Education News – Jul 20, 2020

Education News – Jul 20, 2020

Lester B Pearson International Scholarship Program from the University of Toronto

The University of Toronto, Canada is opening the Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship Program.  This scholarship is intended to recognize international students who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement and creativity, and who are recognized as leaders within their school.  This is the most prestigious and competitive scholarship for international students awarded annually by the University of Toronto.  Each year approximately 37 students will be named Lester B. Pearson Scholars.  The scholarship will cover tuition, books, incidental fees, and full residence support for four years.  These scholarships are tenable only at the University of Toronto for first-entry, undergraduate programs.
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Half Undergraduate Scholarship from the University of  Minnesota, U.S.

The University of Minnesota, U.S. is offering the Global Excellence Scholarship for international students.  The school will provide an award amount of up to $25,000 to the successful candidates for the year 2020/21.  This grant is for undertaking an undergraduate degree program in any field offered by the university.  The educational bursary is available for both international freshmen and transfer students who want to pursue an undergraduate degree program at the university.  The University of Minnesota is a public research university that has the sixth-largest main campus student body in the United States.  It offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs to the students.  At this university, students can meet with career advisers who can help them in exploring options and information advisers.
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Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships for Undergraduates from the Liverpool John Moores University, U.K.

Liverpool John Moores University is offering Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships for international students to study in the United Kingdom.  There are five awards open to all eligible candidates, who are going to study an undergraduate degree program at the university.  The scholarship winners will receive £10,000 for the undergraduate study at Liverpool John Moores University for the year 2020.  Established in 1992, Liverpool John Moores University is an open research university.  It has a variety of training and networking events run throughout the academic year and offers undergraduate and master’s degree programs.
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6 Ways to Build a Friendship with Your Child

6 Ways to Build a Friendship with Your Child

Have you ever tried to be friends with your child?

Parenting is hard enough, and trying to be a friend to your child at the same time can be like walking a tightrope.  Many parents don’t want to befriend their children as they are afraid it will be hard to enforce rules and standards.  But befriending children is detrimental to their development, as research suggests that kids do better when their parents show affection and enforce age-appropriate limits on their children’s behavior.

As Asian parents, we sometimes find it hard to express our love to our children, we are not comfortable saying “I love you”, and have the challenging job of laying the foundation that will support family friendships in later years. 

So, how can you be a parent who is approachable, accessible, and grow a close bond with your child?  How can you balance the parent-mode and friend-mode when necessary?  How can you set boundaries and have effective discipline, while still maintaining that parent-child relationship?  In this article, we suggest six “foundation builders” to help you cultivate strong friendships with your children.

First, what does “friendship” between parents and children mean?

“Friendship” may also cause problems if it means “treating a child as an adult therapist.”  In fact, it’s not even clear that intimate confessions from parents make kids feel like friends – at least not when the confessions are distressing.

For example, when researchers interviewed the adolescent daughters of divorce, they found that girls were more likely to experience psychological distress if their moms made detailed disclosures to them about their financial worries, employment hassles, personal problems, and negative feelings about their ex-husbands.

But not all intimate confessions are of a distressing nature, and it’s likely that some forms of sharing strengthen the parent-child relationship.  In a recent study of 790 Dutch adolescents, researchers found that kids who reported sharing secrets with their parents had higher-quality relationships and lower rates of delinquency (Frijns et al 2013).  Another study of Swedish teens found that the key to good behavior and family harmony wasn’t heavy-handed parental surveillance.  It was the child’s perception that his parents trusted him (Stattin 2001).

Therefore, what we want to stress here is that you don’t need to share with your child everything here to be her friend, not every friendship is based on sharing equal status.  Parents can build close, personal relationships with their kids and still remain responsible adults.  It’s more like the sort of friendship that some adults manage to have with authority figures – like senior colleagues, mentors, community leaders, or religious advisors.  Both parties respect each other. They care about and trust each other.  They can have meaningful conversations and enjoy each other’s company in informal settings.  But there are constraints.  The dominant party has to keep some information to himself.  And there are times when the dominant party must exercise his authority.

Remember, a true parent-child relationship is the combination of warmth, trust, companionship, and limits.

