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How to Study Abroad in Granada, Spain

city squareGranada is a fantastic study abroad destination and has a lot to offer for students who want to study the Spanish language, history, or international relations. Granada was first founded in the fifth century BC by the Greeks, occupied by the Moors from 711 until the late fifteenth century, and then was taken over during the Catholic Reconquista in 1492. Granada still has a definitely Moorish feel to it, especially in the Alhambra and Albayzin.

Many international students call Granada home every semester, as the city is a major study abroad location in Spain. Located at the foot the Sierra Nevada mountains and only an hour away from the coast, this city has something to appeal to everyone. Here are the things that EDUinReview recommends you do while studying abroad in Granada to get the most out of your experience without breaking the bank.

1. Go on a tapas tour. Unlike restaurants in the other major cities in Spain, restaurants in Granada give free tapas with every drink you order during the night. This means that you can eat dinner for free in Granada. Each restaurant serves different tapas, so it’s best to go on a tour of different restaurants to see what their specialties are. Also, the more drinks that you order at a restaurant, the better their tapas will be, so it might be a good idea to find one restaurant you really like and then camp out there all night, ordering drinks and eating free food.

2. Get lost in the Albayzin. This little section of Granada feels like it has been preserved since the 15th century, when Granada was still a Moorish city. I love spending hours in the Albayzin, wandering through the many shops and drinking té arabé in the teterias, where you can order delicious hot teas in a very relaxed environment. My favorite tetras are Kasbah and Teteria Alfaguara.

3. Gaze at the Alhambra and enjoy live music at the Mirador de San Nicolas. Located at one of the highest points of the Albayzin, this lookout point has a fantastic view of the Alhambra. It’s best to come here in the early evening because there are often musicians playing music here for the tourists. If you are lucky, there might even be some locals dancing flamenco. When the sun starts to set, get a front row view along the wall to see the sun go down behind the Alhambra, a view unmatched anywhere else in Spain.

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How to Study Abroad in Hong Kong, China

hong kong skylineHong Kong, China, is easily one of the most interesting cities in the world and has a little bit of something for everyone. If you are studying Asian cultures, international business, or economics, this is a great place for you to study abroad. However, if you are studying Mandarin Chinese, you should not study in Hong Kong because they speak Cantonese. However, it is still a great location to study abroad. Here are our tips for some things you should do while studying abroad in Hong Kong to really get a feel for the city and take advantage of some of the things it has to offer.

1. Learn about Hong Kong’s history. The Hong Kong Museum of History is a very informative museum about the history of this city. There are short movies and displays throughout the museum, which makes it more interesting than your average museum. I think the most interesting displays are those which deal with the city’s more recent history. The museum is only 10 HKD and is free on Wednesdays, so it is a budget-friendly way to spend a day. The museum is quite large, so allow for at least half a day to really see everything. Some other museums you should check out are the Hong Kong Space Museum and the Museum of Art.

2. Escape from the city in Lamma Island. Lamma Island is about a 30 minute fast ferry ride from the Central District of Hong Kong. Lamma Island is a great place to escape the hustle-and-bustle of the city for a day in favor of fresh seafood restaurants, hikes around the island, and some time at the beach. Some of the hikes on this island will give you fantastic views, so make sure you bring your tennis shoes and comfortable clothes to explore in.

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How to Study Abroad in Shanghai, China

Shanghai skylineShanghai is the city with the largest population in China; more than 23 million people lived there in 2010. It is quickly becoming a leading global city due to its influence in various areas, such as commerce, finance, media, and technology. This being said, it is a great place for students who are studying international business, mass communications, and any of the STEM majors to study abroad.

So you have decided that you want to study abroad in Shanghai? That’s awesome! Obviously you have to do the standard tourist things, like visiting The Bund, City of God Temple, and Yuyuan Garden. However, there are a few other things that you should definitely check out while you are studying abroad in Shanghai.

