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How to Study Abroad in Verona, Italy

Verona BridgeVerona, Italy, is  a beautiful city in northern Italy, that is rich with historic value. It is a great place for architecture and art history majors to study abroad, and of course if you want to learn to speak Italian, this is a great place for you too. The city has a population of around 715,000 people and is a main tourist attraction in Italy. Also, if you are a Shakespeare fan, you know that Romeo and Juliet was set in this city and you can still go see Juliet’s balcony.

So what else can you do while in Verona to really get the most out of your study abroad experience in this city? Here are EDUinReview’s tips for how to study abroad in Verona, Italy.

1. Go back in time at the Museo di Castelvecchio. This ancient castle was built in the 14 century. if you visit this castle, you will get a better understanding for what Verona was like before and during the Renaissance, when the city enjoyed it’s heyday as a cultural hub. There is also a museum in the castle which features many original works of art which are absolutely wonderful. You can also enjoy fantastic views of the city from the castle. I’d plan to be here for at least half the day; it really is a great place to spend a day.

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How to Study Abroad in Florence, Italy

Ponte VecchioFlorence has been the capital of Italy since 1865 and has a metropolitan population of 1.5 million people. Florence is famous for its historical and cultural significance in Europe since the Middle Ages. Considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is a great place to study abroad if you are interested in  art history, classics, Italian, or history.

Have you decide that you want to study abroad in Florence? Here are EDUinReview’s tips for how to get the most out of your study abroad experience in Florence.

1. Go back in time at the Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio. The Piazza della Signoria has been an important political center in Florence since the Middle Ages. The Palazzo Vecchio is the medieval town hall, which is located on the piazza. This is the most famous piazza in Italy and is a great place to soak up the culture. You can visit several public rooms and private apartments in the piazza, which have been decorated to appeal to tourists. Another great thing to do here is grab a cup of coffee at a café and read a book or watch people going about their daily lives.

2. Look up in Il Duomo. This Duomo is often overlooked when people think of cathedrals to visit in Italy. However, it is absolutely beautiful and you should definitely visit it if you are studying abroad in Florence. The dome of the Duomo is what is so amazing. When you walk into Il Duomo, look up so you can really appreciate the wonder of this dome. Designed by Brunelleschi, the dome is nearly 142 feet tall, making it taller than the domes at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., St. Peters in Vatican City, and the Pantheon in Rome.  I recommend taking the tour which allows you to climb to the top of the dome to get a better look at the “Last Judgement” fresco painting and to better understand how Brunelleschi built the dome itself.

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How to Study Abroad in Berlin, Germany

view of the city of Berlin, GermanyBerlin, Germany is a beautiful city with a rich history that dates back to the 13th century. Today, it is home to almost 3.5 million people and is the capital city of Germany. It is also a very green city, with approximately 33 percent of the city being made up of forests, gardens, lakes, and parks. It seems like something new is always going on in Berlin, which makes an interesting location to study abroad in. Here are our tips for the things you must do and see while you are studying abroad in Berlin.

1. Enjoy a Long Night at the Museums. The Long Night of Museums originated in Berlin in 1997, and now it is celebrated in more than 120 other cities around the world. During the Long Night of Museums, you can buy one entrance pass and then visit various museums until late into the night (usually the festivities end around 2:00am in Berlin). Tickets are not expensive (usually under 15 Euros) and will allow you to see impressive museums such as the Kulturforum and Gemaldegalerie under very unique conditions.

2. Feel like royalty at the Schoss Charlottenburg. This palace was built for Queen Sophie-Charlotte and is the last standing palace that belonged to the Hohenzollern royal family. It is also the only royal residence in Berlin. When you visit this palace, you have to see the New Wing, which is home to some fantastic examples of Rococo extravagance, and the contrasting winter chambers of Friedrich Wilhelm. The gardens surrounding the palace are also beautiful. This would be a good place to go on a date because strolling through the gardens can be quite romantic.
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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 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 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 Sevilla, Spain

La Plaza of Sevilla, SpainThis is the first post in EDUinReview’s new series, The College Budget Traveler. This series will help students who want to travel to different cities learn how to do so, while still remaining within their college-kid budget. Currently, I am living in Sevilla, Spain, and that’s where this post is about visiting.

Sevilla is in the south of Spain and is the fourth largest city in Spain. As such, it has many historical and cultural offerings, as well as a happening night life. In other words, it is a great destination for anyone to study abroad or visit while they are in Spain.

So, how can you visit the city where Christopher Columbus told the Spanish King and Queen that he found America while still staying within a budget? Here are some tips for the best places for students to stay, eat, and visit in Sevilla, Spain.

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