How is education in United States?

I interviewed Kelly Thompson, she is a native teacher of the University Europea of  Madrid. Kelly lives several  years in Spain, here gives multi-level English classes to students of the University. The interview is about the system of education in the United States. Education is a human right that is the source that transmits knowledge, values, customs that define people. According to human rights, “primary education shouldl be compulsory and accessible to all free of charge”. Our recently death Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa, known for their movements against the repressions of his country, defended the education as “the weapon powerful that you could change the world”.

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This law was  approved the year 1966, from which the State committed to provide educational facilities to all it’ s citizens. The main objectives of education are developing personality, attitude, respect for the rights of the people, respect the values of their city, and have ethical principles. The education structure is the same in all the world, composed by primary, secondary school and University. In the transition from secondary to University will depend on each country. For example in Spain is needed to access the University high school, concerning United States need to make high school, which is a preparation for the University. The aid offered United States depends on each State, this is because it is formed of 50 States that are independent and are governed by different laws.

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Primary and secondary education is free in this country. For younger children there are kindergartens where care for them until a certain age. Gives grants to citizens are nurseries in the United States as good developed country, so that the parents can play their work and at the same time their children are well care. Primary education is compulsory for all children. Parents can decide if they want their children to be educated at home this is called “homeschool”.

This educational method is regulated by the Government and the school to which you are attached. Parents must submit the curriculum of teachers who will teach their children, so the Government check that you have enough faculties. Educational content are delivered to parents that teach their children, at the end of the course at school and at home-schooled children must have the same academic level in question. Currently, a small percentage of parents choose this system, because it has many disadvantages for example children above all, do not know how to interact with kids his age. Secondary education is “mandatory” until the age of 16, starting from this age young people can decide if they wish to continue their studies or get to job. When young people decide to continue their studies, can get into college or a short-term training (“trate school”), here is a very broad academic offerings as a mechanic, hairdresser. These formations usually last about two years, mostly to give you greater ease in the labour insertion. There is also the possibility to prepare to enter the University.

Young people who at the end of secondary education want access to the University must be high school, which is usually free but depends on the State where it wants to develop. There are several public University and also University private. These universities are  very expensive, but each one of them offers you a system payments that can be adapted to the student. There is a system of saving called “529 plan” in which parents can start saving when their children are young until they are the University.  Depending on the State Government offers aid to college students for study such as scholarships of academic level and support depending on the economic situation of the family.

However, there are scholarships for the University to realize part of their studies abroad, but the student needs a good amount of money to keep, because the scholarship is not sufficient. In the last years of career, college students are training as temporary workers in companies that normally after finishing practices you engage as regular employees.

Ámbar Torres

HAPPINESS IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS

Time during the interview: Carlos Chaguaceda President of the Institute of Happiness with Coca Cola María Millán Navarrete UEM International Relations AND Translation.

Time during the interview: Carlos Chaguaceda President of the Institute of Happiness of CocaCola with María Navarrete Millán student of the UEM International Relations and Translation.

The director of Communication and President of the Institute of the Happiness of Coca Cola Spain, Carlos Chaguaceda comes from the world of the journalism, his beginnings developed in the economic press, Expansión worked for the newspaper on topics of banking and of bag, later Television began to be employed at Antena 3 as chief of economy, little later as assistant director of informatively and finally as correspondent at Brussels. To his return as correspondent, it was employed for one year at Telefonica Spain and nowadays there shows the Director’s post of Communication and Corporate image and spokesperson of the company Coca Cola in Spain.

It is it fascinating be able to study the development of the balances of power in the world, analyzing the present with regard to the past. To have the tools to put every thing in his context, it gives you an authentic vision of the world. With these words, it opens the jar of the essences of the international relations. To be prepared promoting the curiosity and the imagination, to learn to travel with the mind they are values to bearing in mind very in these professionals. The one that knows a country, wherefrom it comes and to where it goes, why yes and why not of every culture, to analyze how there thinks a possible buyer of two parts different from the world. All this forms a part of the profile demanded by the multinationals.

