Category Archives: Education Informations

Common Misconceptions about Study Abroad Programs

With over 100,000 college students studying abroad every year, there’s bound to be all kinds of tall tales, urban legends, and misinformation swirling around.  While there may be grains of truth in some of these stories, below are some common misconceptions about study abroad.

Misconception #1: Studying abroad is very expensive.
Truth: In most cases, it is actually cheaper to study abroad.  Let’s say the tuition at your school is $5,000 per semester and room and board is another $4,000.  Now add in the additional fees you have such as health insurance, books, and laundry.  You are now well over $10,000 for the semester.  Well, all but one of our programs in Spain is under $10,000 per semester and that includes everything except your airfare and spending money.

Misconception #2: I can’t use my financial aid to study abroad.
Truth: In almost all cases, your federal aid (Stafford loans, Pell grants, etc.) can be used to study abroad and in some states, you can use your state aid as well.  It is also not uncommon for your federal aid to increase when you study abroad since some of your school scholarships may not transfer.

Misconception #3: Host families are all poor and just do it for the money.
Truth: The last thing any study abroad company wants to do is have an unhappy student on their program.  The goal is for the students to be happy so that they will tell their friends what a great time they had.  If we were putting students in bad families, in dangerous neighborhoods, then no one would ever recommend us to their friends.  Since the number of universities that endorse our program doubled over the last year, it’s a pretty sure bet that students are happy with our choice of families.

Misconception #4: I’ll be so busy with schoolwork that I won’t get time to see the country I’m in.
Truth: This one is hysterically funny since your average study abroad student comes home with about 400+ photos from a long list of countries.  Students have plenty of opportunities to travel and we even take our students on trips to give them a better feel for the country they are in.

Misconception #5: I might not graduate on time if I go abroad.
Truth: If you have already used up all of your elective or general education courses, then it’s true that you might need to bulk up on courses before or after you go abroad.  If you plan ahead, however, and leave some electives open to you, then you should be fine.  The clear majority of students who study abroad still graduate in four years, despite being away from their home campus for a semester or two.

Misconception #6: Most of the world hates Americans, so I won’t be safe.
Truth: There’s no doubt that there are a lot of people who don’t like the American government, but that has nothing to do with the American people.  If you compare the violent crime rate in the United States to that of European, Australian, or Asian countries, you will see that the United States is actually far more dangerous.  There are some areas of South America and Africa that are not especially safe, but there are also many countries on those continents that are incredibly safe.  Go to the U.S. State Department website and check out the crime statistics on the country you are interested in to see how safe it is.

Studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that every college student should take advantage of.  Before dismissing it due to the bad experience of one friend or rumors you have had heard, speak with your study abroad advisor and get the facts.  I guarantee that once you look at all that studying abroad can offer you, you’ll be hopping the first flight abroad.

One organization that help ensure that you have safest, unforgettable yet affordable study abroad experience is Academic Studies Abroad.    Here are some of our very popular study abroad programs in the following countries:
-Study Abroad Spain – Academic Studies offers study abroad programs in Barcelona, Madrid, Salamanca and Sevilla.
-Study Abroad England- Academic Studies offers study abroad programs in London.
-Study Abroad Italy – Academic Studies offers study abroad programs in Florence.
-Study Abroad France – Academic Studies offer study abroad programs in Aix-en-Provence and Avignon.
-Study Abroad Ireland – Academic Studies offers study abroad programs in Dublin.

Ask Yourself Before Taking Your First Online Class

Just a few short years ago, the idea of taking a college course through the Internet was something online “techies” considered. Now that people realize how convenience it is to take a class without leaving home, more and more people are taking advantage of using their computer to learn.

But while the technology used for online classes is so simple just about anyone can become an online student, you should ask yourself the following 5 questions first – and save yourself a lot of stress!

1) Do you have the time?
Many people think – mistakenly – that online courses are “easier” than traditional campus classes. But most online classes require regular participation. So, you must have the time to “log on” to your course several times each week, complete the assignments and do your homework, and interact with the other students.

All of this takes time…and, you have to account for the time you would normally have spent in the classroom. If you have the time, you will find taking an online class to be very convenient!

2) Do you have the discipline?
Sure, most online classes don’t require you to be on the computer at a specific time (although some do). So it is up to you to make sure you check in on your class several times each week. With a busy work schedule, sports, hobbies, housework, kids, it’s easy to put your class low on your priority list. And that could mean big trouble when it comes time to get your grade.

