How do international students rate their Australian study experience?

Australia is a land of sunshine and ample opportunities. And do we even need to mention the fabulous beaches? This is a country blessed with abundance, and is called the “Lucky Country” for good reasons. Stunning coastlines surround it, and tropical rainforests are found in the northern part. Australia has become synonymous with kangaroos and koalas, as well as the ever-popular “barbie”.

Given that Australia has such a great image, it is no surprise that international students looking to study abroad are flocking Down Under to pursue their dreams. We did a little digging around to find out what international students thought of their study in Australia experience. Here what we have put together from our learning!

Cost

When it comes to cost, there is a downside as well as an upside. The bad news upfront: Australia is expensive.

There’s no escaping the fact that the Aussie dollar is quite a strong currency, and consequently, this land of plenty can seem quite pricey, especially for those coming from developing countries. Items that are of low cost in developing countries, like academic textbooks, can burn a hole through your pocket in Australia.

The good news is that people usually earn salaries that are high enough to maintain the standard of living.

Off the bat, these facts mean a few basic things:

  • Don’t dilly-dally in completing your degree, and start working as soon as you can after you graduate.

* It will be more economical to get off-campus housing like an apartment, and share it with your mates, rather than getting dormitory housing.

Lifestyle

In Australia, the quality of life and the options for entertainment and leisure activities are, needless to say, off the charts! This is especially true if you are living on the more populated Eastern seaboard. Sydney, for example, has the world-famous Bondi beach as its prime attraction. On the other hand, head over to Melbourne and you can get a taste of the best coffee, enjoy strolling through iconic laneways, catch a game of cricket at the MCG, or even some tennis at the Australian Open. International students find the laidback Aussie lifestyle to be a great draw.

Social life

A lot of international students do struggle with communication in Australia, due to poor language skills. English is the primary language of communication, even though Australia is highly multicultural. However, we do have to say that the multicultural nature of Australian society can be a source of comfort to those students who may be feeling a twinge of homesickness. You likely won’t have to travel very far to find people from your native country. Even if you don’t find fellow travellers from your country, Australians are generally culturally open and friendly to foreigners. Australia also has a great sporting culture and this allows folks with an outdoorsy bent of mind to bond with their Australian buddies and make friends quickly.

University life

Unlike in more traditional Asian cultures, Australian professors and university staff are generally very informal. However, don’t mistake this for a lackadaisical attitude! Australian universities are at the leading edge of research, and regularly punch “above their weight” when it comes to the latest in science, technology, the arts, and the social sciences. Students who study in Australia often mention that Australians tend to work hard and play hard, and this is not merely a cliché, but a reality. Along the same lines, the students find that they have to shoulder a lot of responsibility in managing their academic endeavors, and the workload is high. There is a tremendous amount of autonomy that students have, and this forces them to take decisions like full-fledged adults.

There you have it! Whether you are looking to study abroad in general, or study in Australia in particular, this roundup of students’ views on the Australian study experience will help you in learning more about this fun-loving and friendly country. Our overseas education counsellors at Hurray —a trusted overseas education consultant and IELTS training institute in Bangalore–would love to address all your queries and support your entire overseas education journey!

Write to us at: hurrayoverseas@gmail.com, or call us at 8971357938 for a one-on-one session with our counsellors.

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Three benefits of working part-time while studying abroad

Juggling study and part-time employment in a foreign country may look like an overwhelming proposition; nevertheless, it has its benefits that may far outweigh the shortcomings.

Let us first look at what things to consider before you set out on looking for a part-time job during your education abroad.

  1. Whether your study-abroad course is a full-time course (this is mandatory for you to work alongside your abroad education)
  2. Your chosen study-abroad country
  3. Your previous work experience and skill set 
  4. The subject area you are looking to study.
  5. Knowledge about any additional tuition fees that come with study in abroad programs or job placement programs. 
  6. Careful investigation of the circumstances under which work is allowed by a country for international students.
  7. Information about work permits on a country’s embassy websites. (Please note: in most cases, work permits would be required along with a student visa.)