Carlos Chaguaceda presides at the Institute Coca Cola of the happiness (www.institutodelafelicidad.com) `3 years ago we initiate this pioneering offer, to the being the country first in developing this adventure creating a platform of communication for positive emotions interacting brand and feeling´. The Report II of the happiness, directed by Eduardo Punset, realizing 3500 interviews to Spanish throws between other results that the happiness of a home depends directly on the percentage of unemployed that exists in the same one. The happiness measures up and is quantified along the hundreds of studies and interviews published in his web and with it the knowledge is acquired and the certainty transmits that to major personal effort more facility to be happy.

Coca Cola bases his success on the communication with the client and always it has something that to say with regard to social topics. Chaguaceda is the manager of designing these messages as a whole with the president of the company and sees which is the best way of transmitting to the public what CocaCola wants to say and finally to place on the market the products, across the mass media, the campaigns that it realizes and in general interacting with everything that one that wants to know slightly more of CocaCola.

CocaCola is a universal, accessible and nearby company, has a tremendous logistic distribution capacity, with the biggest commercial fleet of the present world in 207 countries that are all the countries of the world except Cuba and North Korea, and this world presence in the geographical plane close to the presence that CocaCola takes as an accessible product, is what makes it be a grand multinational.

As already he said Andy Wharhol ” for a lot of money that you should have, you will never be able to think a Coca Cola better than that of your neighbor “, that is to say, does not import all that costs a Coca Cola, you can buy in the shop of your neighborhood ask for it as so much in a hotel of luxury that always it is going to know like other. It is this nearness to which CocaCola refers at the moment of help gives everything that one who asks for it, already it is an idea, to mount an exhibition, a career, etc.. Coca Cola is one of the companies of reference at the moment of asking the being for sponsorships and help, one of most known and of major solvency.

In the area of the altruism or philanthropy Coca Cola is the major creator of employment in Africa, which supposes a great labor of help to the development. For a few years the environmental phenomena have played him bad spent to many countries that are in routes of development and do not possess the minimal resources for to settle this series of catastrophes that free themselves immediately after the force of the mother nature, as consequence, Coca Cola started a few series of measures in case of emergency, such as a tsunami or an earthquake. On having been present in any place of the world with a nearby factory, and bearing in mind that to elaborate this product is indispensable the water, resource that they themselves treat in his factories drinkable, because of it when these situations take place in these countries, the orders are: the production of Coca Cola to stop and the water to destine them to potable and her to destine to the citizens affected by the catastrophe.

Coca Cola does not presume of this labor, but the population knows that it is done, especially the people who needs it.

Coca Cola Spain collaborates with such different ONG’s as Intermón Oxfam, Doctors without borders, Red Cross, Foundation “Thyme”, the Bank of food, the Foundation ” The father Ángel “, The Hermanitas of the Charity in Seville, etc .. there are not great the ONG’s in which Coca Cola is not involved somehow.

The company Coca Tail with his 127 years of history has could adapt to the different situations of world crises transmitting his message of optimism and to accommodate it to the times in which they were in every moment. This company knows perfectly that the one that gives the orders on the market is the consumer and that it is his labor as company to make see to the buying potentials that his brand is the best, already be across the international relations, the marketing, the advertising and the happiness.

María Navarrete Millán

Student of International Relationships and Translation.

Diversifying For Opportunities – Claudia Fernández

Interview with Chrisa Marie Sampanes, United States.

“The cultural values of the United States promote an educational system that entails more than just traditional education; reading, writing, and arithmetic are not the only subjects that are taught in the United States.  The educational system ensures the physical as well as mental well being of the students.” University of Michigan

As we all know that Education is the main pilar for the future of a country, we sometimes forget how important extra activities could be. Diversifying our skills in order to enriched our lives and mentalities is such as important as pass a maths exam. 

Chrisa Sampanes, who is in charge of social compromise and culture in the UEM, has conceded me this interview which is focussed on the cultural skills that students acquire in their training. She is from the United States of America and her whole professional life have been always related to culture. “After almost five years working in the “Círculo de Bellas Artes” here in Madrid, I thought I was always doing more or less the same activities so I wanted to get involved in the University atmosphere”, she said.

