Posts Tagged ‘Study Abroad’

From New York…to Prague

Monday, July 24th, 2017

Sometimes New York can feel really claustrophobic. You are literally surrounded by tall buildings on all four sides and there is always someone just a little too close to you. This is why it’s important to have open spaces in large cities. No two cities do that better than New York and Prague.

http://www.business2community.com/

http://www.business2community.com/

View from Starhov Monastery. Taken by Jainita Patel

View from Starhov Monastery.
Taken by Jainita Patel

As gorgeous as both of these cities can be (Prague much more so than New York), sometimes you need to get away from the city without actually leaving. These open areas might help you get rid of your claustrophobia.

 

Parks.

The most obvious place to get away from people is a park. This is because people go to a park to sit down and most people do not want to sit next to each other. Sheep Meadow in Central Park is an excellent place to take your blanket and stretch out with dozens of feet between you and next group of people. It’s also a great place for a picnic with friends. In Prague, there are two main parks where you can relax with while also getting a pretty scenic view. Letna Park (Letenské sady) is gorgeous and open, but Petřín Park (Petřínské sady) is my favorite, even though it is pretty far and a bit of a climb.

Sheep Meadow. Taken by Jenna Remley.

Sheep Meadow.
Taken by Jenna Remley.

 

Open Spaces Inside of Buildings.

New York City isn’t just known for its tall buildings, some insane places in New York can be just as wide as they are tall. The inside of the Oculus next to the Freedom Tower feels like you’re in some kind of super sterile future world, but if you’re looking to get away from the crowd, this place can help you do just that. No matter how many people I’ve seen in that building, the inside of the Oculus makes any size crowd seem tiny. Through Prague doesn’t have anything close to the Oculus, there is something else it does does better than New York….

https://www.theverge.com/

https://www.theverge.com/

 

Town Squares.

When New York squares (think Union Square) are crowded and often largely unpleasant to move around, during most times of the day Old Town Square in Prague is a wonderful place to be, full of culture and music and all kinds of vendors. Though there can be crowds, they are largely underwhelming compares to those of New York. You can enjoy the square without fear of someone brushing up next to you (and if you want to get lost in a crowd, the famous Charlesbridge is right there).

View from Old Town Square. Taken by Jainita Patel.

View from Old Town Square.
Taken by Jainita Patel.

A View from Above.

Another way to avoid people and get your space is to get above the crowd. Literally. Inwood Hill at the northern tip of Manhattan is a great nature point to look out over the Heights or see the bend of the Hudson River. It provides an alternative to going up a skyscraper. In Prague, Starhov Monastery (Strahovský klášter) provides a gorgeous view and if you have a few moments the inside of the library at the monastery is almost as breathtaking as the view of the city.

 

Rivers.

Rivers provide a wide-open view that can stretch for miles. If you’re in Manhattan, if you can walk to either side of the island, you’ll get a gorgeous view. If you can take the PATH train to the other side of the Hudson, Hoboken’s Sinatra Park barely has anyone there and the view is stunning. In Prague, next to Vyšehrad Cemetery there is the Saint Peter and Paul Basilica, which is usually empty. It’s freezing and it’s the only Cathedral that I’ve seen completely painted from the inside. Once you’re done ogling, if you go outside, there is the most gorgeous view of the Vitava River.

 

Inside Saint Peter and Paul Basilica in Vyšehrad. Taken by Jainita Patel.

Inside Saint Peter and Paul Basilica in Vyšehrad.
Taken by Jainita Patel.

The view from Vyšehrad.  Taken by Jainita Patel.

The view from Vyšehrad.
Taken by Jainita Patel.

If you’re feeling claustrophobic, check out some of these places. And if you like New York for its few, but gorgeous open spaces, you might like Prague. Hopefully you’ll get to visit both some day.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

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…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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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.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

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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From New York to…Stockholm

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

It’s hard not to feel fed up in a city. Your apartment has roaches the size of rats, you step in a mysterious liquid almost every day, and the F train is late again. Worst of all, people seem to be everywhere when you don’t want to be near them, but nowhere when you need them. The isolation is a lot to handle.

New York’s not the only city in the world that can make you feel isolated. Stockholm, in its cold, distant beauty is also like this in that it can be a fairly lonely city, even after you’ve lived there for a while.

But maybe isolation isn’t such a bad thing—think of it as solitude instead. For one, you have friends, but you just don’t want to be around them at the moment and that’s okay. Everyone feels this way at one point or another in New York and in Stockholm and here are a few ways to spend your time in solitude to get you loving your city again:

https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/

https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/

https://c1.staticflickr.com/

https://c1.staticflickr.com/

 

Be Productive.

