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A university or college-level study program is a big step up from high school, and if you’re also focused on settling in to life in a new country, it may seem overwhelming at times.
However, there are plenty of tools and resources out there to help you take control of your workload. If you’re preparing to move to Canada to study, or you’re getting ready for the new semester, here are 10 tools that you can use to get ahead in your studies.
Group work is one aspect of studying at university or college in Canada that may be new to many students. As an important part of many courses, group work can comprise anything from group presentations to collaborative research and essays. While many co-working tools exist, the one you’re probably going to encounter most often is Google Drive. With simple sharing options and clear editing tools, everyone can pitch in for collaborative creating and editing of documents, spreadsheets, and slides – so no one has an excuse not to contribute.
The British Council in Canada offers a wide range of language-learning websites and apps that can help you excel in English as a Second Language. In addition to vocabulary and grammar, you can find resources in niche subjects such as business English and even jokes and wordplay.
Sharing ideas with others is part of learning, and this is the perfect place to get going. Get in touch with other learners, and create learning resources that you can access anywhere, such as flashcard, notes, slides, and quizzes.
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This browser add-on checks your spelling and grammar as you type, so whether you’re editing a group paper in Google Docs or writing an email to your professor, you can be confident your writing will look polished. Even if English is your first language, it’s a useful tool to help you avoid any little mistakes. However, it’s limited to web writing, so you’ll still have to use good old spell check if you’re using Word or another desktop app.
One of the most popular and wide-reaching note-taking apps is Evernote. Many students find it effective for taking and organizing notes, avoiding piles of paper and the risk of losing your record of that all-important lecture. Evernote can sync across your various devices, and you can even add recordings, attachments, and checklists to your notes.
Get on top of group work and team projects with this project management tool. From assigning tasks to making sure you meet deadlines, Asana’s efficient interface can help everyone in your group stay on track. While paid versions are available – and popular with businesses running longer-term projects – the basic version is likely powerful enough for your semester projects and smaller group sizes. Another bonus: getting familiar with software like Asana that is widely used in various industries can look good on your resume, and help you integrate in the workplace later on.
This website can do almost anything. Enter a search term to get more information on a topic, or pick a theme to find out what you can discover from this unique search engine, which allows you to compare and analyze search results against each other.
Give your slides and posters an edge with the powerful graphic design capabilities of Canva. With a range of fonts and features not found in Microsoft Office, as well as intuitive layout tools, you’ll wonder why you ever struggled with trying to arrange images and text in Word.
At some point during your studies, you may need to collect opinions for research. Surveys are a great way to do this, and Survey Monkey is a simple way to get a survey to a large number of people. Create questions, monitor responses, and send reminder emails with this free online tool. However, if you’re going to use survey results for a research project, check your university or college’s research ethics guidelines before relying on data collected from strangers who may not have explicitly given consent to have their answers used in your research.
Don’t wait until you’ve graduated to set up a LinkedIn profile. This social network linking businesses and workers, and workers with workers, can be a great tool for students as well. The sooner you start building your professional network the better – you never know when you might make the connection that sparks your next big career opportunity. Start by adding your fellow students and professors and following businesses you may want to work for. Don’t be shy to reach out to potential mentors with questions about their industry and how they got to where they are today. LinkedIn is a key part of Canada’s job search market, and can be a powerful tool for your career goals. Learn more about being successful with LinkedIn.
Milanote is a tool for organizing creative projects into beautiful visual boards. By design, it feels a lot like working on the wall in a creative studio – visual, tactile and sometimes a bit messy – Milanote is a great fit for designers who work in teams remotely.
This is just a taste of the many education-oriented online tools and apps. Bear in mind that no one really needs more than one of each type of app – keep them under control so you know where all your information is, when you need it. The ideal study tools fit smoothly into your routine without seeming like a burden, so try a few different options to see which ones fit your learning style.