Counting on your Hands – Chinese Style!

What things like this surprised you in your foreign country?!? Tell us below in the comments!

Dispatch From Levo’s Lady Abroad: 10 Travel Tips for Exploring Any City

“Dispatch From Levo’s Lady Abroad: 10 Travel Tips for Exploring Any City”

by Lila Barton via “LEVO

Dispatch From Levo’s Lady Abroad: 10 Travel Tips for Exploring Any City | Levo League |
        Education, travel 2, lifestyle 2, traveling alone

Now that my time here in Florence has come to a close, I want to share a few things that helped me make the most of my experience. Exploring is an important part of life, as it forces us to learn new things, step outside of our comfort zone, and grow as individuals. But you don’t have to travel across the world to explore a new city. Maybe the most important city for you to see through a new lens is the one you’ve lived in your entire life.

If you’re going abroad, I hope these travel tips help. If not, try applying them at home. You may be surprised by what you find.

1. Spend (the first) two weeks being a tourist.

It’s easy to say, “I have four months to do that: I’ll do it later.” But the time goes by quickly. I made the mistake of saving a few major things for the last minute, and with only a few days left, including finals, it’s going to be hard to get everything done. If you need some help getting started, we found the best guidebooks to be those byRick Steves. His walking tours are genius, and he’ll help you get the most out of your time and money.

2. Take a cooking class and explore the local cuisine.

Every culture has a unique cuisine so be sure to learn a few tricks to take back with you! Local markets are a great resource for seeing how food is reflected in a culture, and they often have foods for you to try that you might not normally order.

3. Travel with a backpack when you go off on your weekend adventures.

It will force you to pack light (see Amanda Pouchot’s packing tips). Old cities with cobblestone streets are also not the best for wheeling around suitcases, and if you’re late for a train or your flight, you’ll be glad you can easily run to catch it.

4. Explore your city without a tour book.

This is how you find the hidden gems not overrun by tourists: talk to the locals, who know the good spots. These places will become some of your favorite, as you truly see a city when you get lost in it. I frequently returned to my spot in Florence.

5. Study the language before you go, and when you arrive, find a language partner.

Locals will appreciate your effort over perfection. If you’re applying these tips toward your hometown, sign up for a language partner through your local university. Who doesn’t want to be bilingual?

6. Hang with the locals.

You’ll get a real feel for the culture and may even become friends with a few people along the way. Language partners are a great resource for finding the right places.

7. If possible, live with a host family.

You’ll be immersed in the culture and see how families live, and you’ll see a huge improvement in your language skills. Warning: You will not be comfortable at all times, but that’s okay. You will leave with a much stronger appreciation for what you have back home, and new relationships you’ll forever value . . . .


Interview with Featured Study Abroadist ~ Lauren Hall!

Lauren in Prague

Yeah! We have a new featured Student Abroad Interview!  Ladies and gentlemen, meet Lauren Hall, author of the blog “I’m Coming For You, Prague

This lovely young woman has been blessed with the opportunity to give European culture a try, more specifically Prague in the Czech Republic.  You heard that right, the beautiful land of classic and varied architecture, delicious foods, beautiful art, centuries of history, and more.  What a chance!  

Although she’s busy being awesome and having amazing fun times, she was kind enough to agree to an interview about her study abroad experience — why she went, why this program, the country, and more.  Thanks Lauren!

Also, please don’t forget to check out her blog “I’M COMING FOR  YOU, PRAGUE” for more information about her trip abroad!  She’s a great story-teller!



Where are you in Your Education? (Sophomore, Junior, Etc.–Highschool/College)

Lauren: “I am going to be a senior in college. “

What have you decided to/are you interested in studying? 

Lauren: “I am majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders and minoring in Child Development and International Studies. I want to get my masters degree in Speech Pathology and become a Speech-Language Pathologist. I do not know if I want to work with children or older adults yet.”

Why did you decided to study abroad; what sort of things did you consider?

Lauren: “I always wanted to travel Europe and I knew that once I graduated college, got my masters and got a job, doing this would be very difficult. My school has a very good study abroad program and I knew that I would not let myself miss out on this. “ Continue reading

University of Idaho: Al Akhawayn University Summer Direct

University of Idaho:

Al Akhawayn University Summer Direct


  • University of Idaho
  • Al Akhawayn University


Study Abroad a Culturally Immersive Experience

“Study Abroad a Culturally Immersive Experience”

by Amanda Brandt via “

Study abroad lets you immerse yourself
in another culture Students gain understanding, experience
and confidence on trips to other countries

During the 2011-2012 academic year, more than 280,000 American students studied abroad. But that number is not high enough for those who understand the benefits that young students can get from time spent in other countries.

In July, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln announced that it would join the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative. The initiative is attempting to double the number of American students studying abroad by 2020.

UNL has 550 to 750 students who study abroad every year. The number fluctuates because of economic and international issues, said Dave Wilson, senior international officer and associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at UNL. Wilson said UNL’s goal is to increase the number of students participating in its study abroad programs by 20 percent in the next five years.

Today’s study abroad experiences are much different from programs of 20 or 30 years ago, Wilson said. Instead of being primarily tourist activities, the programs are more academically focused.

“At UNL, we’re focused on not just studying abroad, but also to research, intern or do service abroad,” Wilson said. “That’s why we call our office Education Abroad, not study abroad.” . . . .


Cafes and Cultural Heritage, Vienna is Filled with Good Taste

Maybe Vienna could be your dream study abroad location! ** DB

Cafes and Cultural Heritage, Vienna is Filled with Good Taste

by Mark Irving via “The Courier-Mail”

The illuminated Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna, at dusk.

