Education for Everyone Everywhere

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En octobre dernier nous avons annoncé le lancement officiel d’un nouveau service pour les étudiants : le Centre d’Écriture de Horizons University. Le service est disponible et fonctionnel depuis trois mois, il est également accessible via sa propre page sur le site officiel de Horizons University. Depuis sa création, nous nous attachons à étudier et améliorer les moyens d’intégrer vos suggestions et à vous offrir une orientation personnalisée.

Fidèles à cet esprit, nous avons à présent conçu un Formulaire de demande de devis : le formulaire disponible sur internet est facile d’accès et très simple à remplir. De plus, il vous permet de charger votre fichier et de soumettre votre demande de devis d’un simple clic : vos demandes nous parviennent rapidement et efficacement.

Nous pensons que cette procédure simplifiée vous aidera à analyser et définir vos besoins tout en donnant au personnel du Centre d’Écriture la possibilité de vous offrir les meilleures options de révision, rapidement.

Voici un témoignage d’une de nos étudiantes, Lisa (Master en Communication Interculturelle – MACCC), qui a eu recours aux services du Centre d’Écriture :

“Le Centre d’Écriture a été pour moi une grande opportunité car j’ai pu améliorer mes compétences rédactionnelles et obtenir de l’aide grâce à la révision générale de mes devoirs. C’est une offre utile, en particulier pour les étudiants dont la langue maternelle n’est pas l’anglais, car nous recevons beaucoup de bons conseils sur ce que l’on pourrait améliorer. Il propose également une assistance si vous avez des doutes sur le formatage APA qui peut être très utile si vous n’êtes pas habitué aux règles. Même si le service est payant, il n’est pas si cher et c’est de l’argent bien investi !”

Qu’en pensez-vous ? Quels autres services de révision devons-nous améliorer? Quelles nouveautés attendez-vous de ce service ? N’hésitez pas à nous laisser vos commentaires pour nous aider à aller toujours plus loin, avec vous !

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Quieting the Mind

“Education for Everyone Everywhere”

The slogan sits beneath the Horizons University banner on our official website, proclaiming the idea that education should be available for everyone, anywhere in the world. While of course Horizons University offers on-campus learning, we’re able to bring the classroom anywhere and everywhere through our online programs. The classroom is wherever the student wants it to be. Whether it’s the living room sofa, the corner table in the local coffee shop, the public library, or the aisle seat on a flight to Boston, online education releases the student from a regimented schedule and allows them to study at their own pace, in their environment of choice.

But, as much as we don’t want to admit it, this freedom comes with the burden of responsibility and self discipline.

Centering the mind and quieting the mind to focus in a non-traditional work environment takes time and practice. Working from home or completing a degree online has wonderful perks, but it’s important to stay organized and to stay aware of our time and space in order to stay creative and productive.

Here are some helpful tips to quiet our minds and decrease distraction when working:

  1. Meditate: Daily meditation may seem like it belongs in yoga class instead of the office, but meditation can be done by anyone, anywhere, at anytime. Take a break during the day to recollect. It could be in the morning while your coffee is brewing, at lunch in the break room, at your desk or cubicle, or when you get home in the evening. Simply close your eyes and breathe. Meditation isn’t about trying to block your thoughts. The human brain will continue to think and process and worry no matter how hard you try to silence it. The point of meditation is to acknowledge these thoughts and gently move back to a central, calm, focal point. Meditating for 10 minutes before sitting down to write a paper or doing a project will allow your mind to focus more clearly on the task at hand.
  2. Clear Your Schedule: Clearing your schedule doesn’t necessarily mean canceling plans with friends or missing your favorite TV show because you’re stuck in the library studying. It’s important to balance studying or working with personal time for yourself, however when it is time to buckle down and write, make sure there is nothing hanging over your head. For example, before sitting down to write or begin your work for the day, make sure the bills are paid, the cat is fed, and the laundry is done. It’s incredibly difficult to focus wholly on a project when you are distracted by chores or other tasks you need to accomplish. If possible, set a time during the day that is devoted entirely to your online work or study, then, try to get as many chores accomplished beforehand so distractions are minimized. Hide your phone in the pantry, plug in your headphones, keep a snack next to your computer, and get to work.
  3. Find Your Ideal Environment: Some people can design, read, write, create, blog, edit, etc. while seated at a tiny table in a loud, bustling cafe. In fact, this may be the only environment they are able to work effectively in, or at least the environment in which they’re the most creative and focused. Others couldn’t read and comprehend a sentence amongst the music and clanking of coffee cups. While most of us think we know our ideal study environment, it’s important to think critically about how productive we’re being in the different places we choose to work. Ask yourself, “Do I get more work done at my kitchen table? Or at the library?” “Does the bookstore or cafe bring me much needed inspiration for my writing? Or is it ultimately a distraction?” Take time to find your space.

