and keen to explore its landscape, choose a travel radius that’s relatively close to your college / university. For reasons that traveling is slightly expensive in Australia and this great continent-country’s vastness can turn you into a full-time traveler. And you don’t want to do that, not before you complete your studies.

Whichever country you may have chosen for your higher education, do explore it as much as you can. Understanding different cultures and outlooks would add to your personality and experience, turning you into a fine young person ready to take on the world. 

What a wonderful world of discoveries!

What A Wonderful World Of Discoveries

What a wonderful world of discoveries!

These are exciting times. We are witnessing some of the most awesome, wonderful and brave new discoveries. Evidently, there are some frightening ones too, but the likes of COVID cannot overshadow the ones that could potentially change the world in coming years. 

Let’s take NASA’s discovery of asteroid ‘16 psyche’ for instance. The comet is made of precious metals, mostly gold, worth more than $700 quintillion! To put it to scale, if that gold is somehow brought to earth and the revenues shared with every single person, we would each have a $100 billion worth of fortune! Happy thought, no? 

We aren’t referring to the material riches over here though. But rather relating to the wealth of discoveries, made possible through higher education. Science, engineering, mathematics, architecture, business, finance, logistics and almost every other field of education. 

Do you know that recently a ‘plastic-eating’ bacteria was discovered, and it may be put to use to solve the plastic-pollution problem? Or that a ‘zeptosecond’ – the smallest unit of time – was recently measured! FYI, a zeptosecond is a trillionth of a billionth of a second. Umm. Yah! It took more than a few seconds to sink in. 

Who are these mad people making such maddening discoveries? One blog is too small a place to list them all, but this much we can say – these are girls and guys just like you. Curious, creative, parallel thinking individuals who may have received inspiration for their discovery at one of the globally top ranked colleges in the U.S. or U.K. or may be France or some other country. 

Education, as often said, is not merely found in the books. How well a student learns depends on the educator as well. If you are a young student about to take the decision for your higher education, research the college and faculty well. Who knows, it could be your discovery that zaps the world tomorrow. 

To prove the point made above, here is an example – Rifath Sharook, an 18-year old dude from Karur, Tamil Nadu, made or rather invented ‘KalamSat’ (named after the honorable APJ Abdul Kalam Siir), world’s smallest satellite weighing all but 64 grams! 

You read that right! 

Now go, be inspired and etch your names in the pages of history of discoveries. 

Share the knowledge… Gain wisdom

Share The Knowledge Gain Wisdom

Share the knowledge… Gain wisdom

A lot of emphasis has been laid since time immemorial on the concept and merits of ‘sharing knowledge’. It is often said that the secrets of creation itself lies within a sentient being, waiting to be expressed. However, with an intention of keeping it simple, we will limit ourselves to the benefits and wisdom of sharing the knowledge we have, without getting too esoteric. 

Every person, irrespective of caste, gender, religion, age, etc. has had experiences. That forms the basis of knowledge. A student who has completed 12th and is pursuing higher education has the knowledge of not just the subjects, but how to prepare for them and excel in academics. Let’s say you – the reader – are an international student, in the 2nd year of degree program studying in Australia or Poland, or some other country. 

You would see a wave of international students – freshers – just as you were a year or a semester back, joining the college / university. Can you welcome some of them with a smile, share your experiences of the 6 – 12 months plus of living in a foreign country? Of course, when they have settled and respond to your smile with their own. It could help those newbies reduce their anxiety. 

You can do a few notches better. Can you ‘teach’ what you already know – in your degree program – to the ones who seek help outside the classroom? Campus is a fantastic place to collaborate, cooperate and share. 

The feeling of sharing your knowledge would instantaneously make you feel better. This feeling in turn would make room within you for more learning. It’d motivate you do better. Obviously, your act of sharing knowledge could immensely help the person who is receiving it. 

This gesture will be applicable in every aspect of your life – long after you have aced your graduation / post-graduation. Even when you are a hotshot professional or a start-up magnet. Sharing knowledge or information inevitably opens up space for receiving wisdom. And wisdom, without fail, leads to success. 

The old are wise because they have had more experiences than the younger ones. We can earn our wisdom, in our day and age, by opening ourselves to sharing.