6 Ways to Build a Friendship with Your Child

1. Be parents first

The first step to establish a strong relationship with your child is letting them know the golden rule: you are the parent first.  Many parents try to be friends with their children and completely lose the sense of the fact that they are the parent.  While being friends with your child is wonderful, you need to remember that they have plenty of friends at school and they also need you to be their parent.  Freedom is good, but if America has taught the world anything, it’s that too much freedom can be a bad thing, too.  Just as it goes for a country, the same holds true for a child.  

Sometimes true friendship means not doing the token smile-and-nod and pretending everything is alright.  If you allow your child to do as they please to maintain the friendship level, it could lead to them constantly pushing the limits.  Without setting parental boundaries, children are at risk of making decisions for themselves that aren’t age-appropriate.  Rather than glossing over things to make your child happy in hopes that she will then think of you as a friend; be a true friend.  A true friend looks out for a friend’s well-being, even if that means making hard decisions.

2. See discipline as an asset
A young child will try to manipulate and be in charge.  She will attempt to get her own way. While she may not be consciously trying to control, this is what she is doing.  A wise parent must not permit this to happen.  Respect levels should be established as well.  When a child respects his parents, he will also respect others.  Set rules, these rules need to include how late they can stay out, know who they are with and dating, where they are going and what parties they will be going to, and things of that nature.  They know you are their provider and the one who protects them and they should respect that.  If you want to build a friendship with your child, firm discipline is essential, especially in the early years.

> Some simple, but effective ideas for a reward system to discipline your child:

3. Become A Student Of Your Children
You need to understand your child if you want to make friends with her.   It is possible to do so simply by being around and observing her. When you see your child playing, asking for a certain thing, reacting in a certain manner to situations, her interaction with others, etc., you get to know a great deal about her overall personality.  We encourage you to carefully study your child’s natural personality.  Keep in mind that each child is unique.  Your child will be different from you and their siblings.

 You can ask yourself a few questions that can help you understand your child’s psychology.  

  • Is your child strong-willed, fun-loving, sensitive or very detailed?  
  • What are her likes and dislikes?  
  • How does she react when she has to do something she doesn’t like, such as eating certain foods, going to bed, or doing homework?
  • What is the best way to motivate your child? 
  • What are her specific goals and dreams?  
  • How social is she? Is she willing to share or try new things?
  • How long is your child taking to become familiar with her surroundings? Is she able to adjust to the changes in the environment?

As you begin to answer these kinds of questions you will be able to “tailor-make” your friendship with each child according to his natural personality.

4. Build one-on-one time in your daily routine
Remember that friendships don’t develop by chance or accident. Instead, meaningful friendships are a result of spending time together on a regular – preferably daily- basis.  Spending time together doesn’t always “just happen;” it takes effort to make it a daily activity.  We need to get into the habit of setting special times for our children each day.  During this time, you can give your child your full attention, allowing them to open up to you.  Here are some times you can spend together:

  • Driving to and from school/ extra classes
  • Dinnertime
  • 10-minute chat after school
  • Bedtime routine

You can create a bucket list with your child.   This will give the two of you the opportunity to catch up with each other and make memories together. Find things you both love and are passionate about, try movies, nature trails, playgrounds, beaches, skating rinks, sports games, and whatever you and your child enjoy.  You can put forward some options, but always let them make a choice.  It tells them that you value their opinion and preferences.

5. Communicate in an understanding way
Another important aspect of developing a friendship with your children is by talking and listening in an understanding way.  In other words, we encourage you to become an active listener when communicating with your child.  Active listening involves eye contact with the speaker.  A good listener never assumes he knows what his child is saying.  Instead, ask questions to clarify what the child has said.  Then repeat, using different words, what you think she meant.

 Effective communication goes beyond words.  It takes real work to communicate with your child. It’s not enough to simply ask, “how was your day?” or “what are you feeling about…?”  You have to be engaged and practice active listening.  The good news is that when you show your children that you are invested in their responses and you care about what they have to say, you encourage them to act similarly.  Communicating is hard work; but the connection it creates is absolutely worth it.