It’s not the teacher’s job to remind you to keep up with your work – that’s your responsibility. A simple way to make this work is to create your own schedule, so each week you know exactly when it’s time to “go to class”!

3) Do you have the money?
While there are many free or low-cost online “self help” courses available, college courses almost always cost the same whether you take them on-campus, or online. Colleges have to buy the software, train their faculty, and offer student services after hours – so expecting online courses to be less expensive is not reasonable.

On the other hand, the same financial aid is often available for online classes, just as with campus classes. So, money should not stop any student from furthering their education!

4) Do you have the right technical skills?
Fortunately, you don’t have to be a computer “genius” to take an online class. The technology has become very simple for students and teachers to use, so that students who can “surf the Internet” and use email usually have the necessary technical skills.

Before getting started, the school offering the course should have a sample course, tutorial, or other training to help you determine if there are any skills you need to learn, so you can become a successful online student!

5) Do you have the right computer equipment?
Since most online classes are taught through the Internet, students usually don’t need any special computer equipment. However, most online classes require students to have reliable access to the Internet, an email account (and the knowledge to use it), a word processor (such as Microsoft Word), and antivirus software. Check with your school to see if there are any other requirements.

A high speed internet connection is usually not required, but if instructors use graphics, videos, audio lectures, or other big files, a high speed connection (such as DSL or cable) will help you open the files, and do you work, more efficiently!

Are you ready now to take your first online class? Then it’s time to contact your local college, or search the internet for an online class directory, and see what online courses you can take!

Colleges vs. Technical Schools

College is not for everyone, but that does not mean you shouldn’t pursue some sort of higher education or job training. When you think about your future, what do you envision? Are you doing something you love, or are you just working for a paycheck?

If you are one of the many who is trying to make a decision about where to spend your money and invest your future, read on. This article provides a comparison of 4 year colleges and technical schools. Which one is right for you?

How to choose between 4-year colleges and technical schools:

-Ask yourself these questions and then consider the benefits and disadvantages of each type of school.
What are your goals? Do you have a specific career goal? What are your educational goals? Do you want to learn as much as you can about a variety of subjects? Do you want to learn as much as you can about one specific topic (become an expert)?
-What are your strengths? Weaknesses? Would you benefit from a shorter more targeted program?
-Lifestyle. How will school fit into your life? Would you benefit from non-traditional scheduling such as online, evening, or distance learning? 4-year colleges and technical colleges both offer such options, but it varies by school so check with any schools you are interested in attending.
-What do you need? Realistically, what sort of degree or training do you need to pursue your dreams? Research your desired field–know what the requirements are and how they compare to the programs you are considering. The US Department of Education website offers resources for career and training research.
-Be a consumer. Check equipment; is it new and up-to-date? How does it compare to the equipment you will be using on the job? Trust me, this can be tedious but it is quite important. After graduation I realized I should have taken more time to research the computer programs employers expected me to know for technical writing jobs. Had I been better informed, I could have taken extra courses dealing specifically with those programs.
-Investigate the following: campus size, current and former students, faculty and staff;
Find out if the school is accredited and licensed; Do they make extraordinary claims? Will your credits be transferable?

4-year Colleges

Some people like to learn just for the sake of learning, while some are more focused and driven and use school as a steppingstone for job advancement. If you are interested in more scholarly pursuits a traditional 4-year college might be your best option.

-Benefits: liberal arts training applies to many fields, diverse topics to explore, prestige, “college life”
Disadvantages: expensive, time consuming, may get degree in area you no longer wish to pursue, high admission standards and prerequisites, job market may be slower upon graduation-may require additional training

Technical Schools

If college was for everyone, technical schools would not exist. Some people may feel a stigma is attached to technical schools. In a society where attending college has become standard, we lose sight of the value of skills training. People feel abnormal and may be angry if they don’t want to go to college but feel pressured to do so anyway.
Benefits: shorter duration, focused programs, easier admission standards, flexible scheduling, certifications not necessarily offered at 4-year colleges, hands on training

-Disadvantages: may be viewed as less prestigious, can be expensive, may be less room for exploration of other subjects, accreditation, for-profit institutions

Many of the fastest growing jobs do not require a bachelor’s degree but do require post-secondary education (education beyond high school) These jobs include:
•    Medical Assistants
•    Social and human service assistants
•    Home health aides
•    Medical records and health information technicians
•    Physical therapist aides
•    Physical therapist assistants
•    Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors
•    Veterinary technologists and technicians
•    Hazardous materials removal workers
•    Dental hygienists
•    Occupational therapist aides
•    Dental assistants
•    Personal and home care aides
•    Self-enrichment education teachers
•    Occupational therapist assistants
•    Environmental science and protection technicians, including health
•    Preschool teachers, except special education
•    Respiratory therapists

For more information on job growth statistics see the Bureau of Labor Statistics webpage.
Remember, the best way to determine what is right for you is to simply know yourself and be informed.

