The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge influence on the economies of many countries, so much so that the current financial score of many brands now wears a new look, significantly different from what it was in the last fiscal year. The stock market seems to be running on pins and needles, with trades and businesses no longer in full swing as they used to be.

While some brands hit a new low during this period, others have been at the tailwind of the robust stock market, hitting astronomical figures in profits. To determine how well or not businesses have adjusted to the whims and caprices of the coronavirus pandemic, we have organized a study based on some industrial and retail giants.

This case study, based on fifty (50) large companies that maintained a market capitalization of over USD $10 billion before the pandemic highlights what areas of the economy were most hit, and which of these industries managed to stay afloat regardless. It also discusses whether the current state of the economy is only temporary or whether brands should prepare for a new normal.

For the purpose of this study, it is assumed that these companies started feeling the influence of the coronavirus pandemic on January 30, 2020, when the World Health Organization (WHO) announced Covid-19 as a global health emergency.

The Rise and Fall of Global Business Empires

A temporary phase? Yes? No? Whatever the case, it is difficult to ignore the fact that the modifications major commercial players are making on their business models are going to affect the world economy significantly.

Worthy of note is that most of the companies that have prospered during the pandemic have American and Chinese roots. Coincidentally, many big players in the US are also bearing the brunt of the pandemic, recording meager profits; and some of them, even losses.

Companies thriving during the covid-19 pandemic


In what is turning out to be a dismal year for many, certain technological giants have somehow flourished, plausibly due to the types of services and products they provide.

Even with governments imposing lockdown measures and ordering citizens to stay indoors, companies like Apple, Amazon, Facebook, PayPal, T-Mobile, and Alibaba have still managed to pull through the pandemic with ease, registering significant growth in the process, with the potential to maintain their high capitalization values even past the crisis.

According to the study, Zoom Video Communications Inc has enjoyed the largest increase in market capitalization, more than twice that of Tesla in second place. Interestingly, this number is still on the rise.

However, it remains to be seen if this trend will continue or there is a potential dip in market capitalization percentage lurking around for Zoom.[1] Eric Yuan, the CEO and founder of Zoom, has been touted as one of the best business leaders during the pandemic.

Tesla INC also received a major boost in market capitalization. A major contribution to the sudden spike was an announcement about a stock split made on August 11, 2020. Since doubling the number of shares doesn’t necessarily translate to an increase in earnings, the evolution for the next period is uncertain.

NVIDIA Corporation, Pinduoduo INC, Shopify, Meituan Dianping, and DocuSign Inc, as well as the United Parcel Service, all had a decent increase in market capitalization, and are likely to keep that score steady for a longer-term compared to others on the list.

Online shopping and deliveries became essential during the lockdown, but it remains to be seen whether people will choose to do a significant part of their shopping this way in the post-pandemic period, or simply hurry back to brick-and-mortar stores as soon as the situation allows.

Another category of companies are those without any significant rise in market capitalization, but with the potential to maintain steady numbers or grow steadily considering their well-established market presence and strong consumer base. Among them are Tencent, Netflix, Adobe Inc, Thermo Fisher, Target, Costco Wholesale Corporation, Lululemon, Qualcomm, RingCentral Inc.

As for businesses like Abbvie INC and Danaher, the public response would become a huge factor in whether the rising trajectory will continue or dip in the near future. At this point, it is hard to tell which would be the case.

Big Companies hit hard by the covid-19 pandemic


Taking a look at percentage drops, it’s not so difficult to spot Occidental Petroleum Corporation with the biggest slump in market capitalization, a whopping 74% drop. The oil-producing giant is struggling to move forward, after repeatedly slashing its budget to avoid accumulating massive debts it could potentially incur due to the oil price crisis.

The Boeing Company is not left out either, placed only a few points shy off Occidental Petroleum Corporation. Between the efforts to bring back the Boeing 737 Max and the headache in solving the manufacturing issues of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner against a gloomy backdrop in the whole airliner industry this year, it’s hard to say what 2021 will bring for this aerospace and defense giant.

Exxon Mobil Corporation is also on the other end of the spectrum, showing a significant drop in market capitalization by USD. In retrospect, it’s not the company’s first severe hit, and the fact that it’s managed to bounce back indicates its resilience to possibly rebound once the current climate starts to clear away.

Numerous industrial and retail giants suffered huge drops of around 30-50% in market capitalization during the coronavirus crisis. Big corporations like EOG Resources, Wells Fargo & Co, Royal Dutch Shell (in the Netherlands), B.P. p.l.c. (in the U.K.), United Airlines Holdings Inc, American Airlines Group, Delta Air Lines, Kinder Morgan have declined by between 40 and 50%.

Others like Citigroup, Wynn Resorts, Equity Residential, Host Hotels & Resorts, Raytheon Technologies Corporation, Marriott International, Inc., Chevron Corporation, and MGM Resorts all saw a dip in their market capitalization by about 30 and 40 percent.

How A Shift in Consumer Habits Plunged Some Brands Into The Doldrums

The coronavirus pandemic was not only a health crisis but a black swan event that exposed the vulnerabilities of many companies and industries. Most of these companies were unable to cope with the shift in consumer habits, and not even clutch decisions by their management could save their faces. In one clean sweep, these industries lost a large fraction of their customers because they were unable to cater to the new needs of their customers.

This shift in consumer habits no doubt dealt a huge blow to some industries while ordering some others to the forefront of things. The response of these businesses to the change in consumer habits is what separates those that flourished in this period from those who were hit hard by the crisis.

The tables below are a pictorial representation of how the response to a change in consumer habits split these fifty successful commercial giants into two halves. One half represents those who adjusted their markets to accommodate the new demands and are hence ahead of the curve while the other highlights brands who couldn’t get a favorable market share because of the change in demand.

Commercial giants thriving in Covid-19


Commercial giants hit hard by covid-19

From the tables, we can deduce that:

  • Companies in the consumer cyclical and tech industries saw the most increase in market capitalization.
  • Most of the companies in the oil and gas industry saw a sharp drop in their market capitalization
  • Occidental Petroleum Corporation was the biggest loser (74%) in danger of collapsing at this rate.

Connecting with the change in consumer habits

The coronavirus crisis made a lot of companies reevaluate their business models. As the tables show, those who couldn’t connect with this change in consumer habits are those on the red side of the spectrum while the greener half of the table houses either companies that this shift in demand favored or those that diversified to accommodate the needs of the consumers.

Were some companies naturally favored by this shift in demand?

Yes, Some companies were naturally favored by this shift in consumer habits. Prime examples are Netflix and PayPal. Since these brands are internet-based, movement restrictions and border closures couldn’t affect their revenue or market capitalization negatively.

Since most workflows were restricted to online communications, companies that promoted online classes and video communications were bound to do well. Zoom, in particular, took the opportunity by the scruff of its neck and established itself as the best video communications software to be used for collaboration by work teams.

