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 I’m still continuing on my post on why learning a foreign language is beneficial.
The next question to ask is; which language do you choose?

There are so many ways to look at this question. The first step is to decide why you’re learning a foreign language. A person who is doing it to communicate with family is looking at it differently from one who is looking to increase their edge in business. Some things to consider when choosing a language are:

  1. Level of Difficulty
  2. How Popular is the Language
  3. Access to Native Speakers

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Photo Credit: nuomi

These are not definitive lists, but looking at some websites concerning languages, I noticed some came up more often than others. Please feel free to disagree and leave your thoughts.

If you’re new to learning a foreign language and want to pick something up that’s easier to learn, then you might want to consider some of these languages. (I recently realized that this site is sometimes translated into other languages, so I included English for our more global readers.)

Easiest Languages to Learn:

  1. Spanish
  2. Italian
  3. English
  4. Portuguese
  5. Hindi

This next category looked at languages from a business world perspective for those who are learning a foreign language to expand their career potential.

Most Popular Languages:

  1. English
  2. Mandarin Chinese
  3. Spanish
  4. Arabic
  5. Japanese

I found this site to have a really good guide to help choose what language to learn. The chart is very easy to understand and it helped me with my decision. I’m working on Italian right now. My reasons are because it’s relatively easy to learn and I love the way the language sounds when spoken. I would like to feel more like a global citizen. Do you speak more than one language? If so, when and how did you learn?

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Photo Credit: Zoonabar 

I saw this and I immediately had to put this up on the blog. I can relate to wanting to explore different options in life. I switched majors (twice) and while I’m happy with my current major (Business Management), I don’t want to limit myself to just that identity. He brings out some good points and I hope you take time to read this article.

Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek offers his take on the upside to being a jack-of-all-trades.

read more | digg story

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cs_resource.jpgI saw this article on the New York Times site. I don’t see this stopping many business students to get an M.B.A. , but it’s an interesting trend. I’m a business management major, so this is to weigh later in my career plans.

Many young people on the fast track to fat paydays in the financial industry are choosing to forgo M.B.A. programs. As more Americans have become abundantly wealthy, young people are recalculating old assumptions about success. …

read more | digg story

Update: Flexo at Consumerism Commentary has an excellent post regarding devaluation of a MBA.

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Working College Students

With many people back in school, US News magazine higlighted a growing trend of college students working.

A whopping 74 percent of full-time students juggle work and school, according to a study by the Higher Education Project of the State Public Interest Research Groups. Forty-six percent of them log 25 hours or more a week on the job, with 1 in 5 working full time.

It’s not just taking fast food jobs for extra cash during the weekends. Students are taking jobs to gain experience and to even afford rising tuition rates. The problem is balancing the two, so bosses get quality work and students maintain a good GPA.

Are you a working student and need more money from finanical aid? You might be interested in reading how to optimize your finanical aid. Also just as a reminder, remeber to watch your credit cards (if you have any).

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lecture-hall.jpg Photo Credit: Phillip C

This blog is directed mainly towards people who in my boat, working college students. As I’m working on finishing my last semester, I was reflecting on some things that could help others in getting an education at an affordable rate. The most affordable rate I could think of was free. My goal with this post is to try and get you the information you need to find this money.

People don’t normally associate college students with being rich, but it is possible to have money saved while going to college. It takes some effort at first, but once you get into the habit, it’ll pay off in spades.

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Photo Credit: Jeff Keen

  1. Apply for FAFSA early: As soon as you can, apply for Free Application for Federal Student Aid in January. Use an estimate for your taxes when you initially fill it out. Once you get your tax return back, (or your parents’) sign in online and update the information. The earlier you do this the higher your chances of receiving more grants.
  2. Be aware of individual states’ deadlines for getting financial aid. Each state has a different deadline on getting grants from them. We’re talking about an extra hundred a semester to thousands of dollars. Remember you’re looking for grants, which mean you don’t have to pay them back.
  3. Apply for scholarships. Just because you’re getting money from the government doesn’t mean you can’t try to get some scholarships. FastWeb is a popular site that searches applicable scholarships for you. You should also check out the institution’s scholarships, which are usually based on need, merit, and/or major.
  4. Stay local. By staying in-state, you get much cheaper rates than out of state students. My university doubles the rate for a class for out of state students.
  5. Go to a community college first. In my area, the community college is close to the local universities. Many of the university professors teach at community college. You also save 40-60% on the price per credit!
  6. Maintain good grades. Most federal financial aid require a 2.0 GPA or higher to keep it. Don’t use that as a guideline; strive for a 3.0 or higher. It will help when you go to a 4year university and are looking at their scholarships.
  7. Consider work study as an option. This helps put cash on your pocket and the schedule is typically good for a college student. If you have dependents and going to college, this may not be an option, as the pay is usually $6-8/hour.  I would suggest looking at jobs from the career center.

Tomorrow Next Monday, I’ll look into how to budget on a college student’s budget and save money. I’ll do two basic ones:

  • A dependent student living at home
  • An independent student living on their own or have familial responsibilities

*Working on these budgets made me realize I was narrowing the field too much, it look I’ll have at least 5 sample budgets next Monday instead of just 2 budgets!

There are several articles great articles from other blogs that can help college students. Here’s a list of my favorite:

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Photo Credit: Lemonfridge

Want to have a job that has a high need for qualified worker? Here’s what I found online:

Companies like Exelon and General Electric are providing research grants and scholarships for power engineering programs at four-year colleges. And the Natural Association of Manufacturers recently established the “Dream It. Do It.” program to train young professionals and garner interest in manufacturing careers among students.

According to Manpower, Inc.’s 2007 Talent Shortage Survey, the following jobs are most in need of qualified workers right now. Due to high demand, pursuing a job in one of these fields could mean increased pay and more benefits for those willing to take the plunge.

read more | digg story

I also noticed another study on good paying jobs for new college graduates. If you want to receive more posts like this, subscribe to my blog’s feed.

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spaceball1.gifspaceball.gif I think that if you learn a foreign language, you’ll not only improve your financial bottom line, but it can also enrich your personal life. Here’s a couple of reasons to think about foreign languages.

1. Improve your employment income potential

2. Understand international arts, music, and culture

3. Enjoy traveling

4. Become a true global citizen

5. Meet new people

Here’s a wonderful video from Steve Kaufman aka. The Linguist. I enjoy his posts and presentations.

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Amazing things can be found at YouTube. He also has a program to help you learn languages.

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