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education, Family, Languages, Langues, Learn, sport,

Tips to improve the study!

It is not enough to sit, read and underline to study. Help your child to have a more effective study. They are very simple recommendations, that if we make them part of the study routine, we will increase the level of learning and also be more dynamic and will be reflected with good grades.

 

  1. Choose and adapt the study space: it is important that the space is clear, orderly, with good lighting and ventilation. It is always recommended to study in the same place, it will help to concentrate faster
  2. Prepare the material (books, notebooks and pen / pencil) and remove possible distractors such as mobile and computer.
  3. It determines the time of study: it is verified that more information is retained and assimilated stipulating periods of less than 30 minutes
  4. Organize the information: if it is a very extensive topic, it is recommended to divide it into subtopics that are easy to remember or relate them to some topic of daily life.
  5. It is recommended not to memorize the information but to understand it. If you want to know more about the types of learning, click here.
  6. Make personal notes as a summary of what has been learned, it is recommended to use colors and other study techniques such as conceptual maps, mental maps, synoptic charts, sign cards, questionnaires, diagrams and drawings.
  7. Explain with your words the lesson studied to another person: this will achieve significant learning and not memorization. As Einstein said, you should explain things as if you were telling your grandmother, in this way you put to the test what you really learned.
  8. Good nutrition: try to include foods high in antioxidants, such as almonds, walnuts, cranberries
  9. Hydration: it is essential to drink water, you can also drink other drinks such as green tea
  10. Restful sleep: it is very important to sleep for 6 to 8 hours, it helps to consolidate what has been learned.
  11. If you like aromatherapy, you can use a diffuser with lavender essence, this will help your child concentrate more easily.

 

I leave a video that talks about the cientific study tips

YouTube  (2015)

educación
Apprendre, Articulo, education, Family, Languages, Langues, Learn, School,

Types of learning

Before knowing the different types of learning, it is important to understand that learning refers to the acquisition of knowledge, values, and the development of skills and attitudes. It is the method by which any human being assimilates certain information.

In the past, it was thought that there were only one or two ways to learn, however there are different, so it is relevant to know each student and the content we want them to learn, so we can choose the ideal type of learning. On this occasion we will mention 13 types.

The first type of learning is the implicit one: this is usually not intentional, it is given by the automatic execution of a motor behavior. If we think, we always learn without realizing it, for example to walk or talk.

The second is explicit learning, which, on the contrary of the implicit one, is conscious and intentional, therefore we require sustained and selective attention. This type of learning allows us to acquire information about places, people or objects.

The third type of learning is associative, as its name suggests it is to relate two stimuli or a stimulus + behavior. A clear example is the multiplication tables or the periodic table, it will be much more effective if it is reviewed with a song, so the brain will retain it more easily. So remember that, to achieve effective learning, use visual or audiovisual elements that the student likes. Ivan Pavlov (Russian psychologist) checks associative learning with his classical condition technique applied to his dog.

The fourth type is non-associative learning, it refers to the change of reaction to a repeated stimulus. They play a key role habituation (process in which a stimulus is repeated and the response is less and less intense) and awareness. For example when a baby is asleep and with the minimum noise, wakes up. If this happens every time    he´s sleeping, the baby will stop waking up because of the noise.

The fifth learning is the significant, in this the student goes through a process in which he collects the information, selects it, organize and compares it with previous knowledge (new information vs. information that he already had).

The sixth type is cooperative learning, as the name implies it is carried out together with more students. This is given in educational classrooms, with a maximum of 5 people in the team, they have a teacher who guides and distributes roles.

The seventh learning is collaborative, it´s like the cooperative, more people are required, but the cooperative, unlike the cooperative, is more free; this means that the teacher only proposes the topic and the students decide how to approach it.

The eighth type is the emotional learning, this is very important, since it consists of knowing and managing the emotions efficiently.