Comment below to share your personal study habits. What works well for you? How do you quiet your mind and focus?

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FEDE header

Ever since its creation in 1998, Horizons University has progressed towards the pursuit of quality in education. Within this context, we are proud to announce that we have now been accepted as a member of the FEDE, the European Federation of Schools (Fédération européenne des Ecoles). Horizons University shares the values promoted by this international non-governmental organization promoting the freedom of education and learning in the world and the creation of a European area fully dedicated to education. We have joined a strong professional network of over 600 educational institutions across Europe and the rest of the world and an organization that “benefits from a participatory status with the Council of Europe” (source).

The private status of Horizons University makes it a place to study apart from the mainstream public institutions in France. Our strong focus on online learning makes us a pioneer in distance education with a unique offer and a unique voice – think along the lines of our MA in Martial Arts or MBA in Martial Arts Management. Our role and aim is therefore to bring a new dimension to education and to foster new grounds for research and application. Thanks to the FEDE, we can further spread our motto – Education for Everyone Everywhere. The human values it carries bring life-changing education to the doors of an increasing amount of resourceful and talented people, helping them build their academic and professional projects while looking further ahead.

Students from all walks of life and from all over the world can now find Horizons University in the FEDE listing, together with a list of our programs offered online and on-campus.

We take this opportunity to thank the FEDE for welcoming us and look forward to our mutually enriching cooperation in the years to come!

Credits: from the FEDE official website.

Why Time Is Of Essence

Time managment TIPS

One of the most recurring terms in our communication and conversations is “Time”. As we research for the next issue of our newsletter, HorizoNews, Chronos is depicted as an essential asset to have on your side, whether you are a faculty member, a student, a member of staff… In the latest newsletter issue, we underline the importance of planning as a way for online students to prepare for an efficient year of successful studies.We have also mentioned before in this blog, how crucial it is to take breaks, breathe, look around and come back recharged. So, how can we learn how to manage our time better, to preserve a “white space”, and what does free time mean (does it still mean something to you)? Time, over and over again, calls for our attention.

One way to go about time is to manage it through the very popular time-management set of skills. What may come naturally to some of us, may be slightly more problematic for others. If we look closer at the intervention of time in online courses, we can also rely on ECTS per course. According to the Bologna process, each ECTS stands for about 25 hours of work. Given the total number of ECTS for a given course, students will then be able to understand at a glance how many hours each course involves. These are then split between Engagement, Preparation and Independent study hours depending on the tasks and type of involvement they require. When courses are developed, it is essential that theres parameters are taken into consideration to offer quality and consistent content in compliance with the Bologna standards and learning outcomes.

Time management applied to online studies guarantees rhythm, helps define time blocks that allow for deep learning/deep work and infuse a sense of scope while also making sure that a course can be completed. We assist our online students in time-management by providing them with a Study Plan: this document helps them acknowledge their tasks and evaluate how much time they will need to perform them and reach their goals.

As with many other aspects of our lives, time control and management cannot go without winding down, and I would even say that one cannot grow stronger, be beneficial without the other. To better manage our time, we also need to take breaks: after a pause, our brain and body are fully recharged and ready to re-engage. Carving out a white space means accepting a shift in our routine which may feel unsettling for some of us prone to coordinate and manage every aspect of an overly busy life or of what feels like it for an entire addicted generation. The panic one may feel raising as the days grow slower and time opens up for ourselves and our thoughts is only normal. And, guess what? It requires time to adapt! But the process is a healthy one that helps fight stress and a very effective way to clear a creative and brainstorming block. You cannot find the right sentence for your conclusion? Your ideas are stuck? Try going for a walk, listening to some music, meeting with friends… According to marketing strategy consultant Dorie Clark, “We need to carve out blank space. (…) You don’t need time to have a great idea, what you need is space.” The goal is to find the right balance so that you can learn, teach, discover with pleasure and renewed motivation and strength.

