Joint Master’s Programme in South-Eastern European Studies

The Universities of Graz, Zagreb, Belgrade and Skopje are pleased to announce the call for applications for the new Interdisciplinary Joint Master’s Programme in South-Eastern European Studies. This two year MA programme is offered as a joint degree between the four partner universities commencing in the autumn semester (from October 2011).

The Interdisciplinary Joint Master’s Programme in South-Eastern European Studies was developed as a part of the JoinSEE Tempus project and it is run by four consortium members (University of Belgrade – Faculty of Political Sciences (Serbia), Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje (Macedonia), Karl-Franzens-University Graz (Austria), University of Zagreb (Croatia)) and six partners for the purpose of student (and staff) mobility: University of Bologna (Italy), University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), University of Novi Sad (Serbia), University of Poitiers (France), University of Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), South East European University in Tetovo (Macedonia).

The mission of the Interdisciplinary Joint Master’s Programme in South-Eastern European Studies is to provide an international and interdisciplinary master’s programme in social sciences and humanities of the highest quality, which enables participants to effectively understand the interrelationship between law, politics, economics and culture with strong emphasis on the regional dimension of South-Eastern Europe. The master’s programme promotes the capacity for scientific analysis, especially by applying an inter- and transdisciplinary approach which includes areas of legal, political, economic and cultural studies. One of the aims of the programme is also to strengthen the gender sensitivity of students. The master’s programme prepares students for further PhD studies and professional life in a variety of fields.

Students enrol in and spend the first year at their home university:
* Karl-Franzens-University of Graz
* University of Zagreb
* University of Belgrade
* Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje

In the second year, students spend at least one semester at a partner university. In addition to the four consortium partners (Graz, Zagreb, Belgrade and Skopje) a number of other universities shall accept mobility students within the framework of the joint degree programme including the universities of Bologna, Ljubljana, Novi Sad, Poitiers, Sarajevo and South East European University, Tetovo.

The Interdisciplinary Joint Master’s Programme in South-Eastern European Studies seeks to provide an international and interdisciplinary master’s programme in social sciences and humanities of the highest quality which enables participants to effectively understand the interrelationship between law, politics, economics and culture with a particular emphasis on the regional dimension of South-Eastern Europe. The programme prepares students for doctoral studies and professional life in a variety of other fields including work in international, local governmental and non-governmental organisations, journalism, business, scientific research, and consultancy.


The Interdisciplinary Joint Master’s Programme in South-Eastern European Studies welcomes individuals holding an academic degree of at least 180 ECTS credits (bachelor’s degree or equivalent programme of at least 180 ECTS) who can demonstrate a grounding in social sciences or humanities, (e.g. law, political science, sociology…) and who have some general insight in South-Eastern Europe (the Balkans).
Application Procedure

Deadline: 30 June 2011

The full application should consist of:
* completed application form (PDF / MS Word)
* at least one letter of recommendation (preferable from a university professor or employer)
* certificate/diploma obtained at the undergraduate level (notarised translation into English)
* transcript of records obtained at the undergraduate level (notarised translation into English)
* letter of motivation (statement of purpose)
* proof of proficiency in English language: IELTS (required minimum score: 6.0), a TOEFL (required minimum score: 210 on the computerized test, 547 on the paper test, 78 on the Internet test), a Cambridge Exam (required level: FCE) or an equivalent certificate

Prospective students should apply by post to the institution they wish to attend. Admission to the home university for successful applicants is, upon request to the legally competent body, a separate process according to the local procedures for enrolment. Students begin their studies at the start of the following academic year.

Students completing the Interdisciplinary Joint Master’s Programme in South-Eastern European Studies earn the degree “Master of Arts”, abbreviated MA. The joint degree is awarded, signed and stamped by all four partners (subject to the specifications of the home university).

For general enquiries please refer to the programme website or contact:
Rory Archer
Centre for Southeast European Studies
Karl-Franzens University of Graz
RESOWI K3 Universitätsstr. 15
A-8010 Graz, Austria
Tel. +43-316-380-6824 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            +43-316-380-6824      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

5 Ways to Get Started in a Career in Financial Planning

Financial planning can be a very lucrative and rewarding career, especially for those who like dealing with money. Financial training is only one element of building a successful career. Often when we get started in something new, it is the foundation and the way that we start that can have a large impact on our progress and development, in terms of both speed and quality. Don't confuse issues of speed and quality; some people just manage to do things faster and better at the same time. Just because something is taking you a long time, does not mean that you are doing it better. Here are some of the issues that you should consider.