I was interested in Chrisa’s opinion about the projects that contribute to develop those skills. She almost didn’t think about it to answer: “As we are working on exhibitions about photograph or painting, we are in charge of the student clubs. This year we are trying to make the clubs more independent, so they could be leaded by the students themselves, like in the United States.”, she said.

That’s why is so important to make accessible for students to participate: leading the activities teach them not only the cultural values but also the organization systems, how to work in group, connect people… the main point is offering possibilities. “Thereby, if you are a Medicine student while you’re interested in Communication you can develop those skills that will be useful in your career and in your life”.

In the U.S, some students are more than used to this kind of programs. It’s in the spring, often in March or April, that students receive their acceptance letters. And what things are relevant in those applications? A high-school student who wants to be accepted in a good University includes in her or his record a complete list of activities and events they have been involved in. That’s the reason why by the time they are coursing superior studies they are completely used to take part in extra disciplines that may not be related with what they are studying.

“My own experience in University is that, when you’re there you have to be involved in something because its proves initiative, group work., leadership… For example I had a mate who was a dancer and we always went to her performances, not only we supported her but also we got involved in that atmosphere”, said Chrisa, who is more than used to organize this kind of activities in her daily life.

“Any student has to take the initiative to develop him or herself, not only on their speciality but also as person, as a society member… You expand yourself involving in culture”. Chrisa Sampanes. 

When asking her if economical crisis has a component of moral and cultural crisis she answered affirmatively and said: “In a situation of economical crisis, the first thing governments cut the budget back is culture. […]In the U.S. the situation is different, government doesn’t fund cultural organizations. They auto finance themselves with philanthropy, donors, private enterprises…”

Culture is not only a personal enrichment issue, but also an economical one. “When people go to the theatre for example, they take a drink before or after, they go dinner, they spent money on public transport or gasoline…” Chrisa said.

Moreover, some voices in the U.S. claimed that nowadays young students care less than ever about this kind of activities. In 1982, 82 percent of college graduates read novels or poems for pleasure; two decades later, only 67 percent did. And more than 40 percent of Americans under 44 did not read a single book — fiction or nonfiction — over the course of a year.

It seems that now is more important than ever to encourage young people to care about their personal development in order to grow as open-minded members of the society. Why don’t strengthen this abilities? One kid or teenager with cultural, scientific, tech, music or sports interests is an adult with different points of view to offer.

 P.D: After this interview, Chrisa asked me if I would be interested on participate in the Cultural Passport, a multicultural activity that the UEM offers which consists on reduced prizes in museums, theaters… What would be better than leading by example? Of course, I happily accepted. 

Claudia Fernández García

Interview With Diego Bravo – KYLIE WILBUR

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Diego Bravo is a 46 year-old teacher in UEM, which is a Spanish University, located in Madrid. He had worked in P&G an American based global company, and now basically he teaches in the faculty of Arts and Communications, and he is the teacher of the course “Consumer Behavior” one the classes that I take, here in Madrid. Briefly he is, a synthesis of Europe and North America, a good cultural mix between these two completely different origins. So let me tell his story of his life and work experiences based on cultural issues. A story consisting a life within two continents…

When I first heard about the interview assignment, I had thought of many people in my mind that I could do this interview with. But none of them were interesting for me as Diego was. Because, he lived his life in two different continents and in two different cultures. Also these two countries are not similar to each other, so speaking with him made me understand both cultures, differences between them and how can a person handle both cultures.

