College Spotlight Series 3/5: Columbia #The10thingsYoudidn’tknowAboutColumbia!

Columbia University is world-renowned for its accomplished alumni, rich history    and commitment to education and research.

  • The first class of graduates from Columbia was made up of only five students.
  • The State of New York gave Columbia the 14-acre land that became Rockefeller Centre in 1929. In 1985 Columbia sold the land to the Rockefeller family for $400 Million, which doubled the University’s endowment.
  • Columbia University, originally called King’s College, was the fifth of nine colleges originally chartered in the American colonies.
  • Columbia’s medical college was the second medical school ever established in the colonies. In 1770 it became the first to award the M.D.
  • During the British occupation of New York City in 1776, Columbia was used as a British military hospital.
  • The first intercollegiate sporting event Columbia played was a baseball game against NYU in 1860.
  • Between 1905 and 1916, Columbia abolished its intercollegiate football program in protest of the game’s violence.
  • The Student Homophile League, the country’s oldest student-run gay rights group, was founded at Columbia in 1966.
  • During the American Revolution, the Battle of Harlem Heights was fought on September 16, 1776 on the land where Columbia University sits today.
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower was Columbia’s 13th president but resigned in 1953 when he was elected president of the United States.

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College Spotlight Series 1/5: Harvard Part 2: A Day in the Life of a Harvard Student

It’s the oldest college in the United States and a tourist destination. It’s also one of the most prestigious and recognizable institutions of higher education in the entire world.

With that kind of reputation, you can bet that the Harvard undergraduate experience is exceptional in many ways, and competition for spots in each matriculating class is fierce. In recent years, only around 5% of applicants have been accepted to be among the roughly 6,700 undergraduate students enrolled at Harvard at any given time. Despite these odds, Harvard still draws great interest from college-bound students, and receives nearly 40,000 applications each year. If you plan on being one of these applicants, it’s in your best interest to learn as much about Harvard as possible, from its academic opportunities to the less tangible aspects of its on-campus atmosphere.

Morning: Waking Up at Harvard

If you’re waking up as a Harvard undergraduate, chances are it’ll be in on-campus housing, along with 98% of your fellow students. During your first year, that housing will be located in the area of Harvard Yard, right in the center of campus. Your new home will be a place of grassy lawns, spreading trees, historic buildings, and easy access to campus amenities.

In your second year, you’ll enter one of Harvard’s twelve residential colleges, where you’ll stay for the rest of your time at Harvard. Residential colleges are smaller communities within the Harvard campus that provide housing, dining, and shared spaces to their inhabitants. Wherever on campus you wake up, your first thought will probably be getting fuelled up for the day — and maybe today you don’t feel like visiting the dining hall. You’re in luck, because just steps away from the main part of campus is the bustling Harvard Square neighbourhood, full of coffee shops and restaurants.

After breakfast, it’s time to head to class, and that means traversing the campus by foot. Be prepared to navigate crowded sidewalks, dodge meandering tourists, and otherwise practice your skills as an urban pedestrian. If it happens to be autumn when you’re taking this walk, you’re in for a treat — New England is particularly glorious in the fall, and the bright leaves lend a special glow to the ivy and brick of the campus. Your destination might be on the main Harvard campus, or it might be across the Charles River in Allston, a nearby neighbourhood of Boston where Harvard is currently expanding undergraduate offerings in engineering and related sciences. Whether you walk or take the shuttle, you’ll be among many students doing the same, and you’ll have great views of rowing teams practicing on the Charles.

You may have heard of “Harvard time,” the practice at Harvard of beginning classes seven minutes past their ostensible start time, but a recent faculty vote has ended this venerable tradition. As of fall 2018, you can expect most standard class periods to last around 75 minutes, allow 15 minutes of passing time in between, and start when they’re scheduled to start.

Your morning class might be an intimate seminar, a classic lecture (likely with a small discussion section later), or something in between these two archetypes. Either way, you’ll get to learn from professors who are at the top of their fields, among fellow students who are talented, motivated, and representative of a whole world of future potential.

Early Afternoon: Schoolwork and Socializing

After your morning class, let’s say that you have some time to spare before lunch. That’s a perfect time to fit in some studying, whether that takes the form of reading a few short stories for your literature class, finishing a physics problem set, or reviewing the vocabulary list for your Arabic quiz.