This was also the case for RingCentral. Their online meeting tool helped fill the blanks for work teams who worked remotely. For many was a more practical medium for transmitting urgent messages to other members of a project team.

The market capitalization of software companies like DocuSign and Adobe was also on the rise for the same reasons as RingCentral and Zoom. Using these platforms, members of a work team can collaborate better, sign documents online, and fax these documents to other signatories.

There were also significant jumps in market capitalization for medical suppliers, drug manufacturers, and research companies, boosted by funds from governments who are going all out in search of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Companies that failed to accommodate these changes in consumer habits

Some companies in the oil and gas industry as well as the traveling sector could hardly survive the crisis because of the kinds of products they produce. They also couldn’t modify their modus operandi to accommodate systems that can help bolster their revenue.

Revenues in the oil and gas industry were downed by a significant change owing to a reduction in production and the current oil price crisis. Oil companies like Occidental Petroleum Corporation were the biggest victims. The oil giant is now wallowing so deep in the mud that they can potentially crash soon.

Traveling and accommodation services also suffered a huge hit. Airlines like The Boeing Company and American Airlines Group and hotel owners like Marriott International, Inc., were not spared either because of the sudden drop in demand.

Could diversification have helped these companies?

There are a few companies like Amazon that could have been held back by border restrictions but had diversified into other niches, making it easy to score a higher market capitalization value even in the face of the crisis. The e-commerce titan had earlier delved into hardware, payments, media, and data storage, and was, therefore, in the right conditions to flourish even when COVID-19 came knocking.

Amazon Prime video did pretty fine, rivaling Netflix for sales. The commerce sector of the brand didn’t do badly either as the company focused on shipping essentials and groceries. This however came at a cost. The e-commerce giant championed by Jeff Bezos added 175,000 new employees to its existing workforce to handle demand in the period.

The Biggest Growths In Value During The Coronavirus Crisis

For a few major companies, the current context has proven extremely beneficial, and they registered a significant profit. Here are the Top 5 Highest Expansions in Market Capitalization in 2020:

Fastest growing tech giants during covid-19

Of all the fast-growing companies during the COVID pandemic, Zoom Video Communications Inc made the most impressive progress. Offering a video communication platform, it provided exactly what people needed during this troubled period: a medium for face-to-face communication and organizing meetings for people from different locations in a single video meeting.

Founded in 2011 by Eric S. Yuan with the headquarters at San Jose, CA, the company found the path to success by focusing on the cloud architecture and using a highly efficient marketing strategy focused on what the market demanded. All of these paired with strong and efficient customer support helped Zoom top the chart.[2]

Tesla is another winner – in terms of market capitalization – during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, theirs is a peculiar situation as earlier highlighted. The decision to approve a five-for-one split in the soaring stock this year contributed to the sudden rise in market cap.[3] Still, Tesla will go into the record books as the auto manufacturer with the highest market value, despite being well behind its competitors when it comes to sales figures.

DocuSign Inc is in third place with an increase in market cap of 169%. In this case, the rise is justified since the company offers services that have become crucial for the business world during the pandemic. Electronically signing documents and handling business deals online is the new trend, but it’s not just companies that benefit from these services. Individuals also need to store information and sign documents online safely. Founded in 2003, DocuSign is one of the companies that may maintain steady growth in the following period.[4]

Pinduoduo INC is no doubt one of the world’s biggest commercial brands. Their market capitalization during the Covid-19 crisis is well justified given their area, experience, and customer loyalty. The e-commerce platform not only offers competitive prices but also has a group buys policy, making their prices hard to beat. Like David Liu, the vice president of strategy said in an interview[5], ‘e-commerce actually played a big part in supporting and stabilizing’ people’s lives.

Meituan Dianping is another major shopping platform in China, focusing on locally found products and services. They have been on the market since 2010, and are on the mission to become the untouchables in service delivery just like Amazon is with products. Customers who use their apps and websites, depending on the services they need get deals and vouchers. [6] Number five on our list, Meituan Dianping, is also doing quite well, meeting and surpassing their financial projections.

Post-Pandemic Previsions – How Will the Market Change?

Making projections and developing programs and models to help the economy bounce back is no doubt going to be a tall order for governments and companies worldwide. It is still difficult to see which way the market will go when the crisis is over. As far as authorities are concerned, the main lesson learned is that there is a need to strengthen the sectors that were exposed as frail by the coronavirus pandemic.

As for the 50 major players that we included in this study, it is still difficult to predict what their situation on the market will be in the post-pandemic world. We would probably see some of the companies now recording huge profits start a slowly descending curve once things begin to settle down.

Some spikes in market caps we have seen are impossible to maintain, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a sudden drop in those figures as well. Some of these giants are building up new loyal clientele during this challenging time, and are likely to maintain a good position on the market in the future.

As far as the industrial and commercial giants are concerned, their future may be determined by the strength and resources they have to help them scale through the crisis unscathed. For the most part, the big drops in market capitalization are related to the sudden decrease in market demand. If that be the case, these companies are likely to bounce back once the lockdown restrictions are lifted. But for those that are currently facing severe drops, it’s already a matter of survival.

The Covid-19 pandemic has surely created a shift in the way customers see certain services. People and companies have discovered that many operations can be conducted online, and they may want to restructure their activity even after things come back to normal. The progression into a new normal may reflect on the economy and we are poised to see a corresponding adjustment in market capitalizations.


  1. “Zoom rides pandemic to another quarter of explosive growth.” Liedtke, Michael CBC Sep 01, 2020
  2. “Mercury Systems, Zoom And DocuSign CEOs Are Among The Highest-Rated Business Leaders During The Covid-19 Crisis.” Stoller, Kristin Forbes Sep 16, 2020
  3. “Tesla Announces 5-for-1 Stock Split.” Tesla Announces 5-for-1 Stock Split. The New York Times. Aug 11, 2020
  4. “DocuSign (DOCU).” DocuSign (DOCU). Forbes. Retrieved Sep 22, 2020
  5. “Pinduoduo Inc.” Bloomberg. Retrieved Sep 22, 2020
  6. “Meituan-Dianping” Wikipedia. Retrieved Sep 22, 2020

This article was originally published at

Featured Image Credits: Pixabay

For years (and we mean many years), the ocean helped us mitigate the early effects of human emissions by absorbing greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide and heat, from the atmosphere. As a result, more than 90 percent of the warming that happened on Earth between 1971 and 2010 occurred in the ocean. A selfless act by Mother Nature, but it’s catching up to us. Climate change, which describes long-term changes to temperature and typical weather, is accelerating at an alarming pace—and the impacts are hard to ignore. Let’s take a look at some changes to our ocean.