“I was born in Canada and lived there until I was 21… since than I basically lived in Spain… I hold both nationalities and both passports” answers Diego to my question, “Where are you from?”. So he defines himself with both origins, Canadian and Spanish. His family actually immigrated to Canada in search of having better life conditions, so they located themselves in Montreal. As Diego was born in Montreal he didn’t had many struggles to overcome when he was little, because he was used to Canadian culture. His family is basically Spanish but he was most likely an average Canadian child at the time. When he decided to come to Spain, he was 21. So he actually got raised with a different culture comparing to European culture. And of course the difference cultural issues had him to face some struggles. “I’m still in the middle, I’m totally in the middle, I used to come here for vacations for three months and when I came to live here it was totally different” this is the sentence that Diego uses trying to explain how mixed up he was when he first came to Spain. He was raised with other cultural aspects and suddenly he found himself in another world, in where everything was working in a complete different way. ” I came from this is 1988, Canada was democratized, liberalized, socialized country. And Spain in 1988 was much more different, a totally different country. Now it’s more similar what Canada is now.” His own words where we understand the huge difference between those countries back at that time. But still Diego positions himself in somewhere different comparing to regular Spanish people. He explains these cultural and daily life differences by telling small details, which are not “a big issue” most of the time. But they become weird and very different when lived everyday. These examples are most like, experiences in a library, university campus life, relationship between teachers and students… “For example, when I started my masters degree in the university, it was rude to eat in class… But people here would smoke! You were allowed to smoke in class but eating was considered rude! But in Canada it’s for sure not… I don’t think it’s rude at all.”

During our interview what Diego repeated many times that Spain and Europe in general started to look more like North American countries and the cultural differences are becoming less clear in nowadays. Of course there are still huge differences in the sense of mentality, the way of living, eating and many other things like these but back at that time the whole world was more local in it. He personally doesn’t criticize globalization issue but he thinks that world had much more sense back in those days. A little nostalgic way of thinking you may say, but he defines this transformation as loosing its own characteristics. “Spain over the last twenty years has unfortunately this tradition of importing many of the worst things from abroad. Like this two party system that they bring in from the US, like the hypermarkets from France, like the world of the suburbs that they bring in from North America… In terms of westernization and globalization many countries are starting to loose defining elements of their characteristics!”

Diego Bravo, an inspiring teacher that I had the chance of meeting in Madrid, lived in both cultures and who’s still in the middle, made me understand clearly the cultural differences between countries. It’s nice to know these kinds of people at some point in our lives, to learn and listen their experiences for our own lives.

Kylie Wilbur

Why not now, Israel?

Following the American officials’ plan, John R. Allen, former American commander in Afghanistan and a retired Marine general who serves as an adviser to Secretary of John Kerry on the Middle East peace talks, will present to the Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, ideas about security arrangements on the West Bank under a possible peace agreement with the Palestinians. This presentation is to be made on Thursday, 5.

This briefing must be provided when Mr. Kerry meets with Mr. Netanyahu, according to officials. This will be the first time that General Allen discusses his ideas that were developed after multiple trips to Israel, in consultation with officials of Israel.

“Ongoing process”: this is how State Department officials describe the security briefing.

US Marine Gen. John Allen shakes hands with US President Barack Obama at an event in the East Room of the White House, April 28, 2011. (photo by REUTERS/Larry Downing)

US Marine Gen. John Allen shakes hands with US President Barack Obama at an event in the East Room of the White House, April 28, 2011. (photo by REUTERS/Larry Downing)

Some of the ideas that General Allen will present has already been shared with Mr. Netanyahu by Mr. Kerry, according to the officials that are accompanying the secretary of state.

The chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, said to diplomats that they needed to put more pressure on Israel to keep on going on this project of peace, as the negotiators make baby steps toward an agreement.

According to Mr. Erekat, Israel has demolished 159 Palestinian homes, killed 23 Palestinians and hasn’t given up on constructing 5,992 new apartments in West Bank settlements.

Although, Israel has insisted that its own military retain patrols there. According to him, this way is better than rely on an international force similar to those responsible for its tense borders with Lebanon and Syria.

As Erekat said to the diplomats, the Palestinians could never accede to Israel’s demand – to recognize it as the nation-state of the Jewish people. He said:  “I cannot change my narrative. The essence of peace is not to convert each other’s stories.”

After arranging the resumption of peace talks in July, Kerry said he expected to close a deal in nine months, what means that this closure should happen in 4 months. John Kerry will probably stay in Israel until Friday, and on Thursday he’ll also meet with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority.

“DEAL”. Submitted on Sunday 24th, 2.04 a.m.

“DEAL”. Those four letters made the difference at 2.04 a.m. Sunday at Genevra, Switzerland.  After months of diplomatic work since the election of the relative moderate Hassan Rouhani as Iranian President in June, Iran and six powerful countries of the world finally have come to an agreement.

