Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Year Of The Artisan &Skills-Based Education: How To Become A Chef

This year has been declared the “Year of the Artisan and Skills-Based Education” by government, to promote the diplomas and courses offered by Further Education and Training (FET) colleges in South Africa. This month we will be looking at what it means to become a chef and what you will have to study to qualify as one.

A chef is responsible for a variety of activities in and around running a kitchen. A chef can be in charge of a kitchen at a restaurant, hotel, school, hospital, old age home, university or even at a resort or a cruise ship. Their responsibilities extends to kitchen staff, the menu, ordering of supplies as well as the preparation of the food.

If you:
  •     Are willing to work long and unusual hours
  •     Are extremely passionate about food
  •     Have a good sense of taste
  •     Are able to work under extreme stress
  •     Can work well in a team

… you could be well on your way to becoming a chef.

There are various types of chefs. Your ‘chef status’ can be determined by your skills as well as your experience:
Commis Chef – prepares food and learns basic cooking skills
Chef de Partie (Junior Chef) – would usually be in charge of one aspect of the kitchen. A Junior Chef might be responsible for sauces or vegetables for example.
Demi Chef (Line Chef) – a Line Chef’s responsibilities can include meal preparation and even budgeting
Sous Chef (Second Chef) – this type of chef is second in command in the kitchen
Executive Chef (Head Chef) – is in charge of the kitchen and will have to manage the entire kitchen staff, plan menus, work out budgets and pricing and would be involved with the business side of things as well.

There are various FET and private colleges that offer courses in the culinary arts. You can visit the South African Chef’s Association’s website to view a list of training providers.

You can contact Eduloan as soon as you have decided which school or training college you would like to study at and one of our consultants will be able to give you all the information you require to get the financial assistance to realise your dream of becoming a chef. For more information or to speak to one of our Eduloan consultants, visit our website www.eduloan.co.za.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Not Just A Student Number: I am the youth of tomorrow

Eduloan is celebrating the individuality of South African students and scholars, recognising the potential in every person. We consider every student’s needs when we put together their student loan package, taking your dreams and ambitions into consideration and working out a payment schedule that will suit you and your pocket!

That’s why we’re asked YOU to give a voice to students all over Southern Africa. Mofokeng Mojalefa 
participate in our Not Just a Student Number initiative and is this months winner.

Read it here:

It is said that varsity or higher education is a privilege not a right, so if you find yourself at varsity embrace every moment! Make every day as memorable as possible, for you’ll never know what tomorrow may bring.

I take a stand today, as a 2nd year student at the North West University Vaal Triangle Campus. I am not here just as a student with an 8 digit student number, but here to make a change, not only in my own life but in the community too. I’m currently doing my Bachelors’ of Education degree and receiving experience on becoming the best educator I can be! I want to give back to the community and all the B.Ed students by going to different organisations and helping out where needed.

This has made me a student that is highly productive, not just a student number. Apart from my course, I’m also part of the student’s campus newspaper and the administrative officer of the Ubuntu homo association. This is a campus society at the Vaal Triangle campus, aimed at highlighting homosexual rights and promoting healthy living for our fellow gay and lesbian pupils. As a result of this opportunity, I vow to myself that I’m not going to leave here with just a student number but I will leave a legacy behind.

I salute Eduloan because without that green Eduxtras card, which allow us to purchase food and books, all this wouldn't be so easy.

I Mofokeng Mojalefa am ‘not just a student number’.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Getting Ready For Exams – 10 Things You Should Keep In Mind

With the looming exam season, we thought we would give you a couple of tips that you can keep in mind ahead of the upcoming exam period.

#1 – Make a study schedule
Compile a realistic study schedule. Not everyone works and studies at the same pace, keep this in mind and don’t always measure your schedule to your friends’. If you allocate too much time you might end up procrastinating and too little time can add even more pressure during exam time.

#2 – Ensure you have a good study environment
Prepare a good environment for you to use while you study. Ensure you will not be distracted and that you will have everything you need at hand. Avoid areas where your friends or siblings can distract you and if there are too many distractions at home, choose to study in a study room at school, college or university or use your nearest library. You know which environment is best for you!