What is your solution when it comes to letting go and learning to re-engage? Do you actually have to learn how to do this or does it come naturally to you? What are your favorite time-management tools or go-to activities when you need to step down a notch and “fill your mind and your soul with inspiration“? What are your favorite time-management tools? Let’s share our experiences here!

P.S. If you like this post, sign up in the Newsletter Sign Up field to enjoy the FREE Horizons University newsletter, HorizoNews. Each month, receive 2 issues straight to your inbox!

Credits: DeathToTheStockPhoto (Edited by Horizons University)

USEFUL TIPS

That’s it, you are enrolled and ready to embark on a new learning journey! This one will be slightly different from your previous experiences: you are now an online learner, with a mouse at your fingertips and a course on a remonte server at your virtual door. What we encourage you to do today is to embrace your online enrollment as a brand new opportunity to grow your skills and personality.

To help you on your way, we have a few tips to share based on our experience and our students’ valuable feedback over the years:

Tip #1: Cover the tech basics

First things first: to ensure that you can study whenever you want and access your courses smoothly, you have to be able to rely on your hardware and internet connection. Sure enough, there will be times when the provider will be down, times for LMS upgrades etc. But aside from the occasional glitch, upgrades and maintenance periods are announced in advance in order to  help you work around them. Do invest in an external hard drive if you can and – in any case – regularly back up your work in order to prevent dramatic computer crashes and data loss. You may also want to set up a GoogleDrive or Dropbox account: they are free (check out Dropbox plans for added storage capacity) and easy to set up in just a few steps.

Tip #2: Define your study space (and let others know)

At a time when multitasking is all the rage – not to mention the “I-am-busy” syndrome – it is capital that when you sit down to study, you fully ease yourself into the task. One way to achieve this is related to setting up your study area in a way that allows you to sit down and work whenever needed and with no outer/inner distractions. The size of the area is not important in this case: quality is what matters since it should be a quiet space, dedicated to your activity only and accessible to you only during your study time. Defining your study space also means ensuring that your entourage understands your academic project and respects it. As a former freelancer, I have mixed feelings and memories about having to remind family and friends that you are actually working, even if you are around and seem to be available for any type of questions!

Tip #3: Plan your studies

In a way planning your studies time wise is part of defining your study space too and is every bit as crucial as your study corner. Aside from the multiple calendars you can set up on any type of device, including your computer, Horizons University provides you with a Study Plan. You are invited to fill your Study Plan upstream under the guidance of your facilitator and Student Premier to make sure you set achievable and actionable goals. To reach those goals is the key to your structured progression and I suggest you read our goal-oriented post (and cheat sheet!) to find out how to set that up.

Tip #4: Get familiar with the rules

Studying online requires structure and motivation as well as the skills to learn the policies and rules that will make it easier for you to access your LMS, understand how it works and establish efficient communication channels with our staff and your student community. When starting your program with Horizons University you will first go through the introduction courses: these self-paced online courses are meant to help you get familiar with our LMS but also our policies, such as plagiarism and academic honesty. In the end, you start the program fully aware of your environment, both technical and intellectual, which we believe is a significant asset!

Tip #5: Engage!

The term “motivation” appears higher up in this post – and is a key term when you are studying online. Feeling isolated in the midst of tons of conversations and social media exchanges – as paradoxical as it may sound – is common nowadays. We do encourage you to join us throughout social media channels, but also and above all to turn to your Student Premier whenever you have questions about your learning experience; or to your facilitator for curriculum content related queries; or to the Administrative Officer for administrative questions. Horizons University students are part of a community of professionals. There is the social community out there, but it is also backed up by experts who know your profile, academic history prior to Horizons University and at our institution. They are here to listen to you and provide customized assistance wherever and whenever needed.

What other tips would you like to share with your fellow students or our prospects? What makes online studies easy or difficult for you? What could we implement to make your online learning process smoother?

Credits: DeathToTheStockPhoto (edited by Horizons University)

Job Interview Tips

Now that you have sent your resume and cover letter out and that you have been receiving requests for interviews, it is time to up your game and think about the next step, the ever important face-to-face meeting. Research says that recruiters make their mind during the very first 20 minutes of your job interview and even that the first 90 seconds are crucial, so there is little time to make the strongest (and best) impression! In order to get you started and help you on the way to success, we share with you 5 essential tips that should make you feel more at ease with the challenge ahead – while putting you in the position of a winner!

