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World Snow Day!

Since 2007, the World Snow Day, thanks of the International Federation of Ski (FIS) that has had interest  to promote the white sports and enjoy the nature.

This year, it will be January 20th, the celebration is going to be all weekend, 3 days full of winter activities and sports. The president of the FIS, Gian Franco Kasper remarked the stadistic that shows that the eighth Edition again overcome the 400 registered events around the world and they expect to have 500 in the future, with a strong foundation.

When we think about snow we probably related only with ski, but there are many different activities to do enjoying the snow and the family.

Some sports are: snowboard, hicking, alpine ski, cross country ski.

Some activities are: dog sledding, snowmobile, snowsegway, ice skating, sled Racing.

Some stations have an interesting and fun igloo specially for kids.

This huge celebration come with big promotions, free classes and unique festivals. The events are located in differents places including urban areas.

There will be 112 events in China, 50 ski and snowboard schools in Poland, giving free classes for kids; 7 events in South Africa, Peru an Brazil, discounts in Austria, free sessions in the Engadin Valley in Suiza, a show for kids in Stockholm, Tallinn (Estonia) and Ullanbaatar (Mongolia). These events are planned to do it with family, there will be activities for adults and also for kids and that is thanks of the “World Snow Day Awards”; this year a prize will be given to the event that makes the most effort in realizing activities focus on kids regardless of what circumstance they are.

At the moment the prizes that are given are of 4 differents categories:

  1. “Best World Snow Day”: for events over 500 participants.
  2. “Best Small World Snow Day”:for events under 500 participants.
  3. “The Innovation Award”; for the most creative actions
  4. “Line Honors”: for the first event to register.

Remembering that the main goal of this celebration is to participate in snow activities, some ski stations have good family programmes, some of them are:

Europe:

  1. Spain
    • La molina:: offers a familiar forfait, it has sports cop creche, adventure parkm tubbing and a track called Fun Park, where your kids will not want to go.
    • Sierra Nevada: it offers sledge and paraski activities.
    •  Madrid SnowZone:  different kind of activities, available all year.
    • Grandvalira: it has a variety of activities and suitable packages depend of the needs and interests of each family.
    • Baqueira Beret: you can rent the equipment or the Package that incluyes classes and the accommodation. It also includes activities for kids.
    • Espot: it has an exclusive fortair, tubbing tracks and sledges and snow garden. Offers a Package that includes the food, so is more comfortable.
  1. United Kingdom:

2.1 Snow Factor : offers plenty snow activities, it has familiar packages as it shows in the final video.

  1. Germany:

3.1 Skischule Neuastenberg : it has classes specially for kids.

3.2 SRC Heimbach weis: it has activities such as hiking and family activities.

  1. France:

4.1 Comité des Sports de Niege du Dauphiné: it has different activities such as shot with laser rifle.

4.2 Val Montjoie Telemark: it has activities focus on kids.

  1. Switzerland:

5.1 Airolo: ski activides: free style, ski tour or free tour.

5.2 Zermatt:  located in Swiss Alps, it offers activities and accommodation.

5.3 Skii-suize: special in Swiss ski zones

  1. Austria:

6.1  OSV: alpine ski, ski jump, cross country skii and freeski.

  1. Italia

7.1 SCIvolare: located in Milan, it offers alpine and nordic ski and freestyle.

Rest of the world:

  1. U.S. and Canada:

8.1  Whistler Blackcomb: located in Canada, is one of the most known stations of the world and also the most visited of Latin America.

8.2 Park City: it is located in the western of U.S. (Utah), the station offers more than 300 tracks of all the levels.

8.3  Big Ski: located in Montana, it has one of the best ski infraestructure of North America.

8.4 Vail: it is in Colorado, is one of the first ski station.

  1. Japan:

9.1 Ramat Niseko: it offers ski and snowboard activities and also cat tour.

9.2 Hokkaido: it has a snow park, an anticue carousel and animatronic show specially for kids.

 

The World Snow Day promotes the white sport and also to spend time with family enjoying the nature. Lets enjoy the sports and activities doing them in family.

The following videos are about the experience of the World Snow Day 2018, the video is from TN Producciones.

The second video is from Snow Factor, it shows us the experience of doing snow activities with family.

