Studio Abroad & Abroad101: A Match Made in Evaluation Heaven. Attend our Webinar this Thursday, August 2nd!

Abroad101 is excited to announce that we’re co-presenting a webinar this Thursday, August 2nd with StudioAbroad, a web-based software company for the study abroad field. Studio Abroad provides study abroad offices the ability to update and maintain their websites, accept applications online and streamline the workload to increase quality and decrease time spent on processes.

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Breaking the Rules: Learn to ‘Flex for Culture’ in Turkey

Photo: AntoniO BonvinO

Submitted by Rachel Whitcomb, Global Ambassador in Istanbul, Turkey.

 

Oh that’s right…I’m STUDYING abroad…

Sometimes you get so caught up in the traveling aspect of being abroad that you lose sight of what sent you here in the first place.  But of course, I’m attending class and doing homework, I would never forget!

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Love the 2012 Olympics? Take part in the Abroad101 Global Gold Challenge!

Photo: GreenTea95

 

With the 2012 Olympics in London upon us, global competition is on our minds. The guts! The glory! The…awesome course selection and weekend excursions??

YES! Abroad101 is joining the fun with our own Global Gold Challenge, a head-to-head competition of countries competing for study abroad fame.  For an entire week during the Olympics (July 27 – August 3) we’ll be running a poll on our  asking YOU to get on board with whichever nation you think will come out of the Olympics with the most medals overall.

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Getting Out of Town: The Best Ways to Travel Abroad

Photo: Drozd

 

If there is one thing we know, its that there is certainly a lot to prepare before jetting off to your study abroad destination. Where will I go? What will I study? How will I pay? However, there is perhaps one thing that may be more towards the back of your mind: how will I get around once I’ve arrived? You can’t take that bucket of bolts from high school you’ve got sitting in the driveway and your train card doesn’t really work overseas. Looks like you’ve got some research to do. Let us fill you in…

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Photo Friday: Australia’s Gold Coast!

 

 

 

 

When students consider Australia for study abroad, Sydney usually jumps out as an easy and great option. Yet it’s important to remember that Australia is a huge country and there are many other spots to explore. The beautiful gold coast is located on the south-east corner of Queensland. Pristine beaches and abudant sunshine are just a few things that will welcome you as you arrive and experience a semester in this paradise. Universities such as Griffith and Bond will make sure you recieve the highest quality education and cultural learning possible.

 

“It gave me a new set of eyes in the world and helped influence my post-graduate career choice. I moved back to Australia a few months after I graduated (June 2010) and have been living and working here ever since.” says one Bond study abroad alumni. Read the rest of their review here!

 

Interested in other locations in Australia? Check out their entire page of programs!

Do It On The Weekend! – Florence & Rome

View of Florence.

Submitted by Allyce Morino, Global Ambassador in Viterbo, Italy.

What a whirlwind the past two weeks have been! I started classes, and haven’t stopped moving since! What did I do on my

Me & the Ponte Vecchio.

weekends, you may ask? Rest? Relax? Of course not! I took advantage of my free time and traveled to Florence and Rome!

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Spanish, Siestas and Sangria: Life in Madrid

The gorgeous view from Palacio de Cibeles

Submitted by Kristen Schlotman, Global Ambassador in Madrid, Spain

 

I have been studying in Madrid for just over a week so far, and it has been absolutely amazing. Our first day was orientation. The program advisors showed us how to get to the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos campus, the ins and outs of Madrid as well as the USAC program. Then we took Spanish language placement exams. I was surprised when I tested into Intermediate Spanish I. I was nervous at first since I hadn’t taken Spanish since my junior year of high school, but it’s not so bad. A lot of the vocabulary and grammar came back very quickly and I definitely feel that I am in the right class level.

One of the best parts about the classes is the size. There are only five of us in my

Spanish keyboard

Intermediate Spanish class, and just two in my Spanish Conversation class. This is really helpful for learning the language. It almost feels as if we have private tutors. My class schedule is really nice as well. I take the metro to campus for class at 9 AM and am done by 12:30 PM every day, just in time to get lunch. The last few days I have been adventuring on the metro to random parts of the city. I will just pick a spot on the map and go. I usually walk around for a bit and then find some café or cerveceria for lunch. It’s fun to sip on sangria on the patio and watch people walk by.

Following lunch, people in the program have been getting together to see the different cultural highlights of the program. Yesterday, we went to Retiro Park and then to the Prado Museum, one of the three major art museums in Madrid. Today we went to another, lesser-known art museum called the Caixaforum. After that we went to a building named the Palacio de Cibeles (pictured above). The building itself isn’t that special, but the top floor has a great view of the city.

View from my homestay at dusk

Depending on what time my roommate and I get back to the homestay, I try to take a late siesta before dinner at 9:30 PM. Dinners with our host parents have allowed me to experience some of the best food of my life. Tortilla Espanola and gazpacho soup are now two of my new favorite dishes.

Madrid is known as a city that never sleeps and I completely agree with that statement. Bars and discotecas don’t become busy until 1 or 2 AM and the night normally ends at 4 AM or later. Last week, most of our program went to Kapital, the famous seven-story nightclub. It was a crazy night and we didn’t get back home until 5 AM. Tonight, I am meeting friends at a wine bar that used to be one of Ernest Hemmingway’s favorite haunts. In the near future, we are leaving to go on a day trip to Segovia, so hopefully I won’t be out too late, but you never know in a city like Madrid!