#3 – Ask for past papers
Using past papers is a good way to get the hang of how teachers or lecturers approach the topics. Ask your teacher, lecturer, librarian, friends or siblings for past papers and ensure that the curriculum has not changed since these exam questions were set. These will also give you a good idea to gauge how much you still have to study or on which sections you might need to spend some more time on.

#4 – Ensure all your admin is up-to-date
Ensure you complete all necessary forms and submit your applications if you are applying for any further studies! We have opened our applications for 2014 study loans to allow you to pay all your administration fees well ahead of the exam season, to ensure that you avoid further stress.

#5 – Set yourself realistic goals
Set yourself daily goals. These will ensure that you feel like you are reaching benchmarks daily, especially if you have a large volume of work to study. When you reach your goals, be sure to reward yourself! Good examples of goals can include:
·         Study chapters 1 – 6 before lunch
·         Complete the mind-map for World War II today
·         Achieve 80% or more on a Mathematics past paper by Thursday

#6 – Give yourself some time off
Make sure you schedule some time off. You might find that taking regular breaks can benefit your concentration, but be realistic. Don’t reward yourself with an hour TV after every 30min of studying. Time off ensure that you have enough rest to function properly when you do study.

#7 – Exercise
The benefits of physical exercise, especially aerobics, have positive effects on the brain function. The increased blood flow will ensure your brain has the blood it requires to function at its best! Besides, getting out will give you a break and ensure you spend some time with family and friends too.

#8 – Use Colour
Don’t be shy to use colour while you study. Although few people have visual memories, colours can help you quickly identify common topics and it can even just make your studies more interesting.

#9 – Manage your stress
Don’t take on more responsibilities when you are in exam-mode. More responsibilities can contribute to more stress. We would also advise that you avoid unnecessary or stressful situations. Focus on the task at hand and take control or manage the stress before it takes control of you!

#10 – Don’t cram
It is never a good idea to leave studying till the last minute. Cramming might mean that you can spend time on other things, but cramming can also mean that it is easier to forget or can also contribute to even more stress.

Good luck for the upcoming exams!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

8 Tips For Balancing ‘Self’ And ‘Responsibility’

With all the demands of your daily life, it could be difficult to pay enough attention to yourself as well as your responsibilities. Whether you are at school, college or university, every step of your education can have various demands. Here are some tips to ensure you start managing your time effectively and that you don’t fall under pressure leading to further stress in your life!

Tip #1 – Schedule your time
Schedule your time and make sure that you get to all your responsibilities daily.

Tip #2 – Listen to your body
Your body will tell you if you’re tired or hungry. Don’t ignore the warning signs!  Your body requires rest and food to make sure that it functions properly – which is key especially during exam periods.

Tip #3 – Exercise
Exercise ensures a healthy mind and body. Going for a run could help clear your mind or going to gym might give you added perspective.

Tip #4 – Set goals for yourself
By setting goals, you can guarantee that your schedule works for you and you will have a great sense of achievement. Be sure to set realistic goals!

Tip #5 – Have responsible relationships
Ensure that you engage in relationships that are good for you. Learn to manage your relationships, mainly because it is very easy to be drawn into someone else’s life or problems. Striking a balance in life is key.

Tip #6 – Learn to say no
If you feel uncomfortable or if you know that you will not have enough time to do something or go somewhere, do not commit yourself to doing something that you will not be able to achieve!

Tip #7 – Do something for yourself and for others
Take the time to do something you love or enjoy to make sure that you get into the best headspace! Doing something for others can also be rewarding, so think about doing something for someone else too.

Tip #8 – Reward Yourself
Whether you enjoy some extra time on the soccer field, or one more hour with a novel, reward yourself for maintaining balance.

Why don’t you draw up a schedule and mark your average daily activities on the sheet in different colours. Pay attention to the volume of time that you might allocate to one activity, responsibility or task that might disrupt the balance of “self” and “responsibility”. If you are worried about your time management or if you are finding it difficult to reach a balance, schedule an appointment with your counselor at school, college or university. Ask your parents and friends for help if needed!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Interview – Eduloan speaks to Vincent Meyer, an Engineering Student

Ever wonder how some students seem to do so well in their studies, seemingly without too much effort? Today on the Eduloan blog we speak to Vincent Meyer, a student from the University of Johannesburg who recently achieved a degree in Engineering. He tells us how it’s done!

