In any language, it’s rare to speak in a conversation without listening to the other person, or to write a passage of text without reading it. While many standardised English language tests break down questions into reading, writing, listening and speaking, the Duolingo English Test (DET) is structured so that test takers can show how they use these skills in combination.
For years, universities have relied on a handful of long-standing tests to demonstrate students’ English language proficiency. While widely accepted, these tests can be expensive to sit and often require in-person attendance. The Duolingo English Test (DET) – now accepted by more than 3,500 programmes globally – is disrupting the status quo by offering one of the world’s first high-stakes English proficiency tests online.
It is currently past 10pm in Dublin, and my anxiety has kept me from writing this piece until now. My anxiety and I have become somewhat friendly enemies over the years, especially since I moved from Austria to study at University College Dublin.
I have always wanted to explore the world, meet new people, travel, learn new languages and cultures. During my bachelor’s degree, I spent the summer as a scholar and thesis student in the US to improve my research skills. There I had a valuable experience interacting with many people of different backgrounds and cultures.
I was born in the Iranian capital of Tehran, and have enjoyed playing video games from an early age. This passion led me to pursue a career in computers and technology, culminating in a bachelor’s degree in software engineering and my first master’s degree in eCommerce, to understand the connection between technology and businesses.
I knew that going back to school in my forties would be difficult. However, I did not realise how complex it would be until my second day in Dublin. As I walked outside, I noticed that I could not tell the difference between the street and the sidewalk (or pavement, as the Irish say).
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Studying abroad can be an experience that is rich in opportunities for gaining new skills. But it also comes with plenty of unknowns, from navigating visa requirements to finding accommodation in an unfamiliar city.
The idea of studying abroad started early for me. When I was a child, my parents would take me to France in the summer and it became my second home. When I started studying French and Italian literature at LMU Munich I knew that if I got the opportunity I wanted to spend a term in France.
The royal family is a well-known symbol of the UK. In the past, royals did not traditionally go to university, instead taking up royal duties after completing their schooling. However, these days young members of the British royal family are more likely to head to university before juggling jobs alongside royal engagements and charity work.
I come from a small village in Uttar Pradesh surrounded by lush green crops and mango orchards.
My father works as a farmer and my mother is a homemaker. Like my family, the major occupation of people in my village is farming, and had VidyaGyan School not selected me in 2012, I would not be sharing my study-abroad experience here.