All posts tagged student life

  • Your Free Guide to Studying in the US

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    Considering embarking on an academic course in the US?

    Being an international student in the US can be a hugely rewarding experience. If you’re wondering how to go about it or just looking for tips, then you should download our free PDF guide straight to your PC or smartphone.

    Topics include:

    • How to get a scholarship
    • Getting your visa
    • Where to go
    • Accommodation in the US
    • Eating on a Budget
    • US Tax Tips
    • Getting a Job
    • Student Life
    • And much more!

    Simply fill in the form below to get your free guide!

  • Tips for Yale University

    Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, has graduated five US presidents, 52 Nobel Laureates, and hundreds of high level US diplomats, including former US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and current Secretary of State, John Kerry. Yale is a private Ivy-League University and the third oldest institute of higher learning in the US.

    It was founded in 1701 in Saybrook Colony and renamed Yale College in 1718 in recognition of a gift from Elihu Yale, Governor of the British East India Company at the time.  It has over 12 constituent schools, including the original undergraduate college, the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and ten professional schools.

     

    Transport

    1. Train

    New Haven is a small city of 130,000 residents two and a half hours south of Boston and is easily accessible by train, bus, car, and airplane. Union Station is minutes from Yale and the regular Metro North will take you between New York and New Haven. Amtrak runs from New Haven to Vermont, Providence, and Boston.  Search Metro-North and Amtrak for information on ticket prices and discount passes.

     

    2. Bus

    You can hop on a Greyhound or Peter Pan bus out of New Haven at Union Station. Yale also provides shuttle transport for students all year round, except for holidays, and the service is free.  Buses are reasonably priced and offer student discounts. Search for routes here.

     

    3. Bike

    If you want to use a bicycle, there are several places where you’ll find shared bicycles on campus. The university has partnered with Zagster, a bike-sharing scheme, so you don’t have to worry about buying a bike when you get there.

    It’s easy to navigate Yale on a bike and you won’t have to worry about parking. A Bike-to-Work-Breakfast event takes place every third Friday of the month where cyclists get the chance to meet, have coffee, and enjoy breakfast with other cyclists. Find out more here.

     

    Accommodation

    1. Campus

    Most freshmen live at Yale’s Old Campus, which is made up of 14 buildings, including eight dormitories, two chapels, and a four-acre courtyard. Before you start your freshman year, you’ll be assigned to one of Yale’s twelve residential colleges and be affiliated with this college for the next four years. Once you become a sophomore, you’ll be moved into your designated college.

     

    2. New Haven

    Home to Yale University for nearly three centuries, New Haven is a busy center for business and arts and a great place to live and work. Freshmen mainly live on campus, but many graduates choose to live in the city.

    You can start your search for apartments in New Haven by looking at Yale University’s affiliated website listings on Elm Campus Partners and OffCampusLiving. Both websites have authenticated student reviews.

     

    3. Hotels

    There are a number of hotels close to campus where you can stay and many are listed on Yale’s website here. You are free to drop into the Yale Visitor Center to find out more information about Yale and get a guided tour of the campus.

    Foreign language and private tours are also available by appointment. If you’re not sure about Yale, but are considering applying, this is a great way to get to know the university!

     

    Food

    1. Campus dining

    Yale serves a wide selection of food on campus at its various dining halls for students and the style is all-you-care-to-eat. As an undergraduate, you can choose from a number of meal plans to suit your budget. You can use these meal plans at a variety of restaurants and café across campus. For more information, check out their website here.

     

    2. New Haven

    New Haven offers plenty of choice when it comes to cafés and restaurants, and there are a number of places that won’t hurt your pocket. For example, Moe’s on Whitney will give you free chips and salsa with any order, and you can grab a burrito at La Conchita for as little as $5.

    For a cheap bagel or muffin for breakfast, try the Book Trader Café before 10 am or Patricia’s restaurant on Whalley Ave. China King do a great lunch special, and if you like sushi, then Mizu offers an all you can eat special you can share with your friends for $20.

     

    3. Grocery shopping

    You’ll find all the basics, such as meat, fresh veggies, and canned food at Stop & Shop on Whalley Ave, within walking distance of the campus. Elm City Market co-op on Chapel Street will save you a lot of money in the long run, especially if you plan on cooking a lot of your own meals throughout the year.

    For relatively cheap prices and pre-prepared meals, go to Trader Joe’s on Boston Post Rd. Whole Foods Market on the same road also have a variety of retail stores, serving fresh, healthy produce.

     

    Good luck! And don’t forget to download our free guide for international students in the US below.

     

  • Top 10 Apps to Survive Student Life in the U.S.

    From planning trips home, to speaking a new language, studying abroad comes with many unique challenges.