1. Take the Maglev train from the airport. This train ride is sure to please even the most avid speed-demon. The train connects the Shanghai Pudong International Airport with the city, making it easy to get from the airport into the city and vice versa. However, that’s not what is special about this train ride. The Maglev train reaches a speed of 430 km/hour, or 267 mph. That is insanely fast! It only takes a little more than seven minutes to get between the two locations, which makes the 50 yuan ($0.15) trip seem like quite a cheap form of entertainment.

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How to Study Abroad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Argentina CoastlineThere was recently an animated movie released that took place in this breathtaking city. However, if this is all you ever see of Rio de Janeiro, you will be missing out. In fact, I’d have to recommend that instead just watching the movie, you study abroad there.

Rio is the second largest city in Brazil and is home to 6.3 million people. This is a fantastic place to study abroad if you want to learn Portuguese, experience Carnival, or get caught up in the 2014 FIFA World Cup madness. It is also home to absolutely beautiful landscapes and a tropical savanna climate, which means it is constantly warm with temperatures rarely dipping below 65 degrees Farenheight.

So you are wanting to study abroad in Rio? Here are some of our tips for things you should do while in this magnificent city in order to really take advantage of everything the city has to offer.

1. Take a train ride up to see Christ the Redeemer. This huge statue of Christ the Redeemer has become an international symbol of Rio de Janeiro. You can take the Corcovado Train up the mountain to see the statue up-close and personal. More than 300,000 people every year venture up the mountain to see this statue, and even if you are not a Christian, this is a fantastic work of art that you should see if you are studying abroad in Rio. Try to sit on the right-hand side of the train to get the best views as the train climbs the mountain.

2. Go to the beach! This is one of my favorite things to do in Rio. There are beautiful beaches all along the coast near Rio, but two of the most famous are Ipanema and Copacabana. Ipanema is also home to great shopping options and trendy cafes, so make sure you bring your wallet with you to this beach destination. Copacabana is a very famous beach and is a great place to take a stroll along the ocean. However, it often gets very crowded – especially on the weekends – so go early and stake out a spot. Both beaches are wonderful for people-watching and soaking up some rays.

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How to Study Abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina

ObeliskCommonly known as the “Paris of South America,” Buenos Aires is a multicultural city that has been influenced by the many immigrants who moved to the city in droves since the 19th century. Today, the city is home to around 13 million people and is a great cultural hub, making it a fantastic place for study abroad students.

Have you decided to study abroad in Buenos Aires? Here are some of our tips for really immersing yourself in the culture and making the most of your study abroad experience.

1. Cheer for La Boca.
As it is in most Spanish-speaking countries, soccer is a pretty big deal in Argentina. In Buenos Aires, La Boca is the team to follow. So, embrace the culture and go see a game! Make sure you wear blue and yellow (the team colors) and get ready for a really great experience. This is also a great place to practice speaking Spanish – if you are study abroad to learn a foreign language – because sports fans will be willing to talk about the game with you, especially if La Boca is winning.

2. Dance the night away at a milonga. Milongas are “tango nights.” Unless you already know how to tango, I would recommend watching others before trying to join in on a milonga at la Calesita, a posh venue when men and women sit on opposite sides of the room. If a man wants to dance with a woman, he must ask her by using nods, eyebrow raises, and other subtle movements. However, if you would rather dance than watch, you can check out a more model venue, such as La Marshall or Tango Cool.

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How to Study Abroad in Beijing, China

Peking UniversityBeijing (which means North City) is the capital of China and is home to more than 19 million people. Beijing has been a cultural and historical center for thousands of years and is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, along with Nanjing, Luoyang, and Chang’an.

Today, Beijing serves as the political, educational and administrative centers of the country. This means that it is a great place to study abroad because there are several popular universities in the city, such as the Beijing Language and Culture University and the Peking University. It is also a great place to study the Chinese language, because the city is home to the national standard dialect.

