3 Study Technique Tips for New Language Learners

Most of us are aware of the subtle differences in how each of us learns information, both in the classroom, and on the job or in the field. There are some commonalities in how memory works, for example remembering the first and last items in a list, or having an easier time digesting numbers in groups (it’s usually easier to remember 483 than 4, 8, and 3). But that being said, there are also distinct differences in our strengths and weaknesses. Some people truly do learn better listening to a lecture than reading a book, while others will get the most out of classes where slides and diagrams are used. Some of us like to organize our information in bullet point lists, while others need a single mnemonic to memorize an entire paragraph. But when it comes to language learning, study suggestions are so often the same; vocabulary flash cards in particular come to mind. Don’t get me wrong, flash cards are great, and sometimes they can turn rote memorization into a more streamlined process. But given how many different ways we all prefer to intake information, it’s not a bad idea to collect different techniques and tools. Continue reading “3 Study Technique Tips for New Language Learners”

How to Make the Most of Your College Electives

If you going into college already set on what you want to study and the degree(s) you hope to graduate with, then college electives may seem like stumbling blocks to the finish line. But they’re actually incredibly useful and can improve your overall job prospects if you approach them right; it’s not just universities trying to take an extra dollar out of your pocket. Although it can sometimes feel that way – try to make the most of your required electives! Plus, if you go into school with no idea what you want to do or what you want to study, they’re just that much more important and helpful for exploring. Continue reading “How to Make the Most of Your College Electives”

Unusual Places to Stay While Traveling

The appeal for many that enjoy traveling is the idea of getting out of ones comfort zone – and that includes where you lay your head each night. Hotels are convenient if you’re a new traveler and want to have a guarantee of the comfort of where you’re staying. They can also be a necessity if you’re going on a trip that is high impact in terms of baggage, where you need a shuttle service, or with many schedules to accommodate, or if you’re trying to coordinate with a large number of people. But for a smaller and more flexible trip, there are a number of unique and sometime exciting places to stay that are a bit more off the wall. Here are just a few ideas for travelers looking for novel travel accommodations. Continue reading “Unusual Places to Stay While Traveling”

Hiking Mt. Fuji: Friendly Advice From Someone Who Made All the Mistakes For You

“Anthea, are those parachutes?!” my friend asked me. And just like that, I was so excited I practically shook in my dusty, busted sandals. I felt that feeling in the pit of my stomach – the one that usually means I’m about to experience an adrenaline rush. “I think they might be?” I said, looking over the edge at the dark, disappearing shapes falling through the thick, white of clouds circling the top of Mt. Fuji, leaving trails behind them. Continue reading “Hiking Mt. Fuji: Friendly Advice From Someone Who Made All the Mistakes For You”

Cuba’s Fusterlandia: Transforming a Neighborhood

Cuba and U.S. relations have improved enough that visiting is no longer impossible. One must apply for the appropriately categorized trip on their visa. Cuba is almost indescribable in less than fifty thousand words, but suffice it to say the culture, history, and nature are uniquely beautiful. And the people are unlike anywhere else – a particular kindness, and an unusual sense of safety for two women traveling alone, was a pleasant surprise. Continue reading “Cuba’s Fusterlandia: Transforming a Neighborhood”

Overgrowth in Chernobyl: Interesting Botany and Wildlife in the Exclusion Zone

What do Korea’s demilitarized zone and Chernobyl, Ukraine have in common? It may sound like the beginning to a poorly chosen joke, but it’s a sincere question with an unexpected answer. Both areas have become nature sanctuaries. Both regions are undisturbed by human activity and construction, allowing animals to flourish and plant life to return unmitigated by industry or landscaping. After the destruction of war and nuclear catastrophe in 1986, Chernobyl’s exclusion zone has seen the return of a number of species to the area, including the intentional introduction of one species. Continue reading “Overgrowth in Chernobyl: Interesting Botany and Wildlife in the Exclusion Zone”

Music and Opera in Mongolia

Overtone singing is the practice of splitting one’s voice so that two tones are audible. The tones can be the same note, or one can remain constant while the other modulates. Perhaps most eerily beautiful is when both tones change at the same time. The effect, you can imagine, is astonishing for those unfamiliar with the talent; an individual singer will produce two haunting voices simultaneously, both the lead and the background to the same song. The practice requires skill and a great deal of work to perfect.
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Stained Glass, Art, and Murals in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

I’ve heard Chernobyl, Ukraine is best described as a living museum. It’s perhaps the best way to explain what is now referred to as the exclusion zone because it truly feels like even the cities decomposition is a way of preserving what happened there. The exclusion zone – the region now off limits due to residual radioactivity from the 1986 power plant accident – is largely deserted, apart from the military and scientific staff that are rotated in shifts to maintain its borders and keep a close eye out for fires or illegal settlers. Continue reading “Stained Glass, Art, and Murals in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone”

On the Lookout for Kafka in Prague

A man wakes up horrified to discover that he’s been transformed into an enormous insect – a burden to his family, a freak to the civilized world. Sound familiar? Whether you’ve read “The Metamorphosis” or not, you’ve probably been touch by material that’s
referenced this famous work by Franz Kafka. A Czech author whose work tends to lean towards the darkly surrealist, many know of his novels, but not all recognize how omnipresent he is in the nation’s capital where he was born.  Continue reading “On the Lookout for Kafka in Prague”

Art and History in Rome: What not to Miss

Rome, a modern city built around a massive piece of history, is known the world over for its archaeological sites, its art, and its architecture. With so much to see, it’s a good thing the city is so compact. Many of the major sites 

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