    Luckily, technology provides us with lots of cool applications to help navigate student life – reminders, calendars, dictionaries, study apps, etc. Check out our top 10 apps to make life easier as an international student in the US.

    1.    Google Maps

    google maps

    An excellent, free map application and a handy travel guide, Google Maps will quickly become your best buddy in unfamiliar places and help you locate shops, restaurants and landmarks nearby.

    The GPS navigation with voice prompts will guide you to your destination, and traffic alerts will help you avoid heavy traffic. The app maps out the best routes, depending on whether you’re driving, walking, or prefer to bike it. To keep your mobile data, you can save your favorite maps for offline use. The app is free for Android and iOS.

    2. Google Translate

    google translate

    Nobody doubts your language skills, but if you need a little help, Google translate will come to the rescue. Free for Android and iOS users, it translates over 90 languages, is simple to use, and usually reliable.

    You can speak, type, or draw words into your phone or tablet and this app will instantly translate it into your chosen language. A cool new feature called Conversation Mode will even translate your chats with friends in real-time. The Word Lens tool lets you hover your phone over menus, signs and other text to overlay the translated text on the image, though it doesn’t always recognise certain fonts.

    3. Converter+
    converter+Wondering how much to tip the waiter? Need to calculate the sales tax? You might know how many pounds are in a kilogram, but there are times when you’ll need to convert on the go. Whether you’re calculating a tip, or checking the weather in Celsius (°C), Converter+ is a really useful app.

    It packs in over 100 converters and calculators including temperature, length, weight, and currency. It’s simple to use, and could prove a life saver in a foreign country. It’s available for free on iTunes.

    4. LINE

     lineYou can chat to your friends and family for free with LINE. Send messages, make voice or video calls, and have group chats with other LINE users worldwide free of charge using its VoIP technology. ​

    As well as free messages and phone calls, it comes with an integrated social network and lots of cute symbols and emojis for your chats. A great, low-cost way to keep in touch with parents and friends, it will help you feel loved no matter how far you are from home. You can download it for free for Android or iOS.

    5. DataMan

    dataman Phone plans in the US can be confusing. You can avoid paying insane phone bills by using the DataMan app for iOS. DataMan Next will keep track of your data usage in real-time. Simply input your phone plan info and you’ll get warnings when you’re about to exceed your usage limits.

    DataMan Pro is an upgraded version that provides specific information on what apps are eating up your data. A small investment in this app could save you quite a bit of cash in the long run.

    6. Dropbox

    dropbox Never lose course work again with Dropbox, a superb, cloud-based file storage service that lets you upload files (documents, photos, videos, etc.) and access them on any device with an internet connection.

    It comes with 2GB free storage, and lets you share files and sync them from any computer or device. Dropbox can instantly save email attachments, photos and docs for safe keeping, and more importantly, the mobile app will automatically backup all your precious photos and videos. You can get it for free for both Android and iOS.

    7. CliffsNotes

    cliffsnotesCliffNotes have gone digital with their study guides in this iTunes app. If you’re taking an English Literature class, then these guides could prove very useful coming up to exams.

    You can download the app for free on iTunes and purchase notes with information on characters, plot, as well as summaries of every book you read. You can also listen to audio versions of the notes at your leisure, outside during walks, or even at the gym!

    8. Spotify

    spotify

    With over 20 million tracks, Spotify is a sleek music streaming service essential for any music lover. Similar to iTunes, one of the biggest differences is that you can listen to all your favorite artists for free.

    Simply download the free app to your device and stream songs using a network or Wi-Fi connection. You can upgrade to the paid version, Spotify Premium, to stream and download songs to your device commercial-free. Spotify is free for Android and iOS.

    9. Studious

    studios Get organized with Studious, the perfect study companion. Studious will keep your class schedule, exam dates and project deadlines all in one place. It works like an alarm clock, so when you enter information on your classes, exam dates, and projects, you’ll get gentle reminders.

    You can choose how and when you’re notified, so your phone doesn’t suddenly start ringing loudly during lectures. Another useful feature lets you save notes and pictures for those times when you don’t have a pen handy. You can download it from iTunes for $0.99 or free on the Google Play store.

    10. Eventbrite

    evenbrite

    Find out what’s happening in your local area with the Eventbrite app. Free on iTunes and Google Play, this app lets you search festivals, concerts, and upcoming events in your city. You can take a break from study and find networking events, classes and more fun things to do near you.

    The app lets you search and buy tickets for events based on interests, dates, what your friends are attending, and by popularity. You can share events with friends, make bookings, and get vital details from times to dates and location, all from the palm of your hand.

    Have we missed any apps that you can’t live without? Let us know in the comments!

    Don’t forget Sprintax can make your life as a student in the U.S. easier too. Sign up to Sprintax now for a simple US tax solution.