6th Economic Forum of Young Leaders in Nowy Sącz, Poland

Young leaders meet in Poland to create ideas for the future of Europe. We warmly invite you to participate in the 6th Economic Forum of Young Leaders which will take place between 6th and 10th of September 2011 in Nowy Sącz (near Kraków), Poland.

Each year, Forum engages over 300 young leaders of political, economic, social, and non-governmental organisations from the European Union countries, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, from over 42 European countries, to come to Poland to Nowy Sącz.

The Economic Forum of Young Leaders in Nowy Sącz is a meeting of young elite from Europe and a venue for discussion about important processes in the world as well as challenges for young generations of politicians, economists and leaders of NGOs. Forum gives room for debate about the future of the European Union and its relation with neighbouring countries. 

Young leaders are the elite among young people. Experienced in supervising and running international and local projects, valiant and open, well educated, they can encourage to get involved not only their peers but also local communities – it is an invaluable contribution in structuring and development of civil society.

Our objective is to arrange a big event similar in scale to the Forum in Kynica and Davos, addressed, however, to young leaders. We would like to create 'Davos of the Young”, a meeting and training place for young leaders, a spot to reflect on the future of Europe. This is supposed to be the Forum during which there will be a chance to establish contacts with other people, share our experience, find partners for mutual social and business projects. A conference with young participants from the EU countries, the Balkans, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Russia, Turkey and high rank guests is an infrequent event.

A four day programme of the Forum involves panel discussions, workshops as well as receptions and business evenings. The venue of the conference is determined by a partner programme – the Economic Forum in Krynica. Subsequently, outstanding politicians, economists, businessmen and heads of the countries, governments and corporations have an opportunity to meet young leaders in Nowy Sącz and to share experience, knowledge and to answer questions bothering young people.

Registration Fees

Qualified participants have to make a payment of:
  • 60 Euro (registration fee) for participants from the EU countries, Norway and Iceland
  • 200 Polish Zloty (registration fee) for participants from Poland
  • 30 Euro (registration fee) for participants form Balkan countries, Turkey, East Europe and the South Caucasus countries 
The registration fee includes:
  • participation in the 6th Economic Forum of Young Leaders 2011
  • access to all sessions, plenaries, meeting discussions and workshops
  • coffee breaks during sessions
  • gala dinner
  • breakfasts, lunches and dinners throughout the Forum
  • accommodation in the student's dormitories during the Forum
  • conference materials


Please fill in the online application form. We accept the applications by July 15, 2011.

In case of any issues contact us: forum@forum-leaders.eu
Web: http://www.forum-leaders.eu/

Study Smart: 7 Paths to Exam Success

This post is contibuted by Joy Paley, a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and a writer on earning your online psychology degree for the Guide to Online Schools.

Proponents of study abroad programs cite their ability to expose students to different cultures and give future leaders a global perspective. While these aspects of study abroad programs certainly exist, college students in a new country are also exposed to some temptations of the flesh that can be a bit more exciting than studying for exams. While you might be working on your “global perspective” spending four nights a week at discotheques and the rest of your time ogling cute locals at outdoor cafes, you’re probably not gaining the type of perspective those university administrators were talking about. Here are seven tips for making the most of your academic experience abroad -- while also finding time for fun.

1. Use On-the-Go Study Tools
Most students in study abroad programs want to make the most of their time there, and consequently, they’re often on the road to see historic sights or wiling away the night partying. It pays to become familiar with study tools that you can easily use while you’re in transit. Flash cards are old school, but electronic versions on your iPhone can be a good alternative.

2. Make Local Friends
While living abroad for the first time can certainly be exciting, it can also be quite overwhelming. Some students don’t make the effort to really reach out to local residents in their classes or the community, and they find themselves doing everything with a herd of students from back home. Finding a few local friends will help you get much better at the language and ace your language exams. It will also ensure that you don’t go home feeling like you just spent two months abroad living in a bubble of your hometown college culture.

3. Study in an Immersive Environment
Just like it can be a temptation to hang around with a group of friends from home all the time, it can be easy to spend time studying in ways that don’t really put you into the local surroundings. Instead of just studying in the your room at your homestay, bring your books to a local library, café, or park. The more you immerse yourself in the language, the better you’ll get at it—without even trying!

