Posts Tagged ‘Adventure’

From New York to…Berlin

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

Every city has its story. Some are built on peace and trust, but most upon revolution and blood. I might be of the minority opinion, but I think it’s important to know the history of the place you live or visit. It tells a bigger story. Isn’t that what college is about? Discovering what you believe based upon your knowledge of the world? For American history, no place is better for that than New York City (except maybe D.C.). For Western-focused history, I think no city carries that weight better than Berlin.

In New York it’s a little easier to ignore history when there’s so much hustle and bustle around us. A lot of us don’t stop to think unless we decide on a day and time to go to a specific place and think about the history of how this great city came to be. It’s a little different in Berlin. Its past drags on you as you walk through its streets and there are signs of history everywhere—a city trying to wipe away its past through modernization.

www.pinterest.com

http://pinterest.com/

http://voss-photography.com/

http://voss-photography.com/

Since it’s humbling and humanizing, I’ve made a list of places you can stop and think about the past in both Berlin and New York:

History Museums.

Museums are meant to be quiet places to look at precious items and ponder their meaning. History museums are some of the most impactful places in any city. This is especially true for New York and Berlin. In New York the National Museum of the American Indian brings to light not only the history of New York, but also of this land. It’s a humbling experience and allows you to see the stories and artwork of the Native Americans before and after European settlers. New York boasts many other history museums, but one of the best is a bit far from Manhattan. If you can get there, the Ellis Island Immigration Museum helps anyone understand what makes modern day New York so wonderfully diverse and will give you a sense of the historical struggle of your ancestors. Berlin is filled to the brim with museums about history. One of these is the German Historical Museum or Deutsches Historisches Museum, which shows the history of Germany from its founding to its scarred past and hopeful future.

 

Tragedy Museums.

I define museums of tragedy as separate from museums of history because the weight of self-awareness you feel in a museum centered on tragedy is innately different from that of history. The National Museum of the American Indian is also a museum of tragedy to me, but the museum itself focuses mostly on the beauty of Native American culture rather than on their horrific plight. Another museum where New Yorkers will certainly feel the heaviness of tragedy is the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in the Financial District. Though this one may leave you feeling hollow and oddly aware of yourself and your fellow New Yorkers, it’s definitely worth visiting if you’re thinking about the past. For Berlin, the Jewish Museum will impact you in ways you didn’t even know were possible. It’s earthshattering and the mixture of art and history is made to let history overwhelm you. And you should let it this once. It’s worth it.

9/11 Memorial Pond. https://www.nycgo.com/

9/11 Memorial Pond.
https://www.nycgo.com/

Art Installation at the Jewish Museum in Berlin.  Taken by Jainita Patel

Art Installation at the Jewish Museum in Berlin.
Taken by Jainita Patel

 

Monuments and Memorials.

I’m honestly not quite sure where to begin with this one for New York, so I’m going to state the one I love the most that always takes me back in time: Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. Here you’ll find monuments dedicated to almost every war fought by American soldiers. If wars don’t interest you as much as common life, almost every grave in the cemetery has a story. Not to mention the place is gorgeous. If you’re looking for a more patriotic monument, Trinity Church on Wall St. has some of the most famous revolutionaries buried there including Alexander Hamilton and his family. A comprehensive list of New York monuments to sit and reflect upon can be found here. Berlin has a historical monument on every corner, but three very specific monuments had a huge impact on me: 1) The Berlin Wall Memorial. There is a piece left standing of the Berlin Wall in Brunnenviertel that has scribbles of graffiti proclaiming freedom that remains from just 25 years ago. It really puts the past into perspective. 2) The East Side Gallery. Also a piece of the Berlin Wall, this international memorial for freedom on Mühlenstraße will have you looking at art and history as two inseparable mediums by which to explore the past. 3) Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (and the nearby Großer Tiergarten—which contains the Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism—and the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma of Europe Murdered under the National Socialist Regime which is by Brandenburger Tor). This last one is more of an art piece, but just as powerful.

Civil War Memorial at Green-Wood Cemetery. http://sallyminker.com/

Civil War Memorial at Green-Wood Cemetery.
http://sallyminker.com/

 

Graffiti on the Berlin Wall Memorial. Taken by Jainita Patel.

Graffiti on the Berlin Wall Memorial.
Taken by Jainita Patel.

Right Outside Your Door.

You know those nights were you just sit outside your small NYC dorm or apartment and look at the street and starless sky? Or when you walk to class or work, avoiding the traffic and ignoring your aching feet? There’s history there, right underneath you and around you. It’s a place to begin thinking about the rich histories and the lessons we can learn from it. It’s important, especially in cities with pasts like New York and Berlin.

 

So there it is—this week’s oddly sad and moving tips on how to connect with a deeper part of yourself and the world. Who says you can’t enjoy yourself while being pensive and having your mind blown? And who knows? If you like either city for the weight of its history, maybe you’ll get to visit the other some day.