3 Ways Climate Change Affects Our Ocean 

Rising sea levels

Sea levels are rising at the fastest rate in 3,000 years. From 2018 to 2019, the global sea level rose to 6.1 millimeters. Sure, a few millimeters doesn’t sound like a lot, until you hear that the average, since 1993, has been 3.2 millimeters per year. That means that last year we doubled the global average from the past twenty years! The same report shares that the U.S. East Coast’s average is actually three to four times the global average. The ocean is rising, and it’s rising fast.

The two major causes are thermal expansion (warm water expands), and melting glaciers and ice sheets. Why should we care? Rising sea levels increase the amount and severity of floods and shoreline erosion. It may also destroy wildlife habitats on the shoreline, interfere with coastal farming, and contaminate potable water sources. 

Ocean acidification

Ocean acidification is a chemical imbalance that stems from large amounts of carbon dioxide. Put simply, it increases the concentration of hydrogen ions and reduces the number of carbonate ions. Shellfish and other sea life rely on carbonate ions to grow their shells and thrive. But with fewer carbonate ions, shells become thin and brittle, growth slows down, and death rates increase. Since the Industrial Revolution, ocean acidity has increased by 30%. With large shellfish die-offs, the whole marine food chain is affected—not the best news for the multi-billion dollar fishing industry. 

Extreme weather events

With more heat in the atmosphere and warmer ocean surface temperatures, the world is experiencing an increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events. For example, research suggests that the number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes—characterized by higher wind speeds and more precipitation—is steadily increasing. To make matters worse, sea-level rise and a growing population along coastlines will exacerbate their impact. We’re predicting that coastal engineers and planners will be busy in the coming years. 

Mitigating These Effects With Data

As demonstrated above, after years of emitting greenhouse gases, the effects of climate change are very evident. It’s time to collectively mitigate and reduce our carbon footprint. 

We’re going to come out and just say it—we believe it starts with better data. 

The current scale, pace, and practice of ocean scientific discovery and observation are not keeping up with the changes in ocean and human conditions. Current data is siloed and inaccessible—hindering a unified knowledge base for strategies and policymaking. 

Here are some ways that data needs to improve:

Affordability: According to the Global Ocean Science Report (compiled by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission) ocean research is currently led by a small number of industrialized countries. Why? Because they can afford investments in data technology. Many coastal nations are not involved in building this knowledge base simply because they can’t afford the tools. Research is expensive.

By providing real-time information in actionable forms, this technology is incredibly useful for driving innovation. In order to accelerate the co-creation of knowledge and strategies, these tools need to be accessible to developing countries as well. Affordability and accessibility is the driving force behind Sofar Ocean’s Spotter buoys, which you can read more about here. 

Open data sharing: A major stumbling block to universal data synthesis is ownership. Government agencies, research, and private companies are all key players in ocean data collection and management, keeping these insights locked away for their own specific purposes. 

Data tagging, federated data networks, and data lakes should be combined to create a new era of open and automated ocean data access. Governments can lead the way by declassifying and sharing data that are relevant to ocean science and management. They can also incentivize companies and researchers to share data by making it a condition for access to public resources, such as funding for ocean research, permits for coastal development, or licenses for oil exploration or fishing.

Making Waves Requires Momentum

A molecule of CO2 emitted in India or China has the same effect on the climate system as a molecule emitted in the United States. No matter where we are, climate change affects us all the same. 

Transformative changes require a unified approach. And we believe that starts with data.

This article by Ayesha Renyard was originally published at

About Sofarocean:

Our oceans cover over 70% of our planet’s surface, drive our climate system, and over 90% of the world’s trade is carried by sea. Our ocean environment affects us every day, through weather, the food we eat, and the stuff we use. Yet, ocean data is exceedingly sparse, and we know more about the surface of the moon than the waters surrounding us. Distributed sensing has revolutionized digitizing on land and from space. Ocean’s are next.

Our goal is to create a data-abundant ocean and provide critical insights into science, society, and industries. As a first step, we deploy and grow the world’s largest real-time ocean weather sensor network which provides the most accurate marine weather information and forecasts to power industry-specific solutions.

We believe that more and better ocean data will contribute to a greater understanding of our environment, better decisions, improved business outcomes, and ultimately contribute to a more sustainable planet.

Featured Image Credits: Pixabay

  • What are the signs and symptoms of imposter syndrome?
  • How do we deal with unrealistic expectations and feelings of self-doubt?
  • Learn what to look out for and how to break the cycle!
How to deal with imposter syndrome

“I don’t belong here”

In 2009 Taylor Swift entered the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) to accept her award for Best Female Video. A few moments into her acceptance speech, Kanye West famously interrupted her, stating that the award should have gone to Beyoncé.

A seemingly choked and confused Taylor Swift stopped her speech, as the crowd started booing Kanye. In the 2020 Taylor Swift Netflix documentary, Miss Americana, Swift describes the feeling that she did not belong on that stage.

This stands in contrast to the fact that the previous year her album sold 7 million copies worldwide, and her 2009 album Fearless was the bestselling album in the US that year and sold about 12 million copies worldwide.

Clearly, she, if anyone, belonged on that stage.


What is it that makes a platinum-selling artist doubt their right to success? It could be a case of imposter syndrome. The imposter syndrome (sometimes referred to as imposter phenomenon, or imposter feelings) was first described in 1978, by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne A. Imes in the article The Imposter Phenomenon in High Achieving Women.

In their study, they talked to over 170 women in the academic world, all with one thing in common – that despite their success, degrees, and professional recognition, they did not feel successful. They felt like frauds.

People who experience this are unable to accept their success and often explain their success with factors outside of their control, like luck, instead of actual ability. As a consequence of this, they expect to be exposed as frauds, or imposters, at any time.


Imposter syndrome is not yet a clinical diagnosis and does not appear in the main diagnostic manuals like DSM-5 or ICD-10. According to research (Leary et al., 2000, p. 747), however, imposter syndrome has certain specific key characteristics:

  • The feeling of being a fraud: The person feels like they are faking their abilities, or that other people are wrongly assuming they have the right abilities for the task at hand.
  • Fear of being exposed: The person expects others to find out about the “fraud” at any time, and that they will be exposed as a fraud.
  • Trouble owning up to success: Any success is discredited or attributed to external factors as luck, instead of being attributed to personal qualities and behaviors.


How to deal with imposter syndrome

Clance (1985) outlined the dynamics at work in the imposter phenomenon with the Imposter Cycle. The model describes how the perception of oneself as an imposter is maintained, even in the face of great success.