4. Limit Nights Out
So far, these study tips have focused on preparing for your language classes, something that can be a big part of a study abroad experience. You’re going to have other classes, however; classes that won’t necessarily benefit from “immersive” experiences at the local bar or club. Just because you’re in a new locale, that doesn’t mean you’re on a full-time vacation. Keeping your nights out down to one or two times a week will give you more energy to study and be engaged during lectures.

5. Have Regular Skype Dates Home—Then Call It Quits
Leaving behind a romantic interest, friends, and family will leave you feeling homesick at some point or another. Instead of spending four hours a day on the phone, Skyping, or checking Facebook, carefully schedule the hours you’ll be bonding with folks from back home. It’s good to stay in touch, but overdoing it will distract you from academic work and keep you from fully enjoying your time in a new culture.

6. Connect Classes to Your Local Environment
During study abroad, most students take classes about the history or culture of the area where they’re staying. Get out into the city, and see the sights that you’re learning about in class—you’ll be more likely to engage with the material and really internalize it.

7. Frequent Office Hours
At home, students hit up office hours to make professional connections with instructors, secure recommendation letters, or find a suitable academic advisor. While hanging out with your professors abroad might not present the same obvious benefits, making the time to see them outside of class will give more depth to what you’re learning in class and impress them with your dedication to learning.

Economics of Science and Innovation Program in Barcelona

The Economics of Science and Innovation Program examines the economic challenges faced by science and technology, the anticipated difficulties, and offers solutions while considering the timing of the foreseeable transfer process from basic research results to applications. Students will not only become aware of possibilities, but will also be able to make realistic assessments of the perspectives generated by each development, its potential economic impact, the obstacles it presents, and its sources of support. This master program aims to prepare students for management careers in research centers, innovative firms, public administrations and intermediate institutions geared toward promoting research and development activities. The Economics of Science and Innovation Program is located at the Bellaterra campus at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Skills acquired in this Master program:
  • Measure research results: expected output in a project and scientific impact
  • Assess the economic viability of research projects through cost-benefit analysis
  • Identify new business opportunities for R&D
  • Understand the patent system, advantages and disadvantages

Eligibible applicants:

  • Graduates in economics, business administration, engineering, life sciences
  • Junior scientists with a professional orientation in science management
  • Aspiring PhD students looking for a solid master program in economics of science and innovation
Program information

Language of instruction: English
Structure: 9 months (3 trimesters), full time
Campus: Bellaterra (UAB)
Degree awarded: Master Degree in Specialized Economic Analysis (awarded jointly with UPF and UAB)


In addition to the scholarships available for all Barcelona GSE master programs, there are two scholarship agreements specificially for students in the Economics of Science and Innovation (MESI) Program.

Internship-Scholarship Program: Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation
Number of scholarships: 1
Eligibility: All MESI students
Award amount: 15,000 € (full tuition plus paid internship)

Details: This unique scholarship combines full tuition coverage for the master program with a paid 6-month internship at the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation (FCRI). The internship is to take place from January through June of the master year on a part-time basis and full-time in July after graduation. All MESI applicants will be automatically considered for this award.

International Spring Academy "Economics of Liberty"

International Spring Academy "Economics of Liberty" will be held on March 12-18, 2011 in Bazaleti, Georgia. The event is organized by the New Economic School - Georgia and Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF)

The aim of the Academy is to encourage and challenge free and critical thinking of the young generation and its covers the classical liberal philosophy, principles of market economics and applied economics.

Who can apply? 
Young leaders with economic-related experience.

FNF will cover travel to and from Bazaleti (from Tbilisi), accommodation, stationary and meals.

How to apply? 
Send your CV and motivation letter to office@nesgeorgia.org before March 8, 18:00. Selected applicants will be informed next day.

Working language - English (Advance level required).

1. Avigdor Jardeni, Associate Scholar, New Economic School - Georgia
2. Gia Jandieri, Vice-President, New Economic School - Georgia
3. Paata Sheshelidze, President, New Economic School – Georgia
4. Vadim Novikov, The Higher School of Economics (HSE), Moscow, Russia
5. Robert Lawson, Professor of Auburn University, USA & Co-Author of Economic Freedom of the World
6. Ruta Vainiene, President of LFMI, Lithuania
7. Wolfgang John, FNF, Germany

NESG contact information:
Address: Sanapiro street 4, Tbilisi, Georgia
Tel.: 995 32 990046
Fax: 995 32 204321 

ISWiB 2011 - “Communication in Action!”