Remember that our main purpose is to connect families around the world with similar interests and needs, so they can arrange a student exchange by their own, without intermediaries. Be part of Via Families community, subscribe by clicking HERE.

Happy World Snow Day!

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The XXI Century Teacher

The International Teachers’ Day was held on the 27th of November in Spain, with the objective of honoring a really important collective in society. From Via Families, we want to dedicate them a post to thank them for their social and unifying task.

The teachers-educators

They are without a doubt the future of education, and mostly in this society, where changes are happening faster every day. This new type of teachers adapt the new technologies to their methodologies and didactics in the classroom. This is proved by the introduction of new methodologies in many countries, some of them with more than 30 years of experience, as the IB (International Baccalaureate) https://www.ibo.org/, where the teacher is the student’s guide, that helps them achieve their objective during the whole learning process and helping them have a critical and reflexive way of thinking.

New methodologies

The current educational system is changing and there are many new methodologies that are being introduced in schools all over the world. Some examples are the Project-Based Learning or the Reggio Emilia approach, which are changing completely the teachers’ role. Many teachers in different countries are working to change the way of giving lessons and making them more collaborative. As Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”.

Classrooms are not anymore places where the students need to be silent and only listen to the teacher. Computers, rounded tables, group work, oral presentations… are whaty define the new type of teaching methods.

As Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) said:

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”.

Teachers’ associations internationally are working for the change in the learning activities. Some of the most important are the following:

  • Internationally:

International Association of Educators 

World Federation of Associations of Teacher Education.

  • In the United States:

American Federation of Teachers

National Education Association.

  • In Europe:

Association of Teacher Educators.

Teachers and education are living one of the most important worldwide revolutions in the teaching history, thanks to the educator’s involvement, the push of society and new technologies.

We recommend you to whatch these interesting videos as an example of new technologies used in the classroom.

Shalman Khan: It is an example of the usage of new technologies in teaching. He started doing maths lessons in YouTube and he has now more than 3 million subscribers. 

David Calle (Spanish) is the creator of Unicoos, with more than 30 million subscribers in YouTube, he teaches Physics through his videos. 

 

E-learning
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New trends in education

Learning foreign languages is becoming more important every day due to the globalization, helped by the rising of the new trends in education. There is no doubt that every professional who wants to be up-to-date in their respective field should be interested in learning foreign languages. Although the ideal thing for a person who wants to learn a new language is to do it during an exchange program, other options help exchange students to advance with their language learning process before going to the exchange program’s host country.

The combination of technological tools with knowledge in Pedagogy is known as “Edtech initiatives”. The application of these technologies aims to take better advantage of the educational process, to create and reinforce new teaching methods to facilitate the work of teachers and increase efficiency in student learning.

Educational centers of all levels have incorporated virtual platforms as a means to offer their lessons while allowing students to deliver their homework and deepen the knowledge acquired in class. Moreover, there are countries in which state-of-the-art technologies such as Virtual Reality are used within the classroom. Teachers and school leaders must keep up with these trends to ensure they provide their students with the best education possible. These are the main Edtech trends:

Curricula digitalization

New curricula will address students’ digital needs by being digitized and therefore accessible to all audiences. This way, students can acquire full knowledge about what they will learn in a specific career and how they will be able to use that information.

Data Analysis for learning customization

Data Analysis will be fundamental in the future of education, particularly to determine the satisfaction of students with different training options to meet their needs better.

Personalized training

Each action carried out by students creates data, which are used by teachers to offer the first personalized training. By knowing their pupils’ weaknesses and strengths, teachers can take action to work on the first and reaffirm the latter.

Hybrid learning

The combination between the classroom and online teaching will be increasing, as teachers will begin to take advantage of the possibilities offered by technology to offer lessons in virtual form or recommend their students to use online resources as a complement to what was learned in the classroom.

Distance education and e-learning

E-learning

On the other hand, online or distance studies are a good option for those students who want to study in a certain educational institution without leaving their homes. For this reason, study centers create intranets in which teachers can leave assignments to their students, accompanied by support material, such as guides and videos, and pupils will upload such assignments to the same system, and teachers will evaluate them, all of which is done online.