Here’s how Clance’s Imposter Cycle works:

    1. The person gets assigned, or starts, a new task or project.
    2. Symptoms of anxiety emerge.
    3. The anxiety is managed by over-preparation or procrastination (avoidance) followed by intense preparation.
    4. Upon completion, there is a feeling of relief.
    5. Positive feedback is disregarded since success is not seen as a reflection of ability. It was rather related to luck or hard work, and if you needed to work that hard you can’t be that competent in the first place.
    6. The feeling of being imposter increases, as does anxiety and possible depressive symptoms.

And the cycle continues…

In a recent systematic review, which included over 60 studies with a total of over 14 000 participants, one conclusion was that imposter syndrome could impair job performance. Imposter syndrome was also linked to depression, anxiety, burnout, and job dissatisfaction (Bravata et al., 2019, p. 1262).

So, the problem with imposter syndrome is the anxiety, depression, and psychological discomfort it creates. It also makes it hard to properly enjoy any successes you have. It may also lead to you not taking on any new projects, so you don’t have to experience any discomfort, or even worse, be exposed as a “fraud”.


So now that we know more about imposter syndrome, and what makes it prevail even in the face of great success, what can we do about it?

The authors conclude that to date there are no specified treatments for imposter syndrome. But since there is a strong link to anxiety and depression, it’s important to identify individuals in need of treatment for those specific diagnoses (Bravata et al., 2019, p. 1262).

Even though imposter syndrome is not a formal diagnosis and lacks specific treatment recommendations, there are some useful strategies reported in the available science on the subject:


In a recent study, looking at the self-reported efficiency of different ways of managing imposter feelings, collegial support, and mentoring is perceived as an effective strategy (Barr-Walker, Werner, Kellermeyer, & Bass, 2020).

This is further supported by studies (Bravata et al., 2019, p. 1262, Matthews & Clance, 1985) that report people experiencing imposter feelings often think they are the only one who feels this way, which increases feelings of isolation.

Talking with others about imposter feelings breaks the isolation. It is a well known and established belief that increased social support is important for coping with the negative effects of stress (Uchino, 2009).

So maybe you can find a friendly online community of like-minded people where you can discuss these feelings (a particular Hive comes to mind…).

Dealing with imposter syndrome

Reach out. Talking with others about imposter feelings breaks the isolation.


People with imposter feelings tend to tone down their accomplishments and abilities and enlarge perceived failures.

Training yourself to put the magnifying glass on the good things others have said about your work, or the things you did really well, is also an often-recommended way of dealing with imposter feelings (Barr-Walker, Werner, Kellermeyer, & Bass, 2020).

After all, habitually turning your attention to perceived mistakes will probably give you a distorted view of reality.

(For more on this, check out my article Battling Cognitive Distortions As A Music Teacher – A Psychologist’s Take)


People experiencing imposter feelings tend to attribute their success to external factors as luck.

They also often think that if they were actually talented, they wouldn’t have to work so hard (Bravata et al., 2019, p. 1262).

So if this is relatable for you, try to cope with these feelings by redefining and reframing your definition of success by using this type of thinking:

  • Successful people work hard for it.
  • Successful people make their own luck.

The meaning you give to words, and how you define different concepts, affect your thinking in ways that are not always helpful.


In summary, imposter feelings can negatively impact your quality of life, and in the worst-case scenario can lead to depression and anxiety. You should be able to enjoy your success, however big or small. Hopefully, this editorial can be of some help to you on your way!

If you want to read further about this issue, I’ve referenced my sources for this article below.


  • Bravata, D. M., Watts, S. A., Keefer, A. L., Madhusudhan, D. K., Taylor, K. T., Clark, D. M., Nelson, R. S., Cokley, K. O., & Hagg, H. K. (2019) Prevalence, Predictors, and Treatment of Impostor Syndrome: a Systematic Review. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 35(4), 1252–1275. <>
  • Clance, P.R., & Imes, S.A. (1978) The Imposter Phenomenon in High Achieving Women: Dynamics and Therapeutic Intervention, Psychotherapy, 15, 241-247.
  • Clance, P. R. (1985) The Impostor Phenomenon: Overcoming the fear that haunts your success. Atlanta, GA: Peachtree.
  • Leary, M. R., Patton, K. M., Orlando, A. E., & Wagoner Funk, W. (2000) The Impostor Phenomenon: Self- Perceptions, Reflected Appraisals, and Interpersonal Strategies. Journal of Personality, 68(4), 725–756. <>
  • Matthews, G., & Clance, P. R. (1985) Treatment of the Impostor Phenomenon in Psychotherapy Clients. Psychotherapy in Private Practice, 3(1), 71-81. doi:10.1300/j294v03n01_09
  • Uchino, B. N. (2009) Understanding the Links Between Social Support and Physical Health: A Life-Span Perspective With Emphasis on the Separability of Perceived and Received Support. Perspectives on Psychological Science,4(3), 236-255. doi:10.1111/j.1745-6924.2009.01122.x

This article by Ricard Magnusson was originally published at

About the Author:

Ricard is a Swedish music producer and licensed psychologist with a Masters Of Science in Psychology, awarded by the University of Umeå, Sweden. He has been practicing as a professional psychologist for the last 10 years. Ricard also makes music under the artist name Wheel. He has made music for adverts (Swedish supercar manufacturer Koenigsegg among others), done remix work for high-profile artists like Barry Adamson, and also produces his own material.

Ricard his social media channels: Facebook, Instagram

Featured Image Credits: Pixabay

My flight was delayed 6 years ago. Back then, I had no idea that I could get compensated for that. Can I still get a compensation for that flight delay?

This is what many passengers who have only recently been made aware of their air passenger rights wonder.

Well, yes, you can probably still claim your cancelled or delayed flight compensation – but there is a time limit. How far back you can claim varies from one country to the next.

If your flight was cancelled or delayed by at least 3 hours, you can get up to 600€ in compensation from the airline. Check if you’re eligible by filling out your flight information here – it takes only 3 minutes!

You might get compensation for that old flight delay after all!

How Far Back Can I Claim Compensation In Each Country?

So you can claim for flight disruptions which happened years ago. But how many years exactly?

The time-limit depends on the legislation of the country you bring the claim to.

Here is an extensive list of countries in Europe, with how far back you can claim for each of them:

As you can see, there is no harmonization at the European level: each country has their own legislation on the matter.

For instance, in France, you can claim up to 5 years after the flight – but only 3 years in Germany and 3 in Italy. But you can still claim up to 6 years after the flight disruption in the United Kingdom.

However, keep in mind that to this day, no passengers on a flight disrupted over 6 years before got compensated. Even though it is possible, in theory.

Flight Compensation

Image Credits

In which country should you claim compensation?

If you let ClaimCompass do all the work for you, then you don’t need to worry about that. Our legal experts will get in touch with the airline and the appropriate legal body.

Submit your claim now, it takes less than 3 minutes!

Now, if you decide to take the matter in your own hands, I suggest you first read this guide on flight delay compensation or this one on compensation for cancelled flight. They’re packed with everything you need to know about flight disruptions and how to claim compensation.