ISWiB 2011 applications are now open! ISWiB 2011 (International Student Week in Belgrade) will be held for the fifth time this year, in the period from 10th till 17th July 2011 in Belgrade, capital of Serbia, under the motto “Communication in Action!”. The festival will gather approximately 200 participants from the whole of Europe, with the aim of exchanging opinions and views about the hot issues that a modern society has to face, as well as overcoming global differences through a communication, personal contacts and mutual understanding.

ISWiB is a meeting platform for young people with different cultural backgrounds; it is a place to get to know each other, establish new friendships and discuss various topics, from various points of view. Through close communication and cooperation, interactive lectures and workshops, students will be able to gain new knowledge and exchange ideas in the fields of PR & marketing, environmental protection, green economy, online media, youth activism, debate, theatre, NLP, graffiti, photography and filmmaking. Students will also have an opportunity to establish professional contacts with eminent professors and professionals from different fields and develop and create new projects by themselves.

Our goal is to establish international cooperation and contacts by creating a healthy working environment and enabling stronger bonds among domestic and foreign students. By promoting the idea of the "citizen of Europe" and "citizen of the World", we insist on embracing intercultural and European values and bringing them to a global level of mutual respect and understanding.

This year, the participants of ISWiB 011 can simbolically choose from the following 11 workshops:
  • Debate
  • Environmental Protection
  • Graffiti
  • Media
  • NLP
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Photography
  • PR & Marketing
  • Theatre
  • Video and Motion Graphics
  • Youth Activism

Apart from these 11 workshops led by partner organizations, the educational program will include a panel discussion and open lectures dealing with the communication issues in modern society. As the goal of ISWiB is promoting idea of “Citizen of the World”, not only through the exchange of knowledge, opinions and ideas, but also by making friendships, ISWiB 011 will be an opportunity for lots of cultural manifestations, day trips, and parties. Again, Country Fair and MTV concert will be central events of cultural program.

The participation fee is 90 euros for foreign students, and covers accomodation, food and workshop materials. For Serbian students, the participation fee is 45 euros and doesn’t cover accomodation.

All students studying at European universities, fluent in English are eligible to apply.

The application form can be filled out here.

The deadline for applications is April 1st, 2011.

All questions may be sent to: participants@iswib.org

Website: www.iswib.org

Student Conference in Maribor - SCiM 2011

Applications are now open for the next Student Conference in Maribor that will take place between the 1st and 11th of July, 2011 in Maribor, Slovenia. SCiM (Student Conference in Maribor) is student conference organized by Student organization of University of Maribor. The department responsible for SCiM is department for international affairs. We organize a lot of projects during the year but SCiM is our biggest one. We can say that it has become a tradition that Student organization of University of Maribor organizes a student conference which purpose is to join students from different countries to debate about important issues of the society around us and to express their opinion through their critical point of view.

First SCiM was organized 14 years ago. Since that time we have been discussing topics, which are provocative and interesting. We have been solving problems concerning nationalism, student mobility and student national policies. We talked about integration of higher education and future of Europe, public access to education, student mobility, employment and unemployment.

This year SCiM participants will have a chance to choose from the following  workshops: photography, video, theater, art painting, improvisation, dance and creative workshops.

There is no participation fee. We cover accommodation, food,  and organization. During SCiM participants are staying in student dormitory and have 3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). The only thing that participants have to care off by themselves is transportation to Maribor. 
We would like to invite all the students who are interested in student life, students who want to have a lot of fun and meet new people and friends to join us in Maribor. Among all of you we are going to choose 80 students, according to the motivation letters. Hurry and apply for SCiM to experience unforgettable ten days!

Application deadline is March 27, 2011

To apply, fill in short online application form, telling about your motivation to attend SCiM, at: www.scim.si 

SCiM 2011 Team: scim2011@soum.si
Application and visa responsible: urska.stumberger@soum.si
Incoming responsible: katja.cerncic@soum.si

Conference "Role of Tribunals and Doctrine in the International Law"

We would kindly like to invite you to the 4th International Conference of Law Studies "Role of Tribunals and Doctrine in the International Law", organised by Interdisciplinary Student Association Diplomacy and Law. It is the fourth edition of the conference, organized each year by our Association. The conference will be held at University of Warsaw between 11th and 12th of April 2011. Three previous editions (two national and one international) aroused great interest and were attended by over 100 students and Ph.D. students from leading Polish universities. The last edition included also students from Czech Republic, Ukraine Russia, Kazakhstan and Iran.

