#TB outbreak

Yay! Not! 4 students at my University have been confirmed to have #tb ūüė∑ We’ve had an outbreak before and it isn’t pretty.  20,000 students and more teachers have to be tested and checked. ūüėĪ
#Diseases like this aren’t uncommon in some countries still. We’ve now had #Cholera, TB, and some other issues in the 3 years I’ve lived abroad. 
So if you #travel or #studyabroad or #teach internationally, be careful. Wash your handsūüĎć, wear the #masks ūüė∑, Avoid coughing or sneezing people ūüĎĄ. Only eat food you’ve seen cleaned or well-cooked foodūüćī.  Drink bottled or boiled water ‚ėē. Wash any dishes in boiling water, even at restaurants where dishes come wrapped! Sleep, take your vitamins, and drink orange juice!
#China #tourist #sick #health #safety #travelsafety #stayhealthy

Taking College Entrance Exams When Traveling Outside of the US

Just registered for the GMAT! Wish me luck! I’ll officially be taking the exam on February 7, 2017 at 8:30am in Henan, China.¬†

Yep, that’s right. Most standardized American college entrance exams are offered in international locations. In fact, many international schools also utilize these exams for admissions and scholarship criteria. For example, I’m looking at schools in Asia, and most of the accredited big ones ask for either the GMAT or the GRE.¬†

¬†So if you want to study abroad in fall of Senior Year or last year of Undergrad, you can still take the all-important exams you need for your future. ¬†Or if you’re an international student looking to study in the states, you can find one in your area hopefully.¬†

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American College Testing (ACT)

The ACT is one of the two main undergraduate school entrance exams. Most universities accept either the ACT, SAT, both, (or on the very rare occasion) neither. It is up to you to research your potential universities and verify which exam they require. They are not major specific-all majors need to take it.

Format (as of 2016-2017) -the ACT has four primary parts (Math, Reading, Science, and English) as well as an optional written portion. The English portion covers grammar, punctuation, and structure. The Math portion covers basic algebra, trig, and calculus questions. The Reading portion asks you to analyze essays or paragraphs you read for meaning, complete thoughts, etc. The Science portion is less science and more logic. It asks you to take data and analyze it to answer their questions.  The Writing asks you to write an essay response to a question they give you.

Notes:¬†Unlike the GMAT or computer-based GRE in the US, the GRE internationally is usually the “paper format.” Meaning you have to sign up for a specific date (often only a few times a year) to go take the test in hand-written form. Then, because scores are not calculated online, you will have to wait for your scores (as much as 4-6 weeks later). ¬†SO READING INSTRUCTIONS IS IMPORTANT!

Cost: $51 (for International locations)

Next Date: April 8, 2017 (Register by March 3, 2017) or June 10, 2017 (Register by May 5, 2017).

List of International Locations  **To Register for International Locations, you must make an account on the ACT website and register through that. 

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Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT)

The SAT is one of the two main undergraduate school entrance exams. Most universities accept either the ACT, SAT, both, (or on the very rare occasion) neither. It is up to you to research your potential universities and verify which exam they require. They are not major specific-all majors need to take it.

Format (as of 2016-2017) -the¬†general SAT has¬†four primary parts (Math, Reading, Writing & Language, and Essay).¬†The Writing & Language¬†portion asks you to analyze things you read–correcting logic issues, strengthening or weakening the argument, finding errors, etc.. The¬†Math¬†portion covers basic algebra and elementary calculus/trigonometry questions. The¬†Reading portion asks you to analyze essays or paragraphs you read for meaning, complete thoughts, etc.¬†¬†The¬†Writing asks you to write an essay response to a question they give you.

WARNING – I’ve heard a lot of bad things about the College Board exam centers in China. I have absolutely no background in other countries – but I do NOT recommend taking the SAT in Mainland China or Hong Kong. ¬†Friends or students taking the exam here or in Hong Kong report never receiving their grades, being told to wait as much as 6 months for scores (and then still not getting them), scores being thrown out because “someone cheated,” not being given the full time to take the exam, not being provided with all the materials needed for the exam, questions not being answered, and more. ¬†When students (some US citizens included) attempted to call the College Board in Hong Kong and ask for information, the first question they were asked is where they were from. When they said China, the office immediately hung up on them. Several reported similar issues. One of my friends was actually late applying to schools, despite taking the exam early, because her first scores never came and they just told her to re-take the exam again. ¬†

Cost: $45 * without essay | $57 *with essay ¬†(there is an addition “fee” for international students changing by region. Africa and the Americas pay an extra $35. ¬†East Asia / Pacific pay an extra $53. ¬†Europe and Eurasia pay an extra $38. ¬†Middle East is $47. South and Central Asia is $49).