Should you need to escalate your claim to a legal body such as a National Enforcement Body (NEB) or an Alternative Resolution Dispute (ADR) scheme, know that you can bring the case to the country of the departure airport or the arrival airport.

Whenever you have a choice, contact the legal body of the country where the legislation is most favorable to you: for example, in the case of a flight between the UK and Germany, contact the British NEB, since their statute of limitation is 6 years, versus 3 for Germany.

Can I Claim if My Flight Wasn’t in Europe?

When the EU Regulation 261/2004 isn’t applicable, can you still get money for your delayed, cancelled, or overbooked flight?

For international flights, the Montreal Convention acts as reference for your passenger rights – and it sets a time limit of 2 years to claim:

“The right to damages shall be extinguished if an action is not brought within a period of two years, reckoned from the date of arrival at the destination, or from the date on which the aircraft ought to have arrived, or from the date on which the carriage stopped” – Article 35, Montreal Convention

When the EC 261 isn’t applicable, you can still hope to be compensated under the Montreal Convention. Do not, however, that the time limit is shorter than in most European countries.

Plus, keep in mind that with the Montreal Convention, you are “only” eligible to compensation for damages incurred by the flight disruption. “Just” being delayed isn’t enough for you to get any money from the airline.

Whenever you have the choice, claim compensation under the EU Regulation instead.

This article by Thomas Busson was originally published on ClaimCompass

About the Author:

Thomas Busson is the SEO and Content Strategist at ClaimCompass. Frequent traveller, he loves sharing tips and news about the industry in a simple way.

Featured Image Credits: Pixabay

Editor’s note: This article is part of our Meaningful Travel Forecast series and official travel report for 2019. ☆ Why not open up doors for yourself? From accessing new job opportunities to making new connections to exploring travel opportunities, give yourself the gift that keeps on giving by learning a foreign language abroad. Not to mention the fun you’ll have from visiting landmarks, experiencing adventurous activities, and trying delicious dishes! Whether you’re interested in learning a romance language, a European language, or an Eastern language, you’ll be expanding your global perspectives in a meaningful way.

Foreign Language

Read the GoAbroad Official Report on the 10 Best Foreign Languages to Learn Abroad in 2019

1. Spanish

Ziplining over the rainforests in Costa Rica, oohing and awing at Machu Picchu, and sunbathing on the sun-kissed coasts of Spain — that could be you while learning Spanish! With Spanish being the second most commonly spoken language in the world and valuable to business deals, it’s a top pick for the most demanded foreign language to learn. While learning any language can be difficult, language experts rank Spanish as one of the easiest languages to pick up for English learners. ¡Chévere!

With intense, immersive studying, you’re well on you way to being able to speak to anyone in the world. Programs offer short-term or long-term sessions, but six months is recommended. Spanish language programs are available for all ages, for private or group sessions, and at language institutes, camps, homestays, or universities. Learn the tango, eat tropical fruits at the markets, or volunteer with children, all while gaining Spanish acquisition.

2. French

From Canada to France to Switzerland to Morocco, a variety of immersive settings are available to study up on the language of fashion, philosophy, and romance. More than 220 million people speak French, and as the language of international relations, you’ll have that je ne sais pas factor that companies are looking for. Program variations include summer language camps, homestay programs, and intense language courses at a university or institute.

Durations range from 4 weeks to a year or more, but long-term programs will provide you the most value for higher language acquisition. Most programs offer private lessons, group lessons, or you could choose hands-on experiential settings by volunteering, interning, or working. Even better — surfing the coasts, playing soccer, or touring art galleries as part of the program will help give your brain a break while inheriting the language. Ooh la la!

An immersive language experience in France is highly valuable to young people today, as more than 220 million people speak French on five continents. After English, French comes in second as the most widely learned foreign language. Speaking both French & English is a great advantage in the international job market. —Jennifer Wright, SAI

3. Japanese

Japanese might not spring to mind when you think of one of the best language to learn abroad, but with over 125 million speakers, and Japan being a strong economic force in science and technology, knowing Japanese comes in handy. An array of Japanese program options are available from language institutions to private tutors to homestay placements and more. Many programs offer cultural excursions, internships to gain work experience, and even language exchange partners.

Tokyo offers students an immersive experience with a standard dialect and modern skyscrapers, but rural areas on the islands offer a small-town feel with friendly people and beautiful surroundings. Six week courses are the most common. However, Japanese challenges students with its characters and script, so longer programs will benefit learners the most. Learn how to create sushi, try on a kimono, wave to Hello Kitty, and practice your favorite karaoke tunes by learning Japanese abroad!

4. Italian

Italian — the language of Romeo and Juliet, classical music, fashion and art, culinary dishes, and top economic brands. With thousands of American firms doing business with Italians, you can’t go wrong with this Romance language. Italian is more difficult to learn than Spanish, but the mostly phonetic sounds and verb tenses resembling English will make it easier to pick up with lots of practice. You’ll most likely tap into a side you didn’t know existed with Italian’s expressie nonverbal gestures as well!

Italian semester study abroad, summer programs, language institutes, and homestay placements are the most common types of programs available. Italian cities for studying are popular, but you could study in Sicily or Switzerland for a different take at one of its world language schools. Whether you’re a teenager or a senior citizen, programs cater to many different audiences. Explore the Pantheon, visit the vineyards, and sip on a cappuccino with an Italian program!

5. Mandarin

China will soon outrank the United States in GDP with its powerful economic goods and numerous goods. If you’re looking for which foreign language has more job opportunities, Mandarin displays itself as one of the best language to learn. After English, it’s the most demanded foreign language thanks to its 1 billion speakers. 哇 (Wow!). If the mainland of China isn’t your cup of green tea, the beautiful lands of Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong also offer exciting Mandarin language learning experiences.

With Mandarin being one of the most challenging languages to learn, it’s best to select a long-term program to learn the thousands of characters and tough pronunciation. However, short-term express programs are available for those on the go. Depending on your goals, you could take business Mandarin courses, earn a degree while learning Mandarin abroad, live with a host family as an au pair, or take private or group courses at language institutions. Experience the Eastern culture while learning Mandarin!

6. Portuguese

Knowing Portuguese will give you a leg up in science, education, trade, and diplomacy. Brazil boasts the largest economic market in Latin America, and with English not being common among them, you’ll get further with Portuguese. Plus, Portuguese is basically a cousin of Spanish, and it’s a good base to learn other Romance languages. While easier among most languages, it’s still água pela barba (takes work) and long-term programs are more advantageous.