I’m not joking. Without the need to be around friends to distract you, you can get a lot of work done. Though the sight of people isn’t great when you want to be alone, a quiet coffee shop might help you stay focused. In Stockholm, a good place to do this might be in Gamla Stan’s Chokladkoppen, or if you’re not in the mood to deal with the tourists of Gamla Stan, maybe just go to your local Espresso House instead. In New York, finding a quiet coffee shop is can require quite the hike. If you’re up for it, the Little Chair in Two Bridges is worth the journey. Or maybe just stick to a Think Coffee in the Village. Either way, a coffee shop is a great way to be productive and get away from most people you know.

 

Treat Yourself.

Not in the mood to see anyone? Great! This is the perfect time to take a page out of Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle’s book: Treat yourself. New York and Stockholm are both great cities to do so. Need a new work outfit? Treat yourself. Want to dye your hair? Treat yourself. Want that thousand calorie dessert? No one’s there to judge you. Treat. Your. Self. Even so, sometimes you want to treat yourself without breaking the bank and the Campus Clipper has great deals for gelato places like Unico or relaxing spas like the Lilac Spa on 1st Ave. In NYC, when you want to go shopping, you go to 5th Ave. In Stockholm, you go to Södermalm where you can find anything from desserts at Casja Warg to unique clothes at Beyond Retro.

 

Scenic Self-Reflection.

So every time you want to go see something cool outside of Gamla Stan or Soho, your friends are always there to bog you down. Well, now’s the time for your vision journey. It’s time to leave your neighborhood and go see the sights of your beautiful city. In Stockholm, why not take an archipelago tour and see the breathtaking islands that surround Stockholm (bring a jacket) or go to the Moderna Museet and see that exhibition you’ve been wanting to check out? In New York, go up to Inwood and to view the Hudson from the Cloister’s Museum or head to the Brooklyn or Bronx Botanical Gardens. These places are great to take a step back and think while you’re alone.

.

View from the Cloisters https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/

View from the Cloisters
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/

 

The archipelago. Taken by Jainita Patel.

The archipelago.
Taken by Jainita Patel.

Do that One Thing You’ve Been Putting Off.

What’s the one thing you’ve wanted to do or have been meaning to do and just never got around to it? Is it nerding out at Science Fiction Bokhandlen in Gamla Stan or wandering the Strand for hours? Is it going to a certain museum or to see a certain site? Is it taking an MMA Bootcamp class at Nimble Fitness (coupon in the Campus Clipper)? Well now’s your shot. Do it.

The Strand. https://i1.wp.com/

The Strand.
https://i1.wp.com/

 

Gamla Stan. Taken by Jainita Patel.

Gamla Stan.
Taken by Jainita Patel.

Cities can be a pain when you’re feeling a little alone, but there’s always a way to embrace it and make the most of the amazing place you live in. Whether it’s Stockholm or New York, being alone sometimes can be beneficial to your mental health and give you a moment to reflect. And who knows? If you like the idea of exploring NYC or Stockholm alone, maybe you’ll get to explore the other city some day as well.

__________________________________________________________________________________

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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Why You Should Study Abroad: Leah Zarra, London, UK

Monday, October 27th, 2014

 

Leah Zarra posing in front of a sign for the famous Abbey Road.

Leah Zarra posing in front of a sign for the famous Abbey Road.

 

“I just loved being so independent and being totally immersed in another city,” says Leah Zarra, 22, a Texas native and Drew University graduate.

Zarra participated in a semester-long study abroad program to London through her New Jersey college back in the fall of 2012. “I couldn’t wait to experience another culture,” she says, “even though London isn’t the first to jump to mind when you think ‘foreign’.”

According to Zarra, the full semester trip to London cost the same amount as a regular, on-campus semester. The trip included: tuition, housing in a flat with other people from her college, and a 2-zone Oyster card—similar to a Metrocard, allowing Zarra unlimited access to the Tube (subway) within specified zones.

When it came to financial resources to help fund her trip, Zarra had it covered.

“I had an annual Dean’s award scholarship all through college, so this carried over to my semester abroad,” she explains.

Zarra was able to take classes such as London Literature, British Political Drama, Modern British History and a required colloquium course. She earned 16 credits studying abroad—more credits than she would have earned in one semester staying on campus in the States.

Zarra and her friends riding the Tube.

Zarra and her friends riding the Tube. (Zarra is second from the right.)

