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A new breed of degrees for aspiring international entrepreneurs

You may look at Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates and think – maybe the best way to become a successful technology entrepreneur and business leader is to drop out of a great school, yet the data shows that a very large proportion of the successful entrepreneurs worldwide,  studied and received a degree at the top universities around the globe
A better approach perhaps, would be to enroll in programs that provide students with practical tools and experience with entrepreneurship, during their degree, in addition to academic excellence. One example of such a school, that we would like to show as a case study, is Cornell Tech – a top school that now enables students to receive an Ivy League degree in New York City, that focuses on innovation and entrepreneurship. Many of the Cornell Tech alumni move on to start their own companies after graduation. 

Photo credit: Cornell Tech

Cornell Tech offers an MBA program – the Johnson Cornell Tech MBA,  focused on the foundations needed to become a successful entrepreneur. As part of the program, students complete product studios and startup studios, where they take real world business problems and design solutions to address them. This allows students to graduate with the knowledge and experience needed to become successful entrepreneurs and product leaders in technology companies. Another benefit of the program is that it takes only one year to complete.
When looking for a program that will set you up for success as an entrepreneur, we would suggest looking at these factors:

  • Brand and reputation of the school in general and as an entrepreneurship school specifically.
  • Curriculum – does it include hands on experience with entrepreneurship?
  • Staff / faculty – does it include academic experts as well as professors with practical experience as entrepreneurs?
  • Duration and cost of the program – these are factors that are always important, all the more if you are looking to make a change in your career and start you own company or join an existing company. If you can complete a prestigious degree in one year rather than two or three – it is a factor to consider.
To learn more about the Cornell Tech MBA program as well as regarding other programs offered by Cornell Tech, please visit this page.
For advice and guidance about studying abroad, and to assess your chances of getting accepted to programs in the United States, visit https://www.gradtrain.com 

Trains, planes and automobiles: traveling within the US

Once you've made it to a university or college in the US, you'll start to find that you’ll have quite a bit of free time to fill. Use your weekends and breaks to travel around your new area. Of course this depends on your location. For example, if you are attending school in California, there are many options within a few hours drive. If you are studying in more rural parts of the country, you might have to travel a bit further. Here are some tips for getting around and traveling in the states. Many American universities give long weekends for federal holidays, so take the opportunity to plan your trip in advance.

Where to Go
Smaller Cities
Avoid the hordes of tourists and crowds and visit one of America’s smaller, but still interesting cities. Trade a trip to Miami, Florida for a trip to Charleston, South Carolina. Flights and activities will be cheaper. Trade Chicago for Memphis. Trade Los Angeles for San Antonio. Beat the crowd by exploring new places you won't find on a tourist map. Check travel websites like Tripadvisor and Yelp for travel advice.

U.S National Parks
Attention outdoorsy types, U.S. National parks are for you. See the Grand Canyon in Arizona, watch the Old Faithful geyser at Yellowstone Park in Wyoming, or stargaze in Yosemite Valley, California. The U.S. offers hundreds of thousands of miles of hiking trails all around the country. Go for the day or even a week. You won't get bored of the beautiful natural wonders and wildlife the U.S. has to offer.

Festivals
American music lovers flock from all over the country to attend their favorite music festivals. Tickets could be a bit pricey, but festivals are a huge part of U.S. music culture. Save money at festivals by camping or staying in motels close to the festival site, or book your hotel months in advance.

How to get there
Airlines
Although fairly costly, flying can be the world traveler’s best friend. To get the cheapest flights, you must book well in advance. Also try flying in the off season to avoid long lines and raised fares since the peak travel times for Americans are Thanksgiving (late November) and Christmas (late December). Some airlines will charge extra for luggage, so pack light and avoid oversized suitcases. Websites like Expedia and Travelocity are helpful for finding the cheapest flights. Expedia can also help you bundle deals on hotels and rental cars, saving you money overall.