1. See the Forbidden City and the Imperial Palace. Construction of the Forbidden City began in 1406 and contains 980 buildings. Walking around this massive area (7,800,000 square feet) can take an entire day, so bring your walking shoes. Afterwards, you should go to the rooftop bar at the Emperor Hotel, Yin. You will have a great view of the Forbidden City and can enjoy a drink while taking in the sights. If your drink contains baijiu, be careful: it can definitely pack a punch.

2. Grill out at Jin Bai Fa
. If you are a big fan of grilling outdoors in the USA, you can get a little taste of home at Jin Bai Fa. At this restaurant, you can grill your food at your table on a small personal table grill. This restaurant is also relatively cheep, which is always a good thing if you are trying to save money and live within your budget.

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How to Study Abroad in Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City SkylineWhen most people think of studying abroad to learn Spanish, they think of Spain. However, there’s another country that is much closer to the USA, has a lower cost of living, and has millions of native Spanish speakers. Where could I be talking about? Mexico!

Recently, Mexico has not been the safest place for American tourists, and you should keep this in mind before deciding to study abroad in this country. However, if you have already decided that you want to study in Mexico, then Mexico City is a great place to do so! People have been living in Mexico City for more than 20,000 years and the city is home to more than 2,500 archaeological zones, so you can really get a feel for the city’s long history.

But besides visiting these historical areas, what can you do in Mexico City to really get the most out of your study abroad experience? Here are EDUinReview’s tips for studying abroad in this city.

1. Spend some time in Zocalo Plaza.
This city is located by the National Cathedral and the Presidential Palace, so it’s a great place to meet up with friends before visiting these sites. However, the plaza itself has a lot to offer and is a great place to spend a day. There are various street food vendors, so you can grab a cheap meal while doing some people watching. You can also shop in some of the stores that are close by. There are often concerts, political demonstrations, and exhibitions held in this plaza, so you might stumble upon something new each time you visit.

2. Listen to mariachi music at Xochimilco. This area of town is built on an ancient city of the same name. Today, it serves as an interesting spot to spend a day with your friends. Here you can hop on a boat and be rowed through the canals. While you are on the boat, other boats will pass by you and the people on these boats will probably offer to sell you food, drinks, or play mariachi music for you. You can only get this experience in Xochimilco and it’s a great way to familiarize yourself with the culture, so I definitely recommend spending at least one day here.

3. Go to a museum.
There are many museums in Mexico City. Some of the best include the  National Museum of Anthropology and the Museo de Arte Moderno. The National Museum of Anthropology contains many anthropological treasures and many temporary exhibitions. This is a really great place for anyone who wants to learn about Mexico’s past or see the Aztec Calendar. The Museo de Arte Moderno has a vast collection of contemporary art. However, do not expect to see a lot of art from Europe or Asia; this museum mainly features art work from Mexico and Latin America. Other museums in Mexico City that are worth visiting include the Museo Nacional de Arte, Museo Nacional de la Culturas, and the Museo Frida Kahlo.

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How to Study Abroad in Munich, Germany

Munich's Church of Our LadyMunich, Germany, is the third largest city in Germany and home to 1.35 million people. It is the capital of Bavaria, Germany, and was the host city of the 1972 Summer Olympics. It is a historically rich city that is currently doing very well in the areas of economics and social innovation. It is a great place to study abroad if you want to learn to speak German and experience the Germanic culture; sadly, it is also considered to be the most expensive city to live in in Germany, which can make it unappealing to students who are living on a tight budget.

If you have decided that you are going to study abroad in Munich, there are still a lot of cool things you can see and do that will not break the bank. Here is a list of some of my favorite things to do in Munich:

1. Go to the English Garden (Englischer Garten). This is not just a large garden of the English variety, like it’s name implies. In fact, it has representative gardens for several countries. There is a Greek temple, a Japanese tea garden, and a Chinese pagoda. The first time I went here was on a sunny day with friends. We returned several more times to have picnics in various parts of the park. This is also a good place to do your homework or go for a run. Basically, if you want to be outside in Munich during the nice weather and feel like you have escaped from the big city for a while, you should go the English Garden.

