How to Study at University

Practical tips and general thoughts on how to study at a Western university

The strange case of the vanishing jobs – Part 1

Point: You don’t know what jobs will still exist in the future My father trained to be a coach and wagon builder for the Australian railways. He built and repaired wooden railway cars. As you can probably guess, that was a long long time ago. He worked for the railways in Australia and New Zealand for […]

Your forgetory

 Point: Your brain is designed to remember I had this wierd thought the other day: Our brain has a forgetory, not a memory. Here is how I arrived at the thought. Things enter our brain through eyes, ears and other senses. The main job of a brain, therefore, is to sort out and then to forget […]

Interview: Dr Roshni Mooneeram

Interview series: From the Horse’s Mouth. When we hear things from the person most likely to know, we say it is ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’. Sometimes I will ask some academic horses – and I mean it in the nicest possible sense – for their advice and comments on how to study at a Western university. […]

A good presentation is like dog poo

Point: Don’t deliver a boring presentation The weekend before last I went to a conference. I saw ten presentations and gave one myself. Last week I marked student presentations – 138 of them. This week I am checking other teachers’ marks for student presentations. I have had enough of presentations. Seriously. But I must say, watching so many […]

Don’t answer that question!

Point: Don’t waste time writing facts if you are not asked for them This is the post you’ve been waiting for. This is the one that will put you out of your study misery. The one that will get you your degree. It’s on how to answer questions. To get your degree you will have […]

Interview: Dr Andrew Sowter – Part 2

Interview series: From the Horse’s Mouth. When we hear things from the person most likely to know, we say it is ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’. Sometimes I will ask some academic horses – and I mean it in the nicest possible sense – for their advice and comments on how to study at a Western university. […]

Once more, with feeling

Point: Improve your subject and language knowledge at the same time There is a fundamental problem when you are trying to learn stuff in a language that you are also trying to learn. If you are trying, for example, to learn sociology in French while trying to learn French. Or learning mechanical engineering in Spanish […]

Ben’s Way

Point: Learn to write well by imitating the best If my father found some emails I’d written to a friend, read them, and criticised my writing style – said it wasn’t elegant or clear, that my line of reasoning was weak, and that my friend wrote better – I wouldn’t be very happy. I’d probably say something like, “What? […]

Passionate Souls

Point: Study what interests you Their clothes are untidy, ill-fitting, and possibly even smelly. Their hair is untidy, ill-fitting, and possibly even smelly. They are tall, short, or average height. S, M, or XXL. They may speak five languages fluently, or only one, badly. They’ll know the past 10 leaders of Guatemala and their views […]

Interview: Dr Andrew Sowter – Part 1

Interview series: From the Horse’s Mouth. When we hear things from the person most likely to know, we say it is ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’. Sometimes I will ask some academic horses – and I mean it in the nicest possible sense – for their advice and comments on how to study at a Western university. […]

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