Sunday, 30 June 2013

School time, once again: Online studying and Canadian Bridging Program

My blog is getting a fewer posts in the last couple of months regardless of my great effort to keep it up with at least one or two posts per month. It has been also awhile since my last update on studying journey. Therefore, this post will make a brief summary on what is happening at my side. 

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I first introduced coursera on my blog in last December. That was the moment I accomplished the first course called Learn to Program: The Fundamentals by Jennifer Campbell, Paul Gries. I was so excited to find how much I enjoyed that online course as well as recognized that I could make a learning routine out of the huge resource from the Internet. Therefore, I kept moving on with other courses in my interest. From April to now, here are some activities on my online learning at 

I'm so proud of completing these courses with my highest enjoyment.  
Learn to Program: Crafting Quality Code by by Jennifer Campbell, Paul Gries
An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python by Joe Warren, John Greiner, Stephen Wong, Scott Rixner
Introduction to Guitar by Thaddeus Hogarth

I really love those courses. I didn't recognize that I could write games from a scripting language like Python until I joined the 2nd course above. I've got a lot of laugh while studying with video lectures from that course as well. The teacher staff was great. 

Also talking about Python, the first class was about techniques. It helped me review a lot of proper programming skills for quality code. The teachers were very supportive. I was amazed with the way they built up quizzes and excises, very smart and close to the knowledge they wanted to stress to students. 

The third class was completely for my love to guitar. It was absolutely out of my expertise. However, it gave me a good look into music as an outsider. I've learnt a lot of music concepts from the course. It was very hard for me to finish the course since everything was new to me. If you notice on the right panel of this blog, you will see some recordings on soundcloud where I put my assignments. I know they're far from good, but they inspire me a lot. It means at least I can play and catch up with other peeps. Although I got finger tips hurt while trying to practice for all assignments in a short time, I'm still proud. I definitely return to the course materials some time. 

I've done those courses above with the score higher than 90%. 

Aside from those courses, I also enrolled some other at the same time. My biggest trouble was that I wanted to study everything but my time was very very limited. I paralleled them all with my full time job and another part-time class at York university (will talk more about this later). The foreseen result was that I dropped a couple of them. I knew it would happen, but I still enrolled those courses so that I could go through the materials later on. Here were the courses I played truancy (not because they were not useful!!!!!!)

HumanComputer Interaction Course by by Scott Klemmer

In the mean time, I'm a student of these courses: 
Startup Engineering by Balaji S. Srinivasan, Vijay S. Pande
Computer Networks by David Wetherall, Arvind Krishnamurthy, John Zahorjan

I wish I can make time to complete them all in the next two months. Both of them are in my interest. However, I know that I just afford enough for one of them. My choice now is, I will follow "Startup Engineering" to the end and gain the agreement of accomplishment.  With "Computer Networks," I'm going to learn from the materials mainly, do homework as much as possible, but I won't force myself to achieve the certificate at the end. [To achieve an agreement or certificate, I need to pass the final score of 70%]. I'm in the 3rd week of "Startup Engineering" now, it's very exciting. I would say that I've never felt overwhelming with a huge amount of knowledge in any online course as this one. Each step I walk through, there are always a lot of external materials for further learning. It's really challenging, but I love it. I cannot wait to the day I finish reading all of given materials there. 

Recently, I've updated some posts about English tests in Canada, such as CLB and ELTPA. What is the purpose to take those exams? Now I can reveal a bit more. They were for my admission application to the IEP program from York University. It's a kind of Bridging program to connect my education back home to Canadian standard. To apply for the program, I need to satisfy some basic requirements as followings: 
  • Have been in Canada less than 3 years (PR is required)
  • Prove my English proficiency level (e.g: CLB score)
  • Have a least one bachelor degree from one of Universities outside Canada (transcripts with seal on are required)
  • Have a least 3-year-working experience in your field back home (including work experience and resume)
  • Write own personal statement to tell YorkU why I want to enroll this program

Learn more about it here. The Bridging program is subsidized by Canadian government. You won't have to pay a full tuition fee. For the entire program within 2 years, you will need to pay around $3000 only. Not only YorkU offers this program, you can find it from other Canadian education institutes depending on your major. More info can be found here

Alright! The good news was that I was approved for the IEP program from YorkU in June. Now, I'm in the program with jumpstart course which is mostly for learning English in academia. I have two classes and one reading assignment per week. Life has been never busier than now. Every day with class, commuting between home, work and York campus eats up my 5 hours. Other days, it also eats up 3 hours between home and work. I'm enjoy my life now.

By the way, July the 1st is coming. It's Canada's day. Happy birthday, Canada!

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