Trains
The US Amtrak rail can get you from coast to coast for a reasonable price. The main caveat being the relatively long travel time. Check the Amtrak website to find information on train schedules and trips. A trip by train might be interesting for those who enjoy scenic views and prefer a low stress way to travel. Larger cities will have smaller rail lines that connect to the suburbs of the city, but these won’t take you to a different city. Trains can be the perfect way to get away from city life for awhile.



Car
Rental cars are a convenient way to roadtrip with your friends. Rental cars can be cheap, and you get the privilege of controlling the journey and stops along the way. Americans love to take road trips, there are even countless U.S. movies depicting this type of vacation. Use apps such as Waze and Google Maps to navigate the long winding US highways. The average rental car age in the US is 25, but some companies such as Zipcar offer discounts to under 25 college students. Of course, this trip will cost less if you already own a car.

Need additional help on how to make the best of your study abroad experience? Visit https://www.gradtrain.com 

How to find and live with a roommate?

For many students now, finding a roommate can be like navigating a jungle. Since you are living with this person every day, it’s not a process you want to get wrong. There are ways to make it easier, though, and make sure you’re safe and happy in your new apartment. 

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, in 2015 a quarter of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 lived with roommates, up from 23 percent a decade prior. Very few decisions are more critical than selecting your home environment because where you live is important to who you are. It’s also essential to your quality and enjoyment of life, which can be linked to the people you live with, as well as the physical space. 
By Tulane Public Relations - Roommates
Uploaded by AlbertHerring, CC BY 2.0

Everyone has different styles when it comes to sharing an apartment. Some people are clean, others clean just once or twice a week, and some may not clean at all. Whoever your roommate is you need to find the right balance for your roles and responsibility for the apartment.  And just when you think you’ve got things figured out, a new person may move in and changes your apartments' ecosystem. 


While there’s no universal formula to live with the right people, there are a lot of things students and young professionals can look out for before moving into a new apartment and finding a roommate. Age may matter to a 29-year-old with a 21-year-old roommate, your schedules can be wholly different, and interests in life may not align. If you join the apartment, make sure to get on the lease or if you leave make sure to get off the lease! This can save you trouble with housing authorities down the road. Lastly, a friend of a friend doesn’t mean you will get along with that person. A second-degree social connection does help, but it doesn’t mean your living habits with coincide with each other. 
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Roomi helps students and young professionals rent rooms and find roommates, in a verified community. Roomi has incorporated features, such as secure in-app messaging, secure payment rent processing, and Background and ID checks, to ensure that users can trust the platform and the community. Plus every single listing is vetted.  Roomi takes roommate compatibility and matching the right people, really seriously! Roomi matches people based on compatibility as housemates and co-habitants, for instance, can you pay bills on time? Are you a night owl or an early riser? Are you a party animal or a gym rat? Will you take the bins out and get on as housemates?

The ultimate vision is to provide better experiences and more affordable housing options for young people, around the world. Only by building more trust and transparency into the shared housing process can people live better together.

Obama vs. Trump: International student edition

Former President Barack Obama and current President Donald Trump have employed vastly different immigration strategies. Obama supporters lauded him for passing the executive action, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or DACA for short), that allowed individuals who were brought in to the US illegally as children to receive legal immigration status. President Trump, however, is famous for his “America first” policies on immigration. His administration has proposed travel bans and more restrictive policies on international entry to the U.S. These different approaches and policy changes have had varying effects on the world of international graduate and undergraduate education. It is too soon to tell if these Trump policies are related to the recent decline in new international enrollment in America. However, many people in the higher education community are starting to point a finger towards President Trump’s policies for these types of issues.




DACA was passed in 2012, but in 2014 Obama lifted age restrictions on the policy. This move allowed some international students studying in the U.S. to stay without fear of deportation after they graduate. Obama also extended the period of time an international student was allowed to remain in the country after graduation to 3 years for STEM majors and 12 months for many others. During the Obama administration, the United States saw new foreign enrollment grow every single year. The U.S. was truly a power in the field of international higher education.

When President Trump took over, the new foreign enrollment dropped 2.9% for undergraduates and 1.3% for graduate students between 2015/16 and 2016/17 (according to Open Doors Report, which said the new international enrollment dropped 3% total last year). It is too soon to tell if this decrease in new foreign enrollment is correlated to the Trump administration. With that said, many professors, deans and university presidents have started to point fingers at the current President. 

