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 Madrid, Spain

Buildings on Gran Vía, MadridSo you’ve decided to study abroad in order to learn Spanish? That’s awesome and congratulations! But now it’s time to decide where to go.

If you want a small town where you will get to know the locals and become fully integrated into their daily lives, then you should not go to Madrid. However, if you like the hustle and bustle of a major city and all of the options that go along with living in the biggest city in the nation, then Madrid is one of your best options! Another benefit of living in Madrid if you are learning Spanish is that they have a very pure accent that is easy to understand, which is somewhat rare in Spain.

Luckily, the accent isn’t the only thing that you should take advantage of if you decide to study abroad in Madrid, Spain. Here are some other fun things that you should do in order to make the most of your study abroad experience.

1. Visit the Official Home of the King of Spain.
El Palacio Real is one of the most beautiful palaces that I have ever seen and it is the largest in Europe. Although the King and Queen do not actually live there now, it is very easy to get lost in legend and imagine that you are going to see them just around the corner. Construction of El Palacio Real started in 1738 and it is located on the site of an Arab fortress that was built in the 9th century. Today, it is a museum and features 2,800 rooms that contain various works of art, furniture, and other historical and cultural items. Make sure you walk across the plaza and see the gardens that surround the palace because they are definitely worth taking a look at.

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Health Education Exhibit to Open at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle

For nearly 50 years, Seattle’s Pacific Science Center has been making science fun for families. To celebrate their half-century birthday in 2012, the Science Center will be unveiling a new exhibit. Although the Science Center houses numerous exhibits each year, this will be its first permanent exhibit in over a decade.

Professor Wellbody’s Academy of Health & Wellness is scheduled to open sometime in the fall of next year. The Science Center describes Professor Wellbody’s Academy as a place that will, “Bring guests of all ages into the imaginative world of Professor Wellbody, demonstrating how personal choices can positively affect our health and well-being. Six- thousand square feet of hands-on inventions, gadgets, activities and experiences will present health as a life-long process of balancing exercise, diet, proper rest and hygiene. These tools and resources for managing health and well-being will help guests discover the control each of us has over many aspects of our wellness.”

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