Find The Best Online University For You

Online degree programs have growth rapidly in conjunction with the high demand of online education. Today, getting a university degree online has become a practical reality for people who cannot spare the time and commitment just to go back to regular university for earning a degree. You may find it confusing and hard to make a decision on so many online degree program choices. Although it is a hard decision, making the right choice that will suit your schedule, your learning style as well as your education goal is of prime importance.

Depending on your specific needs and goals, here are 4 tips to help your find an online university that best suit your needs:

1. Know your education goals

Different people have different needs for getting an online education. Some people enrolled into an online degree program just to sharpen their knowledge in certain area whereas others may hope to make a career switch by earning a degree in the area they are interested in.

Hence, you need to know what you are your purpose of getting an online education. Before you begin considering your options on various online degree programs, do some self assessment on what kind of education you are looking for, how much time and effort you plan to invest and whether it is personal fulfillment or career advancement that you aim to achieve through the course.

2. Do research on your options

Most online universities provide free information on their online degree programs and many do provide online chat session with their academic advisors so that you can ask any related questions and getting the necessary information needed before you make up your mind. Take your time to gather as much information as you can from various online universities that offer the education program that within your education scope. Ask the academic advisors for further clarification for any doubts; make sure you have a clear idea of the program being offered before you invest your hard earned money and time into any one of them.

3. Beware of online degree scams

Online degree scams or mostly know as diploma mill is a college or university that operates primarily to make money; such schools are not properly accredited and issue degrees without ensuring an education occurs. You need to be wary of these degree mills when doing your searches for the right course; make sure your are enrolled with online university that offers legitimate courses with proper accreditation. Fake degrees and credentials are plentiful and you will only be wasting your time, effort and money if you go with one of them.

4. Look for online degree program with recognized accreditation

Accreditation of the online university that you enroll in is vitally importance. Accreditation provides assurance that the program in which you are enrolled is engaged in continuous review and improvement of its quality and it meets nationally endorsed standards in the profession, and that it is accountable for achieving what it sets out to do.

If the reason you are pursuing further education is to advance your career, the degree you will be earning needs to be recognized by your employers or prospective employers. A degree from an accredited online university is one of the important consideration factors by many employers.

In Summary

It’s easy to find an online degree program in your area of interest as almost all degree courses offered by regular universities are now go online. But you need to make some research in order to find an online degree program that really meets your education goals.

Easy Ways To Learn English

Now, you decide to learn how to speak English. There are many online resources that can help you improve and practice you English. Now if you are like most other ESL students reading this article then you already have a fairly good notion of the English language. You most likely are looking for a place to practice and enhance your English skills. So, here are four easy steps to do just that.

1. Preparation
There is no need to start from the beginning, since you already a fairly good notion of English. Take stock of your current skills and find out where you are weak. Once you know what you need to learn…all you have to do is learn it.
So, pick out something from your list of things that you know you need/want to learn. Take a few minutes to analyze why you want learn this information, and make sure you focus on that particular point while studying. It is super easy to get side-tracked onto other topics.

If you do see something of interest while you are on your search for information…make sure to take note of it so you can come back at a later time. But for now…FOCUS on the task at hand!

2. Practice
Now that you know what you know what you want to learn, jump over to Google or Yahoo and do a quick search on your chosen topic of interest. From there you should be able to find sites that will provide you with tools and resources such as audio files, video files, exercises, and tests to practice what you want to learn.

3. Use
Alright! You are ripping, raring, and ready-to-go! You studied what it was you wanted to learn, and now you need to put it into use in real life situations. Use what you just learned on your friends and acquaintances. Hit the forums and try out what you now know. Try to use it at least thirty times to really assimilate it well and make it a part of you.

4. Evaluate
Once you are done for the day, sit down for a few minutes and evaluate how you did. Did you learn everything that is required? Are you still weak in certain areas of this topic?

If you have a strong determination to learn English, take note of these things. Start making plan now and start practice it tomorrow. Make sure to do these four steps everyday, and you will steadily see your skills progressing. So now…just go do it!