·  Networking. Can either be in the physical sense and/or online. It may be hard to build your network of people and groups before you are involved in the industry, or due to your location in the beginning, and so take advantage of online social networking and online professional networking sites to rapidly develop your network and pick up knowledge of your new found career path.
· Online research. It is amazing what you can research, read and study for free, informally and formally online. Some formal education programs can be lengthy, a good example is that of traditional universities. The same amount of study of a 3 year degree could be executed by an intelligent adult in a number of weeks if they were dedicated. Increase your own knowledge with unlimited information at your own pace.
·  Education. Financial courses are extremely important, in terms of your abilities in a specialised field and in the legal requirements that you will need to operate. You may need a certain amount of education in your region to operate on your own or inside a large company. Find out the legal requirements and get the education that you need. Education does not have to be limited to that. Education is always ongoing, and so keeping up-to-date with constant study is a must-do issue for anyone who is serious.
· Work experience. Hands on experience in any existing business to get a feel for your direction and the real day-to-day issues can be of great benefit. Getting the right work experience is essential. Work experience does not have to mean free, and if you are serious, an internship is another option. Converting your existing experience in business and the workplace may not be as difficult as you assumed.
·  Entrepreneurial. Many financial planners operate as individuals or in smaller companies. Even those working in larger companies are often expected to develop their position much like someone operating their career as if it was a business inside a business. Getting entrepreneurial skills and knowledge will probably highly assist you with your career and development. Whether it be maintaining existing relationships, seeing and knowing how to convert them, and all importantly, closing deals.
Use all the resources that you have now, and are available, and make a radical change in your career or start a new one.

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European Youth Week in Novi Sad - actWins 2011

eYouwins - The European Youth Week in Novi Sad is the one of the first and the largest youth festival with a thematic focus in Serbia. eYouwins is dedicated to youth in Serbia, Europe and worldwide, and its mission is to promote the spirit of cooperation, to link cultures, ideas and, above all, people. Festival has started in 2006 and in short time has gained popularity among young people all over Europe. During the last four years more than 5000 young people were involved in the Festival events and almost 400 guests from 25 countries visited Novi Sad and Serbia.

The sixth European Youth Week in Novi Sad, Activism Week - actWins 2011 - will be held between 16th and 23rd August 2011. Central activities will be organized in Novi Sad. Accommodation and food will be organized in student dormitories, and student restaurants. The organizer of the Festival is the Creative Educational Centre Novi Sad, in cooperation with the Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad.

The Festival focus is every year on current topic of interest for youth in Serbia, region and the world. It fosters real-life intercultural dialogue, exploration of cultural diversity, development of knowledge, personal skills and attitudes. The aim is to promote and encourage active participation of young people in all aspects of society and help equipping them with necessary knowledge, skills and competences for current and future challenges. eYouwins offers experience of meeting different cultures and becoming more open towards them in order to contribute in battle against all existing borders, especially intolerance and prejudices. Promoting communication, acceptance of differences and tolerance among youth, enabling to meet as many young people from other cultures and other nations as possible enriches experience of young people and result in highly demanded skill in modern society – skill of intercultural dialogue.

Participation fee for actWins is 60 EURO for international participants and there is a reduced participation fee for the participants from Serbia.

The participation fee covers accommodation, and meals during the Festival (light brekfast, lunch and dinner per day), organised excursions, sightseeing, entrance fees, and free participation in trips, conference programme, cultural and sport events of the Festival. Travel costs and personal expenses are not included! Accepted participants will pay the participants fee on arrival, at the registration.

Deadline for applications is July 15th, 2011.

Read more and apply:

Summer Academy for NATO and EU Common Foreign and Security Policy

Summer Academy for North Atlantic Treaty Association (NATO) and European Union Common Foreign and Security Policy (EU CFSP) will take place on 14 – 30 August 2011 in Prishtina (Kosovo) – Skopje (Macedonia) – Tirana (Albania) – Podgorica (Montenegro) – Prishtina (Kosovo).

