Monday, July 08, 2013 at 1am

International Student Forum: Hot Topics

International Student Forum: Hot Topics main image

It’s week 2 of our new international student forum being live, and the discussions are getting going. Here’s my roundup of some of the hot topics in the forum so far – can you share any advice or add to the debate?

Student fashion

One of the popular topics in the ‘General Student Discussion’ area of the forum is about student fashion – ie. what to wear at university. I suspect not all the posts in this thread have been entirely serious... unless I really am completely out of touch with student fashion trends!

To be honest, in some parts of London the advice about sandals-with-socks and colorful fanny packs is probably fairly accurate… But silliness aside, the general consensus so far seems to be: keep it comfortable and casual, stick to your own style, and don’t take student fashion too seriously!

Got fashion advice to share? Join the conversation >

Language learning

Also in the General Discussion section, another topic that caught my eye is about free online resources for language learning. There have been a few suggestions of useful language learning websites, including Rosetta Stone and Duolingo, but students have also been highlighting the importance of finding offline resources too – ie. making friends with someone who speaks the language.

This has been a timely reminder for me – I’ve been attempting to teach myself Spanish online, very slowly, for about a year now, and I keep mumbling about how I need to find people to practice it with. Anyone want to be my Spanish-learning buddy?

Trying to learn a new language? Share your tips >

University rankings – alternatives

My third ‘hot topic’ this week hasn’t had so many responses yet, but I think it deserves to! One of our international student forum users raised the interesting question of alternative ways to rank universities.

The QS World University Rankings includes measurements based on universities’ reputation, international diversity, staff-student ratio and research citations. But of course there are lots of other things you could try to measure, such as environmental responsibility, graduate employment rates or social engagement. In fact recently we hosted a guest blog post from People & Planet, which publishes an annual ‘Green League’ of UK universities.

How would you rank universities? Share your ideas >

We’re really keen to keep the international student forum growing – it’s a place where you can connect with students worldwide to ask questions and share advice. So please do get involved!

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