Friday, August 30, 2013

Lisboa Love August 2013

Familiar metro stations of Lisboa..
It was August 2013, and Lisboa had started to become my second hometown, almost. That was a remarkable visit from Stockholm, and my second visit to Portugal! Thanks to Erasmus Mundus for everything!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The next episode..

IST, Lisbon, commonly called "Tecnico"
I thought of writing this quick post answering some of the questions I often receive regarding the master studies in Europe, and specifically Erasmus Mundus (which is to be re-branded as "Erasmus+", making all similar exchange programs such as Erasmus come under the same name). 

The commonest question is, why did I pick Europe for my higher studies, instead of the US or Australia. European masters provide a nice combination of research and academics in a single master, as opposed to the complete research oriented master courses and academic master courses. Of course, the mandatory mobility of Erasmus Mundus, where we are expected to study in at least two countries during our masters is something I really liked.

Erasmus Mundus
Most of the students going to the US are going for their PhD. They get funded mostly by being a research assistant or teaching assistant. IMO, it is hard for a student to get a scholarship for masters in the US. There are research masters in Canada and the US, with similar paid research assistantship. However, Erasmus Mundus is a scholarship. You are not expected to be an assistant. You just study. The monthly allowance of 1000 Euro is pretty much enough to cover the stay in Europe, along with the travel allowances for travelling home and installation (4000 Euro/year).

ISCTE-IUL, a public university in Lisbon
Most of the PhD programs in the Europe require you to have a masters, where you can directly apply to be a PhD student in the US and Australia. Though I had a goal of pursuing a doctorate, I wanted to work for a year or two immediately following my masters. Hence European master gave me a better option, than applying for a 5 year long program of the US, which covers the MSc+PhD (Australia seems to provide the fastest, with just 3 years for the combination). European doctorate programs such as Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate programs have a period of 4 years.

A break?
Should we apply to the higher studies immediately after graduating from our bachelors? It depends on your personal profile. I mean, if you have a good experience, have published papers, very good GPA, you can apply immediately after the bachelors. Otherwise, better to gain some experience. Just to note that these scholarships are competitive. In my opinion, working somewhere before going abroad for higher studies is advantageous, as it gives you some exposure outside your friend circle. Nevertheless, these are just my personal opinions, and I have met many professors and scholars who would advice to go for higher studies, immediately following the bachelors, to keep up with the momentum.

See you soon!
Time has surely gone fast for me. Completing one academic year as well as the summer vacation, getting ready for the second (and final) year of my masters. Life is getting more exciting and faster. One thing I learned during these days was that life is not a destination or reaching the destinations; but a continuous journey. With that positive note, I am getting back to my world, hoping to come up with something more useful or (and?) interesting soon. ^_^

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Moments with Twitter - III

After a few months, I did another round of tweet analysis, on my own tweets. I have shared quite a few interesting links, over the past couple of months. Also have a look at Moments with Twitter.. and Moments with Twitter - II to see some of my previous tweets.

Agia PDF Search is a useful search site that lets you search and read the PDF documents online. Oct 15, 2012

Just enter your academic email address to increase the space in your existing #Dropbox account by 3 GB or more Oct 15, 2012
Dropbox is interesting, and their business model is even more interesting! All the students love Dropbox, which is mostly a free cloud storage system, though paid premium packages are available.

End of Day Light Saving Time!
DST started on Sun, 25 March, 01:00 local standard time; Ends on Sun, 28 Oct, 02:00 local daylight time - Back to GMT. Oct 21, 2012
From the coming Sunday onwards, we will be back from the natural time, from the daylight saving time. This will make Portugal to go with GMT, and this will make the time difference with Sri Lanka, -05:30.

Changed my #twitter profile picture for the first time, since I created the account. Almost 4 years, and I didn't change much though. ;) Nov 02, 2012
Changing the profile pictures and the short bio in these profiles are becoming a harder task considering the ever increasing online presence of myself in multiple social media platforms.

An interesting, yet idiot's way to grab more visitors to your blog - Write a blog post titled, Is {SOMETHING} dead? For e.g., "Is SEO Dead?" Nov 30, 2012  
Another way, Write a silly post with a numbered title, with superlatives. For e.g: 7 worst mistakes that horse owners make in the night. :D Nov 30, 2012
OK. We all have this curiosity to click that link!

The adventures of young student backpackers with Eurail passes, 1970. 1970's photos of train travels in the Europe. Jan 03, 2013
Student backpackers - this term probably fits the Erasmus Mundus / Erasmus students, at least in some points of our life. One of my favourite backpacking blogs is, Breakaway Backpacker.

A ҉ Y ҉ U ҉ B ҉ O ҉ W ҉ A ҉ N ҉ Mar 03, 2013
Hello, Sri Lankan Style!

Shenzhen Window of the World.. Mar 11, 2013

What is my #IP? Jul 26, 2013

CHINAKNOWLEDGE - a universal guide for #China studies Jul 30, 2013
This is an interesting resource to learn about China, its culture, and the Chinese language. MIT OpenCourseWare too has Simplified Chinese and other Chinese courses under the foreign languages and literature section. For me, listening to Chinese songs with the lyrics written in pinyin appears easy. Everything else seems just Chinese. :D

Collection of oddities.. the odd stuff.. Aug 02, 2013
These odd stuff are interesting. Bored Panda is a similar online magazine. However, I don't find anything these articles report odd. I find the mainstream news these days more 'odd'. One news was "Vietnam to ban discussion of news on social media sites". The situation globally doesn't look nice to me. Have a look at the Press Freedom Index of 2013.