Earlier this year, according to POLITICO, “dozens of higher education groups” wrote in an amicus brief (a legal document for the Supreme Court to consider) against Trump’s travel ban, at the time a proposed ban on immigration from North Korea, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Venezuela. The travel ban was recently upheld by the Supreme Court. The brief stated that the travel ban was a “clarion message of exclusion to millions” that would make it more difficult for universities to recruit international graduate students and faculty. It is important to note that Trump’s travel ban actually exempts graduate students. This means that international grad students can still apply to school in the U.S. but they may experience challenges once they get here (due to growing xenophobia in the States). That opinion is still a popular one, even with the affirmation of the ban. This sentiment can be applied to many different policies Trump has proposed. Also noteworthy is the fact that the travel ban will not affect students from the seven countries that are already in America. However, they are advised not to leave the U.S. as reentry could be challenging.

University of Southern California President Max Nikias spoke to CNBC recently on the subject of Trump’s policies, rhetoric, and the administration’s over-regulation of the education community. In the interview with CNBC, Nikias said, "The balance of international students — there is nothing wrong with it. Our university has been welcoming international students for last 140 years… Clearly from my perspective I'd like to diversify international student enrollment."

As the President of a large research institution like USC, Nikias is concerned that the anti-immigration rhetoric of President Trump will impact the international student enrollment and more. Nonetheless, it may be too soon to tell if Trump’s rhetoric and policies are actually causing fewer international students to apply to programs and universities in the U.S. 

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/QjD7A_h9Nz8pLu2CG7rO9DstINNx5vypETIeoJkye2PC-FJYmVaCMG4NULq5Pd6BU8TQKAhbNkBvptogsk1L4KBBUg9-_eGJGA7feOxhLkrWHCuaw5yqi8dZ-FkXneDYWch57AnY

With all that said, it does appear to be harder for international students to stay in America under Trump in other ways as well. This relates to Trump’s threats to shorten the length of time somebody with an F1 (student) visa can stay and work in the U.S. after they graduate. The program is called Optimal Practical Training (OPT). As referenced earlier, STEM OPT was extended to a three-year stay under the Obama administration. Trump wants to shorten the stay of those legal students in the U.S. to 12 months post graduation. This kind of approach has lowered the number of international students that come to study in America for the first time in awhile. Countries such as Canada and Australia are reaping the benefits of Trump’s “America first” policies that could be posing a threat to the US’s top spot in the realm of international higher education.

For more information and guidance about studying abroad, visit: https://www.gradtrain.com

Which Graduate Degree Should You Pursue? Take the Quiz and Find Out!

Which Type of Graduate School is Best for You? Take a quick, fun quiz to help you narrow down which graduate degree may be best for you!

Which university campus is right for you: city, suburban, or rural?

The city college campus

Pros: These universities are located in, or around, bustling metropolitan areas, so there is plenty to do. There are many activities to explore, museums or parks to visit, and many places to eat. Public transportation is prevalent, so you don’t have to worry about renting or buying a car. For tips on how to travel throughout each city coast to coast, read more about it here. 

Cons: Although the city campuses have much to offer, many are very expensive and most are private universities, which can mean pricey tuition. For tips on how to budget your expenses while you’re abroad, click here. 

Examples of colleges and universities in the U.S.: The University of Chicago (Chicago, Illinois); University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania); Barnard College (New York City, New York); University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, California); New York University (New York City, New York); Tulane University (New Orleans, Louisiana); Northeastern University (Boston, Massachusetts)

The suburban college campus

Pros: If you picture a “college town” typically you’ll envision a suburban college campus. These schools usually have a main strip or two near campus filled with fun places to explore. These can include spots for things like hiking and jogging, or fun dining at local restaurants, cafes or bars. 

Cons: Not everything is in such close proximity as the urban campus, so sometimes renting or buying a car is helpful for getting around. This can be significantly more expensive than taking public transportation or walking from place to place. While suburban colleges offer things to do, they tend to offer less variety than a city does. 