The NATO and EU are the most prominent examples on how regional integration works. For 28 Euro-Atlantic member states, respectfully 27 EU members states supranational policy-making determines not only their political and security systems; the global challenges of the 21st century illustrate the limitations of power of individual governments, these requiring common approaches. As a consequence, integration is also considered important for European security policy.

This summer academy provides students with 4 Bachelor ECTS, and 2 Master ECTS.

The students of this Summer Academy will be divided in two classes.
Class 1: The Transformation of NATO: From Defense Alliance to Security Management Institution.
Class 2: Past, present and the future Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union.

The objective of this summer academy is to provide students a broad understanding on the historical development, the security, social, political and philosophical dimensions of the Euro-Atlantic integration process. Further, the course analyses NATO's role as an international political and economical factor and its relations with different countries and regions of the world. 

Based on an interdisciplinary approach the courses combine different methodologies such as lectures, round-table discussions, group-work and students' presentations along with excursions to meet politicians, as well as professionals from Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro. 

Target Group
Students with different academic backgrounds and a general interest in Euro-Atlantic integration will benefit from each other in an intercultural and interdisciplinary learning process. Former classes consisted of regular students and practitioners such as civil servants, communication experts, young politicians and even parliamentary officials. 

The course does not require special knowledge about NATO policies and institutions, European politics, law, history or culture, but participants should be interested in more than just their field of specialization. In class participation, especially in the discussions with experts, is essential for the course success and plays an important role in grading.

Tuition fee:
Tuition fee for Kosovo student is 95 euro;
The tuition fee for non Kosovo students is 620 euro.

This tuition price includes:
  • Tuition (all lectures, workshops, discussions as mentioned in the program)
  • Culture and social events (as mentioned in the program)
  • Reading materials (on-line version will be at your disposal after confirmation of your participation with students IP).
  • Housing and 3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) 
  • Health insurance (during the whole Summer Academy)
Accommodation, meals and reading materials are prepared for you, so you don't have to worry about anything. You can concentrate only on studying and enjoying yourself. The only cost not included in the price is travel expenses.

Lectures, presentations and examinations will be held in English.
For more information’s, please do not hesitate to contact us at:
Mr Artan Arifi

How to Write a Successful Scholarship Essay

What makes you so special? Competition can be fierce these days for finding financial assistance for your education. Everyone has characteristics and experiences that make them unique. In order to win a scholarship, you must not only learn to recognize these differences in yourself, but be proud of them.

Here are some tips for writing a successful scholarship essay:

1. Know the topic. Many scholarship applications require that the essay portion answer a specific question. Stick to the topic throughout the entire essay.

2. Organize yourself. The best way to present and prove your point is by writing a clear and concise argument.

3. Know your audience. If you are applying for a scholarship with the Coca-Cola company, don't write an entire essay about how much you love to drink Pepsi. Go to the website of the scholarship and read their mission statement and goals. This will give you a guide to know what kind of emphasis to put on your essay.

4. Start Strong. There are several methods you can use to capture your audience's interest from the very beginning. You may try starting your essay with a question, an interesting fact, a short and shocking statement, or a short personal narrative.

5. Make your writing interesting. Don't be afraid to let your personality show through in the kinds of words you choose to use. Although, be cautious and don't make your writing too informal or full of slang.

6. Be honest. You don't need to make up facts about yourself to sound interesting. Your unique perspective is what makes you interesting. Those reading your essay can tell when you are being sincere.

7. Check your grammar and spelling. This step is extremely important! Proper grammar and spelling will show that you are serious about your education and won' waste the money they are hopefully about to give you. Ask family, friends, or teachers to read over your essay and double check for any errors.

This is just a quick summary of things to keep in mind when writing a scholarship essay. But most importantly, have confidence in yourself. Work on writing so that the real you can shine through.

About the Author
Natalie Clive is a writer for My Colleges and Careers helps people determine if an online education is right for them and helps them search for online degrees that can help them reach their goals.

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7th Annual Summer School "Security Challenges in XXI Century"

Prague Security Studies Institute's 7th Annual Summer School entitled "Security Challenges in XXI Century" will take place in Telc, Czech Republic on July 10-15, 2011.

The main objective of the summer school, which is held in cooperation with NATO's Public Diplomacy Division, is to offer a high-profile study course for students of graduate programs, based on presentations, interactive workshops and simulations with international security experts from academia and government.