Besides the obvious spots like the libraries and your dorm’s common areas, Harvard is full of nooks and crannies that make great study locations. If the weather’s warm, you can settle into one of the lawn chairs scattered throughout Harvard Yard, or snag a table outside the Science Centre. For a change of scenery and an escape from other undergraduates, you might head to one of Harvard’s graduate schools, many of which you’ll be able to access with your Harvard ID.

Then it’s time for lunch, an opportunity not only to fuel up for the afternoon’s activities, but also to socialize and take a break with your friends. In your first year, you’ll eat your meals in Annenberg Dining Hall, an incredibly impressive space filled with stained glass and chandeliers. In later years, you’ll have your meals in your residential college’s dining hall so that you can build community while you eat.

After lunch, it’s time for class again. Of course, your real-life schedule will vary, and occasionally, courses will even last into the evening hours. With a whopping total of nearly 3,900 courses offered to undergraduates, there’s something for everyone, including a whole range of options for fulfilling your graduation requirements.

 Late Afternoon: Errands and Extracurricular

Being a student at Harvard isn’t all about being buried in your books; there are also all the little tasks and errands that you’ll need to take care of in order to keep your life running smoothly. Fortunately, downtown Cambridge is jam-packed with goods and services for your perusal, whether you need shampoo, have a package to mail, or are looking for a new pair of shoes.

You never know what you’ll encounter in Cambridge, even when you’re going about totally mundane tasks. Musicians entertain the crowds, every spoken language you can imagine is in the air, and tour guides dressed in 18th-century garb mingle with people zipping past on self-balancing electric unicycles. (Seriously.) It’s a perfect illustration of Harvard’s combination of cultural diversity, historical relevance, and futuristic innovation.

For those who are even more adventurous, Boston itself is only a few subway stops away, and offers a huge number of other opportunities to learn, develop, and enjoy yourself. You might be a little nervous navigating public transit if you’re not used to using it, but Boston’s system is relatively simple, and it’s well worth the effort to expand your horizons while you’re at Harvard.

Once you’ve finished your errands — or made plans for future adventures this upcoming weekend — there’s more to do on campus. Late afternoons and evenings are prime time for working on your extracurricular projects, holding group meetings or practices, and otherwise exploring the non-academic side of campus life.

Whatever you want to do, Harvard probably has an opportunity for you to do it — over four hundred student groups currently call the campus home, along with dozens of athletic groups on the varsity, club, and intramural levels. If your favorite activity doesn’t already exist, there’s always the option of starting your own club or group.

Evening: Relaxation and Campus Culture

Before you get started on your evening activities, you’ll want to take a break for dinner. Again, most of the time, you’ll likely eat at Annenberg Hall (or, later, your residential college), but the surrounding Harvard Square neighbourhood also beckons with alluring dining options. Some restaurants in the square even accept Crimson Cash, funds that you or your parents can load onto your ID card.

While you enjoy your meal, you can feel secure in the knowledge that you’re being provided with nutritionally sound options. The menus at Harvard’s dining halls are chosen to reflect the dietary recommendations of the Department of Nutrition at the university’s very own T.H. Chan School of Public Health — another example of the exceptional resources that will impact your life as a Harvard student.

Of course, every day at Harvard won’t necessarily be this action-packed, and your experience will depend on lots of different factors, from your major to your friend group to your personal preferences. When you finally get to bed in your dorm room, though, however late the hour, you can rest easy knowing that in the morning, you’ll again have access to all that Harvard has to offer.

For More Information

If you’re one of the many students who’s interested in learning more about Harvard, the TeacherNI Pre-college Campus Tours blog is a perfect place to start your research.



College Spotlight Series 2/5: Cornell #QuickFactsAboutCornell!!


Did you know the Dalai Lama once cleared his schedule for a day to sit down with Carl Sagan? There are countless cool facts, since the Cornell charter was signed on April 27, 1865. Since October, the Cornell Library has featured the exhibition “150 Ways to Say Cornell,” filled with historical facts and items that highlight key moments in Cornell’s century-and-a-half existence.


