- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenanceby Robert M. Pirsig
- Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
- The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris by John Baxter
- Spotted in France by Gregory Edmont
- The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
- Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
- Mountains Beyond Mountains by Dr. Paul Farmer
- Posionwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
- Watership Down by Richard Adams
- Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
As you dream of going abroad, why not take some time to learn a little bit of the language? Studying a language doesn’t always mean hours of listening to CD sets or poring over a dictionary. Try out these strategies to make learning easy and fun:
- Change the language settings of your favorite movie. Pick up new phrases, and rewind to learn your favorites lines. For an extra challenge, try watching some foreign films too.
- Subscribe to a podcast. There are tons of language learning podcasts to choose from, and many of them are free. The lessons are short and the hosts strive to keep learning light and conversational.
- Read like a kid again. Visit the local library to check out some children’s books. Or if you’re a more advanced learner, see if you can tackle favorites like Harry Potter and Twilight.
- Label your space. Write down words for everyday objects on notes and tape them around the house. You’ll be a pro at words like ‘blender’ and ‘shower’ in no time!
- Let us help. If you decide to go abroad with World Endeavors, we’ll send you an email with a detailed list of resources specific to your program. There are so many options out there, and we’ll help direct you to the best.
The “Most Useful” List from WE Staff
- Walking shoes. No matter where you travel, you’re sure to do a lot of walking. Don’t forget flip-flops too, which are good for both the beach and for hostel showers.
- A quick-dry towel. They’re compact, and as the name suggests, they dry super fast. There’s nothing worse than a damp, heavy towel.
- Scarves. They jazz up outfits and can double as blankets or pillows on planes. Scarves are also a must-pack for countries that require head coverings for religious sites.
- A head lamp. Good for reading, hiking, or re-packing in a dark hostel room.
- Plastic bags. For wet things, dirty shoes, preventing shampoo explosions, and keeping your luggage organized.
- A watch. Especially if you don’t have a cell phone while you are abroad. Comes in handy when you are traveling and need to be on time for your bus or train!
- A durable water bottle. Easy to empty when you’re going through airports, but there to fill so you don’t have to pay for expensive bottles (if the water is safe to drink, of course).
- Coffee filters. For when you have to boil your water. You can then pour it through the filter into your bottle.
- A good packable hat. Good for staying out of the sun or staying warm.
- Some small tokens/souvenirs from home. For host families/new friends/people who help out. Also bring some photos of your family so new friends/host families can know more about you.
- A small first-aid kit. Bandages, antibiotic cream, pain relievers, medicine for stomach troubles, and a small pair of scissors always come in handy. Also consider a small sewing kit.
- A journal/diary and extra memory cards for your camera. You’ll want to make sure you have everything you need to record your trip!
The deadlines to apply for summer study abroad programs are coming up, but there’s still time! Apply to any World Endeavors study abroad program by April 15, 2013 and get $150 off your final program payment!
July 8 – August 2, 2013; Deadline: May 1
Cuernavaca / (Universidad Internacional/UNITER) Mexico
Session 1: June 4 – June 29, 2013; Deadline: May 1
Session 2: July 9 – August 3, 2013; Deadline: May 1
Florence/Instituto Europeo (IE)
July 28 – August 24, 2013; Deadline: May 1
France/Université Catholique de l’Ouest (l’UCO)
July 1 – 27, 2013; Deadline: May 1
August 5 – 31, 2013; Deadline: June 1
September 2-28, 2013; Deadline: July 1
London/Middlesex University (MDX)
3 Week Option: July 2 – 23, 2013; Deadline: May 1
5 Week Option: July 2 – August 7, 2013; Deadline: May 1
Northern Ireland/Queen’s University – Belfast
July 19 – August 10, 2013; Deadline: May 1
Seville/Pablo de Olavide University (UPO) Spain
June 24 to July 12, 2013; Deadline: April 30
July 2-25, 2013; Deadline: May 15
Valladolid (University of Valladolid)/Spain
May 27 – June 28, 2013; Deadline: May 1
July 1 – July 26, 2013; Deadline: May 1
September 2 – September 27, 2013; Deadline: June 15
We hear a lot about the benefits of studying abroad. Spending a semester in another country exposes students to different perspectives and helps them see their lives back in the US in a new light. Often they come back with a more focused career plan or ambitions for future travel.
But for all the praise, people also question the value of study abroad. How do you ensure that it will be an enriching cultural experience rather than a glorified vacation?
In an article posted late last summer, NPR discusses the nature of study abroad programs and asks listeners: “What would you do differently if you had to do it all over again?” The answers range from partying less to being more open minded about food, but within all of the answers there’s something that comes up again and again: immersion.
People wish that they had networked more, that they had spent time talking with locals instead of other Americans. They wish that they had pushed themselves outside of their comfort zones and connected with people of a similar age.
At World Endeavors we pride ourselves on the immersive quality of our programs, placing students either with host families or among locals and international students. Ultimately, interactions are up to the students themselves, but we make sure that our participants have the opportunities to immerse themselves in another way of life.
- Applicable for any World Endeavors study abroadprogram in any location
- Applicable for Summer 2013, Fall 2013, and Spring 2014 programs
- Open to students from all majors and universities
- Must be 18 years of age or older and currently enrolled as a student
Holidays are celebrated distinctly in every country and learning about them gives you a better understanding of the culture from which they came.