Examples of colleges and universities in the U.S.: University of Virginia (Virginia), Tufts University (Massachusetts), University of Connecticut (Connecticut), University of Maryland-College Park (Maryland), Lafayette College (Pennsylvania), Villanova University (Pennsylvania), Emory University (Georgia), Harvey Mudd College (California), Princeton University (New Jersey), Stanford University (California), University of Michigan (Michigan) 


The rural college campus

Pros: If you’re looking for a quieter place while studying abroad, one with beautiful nature and greenery, then the rural campus is the right choice for you. Whether it’s shopping, hiking, sightseeing, or dining at tasty, local places, the rural campus offers plenty to do. Many colleges like this are smaller, and offer smaller classes so there are more one-on-one opportunities with your peers and professors. 

Cons: Most rural campuses are farther from major cities such as New York City or Boston, so getting internships might not be close by campus. Consider renting or buying a car rather than spending money on public transportation. Also, sports teams and school spirit might not be as recognized, like it is at larger universities. 

Examples of colleges and universities in the U.S.: Hamilton College (New York), Thomas Aquinas College (California), Saint John’s University (Minnesota), Vassar College (New York), Dartmouth College (New Hampshire), St. Olaf College (Minnesota), Colby College (Maine), Amherst College (Massachusetts), Miami University (Ohio), Middlebury College (Vermont) 



For any questions about the best place to study, please visit: https://www.gradtrain.com

Happy 4th of July from GradTrain!


Birthdays are always cause for celebration in American culture. But when it’s America’s birthday, it is an extra special party. On the 241st birthday of The United States of America, GradTrain takes a look at how people in the United States celebrate.
The Fourth of July, or Independence Day, celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Since John Hancock famously signed his name first in Philadelphia all those years ago, the holiday known simply as “The Fourth” has taken on a life of its own.

Depending on where you are in the States, you may enjoy different delicacies to celebrate the holiday. In Texas and other Southern states, barbecues are common. Whether it’s Carolina vinegar, Memphis dry-rub, or Texas hickory smoked, the meats served on Independence Day are sure to satisfy. In the Mid-Atlantic, seafood is typically the main course of choice. In Maryland, Chesapeake blue crabs are a staple. No matter where you go throughout all fifty states, you are bound to find some apple pie!

Although the cuisine varies regionally, there are a few things that are ubiquitous. Fireworks always light up the night sky all across America on The Fourth. On July 4th 2015, the nation set off 285.3 million pounds of fireworks (American Pyrotechnic Association). It is also almost impossible to get through a July 4th without hearing renditions of “Yankee Doodle” or “God Bless America” and of course “The Star Spangled Banner.”

The Fourth of July is a time for all people in America to come together. The United States of America is a land of immigrants and it is one of the most diverse nations in the world. Although the political climate may be divided, July 4th is the one date every year where everybody in the country can enjoy each other’s company. Citizens, immigrants, international students, and tourists alike, can bask in the summer fun and celebrate.

Make your dream of studying abroad in the United States a reality this year by visiting https://www.gradtrain.com

Most Beautiful Colleges and Universities in the U.S.



Applying to colleges and universities in the U.S. can be a challenge. Finding the right school is important, and matching a school's academic rigor with the campus's aesthetic appeal can be rather difficult. Below are some schools that offer both a great education and beautiful architecture and scenery.

University of Colorado Boulder - Boulder, Colorado (84.2% acceptance rate)
The University of Colorado Boulder is located in a college town right by the Rocky Mountain Foothills. The city of Boulder has many different activities and you'll never run out of places to eat. Local restaurants like Pasta Jay’s, The Buff, and Zolo Grill are popular. And if you have a sweet tooth, make sure to check out Sweet Cow Ice Cream. If you're into mobile eateries, check out Rayback Collective which is a nearby food truck park. There is a wide variety of entertainment around campus. You can go hiking at Chautauqua Park, visit the Museum of Natural History, or shop at the Pearl Street Mall.