Q:  Firstly, tell us: were you always a boffin at school?
A:  I wouldn't call myself a boffin, but if you define a person that works hard and always tries their best as a boffin then yes, I am one.

Q:  Why did you decide to study what you are studying now and what are your career goals?
A:  I always wanted to become an engineer. From a young age, I always loved to play with things and pull them apart just to enjoy the process of putting it back together. My short term goal is to become a great engineer and to enjoy my work. My long term goals are to work as the head engineer at a well-known company.

Q:  What about your family, are they supportive of your studies? How do they help you?
A:  My family supports me in everything I do. Their support helped me throughout my school career and now also during my university studies. Through bad and good times, I can always talk to my parents and ask for their advice or just chat about things that are bothering me.

Q:  So what is your secret to getting good marks?
A:  Study hard and spend as much time as needed on your work. If needed, ask for help and don’t linger on something that you don’t understand.

Q: What was the transition like for you when you made the move from secondary to tertiary education?
A: To be honest the work load increased a great deal but with help from my family and friends, the transition was easier. I also had to put more time into my work and the rewards of great marks was well worth it!

Q:  Do you have a mentor or someone you can turn to for advice if things get a little bit too much?
A:  Yes, I have a friend that works as an engineer at the company that I work for part time. He is always there if I need assistance or help with my work. We also have family friends who are qualified engineers who often give me advice as well.

Q: What are your tips for memorising information?
A:  Break the work down into segments and explain it to yourself over and over again. This really worked well for me throughout high school and now at university.

Q: What’s your personal philosophy when it comes to work and study?
A:  Put the necessary hours in and you will reap the benefits!

Q: What about your social life? Do you make time for friends and family? What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I always make time for my social life; I believe it has to be balanced out. I love going out with my friends and having a good time. I also exercise and enjoy being active and in the outdoors.

Q:  Any final words of advice for all the students out there struggling with their marks?

A:  Never be afraid to ask for advice and guidance. A person who asks questions will get ahead in life than a person who struggles in silence. 

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Individuality Vs Conformity – Where Do You Fit In?

Whether you are in school, college or university, we are sure you are well aware of the social pressures that you might have to face on a daily basis. The question remains, do you focus on being yourself and developing your own unique flavour, or do you choose to blend in?

This week we take a look at what challenges you might face during this time of your life:

Scenario 1: You are in grade seven and you have to decide on your subject choice. Would you              
  a)   Choose a subject because you want to be in a class with your friends?
  b)   Choose a subject based on the fact that you enjoy the subject and because it will contribute to what you would like to be one day?

Scenario 2: You have to get dressed for casual day. Would you
  a)   Dress in what you are comfortable in
  b)   Beg your parents for a new outfit because “I just cannot be seen wearing this”

Scenario 3: You have to choose where you want to further your tertiary studies. Would you
  a)   Choose to study at a college or university (even though they don’t offer your course) because “that is where everyone is going”?
  b)   Carefully consider all your options after researching several colleges or universities that offer a course in your line of interest?

Scenario 4: You have to submit a project plan for your course. Would you
  a)   Research current trends?
  b)  Try and think of new ways of doing things?

It is often considered easier to conform rather than to be yourself, but whether you are choosing your studies or deciding what to wear for the day, just keep in mind that it is probably best to remain true to yourself! Think about your choices carefully and when it comes to any choices that will affect your future, it might be best to ask all the right questions:

  • What am I good at?
  • What do I enjoy?
  • What career would I like to follow?
  • What are my strengths?
  • What are my weaknesses?

Talk to your family and friends – you may be surprised to find out what they believe you are good at! It might also be a good idea to visit the school, college or university counselor to find out how they can help you too. Many institutions offer aptitude testing that can help you to identify your skills and strengths in order to establish what field you might want to consider studying in!