Students of graduate programs in Political Science, International Relations and Economy and other relevant fields from NATO's member and partner countries are eligible to apply. Summer school will cover topics such as NATO's new Strategic Concept, NATO-Russia relations, the role of Russia in European security, key challenges for reconstruction operations in Afghanistan, and Afghanistan after the sure.

Registration fee amounts to 1500,- Kc / 60 EUR. Accommodation and meals will be fully covered by organizers; foreign participants' travel expenses will be partially reimbursed.

Please download the application and send it filled-out (along with required attachments) to by June 12, 2011. The selected participants will be notified by June 19, 2011. 

For further information please contact Mr. Stephen Christensen at

Simple Ways to be "Green" While Studying Aboard

Students choose to travel abroad for a variety of reasons, but many do so in order to be given the opportunity to be immersed into a foreign, beautiful country for an extended period of time. While the charm and allure of sandy beaches, exotic animals, fresh air and clear blue skies may be the reason why some choose certain programs in specific locations, it's important that students diligently work to ensure that their host country stays beautiful long after they've completed their study abroad program.  To learn how to act as an eco-friendly study abroad student, continue reading below.

Pack Lightly. This may seem strange but packing lightly can really reduce your carbon foot print. The reason is simple: heavy luggage equals a heavier cargo on the plane. The heavier a cargo is the more fuel the plane needs to use in order to move. The more fuel a plane needs, the more emissions and toxins will be released into the air. So try to only pack the essentials and always remember that you can buy frivolous items like bars of soap at your host country. Besides, you don’t want to pack too heavily anyways. You'll want to have a place to put all of your souvenirs when you come back home. You also should investigate which airlines recycle the waste that is acquired while serving plane food and beverages and always purchase e-tickets to conserve paper.

Go Digital. Another way to go green is to make sure that you do your very best to get e-versions of all of your textbooks.  Not only will you be saving precious trees, but you won't have to carry around a backpack full of heavy textbooks visiting the Eiffel Tower after a study session. If you have no choice but to purchase paper copies of your textbooks, then at least consider purchasing them at your host country not while still at home. This is so your textbooks won't weigh down your luggage while traveling. If paper textbooks are the only option it's equally important that you sell them to a used bookstore or to someone who will need them before you travel back home.

Use Public Transportation. Some host countries will have better transit systems than other, but it's important that you try to utilize them as much as possible to help keep pollutants for being released into the atmosphere.  Consider taking buses, trains and trolleys before taking a taxi. If the desired location is close enough, then opt to ride a bicycle or even better use your legs— walking will not only get you where you need to be and help save the environment, but you'll also get in some much needed exercise. If taking a taxi or a friend's vehicle is the only way to travel, at least consider car pooling and inviting friends and classmates to join the ride if all of you happen to be going to the same place.

Purchase Local Foods/Dishes. While most study aboard programs will have some sort of meal plan for students, chances are students will try to eat as many traditional dishes as possible. Purchasing local foods and dishes is highly encouraged. This is because traditional dishes are usually made from regionally grown ingredients which mean they have smaller carbon footprint since the ingredients don't have to be shipped from remote locations via gas-guzzler trucks. In addition to having locally grown products waste less plastic and paper since they require less packaging and aren't heavily injected with preservatives, purchasing them will also help boost your host country's economy.

Author Bio:
Donna Reish, a freelancer who blogs about best universities, contributed this guest post.  She loves to write education, career, frugal living, finance, health, parenting relating articles. She can be reached via email at: 

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5 Future Issues To Consider Before Coming To Australia To Study

If you are planning to study abroad in Australia, there are a number of issues that you need to think about before you go. Some of these issues may be very personal and more than just your ability to learn English. Living away from home can be a trying time and if you are going to study for a number of years, there are quite a few issues to think about.

·    Your future career. When most people think of studying overseas, they think of the period of the study. You might find that your study is best suited for your future career in that country. If you have spent 5 years studying and networking in advertising and marketing courses in Australia you will probably need to think to stay in Australia after your studies are complete to get the most out of them in terms of your career.

·    Making friends and your future. When we spend time overseas we think of all of the advantages of that, and often neglect to think about what we are giving up. If you spend a number of years overseas you must remember that is time that will not be spent at home. Friendships that were once important may fade and you will find yourself in a different situation when you come home. The way you think about things, and what is important, may not be what they once used to be.

