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F.A.Q (Frequently Asked Questions)

Hello dear readers!

Wow, this summer has been a blast! And by a blast, I mean, I slept, ate, watched, read for pleasure a lot. So much so that I completely forgot that I had other things to do! Like updating my blog.

So here I am, dear readers. I read and replied to most of the comments on this blog and emails that were sent to me. Not surprisingly, there were questions that get asked more often than others. Therefore I tried to compile a list of these frequently asked questions to make everything easier for everyone! If you don't find the answer to your question(s) here, please don't hesitate to send me an email at ananda_astrini@yahoo.com and I'll try to get back to you as soon as I can!

1. Which is harder, IELTS or TOEFL IBT?

Answer: Both are hard! Especially if you don't prepare. Uh, duh. Hahaha. The IELTS (Academic) and TOEFL IBT both attempts to assess your English proficiency in an academic context. However, they do it quite differently. Although they both have listening, reading, speaking, and writing tests, their question types are very different. So I learned for IELTS first and then I found out I had to take a TOEFL IBT test. Then I learned for that, and although some skills did transfer (e.g. skimming and scanning), the TOEFL IBT test just had a totally different format. I just had to learn other skills, like note-taking. So, no, I can't say that IELTS was easier and TOEFL IBT was harder and vice versa.

Proofread Me Project

Dear para pembaca yang budiman,

Berikut adalah informasi yang akan sangat membantu kalian dalam proses pendaftaran beasiswa. Silahkan bagikan informasi penting ini!

Dear Calon Penerima Beasiswa,

Awal tahun biasanya teman-teman yang niat daftar beasiswa sudah sibuk mempersiapkan kelengkapan berkas pendaftaran. Selain skore TOEFL/IELTS, surat referensi, essay juga sangat penting sebagai syarat utama diterima sebagai penerima beasiswa. Setiap program biasanya punya istilah tersendiri dalam mengartikan “essay”. Kadang dengan istilah “ Study Objective”, “Personal Statement”, “Motivation Letter” atau bahkan ada yang hanya dengan menjawab beberapa pertanyaan di form aplikasi dengan batasan kata atau karakter tertentu.

Apapun istilahnya intinya para reviewer beasiswa ingin tahu kenapa teman-teman tertarik ikut program tersebut, dari sekian banyak pelamar kenapa anda layak diberi kesempatan ini, apa kaitan program yang teman-teman ingin pelajari dengan pengalaman dan jurusan sebelumnya, dan yang pasti apa dampak/kontribusi anda setelah kembali ke Indonesia. Nah….makanya essay sangat penting untuk merubah status teman-teman dari pelamar (applicants) ke penerima (recipients) beasiswa.

5 Ways I Procrastinate Productively (as a Graduate Student)

It's the 9th week of the Spring semester, a.k.a my second semester as a graduate student in the U.S. Alhamdulillah, so far I feel like I'm on the right track. Currently working on my thesis proposal (Tentative title: Designing and creating video materials to promote communicative L2 ability and enhance wilingness to communicate in academic and social settings), waiting to hear from my *cross-your fingers* soon to be out-of-department committee member, thinking about my PhD plans (I know, I know, I'm way ahead of myself), and working on some research ideas. I'm living the life that I want and enjoy it immensely.

But compared to last semester, I've been procrastinating a lot. I like to say that I'm having fun, too much. My friends insist that there's no such thing as having too much fun. I say there is, and it's called chronic procrastination, with a twist. I'm saying with a twist because procrastination is always perceived as wasting your time and being unproductive. However, the optimistic me looks at procrastination using a whole new lense.

Here are the 5 ways I procrastinate very productively as a graduate student:

My Fulbright Journey – Part 8

I’m so behind with writing this whole series! I promised that I would write more during winter break, but I was too busy having so much fun, which I will talk about in another post! But for now, I still need to share about my journey to arrive in the U.S. using the Fulbright scholarship!

Capek ah, bahasa Inggris :D

Well, ditahap ini ada dua hal yang menjadi perhatian: (1) Urusan visa dan (2) Packing. JANGAN SEKALI-KALI MEMANDANG ENTENG PACKING! Saya bahkan packing dua bulan sebelum keberangkatan. Tetapi, sebelum kita bicara tentang packing, saya akan berbagi sedikit tentang urusan visa yang juga cukup mendebarkan.

Pertama-tama, seperti biasa Anda akan mendengar kabar dari AMINEF. Seharusnya pada tahap ini, teman-teman juga sudah mendengar kabar dari universitas yang Anda daftari melalui AMINEF. Ingat ya, jangan menghubungi pihak universitasnya langsung. Bila ada pertanyaan, hubungilah pihak AMINEF terlebih dahulu. Jika ternyata pihak universitas menghubungi Anda secara langsung, forwardlah email tersebut kepada AMINEF. Pokoknya jangan sampai ada miskomunikasi antara Anda, AMINEF, dan pihak universitas.

Please give me suggestions!

Dear Readers,

I have been receiving a lot of page views lately. Perhaps because it's the so-called 'scholarship hunting' season? Well, I do hope that my blog posts have been useful for you so far. I'm also trying very hard to write more new posts. I'm currently preparing the 8th post for the 'My Fulbright Journey' series. So please look forward to that!

In the meantime, please give me suggestions on the topics that I should post about. As I get more readers, I want to write more for you guys. Not just because I really want to procrastinate and ignore the fact that I have 3 papers due next week (Warning: Anak baik jangan ditiru ya...LOL).

Please take a minute to vote on the following poll. If you have topic(s) that wasn't included in the poll, feel free to comment below! Your input is greatly appreciated.


Salam hangat dari Ames, Iowa yang saat ini -19C #curhat

What topics would you like me to write about?
More on your Fulbright journey, please!
Life in the U.S.
Travel in the U.S.
Random stuff about your life/thoughts
English Language Teaching related stuff
Other (Please write it in the comments section!)
Poll Maker