Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Being Market Savvy in Peru

From gadling.com
I wrote about markets in Lima as well as shopping in Peru and while markets are great, you have to be careful.

One tip to remember is that speaking Spanish will help you greatly. You'll be treated differently than if you speak English all the time, it'll help you assimilate to the culture, and you'll be able to communicate easier. If you're looking to learn Spanish, check out Fluenz Spanish, Rosetta Stone, and Synergy Spanish.

There are 3 things that you need to watch when shopping in markets in Peru.

  1. No guarantees: many times guarantees will not come with the products you buy.
  2. Bait and switch: check your bag and make sure you've been given what you've paid for.
  3. Quality: might not be the best.

Shopping in markets can be a fun experience. These 3 tips will help you make the most of your shopping experience.
  1. Get recommendations: ask friends which sellers are good and which ones should be avoided.
  2. Pricing: be wary of pricing, especially sellers who drop their prices drastically.
  3. Trust your instinct: it's usually right.




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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Jumping Through Hoops to Get Your College Diploma in Peru

http://21cccs.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/cap-and-diploma.jpg
From 21cccs.org
I've gotten degrees from universities in North America, Europe, and Australiasia.

For the unis in North America and Australiasia, all I had to get my diploma was make sure that I didn't owe the uni any money. That was it. I didn't have to do anything or pay a fee. I had my diploma in hand 2 weeks after I graduated from the uni in North America and 3 months after I graduated from the one in Australasia.

For the uni in Europe I had to pay a couple hundred dollars and wait nearly a year for the actual diploma (which came stamped, sealed, apostillised, and what have you) and to top it off the first diploma that they sent me had mistakes in my personal info. However, I didn't have to fill out any paperwork for any three of these unis.

Peru, however, is different. One tip to remember is that speaking Spanish will help you greatly. You'll be treated differently than if you speak English all the time, it'll help you assimilate to the culture, and you'll be able to communicate easier. If you're looking to learn Spanish, check out Fluenz Spanish, Rosetta Stone, and Synergy Spanish.

Why make something simple when you can make it difficult and create jobs (as well as stress and frustration)? The answer is simple: that's just the way Peruvian culture is. I honestly don't understand why they need most of these docs because . . .
  1. They should already have them on file since they needed them when you applied to the university.
  2. It shows a lack of communication between departments. The departments should simply send the info on to whichever department is in charge of seeing if students are able to graduate rather then each individual student going around to multiple departments and getting the required paperwork to hand in to the department in charge of graduation.
Paperwork You'll Need
Here are some requirements needed in order to get your diploma from a Peruvian university. This is a bit extreme since it's a public university. You can find more examples at San Marco and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. Other documents that you might need are your birth certificate and transcripts from other universities if you transferred

Step 1: Get permission from your department / faculty to graduate
  • Certificate of your studies*
  • A formal request asking permission to get permission to get your degree. (i.e. they have to say that you've completed all the course requirements)
  • Proof of not owing the university any money*
  • Proof of completing any required interships*
  • Proof of required final projects*
  • Photos*
  • Photocopy of your DNI*
  • Receipt for the right to have finished your courses (grado academico)
  • Receipt for your diploma*
  • Receipt for the calligraphy on your diploma*
  • Receipt for the paperwork*
  • Receipt for the certificate that proves you have finished your requirements

Step 2: Permission from the university to graduate
  • Formal request
  • Certificate of your studies*
  • Certificate from your department / faculty saying that you have permission to graduate
  • Receipt for permission to graduate
  • Receipt for your diploma*
  • Receipt for the calligraphy on your diploma*
  • Receipt for the paperwork*
  • Photos*
  • Proof of not owing the university money*
  • Proof of required final projects*
  • Proof of completing any required internships*
  • Photocopy of your DNI*
  • A folder to put it all in
Step 3: Requesting your diploma
  • Certificate of your studies*
  • Certificate from the university saying you can graduate
  • Proof of not owing the university money*
  • Proof of completing any required internships*
  • Proof of required final project*
  • Photos*
  • Photocopy of your DNI*
  • Receipt for the certificate that proves you have finished your requirements
  • Receipt for your diploma itself*
  • Receipt for the calligraphy on your diploma*
  • Receipt for the paperwork*
  • Receipt for the right to ask for your diploma
Those are a lot of documents you need! And from the asterisks you can see that most of them are asked for again and again. It's time consuming and expensive. Each of these steps requires you to pay for multiple things. A national university will probably cost you about $200 to graduate from, a private university could be double or triple that. After going through university and spending money on an education, you shouldn't be asked to pay more just to graduate.

Peru needs to simply things. They need to create less paperwork, less hassle, and less frustration. You shouldn't have to ask your faculty for permission to graduate. It would be a heck of a lot simpler if the faculties gave the head department a list of people who can graduate. Ditto for owing money. Each department, such as the library, should print off a list of people who owe money.






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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Peruvian Universities That Offer Distance Learning Bachelor Degrees

Distance learning is a new concept in Peru. In the US it's been around for ages. I remember looking at my dad's old comic books and they had adverts for correspondence courses in order to finish high school and get your high school diploma. High school diplomas are now the bare minimum needed for jobs. Most places ask for a bachelor degree, if not a master.

One tip to remember is that speaking Spanish will help you greatly. You'll be treated differently than if you speak English all the time, it'll help you assimilate to the culture, and you'll be able to communicate easier. If you're looking to learn Spanish, check out Fluenz Spanish, Rosetta Stone, and Synergy Spanish.

Background to Bachelor Degrees in Peru
In Peru there are two levels of bachelor's degrees. You get your bachiller and your titlulo. The first means you've finished all the courses. The second means you've done a capstone course: such as an intensive course, internship, or thesis.

3 Universities in Peru
Peru has three universities that I know of that offer distance learning, but even then it's not completely possible to do if you don't have someone in Peru to help you. My husband is going through Garcilaso de la Vega University and he had to go there in order to apply and spent a couple months trying to get credits transferred and whatnot. At the beginning in 2011 he had to have relatives physically go to the university and pick up the books and post them to him.
    • Garcilaso de la Vega University: 3 semestres a year. You should be able to finish in about 3 years. Affordable. It's not that organised. Even a month into most semestres not all the professors have told you what work is expected to you and if they tell you it's vague. They'll tell you to write a paper or do research but will have no word or page limit. In order to get your diploma for either your bachiller or your titulo you also have to physically go to the university and fill out tramites and wait a couple months. The kicker? If you want to do your titulo at another university, which is common enough in Peru, you have to wait until you have your diploma in hand. Idiotic.
      Passing your thesis is another grey area. Not only do you have to rent the space where you give the thesis, but you also have to pay the profs for their time. It seems like they'd be pretty likely to fail you since then you'd have to hire them again. Peruvian culture is full of shades of grey and bribery: reminds me why I left Peru in the first place.

    • Los Angeles Chimbote University: Should be affordable. Not that well-known of a university.


    • San Ignacio Loyola University: Pretty expensive. Aimed towards rich people or those whose companies will pay.

    Conclusion
    Hopefully there will be more universities that offer BA degrees and they'll organise their info better so that you don't physically have to go there to get stuff done.



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