Learning to Teach

If you enjoy working with children, have a love for learning, and possess strong multi-tasking abilities, at some point you may have thought about becoming a teacher. Now is a good time to start earning the credentials, since this profession has been projected to grow by 12 percent between 2006 and 2016, creating about 479,000 new teaching jobs.

Teaching requires certification, which is most often obtained through a bachelor’s degree program. If you are interested in completing a bachelor’s degree, there are many online programs available. If you already have a bachelor’s degree in any subject, there are many programs offering online Master’s degrees in education that can be completed in two years.

Benefits to Earning an Online Degree

While there are various benefits to earning your education degree online, they can be summed up with one word: flexibility. You can complete coursework at your own pace, whenever and wherever it’s convenient for you. If you have a job or a family that keeps you from traditional classes, you can do the coursework in the evenings or on the weekends. The flexible schedule also means that you can still work full-time, which makes supporting yourself and paying for classes a bit easier.

What to Expect from an Online Education Degree

If you pursue an online bachelor’s or Master’s degree in education, you can expect to take typical education classes such as the following:

  • Teaching Methods
  • Classroom Management
  • Theories of Learning
  • Educational Law
  • Curriculum Development

You will complete both practicums and student teaching to get real-life experience teaching and managing a class. If your online coursework is synchronous, you will participate in online discussions or videoconferencing at particular times; if your coursework is asynchronous, you will complete lessons and participate in learning activities at your own pace.

Tips for Earning an Online Education Degree

  1. Set aside time to work on your online degree every day. While you can complete coursework at your own pace, you will learn more effectively if you study regularly
  2. Make sure the school you choose for completing your online education degree is accredited and can prepare you for teaching in the specific field you choose. As all states require the passing of an exam for certification, be sure the online education degree program you enroll in can get you ready
  3. Network with other education professionals. Many teachers will tell you that some of their greatest resources are other teachers. If you’re feeling short on inspiration or creativity, teachers can offer advice and help to get you through some tough coursework moments

Of course, the best advice for anyone wanting to pursue an online bachelor’s or Master’s degree in education is to make sure you’re truly interested in teaching, and then go for it. With all the online education programs out there, now is a better time than ever to start working towards a degree in education.

Online Education Degree

People know how important education is in our life. As much as possible, every parent wants their children to have an education or degree for them to work when they graduated from the degree course they get. The dream of every parent for their children no matter how hard life will be.

In modern generation like now, you can have your education degree through online. This online education helps a lot to people who are working and want to continue their master degree or good for working student as well. This is one of the modern waves of the future although there are also some advantages and disadvantages on it depending to the student or individual.

Let us go first to the disadvantages on online education degree:

  • One of the disadvantages is the communication since you are communicating through e-mails only. You missed the voice and some pronunciations you need to learn. Sometimes if the instruction is not clear to you, you cannot ask immediately because you have to send it to e-mail if you have any question to ask.
  • The course online that is offered since not all courses or degree are offered online. One thing also is that, the courses you have is more on the field or practical aspect so you cannot ask your question immediately since it takes time to e-mail and wait for the answer.
  • Another disadvantage is when you have to discuss the validity of your courses or degree or about school accreditation and assignments such as copy of syllabi or assignments on how to convince a client or employers, etc.
  • You cannot meet your classmate or teacher and ask for help anytime you want to. Ask regarding your assignment or other topic you need to know when you missed it.

The advantages of online education degree:

  • It is accessible in time and convenient to working individual having online education degree.
  • Your classmates or peers will include students from different countries. Some might be professionals, manager, military or person who is working oversea. You will meet different types of people online when you have online degree education.
  • The cost of online education degree is almost the same with enrolling in the universities or colleges. In online degree, you don’t need to run here and there and you can save your fare in going to school.
  • All the documents, transcript records, training material and live discussion are all archived or save to that anytime you want to have can be retrieved via e-mail or school website.
  • Instructors are available to prepare to work with diverse student with a range of lifestyles and needs through email. There are fast respond and there are also time that the respond is not as quick since they have other things to do. Depends on the availability of the instructor actually when pertaining to responding emails.

When you are in online education degree, you must communicate and can relate well to others, patient, enjoy school and have a love of learning so you will learn easily.

Teacher plays important role in every society, since they were the one who help the student of all ages to learn, strive hard just to teach their student and most of all, that’s their day to day life teaching the students of different age. They have less time for their family but more to their students.