Las Posadas is celebrated in Mexico from December 16th-24th and the festivities are held every evening. The festival is called Las Posadas, which means the inns or shelter, because of Mary’s difficult journey to find a place to stay on her journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. It is a religious holiday that lasts for nine days, which represents the nine months that Jesus was carried by Maria (Mary) and can also represent the nine day journey to Bethlehem. Individuals are selected to play the roles of Mary and Joseph and they walk down the streets in a procession to go to a different home each night. Joseph stays outside the inn and they all sing a song about the innkeeper saying there isn’t any room for them to stay, but ultimately lets Joseph and the others inside. After everyone goes inside, they read a passage from the bible or say a prayer before the celebration begins. Often tamales are served and piñatas and candy are provided for the children. Sometimes the piñata is in the shape of a Christmas star that is put out near or at the end of the night.
The winter solstice festival in China, and most of Eastern and Southeastern Asia, can be celebrated between sometime between December 21st and the 23rd depending on the year. This celebration has a special meaning for the Chinese calendar since it is divided into 24 equal parts corresponding to the 15 degree change on the celestial longitude. The festival begins when the sun reaches the celestial longitude of 270 degrees and ends when it reaches 285 degrees. During this time families get together and eat “tangyuan”, which is a sweet soup with rice balls that are sometimes brightly colored. Each member of the family gets one big ball and several small balls in their soup and this symbolizes reunion. In some parts of northern China they eat dumplings instead of “tangyuan” during the solstice. In China, they believe that as the days grow longer, each day after the winter solstice, the positive energy will increase. Many people visit their loved ones who have passed away, exchange gifts and wear new clothes.
The Akwasiadae festival in Kumasi, also known as Adae Kese, is held every six weeks on a Sunday and the last one of the Gregorian calendar year is held on December 23rd. It is a celebration of past leaders, heroes and Ashanti kings. The festival was first celebrated when the Ashanti region gained statehood and independence from the Denkyiras. The celebration is divided into two parts: the observance and the party. The first part of the festival takes place in the king’s palace and includes only members of the royal family. Here they perform many rituals to purify the land take away the evil. The king also goes through purification and is completed through ceremonial meals and drinks that represent their ancestors while they pray for protection and guidance. This festival is meant to highlight the union that the people have and show that their unity is what makes them strong. The second part of the festival is an ornate ceremony that takes place in the Kumasi town square. People wear colorful clothing as they parade through the town and the king wears the most ornate golden ornaments. The drumming, dancing and gun firing is meant to keep the evil spirits away. The overall purpose of the festival is to make their people stronger by reminding them of what their ancestors have done. The celebration also gives the king a chance to speak to his people and to advise and unite them.
Participate in a program in one of the countries from this article:
Wondering what you should do this spring break? Try one of our volunteer projects in Costa Rica and make a difference while learning Spanish and becoming immersed in another culture.
Volunteers choose from 4 different and fascinating projects: Wildlife Conservation (freshwater turtle conservation), Childcare and Orphanage Assistance (nutrition centers), Teaching (local schools), or Environmental Conservation (nearby reserves).
Visit our website for more details about the program!
After you are ready to apply, click on the apply tab on the top of the www.worldendeavors.com webpage.
Dancing is one of the many unique ways to express yourself and your culture.
Flamenco is a dance that originates from southern Spanish region of Andalucia and is well-known in Seville. This unique dance has been around for about 400 years and used to be a dance for the poor, which usually included the Gypsies, Moors, and Jews in the 16th century. Typically a woman dances, while a man plays the guitar and sings. Today the songs can either be dramatic and forceful to express a protest or dissatisfaction, or lighter to show happiness or a sense of humor.
Khon is one of the six traditional dances from Thailand, in which the dancers wear masks and elaborate costumes. The story told through dance is based on the Hindu Ramayana epics from India and is depicted as a drama as the performers act and dance. While they dance, a chorus sings to create a narrative for the audience to follow since the dancers cannot speak. Originally, only men were allowed to participate in the dance and it was held in a royal court, but now women are also an important part of the dance that now takes place on a stage. Some of the sets of characters: male, female, demons, celestial beings and monkeys.
In Brazil, the fast paced couples dance called Samba originates from the 16th century when Brazil was a colony of Portugal. The slaves that were brought over from Angola were told they couldn’t worship their own gods by their Christian Portuguese masters. After awhile, the Portuguese became suspicious of the slaves dances and tried to outlaw the parties where they gathered to dance. Today, Samba is a national symbol of Brazil, most common in the Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo region. It is a typical dance during Carnival and is well-known throughout the world. The music is typically composed with drums and guitar.
There are many unique dances around the world. So next time you travel, make sure you make some time in your agenda to see the dances live or even take a class.
Are you graduating in December? Do you know what your next step is going to be?
World Endeavors offers a variety of internships for college graduates that will give you the hands on experience you need to build your resume. It is becoming more notable and relevant now more than ever for a job applicant to have international experience on their resume.
For most of our programs you can start on any Monday of the year! Applications need to be submitted at least 12 weeks before the program start date.
Check us out on our website:
- Deaf Education