The subject of this year’s conference is the role of international courts, tribunals and the doctrine in the international law. Our aim is to examine to what extent the tribunals, as institutions executing the international law, affect the quality and effectiveness of this law. We also would like to explore the impact of the doctrine on the international law at the beginning of 21st century. In the time of global economic crisis and dynamic transformation of international relations those questions become of significant importance for the future of the international law in general.

During the conference the following issues will be addressed:
   * role of the past experiences - the Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals,
   * role of the European Court of Justice and European Court of Human Rights in system of international and European law after the Lisbon Treaty and planned accession of the EU to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms,
   * role and future of the International Court of Justice,
   * role and future of international criminal courts (ICC, Former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Lebanon),
   * role and future of other international tribunals,
   * role of arbitrage tribunals in inter-states conflicts and in economic cases (state v. foreign investor),
   * impact of ruling of the courts on practise of state’s activities,
   * new trends in international law doctrine;

Conference is addressed to all students and Ph.D. students interested in international law. The conference will be held in two languages: Polish and English. Organizers are planning to publish a post-conference book, containing articles of participants.

Organisation Committee reserves itself a right to select the applications. Once you are accepted, you will receive confirmation e-mail (if you are not notified within the week from sending your application, please let us know).

The conference fee is 35 zlotys (approx. 9 €) and is going to cover only the organisation costs. Organisation Committee will also assist in finding accommodation for the time of conference. Information concerning the accommodation will be given individually after acceptance of the application.

Registration deadline is 1st of March, 2011.  

For more information about the conference please visit our website: www.dip.mish.uw.edu.pl/conference or write an e-mail: int.law.conference@wpia.uw.edu.pl 

The Basics of Saving Money While Studying Abroad

Traveling is a luxury many of us cannot afford. Obviously, that’s what student loans are for, however much we may ache in repaying them in the days after graduation.

The following are tips to save money while traveling abroad so you have less to worry about later. Don’t worry; your experience abroad won’t be stunted by your savings.

Before you go

1. When you’re still in the planning stages of where you want to study abroad, look outside of Europe. Yes, Florence is the most beautiful city I’ve set eyes upon, but it was also expensive. Much of Europe is (especially the British Isles). Many areas of South and Central America, Africa, and Asia (excluding the likes of Tokyo, of course) offer incredible cultural experiences for less money.

2. Consider living off campus, as in an apartment or with a host family. With a host family, you can more deeply immerse yourself in the culture and more easily learn the language as well as save on the expenses of living in a dorm. Don’t rule out renting an apartment with another student, either, since rent for a flat may actually be cheaper than campus fees if you have a roommate. Compare and assess—the decision is ultimately yours.

3. Keep a sharp eye out for scholarships as well as jobs you can apply for on campus. Don’t stop looking even when you get to your study-abroad destination. Depending on how long you intend to stay in said country, see if you can get a part-time job at a local coffee shop or something similar. This will be notably easier if you speak the local language. Check out the country’s policies on work before you arrive.
4. Get a feel for the local currency. Will you lose money or make it in the exchange rate? Look into what the cost of living is like so you can estimate your budget. 

5. Consider purchasing an International Student Identity Card (ISIC). It costs $22.00 but you’ll save money later by getting discounts sightseeing in popular cities, reduced rates at hotels and hostels, and even lower prices at certain restaurants. It’s recognized in over 100 countries.

While you’re there
1. One of the best ways to save money is to keep track of it. Make a weekly budget and stick to it; if you find this impossible, spend one week recording every single one of your expenses and rework your budget. 

2. Get to know the locals when you get there. Be courteous by at least stumbling through the local language before reverting to English, even if you know they understand it. It shows respect, a willingness to learn and appreciate foreign culture, and humility. You’ll get better answers out of them when you ask where the cheapest (and tastiest) restaurants are in town, where to go grocery shopping, what brands to get, and where to go for a new sweater. This includes talking to local shopkeepers especially if you’re a repeating customer. You might get lower prices on their goods or otherwise some manner of insider information. If none of those, you’ll at least make a friend.

