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How to Study Abroad in Vienna, Austria

st. stephen's cathedralVienna is the capital of Austria and is the largest city in the nation and the 10th largest in the European Union with a metropolitan population of 2.4 million people. The official language of the country is German, which makes Vienna a good place to study abroad if you want to learn the language. Vienna is also a good place to study if you are interested in art history, architecture, or international relations.

So besides studying, what should you do if you are studying abroad in Vienna, Austria? Here are some of our tips for getting the most out of your study abroad experience in Vienna:

1. Listen to the music. Vienna has been home to many musical geniuses, including Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, and Haydn. There are many monuments dedicated to these musicians, as well as the Haus deer Musik, an interactive museum dedicated to music and musicians. There are also live musicians playing in the streets on most days. Throw them a coin or two and keep the tradition alive for future generations of musicians.

2. Visit the beautiful Schonbrunn Palace.
The Schonbrunn Palace is the former summer residence for the Royal Family in Austria. In the 1960s, it was converted into a museum and has been a major tourist attraction since then, but don’t let the hoards of tourists keep you away from this UNESCO World Heritage Site. This palace contains 1,441 rooms and demonstrates the wealth of the Habsburg monarchy. The Holy Roman Emperor Maximllian II purchased the land where the palace would be built; his original intention for the land was to be used as a recreational hunting ground. Today, it is home to the beautiful palace and many gardens. My favorite part of the Schonbrunn Palace is the hedge maze in the gardens; it took me a while to find it, but the search was part of the fun.

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How to Study Abroad in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam skylineStarting out as a small fishing village in the 12th century, the city of Amsterdam has since grown up to become the cultural and financial capital of the Netherlands and is home to more than 2,000,000 people. It is also home to the headquarters of several large, international companies like Philips and ING.

Amsterdam is also a great place to study abroad. It was ranked the 13th best city in the world for its quality of living in 2010. If you are studying business, finances, history, or international relations, then Amsterdam is a fantastic location for you to study abroad. Music students and art history majors will also find that the Netherlands’ capital city has much to offer.

If you have decided that you are going to study abroad in Amsterdam, there are many interesting things you can see and do in this city that will not break the bank. Here is a list of some of my favorite things to do in Amsterdam:

1. Eat a raw herring. I don’t want to hear any excuses about not liking raw fish; the vast majority of college students have tried sushi, which is also raw fish. Raw herring is a common Dutch snack, so if you really want to dive into the culture, you have to do it. There are many fish stores in Netherlands, but some of the best for raw herring include Altena in the Museum Quarter, Huijsman in the Old Centre, and Volendammer in the Pijp. The best time to eat raw herring is between May and July because this is when the newest catches of fish are coming into the market. When it is not the peak season, the fish is seasoned with onions, pickles, and other spices, which dilutes the true flavor.

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How to Study Abroad in Prague, Czech Republic

Bridge in PraguePrague, Czech Republic, is one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe. It is the sixth most-visited city in Europe for vacationers and is home to many historical and cultural sites, such as 10 impressive museums, the Prague Castle and the Old Town Square. It is also home to the prestigious Charles University. Prague is also home to various styles of architecture, making it a dream destination for architecture students and aficionados alike.

If you are planning on studying abroad in this gorgeous city, of course you need to visit all of the beautiful monuments and museums, but there are also some things that you might not think of doing. So, here’s our list of the things you should do while studying abroad in Prague, Czech Republic.

1. Get creeped out. If you like to creep yourself out a little bit, head over to the Old Jewish Cemetery. There are more than 100,000 bodies buried in this cemetery. Until the late 1700s, the Jewish citizens of Praque were walled into the Jewish ghetto and forbidden to bury their dead anywhere else except this cemetery. The result is that the bodies were buried on top of each other forming layers of up to 12 people deep. Another fun tradition that takes place in April is Bonfire Night, when locals light bonfires and remember the witch hunts that used to take place in the city by burning an effigy of a witch. Some people like to leap over the flames. Bonfire Night is usually observed more in the countryside, so you might need to find a friend with a car in order to attend. Another creepy tourist attraction that is just outside Prague is the Bone Church, or All Saints’ Chapel, in Kutna Hora. After an outbreak of the plague in the 14th century, a chapel in the church was used to store the dead bodies. In the late 19th century, a woodcarver decided to put the bones to use and now the chapel is decorated with 40,000 human bones and skulls. Personally, I think it is creepy and disgusting, but a lot of people really like it, so you should check it out for yourself and let us know what you think.

2. Drink the beer.
Everyone knows that the Irish and Germans think their beer is the best in the world, but very few know that the Czechs think the same thing about their beer…and they might in fact be right. You could ask 10 different Czechs which beer is the best, but you are going to get 10 different answers. Personally, I really like Gambrinus, which also happens to be the most popular and easiest to find, so that works out nicely for me. However, some other popular beers include Kozel’s Medium and Pilsner Urquell. I think the best way to decide for yourself is to try them all. You can make this a cultural activity by going to a different pub each time and asking another patron of the pub what his/her favorite beer is, then ordering that beer. Most likely, you’ll be able to strike up a conversation with this person and maybe you’ll even make a few friends.

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How to Study Abroad in Tokyo, Japan

Airel Image of Tokyo, JapanJapan is quickly growing as a country of interest for many Americans. So, if you are wanting to spend a summer, semester, or year studying abroad there, it makes sense that you would study abroad in Tokyo. Tokyo is the largest city in Japan and around 13 million people live in this city. Tokyo also hosts 47 of the Fortune Global 500 companies and the Japanese government; the Imperial Palace is also located in this city.

