Sunday, January 18, 2015

Self-development opportunities?

     There are lots of ways for self-improvement. My way is not a panacea. And my advice would not be applicable for everybody. But one thing I know for sure, if you are not happy with what you are at right now, you need to change something.

     Your adjustment goes really slow because you still not on a short hand with English? I would say, you know my answer- find English classes. They may need full involvement with classes every day as in Kaplan. You can attend English classes at colleges or universities (which will be more complicated to apply for). There are also free classes for foreigners couple days a week for a semester or whole year helding in schools, libraries. Check this links for additional information about those classes:
FreeLibrary and FreeEnglishClasses
For north Philly area you can check this link:VitaEducation
 There are also Meetup groups, when people schedule meeting in a cafe or bar and talk English in a group discussion (these also exist in other languages).
   If you don't know where to start, make an evaluation of your diploma. Do you have a high-school diploma? What if you don't have it or don't have it available. Take GED course. At the end you can pass the test which will be equal to an american high-school diploma. With school diploma you can research degree programs or professional certification in community colleges. They will accept you based on several testing.
        Maybe you had graduated from school but left all the papers in your country together with college diploma, ask your family to send you scans. Depending on what you are going to do with it in the future, you may not need an original. Of course there are cases, when you need certified copies sent directly from the school, in this case you will need to contact your institution.
       Get a translation. We all know English more or less and know how to translate Geometry. But if you are not sure about exact style and form, use professional service, it may and will influence your evaluation.
      Next step is to send your translated diploma to an evaluation agency, which will convert grades from your country to american system. There are list of agencies making evaluation officially acceptable by most institutions. Here is the link to double check which agency to use: Naces Org
     But if you plan to apply to University, check the Admission page. Some Universities ask to evaluate foreign transcript in a particular organization.
      If you decided to go to University to start or continue your education, you will definitely need results of TOEFL or IELTS exam. In US TOEFL is widely accepted, IELTS is more accepted by schools in Europe. Take the course or if you feel more comfortable self student( studying at home), there is plenty of books with included CDs or even included subscription to online account , which provides practice and training test. Here is link to the site to make a test appointment and see other information regarding TOEFL:ETS Org
     If you don't plan or don't have time or not ready yet to go to the University, try to take the course at Coursera. They are held by professors from Universities and you can get a Certificate of completion at the end. Not all of them related to Academic Field. There are courses for English Composition Writing or Guitar Playing or Programming Mobile Applications and etc.
     For Masters Degree or MBA you would need GMAT or GRE results. They test same abilities in a different form. Again check school's admission page to check which one you should take. Mostly both are accepted, but not always. 
   Hope I cleared something for you. I am still on a self-improvement path myself, but everything mentioned here I tested. It is possible and doable. If I did it, you can do it. So why wait?