And don’t just ask, share: Right from “how did the school go” to “who’s that friend of yours”, it’s time to give it a break and start sharing with them.  Tell them how your day was when you get a chance.  Talk about what you like, how you were at different things when you were young, and anything that you think they will listen to.

6. Meaningful Touch
The final way that we’ve found to help build meaningful friendships with children is by touching.  When you touch your child in a gentle way – soft, tender, full of warmth – millions of nerve endings send messages to the brain where chemicals are released to bring health to your child.  Researchers say that parents who hold their children at least six times daily can add months or maybe even years onto their life span.  Conversely, a child’s growth is stunted when not touched on a regular basis.  Children have actually died just from lack of touch, love, and affection.  Your child benefits not only physiologically, but emotionally as well.

Physical affection and verbal affirmation are necessary for laying a strong foundation for friendship.  Even if you were not raised in a hugging family, hug your kids anyway.  They need the warmth of physical contact and so do you.  From gently rocking the tiny infant to hugging a preadolescent, physical touch communicates love and provides security.  Encourage your kids to hug each other as well.  Let them begin by holding a newborn brother or sister.  Praise them for little things. “That was so nice when you complimented your brother for the pretty picture he drew.” 

> Check out this 1 simple technique to raise confident kids from Tony Ngo – our Chairman and Co-founder of Everest Education:

Final thoughts

Besides having scheduled time with your children, if you are to develop a meaningful friendship you need to be available to them during unscheduled times as well:

  • Treat your children as individuals with minds of their own.
  • Talk with them about their thoughts, hopes, ideas, and feelings.
  • Share bits of your own “mental life” with them – not the bits likely to distress kids, but bits that help kids see their parents as human beings so that you two can share a sense of mutual loyalty, trust, and respect.

To be a good friend with your child, let’s just be genuine, be open, be a true friend, love yourself; and just BE. Then your role as both friend and parent will naturally balance itself out. We hope you will enjoy plenty of fun-filled times with your child.


Education News – Jul 13, 2020

Education News – Jul 13, 2020

Partial Scholarships for Undergraduates and Postgraduates in Law from the University of Melbourne, Australia 2020

The University of Melbourne is sponsoring a wonderful opportunity through its International Philip Solomon QC Scholarship in Australia. The educational award is exclusively open for domestic and international students. The program supports excellent students who want to commence a bachelor’s or master’s degree program for the session 2020/2021. Founded in 1853, the University of Melbourne is the second oldest research university in Australia and has 13,000 international students from over 130 countries around the world. It offers various undergraduate, masters and research degree programs. The University of Melbourne will provide up to $5,000 for domestic and international students who wish to study law, legal studies, and criminology courses at the university.
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Full Sweden Government Scholarships for International Undergraduates and Postgraduates 2021

The Scholarships in Sweden for International Students are open for Spring 2021. Students who are interested to undertake bachelors or master’s degree programs from Sweden Universities are highly encouraged to apply. This scholarship is available at all Swedish universities and institutions in different types of financial aid. Applicants can apply to any academic fields and programs offered by Sweden universities. There’s a select number of English-taught programs that you can choose from. The amount of financial aid will vary depending on the school and the program you apply for.
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Undergraduate Scholarships from Illinois Wesleyan University, U.S. 2020 ($16.000 – $30.000/ Year)

Illinois Wesleyan University is offering merit-based scholarships to qualified international applicants with outstanding academic achievement and test scores on the required entrance exams.  These awards range from $16,000 to $30,000 per year and are renewable for up to four years.  Students who complete the admissions application are automatically considered for scholarships.  All nationalities are eligible to apply.  To participate in the program, aspirants must have to take admission in a bachelor degree at the university.  Founded in 1850, Illinois Wesleyan University is a private independent university that offers over 80 majors, minors, and programs.  It consists of the College of Liberal Arts with 17 academic departments. 
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Most Common Acronyms Used in the US, UK education system (part 2)

Most Common Acronyms Used in the US, UK education system (part 2)

Continuing our previous article of Most Common Acronyms Used in the US, UK education system, this week, we’ll focus on some acronyms and abbreviations indicating international qualifications, programs, and examinations such as GCSE, AP, IB, O-Levels, and A-Levels.