Obviously, Tokyo is a cultural hub and there is a lot to do and see in Tokyo. We here at EDUinReview want to make sure that you see the best of the best. So here is our list of the things you have to do while studying abroad in Tokyo, Japan.

1. See the city…from high up in the sky.
It would takes months to see every inch of Tokyo if you walked along the streets. Instead, get a fantastic panoramic view of the city from the 45th floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office. It is free to enter this building between 9:30am and 5:30pm, so you do not have to pay to see the city like you would at a private site. The views of the city from up this high are absolutely stunning and will take your breath away, simply due to how vast the city is. Also, on a clear day you can see Mt. Fuji from this viewpoint. How cool is that?

2. Listen to live music as you stroll through Yoyogi Park. The best time to visit this park is on Sundays, when it turns into an outdoor concert venue. Many bands gather here to perform for free. You will see every type of music available at this venue, from angry-screamers to traditional Japanese music to drum circles. The park is also gorgeous, so go on a nice day, sit under a tree, and listen to the music.

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Deciding which major is best for you can be a stressful process. Getting halfway through your junior year and wondering if you should change your major is an even more stressful process. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you had a mentor who had been there, done that, and was willing to share his/her experiences with you? That’s where comes in.

StudentMentor is a completely free service that matches students with their ideal mentor. There are mentors who volunteer to help students in all industries, whether you are a biochemistry student or a professional writing student. Both mentors and mentees submit matching profiles and are then presented with a list of possible matches. Once you find a mentor/mentee who meets your needs, the two of you can meet and start developing a mentorship. Read the rest of this entry »

The Best iPad Apps for College Students iPad can be an extraordinarily useful tool for college students. Just think of all the school supplies it replaces: planner, notebook, laptop, textbook, pens, graphing calculator, and more. To help you make the most of this technology on campus, we’ve rounded up some of the most helpful iPad apps for college students.

1. iHomework
This app is a great way to organize your assignments, schedule your study time and coordinate group projects.

2. Evernote
If you plan on using your iPad to take class notes, Evernote is a great tool for you. It syncs with an online account, so that notes are not only backed up, they’re also accessible from any computer. Plus, you can forward messages from your e-mail to the account.

3. Instapaper
Even campuses that claim to have Wi-Fi everywhere still have a few dead-zones. Use Instapaper to save web articles to read later offline. It’s also a great research tool, to help you save articles that you may wish to reference later.

4. Articles for iPad
You may not want to use Wikipedia as a reference in your bibliography, but when it comes to getting quick answers, it’s hard to beat. The Articles for iPad app has a lovely interface that helps you easily find Wikipedia articles. Read the rest of this entry »

Baby-Boomer College Presidents Embrace Student Life

snowball fightCollege presidents are going beyond the nine-to-five office hours. At my alma matter, Friends University, our president was constantly getting involved with the student body. Whether it was playing Frisbee with the students that lived in the dorms or grilling burgers for the football team, Biff Green was, and continues, reaching out to his students.

The baby-boomer presidents, which were raised during the anti-establishment of the ’60s, want to be more than a poised picture hanging on the wall. They’ve become unlike their straitlaced Dean Wormer predecessors. And they seem to be more comfortable hanging out with freshmen than attending donor luncheons. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Get the Most Out of Studying Abroad

londonA lot of students decide to spend a summer, semester, or even an entire year studying abroad. Many students do a foreign exchange program through their home university; others travel with a private company.

Studying abroad can be a wonderful learning experience. I spent a summer abroad in Costa Rica when I was 19. While abroad, I learned a new language and a new culture, among other countless things I learned about myself as a person.
If you are planning to study abroad, try to keep the following tips in mind in order to get the very most out of your experience.

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Five Ways to Banish Homesick Blues when Returning to School

homesick boyIt’s that time of year again. Your bags are getting packed. You’ve started reconnecting with your roommates and you’ve already hit IKEA three times. But leaving your parents after a summer of fun, a fully and always-stocked kitchen, and a few laughs shared with mom and dad over grilled burgers, you might be feeling a little melancholic about leaving.

Take this as a sign of maturity and growth rather than of regression and to keep your feelings of homesickness in control and in check, here are five things you can do:

1) Be Honest: A few days before you head back to the dorms, take some time to tell your parents just how much you have enjoyed their company this past summer. Show them your gratitude for not just their hospitality, but for their friendship by cooking them dinner or taking them out to dinner as you share some of your happiest summer of ’09 memories with them. Read the rest of this entry »

4 Things to Not Bring to the Dorms

Avoid bringing the wrong items to your dorm room!

There are many lists telling you what to bring to college: towels, extra pencils, a soft blanket, pictures of family, etc. So what if you follow those guidelines perfectly, but you also add in a little of your own “creative flair” and show up to the dorms with some items you probably should have left at home? Never fear! Here’s my *Official* Things to NOT Bring to College Guide, compiled from the advice of leading experts in the field (You know, students who have lived in dorms!).

1. Yearbooks/Diaries/Keepsakes

“College, like the mid-90s for Madonna, is a time for reinvention. For most people, it means a completely clean slate: no high school drama, none of the old cliques or problems, and the chance to be the person you always knew you could be,” says Don’t bring high school with you if you want to stand any chance of fully embracing the college experience. Read the rest of this entry »


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