When it came to saving money while abroad, Zarra made sure to budget wisely.

“As college students, we all try to be frugal, so we kept our eyes out for free food and events,” she says referring to her study abroad group. “If you’re looking, they’re easy to find. One professor told us about a group of Hare Krishna monks that served free curry every day. Food is a big one to save on.”

When asked if she would recommend her study abroad program to someone else, Zarra responded with a resounding “yes!”

“I learned so much, and not just in the classroom,” she says. “We didn’t just read famous British authors; our professors took us on walking tours around the city to see where Great Expectations took place, [or] where Virginia Woolf walked every day. As cliché as it sounds, I truly found a piece of myself there.”

Sometimes students take out some loans to study abroad and Zarra believes it’s absolutely worth it.

“Go into it with a positive attitude, and appreciate everything you see,” she says. “Make an effort to appreciate the privileges you didn’t realize you had. You will never have another chance like this.”

The famous Big Ben and Westminster Abbey: one of the many pictures Zarra took on her trip.

The famous Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. One of the many photos Zarra took while on her trip.

 

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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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#MakingMemories: How to Document a Study Abroad Trip

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

#tbt (noun) – A hashtag frequently used to brag on social media about past travel adventures.

However, Instagram-ing your “Throwback Thursday” pictures isn’t the only way you can document your study abroad adventures—though it is a popular one.

Journaling is another inexpensive way to preserve your trip memories without breaking the bank. It can be difficult to have the discipline to write in a journal every day, but in doing so you’ll have something to look back on for years to come.

 

The journal that I kept during my study abroad program in China. The cover is decorated with stickers and ticket stubs that I collected during my month-long adventure.

The journal that I kept during my study abroad program in China. The cover is decorated with stickers and ticket stubs that I collected during my month-long adventure.

 

Journaling can be an intimate experience, but for those looking for a more public outlet, social media is the way to go. Many travelers hoping to update friends and family overseas may want to consider creating an Instagram account. It’s free, works through WiFi and is a quick and easy way to document the highlights of your travels.

Some travelers do not understand the need to take frequent photographs, however past study abroad students, like Kimberly Rogers, 21, disagree.

“I am definitely the type of person to take a lot of pictures when I go on a trip,” she says. “People tell me to stop and take in the beauty of wherever I am, [but] I’m gonna want to look back and reminisce.” Rogers recently traveled to China with CUNY Brooklyn College in the summer of 2013. “I can be one of those old grandmas who tell my grandkids to come look at how cool I was [through pictures]!”

Kimberly Rogers holding the scrapbook she made after her study abroad trip to China.

Kimberly Rogers holding the scrapbook she made after her study abroad trip to China.

With more and more advances in technology every year, the amount of photos we can take and store is growing. Many of these photos get mindlessly uploaded to websites like Facebook and Flicker without a second glance, but the more creative you are with your photos the more memorable your trip will be.

Scrapbooking, a widely practiced pastime in the United States, is a useful tool for preserving study abroad memories. Rogers, who frequently used Instagram during her trip to China, also created a scrapbook upon her return home.

“I think it’s really important to document my travels,” she says, displaying her China scrapbook.

Four pages from Rogers' China scrapbook.

Four pages from Rogers’ China scrapbook.

 

The scrapbook that she created contains photographs of her friends, landmarks and other memories of her trip. She bought stickers that went along with the China theme and decorative paper to make the pictures pop.

Some places to go for cheap deals on scrapbooking supplies are stores like Target, Amazing Savings and Michaels.

“I could have just printed out pictures,” Rogers says, “but I wanted to put effort into what I collected and make something I could cherish forever.”

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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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College Savings: How to Haggle Your Way to the Best Souvenirs

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

I have a confession to make. . . . Are you listening? Good. Well, here goes…

I’m a packrat.

I can’t help it. Wherever I go I like to take mementoes with me. My best friend calls me the Souvenir Kleptomaniac. If there’s a free gift or college discounts to be had, I’m there. At restaurants I save the little business cards and menus and circle what I ate. I keep receipts from purchases in other countries just because there’s a different language on them.  I’m a sucker for nostalgia and remembering my trip in every detail possible is important to me. Although people aren’t generally this extreme, the act of bringing home a keepsake is usually one that people follow. The most important thing about souvenir shopping is getting the most for your money without going bankrupt.

As discussed earlier, sometimes it’s hard to pack everything you need in one suitcase. However, make sure you leave some extra space in it so you have room to bring things back.  You don’t want to have to buy an extra piece of luggage to fit everything you want to bring home. Extra luggage means more plane space, means more money out of your pocket.