There are also online education degree programs for teaching assistant, speech therapist and other closely related careers associated with educations. Since we are in computer world now and most people have their computer at home, so it is more advantageous for working individual to have online education degree during their spare time after their work.

If you are already a teacher and you want to get a masters degree then online education is a great tool for you

The Best Way To Earn Your College Degrees

Having an online degree is an approach of achieving a degree for those individuals who have busy schedules. We all know that once a person achieves a degree, a lot of opportunities are open for him or her. Each of us would like to be so but because of our schedules or the distance to travel to universities have hindered us from getting a degree. Though, giving up does not have to be your only option because with an online education degrees, it is easy to acquire a degree.

Depending on the degree you choose and the institution you would like to you get it from, employers will be more than happy to hire you. By getting degrees online, individuals can go to school from the comfort of their home, on their own schedule, for less money than similar institutions.

Most of us want to advance our education or search for further knowledge by earning a masters degree. By reason of lifestyle changes and unstable economy, it makes it more difficult to pursue higher education especially to those individuals who already have their own families. Aside from this, enrolling in an Ivy League University, regular universities and colleges requires your time which is not possible especially if you have a regular job.

If you plan to have online education degrees, the first thing that you have to make sure is if the online school is accredited to provide education. You can verify the list of accredited school online or you may contact the Department that handles accreditation locally. This will help you ensure that the school is not bogus since there are some instances that they claim they are accredited though they are not. It is safe to settle with the known schools.

Though most of these degrees can be earned in a short period of time compared to those that can be earned in a traditional school setting, there are courses and subjects that would require twice the amount of time or is equivalent to the associate degree program.

Most students who choose to enroll or get an online education degrees do so because they are also provided with the same level of education and training that is provided in a traditional school setting, only this time it is done in the comforts of their own home. When students study in a condition that is good for them, it is probable that they are highly motivated.

Online education degrees are reasonably satisfying. Case in point, you are able to work and at the same time pursue your degree. You do not have to suffer financial issues. No need to commute from your house to the university and buying food at the cafeteria, are also eliminated. These reasons prove that the studies conducted show that many people are opting to study for their degrees online.

Now that there are a lot of degrees available online, you do not even have to leave your chosen career. Most employees who are able to improve their education by getting an online degree usually get more salary. Employers usually recognize having a Bachelors degree to make sure that their employees are highly competent.

Overseas Education Consultancy

Education is one thing that is worth investing at any point of your life. The value of a good education is too precious and you will never regret for spending your time and money for education. Majority of us focuses more at getting better education and make our life more solid and secure. If you have got the proper education and talents they you are bound to succeed in any part of this world and this is what makes education more important in ones’ life.

A lot of students are forced to go to different places in search of better education as most of the countries are not having quality higher educational institutions. The lack of quality education in a country forces the students to go for abroad education and there are a lot of countries which offers better education system in different branches. Depending upon the various educational branches, students opt for different countries for pursuing their higher education.

A student always faces the difficulty of choosing the right country for his or her higher education. This is mainly due to the reason that there are a large number of countries offering higher education in different areas and each of them has different properties and advantages. This makes utter confusion to the students and they will find it really hard to select the best country and university for his or her higher studies.

This is an area where an overseas education consultancy can make its mark and provide the students with ample help and support in identifying the best place for higher education. A well reputed educational consultant can really seize the opportunity and come up with helping hands for the students. Being a reputed and reliable overseas education consultant is not an easy task and it requires years of hard work and dedication which helps in creating a branding abroad education consultant.

Here I will like to discuss about some of the major things that we expect from an overseas education consultancy.

1) Reputation

2) Reliability

3) Trust

4) Good Hospitality

5) Good Staff Behaviour

6) Exceptional Office Etiquette

7) Great Assistance

8) Good Follow up and Updates

9) Open Minded

10) Good Response Speed

These are just some of the major things that we expect from a education consultant and these things form the backbone of any education consultant. If any of the above things are missing, then we might not wish to continue with the education advisor and hence it is important for the consultancy to make sure that these things are followed. Since the case is of abroad education, students usually has to invest a good amount of money and they will do everything to make sure that they are investing their money in the right place.

If you are looking for an overseas education consultancy, make sure that atleast 7 of the above mentioned points are met and once you see that these points are met, then you can confidently carry on with your process of overseas higher education.

