This is the first post of the series on “Educate yourself” where I will try to explain different techniques that we can use to educate oneself. And, the aim of this post, educate yourself – Use Google Search, is to demonstrate the use of Google Search as a tool to find information and answers to questions.
First of all, let’s take an example of our typical psychological behavior. Let’s assume the person named Robin is planning to do his master’s degree abroad (study abroad) and is searching for information on good quality universities where he can apply for admission. In this case, the most typical thing he will do is to ask around, post on Facebook groups, ask people he knows who are studying abroad, and possibly ask his university teachers and alumni. These type of activities will take quite a while to get information on what he is looking for because usually people, he asks, will describe the situation based on their own experience so it will be a bit tricky to rely on those information unless you know and trust that person quite well. Another fact here is that it will take quite a while to get in touch with all these people.
Now let’s come to the point of this article. The best and easiest way Robin could do is to use Google to search information on universities based on his major. Simply go to the website https://www.google.com and write the text or sentence you want to search. Also, one can install Google Search apps on their phone which is quite handy to use whenever you want to. Let’s go to Google search (link given earlier) and type the text “best universities” and Google will automatically give you a few options to select from (see the screenshot below) or you can write exactly what you want to search, i.e. “best universities in Sweden”.
So, if you just type “best universities in Sweden“, then you will find a list of articles or posts from where you can read and find the information you wanted. Once you have selected the university/universities in Sweden, based on your major/background, then you can start using the Google search again to search admission procedure. Also, you can directly go the university website to read admission period, admission requirements, tuition fees, and scholarship opportunities. Once you know more about the university you want to apply and scholarship you are aiming to apply for, simply type the text, for example, “Step by step guide to applying for master’s study and SI scholarship in Sweden” on Google search, then you will find more information.
One important thing to remember is that “you have to help yourself first/educate yourself“. Do your homework first (search information on Google), and then you can ask someone studying in that specific university, for example, alumni or friend. By doing your homework, you save time and it will give impression while you talk to alumni that you are “smart” and you did some homework. As a result, the other person doesn’t need to start from the beginning, and the quality of information you will receive will help you a lot. Another thing, write down a few questions beforehand that you want to ask that alumnus which will make your conversation session organized.
One important thing here to mention is don’t trust all the information you read on the websites/blogs unless they are from the official websites. If you search a bit more then you will know which websites are the official ones and you can trust the information available there. Next, you can read information from blogs to know peoples’ opinion on certain topics, but remember that it’s their personal opinion. So, if you see that most of the people on the blogs are saying the same thing/giving the same information, then you can trust that information to some extent, otherwise, don’t trust information which is just mentioned only on one website/blog unless that website/blog is a reliable one.
Another point, which can easily be noticed, is the secured web browsing or secured website. Before you click on any links or website, check that website is secured and will not store your information. Simply, check that the website is using “https” protocol as you can see in the screenshot of https://www.candorblog.com below.
Finally, Google is a powerful tool which you can use for free. It is also easy to use as long as you have an internet connection. So, when a question about a certain topic pops up or when something sparks your interest, Google it, read, read, read, and educate yourself – use google search.