Stanford University - Stanford, California (4.8% acceptance rate)
Stanford University is located in upstate California, sandwiched between the cities of San Francisco and San Jose. Stanford students are involved in 36 varsity sports and 32 different club sports. Aside from Division I college football, Stanford boasts activities like squash, water polo, fencing, and sailing. For Instagram worthy pictures check out the large stained glass windows of the Memorial Church or the Arizona Cactus Garden, and hike along the Stanford Dish trail. Enjoy local food at CoHo Cafe or The Counter. If you’re looking for more upscale dining, Evvia may be your spot.



Elon University - Elon, North Carolina (60% acceptance rate)
Elon University is ranked in the top 40 for the best value for private universities by Kiplinger. It is also close to Durham, NC, where Duke University is located. Elon’s campus is known for having beautiful plants, trees, and flowers. The Fonville Fountain, a campus staple, sits in front of the Alamance Building (seen above). Elon has a diverse assortment of campus organizations and activities, many students are involved in Greek Life, club or intramural sports, and even acapella groups. If you are looking nearby for some tasty milkshakes and burgers, Cook Out is a great place to go.


           
Brigham Young University - Provo, Utah (53.5% acceptance rate)
Brigham Young University is a private university in Utah with a beautiful campus. Some things to do in Provo include visiting the Museum of Art or the Monte L. Bean Science Museum. Hiking along The Y Trail or checking out Bridal Veil Falls just a few miles from campus are also popular. The Deseret News of Salt Lake City even named the campus “the Disneyland of American colleges and universities.” With a name like that, the campus must be worthy of a visit. Go to Waffle Love for a good breakfast, Pizzeria 712 for lunch or dinner, Provo Bakery for donuts or cookies, and BYU Creamery for more dessert!




Boston College - Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts (29% acceptance rate)
Boston College is a private research university located just 6 miles outside the city of Boston. The Collegiate Gothic architecture prominent throughout campus was  designed largely by Charles Donagh Maginnis, and his firm Maginnis and Walsh, in 1908. Gasson Hall is one of the most notable buildings in this style at the Jesuit College. Enjoy a walk around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, kayak on the Charles River, go to the Shops at Chestnut Hill, or head into Boston to check out all the local historic sites. As for food, there’s a wide variety of places, including El Pelon Taqueria, Crazy Dough’s Pizza, or even White Mountain Creamery to satisfy an indulgent craving. The possibilities are endless being located so close to a bustling city like Boston.




Emory University - Druid Hills, Georgia (25.2% acceptance rate)
Emory University is a private university located in the Druid Hills of Atlanta, Georgia. One of the most notable buildings on campus is the Lullwater House, located along the Lullwater Preserve. This area is known for its hiking trails and the famous Candler Lake. Hungry Emory students love to get pizza from Antico, lunch at Cox, and tasteful Mexican food from Taqueria Del Sol. You can also get your sushi fix at Thaicoon, or eat a bit healthier at Kale Me Crazy.



Duke University - Durham, North Carolina (9% acceptance rate)
Duke University is a private university in Durham founded in the twentieth century. It exhibits exquisite Collegiate Gothic architecture with over 250 buildings covering 2000 acres. The Duke Chapel established the new campus in 1932 and stands at 210 feet tall. Check out the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, or have some fun with friends at the Bull City Escape. Take a pit stop at Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours or Parlez-Vous Crepes. You can also go to The Parlour for local ice cream, or Dame's Chicken and Waffles for a taste of quality Southern food.



Vassar College - Poughkeepsie, New York (25.6% acceptance rate)
Vassar College is a liberal arts college located in a small town of upstate New York founded in 1861 as a women’s college, and became co-ed in 1969. The campus has a plentiful amount of trees and greenery all around campus. The Thompson Memorial Library has a Perpendicular Gothic style. Explore the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, hike along the Appalachian Trail, or check out the Trevor Zoo. Essie’s Restaurant, Twisted Soul, Lola’s Cafe, or Beech Tree Grill are just a few of the local eateries to enjoy.