Oldest top-5 universities in the world, still spreading their legacy 

Top 5 Oldest Universities Of The World

Oldest top-5 universities in the world, still spreading their legacy

As a student who aspires to study abroad, or is already placed in a college / university abroad, you would like to know about the oldest universities in world that still exist. These are legendary to say the least, and rank in top global spots. If you have not shortlisted your preference, you must consider these.

University of Bologna: Established – 1088 

University of Bologna (UNIBO) is renowned world over for law programs. This public university – comprising of 11 schools – is the oldest university in terms of continuous operation in the western world. 

Interestingly, UNIBO was key in the development of medieval Roman law. Did you know that Enzo Ferrari is an alumni of UNIBO?

University of Oxford: Established – 1096 

Perhaps the most prestigious and decorated university in the UK and Europe, University of Oxford needs no introduction. Considered as the University for higher education in UK – along with Cambridge University – thousands of international students apply at this citadel of education. 

Likes of Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking along with 29 Nobel laureates have received their education here. 

University of Salamanca: Established – 1134

This Spanish public university is the oldest university in the Hispanic world and one of the most important centers in the study of humanities – particularly recognized for courses in law and economics. 

Aristides Royo, the President of Panama is its most notable alumni. 

University of Paris: Established – 1160 

Reputed internationally for academic performances in humanities since the middle ages, especially in philosophy and theology, University of Paris today is one of the most sought-after institute for top-class education by scores of international students. 

Most notable of its alumni, over and above 49 Nobel laureates are Marie and Pierre Curie – the developers of theory of radioactivity! 

University of Cambridge: Established – 1209

One of the global top universities, this institute-par-excellence has contributed greatly in academics. University of Cambridge is perhaps the most influential institutes in Europe and is home to world’s oldest publishing house. It also has multiple cultural and scientific museums to inspire the young nubile minds, along with 15 million books to obtain the world of knowledge from. 

116 Nobel laureates are in the elite alumni list of this best-in-class university. 

Of course, there are other legendary universities that have made a mark on a global scale such as University of Toulouse, University of Naples Federico II, University of Padua, Jagiellonian University, etc. 

The author’s intention is to present global top-5 universities in this article. 

Change and acceptance are the ways of life

Change And Acceptance Are The Ways Of Life Eleevate Overseas

Change and acceptance are the ways of life

Change what you can. Accept what you can’t. Let go whatever happened and focus on your present actions, and the ones you want to take. 

This timeless wisdom is applicable to everyone, even you dear students. 

Is your visa for studying abroad rejected due to documentation issues? Can you re-apply within the timeframe? If yes, do it. If not, figure out other options. Crying over spilled milk won’t change a thing. 

Are you already placed in the university of your choice and the test result was not to your expectations? Can you change it? No. Then you better accept it. You know that you can do better. You have done better. That’s how you managed to fly to this country and are now studying abroad. 

Is your student accommodation not up to the mark? Would shifting incur additional expenses and losing the deposit amount? Can you afford it? Can you rather learn to develop patience and make do with what you have? If you can’t change the situation, accept it. 

Acceptance will teach you a valuable lesson about letting go. Your mind would be free from the incessant chatter. Oh why did this and how did that? You will be at peace and appreciate the “is-ness” of the situation. 

On the other hand, resisting to what is will create friction and lead to negative situations. 

Do not confuse acceptance with agreement. You can disagree on something, yet accept that it is so – that the situation is such despite your disproval of it. 

As a young person who is set on the path of potential and success, learning to accept and practicing acceptance would go a long way in your career. 

Acceptance and acknowledgement are the foundation of successful collaborations. And everything can be achieved with cooperation and collaboration. You only have to look at the examples of great people – you’ll see how strong they were in their opinions, but equally open in accepting a differing point of view. They played well with others, and won! 

You will face many testing circumstances – not just now, or for few years, but for the remainder of your life. The power of acceptance will help you ace this test and win. Always. 

Hello parents. Time to live your dreams.

Dear Parents Eleevate Overseas

Hello parents. Time to live your dreams.

Dear Parents. 

Has your ward chosen to study abroad or is already studying abroad? It must have been both, a terrific and a tough decision that may have left a void in your lives. 

Some of you may be still feeling his / her absence dearly, some of you may be just about coming to terms with it. It was a necessary and brave decision nevertheless. Kudos to you. 