·    Working. Getting work and work experience are essential to any study, and you must remember that you are limited on the amount you can do. Visa restrictions can have an impact on what you are able to do, and knowing how to get the most out of your situation is important. Being prepared for the cost of a number of years and knowing that the working environment is very competitive. Having to do work that you would not normally do may be highly likely.

·    Feeling alone. Finding yourself very different from those around you can hit very hard. Taking steps to find others from where you are from, and yet still letting yourself mix with the local culture is very important. Even in the best of situations, being in another culture for long periods of time can be emotionally taxing. Choosing to stick close to others of your own nationality and not mixing with others will defeat the purpose of your study adventure.

·     Customs. This is an issue that many overseas students neglect and it is important to make sure you understand what you can bring into Australia. Many overseas students find themselves in big trouble because they bring in items that are prohibited in Australia. Australia has very strict laws because of the island nature of the country and you can find yourself in serious hot water over items that you thought were harmless and are quite legal in your home country. 

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Five Benefits in Studying Overseas

Benefits to studying overseas include meeting new people, experiencing growth in your academic skills, becoming more aware of your own culture and experiencing different methods of education.

Many students decide that instead of attending university in their home country they undertake their course at an institution overseas. There are many benefits to studying overseas and there are many students from all over the world that choose to study in Australia. There are many great universities all over Australia, in the major cities and in smaller towns and suburbs, and even universities located in rural areas. There are a wide range of courses on offer and Australia is a fantastic country to visit and stay in. 


By travelling overseas to undertake your course you will develop both personally and intellectually. As you grow through gaining the knowledge learned through your course you will also develop as a person as you take on the added challenge of living in a foreign country. You will learn many new life skills that will go on to help you develop as a person and will carry you through as you progress into the workforce. As well as academic growth, studying overseas will help you become a little street wise, teach you about yourself as a person and give you the skills to look after yourself.

Enhance your career

Studying overseas will enhance your career as you will find that you will have a great advantage over other people in the workforce. It will also help you when going for a job interview. Employers will be impressed by your ability to accept the challenge of studying overseas and they will see you as a real benefit to their business. If you have experience of another culture you will be able to contribute this knowledge to the business and help the company with its place within the global market.

Self awareness

By studying overseas you will become culturally aware of not only the country you are studying in but also more aware of your own culture. Through living and studying in another country these differences will be highlighted and you will come to appreciate your own country and culture, and respect your host country. You may even develop different view points on world events.


Study abroad will expose you to different teaching and learning methods and this can enrich your education. Through living in a different environment you can begin to accept new methods of thinking and learn to accept the unfamiliar. You will meet a range of diverse people and experience new places. You will not only learn new things at university you will also absorb new information constantly in your day to day life.


You will meet new and interesting people and will make friends that you will have for life. It is great to always have people you know in another country, particularly if you wish to return for a holiday. Even if they don't offer you accommodation it is nice to see a familiar face in a foreign country. You can then return the favour if they ever travel to your home country.

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Saint Petersburg Youth International Economic Forum 2011

Saint Petersburg Youth International Economic Forum is the flagship event where talented future global leaders engage in both public discussion and development of Russia’s key modernization projects. The Forum was founded in 2010. The next Youth International Economic Forum will take place on June 15-17 in Saint Petersburg, Russia and it overlaps and is integrated with the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 16-18. The overarching goal this year is to start breaking down the very last “walls” on the way to a truly open and global Russia.

If you are a leader in the field of business/politics/science/sports and you are 18-30 years old, you can become a part of the Russian Davos for young global leaders.

There are many participation benefits -- YOU CAN:
1. make a difference: discuss & guide the development of key modernization projects in Russia
2. meet world leaders
3. take part in the Russian Davos - St.Petersburg International Economic Forum ( It's integrated with the YIEF 2011
4. visit St. Petersburg, Russian cultural heart. LODGING &; TRAVEL EXPENSES ARE COVERED.

The main objective of the Forum is to ensure productive and creative interaction between its participants, offline and online. Communication productivity is ensured by professional facilitators and group dynamics specialists.

The Forum’s participants include current and future global leaders in the field of business/entrepreneurship/management, politics/government/NGOs, science/academia, and sports. Overall, this year’s Forum is welcoming 100 participants: 50 leaders from Russia and 50 international leaders. The Forum’s working language is English.

