Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

From New York to…Vienna

Monday, July 17th, 2017

Cities can be gross, crowded places to live. Because of this, we sometimes forget to well…look up. The amount of effort and planning that went into the buildings around us is often lost when we’re caught up in the rush of getting to work or class. This is especially true in New York, where I’m usually too concerned with the location of the F train to look around and see some of the huge, insane works of art that skyscrapers and other buildings are. Another place I found this to be true was Vienna, home to some of the most glorious architecture I’ve ever seen.

https://www.manhattandigest.com/

https://www.manhattandigest.com/

Taken by Jainita Patel.

Taken by Jainita Patel.

If you have a minute to stop and look up, here are a few of the things that might surprise you:

 

Places of Worship.

As a means to preserve culture, centers of worship tend to be some of the most intricate works of architecture in the world. Since both New York and Vienna are mainly Christian, most of these places tend to be cathedrals. In New York, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and St. Patrick’s Cathedral spring to mind immediately as extremely impressive buildings that stand out in the urban streets. In Vienna, Votivkirche is a well-known cathedral with a breath-taking exterior. Karlskirche in Vienna on Karlplatz is not so impressive from the outside, but the baroque architecture inside is sure to stun you—if you go, be sure to take the elevator all the way up to see the fresco ceiling up close. In both New York and Vienna, however, cathedrals are not the only houses of worship with impressive architecture. If you’re willing to make the trip, the Hindu Temple Society of North America has an extraordinary Ganesh Temple (or Mandir) in Flushing that is built in the traditional Hindu architectural style. In Midtown, the Central Synagogue looks as stunning form the inside as it does the outside and it’s hard to miss even if you’re in a hurry to catch the next train. In Vienna, there is a Shaolin Temple Culture Center (Shaolin Tempel Kultur Zentrum) built in a traditional fashion with gorgeous gardens. Also in Vienna, the Islamic Centre of Vienna (Islamisches Zentrum Wien) lies just beyond the Danube and is worth the trip.

http://assets.atlasobscura.com/

http://assets.atlasobscura.com/

Votivkirche Taken by Jainita Patel.

Votivkirche
Taken by Jainita Patel.

 

Skyscrapers.

New York is known for its tall skyline. The Empire State Building and the Freedom Tower are some of its most famous structures, but if you get a chance, feel free to swing by 8 Spruce St. for it’s mesmerizing exterior or 56 Leonard St. which looks like a precarious game of Jenga. In Vienna, the Millennium Building towers over downtown, mixing the old and the new. The IZD is also an interesting building, even more so once you realize that the U.S. NSA has an office at the top of this famous skyscraper.

 

Palaces and Castles.

This might be one place New York falls a little short. New York is old, but it cannot even be compared the age of the older European cities. There is, however, one building in New York that looks a bit like a castle. The Park Avenue Armory looks like a fortified castle from the outside—it even has turrets. The outside of this building is of architectural interest, but the inside is even more so. In Vienna, there is no lack of royal residences, but my favorite is Belevedere, a palace built in the same baroque style as Karlskirche. Now an art museum, the slightly expensive price (€22 for all 3 sections) to enter the museum is worth seeing the works inside—including The Kiss by Gustav Klimt—and the gorgeous gardens and architecture.

 

Odd, Secret Spots.

Sometimes in city life you need a slightly idyllic respite from the rushed life style. Luckily, there are two spots in Manhattan that provide a few seconds of breathing room on your way to that important meeting you just can’t miss. As most NYU students know, Washington Mews with its cobblestone road is a cute little spot to just take a stroll and some silly pictures. The old-style architecture of the building on the Mews will just take you back in time for a brief minute. Another secret street in NYC is Pomander Walk. Located on West 95th St. between Broadway and West End Avenue, Pomander Walk is surrounded by gorgeous Tudor-style buildings. In Vienna, though I don’t know any secret walks like the Mews or the Walk, there is Hundertwasserhaus, an apartment building that is designed and painted to look like an expressionist piece of artwork. It’s a bit of a surprise to see that walking down the streets of Vienna so it will certainly catch your eye. There are a few expressionist buildings in Vienna so keep an eye out.

Pomander Walk http://daytoninmanhattan.blogspot.com/

Pomander Walk
http://daytoninmanhattan.blogspot.com/

Hundertwasserhaus http://photos.wikimapia.org/

Hundertwasserhaus
http://photos.wikimapia.org/

So take a minute and look around you and soak it all in. Cities are beautiful (most of the time). And who knows? Maybe if you like New York for its architecture, you’ll get to see Vienna’s some day or vice versa.

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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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Study Abroad, Get Hired: Virginia Yu, Copenhagen, Denmark

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

It’s hard to argue that there are many benefits to studying abroad, and for MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) graduate, Virginia Yu, it gave her a unique job opportunity as well.

“I’ve always loved traveling and learning about new cultures,” the 22-year-old says.

Yu attended the Danish Institute for Study abroad (DIS) in her spring semester of 2013. The school is located in Copenhagen, Denmark — “The land of LEGOs and awesome architecture!” she quips.

The tuition to study abroad was actually cheaper in Denmark than in Baltimore because Yu didn’t have to pay for extra on-campus fees. Her trip included classes, housing, two study tour trips, transportation in Copenhagen, and food expenses in the form of a prepaid grocery card. Yu also had grants and financial aid from MICA that carried on for her spring semester abroad, including a presidential scholarship and a MICA talent grant.

Virginia Yu smiles for the camera overlooking a typical Denmark scene.

Virginia Yu smiles for the camera overlooking a typical Denmark scene.

“[One way] I saved money was by not eating out and always asking for student discounts when I did eat out,” she says. “Copenhagen offered plenty of them because the majority of people were students.” Education is free in Denmark, so many people there are obtaining their masters. Because of this, many stores and cafes offer student discounts.

Yu ended up staying in Denmark for a total of eight months after she secured an internship with Seidenfaden Design Copenhagen for the summer.

“I felt really fortunate to have that opportunity because it allowed me to have more time in Denmark and to see the country more,” she says. “The best part, of course, was being able to work internationally and to compare the work environment to how things were like back home.”

She said that in Denmark there were better wages, more time off and less pressure — a very different working environment than one would find in Baltimore or New York City.

Brainstorming at work.

Brainstorming at work.

For college students, resume building is everything and having work experience abroad can really help someone stand out from other applicants.

“I gained a worldly knowledge, a chance to see the world, an opportunity to study overseas, which lead to working overseas, and lastly a once in a lifetime experience that I’ll never forget,” Yu says. “It has helped me become the person I am today.

“You learn to redefine what home is and you learn to infuse another culture to call your own.”

And really, isn’t that what studying abroad is all about?

Copenhagen landscape.

Copenhagen landscape.

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You can check out Virginia Yu‘s work at http://missyudesigns.com/

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-Sam Levitz is a graduate of Brooklyn College and went on the CUNY Study Abroad trip to China the summer of 2013. Follow her on Instagram:slevitz

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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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