Let us now look at a few benefits of working part-time while doing Master’s in Abroad, or for that matter, even during your undergraduate overseas education.

Helps gain experience in relevant field

While the list of work available to international students may not be exhaustive, service roles in restaurants, supermarkets etc. While this could be true for earlier times, there are ample opportunities these days that could help you add real value to your work profile during your search for full-time jobs in future. For example, you could be a working as a research assistant in your arts/science/humanities department. Again, some countries or universities could also have tie-ups for co-op programs for a certain range of part-time jobs.

Fosters language improvement and culture connect

Well, communication is something that you would be doing all the time during your education abroad. This would not imply, though, that you gain exposure to communication in the professional realm. On the other hand, there would be ample opportunities to expand your knowledge of the native language of your study-abroad destination during your part-time work as an international student. Most importantly, you would gain familiarity with the use of that language in business situations.  What’s more, driven by the need to write/speak efficiently, your writings and talks would come peppered with phrases and vocabulary that hold importance in industry and business arena.  Now, won’t it be wonderful if you could add the language skills of a certain country to your CV/resume, after completion of your stay abroad?  

Additionally, part-time work during your study in abroad could also prove to be your gateway to connecting with people of different cultures in a work environment. 

A small but significant step to fund your living costs

Doing a Bachelor’s or Masters in abroad is invariably an expensive proposition. Hence, it stands to reason that the extra earnings (whatever that amount be) you get through your part-time work can help fund your travel needs or your visit to other social events in that country. However, do note that you would be required to have proof of your financial ability to get a Student Visa; it is also not advisable to pursue your study abroad with the intention of working to fund your course.

Beware the legalities!

Just as there are benefits of working part-time while studying abroad, there are also grey areas attached to it—to the extent that it has legal implications. There are many cases where international students (including India) had been even jailed for working beyond stipulated working hours.

Nevertheless, with the guidance of a reliable overseas counselor you would not have to carry that baggage of worries with you. At Hurray, we believe in guiding aspiring study-abroad students the family way. So, let us connect for any help you could be looking for overseas counseling. We guide students through the entire process of abroad education—including accommodation near the university of their choice.

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Why and how to choose the best study abroad education consultant

Picture this: For quite some years during your school years, the thought of study in abroad had followed you. Now you are in your college years, with a fresh curriculum, and perhaps, a new circle of friends! But what is still constant is your desire to study overseas. However, with so many news about people being duped by study in abroad consultancies, you are wary, too! Moreover, you are also worried about being lost in a maze of doubts if you are all to yourself! Here comes the need for knowing the qualities of a trustworthy overseas education consultant

This post will run you through the whys and the hows of choosing the best study abroad education consultant:

The ‘why’ of choosing a good study abroad education consultancy is at the very root of your success/failure in getting the right information with regard your overseas education.

Past experiences and placements:

Take a tour of the consultancy’s website to know about their service portfolio, past experiences and placements. You, on your part, must be clear on the queries you would like to make. Additionally, get a briefing on the additional services that the consultancy offers, such as, coaching in IELTS, PTE, TOEFL, OET, etc; visa assistance; post-landing assistance; guidance for the visa interview process, among others. Not to forget, the consultancy’s licences and accreditation in their area of service.

Awareness of reliable medium enlisting overseas consultants: Many platforms feature overseas consultancies with proven records of their work. British Council holds record of these agents. Again, the Association of Australian Representatives in India (AAERI) ensures the authenticity of overseas education counsellors who recruit Indian students as representatives of Australian education and training institutions.

Quality of student interaction: An authentic study abroad education consultant will also be genuinely interested in understanding a case—that range from delving deep into the student’s areas of interest (science/arts/humanities etc), suggesting him/her the university that would match their academic scores; recommending the language proficiency test that would suit his country /university of choice, and getting an idea about their career goals and financial position before offering them options. All these come into play in the quality of interaction that a reliable study abroad education consultant.