In 2011 the Forum’s participants will pursue 4 goals:
1. to discuss Russia's key modernization projects, offline and online
2. to solicit meaningful recommendations to improve these projects by capitalizing on global and multidisciplinary expertise and experience
3. to implement the Forum’s recommendations
4. (overarching goal) to realize and break down institutional and perceptional obstacles/“walls” to Russia’s openness and growth by participating in the previous steps (1-3)

Application Process

Please apply as soon as possible because the application period is short. Application deadline is May, 10. You can apply online by submitting the following:
- website application form (you are encouraged/welcome to log in through Facebook),
- resume/CV (in English),
- essay explaining why you consider one of the topics of the Forum important and showing your interest/knowledge/experience in it (in English, no longer than 2000 words, or video no longer than 7 min, or *.ppt presentation no longer than 10 slides).
Please follow the instructions on the website.

If you feel you qualify to be an expert/speaker at the Forum, please send us an e-mail to


There is no “perfect” application. Keeping that in mind, here is our “perfect” applicant picture: a leader in the field of business / entrepreneurship / management, politics / government / NGOs, science / academia, or sports who is young (between 18 and 30 years old) and possess great potential to shape the future. Someone who is global, successful, constructive / creative, and open with a strong desire to create value for society, and willing to self-develop, plus – someone who speaks English fluently. Participants will be selected based on these criteria, personal motivation, and knowledge/experience/interest in the chosen topic of the forum  demonstrated in the essay.

Scholarships and Costs 

Selected participants are provided with the following: 
- economy class airfare to and from St. Petersburg (indirect flights with no more than 1 layover); -
comfortable lodging in St. Petersburg during the YIEF; 
- airport transfer in St. Petersburg; 
- access to the SPIEF (with certain minor restrictions TBD).


How to Survive for a Semester in a Foreign Country

Studying abroad can be a great experience, and it's one that students should definitely seek out if they possibly can. What other time of your life can you spend a few months living in a foreign country on your own with little to worry about besides school? It's really a great opportunity, as it can both expand your horizons and hurry along your own personal development.

However, studying abroad also comes with its own unique set of trying circumstances. After all, when you study abroad you remove yourself from your friends and family for a long period of time; you have to navigate the often confusing customs and ways of living in another country; and you are on your own.

But this doesn't mean it can't be done! In fact, there are all sorts of resources out there that should help you as you prepare to survive on your own for a few months. Here are a few tips I could gather from these resources. Keep in mind that you'll also want to talk with an academic counselor at your school who could help you as well.

Don't be Lonely!

Yes, you might go abroad on your own, but that doesn't mean you have to be lonely during your semester away from home. One way to help you survive the few months of study abroad is to make friends. Many abroad programs will send groups of students over, so you can make friends with others in your programs. You should also try to make friends with locals, students in your classes or university, with whom you can interact. These two kinds of relationships can give your life abroad variety, and they can keep you from feeling too lonely.

Practice Self-Reflection

Of course, there will be times when you'll feel lonely. It's natural to feel lonely, out of sorts, and a little homesick when you go abroad. However, that doesn't reduce the pain! Instead of simply suffering that pain or trying to ignore it, you should try to reflect upon it. Keep a journal during your time abroad. Write a blog for your friends and family. Read a lot. This is a period of your life during which you'll really learn who you really are. Living on your own abroad forces you to resort to your own devices, which means you are building qualities that will help you be self-sufficient later in life. Yes, the growing process is a little painful, but it's worth it in the end.

See the Sights

As a student abroad, you will find yourself wondering what to do during holidays and breaks. Sure, you can fly home and visit with family, whom you know doubt want to see. But also, you should consider taking this opportunity to travel around the country in which you are staying. Often you can find cheap ways to travel: hostels, trains and buses, and backpacking. Yes, we all know that backpacking through Europe is a common cliché, but it’s a cliché for a reason. The image of the student abroad discovering the world for him or herself is important to our culture and our sense of camaraderie with other humans.

Of course, these are only a handful of things you can do to survive the long stay in a foreign country. Obviously, you should throw yourself into your studies, sample the local cuisines, build relationships with your professors, and take lots of pictures. Think of your time abroad as something of an adventure to be enjoyed, and you'll soon feel as though the time passed too quickly.

This guest post is contributed by Mariana Ashley, a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031