 

Want to read insider reviews from fellow study abroad students? Click here to find your perfect study abroad program!

Ireland: There’s City Life and Then Country Life

Galway

 

Submitted by Global Ambassador, Brendan, Galway, Ireland

The phrase “as different as night and day” is clichéd and I don’t like using it, but it’s hard to find another phrase to describe the difference between the city and the countryside here in Ireland. On Sunday, I spent the day exploring the city of Galway. I visited the markets, watched the street performers and grabbed food at food stands along the docks.

I got to take in the whole city feel where you walk around, and there is vibrant energy everywhere around you.

On Monday we went up into the highlands of Connemara, and an hour-long drive made me feel like I was transported a world away. People were replaced by sheep as the dominant population. The sound of music from performers and chatter from passerbys on the street was replaced by the sound of silence. As I hiked up the mountain with a group and looked at the landscape surrounding me, which was hard to make out through all the rain, I felt almost like I was going to knock on heaven’s door.

Galway, Ireland

The wind and the rain might have made many miserable, but not me at that moment. True, the bus ride back felt a lot longer in soaked jeans and I felt like I had a lake in each of my shoes, but sitting up there on that mountaintop, looking around, it was hard not to have a feeling of utter joy. There’s no other way to describe it as I looked back on where I came from, and looked down beneath me to see the sheep grazing on the grass and rocks I had just traversed over.

It was the image of the Emerald Isle that’s seared into one’s mind before visiting. The image of vibrant green landscape extending out as far as the eye can see. But that’s not the only image of Ireland that I found to be true over the last few days.

The Irish do certainly know how to celebrate. That much was evident this past weekend as the Volvo Ocean Race finished up. I have never seen a city center as crowded as I did then, and it was all ages out celebrating. The young and the old. It seemed as if the collective city of Ireland was out, enjoying the festivities throughout the entire day.

Oh, and one last image that is also totally true is that the Irish love to talk and tell stories. Wait in line for the toilets and you’ll hear a story. Order a pint at the pub and you’ll hear a story. Walk into a small store and you’re bound to hear at least three, more if there are no other customers at the time.

There is something different about Ireland, and if I had to pick a word to describe it, it would be “openness.” The openness to talk to strangers, the openness of celebrations in the streets and the openness of the rolling green hills of the countryside.

Oh Ireland, I am starting to like you!

Want to read insider reviews from fellow study abroad students? Click here to find your perfect study abroad program!

Happy Bastille Day!

Bastille Day
photo credit:
side78

Tomorrow, the 14th of July marks the annual celebration for all French and Francophile enthusiasts, Bastille Day! Bastille Day is what English speaking countries refer to the day as, yet in France it’s better know as La Fête Nationale (The National Celebration) or  Le quatorze juillet (the fourteenth of July)

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Granada, Spain: The Best of Both Worlds

 

Submitted by Cheska Limjuco, Global Ambassador in Madrid, Spain

On my last weekend in Spain, three friends and I traveled to Granada to see the famous Alhambra fortress. The bus ride on Friday night was longer than the flight from New York to London, and, after finally checking into the hostel at 2 a.m., we went to find kebabs and drinks. The Andalusians are the embodiment of true southern hospitality. Taking pity on our tired and hungry selves, the man at the kebab shop gave us free Falafels while we waited and the bar across the road gave us welcome chupitos on the house.

The next morning, we set out for La Alhambra. Words or pictures cannot describe the beauty of the ancient royal palace of the Islamic kingdom. I’m happy that we not only got to see the entire fortress, but also had the leisure to just sit down and take in the gardens and amazing view of Granada. It made me think of how, like every capital, Madrid is too fast paced and, although she is my ideal and favorite city, once in a while we all need a slow paced retreat to reflect a little bit upon our lives.

After exploring the Alhambra, we retreated to the Albayzin to shisha and drink Moroccan tea. The vibe in Granada made us feel as if we were in Saudi Arabia at times, but it was more Sex and the City 2 rather than Scheherazade and 1001 Nights. After feeling extremely full and heavy after couscous, shisha, and tea, we returned to our hostel to partake in our favorite Spanish tradition – la siesta. I highly recommend Oasis Hostel as it is right in the heart of the Albayzin surrounded by souks and numerous tea shops. You can also hear traditional Muslim prayers during sundown and sunrise.

At around 8:45, with new friends from the hostel, we switched to Spanish mode and watched the Spain vs. France futbol game at a tapas bar. I’m not a huge fan of futbol, but where else in the world can you pay 2 euros for a beer and a huge and delicious plate of food? This was when I decided that I would move to Granada! However, that was only a passing fancy. I cannot deny myself the rapid city life and it felt great to be back in Madrid the next day after a relaxing weekend with girlfriends. I felt ready and recharged for my last week of school.

I grew up in both Davao and Mindanao in the Philippines, where we have a majority Muslim population, as well as Manila, which has a very strong Spanish influence. The south of Spain offers the best of both worlds for me, so you definitely know where to find me if the world ends in 2012! I have been fortunate enough to visit the south of France and Italy. I find Cannes too luxurious for a starving student like myself, and although Naples has the same southern hospitality, Andalucia is more of an escape to an exotic destination.

 

Want to read insider reviews from fellow study abroad students? Click here to find your perfect study abroad program!