Support with student scholarships: If you have decided on an overseas education consultancy, do also take a stock if they go the extra mile in offering you scholarship support and assistance with your Statement of Purpose (SoP), besides guiding with you with the admission process.

How Hurray can help?

Haurray has carved a niche as a trustworthy and student-centered study abroad education consultant in Bangalore, with a proven track record of guiding students the family way with their overseas education goals. A thorough case study of the aspiring student is undertaken before offering him the options of universities and countries. Our services range from counseling to post-landing assistance to accommodation support near the university of a student’s choice. Additionally, we offer trainings in IELTS, PTE and OET to get you the score that matches your program/university.

Eager to know more about Hurray’s study abroad services? Come, pay us a visit at our branches in Bangalore–Koramangala or Indiranagar–and see it for yourself. You may also write to us at: hurrayoverseas@gmail.com. And rest assured we won’t let you down. Happy studying!

Top 5 Reasons to Choose Canada as Your Study Abroad Destination

 Study in Canada

Vibrant seasons, expansive wildlife, multicultural diversity, clean environment and an enviable quality of life—all these undoubtedly make Canada an attractive country.

Notably, Canada is also leading on the overseas education front. The Canadian education system—which stands for trust, excellence and recognition–has been a big draw for international students. What’s more, you could either choose to study at a vibrant campus in a large city or in a cosy campus in a welcoming community, if you plan to study abroad in Canada.

While there could be ample reasons to study in Canada, let’s explore five reasons why you should choose Canada as your study-abroad destination:

Quality first approach

Quality is the keyword in Canada’s education environment. The country is known to maintain very high standards in education and is ranked 4th in the world for scientific research. Notably, 26 of Canada’s universities are listed in the QS World University Rankings 2019 and 27 of them are in the THE World University Rankings 2019 list

Earn while you learn option

An international student in Canada is permitted to work for up to 20 hours every week during their semesters and full-time during the winter and summer breaks.  For study abroad aspirants wishing to work on-campus or as an intern in any company, your study permit should be enough to help you find a part time job; hence, you would not require any additional work permit. However, it would be good to know from your overseas counsellors the legal implications of working beyond the permitted work hours.

Student-friendly country

Canada is also known to shelter world- class cities to live and work in–Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, to name a few. The QS rankings’ top 10 list for 2017: Top 10 Cities in the World to be a Student had listed two Canadian cities as the most student-friendly cities, and The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018 has listed University of Toronto on number 22nd.

Stay Options/Immigration Opportunities

As an International student, you are allowed to stay and work in Canada for up to three years upon completion of your graduation under Canada’s Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PWPP). You can also apply for permanent residency later on after gaining some international work experience.

Wide range of courses

Another good reason to choose Canada as your study-abroad destination is the wide and varied range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programmes available at various institutions–from major research institutions to small liberal arts schools and universities. Worth noting Canada has 100 universities, 200 colleges and renowned institutes, accredited language schools as well as specialised institutes.

These are just some reasons why you could choose Canada as your study-abroad destination. Our overseas counsellors at Hurray —a trusted overseas education consultant and IELTS training institute in Bangalore–would love to address all your queries and support your entire overseas education journey! 

Write to us at: hurrayoverseas@gmail.com, or call us at 8971357938 for a one-on-one session with our counsellors.

How To Improve Reading And Writing Skills

Hello folks!

How is it going with your IELTS preparation? Let’s talk a bit on improving your reading and writing skills today.

IELTS Reading: The question formats in IELTS Reading are as below:

  • Matching Headings Questions
  • True False Not Given / Yes No Not Given Questions
  • Matching Paragraph Information Questions
  • Summary Completion Question
  • Sentence Completion Questions
  • Multiple Choice Questions

 Tips to improve IELTS Reading

Practice speed-reading: IELTS is a time-bound exam, and time-management would be crucial to approaching the passages. That’s where speed-reading could prove helpful.

One of the effective methods to cultivate speed-reading is word chunking—the act of reading multiple words at once. The key is to focus on trying to read three words at one glance.