Next Date: January 21, 2017 (Register by December 7, 2017) or May 6, 2017 (Register by March 22, 2017).

List of International Locations¬†¬†**It is not offered in March outside of the United States. You may have to obey special national rules for the SAT which vary country-by-country. The SAT does provide international examinees the option of having an “international representative.” However if you do this, you must register¬†by paper and¬†by the early deadline. They also¬†cost money ūüôā ¬†Here is their “Tips for International Registration.”

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General Record Exam (GRE)

The GRE is a basic graduate school entrance exam used largely for all majors¬†not including Medicine, Business, and Law. So basically all arts and sciences. It’s definitely the most popular and the most commonly taken exam of the lot.¬†Schools accepting the GRE internationally

Format (as of 2016-2017) – the GRE has three separate parts (Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing). The Verbal Reasoning portion is split into Reading Comprehension (read the essay and answer questions about it),¬†Text Completion (fill in the blank), and¬†“Sentence Equivalence (word definitions – ¬†can you put in the correct word). ¬†The¬†Quantitative Reasoning portion is mostly math and logic questions. ¬†The¬†Analytical Writing asks you to write an essay response to a question they give you.

Notes:¬†Unlike the GMAT or computer-based GRE in the US, the GRE internationally is usually the “paper format.” Meaning you have to sign up for a specific date (often only a few times a year) to go take the test in hand-written form. Then, because scores are not calculated online, you will have to wait for your scores (as much as 4-6 weeks later). ¬†SO TIMING IS IMPORTANT!

Cost: $205 (or $220 in China – why, I don’t know.)

Next Date: February 4, 2017 (Register by December 23, 2016 or pay a late fee).

List of International Locations where the Paper-based General GRE is offered.¬†**To Register for International Locations, you probably need to look for testing centers and dates under the “paper version.”

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Law School Admissions Test (LSAT)

The LSAT is the graduate school entrance exam used students entering Law Schools. 

Format (as of 2016-2017) – the LSAT has five separate parts (Reading Comprehension, Analytical Reasoning, two Logical Reasoning sections, and a Writing portion). Reading Comprehension asks you to analyze essays or paragraphs you read for meaning, complete thoughts, etc. Tests your ability to analyze, understand, and apply what you read to other information. The¬†Analytical Reasoning¬†portion is what many of us call the “logic” portion. It’s like those old games you used to play (M is married to S. S is not married to T or J. X married on Tuesday but is not married to T. Who married who and when). The¬†Logical Reasoning¬†parts provide you with information and asks you to analyze what you read and draw conclusions, explain, or provide the logical theory underlying what you read. The¬†Writing asks you to write an essay response to a question they give you.

Notes: Most schools want you to take the exam before December, in order to get your scores on time.

Cost: $180. (If you are applying to a US school, you’ll probably also buy the CAS paperwork compilation system which is $175). ¬†

Next Date: Varies significantly by country and region. 

List of International Locations where the LSAT is offered. **Some countries only offer the exam on certain days, not all of them. 

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Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

The MCAT is the graduate school entrance exam used for Medicine programs. 

Format (as of 2016-2017) Рthe MCAT has four separate parts. The Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems portion tests biology, organic chemistry, and inorganic chemistry. The Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems tests biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, and physics. Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior Systems  will test psychology, sociology, and biology as it relates to sociological threats to heath. Critical Analysis and Reasoning portion is basically a Reading Comprehension section.  Mixed within the first three parts will be questions testing you on specific Scientific Inquiry and Reasoning Skills 

Notes: 

Cost: $310 (goes up to $365 about 1-2 weeks before the exam). Applicants at international locations must pay an extra $100 no matter what.

Next Date: January 19, 2017 (Often vary by country).

List of International Locations where the Paper-based General GRE is offered. **To Register for International Locations,follow the same instructions as domestic registrations. Make an account on the AAMC website first.

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General Management Achievement Test (GMAT)

The GMAT is a graduate school entrance exam used largely Business Schools. Some MBA programs accept the GRE in lieu of the GMAT, but not all. 

Format (as of 2016-2017) РThe GMAT has four parts (Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal, and Analytical Writing). The Analytical Writing asks you to write an essay analytical response to a question they give you.The Integrated Reasoning will provide with a set of information and data. Then you will be asked a serious of questions based on that info analyzing your ability to evaluate, comprehend, and utilize it.  The Quantitative is similar but focuses on math and logic. You might be given a set of facts and then you are asked to find the truth that fits all those facts. The Verbal Reasoning tests you ability to correct sentences, answer reading comprehension questions, analyze and answer questions using what you read. 