At one point, a Cornell collection held 600 brains, maybe up to 1,200. In 1889, Burt Green Wilder, a former Civil War surgeon, Cornell’s first animal biologist and founder of Cornell’s anatomy department, wanted to see if “differences could be detected in size, shape, weight and amount of convolution between the brains of ‘educated and orderly persons’ and women, murders, racial minorities and the mentally ill.” No such differences could be detected. Now, eight brains are on display in Uris Hall, including Wilder’s.


Though South Africa’s apartheid was an issue in the 1960s, activity across many college campuses in the U.S. really grew in the 1980s, including at Cornell. In 1985, students and faculty built a “shanty town” outside Day Hall, made of cardboard and wood structures. The participants held sit-ins and demonstrations, demanding that the university’s trustees divest Cornell’s investments in companies doing business with South Africa.


Ever notice the telegraph receiver behind Ezra Cornell in his statue on the Cornell Arts Quad? Cornell worked with Samuel Morse and Hiram Sibley to develop the electric telegraph and create the Western Union Telegraph Co. Sibley, who was Western Union’s first president, was an early benefactor of the university. Sibley purchased the original telegraph receiver from Alfred Vail’s son, Vail received the first-ever telegraph message in 1844 and presented it to Cornell. The telegraph receiver on the statue is there as a symbol of the source of Ezra Cornell’s prosperity and the wealth that made the founding of the university possible.


The Dalai Lama has visited Cornell University twice: once in 1991 and again in 2007.


From the Cadet Corps to the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, military training has been part of Cornell since its inception. The same act, the Morrill Land Grant Act, which helped found the university, mandated the teaching of “military tactics” as well as agriculture.


Ezra Cornell sent a sweet note to his 4-year-old granddaughter, Eunice, on Feb. 18, 1867, encouraging her to go to a good school. He wrote, “I want to have girls educated in the university as well as boys, so that they may have the same opportunity to become wise and useful to society that the boys have. I want you to keep this letter until you grow up to be a woman and want to go to a good school where you can have a good opportunity to learn, so you can show it to the President and Faculty of the University to let them know that it is the wish of your Grand Pa, that girls as well as boys should be educated at the Cornell University.” Eunice attended Vassar College.

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Why you shouldn’t miss Pre-college Campus Tours?

The best way to determine which college is the right place for you is by visiting the colleges in person.

Get a First-hand View

A campus visit is your opportunity to get a first-hand view of a college. A college catalogue, brochure or website can only show you so much. To really get a feel for the college, you need to walk around the quad, sit in on a class and visit the dorms.

Get Answers to Your Questions

A visit also gives you the chance to talk to students, faculty, and financial aid and admission officers. You can get answers to important questions, including:

  • What is the average class size and the student-to-faculty ratio? Are most classes taught by professors or by teaching assistants?
  • What is the campus meal plan like? How is the food? What are the options?
  • What is the makeup of the current freshman class? Is the campus fairly diverse?
  • What’s the social scene like? What kinds of activities are available?
  • Is there plenty of dorm space or is there a housing crunch?
  • How many students are commuters and how many are campus residents?
  • Details about their admission process.

Use this as a checklist to remind yourself of everything you want to do once you get to campus.

Your family members can also participate in the visit and any information sessions. They can help you think through your decision about which colleges to apply to, and ultimately, which college to attend.

Walking around the campus can give you a feel for what a college is really like.

Pick up any official college material you see, such as brochures and financial aid forms. Don’t forget to get business cards, too, so you’ll have a real, live contact if you have a question about admission or financial aid.

Student newspapers and activity calendars give you a sense of what campus life is really like. Check out bulletin boards to see what bands are coming to the campus, what parties are advertised, what internships are posted and generally what the day-to-day energy of the place is.

Get Ready to Decide

Ultimately, it’s your decision. Listen to your gut. Do you feel comfortable walking around campus? Do you feel at home? Do you click with the students and faculty? Is this what you imagined college to be like? Spending time on a campus helps you determine whether a college is a good fit

For more information about TeacherNI Pre-college Campus Tours Click here.


What is TNI Career Counselling (TCC)? And How are We Different?