Don’t focus on interpreting the full passage, focus on keywords instead: This is specially true of the third passage—which is relatively longer than the other two passage (around 900 words). Try locating specific information (look for synonyms, names, dates, numbers, places) rather than trying to comprehend the full sentence or context of the passage.

For example: if the answer statement has the words small schooling, it might as well be that the passage has primary schooling in the text. The more expansive your ability to spot synonyms (like the above case) and idiomatic expressions (ex: eat a humble pie), the faster you would be in arriving at the answer.

Widen your reading skills: Many of our trainees talk of having lost the habit of reading. This results in their struggle with comprehension and interpretation of passages. A good practice would be to adopt a daily habit of reading news on sites such as BBC, CNN and other international websites. Additionally, you could read The Hindu newspaper for its editorial, and make a list of the things that you found difficult in scanning.    

Do check out this short conversation between a Hurray IELTS trainer and an IELTS aspirant over Reading:

Let’s now dwell a bit on the tips for improving IELTS Writing

Tips to improve IELTS Writing

Let’s now look at some tips for improving your writing IELTS.

Band descriptors: There is a tendency in most of the IELTS aspirants to overlook the Writing band descriptors (be it Task or Task 2)! One practice that Hurray has adopted, hence, in its IELTS training is to remind students of having the band descriptors on mind when approaching their tasks in IELTS writing (which is Essay Writing (Task 2) and Letter Writing (Task 1) for IELTS General candidates, and Essay writing (Task 2) and Report Writing (Task 1) for IELTS Academic candidates).

The four band descriptors in writing are as below:

  • Task Achievement (for Task 1), Task Response (for Task 2): 25%
  • Coherence and Cohesion: 25%
  • Lexical Resource: 25%
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy: 25%

Craft an outline for better focus

Given the time-bound nature of the test, it would help to have a rough outline of your ideas; besides helping organize idea, an outline helps you stay focused. At Hurray, our trainers use the mind-mapping strategy towards connecting one paragraph to another, with vocabulary and sentence structure in focus.

It has been observed that students struggle mostly with ‘what to begin with’?

In essay writing, for instance, you can first begin with a paraphrase statement (taking words from the question itself). Then position your thesis statement (what position you would take throughout the essay: In agree/disagree essay, for example, you can either strongly agree or strongly disagree, or agree partially)  

Again, in writing Task 1, you can have a template on what to begin with and what to end with. Try arriving at the answer to the question: “What information should I provide about this diagram or chart?” or for that matter, identifying the nature/type of a letter you would be required to write (formal, informal, semi-formal)

Practice transitional phrases and cohesion: Let’s get the fact straight. Even experienced writers talk about ideas.   you can imagine what you are up for when you would be required to link your ideas in a one-hour-long Writing test! But this very challenge has naturally driven many of our candidates to focus on coherence and cohesion as an essential component in IELTS writing.

At Hurray, students are trained to make a list of sentence connectors, and use them to transition from one phrase to another. You can also refer to this link for help with transitional phrases.

That’s all in IELTS writing today. If you are an IELTS aspirant, looking for the right guidance in your IELTS preparation journey, do feel free to contact us at: info@hurrayedutech.com. Meanwhile, do take a tour of our website: https://hurrayedutech.com/

Useful phrases for IELTS Speaking

Picture this: You are in an IELTS speaking test session with your examiner and quizzed about your favorite music in the second part (cue card round). Well, you do love music, but then that peculiar thought of being in an exam room grips you. What follows thereafter is a struggle over finding the right phrase and linking words to connect your thoughts. A part of this challenge could also be due to your lack of practice with the usual connectors and phrases during your IELTS preparation.

This post would enlist a few phrases and connectors that our trainers at Hurray impart as part of our IELTS Speaking Course.