Cost: $250  (+VAT Рdepending on Country)

Next Date: You Choose.  Each testing location and country will have different exams. Rather than the ACT, SAT, etc where a bunch of people take it together in a testing scenario, the GMAT and computer-based GRE are more individual. You must first choose your testing location. Then look at the dates and times available at that center.

List of International Locations where the GMAT is offered.¬†**Each country has specific requirements and taxes they will apply. You need to read the “country-specific instructions” before applying.

Study Abroad Programs Addresses a Risk – Road Fatalaties

Study Abroad Programs Addresses a Risk – Road Fatalaties

by Tanya Mohn via “New York Times

The number of Americans who study abroad in credit-earning programs has more than tripled in the last two decades to reach a high of nearly 304,500 in the 2013-14 academic year, and the number studying in non-European countries has nearly doubled in the last decade to 118,625, the Institute of International Education said.

‚ÄúThe problem is educating students in something they are not used to thinking about,‚ÄĚ said In√©s DeRoma√Īa. She is director of international health, safety and emergency response for the University of California system‚Äôs Education Abroad Program, which sends 5,600 students, from all 10 campuses, overseas annually, including to remote areas.

Road fatalities are a risk for young people everywhere. They are the leading cause of death for teens and young adults in the United States and worldwide, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization show. But the concern for educators is that students heading abroad may not consider some uniquely local risks of road travel ‚ÄĒ particularly in low- and middle-income countries, where W.H.O. figures indicate about 90 percent of the globe‚Äôs road-traffic deaths occur.

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Opinion: Study abroad is not about being on vacation

“Study abroad is not about being on vacation”

by Molly McSweyn via “UPBeacon”

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I tossed over in bed, uncomfortable and although exhausted, unable to fully fall asleep. My phone sat beside me, vibrating from texts. I heard movement outside of my door, quick steps, and feet hitting the staircase. My frustration grew, knowing I had to be up in a few hours to drive to Slovenia for the weekend. I finally sat up, trying to see if my roommate was having trouble sleeping as well. She wasn’t in her bed. I quickly slipped on a sweatshirt and made my way downstairs.

Turning the corner into our living space I saw almost half of the people in my program huddled together around our TV. No one spoke, no one even saw me enter the room. They watched the shaky cameras, the nervous newscasters, the pictures of horrified people. They watched as Paris officials reported the numbers: 130 dead, hundreds wounded.

On Sept. 11, 2001, I was too young to understand the gravity of the situation when thousands of Americans were killed in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. But at 20 years old, sitting among my peers and witnessing destruction in a city I had left just a week before, I understood. We sat for hours. Other than texting loved ones back home to reassure them that we weren’t in France anymore, we hardly spoke, but we sat together in solitude and shock.

As the night crept towards morning I asked the group I was supposed to travel with about Slovenia. If we were going to go we had to sleep, to get rest to wake up early. A few outright said they wouldn’t travel. A couple more said their parents didn’t want them to go. And the others just seemed confused about a course of action. We ultimately decided to cancel and all retreated to our beds.

But again, I tossed and turned. I thought of sitting beneath the Eiffel Tower, swaying in a hammock and eating lavender macaroons. I thought of sipping a Moscow Mule and dancing until 2 a.m. in a nightclub off of the Champs Elysees. I thought of the Louvre, the crepes and the winding streets. And I thought of the horrendous loss of 130 people.

But I also thought of fear. I thought of terrorism, a term that had always brought to mind images of dark rooms, closed doors, and hatred. And I thought of the goal of the people who had just torn through Paris. A terrorist’s goal is to terrorize and by not traveling we were allowing them, in some ways, to win.

I spent over five more months in Europe traveling to countless countries with my friends and experiencing some of the most incredible moments of my life. Study abroad is so much more than country hopping, pub-crawls and voluntourism. Study abroad is not just about being on vacation.

The terrorism did not end in Paris. It spread to the tourism hotspots of Belgium and Istanbul and continues daily throughout the Middle East. At times, I wondered about our safety as students abroad. We live in a world where I cannot make my way through a full day without hearing about another death or attack or bombing, stretching around the entire world. I am not saying we have to abandon caution or rational action, but we must find a balance. We must find a middle line to walk, between safety and living life to the fullest without letting fear inhibit us. . . . . .

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Facts you should know to study abroad unafraid

**This article is specifically directed to Auburn students, but the information in it is pretty valid for other University Study Abroad Programs too. Worth a Glance. :)**DB

“Facts You Should Know to Study Abroad Unafraid”

By Ariel Cochran via “The Auburn Plainsman”

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What To Do If You Are a Tourist in Paris Right Now

Students stay safe! We’re thinking and praying for you! **DB

“What To Do If You Are a Tourist in Paris Right Now”

by Yahoo Travel Editions

The world is watching the horrifying developments after a series of attacks Friday night in the French capital of Paris.

