With the crisis that hit the worldwide economy over the past few years slowly getting better and the rise in student grades increasing, many employers have positively changed their perception when it comes to hiring. This positive change is to benefit fresh graduates from university.
In 2012 the number of graduates leaving with university with Firsts soared. According to figures, a staggering 64 per cent of students proudly graduated either a first or 2:1. However, this has caused some controversy as students now fear that their grades alone will not help them stand out from the crowd in the fiercely competitive job market. As a result students are now urgently seeking work experience.
There are a number of positive skills and career building attributes you can learn from an internship/work experience that will prepare you for the working world, these include: demonstrating effective critical thinking skills, demonstrating higher-order thinking skills, adapting to writing for different audiences in an effective manner, applying information and skills learned in the classroom to workplace situations, deciding whether a career in a given area is right for you in the long term, and developing project management, time management, and decision-making skills
Regardless of this news, there is some positive news for graduates in 2013 as employers are set to hire more graduates. According to High Fliers research graduate vacancies are set to rise by 2.7 per cent this year, compared to last.  This is brilliant news for graduates in the upcoming year.
Either as an employer or a student how much do you think internships can benefit students before contracted employment?
We sometime need a helping hand when it comes to learning; whether it’s studying for an exam or learning a new language (or both!). But who knew eating chocolate could help you with this?
Now we’ve all heard previous health facts about chocolate; mostly bad but some good. The good being that chocolate has been associated with helping lower blood pressure and heart disease. On top of this the antioxidants found in cocoa (which is in chocolate) is known to boost brain power and reduce age related brain decline. It has been suggested regular cocoa intake led to improved mental function in elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment, a condition which is often a sign of dementia. 
New research, which has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, states that apparently eating more chocolate can make you smarter. In order to determine the accuracy of this Franz Messerli professor of Columbia University, conducted the research that he believed would show if this was true or not. The research that he thought would be relevant to finding this out was to take the number of Nobel Prize winners and the amount of chocolate that particular nations ate, then compared the two.
The research concluded that Switzerland had the most Nobel Prize winners per 10 million people and the greatest chocolate consumption per capita, which was 14 pounds per year. Sweden was a close second, Denmark was third, the US fell somewhere in the middle and China came in last. The amount of chocolate that a nation ate and the number of Nobel Prizes correlated with each other, which suggests that chocolate could genuinely make you smarter. The only correlation that did not fit was Sweden.
So why does chocolate supposedly make you smarter? It is believed that powerful antioxidants in chocolate called flavonoids keep the brain sharp and therefore focused. Dr Ramsey commented on chocolate and its health benefits “It has phytonutrients – plant based molecules that actually relax your blood vessels. That means more blood to your brain, and that’s always a good thing”. 
Do you believe that chocolate can make you smarter or is it a coincidence? Could it just be that inhabitants of the ‘smarter’ countries are more focused and driven than other countries, and therefore achieve greater results and awards such as Nobel Prize awards?
Why did the English speaker from Canada come to Germany to learn about North America in English? Sounds like the start of a corny joke, but many English-speaking students are flocking to German universities as a range of English language courses prove more appealing than those in the UK and the States.
Germany was recently named in an international league table as the most supportive country for overseas students. The appeal? English-speaking students never have to utter a word of German in order to complete their degrees.
As it stands, Britain ranks third in the same table, but risks losing this spot due to government policies making it harder for overseas students to study in the UK and to stay in the UK afterwards, whereas there are very few barriers for international students in Germany.
Tuition fees in Germany are significantly lower than the UK and far lower than in the US, where tuition fees can be as high as $50,000.
Germany is currently at the forefront of true internationalism in its education system, with many university lecturers being so proficient in English that an outside observer might not be able to tell who is a native speaker and who is not.
Since the cap on tuition fees in the UK has been lifted and universities can now charge up to £9000 per year, as opposed to a price in many German universities of 500 Euros per semester, will more UK-based students opt for an English-speaking degree from a German university?
It remains to be seen, although if you’re planning to trade in life in England for a German adventure, we’d recommend learning the language, as it’s a really valuable skill to bring home to the UK jobs market!
It’s great news that the Government is going to fund the placement scheme for undergraduates studying abroad for the next year. But we must make sure that this funding doesn’t just last a year, but is long-term. What is the alternative? The UK could be in danger of developing a real language skill shortage that could compromise its position as an international business leader.
At Euro London we have seen a significant fall in fluency levels among language graduates over the past five years, largely down to a decrease in the number of people taking a year abroad. The UK already has rising University fees and fewer young people studying languages now that they are no longer compulsory. If we remove the year abroad, it would lead to the problem worsening, causing a severe lack of language talent.
With the UK operating in an increasingly global marketplace, employers need people that can communicate effectively with others around the globe. Not only does that require strong language ability, but also good cultural knowledge, and the year abroad is crucial in providing students with both of these skills. However increasing costs and student debt mean that many aren’t willing or financially able to take advantage of the experience. The UK needs to try and preserve the year abroad if it wants to remain competitive.
It’s understandable that students may be scared to put what they have learnt in the classroom into practice, or that they want to avoid the year abroad so they can graduate as quickly as possible. However the best way of securing the top jobs and start paying off those debts is to take full advantage of the year abroad to really boost their employability. Language speakers – you don’t realise how in demand you are!