TIP #1: Nail that first impression

The first impression is a visual one, as simple as that, with 65% of hiring professional considering that clothing can be a decisive factor between two candidates. The recruiter is going to see you and what he/she is going to see needs to be positive. Taste is a very personal matter, but when applying for a job, it might be advisable to steer clear of excessive clothing, make-up and attitude in general. We would suggest you dressed as a professional: simply and efficiently, with no frills susceptible of distracting your contact. Show that you know what matters and you like going to the point. This does not mean that you should avoid putting your personality out there: you may express it via a touch of color, or a subtle pattern, for example. Who would have thought fashion to rank so high in the list?

TIP #2: Body Language is the Key

There’s the outside look and…your body language. While it may not be the most important aspect of your interview, it is one that draws attention from the beginning of your interview. Do show a steady gaze, make eye contact, shake hands firmly (without overdoing it) and avoid being fidgety (leave your hair and face alone). This will ensure that your contact stays focused and – you too.

TIP #3: Prepare, prepare, prepare

Show your recruiter that you are genuinely interested in him/her, the company and its activity sector. Do use LinkedIn to get to know their environment and research the company on the Internet and read as much as possible about it. You may also join related groups on LinkedIn and Facebook and a bit of benchmarking to try and understand who the competitors are and where the differences lie may be a good idea. A good level of preparation and understanding will  help you move to asking the right questions – which is probably even more important than providing good answers. You will be able to show your critical thinking skills and fluid intelligence.

On a more practical note, do remember to pack more than one pen, a notebook, several copies of your resume and any additional document that will support your achievements and profile.

TIP #4: Open Attitude

Take advantage of your interview to show that you have an open attitude: listen carefully, react accordingly and show that you are interested and adaptable, willing to learn and share. Your recruiter needs to understand that you are someone his/her team will enjoy working with.

TIP #5: Take Responsibility

Instead of listing your strong points, weaknesses and tasks as if they were a mere checklist (although we do love a good old checklist at Horizons University), take some distance and include your tasks and achievements in a more holistic and analytical presentation. For example, one of your weak points may be just the perfect opportunity to improve: how? What are you doing to grow? What project have you taken on? Your tasks and studies may also be presented in a dynamic, development oriented way instead of being a mere bullet pointed list: in what way the choice of you studies/the tasks you have performed at work as an employee or an intern in the past show that you know how to take responsibility and grow?

The tips above are meant as the starting point of your brainstorming and preparation and we do hope you will find them helpful and efficient. The interview, regardless of the job you are applying for, is a great opportunity to show a complete picture of who you were, are and will be: potential is your ally!

Are there any other tips you would like to share with us? What would would be your piece of advice to candidates?

P.S.: If you like this post, sign up to enjoy the HorizoNews newsletter. Each month, receive the issues packed with the latest news and tips straight to your inbox!

 

Credits: Canva edited by Horizons University

Yearbook

The tradition continues: after another eventful year, the 2015 Yearbook has arrived! Those of you following us on Twitter have even seen its creative cover and inside pages… The good news is that you can now order this year’s issue entitled “Ways to Teach and Ways to Learn“!

The 60-page repository of Horizons University’s story – and history – features the following chapters:

– Faculty and Staff

– Students

– Graduation

– Articles and HU’s news

– World Beat (a classic now!)

– Horizons University Press: the brand new resource site featuring exclusive authors and books.

Each chapter provides an insight into one of the fields of action or category of stakeholders that make Horizons University YOUR institution, complemented by photographs and articles written by our staff and students. The Yearbook is YOUR personal book commemorating your year with Horizons University and its international community. It also gives you the opportunity to apply some of the skills learned during the year by participating in an editorial project that has deep meaning for you as part of Horizons University.

To order you copy now, contact the Administrative Officer via email, sending him the Order Form you can download directly from the link provided at the bottom of this post (form in English). The price for each copy is 35€. Shipping costs are as follows:

– 8€ for Europe

– 10€ for the rest of the world

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”

–Martin Luther King, Jr.

DOWNLOAD the Order Form

GRAB your copy NOW!

Credits: Horizons University