The ninth learning is the observational one, also known as learning by imitation or modeling. It requires the participation of two people, the model (who will teach) and the student (who observes the behavior and learns).

The tenth type is the experiential learning. Learning from mistakes is the best example. This type of learning is produced as the name implies by experience.

The eleventh learning is by discovery, also known as heuristic learning (theory developed by the American psychologist Jerome Bruner), is usually an active learning that promotes the student to learn for himself, discovering, relating and reordering the concepts. The ideal for the teacher is to present situations stimulating their students through strategies of observation, comparison, analysis of similarities and differences.

The twelfth type is memoristic or repetitive learning, which consists in fixing in the memory in a mechanical and repetitive way concepts without deepening their meaning. It is when we repeat like parrot, therefore it is normal that we forget it in a short time. Some examples are: mathematical formulas, celebrities, phone numbers, birthdays, addresses among others.

The thirteenth learning is receptive, it is impulsive, passive and it is when the student receives the content but does not do it in his own way. A clear example is when you read a book, you recognize each word and the theme.

Talking about the education of children is a whole world in which we must be submerged, know new trends to apply them and obtain better results.

We invite you to join the international community of families, agreeing to student exchanges.

Via Families – #thatstheway

As always, I leave a video of a girl that explain and give examples of the types of learning.

Source: YouTube                                                                                                                                Year of publication: 2019

Other sources of consultation- https://psicologiaymente.com/desarrollo/tipos-de-aprendizaje

FOTO FAMILIA
education, Family, Learn, Travel, World,

International Day of Families!

Since 1994, every may 15th it´s celebrated the International Family Day. It was proclaimed 25 years ago by the United Nations  in order to raise awareness of the fundamental role played by families in the education of their children.

It is the main pillar that defines each person, since babies we adopt the values, customs, traditions and is formed by the hand of the family.

The concept of family has been transformed over the years according to trends and demographic changes. However, it is still the main unit of society. It is with whom we share moments full of laughter, love and sometimes anger, but we know that whatever happens there will be.

The family is the home to return to, they are our memories of childhood and adolescence and should be the foundation to create our own. Enjoy together, talk often and be attentive to each other.

It is true that we all by nature need a tribe, a place to which we belong, someone who loves us, a family to belong (anonymous).

In Via Families we believe that among all families we can make a better world if we help each other, because we all want the best for our children, since we all belong to the great family of the world.

All families seek the same, after all: we want our children to be open, empathetic and good people, who contribute their bit to society to make it better.

In Via Families we unite two important aspects in the growth of a person that are: family and education. That is why we offer an international platform of families interested in the international education of their children, proposing three options:

  1. Exchanges, whether simultaneous or not
  2. If you can not send your child, do not worry, you can receive another student at home and learn the culture and language of your guest’s origin.
  3. You can not receive another student at home, do not worry, send your child with a family like yours.   

Choose the family with who you want to share with the education of your children.

Living a linguistic / cultural experience of this magnitude brings many benefits, some of them are:

  1. Overcome fears, therefore enhances security, personal growth and self-esteem
  2. Promote autonomy and personal growth

Do you want to know more benefits? Click here

In Via Families you decide where, when and with whom, saving you up to 90% of the cost, all the details are freely agreed between interested families. Join the international community of families, by clicking HERE.

I leave the campaign that Ikea made for Christmas last year to reflect if the time we share with the family is of quality. Let’s take a moment to ask our loved ones how are they, what do they do, feel good? enjoy every moment and transform it into a unique, quality moment.

 

 

 

 

 

educación in
Apprendre, Articulo, education, Family, History, Languages, Langues, Learn, Testimonios y Opiniones, Voyage, World,

The best quotes of education!

There are many quotes of philosophers, thinkers and pedagogues related with education throughout history of the humanity, but for the International Education Day we want to collect specially those that are focus on one type of endure education and is base on the human creation to create a better world.

