7 Important Traveling Tips When Traveling in Russia

Do you speak Russian? No? Then take into account the following traveling tips when traveling in Russia:VisaYou will need a visa (tourist or business) to enter Russia. Embark on the formalities as soon as possible, because they may take a while.Customs declarationsWhen entering and leaving Russia, you will need to declare all goods that you bring in, respectively, carry out of the country. Personal use items, jewelry, electronics, everything must be declared.Around the countryIn order to travel around the country, you can use buses, trains, rented cars or taxis. Use only taxis with company logos on and ask for the price before starting the trip. You may also rent a car or drive your own car, in which case a road tax must be paid and speed limits of 60 km/h – on secondary roads – and 90 km/h – on major roads- must be respected.TippingUsually, hotel services charges are already included in the hotel bill. If not, a 5 to 15 per cent tip is accepted in hotels and restaurants alike.MoneyForeign currencies can be easily converted into the local national currency, the Ruble. Currently, 1 USD is worth 23.5 RUB (Russian Rubles). There are even establishments that will accept foreign currencies, especially the dollar, as such; nevertheless, traveler’s cheques are hardly accepted.WeatherIn order to avoid the Russian cold winters and rainy summers, the best periods to visit the country are from May to June and from September to October.Not toAvoid the politically unstable parts of the country that you hear about on the news; never photograph a policeman; do not throw garbage in the street; do not try to leave the country with goods you have not declared at the customs or with guns, works of art or jewelry.

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Which Property Management Supplies Are Important to Have?

If you are new to property management, it can be overwhelming to think about all of the property management supplies that you may need to purchase. To make sure that you are purchasing the right property management supplies, it is important to make sure that by purchasing them, you are making managing your property easier, more efficient, or more profitable.When most people think about property management supplies, they immediately start to think about different types of software and forms that they may need, however there are a much broader range of supplies that are bought and sold on a daily basis. Here is a quick look at some of the general categories of property management supplies and why they might be helpful to you.1. SoftwareYou cannot discuss property management supplies without discussing software. There are a wide variety of different property management software packages available, and it is important to choose one that you are comfortable with. You need to decide whether or not you want the software for internal use only, or if it will also be collecting payments from residents directly. An online property portal website has become a common way for residents to make payment online instead of having to drop of the payment at a physical location.2. MaintenanceThere are several different key areas of maintenance supplies that property managers may find useful. Excluding the actual materials that will be used to make repairs, common supplies include: door hangers (which let renters know when your maintenance person will be there, or if they have already stopped by), ready boards (to manage your staff), and work orders, which is the physical paperwork will keep things organized.3. Parking ControlIf you are managing a complex that has private parking or designated parking spaces, then you may need supplies like parking permits for vehicles or violation tickets. Along with parking control, you may need to purchase a number of traffic related signs including: interior signs, parking signs, sign posts, and even designated spot signs.4. Leasing ToolsSome people may argue that the software that property manager uses should fall into this category, however with so many different pieces of software being used, many people think that they deserve a category of their own. Additional leasing tools include items like key controls, rent collection accessories, leasing forms, and much more.5. MarketingIt doesn’t matter if you are trying to rent out one property or 100 properties, or even an entire complex of properties, you will likely need some marketing products. Some of the more common marketing property management supplies may include: balloons, bandit signs and frames, banners, flags/poles, and even full marketing kits.6. Pet ControlIf you control a complex, then there is good chance that you will need pet waste disposal supplies such as paw pal bags and paw pal stations.As you can see there is a much broader range of property management supplies than just software and some forms. Managing properties is getting more similar to managing hotels every year, which means that there is a good chance that there will be even more supplies that will be considered essential in the future. Remember, in order to justify your purchase of supplies, it should be considered essential because it: increases efficiency, increases organization, increases profitability or is required by your tenants.

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The Five Biggest Mistakes Students Make When Choosing a College

Okay, you’re a senior and getting ready to apply to colleges, but the question is which colleges? Some students begin thinking about colleges their sophomore year, but most students avoid the topic until the last minute. Remember, it’s never too late to come up with a good college list.

Unless you’re a glutton for punishment, you’ll probably apply to no more than 10 or 12 colleges. How are you going to come up with that list? Which colleges fit you are as a person and student? How do you avoid the five biggest mistakes students make in choosing colleges? Here they are:

1) Not doing any research on yourself

The place to start a college search process is determining who you are and what you need in a college. What kind of college do you want to attend? Big, medium-sized or small? Is it important for you to be in a particular kind of setting, e.g., in a city, college town or rural area? Do you want to be in an academically demanding environment and one that’s laid-back? What kind of students do you want to be with? People like you or a very diverse group, including international students?

2) Not doing research about colleges

So how do you get quality information about colleges? There are a number of ways. First, there are the excellent college guidebooks such as The Fiske Guide to Colleges, The Insider’s Guide to the Colleges and Colleges That Change Lives that provide information about colleges from a student’s perspective. You might also talk to people you trust–parents, your counselor, teachers, and students from your high school who are now at different colleges–about which colleges they recommend. Attending different college fairs where admissions representatives come to talk about their colleges is a particularly good source. And, of course, there are online resources such as the Internet college searches. From your research, come up with a list; check out what the GPA and test scores stats are for the colleges and how they match yours.

3) Being too scared to take a chance

Sometimes students underestimate their chances for college acceptance, particularly if they have a learning disability. Know that colleges are very sympathetic to students who have learning issues and often are forgiving of less than stellar grades and test scores. Students who are gifted athletes and/or have special talents sometimes don’t realize how interested colleges might be in them. Be smart in putting together your college list by applying to an equal number of Reach schools (where you have a 25% chance of being accepted), Good Chance schools (where you have a 50% or better chance of being accepted) and Pretty Sure thing schools (where you have a 75% or better chance of getting in). A good college list includes a range of college choices, but every one should be a school that you would like to attend. Finally, some students are afraid to be away from their friends, family or even their hometown. Most students usually go through some form of homesickness during their freshman year. The better you do your homework about colleges, the less chance there is of homesickness being a real issue.

4) Being too arrogant

Some students who have stellar academic records and strong test scores confine themselves to applying to a handful of the most selective colleges. They leave Good Chance and Pretty Sure Thing schools off their lists. This is a big mistake and a kind of admissions arrogance or naïveté. There are plenty of documented cases where 4.5 GPA/2340 test score applicants are turned down by colleges. Colleges and universities are very idiosyncratic in terms of whom they choose. Therefore, it’s really important that you select a series of schools that offer the characteristics you want, including some that may not be highly selective. The worse outcome is to wind up not being accepted to any of the colleges that you applied to because all of them were Reaches. With careful planning, that doesn’t need to happen.

5) Being too Lazy

Applying to colleges these days is not easy. It takes a good deal of research to determine how your personal characteristics and individual colleges match. After you have a good college list, you need to spend time completing the applications in a way that maximizes your opportunities. Keep in mind that college applications that are a little better and a little different than the competition’s are the ones that end up being the most successful.

Finding which colleges to apply to can seem like an overwhelming task. By avoiding the five biggest mistakes you can increase the chances of having many colleges accept you.

Copyright (c) 2010 Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz

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