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By Jainita Patel

Jainita is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is double majoring in English and Environmental Studies at NYU. Though writing fiction and painting are her two main passions, she also has a love of travel and adventure that has taken her across the globe.  Jainita writes under the pseudonym Jordan C. Rider. If you like her posts, you can find more of her work here or follow her on Twitter. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015. 

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From New York to…Amsterdam

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

New York and Amsterdam. These two cities together have a context that brings to mind debauchery and nighttime revelry that you’re bound to regret the next morning. But that’s not what we’re talking about today. Today, we’re talking about confusion.

Any city is confusing if you’ve never lived there before. You don’t know the neighborhoods or the areas to avoid, and you’re bound to get lost the first few times you visit. Sometimes this is fun and you can find new places, but most of the time it’s just inconvenient.

So here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your time in both of these gorgeous cities:

http://wallup.net/wp-content/

http://wallup.net/wp-content/

Taken by Jainita Patel

Taken by Jainita Patel

 

Roads and Rivers.

Every place has a certain road or river that brings a level of comfort since you know that when you find it, you can find your way home. The best way to orient yourself in either city is to find that one road. In New York, for the first few years that road was Broadway. No matter where I was, if I could find Broadway, I could get home even if my phone was dead. As time moved on and I switched apartments, my main landmark became the East or Hudson River. In New York, we get lucky as we’re on an island and a grid system. Try going to Boston or Amsterdam and this becomes a little more complicated. In Amsterdam, I’d suggest making the Prins Hendrikkade road and s100 highway your main roads. These are a bit on the outskirts, but they encompass most of the Centrum or downtown. If you go past that, the Amstel Canal is your best bet.

 

Neighborhoods.

Familiarize yourself with the neighborhoods before you decide to go to visit them. I’m more comfortable downtown than uptown, but once a few of my friends moved to the Heights and Harlem, I decided to find my main roads up there just incase I couldn’t charge my phone at night. This might come in handy, especially out in the boroughs. In Amsterdam, the canals are beautiful, but they can seriously confuse you, especially if you decide to live outside of Centrum, so it might be good to familiarize yourself with the main roads ahead of time as well.

 

Public Transport.

You don’t have to know where you are if you can find the one train station that will take you anywhere—or at least home after a long night. In New York, Midtown is probably a good place to start. 42nd St. and 34th St. have most of the lines you’ll need to journey in Manhattan. If you get on the wrong train, don’t worry. Just climb abroad one going back to that central station and try again. NYC’s subways are tricky to get used to at first, but in a week you’ll get it down. The maps are pretty easy to read and are available in most subway carts and stations. At Amsterdam Central Station, you can find a metro, bus, or tram to wherever you need to go and can easily purchase a temporary OV-chipkaart at the station.

 

Embrace It.

If you have time to get lost, embrace it. You’ll find some of the coolest spots when you’re not looking for them or staring at your GPS trying to see where you missed that last turn. Amsterdam, especially is beautiful and relatively safe to wander at night. On the canals you’ll see some of the most beautiful sights a city has to offer. New York isn’t short on its beautiful spots either. East River Park is stunning and the sight of the Freedom Tower is something to marvel at when the sun is setting.

 

http://brokelyn.com/

http://brokelyn.com/

Taken by Jainita Patel

Taken by Jainita Patel

And of course, if you have a GPS app on your phone, you don’t even have to worry about this, so enjoy yourself! Get lost on purpose and let the freedom of it wash over you. And who knows? If you like getting lost in New York or Amsterdam, hopefully you’ll get a chance to visit the other some day.

Stay rad,
Jainita

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By Jainita Patel

Jainita is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is double majoring in English and Environmental Studies at NYU. Though writing fiction and painting are her two main passions, she also has a love of travel and adventure that has taken her across the globe.  Jainita writes under the pseudonym Jordan C. Rider. If you like her posts, you can find more of her work here or follow her on Twitter. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015. 

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Pushing Boundaries: How Traveling and Studying Abroad Have Changed My Life and Shaped My Career Path, and Why You Should Do It Too

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

At only 21 years old, I am no Confucius. I cannot give you sound and scientific advice that, if followed, will give you guaranteed success and happiness and all the things you’ve ever dreamed possible. I do not know everything; I don’t have all the answers. What I DO have is my own experience. One of my favorite lines from a book came from Arthur Japin’s In Lucia’s Eyes that reads, “The world is full of people who spend their entire lives seeking the miracle of love without ever seeing it. It’s actually very simple and self-evident, except to those who seek it. One need only have a different way of seeing things. That is not something you can teach people. All you can do is tell your story.”

Whether or not you’re looking for love, let that last sentence resonate with you. All you can do is tell your story. This is my story.

Me:

My mother was born and raised in Brazil and moved to the U.S. when she found her future husband who worked in San Francisco at the time. This man, my father, lived in the U.S. for several years already, but actually grew up in San Jose, Costa Rica.  Call them star-crossed lovers or whatever you wish, these two foreigners set out to make a new future in a new country for their new daughter, me!