From Portugal to Brazil to Mozambique, all three offer language schools abroad, various dialects, and ocean breezes while picking up the poetic language among the locals. Language schools, university courses, and immersion programs are the most common types, and they’re usually flexible and customizable with cultural tours and hands-on learning. Other choices include homestay programs and ESL teaching with language learning. Learn the moves of capoeira, SCUBA dive into coral landscapes, and explore colonial architecture with a Portuguese language program abroad.

7. Arabic

Arabic is another best language to learn that answers the question: Which foreign language offers the most job opportunities? If you’re interested in diplomacy, intelligence, refugee work, or business opportunities in general, Arabic wears the gauntlet for the most potential. With Arabic language schools abroad available in northern Africa, the middle East and southwest Asia, you’ll discover a variety of options. Learn Arabic among the pyramids in Egypt, the ornate mosques in Morocco, or the holy sites in Palestine.

With Arabic having dozens of dialects, right-to-left script, and little in common with English, it’s a challenge to learn, so be sure to find a program that offers Modern Standard Arabic to cover your bases. While short-term programs are an option and summer courses are available, long-term programs are recommended to grasp Arabic’s nuances. Language institutes, universities, and private homestay programs are all among your pick as well.

Imagine learning a foreign language that’s so important it practically guarantees future success. Arabic is spoken by over 300 million people globally in more than twenty Arabic speaking countries on the planet. So if you’re considering living abroad, Arabic fluency means plenty of super cool places to choose from in 2019.—Kaylan Reid Shipanga,

9 Affordable Ways to Learn Arabic Abroad

8. Korean

A big player in the economic world and global affairs, knowing Korean will give you an edge in the job market. The foreign symbols may look difficult, but you can learn the Korean Hangeul alphabet in a mere couple hours. The pronunciation is straightforward and with no gender nouns nor intonations, Korean is an attainable language to learn. Korea is the best place to learn the language, especially with its stunning shrines, temples, and coasts.

Koreans are generally friendly and eager to exchange languages with you, so grab a hold of those opportunities. Seasonal immersion programs, language schools, private homestay programs, and university courses provide you with intense instruction in an immersive environment. While Korean has some easy aspects to it, learning Korean may take some time and long-term programs of more than a few months will benefit you the most. Dance to some K-pop music, learn to make kimchi, and take a 셀카 (selfie) at Jeju Island!

9. German

You can’t go wrong learning the language of arts and music in Germany, Switzerland, or Austria — just keep in mind the various dialects and stay true to practicing German among native speakers. Germany boasts the largest economy in the European Union and with more than 100 million speakers, it’s no wonder it’s one of the best foreign language to learn. Program duration options vary from a week to more than a year, but six months is recommended to be proficient thanks to English being a Germanic language.

From the gorgeous castles to the countryside villages to the sweeping alps, the surroundings offer stunning views. University courses and language schools are the most common, but homestay placements, short-term camps, and exchange programs are also available. The common local festivals, foods, and fun will give you a chance to practice German among the locals on a regular basis. Prost!

As my old camp counselor used to say: Monolingualism can be cured!—Megan Lee, Meaningful Traveler & International Educator

10. Russian

The Russian economy continues to grow each year and knowing Russian will provide you with an advantage in business and global affairs. As the eighth most common language in the world, you’ll most likely meet people who speak Russian everywhere you travel. Not only that, but many countries in Eastern Europe and central Asia also speak Russian! The Cyrillic script and grammar case system makes Russian more difficult to learn than other languages, but hey, В час по чайной ложке (one teaspoon at a time).

Most programs take place in Moscow or St. Petersburg, but Ukraine and Latvia are also popular options. Homestay placements, language schools, study abroad options at universities, and internships with language classes are the most common types to learn one of the best language to learn abroad. The onion-domed churches, tasty Russian dumplings, and fascinating folklore makes for a one-of-a-kind cultural experience. Study Russian abroad to unveil the layers of the language like a nesting doll!

Next steps to book foreign language schools abroad

Here are handful of resources to get you started on your very own language learning journey. 2019 could be YOUR year to travel—and we can help make it happen! Get free program recommendations that match your travel goals, or use MyGoAbroad to bookmark and compare program options with confidence.

Still hungry for more? Bookmark these bad boys:

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Foreign Language Abroad

The ironic part? Learning a language abroad can sometimes leave you speechless.

Learning any of these languages will take some practice and dedication, and it might be overwhelmingly exciting to choose among GoAbroad’s list of the best foreign language to learn abroad. All in all, Mandarin is the best language to learn because of its growing economy and number of language speakers. Spanish and Arabic are next for the the top spots for the best language to learn abroad because of the sheer demand and job opportunities for them.

Without a doubt, participating at one of the world language schools while immersing yourself abroad will elevate your connection with the country, culture, and citizens in ways you never thought possible. With a strong motivation and passion for the language of your choosing, you’ll be making a decision that will benefit you the rest of your life in a meaningful way.

This article was originally published by – Published November 15, 2018, Foreign Language Abroad

Featured Image Credits: Pixabay

Learn More About Foreign Languages

It may have taken almost a century to lift the prohibition on hemp, but it’s taken only a couple of years for the world to fall in love with cannabidiol (CBD). It hasn’t even been one full year since the non-psychoactive member of the cannabis family was declassified as a schedule 1 controlled substance. Now, a Gallup report finds that one in seven Americans use some form of CBD products. Let’s take an in-depth look at what Gallup found out about the 14% of Americans who use CBD, including where they live and what they use it for.

What is the Gallup CBD Poll About?

Gallup is a long-standing analytics and advisory board out of the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. Noted for their public opinion polls, Gallup has been cited by reputable sources penning articles on everything from current events to science to politics. Founded in 1935, this American institution has seen it all, including the first blow against hemp in the 1900s with the Marihuana Act of 1937.

As 2018 drew to a close, an amended Farm Bill was signed into law. Under this legislature, hemp products became available from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Due to increased accessibility, CBD products are suspected to hit around the $22 billion mark by 2022. Naturally, these numbers caught the eyes of Gallup, prompting experts to conduct a survey on CBD usage in America.

This study was conducted from June 19, 2019, until July 27, 2019. 2,500 adults willingly participated in phone interviews with analysts. These discussions spanned a wide range of topics around the CBD industry. Here is what Gallup interviewers found.

14 Percent of Americans use CBD

Image Source: Gallup

Who Uses CBD the Most?

The results are in. All age demographics use CBD in some fashion! Currently, the biggest proponent of CBD is the generation who has pushed the hardest to lift the prohibition. Almost 500 of the 2,500 surveyed fell within the 18 to 29 age bracket.

As the demographics aged, the number of people who used CBD decreased. 16% of adults in the 30 to 49 range stated they used CBD, while 11% of those between the ages of 50 and 64 also enjoyed the benefits of CBD. Lastly, just 8% of seniors 65 and over, turned to hemp-based products.