IB, A-Levels, and APs are academically challenging and are considered the highest high school options students can take.  If you are sending your child to study abroad, you might have heard about these programs, and the question inevitably arises: What courses will be the best suited to help my child excel and to nurture her interests?  Which will improve the odds of getting her into a top school the most? 

This article will explain to you these popular and prestigious academic paths, key differences, and how to choose between them, the pros and cons of each, to help your families decide what looks best on college applications.


GCSE stands for the General Certificate of Secondary Education.  This a set of exams taken in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and other British territories.  It’s a replacement for the old O (Ordinary) Levels and CSEs (Certificate of Secondary Education).  The IGCSE and the GCSE are equivalent qualifications.  Both are designed to test the completion of Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11) of the English National Curriculum.

IGCSEs were introduced in 1988 and are internationally recognised qualifications. The “I” in IGCSE is for “International”.  The courses are more relevant to those studying them internationally.  So for children being schooled at home, who may be based in any part of the world, they are ideal.  Candidates can take IGCSE examinations all over the world.  Similar to GCSEs, they are perceived by some as academically more rigorous, and for this reason have recently been adopted by over 300 independent schools in the UK.  IGCSEs are widely accepted by universities and colleges as part of their entry requirements. 

Although equivalent, there are a few differences between IGCSE and GCSE:

  • The GCSE may be taken only in the UK, whereas there are opportunities to take the IGCSE in nearly every country in the world as well as in the UK.
  • The GCSE is set only in May/ June of each year. But students may sit for the IGCSE also in October/ November, and in India only, also in March.


O-Level is the abbreviation of Ordinary Level. It is one of the two parts of GCS (General Certificate of Education).  The other part of GCE is Advanced Level (A-Level), which students enter after completing O-Level.

O-Level is the final certification for secondary school, to be taken in fifth form or year 11 at approximately age 17 (or age group 14-16).  Students that have completed O-Level are considered to have completed formal education.  They can further their studies to A-Level (at their school’s sixth form or private colleges),  Foundation Courses or diploma courses, or even simply leaving school.

O-Level is offered by Cambridge International Examination (CIE), American Council for Higher Education, and Edexcel International.  Though schools in the UK had replaced O-Level with GCSE in 1988, it is still used in many Commonwealth countries, such as Bangladesh, Brunei, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka and also in Trinidad and Tobago.


A-levels (short for Advanced levels) are the UK national curriculum designed to follow the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) in the UK.  Students usually choose three or four subjects and take two years to study for these A-levels between the ages of 16 and 18.  A-levels are two-year courses, the first year is called the Advanced Subsidiary (AS), the final year is called the A2 Year.

The program offers a choice of 55 subjects and schools that can offer any combination of subjects.  International A Levels are offered by Cambridge International Examinations, but the teacher can decide how to teach each subject. 

If you are sure you want your child to study in the UK, it might be preferable to take A-Levels, as it is the country’s traditional high school qualification.  A-levels is also a great choice for a student who has a clear idea of which subjects they excel in and what studies they wish to pursue after school.  A-Levels allow them to focus their time on achieving the highest possible grades in the 3 or 4 most relevant subjects.

Most importantly, students receive separate certificates in each subject they pass, rather than one overall certificate as with the IB. 


AP (Advanced Placement) course is a program in the United States and Canada created by the College Board, which offers college-level curricula and examinations to high school students. Similar to the SAT Subject Tests, there are AP tests that cover a range of subjects from Biology to European History to Music Theory.  There are currently over 38 AP test options, though few high schools offer classes in every subject.

Students that study the AP program will usually undertake three to four courses each year, in the final year up to seven courses may be studied.   Each course is developed by a committee composed of university faculty and AP teachers and covers the breadth of information, skills, and assignments found in the corresponding university course.  The idea behind AP courses is to present college-level concepts and course work to high school students and then test them at the end of their courses, using a 1-5 grading scale.  American colleges will often grant course credit and placement for AP courses in which students scored 3 or higher.  

Nearly all U.S. and Canadian colleges accept AP scores for placement or credit, as do many international universities. AP might be the right choice if your child is over-scheduled: unlike the IB Diploma Program, which includes extracurricular commitments, AP is solely curricular.