Be wary of scams.
If you’re going to a country that makes a lot of money off of tourism chances are the people there are waiting for you: and they’re prepared. They want your business and they want you to spend your money on keychains and postcards and bottle openers with funny sayings on them. Don’t feel the need to do your entire souvenir shopping in one day at the same place.

My friend bought a hat from a vendor in China for 25¥ ($5!) that ripped only seconds after purchasing it.

My friend bought a hat from a vendor in China for 25¥ ($5!) that ripped only seconds after purchasing it.

Do not buy souvenirs at the airport.
Those T-shirts that say I HEART [insert country’s name here] aren’t going anywhere. You will see them wherever you go throughout the country, and will probably get a better deal on them in other stores than in the first one you see.

Learn to haggle.
And don’t be ashamed of doing it! The locals want your money, and chances are the initial price they are asking for that miniature sculpture of that famous landmark is a lot higher than they expect you to pay. Haggle with vendors for a better deal. If you are uncomfortable with the asking price—walk away! You’re not obligated to buy anything, and many times walking away will encourage vendors to immediately drop their asking price.

We bought cute panda hats in China that we found a week later for half the price.

We bought cute panda hats in China that we found a week later for half the price.

Save your money for one priceless gift for yourself.
That’s not to say don’t buy yourself anything else the whole trip. However, study abroad trips leave lasting impressions. Having one precious item to take home from your adventure will mean a lot to you in years to come.

 

My favorite purchase of the trip: a Jade necklace. It's very special and something I will treasure forever.

My favorite purchase of the trip: a Jade necklace. It’s very special and something I will treasure forever.

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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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Cultural Cuisine: Eating Your Way Around the World

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Writer and traveler Deborah Cater once said, “You have to taste culture to understand it”—and she wasn’t wrong. When you go to a foreign country and choose to eat only foods you are familiar with then you’re doing yourself a disservice. Traveling is all about trying new things—and food is one of the most important ones. In China, there are so many unique local dishes to try so you shouldn’t let fear of the unknown get in the way of experiencing the country like the locals do.

Sure we’ve all gone to our local Chinese takeout place and have ordered the pork Lo Mein or General Tso Chicken, but if you take the time to explore the country you’ll find non-Americanized Chinese food that’s definitely worth a try.

One of the most popular dishes to try if you find yourself in Beijing is the Peking Duck. This famous dish has been prepared since the imperial era and is served with steamed pancakes and eaten with scallion, cucumber and sweet bean sauce. Traditionally the meat is sliced thin by the cook right in front of you, which is definitely fun to watch. Two of the most notable restaurants are Quanjude and Bianyifang in Beijing, China.

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A chef prepares to carve a Peking Duck.

Peking Duck is traditionally served on a duck shaped plate.

Peking Duck is traditionally served on a duck shaped plate.

 

We all know that Italy is famous for their pasta; but did you know that the world’s oldest known noodles were actually discovered along the Yellow River in China? Dating back to roughly 4000 years BP, noodles have been a staple food in China—and watching hand pulled noodles being made is definitely something to go see if you visit. Hand pulled noodles, or Lamian, is made by stretching and folding the dough into strands. This unique method of making noodles originated in China and dates back to 1504. Lamian literally means pull or stretch, lā, (拉), noodle, miàn (麵) and watching a professional noodle chef pull noodles is a tourist attraction in itself!

The process of preparing hand pulled noodles is so quick that it happens in a blur!

The process of preparing hand pulled noodles is so quick that it happens in a blur!

Whether you’re traveling to China, or any other country, make sure that if you have food allergies you are well prepared. The chefs know what ingredients they use to prepare their food with and a language barrier shouldn’t stop you from being safe. Having a restaurant card is a great way to stay safe, and still be able to enjoy many of the delicious unique foods available. The card clearly states in another language the types of food you are not allowed to eat and your servers and chefs can take it from there.

Gluten-Free restaurant card picture taken from www.chinahighlights.com/

Gluten-Free restaurant card picture taken from www.chinahighlights.com/

Also, take the time to find out if the water is safe to drink in your country of origin. Often times it’s just easier to choose to drink only bottled water for the duration of your stay. You know it’s clean and safe, and you definitely don’t want to get sick while studying abroad!

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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

Follow the Campus Clipper on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

Interested in more deals for students? Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to get the latest in student discounts and promotions  and follow our Tumblr and Pinterest. For savings on-the-go, download our printable coupon e-book!

 

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