While seniors seem to be using the least amount of CBD, they are, interestingly enough, far more educated than the other age brackets. Only 42% of the seniors polled said they weren’t aware of CBD. Those numbers are in comparison to the 52% of those surveyed in the 50 to 64 and 30 to 49 age groups who claimed not to know much about CBD. Funny enough, the age group who knew the least about CBD were the 18 to 29 year-olds. 54% of them claimed to be unfamiliar with CBD products.

CBD users in America

Where Do the Most CBD Users Live?

CBD is now available across all state lines. While there is a representation of CBD usage in each of the 50 states, some areas are more apt to use hemp-based products than others. Perhaps a given, the West represents the highest number of CBD users. With the first state to allow medical cannabis, California, plus cannabis hotspots like Colorado and Washington, this statistic shouldn’t come as a shock.

21% of people who take CBD, come from the West. This area of the States seems to be a little more familiar with hemp-based living because the plant has been a part of their culture long before the rest of the country caught on.

In what may perhaps be a shocking realization, the South had the second-highest number of CBD enthusiasts. 13% of the people who used the products came from below the Mason-Dixon line.

A gasp-worthy turn of events sees the East and Midwest tie for last place in the number of CBD users. Just 11% of CBD users come from these areas. What makes this statistic such a jaw-dropper is that this includes states where alternative forms of therapy are popular such as New York, Maine, and Massachusetts.

Meanwhile, the Midwestern state, Kentucky, was the first state to regulate industrial hemp production. The state’s pilot program served as the prototype for the first Farm Bill amendment made by former President Obama back in 2008.

Gallup use CBD

What Do People Use CBD For?

Not only did Gallup find out who is using CBD and where they are living, but the analysts also pinpointed why people are turning toward hemp in the first place. An overwhelming majority of people are using CBD products to help with managing pain. 40% of people stated pain management was their number one reason for switching to hemp products.

Anxiety came in at a distant second, bringing in 20% of the votes. However, finding alternative ways to handle mental distress is still a priority for CBD users. That’s why it still has quite a significant lead over the number three reason most people use CBD.

In third place, 11% of people surveyed claim that CBD helps as a natural sleep remedy for managing insomnia.

Furthermore, some people use CBD for multiple reasons. Therefore, they voted for more than one option. That further drives home the versatility of CBD products. When it was all said and done, Gallup projected that 90% of people used CBD for therapeutic purposes.

The Future of CBD

14% of people using a product that was virtually unknown a year ago is impressive. However, when you look at how many people are still uneducated about CBD, it shows there’s still a long way to go. As more people see their friends and family enjoying the potential benefits of CBD, the demand for hemp-based care will inevitably go through the roof.

Currently, CBD products are unregulated. The Department of Justice just handed off the oversight of hemp products to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). With the USDA regulating hemp cultivation, the next step of regulating CBD for the masses will be to get the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) involved.

At the moment, the FDA is still trying to calculate the most efficient, fair, and safest way to regulate CBD products. Officials are taking into consideration practices used when regulating supplements. Hopefully, CBD will be classified as a supplement in the very near future.

With a change in classification, more research will be conducted, and analyses will be readily available. Naturally, the mainstream media will get a hold of this data and share it with media consumers. Undoubtedly, this shift in coverage on CBD products will have a monumental impact on the results of the Gallup poll.

Made By Hemp

Where to Get CBD Now

While the FDA catches up to the 14%, you can still find high-quality CBD products. Just be sure to do your due diligence. Research the companies to make sure they are using the finest ingredients. Check to see if they participate in third-party lab testing. In an unregulated world, the more transparent a company is, the better you can feel about choosing their product.

This article was originally published on

Featured Image Credits: Pixabay


If you find that you are stressed and not getting enough sleep, you’re not alone. In a national sleep survey, 40 percent of respondents said they aren’t getting the recommended amount of rest. Many of the stressors we face in modern life, such as traffic jamsdifficult co-workers, or relationship conflicts, can trigger a fight-or-flight response, and prolonged exposure to this stress without relaxation can result in shorter sleep duration and poorer quality sleep. To improve sleep quality and cope with chronic-stress, some strategies are more effective than others.

How Chronic Stress Affects Sleep

When you experience a perceived threat (physical or psychological, real or imagined), your body’s hormonal stress response gets triggered, creating a cascade of physical changes that lead to the release of glucocorticoids like cortisol by the endocrine system. The release of cortisol and other stress hormones creates a burst of energy that allows you to fight or run from a real and present danger.

A healthy stress response involves a quick cortisol spike followed by a rapid decrease once the stressful event has passed. This endocrine system response is controlled by negative feedback loops mediated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) access in the central nervous system.

What’s important to know in this context is that the HPA access also plays an important role in modulating the 24-hour sleep-wake cycle. Prolonged stress levels have been correlated with HPA access hyperactivity, decreased sleep duration, as well as reduced REM sleep and delta power, leading to poorer quality sleep, impaired memory, poorer mood regulation, which can in turn lead to a more stressful mindset.

Sleep and Stress

Image Credits: Pixabay

Stress Management Sleep Strategies

If your sleep problems are being compounded by the effects of stress, sleep may come easier with the implementation of healthy stress management techniques before bed. Coping with stress takes many forms, and can involve emotional engagement or emotional disengagement.

Notably, one study found that strategies that reduce emotional avoidance and enhance emotional awareness are helpful for reducing the impact of stress on sleep onset latency, while strategies that increase avoidance, such as alcohol use, can lead to longer sleep delays.

Healthy coping strategies that reduce emotional avoidance include meditation and simple breathing exercises, which can reduce stress and tension in the body, lower stress hormone levels, and help sleep come more easily.

Problem-solving can also be a way to reduce stress, but it can be stimulating and should be done earlier in the day rather than before bed.

It is important to leave enough time for stress management and also enough time for sleep itself. Educate yourself about additional stress management sleep strategies and read more about the benefits of a good night’s sleep to inspire you to figure out a plan to create space in your busy life to reduce your stressed mind before bed.

A Word From Verywell

Not all sleep problems are due directly or entirely to a stressed mind. Certain hormonal changes that come with menopause or even natural aging can alter sleep patterns. Certain medications can also have an effect on sleep, as can caffeine, alcohol, and other things you consume. If you are feeling that you are managing your stress well and find that your sleep has not improved, you should consult your doctor to see if one of these other causes could be affecting you or if you might have a sleep disorder.

Article Sources:

This article by Elizabeth Scott was previously published on

About the Author:

Elizabeth Scott MS is a wellness coach specializing in stress management and quality of life, and the author of 8 keys to stress management. Learn more about the author.