Computers and mobile devices

By using computers and mobile devices, students can communicate with their teachers, classmates, and people whose mother tongue is the one they are learning, improving their communication skills. On the other hand, students can search for new words using the dictionary option on mobile phones and enrich their vocabulary. Also, they can send queries to their instructors by instant messages to quickly clarify their doubts.

Mobile applications

Mobile apps

Likewise, there are also varieties of applications that are very useful for students who are in the process of learning a new language, because they allow them to meet and communicate with people from around the world. These are some of those apps:

HelloTalk

This app offers a system with which it’s possible to learn a new language’s grammar and pronunciation. You can also make video calls and send voice or text messages, as well as exchange pictures with other people.

Duolingo

Dualingo allows you to learn languages step by step. It contains various exercises that will teach you pronunciation as well as how to write words. The best of all is that you learn with images and games.

Wibbu

This game teaches its participants to learn English and is aimed primarily at children and young Latinos.

Voxy

This Android app helps students prepare for academic exams, such as the TOEFL test. It measures the levels of learning and progress regarding pronunciation and vocabulary.

Wlingua

It has more than 600 lessons to learn the English language at any of its levels.

Memrise

Another game that allows you to study languages such as French, German, English, Russian, Japanese, Korean and Italian. You can download it for free for basic courses, and there is also a Premium version for more advanced courses.

In short, the opportunities offered by the new trends in education are numerous. Students can conduct research and obtain resources at times that best fit their schedules, from different places and according to their needs. For Jaime Ibáñez, coordinator of the Master’s Degree in ICT Applied to Education at the National Pedagogical University, integrating technology into learning environments allows greater personalization of processes which tend to respect “individual differences regarding cognitive or learning styles. ” In addition, he affirms that technologies “promote differential and adaptive learning”, because they can adapt to situations of disability and cultural differences.

Many parents are concerned about their young children’s insistence on using digital devices, with which they spend a lot of screen time and “disconnect” from the real world. But actually, this demonstrates their abilities to cope with these technological devices. Is that really a bad thing?

Now we are experiencing a period of great technological development and digital transformation, in which many adults are having trouble adapting. If children from a young age show that they are doing well with technology, their parents should let them develop their skills, which will be of great help to them in the future. They could even end up being their parent’s teachers!

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Sport & Peace

Sport has the power to unite people from around the world, no matter where you’re from, what you look like or what language you speak, everybody loves playing or watching it.

HOW DOES SPORT BRING US TOGETHER?

Sport unites people: No matter your race, nationality or religion; tennis, basketball and football are the same in every country.

But how?

Sport’s secret power to unite is its rules. While that might sound a bit boring, every game’s rules are an International language that we can all accept and understand.

From the beginners to the pros, everyone plays by the same rules. This is how sport unites people on the playing field; no matter what country you’re from or what language you speak, everybody can join in.

We associate sport with moments of leisure, free time and fun, so doing it with other people makes us associate these people with those good times.

Both of these aspects mean that practicing sports and socialising in another country will undoubtedly help you to learn the language.

Due to the variety of events which surround sport, many young people are travelling to other countries to learn languages, fully immersing themselves in it while practicing their favourite sports or even picking up a new one

Sport is without a doubt an International language that destroys borders and brings countries together.

SPORT AND EDUCATION

Physical Education is about much more than just teaching people to be healthy, it’s about teaching people a universal language that will help them communicate with others through sport.

Learning respect, generosity and sportsmanship will take you further than winning any tournament or game.

Effort, determination and sacrifice are virtues that every sport demands. The prize does not necessarily have to be winning, but can be any kind of personal triumph.

SPORT & LANGUAGES

According to the New York Times How Exercise Could Help You Learn a New Language, Sport can actually play a vital role in how we learn languages, as exercising can improve mental function and understanding.

In a series of laboratory Studies, scientists have proven that the human brain learns differently when we exercise. Students that did some kind of physical activity during the day consistently performed better than their classmates who had not.

This is because exercise and sport changes the way our brain works, rejuvenating it and making it more malleable, allowing new information to get in and be absorbed more easily.

Because sport is effort, love, personal reward, joy, overcoming and friendship, that is why it does not understand borders or languages, we all speak the same language, sport breaks borders, unites nations fosters peace.

We leave you this beautiful video, of 11 years ago, where it does not mean winning or losing, but the overcoming in sport.
Father runs triathlon with his son in tow

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THE POWER OF YOUR BRAND IDENTITY

What the companies do for their employees, and for their families?