Mr. Dhaval Mehta has over the last few years mentored hundreds of students on career options, standardised test preparation and applications and to universities in US/Canada including strategy, mentoring, shortlisting universities and coaching for standardised tests. He believes that every child who is well qualified and well motivated can apply and secure themselves a seat in prestigious universities in US/Canada. Even get a scholarship and/or some form of financial assistance.

Differentiating your skills from the crowd is KEY! That is where TCC provides the value add! We work with a student to understand their aptitude, personality, skills and motivations to build a detailed plan of action. We guide them on requirements and a holistic process for admissions! Next implementation is KEY. We are there with you every step of the way from plan creation, academic advising, mind and interest broadening, coaching for standardised tests to application guidance and management and essay assistance until you get admission into the University that best suits you!

Planning is a tedious process! And implementation even more so. But we make this journey smooth and memorable until you reach your final destination.

In addition, we have access to a network of Experienced Peers, Tutors, and Mentors who will help you achieve your goals!

If you would like to consult with us, please take a prior appointment with us at +91-7666712345 / 8425851341 or Email:

You can also attend our monthly information SEMINARS!

Seminar Registration

Seminars are conducted to provide information on various aspects of the admissions process, test preparation, potential careers, job placements and life in general in respective countries. These seminars can be for Undergraduate, Summer and Post-Graduate programs collectively or individually.

Mr. Dhaval Mehta, a Pearson Certified Counselor, tries to bring a panel of experienced alumni and mentors that will provide a holistic unbiased view. He has mentored hundreds of students to identify and implement personal and professional goals, enabling them to take a holistic academic decision with a high return on effort financially and emotionally.

Mr. Dhaval has a bachelor’s degree (Honors) from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in Computer Science and Economics and over 12 years of work experience across Investment Banking, Financial Management, Budgeting, Education Management with Fortune 500 companies. He is an active Alumni of the UMich Network and a passionate Educationist.

Register with us and reserve your space to know more on how to build your roadmap to success in the US, UK, and Canada. RSVP Tanmay at or +91-7666712345 | +91-8425851341. Mention which date and seminar you are interested in. Fees: Rs. 200/person per seminar (Accompanying Parents will be charged Rs. 100 per parent). Time: 2.30 – 4.30 pm. All Seminars are on a Saturday.

Please fill in the below details to Register! This information will remain with us for purpose of registration and to solicit business inquiry.  Every effort will be made not to share it with any third party.

Know how to become an IVY league student

ivy LEAGUE.jpg
 Below are a few things that matter!
  1. Your grades should be good. All As aren’t necessary (although be as close as you can) as long as you take the hardest coursework offered at your school.
  2. Test scores are important, but not a guarantee of rejection or acceptance. Averages for ACT for the best schools are often around 33, three points away from a perfect or 1400 on SATs.
  3. Don’t forget to take subject tests. And take them in subjects you feel comfortable in —and if you’re going to apply to engineering programs (like UPenn Engineering), do well on Math II, Chemistry, Physics, etc…APs also help a lot to show your strengths and gain credits or higher course placements.
  4. Do a sport if you can. Why not? This can show leadership, time management—and Ivy leagues want a diverse and fit student body, of course.
  5. Be exceptional in something. It may be big (i.e. National Science Fair Winner) or “small” (club founder, church leader, organist, passionate volunteer). Whatever you do, do what you love, and do it well.
  6. Write, write, write! Don’t forget that college essays are an integral part of the process. Practice writing, and read to improve your skills, too.
  7. Participate in some summer programs and/or internships or jobs. Working is not looked down upon. Do whatever you can afford, and do what makes you happy and relatable to the field you’d like to study at an Ivy League.
Join Us at The Garage on the following dates to learn more about how best to optimise your test preparation! RSVP Tanmay/Naveeda at or +91-7666712345. Fees: Rs. 300 per person/seminar applicable. Time: 2.30 – 4.30 pm

10th June – PSAT, SAT, ACT (How Standardized Tests Actually Affect Your College Application)

17th June – Overview on Applications to US/Canada Universities (For Undergraduate + Summer + Masters)

24th June – Why the need for Advance Placement Test (APs) (IB, ICSE, CBSE students how the boards stack up)

Unlock Your Brilliance by registering yourself here.