The congratulations is neither for your resignation to the fact, nor to egg you on. It is simply to throw light at a different perspective. Rather at a fact – that you still have a lovely life ahead of you. Let’s make it eventful! 

Its time to revive the passions, aspirations, ambitions that were buried in order to respond to the call of day-to-day-responsibilities. Days that fast-forwarded to months and years. In a few blinks. 

So what if you are in late 30s / early-mid 40s or even 50s? Love and passion are timeless. 

What was so dear to you before being blessed by parenthood? A hobby, an interest that deserved your complete immersion but didn’t. Ask yourself, is it really late to pursue your passions? If you ask honestly, the answer will be in the negative. 

You are more than capable of bringing your buried dreams to life. All you needed was time, and now you have it. You obviously are a master planner – how else your son / daughter would be studying abroad otherwise, shining and rising towards his / her potential? 

Now use that same efficiency in planning to actively live your dreams. Of course, you have the daily routine and chores to attend to. You had them while raising your lovelies also. You in fact have an advantage of the experience. And support of your spouse. 

Many parents resign to the boredom of routine, void and age when their children leave to pursue their ambitions of higher education abroad. We sincerely hope that you, the reader, are not one of those – and we also hope that you can help shine light on the ones that are staring at a dark abyss of nothing. 

Save for rainy days. Save for days when there’s sunshine and hay

Save For Rainy Days Eleevate Overseas

Save for rainy days. Save for days when there’s sunshine and hay

Money is a great enabler. Perhaps the greatest ever. And ironically, its true value and importance is realized only when one does not have it. 

Spending money wisely and saving it are probably the only ways to ensure that this precious resource is continuously replenished. 

Judiciously saving money is an advice relevant for everyone, but more so for the younger generation, especially the students. Saving money regularly from a younger age compounds to a substantial corpus by the time they are in their 40’s. 

How to go about it? 

Let’s say you are a 16-year old college student, receiving pocket money from parents. Or you have a generous grandparents, uncles and aunties. Take away half of what you receive as a gift of their loveand invest it. Since you are a minor you can’t open a bank account, fixed deposit or invest it elsewhere. Your parents / siblings can help in identifying the right place to invest your money. 

There’s no point in keeping your money in a ‘piggy bank’. It won’t multiply on its own. Chances are, you will end up spending it! 

If you are a working student, studying abroad and involved in a part-time job, you can use the 50-30-20 formula. 

Put aside 50% of your part-time job earnings towards paying your student loan, or returning it to your parents – whichever the case would be. Use 30% for your expenses and save the remaining 20%. 

Make saving and investing a habit. Do not liquefy the investment ever. At least not until you are in mid to late 30’s. 

There will always be an impulse to break the habit of investment. Always. Such is the nature of wants. But if you can practice discipline and be patient to let those momentary impulses to wean away, you’d have become a millionaire or more in a decade – just by developing a habit of saving!

Break the routine… Take it easy and take a break

Break The Routine Eleevate Overseas

Break the routine… Take it easy and take a break

No matter how much we love doing a thing, doing too much of it could become a monotonous routine. 

Routine is fine – as long it is a practice of discipline. But when it becomes a subconscious involuntary action, it becomes unproductive. 

Take studies for example. In an aspiration to study abroad, or in pursuit of some other ambition, students often burn the midnight oil. Spend hours upon hours buried under a heap of books. 

A human brain has a certain capacity to absorb information in one go – it needs time to internalize it as memories. Some have more capacity than others. But there is a capacity. Taking a break hence, is as important as learning itself. 

This applies to everyone, even students who are studying abroad, pursuing their degree or post-degree programs. 

The weight on their shoulders is heavy. They are far away from home, their parents have invested a small fortune, and there is peer pressure. Take a break. 

A break could be a stroll, or taking a day off for a trek or even a small vacation at a nearby location. 

Students studying in Europe, U.S.A., Canada, Australia would find plenty of options for their little sojourn. 

Spend time outdoors. Refresh your mind. It is a proven fact that being out in the open relieves stress, fuels creativity, improves memory & learning, boosts motivation and improves physical health. A two-three days’ respite won’t harm. In fact, it would be an opportunity to know people and cultures, make new friends, understand a different outlook. 

When you are back at your study desk you’d be so much energized. The stress and burden would have vanished, replaced by a sense of joy and elation. You would be beaming with positivity! Don’t you want that? 

Study hard, take smart breaks!