HR departments are becoming more relevant due to the big problem many companies have: the talent leak: how to retain that employee? How could a company give something to their employee that he would not get out of it?

Conscious Companies are a new paradigm, they are those companies that are responsible for improving the world around them: ecosystem, society, sustainability …

Each company is unique, although there are equal or very similar products, companies are distinguished: each has its philosophy, values, history, principles … and a logo or seal that identifies them in the broad consumer market.

To belong to a company, situates us and verifies our identity as well as giving a personal reference.

But, what does it mean to belong to the community of a company, besides being able to add it to your CV?

The seal of an entity is the guarantee of belonging, of current location, of reference to an stranger, a guarantee of your truthfulness and identity, something very important in the world of collaborative economies in which we trust so much people online .

Through Via Families we have created this system of validation of identity.

Corporations that validate the identities of people to make cultural, linguistic and sporting exchanges.

Via Families offers companies:

  1. International platform visibility for your employees and other people on the platform
  2. It is a tool to make your company a compromised company.
  3. Fidelize your employees
  4. Transmit the values ​​of your brand beyond the company
  5. Emphasizes the needs of the market

The companies manage to do much for very little, interfering positively in the mobility and international student education, thanks to its own community and seal of its brand, logo.

Enjoy the video of  Fred Kofman: Conscious Companies vía Linkedin Youtube

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education, Travel, Uncategorized, Voyage,

9 Rules of courtesy and good manners to be a good guest?

You have surely have had guests at home and you know what you liked and what you didn’t like about them. But there might be times where you  get lost, this is why we leave you 9 recommendations that will help you when travelling to a foreign host family home that you don’t know.

Here are a few tips we suggest you when being a guest to make a good impression:

  1. SMILE: is the key to success. If you don’t understand the language very well, do not isolate, try to follow the conversation and smile. It is a universal language.

 

  1. THANKS: First of all, you have to stablish contact with the family, introduce yourself and thank them for having you. They are going to include your in their home routines and in their lives so you must let them know how thankful you are.

 

  1. GREETINGS: Not every country greets or has the same proximity or trust. In the Anglo-Saxon countries they shake hands, while in the Mediterranean countries they give two kisses. The best thing to do if you don’t know the rules is to offer your hand.

 

  1. GIFT: A small detail or a souvenir from your country or your hometown or some chocolates, a book… Could be a good start. Giving a present to someone is a very elegant way of thanking for the invitation. The gift must never be a sign of superiority or ostentation.

 

  1. BE POLITE: Education and courtesy is the key to everything. It is important to be sincere and to ask the questions we want in a very clear way, remaining polite and trying not to hurt or make thing uncomfortable. Remember: please and thank you, is the number one rule.

 

  1. ADAPT TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES: The situation changes depending on the country, the culture and the family. You will probably find yourself in a new environment surrounded by new people, new food, a new language… Accept it, take it in and make it yours too.

 

  1. HOME INTEGRATION: As a new member of the family you must respect their home culture and adapt to it; their routines, their eating and sleeping hours, tidiness, noises… Act as they do to make the situation comfortable for both of you, so that you are not a stranger anymore.

 

  1. DO NOT ISOLATE: If a family is willing to host you it means they are interested in you. They want to know you and make you part of them while your stay. So avoid staying alone in your room alone, isolating with your headphones, and try sharing more time with them.

 

  1. GOODBYE: When it comes to the end you should thank them again for having you and tell them it’s being so nice to meet them. It is important for you and for them to cause a good image because it may lead to other possible exchanges, as you will get a good review, or you might want to go back in the future. So keep all doors open.

 

We found an interesting article from The Guardian “The 11 step guide to being a good  guest” about guest behavior when invited to lunch/dinner, that might complement our information.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/dec/24/the-11-step-guide-to-being-a-good-guest

Overall, we could say that the key to be the best guest anyone would like to have are RESPECT, EMPATHY and GOOD MANNERS. But remember always to be yourself, no matter the circumstances, you must remain sincere, people will appreciate it very much and will take you as a trustful person.

Take a look at this video from the blogger Amy Anoibi in which explains how to be a good guest. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXdNJrqou4I