The 3 Most Underrated Places to Study Abroad

1. New Zealand

New Zealand is an incredible place with immense beauty and great people. You can find something for everyone here. For the outdoors person in you, you can take a stroll into the countryside of New Zealand on plenty of different adventures from hiking to rock climbing. You can do all that in the incredible landscape where the Lord of the Rings Trilogy was filmed! If your’re more of a city person there are plenty of things to do including going to see many different theatre companies, orchestras, and even the pop investigate the rising New Zealand Pop scene. Who knows, you might find the next Lorde! For the person in love with sports you have the All Blacks rugby team which is one of the top teams in the world so you should catch a game while spending time there. All this being said this is just a small tidbit of what you can do on your study abroad trip to New Zealand.

2. Rio De JaneiroAfter the world cup in Rio there has been an increase in tourism to Rio but not a lot of study abroad travel and I wonder why. Rio De Janeiro is one of the greatest cities in the world and it has so much to offer. There are amazingly beautiful beaches where you can get a tan in between classes. You can go and visit the breath taking Christ the Redeemer statue in the cliffs above Rio and get a true view of how large Rio really is. Don’t forget about the great food either. The cuisine in Brasil is just divine especially because of how fresh everything is from the cuts of meat the crispness of the vegetables. It all comes directly from the farm to the table in front of you. All these things make me wonder why people haven’t taken advantage of study abroad to go explore Rio.

3. Singapore

One of the hidden gems of Asia, Singapore has really risen up as one of the economic powers and has developed into a awe inspiring city. It is an interesting mix of many different people from all around Asia. Because of this many of the inhabitants speak English as a central language making it fairly easy to go to the store or ask people for directions. This is a great place for someone who doesn’t know another language. Also since there is a mix of Asian cultures here you see it in the food. There are places that serve food from different regions of China, Vietnam, Japan and Malaysia. On top of that the crime rate is incredibly low so everyone can feel safe walking around the streets of Singapore at night. I cannot recommend Singapore enough as it is a must visit for someone looking to spend some time in Asia.

Quick Study Tips for Finals Week

1. Get some Sleep!

You may think it necessary to pull all nighters and take some really sketchy energy drinks to get all those physics chapters crammed into your head. But did you know that studies show that you retain more information if you study then get sleep? All you need is 6 hours at a minimum to be able to retain nearly twice the information  as if you worked through the night. Make sure to get your sleep not just for your studies but for your overall health! People who get the correct amount of sleep will have a lesser chance of heart attack, stroke, and cancer.

2. Take Breaks

According to memorization studies, if you study for more than 30 minutes you will lose concentration and the ability to memorize exponentially. If you take just a 5  minute break after 30 minutes of studying then you will be refreshed when you come back to study for another 30 minutes. Just rinse and repeat and you will be much more effective with your study time.

3. Positive Reinforcement

When you are working on math homework and finish a problem, reward yourself with a skittle or some other small candy. Positive reinforcement goes a long way and can help you push through those long study sessions in the library!

No matter what you do going into finals week make sure to give it your all. Finals week will end and you will be better for it having given all you can to you studies. All you need for motivation is to remember that summer break is right around the corner!

Food Tips for College Students on a Budget

1. Rice/Rice Cooker.

Everyone loves rice. And there are so many ways you can incorporate it into dishes. You can use it in everything from Asian stir fry to Spanish rice. It’s also cheap as you can buy a 10 pound bag of rice for 15$! All you need is a decent rice cooker that is 50$ or less and boom! You can have all the fresh rice that you desire.

2. Eat Salad.

I know I know salad is bland and boring. But it can be delicious if you match it up with vegetables you like as well as the correct dressing. Keep trying different vegetables to find the perfect combination for your salad. Also don’t be afraid to try something else besides the standard ranch dressing. Salad is not only healthy but cheap! You can get 5 meals worth of salad ingredients for under 15$.

3. Spice it up!

When you are tired of eating the same old bland meats there is a simple fix to put a little flavor in your life. Spices are the best thing to have when cooking meats. I prefer Cajun seasonings for chicken and some seafood since I grew up in the south and it reminds me of home. However there are plenty of great pre made taco seasonings out there if you’re feeling like having Taco Tuesday at your place. No matter what it is always a good call to have some spices on deck.

4. Sauce Boss.

This ties in a little with the the spices tip above. Sauces will always make food better. BBQ sauce for food was always a hit at my place as well as Teriyaki, Soy sauce for Asian style dishes and rice and the crazy popular siracha sauce. No matter what its always good to spend the 5$ to get something that will make you not hate your food so that you don’t spend crazy amounts of money eating out.

5. Keep it Lean.

Lean meat is the best kind of meat be it fish, chicken, turkey or even lean red meat. Your body needs protein to recover from workouts as well as to rebuild new tissue. Everyone thinks that meat is expensive and while it can be there are a few great options. Many grocery stores will have a certain cut on sale because they are overstocked so that is always a good option as well as checking to see what the weekly deals are in the store. Stay away from deli meats as they are expensive and usually have a lot of sodium in them. All you need to do if the meat seems a little dry is add a little sauce to it and you’re ready to roll.

3 Simple Test Taking Tips

1. Cross Off Answers

I know this is pretty simple but it is still very effective. If you have 4 available answers on a multiple choice question and you know 1 or 2 of the answers are incorrect then cross them off. It lets your brain focus on the possible answers and pushes the impossible ones out. Also if you end up guessing on the question it gets you a better chance of guessing it correctly!

2. Create a Structure/Argument

Those dreaded essay questions can be awful. There are a few ways to make them easier though. First off you need to find what your argument is. Once you have your argument you will be able to get the supporting details and the structure of the essay. Once the argument is in place create a structure around the argument. Make sure to plan out your points. This will help you so that you don’t get stuck on a point in your essay.

3. Look Back At Questions

One thing I have noticed in my many years of test taking is that sometimes a professor will add a multiple choice question that has an answer already in it! What I mean is you had a previous question that you can answer from the details in another. Always pay attention to how the question was written. It can give away an answer to a previous question.

What College is Right for You?

1. State schools

Generally speaking state schools are large and have large sports teams and are cheaper if you live in the state that the school is located in. Many of the schools activities revolve around the sports teams (football, basketball, etc.) as well as Greek life. If you want a large football team or if you want to join Greek life then the social scene of a large state school is good for you. State schools offer a variety of  majors, some schools will offer better education than others at certain majors so check to see what the top majors are before you apply.

EX. University of Texas, Florida State

2. Liberal Arts

Liberal arts schools are small with around 1000 – 4000 students and are fairly expensive. Many of the activities in the school are done by clubs and some schools have a good sports following. Some of the schools have Greek life but it is not that common or a large part of the social scene. The schools usually have a certain focus in English, Writing, Philosophy and some even focus in Science and Economics.

EX. Occidental, Tufts

3. Private Religious Schools

Private religious schools are not much different than a state school except they are smaller than a state school. Many of the schools have a large sports following as well as they generally have a large Greek life population. Many of these schools have great degrees in business, science and political science. One thing to be aware of is many of the schools will require mandatory attendance at church and will check your ID cards to make sure you go. However there are christian schools that don’t require any sort or religious teachings or attendance at church.

EX. Baylor, Pepperdine, BYU

These are just a few of the many options for college. There are many different types of schools that are a combination of these. Just remember to go and visit the school before you make a decision because when you pick you have to remember that you will be there for 4 years!