Pepperdine University - Malibu, California (38% acceptance rate)
Pepperdine University is a private university located along the beautiful coast of Malibu, California, founded in 1937. Take a stroll down Malibu Bluffs Park, tan or paddle board at Malibu Lagoon State Beach, surf at Surfrider Beach, and site see at either Malibu State Creek Park or the Malibu Pier. D’Amore’s, Ollo, Tramonto, Malibu Farms, and Cafe Habana all offer delicious, local foods that could also make the Instagram feed.




Indiana University Bloomington - Bloomington, Indiana (78% acceptance rate)
Indiana University, located in Bloomington, Indiana has a beautiful campus with many limestone buildings. The gorgeous Sample Gates make up the entryway of campus. Fun things to do around Bloomington include taking a walk or hike around Griffy Lake, or attending the local Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market. Buffalouies, The Big Cheeze, The Runcible Spoon, Mothers Bear’s, The Owlery, and Nick’s English Hut all are great eateries in the area.




Amherst College - Amherst, Massachusetts (14% acceptance rate)
Amherst College is a private liberal arts college located right in Amherst Center. The campus was founded in 1821, and has over 100 buildings including the President’s House. When it’s warm, swim and hangout by Puffer’s Pond just a few miles away from campus. Amherst is less than a 2 hour drive from Boston, but you can also stay local in Northampton or Amherst to shop. Check out Bueno y Sano for local Mexican food, Arigato Sushi for delicious sushi in the area, and Antonio’s for pizza of every kind, from tortellini on the slice, to avocados and tortilla chips. Bart’s Ice Cream and Flayvors are both places you must try in the area for dessert. Also make sure to swing by Glazed for warm, flavorful donuts!




The University of Chicago - Chicago, Illinois (7.9% acceptance rate)
The University of Chicago is a private university located right by the city of Chicago. The campus features architecture from noted architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Henry Ives Cobb. There are buildings in styles ranging from Gothic to Contemporary. You can explore The Smart Museum, use the Chicago Greeter for a free tour of the city, or go to the famous bean at Millenium Park. Zaleski & Horvath is a healthy place to go for lunch, Fabiana’s Bakery has fresh baked goods, Hampton Social is a great spot for an enjoyable brunch, and Dusek’s is the spot for a more upscale dinner. Magnolia Bakery is a well-known joint, with sweets including cupcakes, banana chocolate pudding, and even lemon bars.



The University of Utah (76.4% acceptance rate)
The University of Utah is a public university in Salt Lake City, located in the Wasatch Mountain range. The university is right in the middle of the city, so there is plenty to do around campus. Activities include bouncing around at Snogression Trampoline Park, skiing on Canyons Resort, resting at Dimple Dell Park, or hiking to Lake Blanche. Check out delicious restaurants like R & R BBQ, Spitz, or if you’re craving Mexican food, Red Iguana.




University of Michigan (28.6% acceptance rate)
The University of Michigan is located in Ann Arbor, a lively college town with lots to offer. There’s The Ann Arbor’s Farmers Market, The Hands-On Museum, and even the Matthei Botanical Gardens. Around campus there are tons of restaurants to enjoy, including Sava’s, the world famous Zingerman’s Deli, Angelo’s, Sushi Town, and more.




If you have any questions about choosing your study destination, please visit: https://www.gradtrain.com

Personal benefits of studying abroad


As every international student knows, studying abroad produces a plethora of benefits that
vary from academic progress by obtaining an American degree, to career advancement, due to international networking. But not enough students focus on the personal growth that can be achieved through living and learning in the US. Here are some personal advantages that can be gained from a studyabroad experience:

adult, audience, celebration

1. Independence. Living in an entirely new and foreign place away from your home country will foster a greater degree of independence. Even doing simple, everyday things like paying bills or going to the grocery store will provide you with an enhanced feeling of self-sufficiency because of the foreign language and unfamiliar culture that you are bound to encounter while running errands.

2. A new way of thinking. Leaving a familiar space forces you to step outside of your comfort zone. When you step beyond your inner circle and realize what else the world has to offer, you will find new experiences, encounter new ideas and ultimately gain a better understanding of the world around you. Studying abroad will also give you the opportunity to meet new and exciting people, who have had different life experiences than you, who can challenge your way of thinking and even give you a better insight into yourself.

