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Friday 21 August 2015

3 Ways to Better Yourself on the Internet

(this article was written by one of our international interns, Alicia - we know she spends her time online well here in the office, so let her give you some tips!)
You can easily get lost browsing the web. We have all have turned to Google to help us find something important, then  got lost watching Buzzfeed videos and kittens on YouTube. It happens!

I learned to get past the irrelevant, closed all of my social media tabs and found some pretty interesting thing to do!a

On the internet we can:

1. Get an Education

Sure, very obvious for those already taking courses online but I was amazed at the amount of diverse things we can learn on websites like Coursera, edX, and Carnegie MellonCoursera is an education platform which offers free courses online. The courses are all very nicely organised from an introduction/syllabus to lectures, assignments and a final exam at the end. The platform is a wonderful way to learn more about a topic and truly work on it.

Be careful! I would suggest you focus on one or two subjects at first because it can get challenging.

Open Culture is also an online platform but focuses on bringing together different cultural and educational media from courses of course but also audio books and movies. The website has a lot to offer but also a lot of content that could be viewed as distraction.

2. Learn Another Language

For those you can not afford to spend a semester abroad or travelling to another country, learning a language online as a way to interact with more people seems like a good option.

Duolingo is a very good alternative to boring book lessons and cassette tapes. The website is free and lessons are available in English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.

It is however limited and If you wish to learn a language other than the ones above, I recommend you check out Babbel. Babbel is not free (from £8.95/month) but offers way more language options (like Swedish or Turkish) and focus on conversational skills.

The BBC also offers free lessons and courses online with audio, games, vocabulary and exercises. You can choose 40 languages from French, German to Chinese, Icelandic and Finnish. Pretty diverse and enough to do to never get bored!

3. Become a Person of Culture

This one is a bit tricky and depends on the idea you have of culture but I found that a good way to improve your common knowledge and form an opinion is reading. Or in this case, reading and watching videos.

TED is definitely my favorite because of its infinite variety of topics covered. It stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design but now covers all areas of ideas worth spreading. Just type in the topic you are interested in and access all sorts of articles and talks that will get you thinking.

Scribd lets you access millions of online books. With a library of more than 500,000 e-books, Scribd lets you browse through free documents and books by genre.

You can also check out Oyster & Amazon Kindle Unlimited for more options.

Take a virtual tour of your favorite museum unlike your local museums, the virtual tours of museums never close. Avoid the queue and gain access to tons of virtual tour of museums from the most famous ones like the Louvre Museum in Paris to The British Museum or the National Portrait Gallery.