Situations like this are terrifying for anyone in the city, but especially so for the tens of thousands of tourists who are there right now. Not knowing the local streets, having anyone to turn to in a crisis or speaking the language adds another layer of fright to an already scary situation.

Here are a few of the things you should do if you are visiting Paris right now.

1. Find shelter. In a wonderful display of humanity, locals are offering up their homes and businesses using the hashtag¬†#porteouverte or ‚Äúopen door‚ÄĚ to let people know they have a safe place to stay. Alternatively you can tweet¬†#porteouverte along with your location to try to find a place to stay.

Local hotels are also offering shelter and assistance to get you safely where you need to go. Use Google maps to find the closest one.

2. Get cash. You don’t want to be caught in any kind of crisis without local currency. If you can safely get to an ATM, do so and try to have at least a couple hundred dollars in euros available to you.

3. Account for everyone in your group. Confirm the whereabouts of everyone traveling with you. If any family or group members are missing, first check with the hotel and then inform the local embassy or consulate for your home country. The State Department (U.S.), Foreign Office(U.K.), or other local diplomatic authority will maintain a list of their citizens who have been killed, are missing, are injured, or have been accounted for.

4. Check in back home. Inform family and friends back home of your whereabouts and situation as soon as possible. Amid the confusion and devastation following an attack, it can be hard for people to get word out to loved ones via phone. Consider alternative forms of communication, such as social media accounts or email.

5. Follow @TravelGov on social media. This will give you real-time updates and instructions.

6.¬†Touch base with the local American Embassy. It‚Äôs their job to help you, and they can better assist if they know where you are and what your situation is. Plus, ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs comforting to know that someone knows you‚Äôre there,‚ÄĚ says Andrea Ross, owner of travel company Journeys Within.

7. Avoid crowds. In the wake of a crisis, don‚Äôt use public transportation during rush hour. Instead, travel at off-peak times or use a licensed taxi. And stay away from crowds and congested areas. ‚ÄúPeople are on edge, so if they think something is happening and panic, there could be a stampede or other dangerous situation,‚ÄĚ advises Ross.

8. Be extra alert. ‚ÄúVery often people on holiday let down their guards and are not as aware of what‚Äôs going on around,‚ÄĚ explains the State Department‚Äôs Michelle Bernier Toth, Managing Director for Overseas Citizen Services. ‚ÄúLook for things like unattended packages, weird behavior, and people overdressed for the environment,‚ÄĚ says George Taylor, VP of Global Operations at integrated risk management company iJet.

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There‚Äôs safety in zippers: My top picks for foiling pickpockets

“There‚Äôs safety in zippers: My top picks for foiling pickpockets”

by Christopher Elliott via “The Washington Post

Little things sometimes make a big difference when it comes to travel safety. Like a strategically placed zipper.

Consider what happened to Aaron McHugh, who was recently exploring Glasgow, Scotland, after the last leg of a sea kayaking trip with his brother. ‚ÄúWe were not familiar with where sketchy parts of the city might be,‚ÄĚ he remembers. But halfway through a 14-mile, self-guided tour, the duo found themselves in Springburn, a neighborhood with a reputation for drug crime. McHugh suddenly felt vulnerable. He clutched his credit cards, passport and cash and quickened his pace, hoping to make it to a safer area without incident.

That‚Äôs a familiar feeling to a lot of travelers, who are too often unprepared for threats to their safety. Just ask the professionals. In a recent survey of corporate travel managers ‚ÄĒ the executives who oversee companies‚Äô travel departments ‚ÄĒ safety was ranked the top priority. The study, by European travel safety consultant BCD Travel, ranked security higher than efficiency, satisfaction and environmental and social impact.

Fortunately, McHugh, a podcaster who lives in Colorado Springs, had prepared by dressing the part. He wore a pair of pickpocket-deterrent pants developed by a company called Bluff Works ($93). His cards and important paperwork were shielded in a zippered internal pocket.

‚ÄúThat pocket gives me a lot more security and comfort than a pair of jeans or any other pant I own,‚ÄĚ he says. As a decoy, he carried a messenger bag over his shoulder that he says screamed ‚ÄúTake me!‚ÄĚ The Bluffs were his camouflage.

He made it through Springburn without incident.

I‚Äôll be the first to admit it: Zippers don‚Äôt make for exciting reading. But isn‚Äôt that the point? From inconspicuous pants to ties that make your checked bag harder to break into, the gadgets that can keep you safer on the road are completely unremarkable ‚ÄĒ until you need them. If you‚Äôre traveling somewhere for adventure this summer, you‚Äôll want to pack these accessories. . . . .”

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