Introductory phrases

A list of phrases that you can use to start your talk:

  • I would like to discuss…
  • I would like to talk to you about….
  • I want to give you a short talk on…
  • I want to share my experience about

Phrases for expressing opinions

A common phrase that students are prone to use here are: “I feel” “I think” “I believe”; but IELTS test measures you on your range of vocabulary.

Hence, you may choose to use the below alternatives:

  • For me…
  • As I see it…
  • Personally…
  • In my view…
  • As far as I’m concerned
  • Talking about myself…
  • In my experience……

Phrases to help transition from introduction to main idea                                            

After you introduce your topic, you would move to the main body of your speech. Here are some prompt phrases that our trainers at Hurray introduce students to during the IELTS Speaking course.

  • To begin with….
  • One of the most interesting things about….
  • First of all….
  • Firstly
  • It is the most important thing in my life because…
  • The reason why I like it so much is because…

Phrases to expand or develop idea

Once you introduce your idea, you would want to expand with some background detail and cite some reasons. Here are just a few of the phrases to develop an idea:

  • One of the main disadvantages/advantages or causes…
  • For instance/For example…..
  • One of the consequences/results….
  • This appeals to me because…
  • Another reason why I like/don’t prefer …..
  • Moreover,

Phrases for conclusion

Your conclusion could begin with a one-line summary such as:

  • To wrap up,….
  • To conclude,….
  • In conclusion,…
  • To sum up,….
  • Overall
  • In a nutshell

That’s all for today. If you are an IELTS aspirant looking for reliable and result-oriented IELTS online training, do write to us at: info@hurrayedutech.com or call us at 8971357938

Practical Tricks to Score Higher in PTE Listening

The final part or Part 3 of the PTE (Academic) Test is the Listening Test. The test is a total of 45-57 minutes duration, and has eight different test components. The actual length of each component depends on the combination of items.

 The eight components in the PTE Listening test are as follows:

  • Summarize Spoken Text
  • Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer
  • Fill in the Blanks
  • Highlight Correct Summary
  • 5 Multiple Choice, Single Answer
  • Select Missing Word
  • Highlight Incorrect Words
  • Write From Dictation

Here are a few tips to approach some of the sections in the PTE Listening Test:

1.     Summarize spoken text 

In the “Summarize spoken text” task, you will hear an audio recording and would be required to summarize the points made by the speaker in 50 and 70 words—ideally covering the most important points in the recording. You will be awarded marks for grammar, vocabulary, spelling, content, and form (within a specific word limit).

Tip

Time is the key: While you may be tempted to pause or use a lot of words, do not lose focus of time! Rather aim to finish at 35 seconds. At Hurray PTE training institute, our trainers ensure students practice speaking within a certain time frame—say two minutes on a topic. This method helps arrive on the length or elaborate a expand a bit on your keywords.

Listen with attention: Try capturing the context by listening with focused attention than trying to take notes.

Focus on the theme and most repeated words. Students at Hurray have particularly benefited by following this tip

2.     Multiple choice, multiple answers

This task will test your ability to understand the main ideas in a text and arrive at the connections between pieces of information. This part has negative marking where points are subtracted for incorrect options.

Tip:

Speed-read questions before audio begins: Speed-read the possible options. Listen very carefully. Practise taking notes to help you focus and remember names and numbers. Read the options and eliminate the incorrect ones, select the correct ones.

Avoid making blind guesses: Remember not to mark any option that you could be doubtful about as it would get you a negative marking!

Listen till the end: Special emphasis is laid in Hurray’s PTE training course in building concentration. This section in PTE Listening, for instance, would require you to stay focused till the end as the answers could be in the end.

  3.    General Listening Tips 

Listen to English songs and English news on international channels to catch up on the native accents in word pronunciation.

Watch movies and TV shows first with subtitles and then without subtitles. 

Increase vocabulary by listening to audio books and podcasts.

If you are a PTE aspirant looking for training help, do pay us a visit at Hurray PTE training Institute, or write to us at info@hurrayedutech.com. You may also like to take a tour of our website: https://hurrayedutech.com/

IELTS, OET, PTE Training Institute

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