3. If you have your own laptop or have access to a computer, use Skype instead of buying expensive phone cards to call home. You can call landlines for a fraction of the international price and video chat is free.

4. If you get to travel on your own while abroad, forget you ever saw the movie Hostel and stay in one. Generally speaking, they’re very safe, clean, cheap, and great spots to make friends with other international students and travelers. Check out Hostelworld (www.hostelworld.com), Hostelling International (http://www.hihostels.com/), and the like. You may even consider acquiring a Hostel International membership if you plan on traveling often.

Education and travel have always been costly, but both are worth having under your belt. Don’t let the high expense of studying abroad keep you from the wonders of plunging into an adventure you’ll never forget and friends you’ll keep in your heart forever.

This guest post is contributed by Maria Rainier. Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education, where she's been performing gender wage gap research as related to the highest paying degrees. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

Conference "New Institutional Economics: Challenges and Opportunities"

Center for Institutional Studies, State University — Higher School of Economics (CIS, HSE) organizes the Russian Summer School on Institutional Economics 2011 titled "New Institutional Economics: Challenges and Opportunities", that will be held in Moscow on July 5-11, 2011. The Summer School is aimed at creating and supporting the academic network of young researchers from different countries, who work in the field of New Institutional Economics. The schedule of Summer School includes lectures, seminars and plenty of possibilities for discussion and communication. This year we will focus attention on NIE methodology in application to various research fields like banking, education, and bureaucracy.


Among those who are encouraged to participate are researchers, teaching staff, PhD and Master students.

Priority in the selection will be given to research projects that are related to the following fields:
* Economic analysis of bureaucracy
* Economics of education
* Economics of banking and financial markets
* Industrial organization and regulation

The working language of the Summer School is English.

The RSSIA 2011 participants will have the opportunity:
* to learn how to make a brilliant research from the special RSSIA2011 short course by John Nye (George Mason University);
* to attend the lectures of distinguished experts in various spheres of institutional economics and adjoining disciplines: Garett Jones (George Mason University), Hannes Mueller (Institut d’Analisi Economica, Barcelona), Russell Pittman (Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice), Koen Schoors (Universiteit Gent);
* to present and discuss their current research projects during seminars;
* to exchange the research experience with other RSSIA participants and experts.

A certain number of grants are available to cover participants’ accommodation and meals costs and the registration fee.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via application form. An application includes:
* Registration form;
* Motivation letter (no longer than 300 words);
* Current research project description (no longer than 1200 words + references) with a short abstract (no longer than 200 words).

Current research project description should be in English (MS Word, Times New Roman, size 12, space 1.5, standard margins) and must include the following parts, titled and clearly separated in the text (the proposals, which do not satisfy the requirements, will not be accepted):

* Research problem;
* Brief literature overview;
* The aim of the project;
* Main hypotheses;
* Methodology;
* Results;
* References.

Important dates:
Application deadline March, 20, 2011
Communication of Acceptance April, 20, 2011
Participants' confirmation of participation May, 20, 2011
Arrival to RSSIA July, 5, 2011
Departure from RSSIA July, 11, 2011

RSSIA Coordinator:
Anna Balsevich
E-mail: rssia.lia@gmail.com
Tel: +7 905 710 1497 

Living Frugally: How to Make the Best of Your Study Abroad Experience

You have probably heard this many times, but your study abroad experience really will be one of the most memorable periods of your life. However, there are a lot of stresses that come with living in another country. In addition to all the applications and visa paperwork you have to complete beforehand, the financial burden of studying abroad often deters most students from leaving their comfort zone. However, if you make smart decisions both before and during your stay, you will realize that studying abroad doesn't have to put a strain on your pocketbook. You can still have an amazing experience by planning ahead. Most importantly, living frugally is key to prevent building up debt and unnecessary expenses.


Currency: When considering your potential destination, keep your financial situation in mind. You don't have to study abroad in Tokyo or Moscow, two of the most expensive cities in the world, in order to have fun. Look at countries where your own currency goes a long way. For Americans, countries with favorable exchange rates include: India, Dominican Republic, Panama, Argentina, Turkey, Chile, El Salvador, and the list goes on.