Easy, honest, logic and deep quotes that doesn´t matter if these was said 2500 years ago but they are still current. I hope you enjoy it!

“The most important and principal public business is the good education of the youth people”

Platon (S V-IV a DC)

“Educate the mind without educate the heart, is educate absolutely nothing”

 

“Is the mark of an educated mind to be able to understand the though, is to accept it”

Aristoteles (S IV AC)

“The education is the fire of a flame, is not filling a container”

Socrates (Atenas, S IV AC)

“The school should be a grate prelude of our life”

Comenius (Nivnice March 28th, 1592 – Amsetrad (November 15th, 1670)

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

Benjamin Franklin (Boston, January 17th, 1706 – Philadelphia, April 17th, 1790)

“If we teach to the students of today as we teach yesterday, we are stealing them tomorrow”

John Dewey (Burlington, October 20th, 1859 – New York, June 1st, 1952)

“Sow it good ideas in kids, even though they don´t understand; the years will be in charge of deciphering them in their understanding and making them flourish in their hearts”

Maria Montessori (Italy August, 31st, 1870 – Netherlands May 6th, 1952)

“The education is the most powerful weapon to change the world”

Nelson Mandela (Mvezo, July 18th, 1918 – Johannesburgo, December 5th, 2013)

“To teach is not to transmit knowledge, is to create the possibility of producing them”

Paulo Freire (Recife, Brazil, 1921 – São Paulo, 1997)

“The unlettered of the 21th Century will not be those who cant know how to read or write, but those who can´t learn, unlearn and relearn”.

Alvin Toffler (New York, October 3rd, 1928 -LA, June 27th, 2016)

 

As usual, there you have a video, this time is to understand why Maria Montesori was an important pedagogue and why her methodology is still valid

Maria Montesori: her story on YouTube

Maria Montessori: Creativity unleashed | Judi Bauerlein | TEDxLivermore on YouTube

nieve
Uncategorized,

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!

braille
Apprendre, education, Family, Family - Health, Languages, Langues, Learn, School, World,

World Braille Day

Every 4th of January, is celebrated the World Braille Day, the alphabetic embossed system created to represent letters, punctuation marks, numbers and mathematic symbols contributing to the blind people a valid and efficient tool for Reading, writing and giving the Access to the education, the culture and the information.

It consists on a combination of six raised points divided into cells, organized as a matrix of 3 rows and 2 columns that allows to get 64 different combinations, including the one without a point, which is used as blank (to separate the words), also the differentiating special signs to convert a capital letter, number or a musical note. Usually they are listed top to bottom and left to right.

The UN has recognized and proclaimed the World Braille Day, to celebrate each 4th of January, highlighting multilingualism as a basic value of de UN. The principal main is promote awareness about the importance of braille as a media for full human fulfillment toward the blind people or visually impaired individuals. This day was chosen because of the inventor of the language, Louis Braille birthday (January 4th, 1809).

Louis was playing with some tools in his father’s workshop, and he had an accident with the sharp awl in one of his eyes, so he got an infection, that soon spread and blinding him in both eyes when he was 3 years old. He was learnt to read by feeling studs hammered into pieces of wood in the shapes of letters and numbers. Later, when he was 10 years old, he was accepted in a school, called Institute for Blind Children in Paris where they used crossed twigs were used to signify the letters of the alphabet. There, he also learnt to play cello and organ.

The idea of create the braille language started by the French Captain Charles Barbier, after the Napoleonic Wars; he invented the “night writing” that consisted of raised dots on cardboard used to send written messages on battlefields by night. The Captain continued promoting his writing method to other militaries, but they refused to use it. In 1820, Captain Barbier had the idea that maybe his system could be used by the blind people, so he took it to the school in the rue St-Victor (where Louis was a student).