Using an educational consultant

Introduction

The aim of this document is to provide advice and guidance in choosing a consultant in the field of education. You may be the headteacher or principal of a school or college, an officer in a local education authority (LEA) or school district, or the director of a private company wishing to undertake work in the educational sector. This article focuses mainly on information and communication technology (ICT), but the underlying principles also apply more generally.

Using a consultant

Consultants, at least in the UK, have a poor reputation as a species, and yet they are in greater demand than ever. Why? Why would any organisation elect to use a consultant rather than hiring someone? There are several reasons for this.

Short-term work

Some work is, by its very nature, short-term. If, for example, you are having a new computer suite installed, you might want some advice from an external person who has no axe to grind – and whom you can blame when half the staff complain about the design, the equipment and so on!

Expertise

In a specialist area, such as ICT, it’s quite likely that the school doesn’t have the expertise in-house to do what it needs to do within a particular time scale.

Cost

Although consultants can be expensive, it is (or should be) a relatively short-term expense. And don’t forget that you don’t have all the on-costs, like pension contributions. These can add up to 20% of the salary costs. Also, if the consultant goes on holiday or falls ill, you don’t incur any extra expense.

Choosing a consultant

When choosing a consultant or adviser to assist your school in ICT, whether for Hands-On Support, training, strategic development or any other aspect of ICT, it’s important to get the right person or company for the job.

To help you do so, here is a list of questions you may wish to ask before hiring someone. You are unlikely to find any person or company who can answer “yes” to all of these questions, so you will need to bring your own professional judgement to bear on your decision.

1. Is the consultancy independently accredited by a quality assurance scheme, such as by NaaceMark or similar scheme? If not, is it seeking accreditation? Note that an answer of “No” in either case is not necessarily a bad thing. In my own experience, the work itself is so time-consuming that it’s quite difficult to go through the hoops required to prove that you can do what you’re doing! That’s why the next few questions are important too.

2. Is the consultant a member of a relevant organisation, such as (in the UK) Naace or the Society for Education Consultants? These types of organisation provide a certain degree of quality assurance in the sense that they won’t accept just anybody as members, although they will give no guarantees about the quality of work undertaken by their members. Also, they often provide useful information about the sector in which the consultant works, which in theory at least keeps the consultant up-to-date on current developments in the field.

3. Ask for details of similar work undertaken by the consultancy, and for details of satisfied clients – but bear in mind that a reluctance to supply such details may be due to considerations of confidentiality.

4. Ask for references, testimonials, or details of evaluations, ie evidence of quality assurance of the consultants’ work.

5. You can also ask how the consultant gets most of its work. Word of mouth is a good sign.

6. Ask for the CVs of the consultants who will be working in your organisation if you decide to sign up this consultancy.

7. Is the consultant qualified to undertake the work? This could be an academic qualification, accreditation as an inspector or training provider in one or more schemes, or qualification by experience.

8. Has the consultant been on relevant training in the last year?

9. Ensure that the consultancy agrees not to subcontract the work without prior discussion with you, the client.

10. If you are considering the consultant for staff training, ask if you can attend one of their training sessions in another school.

11. Ask for other evidence that will help you decide if the consultancy is the best for this particular work in your school, such as a client list (but note point about confidentiality above), examples of video work, published work or a website.

Using a consultant

Once you’ve decided on a particular consultant, have an agreement drawn up that ensures, for example, that you will be kept informed of progress. For example, it may not be unreasonable to ask for a summary every 2 weeks, if you are an LEA and the consultant is working in your schools.

Once you’ve hired a consultant, make sure you get the best value for money. This means some or even all of the following, depending on the particular circumstances:

Have a clear set of aims and objectives that you are both agreed upon. This may be developed in discussion with the consultant before signing on the dotted line, but there must be a clear set of expectations by the time the consultant starts work.

Make sure that the consultant has the tools needed to do the job effectively. This could mean access to the computer network, desk space, essential contact information and so on.

Ensure that you have all the contact information you need too: phone and fax numbers, a mobile phone number too, perhaps, with the facility for leaving messages, and an email address.

Put in place whatever is needed to enable the consultant to “hit the ground running”. If, for example, you spend the first morning discussing what the consultant should do, you’re throwing money down the drain: all that should have been agreed beforehand – unless, of course, there is a need for a sudden change in plan, although even in those situations there should have been a contingency plan (a “Plan B”) in place.

Don’t keep asking the consultant to do more and more in an unplanned kind of way. If more work is needed, discuss whether it could feasibly be done well in the agreed time, or whether more days need to be allocated for it.