“Classical concerts, cafes and chocolate cake.

There’s much more to Vienna than these three Cs, of course, but they do help explain the good life that the lucky residents of this central European city enjoy.

I experienced a taste of living as a Viennese on a brief stopover, and wished it had been longer.

With a population of two million, Vienna offers all the amenities of big city life yet there’s no sense of feeling overwhelmed by crowds.

The former capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire is also old enough to have developed a character, and its historic buildings (many from the Baroque period) have prompted UNESCO to declare the city centre a World Heritage Site.


The traditional Hotel Sacher is located in the heart of Vienna.

The traditional Hotel Sacher is located in the heart of Vienna.

 Its grand buildings and 100 or so museums have helped forge its reputation as a city of culture.

But perhaps its best-known claim to fame is creating the tradition of the coffee house as a place to congregate and relax.

Cafes originated in the Middle East in the 16th century and quickly spread throughout Europe. But it was in Vienna in particular that they gained the reputation for being the place to socialise and, for writers, a place to work and discuss ideas.

The result is the Viennese coffee house became an “intangible cultural heritage”, as UNESCO describes it.


The famous Sacher Torte in Cafe Sacher.

The famous Sacher Torte in Cafe Sacher.

For my taste of cultural heritage I visited perhaps Vienna’s most famous coffee house, the Sacher Cafe in Hotel Sacher and home to the sachertorte.

Franz Sacher was a 16-year-old apprentice chef at the court of Prince Metternich when he was called upon in 1832 to come up with a cake because the head chef was sick.

Sacher’s creation – a chocolate cake with apricot filling – was an instant hit and sachertorte’s fame spread throughout the Austrian Empire.

Sacher himself built the Hotel Sacher, adjacent to the Vienna State Opera House, which became a place where the aristocracy and upper class liked to meet.

   . . . .



Interview with Featured Study Abroadist ~ Genny Parshley!

(c) Moyan Brenn on Flickr  View his website at:

(c) Moyan Brenn on Flickr
View his website at:

Hi everyone!  I’m so excited today because we have a really great post!  

I would like to introduce to you GENNY PARSHLEY, author of the blog “

Have to admit, I’m pretty jealous of her right now; Scotland has always been a dream of mine. . . . purple heather,  dashing kilts, ivy-covered castles. . . Sorry, got carried away for a minute!  

Anyway, after reading the amazingly in-depth and inspirational posts she has shared about her trip on her blog, I asked if she would be willing to answer a few questions about her study abroad experience.  Because she is wonderful, awesome, and all things good, she agreed!  Not only that, she offered some really great insight into what goes on with the Study Abroad Process and the motives of those who make the decision to go for it.   So read on and see what you too can learn from her adventures!  

Also, please don’t forget to check out her blog “CHEERS” for more information about her trip abroad!  Definitely worth the read!



Where are you in Your Education? (Sophomore, Junior, Etc.–Highschool/College)

Genny: “I am a Junior or Third Year as they call it here!”

What have you decided to/are you interested in studying? 

Genny: “I am studying Public Relations—that’s my major—and Non-Profit Management is my minor! My major interest is studying Non-Profits and subjects related to social justice.”

Why did you decided to study abroad; what sort of things did you consider?

Genny: “I knew that I wanted to study abroad during college from the age of about 12. Traveling the world has always been a dream and a priority for me. I love the idea of going to a place where I know no one, where anything can happen. Though, I should say that that concept terrifies me as equally as it excites me! When considering when and where to study, a few things came to mind. I wanted to study in the spring so I didn’t have to miss my home university’s football season…nothing is better than college football season! Also, I didn’t particularly want to go abroad my senior year because I wanted to be able to spend my last year in the place I have to call home with my best friends. I also had to consider, of course, where I wanted to study but I’ll answer that question in #5 :)” Continue reading

“CMU to Offer First Special Education Study Abroad Program”

“CMU to Offer First Special Education Study Abroad Program”

by Neil Rosan via “CM Life”

“Central Michigan University will offer its first study abroad program focused on special education next summer. The three-week program will feature three different classes during10 days in Denmark to give students a perspective of social services in other countries. “I think the combination of the country we are going to and the student excitement is going. . . “



“Study Abroad or Forever Hold your Peace”

“Study Abroad or Forever Hold your Peace”

by Macon Fessenden via “Pipe Dream”

Study Abroad or Forever Hold Your Peace

“The beginning of senior year brings many things. Chief among these is the great ambivalence over seeing your friends who just came back from the typical second-semester-junior-year abroad. It’s an ambivalence because while you’re happy they’re back in your presence, you have to hear what I’m sure they think are unique stories about their AMAZING time abroad, peppered with some local vernacular and pronunciations like “mate,”. . . . “

Tread Lightly When You Travel: My Reputation Goes With You

Great tips for students abroad. Having fun is great; but don’t forget your basic rules of behavior!

Deceptively Blonde

It seems counter-intuitive, but the art of being a good traveler is disappearing nearly as fast as globalization increases.  Having extensively traveled abroad in recent years, I can safely say that I no long wonder why tourists often rank amongst the most disliked people in the world. But it isn’t just the tourists; it’s the students, the businessmen, the soldiers, and the politicians. There is something about going abroad that causes many people to leave behind all the manners and rules of civilized behavior they would normally adopt at home.  And we get it, it’s nice to just abandon all your reservations and let loose once in a while. But people forget that they aren’t just representing themselves abroad; they are representing their entire nation and culture.  Even if nothing they do ever comes back to their families, the locals will remember “that idiot from ***** country”.  And when the…

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