8 Keys to Stress Management (8 Keys to Mental Health)

Featured Image Credits: Pixabay

This article by Maniti Barot was previously published on Blogs Thomson Reuters

When I joined Pangea3 12 years ago, it was just a start-up. Little did I realize the scale of the forces of disruption being brought to the legal industry. Today, Thomson Reuters Legal Managed Services and fellow alternative legal services providers (ALSPs) – part of an $8.4bn ALSP industry – are hired by the world’s largest, highly regulated and demanding corporate law departments and the law firms supporting them through their most complex matters.

This is one of the main findings of a major study released last week by the Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute, in partnership with the Georgetown University Law Centre for the Study of the Legal Profession and the University of Oxford Saïd Business School: ‘The 2017 Alternative Legal Service Study – understanding the growth and benefits of these new legal providers’. It’s eye-catching that this is a truly global industry report; more than 800 law firms and corporate law departments from all over the globe participated in the study which helped to explore the use cases for ALSPs, as well as what the future is likely to have in store.

Some 51 per cent of law firms and 60 per cent of law departments already use ALSPs in at least one service category, dispelling the image of ALSPs as start-up newcomers. As confirmed by this study, as an ALSP we gained momentum by providing support for high-volume transactional tasks such as contract management, compliance and regulatory requirements, litigation-related tasks like e-discovery, document review and investigative support. As GCs became familiar with ALSP models, law firms viewed us as complementary (not competitive), and as law tech continues to evolve, we provide increasingly complex services and tasks, support process design and provide tech-enabled services. Growth is likely to continue over the coming years from those end-users yet to make use of an ALSP, with 21 per cent of law firms and 14 per cent of law departments planning to engage with an ALSP in the next year. But why?


“ALSPs are not just about lower cost, but also about access to specialized expertise and alternative modes of delivery,” says report co-author Mari Sako, Professor of Management Studies at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, in a press release. “Our study indicates that some corporate legal departments and law firms are responding by setting up, or considering setting up, ALSPs themselves.”

In 2005, it was purely about the cost savings and the labour arbitrage. While that still remains a driver, this study confirms how ALSPs are disaggregating legal processes, providing legal expertise (which is otherwise not available in-house) and helping enable lawtech. The opportunity here is not only for the ALSP but also for the law firms, who can be consumers of specialized legal services and offer cost-effective models for their clients. Given that most in-house legal departments are looking to insource, thereby forcing their law firm panels to reduce cost, partnerships (where traditional law firm services are combined with innovation-as-a-service offered by ALSPs) will now be seen more than ever before.

Building this specialized legal expertise involves gathering internal expertise that reflects well on external partners. Timing, perseverance and decades of really hard work eventually make ALSPs look like an overnight success, but as this report shows, ALSPs are ingrained in the legal workflow and set to improve service levels for clients for the years to come.

This article by Maniti Barot was previously published on Blogs Thomson Reuters

About The Author:

Maniti is the Director of Thomson Reuters Legal Managed Services, based in London. She helps customize legal solutions, working with corporate law departments and law firms on a wide range of engagements, leveraging her hands-on expertise in offshore project management. Her experience in practice as an attorney allows her to provide consultative project guidance to clients across industries, helping to take advantage of time and cost-saving legal services and solutions.

Featured Image Credits: Pixabay


The staggering cost of higher education in the United States has many prospective college students wondering whether going to college is worth the expense. While conventional wisdom still points to the benefits of having a college degree, more students and their families are seeking alternatives to lower their college tuition bills. Some Americans are even looking abroad, as some countries offer free tuition to international students and programs of study entirely in English.

1. Norway

Students willing to brave exceptionally harsh winters and one of the highest costs of living in the world might consider earning their degrees in Norway. Tuition is free at public universities, giving students the opportunity to earn degrees at top-ranked institutions such as the University of Oslo, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and the University of Bergen.

2. Finland

Until recently, citizens and international students paid no tuition at state-run universities. However, starting in 2017, international students wishing to earn degrees in English will pay approximately $1,700 or more per year, depending on the degree level and program of study. Doctoral students, as well as those pursuing their studies in Finnish or Swedish, still pay no tuition. The government also plans to offer scholarships and financial aid to international students with exceptional academic backgrounds.

3. Sweden

Only students pursuing research-based doctoral degrees get free tuition in Sweden; some programs of study even offer stipends to international students. Nevertheless, students should be aware that Sweden’s high cost of living may put them over budget, even when they pay nothing to earn their degrees.

4. Germany

Germany needs skilled workers, and this reality creates a win-win situation for American students. All students enrolled in any of the country’s public universities can attend for free. What’s more, German universities offer a wide range of programs entirely in English, and an American student can earn a university degree in Germany without speaking a word of German. Top-ranked institutions, such as the University of Munich and University of Bonn, mean that U.S. students don’t have to trade prestige for cost.

5. Slovenia

Cultural experiences, proximity to tourist destinations in Italy and Croatia, and free university tuition make Slovenia an attractive choice for students wanting to earn their degrees abroad. Like Germany, Slovenian universities offer numerous programs of study in English, so students only need to learn the language to communicate with the locals.

6. France

In the past, students needed to speak French in order to attend university in France. This is no longer the case, however, as many programs of study at both public and private universities are offered in English. Students who attend public universities usually pay a few hundred dollars per year, depending on the degree level and program of study. Over the years, France has modified its free tuition model, and some EU students pay tuition based on family income. Such changes may eventually impact how much international students pay to attend French universities.

College Tuition

Image Credits: Pixabay

Beyond Europe

Europe remains a well-known, highly sought-after destination for students seeking refuge from high-priced U.S. colleges and universities, but public universities in countries such as Mexico and Brazil also have virtually free tuition; students pay registration fees, which amount to very little when considering the exchange rates. Some universities offer top-quality programs of study in English. Earning a degree south of the border also makes it possible for students to learn highly sought-after languages of commerce, such as Spanish and Portuguese.

Americans can also attend university in China and pay around $3,000 per year, which is very affordable when compared to U.S. tuition rates. The best tuition deals in China, however, are reserved for students able to pursue their studies in Chinese.

This article by Lisa Goetz was previously published on

About the Author:

  • Finance content writer for Investopedia since 2016
  • Has more than 60 articles to her credit
  • Writes about insurance, real estate, budgets and credit, and banking and taxes


Lisa has been a finance content writer for Investopedia since 2016, and she has more than 60 articles to her credit. She writes about a wide array of topics including articles on insurance, real estate, budgets and credit, and banking and taxes. Lisa also writes about buying a franchise, career advice, and how loans affect credit scores.

In one of her recent articles, The Cost of Buying a McDonald’s Franchise (MCD), Lisa looks into the difference between buying an existing franchise and purchasing a new franchise. She points out information about market saturation, the problems associated with the training new staff, and the availability of financing for the franchise purchase.

You will also see Lisa’s work in syndication at Yahoo, as a referenced work in the book The Green Bundle: Paring the Market with the Planet, and as reposts on several business and financial education websites.

Featured Image Credits: Pixabay

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