Direct Exchange: Third party providers that offer programs are usually much more expensive than direct exchanges with your home university. If you do a direct exchange, a program should not cost much more than your normal college tuition. Start planning early and schedule appointments with your study abroad office to discuss the possibilities.

Plan for the Future:  It is important to choose a country that is suitable for your personal interests. Still, be sure you can market your experience in the future. You do not want future employers to think this was just time off to party in another country. For example, companies and markets are highly inner-connected these days, and being proficient in another language is a great asset to have. Plan to take some courses in the local language. You can even practice your new skills in a real world setting! After all, it's more fun to put your skills to use in a new place, perhaps a market or cafe, than in your high school or college classroom.


Cultural Events: One of the most important assets of living abroad is the exposure to a new culture and way of life. Luckily, most students are offered discounts or even free admission to museums and events. Be sure to ask your university about discounts. Check out the student rates on the government websites as well. They usually post links to free events.

Cook, But Still be Cultural: One of the perks of living in a new place is the wealth of new cuisine and restaurants. However, this leads you to rake up a large monthly bill. There are usually many other international students in a university. Make some friends, and try to cook together at your dormitory or apartment on the weekdays. This technique will also allow you to try new foods and meet great new people.

Drinking: Many European and Latin American countries charge exorbitant prices for drinks. Don't plan on ordering more than one drink at a bar or club. Have a fun get together with your friends beforehand, where you share conversation and drink a bit before you go out on the town. Also, don't waste your study abroad experience by binge drinking. This is a time you want to remember. Drinking heavily abroad can take a toll on your health personal expenses. Be responsible!

This guest contribution was submitted by Lauren Bailey, who specializes in writing about online colleges. Questions and comments can be sent to: blauren99 @gmail.com

Useful Tips to Help You Choose the Right Study Abroad Program

If you’re in college, you probably have a long list of study abroad programs to choose from. It can be overwhelming to decide among so many great opportunities, and it’s a lot of work to make sure you’re ready for the experience. But once you’ve gotten through the tough part, you’ll get all the benefits of studying abroad without the stress of trying to figure it out at the last minute. To help you plan ahead and enjoy the study abroad experience to its fullest, here are some tips that will jump-start your thought process. 

Study the Big Picture
To make sure your study abroad experience happens at the right time in your college career, it’s important to sit down with your academic advisor and plan out every semester of your studies. This can change if you need it to, but having a blueprint for your college years will help you determine how and when to study abroad. Start by planning when you’ll take courses that are absolutely necessary to complete your major. Some of these are offered in alternate years during only spring or fall semesters, so be careful that you don’t schedule your study abroad session during an important one-time opportunity to take a specific course. It’s also helpful to talk to your parents about studying abroad to see if you can get any help with the expenses and to take their thoughts into consideration. 

Know What You Need
If you’re planning to study a foreign language, you’ll need to make sure that the program you choose offers courses that are taught only in that language. Courses that are taught in English can disrupt your immersion experience and give you a crutch that you don’t need. However, this is only effective if you already have a working knowledge of the language you’d like to become fluent in. If it’s all new to you, you’ll need some classes that are taught in English. Talk to a foreign language professor at your current institution to see if you can arrange to take a placement test. 

After planning the classes you’ll take each semester during college, you’ll have a good idea of which courses you need to take in order to graduate. Make sure that you’ll be able to take classes that count toward your requirements while you’re abroad. The study abroad experience is priceless, but if you don’t earn any necessary credits while you’re away, you might have trouble graduating on time when you get back.  

Challenge Yourself
When you study abroad, you’re choosing to leave your comfort zone. Take it a little further by challenging yourself to do something new while you’re exploring a foreign country. Go to the study abroad office and check your school’s programs for extracurricular activities that might enhance your experience and teach you something valuable about yourself. Look for courses you wouldn’t be able to take anywhere else, such as classes that involve field trips, intensive language immersion classes, or something that’s completely unfamiliar to you. When you challenge yourself, you learn more about what you want to study, so this is a great way to use the study abroad experience in your personal and professional development.  

