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studying abroad

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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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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