The deal consists on Iran halting their actions to obtain nuclear weapons while those six countries (USA, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China) will relieveNuclear deal some economical sanctions. The point is that Iran can’t have uranium enriched beyond 5%, which means that they have to dilute the 20% uranium they have. In scientific terms, that didn’t seem to be a great avance, because the most difficult thing is to enriched it to 5%, which is still allowed in this arrangement. 

Of course, apart of the peace reasons there are some business interests involve. The nuclear deal will allow the country to export more crude oil as it will make its transportation less expensive, which is interesting for both sides Iran and the global powers.

Despite almost the whole international community accepts this deal as a first step to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapons, Israel thinks that it’s a threat for them. “Israel has many friends and allies, but when they’re mistaken, it is my duty to speak out… the regime in Iran is committed to destroying Israel. And Israel has the right and the obligation to defend itself by itself from any threat.” said the Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu.

“Ultimately, we understand why Israel is particularly skeptical about Iran. […] This is not simply about trusting the Iranian government. There are strict verification measures.” A senior administration official said. This governments are aware that Israel has some point of reason while being suspicious and they will be apply control measures.

The Iranian Foreign Minister, Zarif, said he hopes the nuclear agreement will lead to “concrete steps” to improve relations between Iran and Western powers.” as iranian population are taking this agreement as a huge step towards peace and open-doors.

Now we have six months of trial and during this time experts will have a exhaustive revision of the Iranian nuclear materials and processes. Despite of the fact that this while issue had been treated by some parts of the society as an Obama victory, Obama himself had said that this is just a first step in a long way that will be difficult and full of obstacles. As Bill Nelson said: “It is a choice between a pause or imminent war. I choose a verifiable pause.”

Sam Stein

By Fair Means Or Foul

We are surrounded of discussions to help the environment. All over the world, people are worried about global warming, climate changing and everything the planet may come through.

One of the solutions created is the Kyoto Protocol. This protocol is aimed to establish a deal and create international discussions to create goals of reduction of greenhouse gases, especially of the most industrialized countries.

Although all this, U.S. is still against the Kyoto Protocol. Why? Because to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, means to decrease the rhythm of industrial production. That means unemployment and recession, and the U.S. does not want it now and do not want to change the energy matrix, what would be ideal. Powerful countries such as the U.S, can change a lot in situations like these. However it seems that, making money, recovering the economy and making benefit through politics is much more important than saving the earth that we are leaning on. In a situation which like this, individuals on their own can organiye till some point but they expect more from their countries and especially from more powerful ones. Because, as citizens and individuals, people can’t get informed or they can’t get aware about serious issues like this. Even they can do it, without the help of governments it won’t be as effective as it would. And at this point, where the situation of earth is getting worse everyday, it would have be the best to first think of our planet than trying to fix other stuff which not that vital at the moment. Because, eventually this situation will come to a point where we can not fix it anymore and on that day, all the other stuff won’t be important anymore. So instead of thinking how to make money or profit, every government should get aware of this serious and getting worse condition of our own planet.

This week in Warsaw, Poland  the COP19 is taking place. This is the 19th United Nations Climate Change Conference, where the measures for this issue are being discussed by countries, enterprises, activists, experts… But the worrisome thing of all is that population is looking elsewhere, ignoring something that make us feel scared and weak. In fact, Democracy Now!, is the only global media that is covering the official proceedings as well as the events outside the Conference.

If pollution to the atmosphere still in the same levels as today, experts said that temperatures will be the highest in 30 million years; sea-level will rise 3-6 feet; droughts and natural disasters will cause hundreds of million of refugees and the half of all known species became extinct. And by that time, it won’t matter if your religion, country, gender or wealth… it will only matter that you’re a human being. And, despite all this reasons, why isn’t the global community doing real efforts to prevent that? The answer could be as simple as terrified: because all the people that are making decisions now, won’t be alive by that time. So as a matter of fact, new generations have to make our own decisions. Otherwise, we will realize that we can’t eat money by fair means or foul.