3. Tolerance. Coming across people at university of other ethnicities, religions and cultures, those who you would not meet otherwise, will teach you how to get along and cooperate with all kinds of people. Understanding new people and where they come from will also shape you into a more understanding and tolerant person. This can enhance your personal relationships with friends and family back home, your future relationships and your workplace relationships with bosses, coworkers and employees.

When you graduate, it is essential to take everything that you have learned about yourself abroad and bring it wherever you might find yourself after graduation, whether it be back in your home country or a new city in the United States. These are critical and formative once in a lifetime experiences that should not be left behind.

For help and advice about studying abroad, visit https://www.gradtrain.com



Soccer (Football) in America on the Rise With 2026 World Cup Bid

Fans of international soccer, or football as they probably call it, living in America have new cause for celebration. The United States, along with Canada and Mexico, just secured the right to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. This landmark decision by FIFA comes just eight years after the governing body of international soccer chose Qatar over the United States to host the 2022 World Cup. It will be the first time the United States has hosted a World Cup since 1994, when most of the college-aged kids playing in the 2018 World Cup were not even born.

By Luca107 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)],
from Wikimedia Commons

The United States’ successful bid to host should positively impact not only the U.S. Men’s National Team, but soccer in America as a whole. Fans of the sport living in the U.S. can get excited to see the sport prosper long before the tournament even starts. If you are a soccer fan considering a move to the U.S., now is a great time to make the change. Soccer has been thriving recently on American college and university campuses and with America’s youth.

The plight of the U.S. based soccer fan has been well-documented over the years. From waking up at odd hours to watch your favorite club or country take the pitch, to being forced to watch lower-quality football be played in person, even to seeing the U.S. eliminated in the World Cup Qualifiers, it seems like soccer has never quite caught on in the States. International football fans, and U.S. born soccer junkies used to be forced to the fringes of sports culture in America. But, this has been slowly changing over the years. Fans hope that the World Cup, and the excitement surrounding it, will spark more interest in the beautiful game in America.



In 1988, the United States Soccer Federation promised to create a legitimate professional league as part of the deal for FIFA to host the 1994 World Cup in the U.S. Major League Soccer (MLS) officially launched in 1995 and in its first season in 1996, the league had just 10 teams. Back then, you would almost never see soccer team gear anywhere. People just were not exposed nor interested in the sport. Although MLS took a while to gain traction, the league now has 23 teams and has made huge strides toward competing both with the NFL, MLB, and NBA and with international soccer leagues. Now it is common to see soccer jerseys worn out, especially around university campuses. The sport is played recreationally by people of all ages throughout the United States, and professional games are broadcast on television all the time. This, along with the fact that soccer is the second most played sport (behind basketball) among kids ages 6-18 in America (Wall Street Journal, 2012), illustrates that there has never been a better time to be a soccer fan living in the United States.

As far as the MLS is concerned, U.S. born players such as Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey have become household names. But, arguably the biggest step in the growth of American soccer has been the arrival of international players in America. Notable megastars such as David Beckham, Thierry Henry, Kaka, and most recently Zlatan Ibrahimovic have made the transition from various international leagues to MLS. This has caused a sizeable spike in the sport’s popularity in America. Further evidence of soccer’s growth in America is the fact that in the lead up to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, more tickets were sold in the U.S. than the host nation. One can only imagine how a World Cup hosted in America will impact the sport’s popularity.

If your burning passion towards soccer (football) has held you back from going to study in the land of American football, Baseball and Basketball, fear no more - there is a place for you in the US with the rising popularity of the sport.

For any help with questions related to moving to study in the United States, visit: https://www.gradtrain.com

Connecting with your dream university on social media


We live in a very well connected world, with a steady stream of social media updates and alerts right in our pockets. Some may view the constant connection to the world as distracting, but for an international student interested in studying abroad in the US, social media can be a significant tool in deciding which university is the best fit.