 

Growing up, it was just my parents and me. No siblings, no relatives nearby, no pets other than the occasional goldfish won at a carnival with a lifespan average of two days.  I spent most of my breaks from school traveling, either to Costa Rica or Brazil, to see family and connect with cousins and friends my age, keeping up with both Portuguese and Spanish.

The language was never a barrier to me when I was in another country, but became an issue when I returned to the U.S. and had already started school. I would meet with friends and sometimes be unable to realize that I wasn’t speaking English with them because I was so used to being understood in another language.

In addition to traveling to see relatives, I was fortunate enough to have such hard-working parents who always wanted me to see the world, as was their goal for themselves.  We travelled to many places in Europe before I finished the 8th grade, even at which point it was very clear to me that studying abroad would be in my future, no question.

Before starting high school I KNEW I would be gone for sophomore year – I researched study abroad programs and took advantage of them.  Initially I wanted to go to countries like Italy or Spain, but I wound up finding a full-ride scholarship opportunity (sponsored by U.S. Congress and German Parliament) to study in Germany, so I applied. As I moved further through the selection process, it became surreal how competitive this was: out of 2500 applicants, only 50 would receive scholarships.

In April 2006, I learned I had received the scholarship. I turned 15 the next month and three months later was off to live in Germany for a year: no family, no friends, and didn’t  know a word of German. I was the youngest of all the recipients, and after 11 months I was fluent in German.

Before beginning my time at a University, it was clear to me I would study abroad again. I would have applied for the program right away if it weren’t for the window allowed for it by the study abroad office. I was the first to submit an application for that as well, and in the fall of 2010, I had one of the BEST semesters of my life in Bern, Switzerland. If I hadn’t graduated early, I would have studied abroad again.

I’ve now relocated from Arizona to New York and am pursuing a career here while considering my options for a Master’s abroad – perhaps Switzerland again.  I’ve even recently been asked to work with a European magazine for some press releases. My passion is traveling and connecting with people who have experienced this and exchanging cultures.  All the traveling and studying abroad I’ve done have brought me here and told me where I’m going.  You CAN and SHOULD do it too, and even if traveling isn’t something you want for your career, experiencing it now while you’re young is priceless and will teach you so much about yourself and the world.

 

Where to look for study abroad programs:

  1. Consult with your school’s study abroad offices: I realize these offices are becoming smaller and smaller in the U.S., but these guys know what they’re talking about. Ask which kinds of programs are available to you – some may have year standing or GPA requirements. Maybe there’s a specific kind of program you’re searching for – my school offered programs in which you travel with a group of students from the University while learning abroad. My school also offered a program where you didn’t pay a study abroad fee, just the same tuition you were paying while attending the school, which is how I was able to study abroad. Many study abroad offices even have information on scholarships. There are plenty of options; inform yourself!
  2. Check other programs: This gets tricky and is where fees come into play, sky-rocketing the price of your study abroad experience. My scholarship study abroad program was limited to high school students, but there are other groups out there! Check out: ciee.org or studyabroad.com.
  3. Maybe you’re interested in the experience of it but don’t want to be studying: Check out things like aupair-world.net where you can be a live-in nanny, earn some money, have a host family that could help teach you more about the culture, and be immersed in your new surroundings. You could take a semester off to do it, do it in the summer, or make time for it after you graduate. Another post-graduate option could be The Peace Corps.
  4. Degrees and Internships Abroad: These are other ways you can be productive in a new place. You can research schools in the areas you’re most interested in and see their guidelines for international students. My advice for those looking to study in Europe would be to check out bachelorsportal.eu OR mastersportal.eu where you can define your search based on degree subject, country, or tuition and GET THIS: tuition prices elsewhere could be as little as 4% what you’re paying now. What about textbook fees? That’s all an American scam so you can say “bye-bye” to that! As for internships, try goabroad.com/intern-abroad or ask at your school’s study abroad office.  HEADS UP: this internship opportunity in China was just tweeted via @InternQueen that may be worthwhile: http://www.crccasia.com/?utm_source=InternQueen&utm_medium=Eblast&utm_campaign=October

5. If all else fails and you just want to travel abroad but want to do it sooner rather than later (excellent choice), check out statravel.com for good deals on flights and hotel information – those prices keep going up these days so it’s good to know of a place that’s dedicated to finding competitive rates. I’d also recommend kayak.com, which is where I found an affordable flight to NYC.

Why:

Even if traveling doesn’t give you insatiable wanderlust as it has to me, at the very least you’ll         broaden your horizons, learn something new and take these experiences with you in your next job interview, which could make all the difference. I encourage you to try something new, to not be afraid, and to learn a new language – there’s no better way than immersion! At the risk of sounding cliché, the world is truly your oyster so go out and open it!

 

 

 

 

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Posted by Lauren A Ramires. Follow her blog, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (username: laurenaramires) for more lifestyle and inspiration posts.

If you’re interested in learning more of the experiences of a Peace Corps Volunteer, check out this blog for stories on the daily happenings of a PCV and things you could expect.

 

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