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Sep 032009

Image by digitalismo via Flickr

Across the country thousands of student’s who’ve just accepted their place on a college or university course are eagerly awaiting the start of the new academic year. It herald the beginning of a brand new chapter in their lives as they enter third level education.

While this is a very exciting milestone, it can also be a daunting one. In the early days of college it can be difficult to find your feet, to get your bearings on- and off- campus, get your head around a completely new way of learning and coping with non-academic changes like living away from home and fending for yourself — which can be an adventure in itself.

Luckily, colleges and universities are well aware of the challenges faced by new students. Third level learning institutions want students to feel at home as quickly as possible, and often go out of their way to show newcomers the ropes and help them to settle into college life. Most places will issue every new student with a welcome pack before they arrive on campus, full of all the information they’ll need for their first few weeks of term: things like a guide to registration, important dates on the academic calendar, relevant contact details, maps of the campus, answers to the most frequently asked student questions and much more besides. So before term even starts students have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with their new environment.

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Jul 132009

Image via Wikipedia

Written by Philip Crosbie, The Irish Institute of Chinese Studies, UCC

(Edited for Career Moves by Calvin Jones)

Why on earth would you want to learn Chinese?

A few years ago if you’d mentioned you were going to study the culture and language of the most populous country on earth that would have been a common response. Until relatively recently our only exposure to Chinese culture was a sanitised western version of its cuisine, and kung fu films! China, for many of us, still resonates as a distant frontier, somewhere only the most intrepid of travellers would venture: a mysterious cocktail of very different peoples, alien cultures and a cripplingly complex language.

But open any newspaper, magazine or current affairs website and you can’t help but notice another news story from what has become arguably the most dynamic and fastest changing society in the world. Whether it is culture, politics or economics, China continues to change apace, and its change that has impact on a global scale. Our little island on the periphery of northern Europe may seem a world away, but for the Irish economy and Irish business, change in China really matters!

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