There are many types of university accounts throughout Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more, which include accounts with serious and useful information about the school and others with more fun and entertaining posts. Most American universities have well-updated accounts for both aspects of their campus, which can be easily found on their websites. It’s useful to follow these accounts while applying to American universities in order to gain a better understanding of the specific school you’re interested in. While scrolling through their photos on Instagram or their tweets on Twitter, you will get to know the school’s personality a bit more, see what kind of students attend the university, and learn more about the programming and events that the school runs. You can better visualize yourself attending the school. Ask yourself, “Do I see myself studying and living here?” Connecting with universities via social media before applying will give you better insight on the personality of the school. You will see what kind of atmosphere the university is trying to create and if you see yourself fitting in with their environment.

A university’s social media pages are also dedicated to answering questions and interacting with prospective applicants. If a comment or question on a post piques your interest, you can comment and ask your questions and they will be happy to give you more information or guide you somewhere else for more help.

Before interacting with a university on any platform, make sure your social media profiles are clean. When you like a photo or share a post, they will have full access to your profile. Go through your profiles and delete anything you wouldn’t want universities to see. If your page contains images or words that are inappropriate, the university will take that into consideration while reviewing your application. In our modern world, presenting yourself in a professional manner goes beyond just your resume and extends into your personal profiles.


Many universities will publish important dates and deadlines on their social media profiles - such as application deadlines and when decisions on admissions are provided. Follow the admissions pages to ge this data.
Staying connected with your university via social media even after you’ve arrived in the US is a great way to get updates on campus events and stay involved with your school beyond the classroom.

As you go on the journey of studying abroad, connect with GradTrain and you will get live updates and news about studying abroad. Go to https://www.gradtrain.com or download our android or iOS apps now.

Need more help with getting accepted, planning your studies, and the steps following graduation?
Visit us at https://www.gradtrain.com/


Best Tips for TOEFL/IELTS Success

Your TOEFL or IELTS exam date is just around the corner! As an international student interested in attending university abroad, It’s important to improve your English, prepare thoroughly, and create personal testing strategies to help you achieve the score you’ve been working hard toward. Here are a few additional tips to help you get ready for the big day:


1. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. Take advantage of the free and paid practice tests that both the TOEFL and IELTS exams offer on their websites. The more practice tests you take before the real exam, the more comfortable you will be with the specific testing style, various questions and sections of the exam and the overall experience of taking an English language test. You don’t want to be bombarded with unfamiliar questions and foreign material when you arrive at your exam.
2. Because both exams have listening comprehension sections that require you to take notes and then answer subsequent questions, English note-taking is an important skill to hone before test day. You should be able to take notes as you listen to the audio. In order to keep up with the pace of the speaker, take down only shorthanded keywords that will be important later. Writing in shorthand with abbreviations and symbols will help you take crucial notes faster. Develop your own system of writing shorthand, and familiarize yourself with it so that on test day you don’t waste time trying to decipher your own notes. Good note taking skills are also useful for the future when you need to take English notes in university classes in the US.


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3. In order to expand your vocabulary and get comfortable with reading English, read high quality and engaging content that you’ll enjoy. News outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Forbes and The Economist will not only help you improve your English, but will also provide you with a deeper understanding of US news, politics, economy, culture and lifestyle. Reading best-selling English books can also advance your understanding of the English language.


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4. Practicing listening to English is also an essential step in getting ready for TOEFL or IELTS. You will want to feel prepared for all of the English you’ll be listening to during the test, rather than feeling unfamiliar with the academic and informal jargon. Listening to podcasts such as NPR, BBC, TED Talks, and RadioLab will keep you engaged with intriguing topics while you learn spoken English.


All of the preparation and studying that you do for the TOEFL or IELTS will not only help you get a high score and improve your chances of acceptance to universities abroad, but will also strengthen your English reading, writing and speaking for university in the US.


Have your TOEFL or IELTS score already? See how it impacts your chances with our admissions predictor.


Need more help with getting accepted, planning your studies, and the steps following graduation?
Visit us at https://www.gradtrain.com/