2. Visit the Royal Palace, Nymphenburg Palace. This gorgeous palace and it’s ground were built between the years of 1664 and 1675. The Baroque artworks inside the palace are absolutely beautiful; remember to look at the ceiling when you go into the palace or else you might miss some of the most beautiful works of art including the Steinerner Saal. The gardens around the palace contain two lakes, various fountains, and many pavilions where you can stop and rest in the shade. My favorite part of the Nymphenburg Palace is the Amalienburg, a hunting lodge that was constructed for Maria Amalia. This smaller, pink building is home to the Hall of Mirrors, something that you absolutely must see if you are going to the Nymphenburg Palace.

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How to Study Abroad in London, England

London Bridge and Westminster AbbyLondon, England. Just the name of the city sounds good to me, but a semester or a year living there? That sounds amazing! Personally, I have only visited London but I feel like living there would be one of the best opportunities a college kid could have to experience the rich history and culture of a country that has had a great impact on the USA.

So if you are planning on studying abroad in London, kudos to you! In addition to learning to love drinking hot tea, here are a few more things I think you should do while studying abroad in London:

1. Pay your respects to the Bard. The original Globe Theatre  was built in 1599 in order to house the plays that were produced by Shakespeare‘s playing company and burned down in 1613. Another model of the Globe was constructed in 1997 and is located about 750 feet from the original Globe. Today, you can buy tickets to see one of Shakespeare’s plays being performed at the Globe Theatre. Take it from a big Shakespeare fan: seeing one of his plays is good, seeing it at the Globe is great, and standing in the bottom section of the theatre as a “groundling” is amazing! In addition to being more fun (the actors interact with the groundlings, just like they did in Shakespeare’s day), buying a groundling ticket is also cheaper and allows you to stand closer to the stage.

2. Take a ride on the London Eye.
This glass ferris wheel is situated on the River Thames and is the tallest ferris wheel in Europe. Although it is somewhat slow, it does offer fantastic views of the city. This is something that you should definitely do when you are in London, but I would prefer to take a visitor – parents, friends who aren’t studying in London, etc. – on the Eye than do it by myself. The lines to get on the Eye can be long as well, so it might be better to go during the week than during the weekend.

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How to Study Abroad in Sydney, Australia

Skyline of Sydney, Australia“G’day, mate!” When I hear these two words, I automatically think of Australia. If you are like me and these words inspire you to want to study abroad in this country, I have two more words for you: Sydney, Australia.

Sydney was first established in 1788 as a British penal colony. Today, the city is home to 4.6 million people and the University of Sydney, the oldest university in the country. The city is also a cultural hub, hosting many social and cultural festivals and events throughout the year. There are also many museums and art galleries in Sydney, such as the Museum of Sydney, the White Rabbit Gallery, and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

So have you decied that you want to study abroad in Sydney? Here are some of the things we at EDUinReview think you should do to get the most out of your study abroad experience in this city.

1. Take a ride on the Manly Ferry.
Sydney is surrounded by the Sydney Harbour, which is a perfect place to take a cruise on the Manly Ferry. By taking this ferry, you will get excellent views of the city, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the Opera House as you leave the city. The trip takes about 30 minutes to get from Sydney to Manly. Once in Manly, you can spend some time in the city. I recommend satisfying your sweet tooth at the Max Brenner Chocolate Bar. This is a good activity to do with your family when they come visit you in Sydney.

2. Save up for a ticket to the Open Air Cinema. This cinema is quite expensive, but it is worth the price. Here you can watch a movie in an open-air cinema, with a backdrop of the city skyline, the Opera House, and the Harbour Bridge. There is also a colony of fruit bats that live near by and you can often see them flying overhead during the movie. The Open Air Cinema is only open during the summer. You should book your tickets well in advance because this venue sells out quickly and it can be hard to get a ticket.

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