Know Your Housing Options
Many programs allow you to choose between student housing at the new institution and host families. In the majority of programs, host families are only allowed to support one or two students from a single institution, so you won’t spend as much time with students from other countries if you choose a host family. However, you’ll learn a lot about the culture by experiencing it alongside native speakers who can show you the best things about their country. If you choose to stay in student housing, you’ll be more likely to meet students from other countries and learn about other cultures that way. No matter what you decide, you’ll have an enriching experience, but it’s up to you to choose your “home” environment. 

Get Answers
Talk to someone at your study abroad office and see if you can get in contact with some students who have been through the programs you’re considering. They’ll be able to answer any questions you might have and their opinions will be well informed. Anything you’re not getting from the brochure or the program directors can be found out from previous participants, so take advantage of that opportunity to get the answers you need to make the right decision. 

This guest post is contributed by Maria Rainier. Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where recently she's been researching the highest paying college degrees versus some of the lowest paying college degrees. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

Insider Tips

We are introducing a new Insider Tips section on our website! The section will highlight the what-to-do, how-to-get, what-to-bring, how-to-survive tips related to various programs and events shared by experienced former participants :)

Have you been to many interesting events? Wanna share your great/funny/adventurous/bad experience with thousands of readers like you? Wanna share your advice or warn somebody against negative experience? Don't be shy and speak aloud! Send your true story to yourvirtualguide@gmail.com and, if relevant, it will be immediately published on our blog and Facebook page!

Graz University Summer School "International Summer School on the Americas"

The next Graz University Summer School - GUSS 2011 - under the general topic "International Summer School on the Americas" will be held on July 17th- 31st, 2011 in the Castle Seggau, Austria. This summer school project is an Erasmus IP project, which is supported by the Utrecht Network and carried out by the University of Graz, represented by the Center for the Study of the Americas (C.SAS) in cooperation with the Vice Rectorate for International Relations.

Why YOU should join this Summer School: You are a highly motivated student at master level and want to spend two weeks studying, researching, discussing, and exchanging experiences in the unique and creative atmosphere of a medieval castle nurtured by international experts on the Americas and fellow students from all around the world. Why wait? Apply today! What this summer school offers you:
  • Two-week summer university at Seggau Castle with international students and lecturers
  • 6 ECTS credits for participation and a seminar paper.
  • Parallel seminar modules, series of morning & evening lectures
  • Full board
  • Excursion to Graz, various social activities
The Summer School offers a platform to students and teachers from international universities to engage in the interdisciplinary analysis of new conceptual approaches for a redefinition of the Americas in times of worldwide globalization. Thematic seminars in the respective fields allow students to strengthen their understanding of complex issues in their study areas. The discursive and symbolic constructions of the Americas are investigated from the vantage point of politics, history, law, literature, film, gender, culture and Jewish Studies in order to determine the feasibility of an inter-American identity.

The target group are highly motivated students from all faculties holding a bachelor degree, or students working on their final thesis.

The deadline for all applications is March 20th, 2011! 

Download the application form here (MS Word Document; "Right Click > save as"). Fill in the application form entirely and accurately, then print and sign it. Please follow the application instructions and information which are indicated on the first page of the application form! Submit it via conventional mail (post office, DHL etc) to the Office of International Relations at Graz University. Please inform the international office at your home institution of your wish to apply for GUSS Summer School.

Please include the following documents in your application:
  • application form with passport size photograph
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • short essay regarding your motivation (approx. 1 page typescript, written by yourself)
  • 2 separate letters of recommendation (written and signed by the respective university teachers)
  • copies of certificates/diplomas or at least an academic transcript (in English or German) from your University
  • copy of relevant pages from passport (page with data and picture, page with visa if necessary and already available)
The first page of the application form includes further details and instructions!
Important: Applications via e-mail will not be accepted! Incomplete applications will not be accepted, so make sure you have filled in the forms correctly and attached all the necessary documents (see above)! Students have to be enrolled at university or a similar institution of higher education in order to attend GUSS Summer School.

Fees, Payment and Scholarships
The total costs for the summer school per student are € 1.300. This amount includes room and board (double or triple rooms, 3 meals per day), tuition as well as costs for excursions. 

However, there are various scholarships and grants available. Please contact the organizers for details!

Students need to pay for and organize their travel arrangements themselves!

Contact : Mateja Haberler (Office of International Relations)  
E-mail: mateja.haberler@uni-graz.at 
Tel: +43-316-380-1242, Fax +43-316-380-9155