For all you foodies out there, check out this post: “Eating out & about: Singapore” - be prepared to drool!
More photos here

For all you foodies out there, check out this post: “Eating out & about: Singapore” - be prepared to drool!

More photos here

(Source: studentsgoneglobal)

Travel is like knowledge. The more you see the more you know you haven’t seen.

Mark Hertsgaard

(Source: travel-quotes)

Tips for hostel living

If you’re traveling on a budget, most likely you’ll be staying in a hostel at least once. As a hostel staff member, Kirsty gives some insider tips for traveling and for enhancing your stay:

  • Bring a towel! Towels often cost plus a deposit. You’ll travel much more easily on a budget this way.
  • Bring flip flops for the showers. Our showers are cleaned daily. You cannot make the same presumptions about people’s feet. Ick.
  • If you really want to stay in a particular hostel but it says there are no availabilities, try calling them. Some hostels keep beds aside for walk ins.
  • Be nice to the staff and they will be nice to you. It really is that simple. I’ve had a couple of guests bring me Pasteis de Belem when I’ve told them they were amazing, and in return I’ve shown them cheap bars to go to. It’s the same anywhere. You show people respect and they will be nice to you. No brainer.

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(Source: studentsgoneglobal)

10 reasons why you should study abroad

1. Maturity - It doesn’t matter where you choose to study, it will definitely cause you to grow up very quickly. This isn’t a bad thing by any means, in fact it’s probably one of the best things you can gain from such an experience – the maturity and independence to be able to look after yourself.

2. Job Prospects – One of the major benefits of studying abroad is that it looks utterly AMAZING on your CV and puts you in good stead no matter what job you apply for. However, this should not be the ONLY reason that you choose to study abroad because if it is then you certainly won’t enjoy your experience.

3. Confidence – This is one of the major changes I have experienced: the confidence to just speak to people and do things I don’t get to do very often. For instance, one day this week I managed to make friends with all the people I came in contact with – the man who made me a coffee in my local cafe, the couple in the library who were struggling over a class I really enjoyed last year and the girl who served me in the restaurant for dinner. I find myself having conversations now that I was too shy to do before I studied abroad. But I’m so glad I did.

4. Global Friendships – If you study abroad you WILL make lots and lots of friends. It’s inevitable. I studied in America and the residence hall I stayed in on campus was half American students and half International students, which made it so much easier to make friends! It’s great because now, no matter where I go in the world, I will probably know someone who lives near by, all because of my study abroad experience. Also, if I ever wanted to return to the place I studied, I will have a whole bunch of friends there to welcome me back!!!

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How I Have Changed, #2, and Long Time No See!

For those of you who studied abroad in the fall, what differences have you noticed in yourself? Nicholas reflects on how he’s changed:

Hello SGG! It’s been a while since I’ve posted, cuz school got in the way. My midterms are happening right now, and I’ve spent more time than I care to calculate studying (all for one friggin exam. As of Thursday, I am DONE.) But I’m having trouble finding the energy to do my homework right now, so I’m blogging instead.

Speaking of homework!

Time Management:

I was always told that time management is an important theme in college, and that you’re guaranteed to learn it. Well, I never really learned how to manage my time, even though I’m in band, which in itself takes up probably a third of my time :P

But somehow, I’ve been on top of my shit all semester. That has never happened before. I’ve never been proactive (I was asked to quit my first job two years ago because of that and other reasons), I’ve always been a slow worker, and if I work quickly, then I don’t work well (the other two reasons I was asked to leave the job….) As of August, though: my desktop is full of to-do lists organized by day (plus a master “get to when you have time” to do list) and other memos, I’m actually managing to meet with the career center weekly to discuss job things (and FINALLY using my LinkedIn), not falling too far behind on homework, and not even feeling stressed about my extracurricular commitments.

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Things to look forward to about studying abroad and traveling: observing, learning, and trying new things.

″A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.” – Moslih Eddin Saadi

To keep me focused on the exciting parts of my trip, I’ve made a list of things to look forward to! Here it is:

-Observing! I’m using this trip as my fieldwork for an ethnography that I have to write in order to graduate next spring. Even if that wasn’t the case, though, I’d still want to take note of EVERYTHING. I mean, this is an amazing opportunity to see a culture that I know almost nothing about. I am going to make the most of this time and really dig into the culture and experience the food, language and people. I want to come back with more stories than I have time to tell.

-Learning! Not only will I be learning about the people there but I’m going to be able to learn so much about myself. I’ll be alone in a strange new place; how I respond and react to any situation that I come across will be totally up to me. I want to really learn who I am and how I fit into the world…

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(Source: studentsgoneglobal)

On being a tourist

Travel tip: Being a tourist is NOT always a bad thing!

I have been thinking about this post for a while. Mainly because right now I am undergoing a transformation. Its the reverse of the one that happens when you begin study abroad. At the start of study abroad you go (very quickly) from a visitor to a temporary resident. I decided to travel after my program ended so now I am going through the reverse cycle. I am going from being a temporary resident to a visitor.

A lot of times I read on travel blogs about people being “tourists.” The word generally has a bad connotation, and many articles discuss how to do “real” travel rather then just being a tourist. Although I am sure overtime my views will evolve more I have come to loathe and disagree with this idea. For most travelers to most places, it is impossible to be more then a tourist. And that isn’t a bad thing!

When you travel, whether it be abroad or within your own country, you are often going somewhere where you have not been invited. Especially when you travel abroad. Although many cultures are open to travelers from many different places, it can be difficult for people from a place to be open hearted and welcoming to every tourist they see.

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Some things I love about Ireland…

I still have to write about my second week of break and the trip to London I just got back from, but first I wanted to write a little bit on my love for Ireland.

It was leaving the country of Ireland for the first time since I arrived here in January that really showed me how much I love this island. I really loved being in and seeing London, but I was so happy when I was back home in Dublin.

So here are a few things about Ireland that I was so happy to see/feel when I arrived back in the Emerald Isle:

Green. As we were landing in Dublin, I could see all the beautiful green from the airplane window and it was just breathtaking. London has green…but its not the same.

The fresh air. London reminded me a lot of NYC. There were a lot of tourists and the air was a little stuffy. When I first stepped outside the Dublin airport, I was instantly reminded of how fresh and wonderful Irish air is.

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What do you love about your new host country?

Finals in South America vs. North America

Buenas amigos,

This past week I’ve had two of my four finals. Tuesday I had my final for contemporary topics in Argentine Literature. Back in the states, your professors will usually give you some parameters for studying– “just through chapter 15,” “all the material after the midterm,” etc. In Argentina, professors say everything is fair game, which is pretty overwhelming. To add to the pressure, it is the only grade in the class. Hence, what I get on this final is my grade in the class. He did tell us the final would be between 3 and 5 questions, but did not specify if it was short-answer or essay. I had trouble gauging exactly how much he wanted us to write. The questions were so open-ended that I could answer it in a few sentences or essay-form. Hopefully I wrote enough of the right thing!

My second final for Castellano and Argentine Culture on Thursday was more nerve-wracking. It had two parts: 5-page research paper and oral presentation. I chose Mafalda as my final topic. Mafalda is a comic strip by Quino which provides social commentary in an ironic way. The most interesting thing about Mafalda is that the protagonist is a 6-year old girl! She often puts her parents at a loss asking about complex world issues.

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Good luck with exams, everyone!

Travel Safety: Always Consider the Source

Don’t automatically listen to all travel advice you hear! Always consider the source first. Here are some things you should watch out for…