Another point worth considering is that similar to A-levels, students can take AP exams without being enrolled in an AP class. If students have proficiency in a language that’s not offered by their school or they want to self-study for a niche subject such as art history, then the AP program will give them more flexibility.


IB, or International Baccalaureate program began in 1968 in Geneva, Switzerland, and it was intended to produce highly educated, cosmopolitan students from children, whose parents were involved in diplomacy, international and multinational organizations.  The IB Diploma Program (DP) is an assessed program for students aged 16 to 19.  It is respected by leading universities across the globe.

Students must choose 3 Higher Level subjects and 3 Standard Level subjects from each of the 6 compulsory core areas: Language & Literature, Language Acquisition, Sciences, Maths, Social Sciences, and the Arts.

They must also complete additional components of the course.  This includes a Theory of Knowledge module, which promotes critical thinking, as well as participating in at least 3 hours-worth of arts, sport, or community service activities as part of their Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS) module.  They must also complete an Extended Essay, an independently researched 4,000-word essay on a topic of their choice.  The IB program has been described by advocates to be a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to a student’s education.

The IB diploma offers a well-rounded education. This makes the course particularly suited to students who are interested in a broad range of subjects but haven’t chosen what they would like to study at degree level yet.

The essay and Theory of Knowledge components of the IB program also provide ideal preparation for university education, giving students a solid grounding in critical thinking independent research skills.

Final Thoughts

Only you as the parent and student can decide which organization or program best suits you and your academic goals.  However, no matter which pathway you decide for your child to take, remember that selective colleges care that your child challenges themselves academically in high school: the particular coursework they take is less important.

According to the Yale admissions website, students are only expected to take advantage of AP or IB courses if the high school provides them.  Princeton’s admissions website offers similar advice: “Whenever you can, challenge yourself with the most rigorous courses possible, such as honors, Advanced Placement (AP) and dual-enrollment courses.  We will evaluate the International Baccalaureate (IB), A-levels or another diploma in the context of the program’s curriculum.”  Ultimately, what matters to colleges most is whether your child took advantage of the advanced options offered by their school.

Education News – Jul 6, 2020

Education News – Jul 6, 2020

Full Scholarship for Bachelor, Master, Ph.D. & Short Courses from Brunei Darussalam University 2020

The Brunei Darussalam Scholarship 2021 is now open. The Brunei Darussalam Scholarship is a fully-funded scholarship program for international students to undertake bachelor’s, master and Ph.D. degree programs in Brunei. The scholarship is now open for all academic fields and majors available at the university. Applicants applying for full-time and part-time are both eligible. The scholarship will cover all the expenses including waived tuition fees, registration and acceptance fees at Universiti Brunei Darussalam, subsistence allowance, on-campus accommodation, flight fares, and allowances for field research.
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Partial Undergraduate Scholarship from Drexel University, U.S. 2020

Drexel University is offering undergraduate scholarships based on merits for students with various associations. The award amount will vary depending on the student’s credentials by the Admissions Committee.  Candidates who have applied for an applicable course and submitted a portfolio will automatically be considered for this application during the review of their application. Drexel University is one of the best higher education institutions in the USA known for its highest level of research activities. It was formerly recognized as the Drexel Institute of Art, Science, and Industry. It was renamed as the Drexel Institute of Technology in 1936. The university is made of 15 schools and colleges offering a wide range of degree programs that cover various study areas. It prepares students for the world outside the classroom and helps them achieve their goals. 
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Partial Scholarships from Manhattanville College 2020 ($25,000 / Year)

Manhattanville College is a private liberal arts college in New York and was originated in 1841. It is a highly ranked institution that offers more than 120 programs for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Manhattanville college is an amazing option for students because it encourages them to explore new areas of interest during their entire degree career and they also enhance students’ knowledge both academically and practically.  The applicant must have to enroll in the undergraduate degree program in any of their chosen subjects at Manhattanville College for the academic year 2020-2021. The grant will provide $25,000 for students and it is a renewable amount for three years if you maintain a minimum required GPA during the undergraduate degree.
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