Louis was tasked to evaluate the Barbiers system; he thought it was interesting but very plain to help blind people. Since that day, Louis Braille got inspired to adapt and complete his own system. And till 1824 (when he was 15 years old), finally he had finished his six dots system in varying patterns cells as domino, providing 63 permutations for different letters and numbers, including the “space” symbol. Later he also included musical notes.

The other students started using his method, because it was a tool to learn easily. Nevertheless, the school didn’t make it official because of the high price, they didn’t have enough money. Years later, Louis Braille, started to teach in that school using his own method of learning.

In 1826, he published his 32 pages book, named “Method of Writing Language, Plain Chant and Music, by Means of Raised Points for the Use of Blind Persons” (printed in embossed text).

Curious fact: on December 30 of 2014, the Braille language had been patented; therefore, it limited its use in any product. The Spanish Braille Commission and the ONCE Foundation, fought for the freedom of use, fulfilling the communicative and inclusive purpose.

As usual, there you have a video in which Deinny, a nine years old girl (part of the skating team, she plays some percussion instruments, sings, participate in the Astronomy club, she loves to read and enjoys every single moment of her live even though she could not see), she teach us how the braille system works and how her process has been.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YepYQZOZJ4

solidarity+viafamilies
World,

International Human Solidarity Day

December 20th is the day that the General Assembly proclaimed as the International Human Solidarity Day which promotes to focus on eradicating poverty, maintaining the hope of a better world, enhancing the protection of the dignity of people, the defense of the environment and the planet.

Days like today we celebrate our diversity, we take awareness of the importance of solidarity, we encourage the debate to achieve common goals, as well as the eradication of poverty. In the same way, we promote 3 actions to improve human solidarity. The first is assistance, facilitate basic services to all people. The second action is the help of development, we lay the foundations for communities to work for their own development. The third is cooperation; this is not only to empower vulnerable communities, but to generate an ethical bond between donor communities and beneficiaries.

 

May all our actions be humanitarian, let’s take our arms to help!

The Charities Aid Foundation, made a study that evaluates the solidarity behaviour of 153 countries, it focuses on 3 main values: the financial donations, the time had spent as volunteer and the time spent helping other people. Spain is number 83 of 153.

The top 10 countries most solidarities are:

  1. United States
  2. Ireland
  3. Australia
  4. New Zealand
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Netherland
  7. Canada
  8. Sri Lanka
  9. Thailand
  10. Laos

Now, we can also help as a personal label, some actions you can do are:

  1. Give your time (volunteer)
  2. Donate (specific objects, food, medicines, clothes)
  3. Make a financial donation.
  4. Organize a solidarity activity (non-profit fund raising, charity events)
  5. Solidarity education (teach to the kids the importance of being supportive through movies or stories)
  6. Fight for the human rights of all the people.

Remember that our mision in Via Families is to contribute in young education and their future to eradicate the poverty and inequality for a better world.

The following video will make us think about the daily actions in which we can collaborate.

Source of reference:

http://www.un.org/es/events/humansolidarityday/

https://www.campodecriptana.info/fechas-celebres/1555-20-de-diciembre-dia-internacional-de-la-solidaridad-humana  

http://www.worldvision.es/noticias-ayuda-humanitaria/los-10-paises-mas-solidarios-del-mundo?gclid=EAIaIQobChMImPqn36Su3wIVReh3Ch3JJwNAEAAYASAAEgJ6kvD_BwE

Getting organized
education, Languages,

Tips to start the academic year well

Nowadays, the term globalization is known by virtually everybody. This concept has not only changed the interactions between the different countries, but also our perspective of the world as a whole. Exchange Programs give you as a student the opportunity to take such interactions to the next level, which has a positive impact on your resumé, among other advantages for your professional life.

Indeed, there’s nothing better than getting out of your comfort zone, and an exchange program is certainly a great way to do so. During the time that you will be far away from home, sharing with new people, speaking a different language, and immersed in a different culture, you will have the opportunity to learn about a different part of you, one that maybe you didn’t even know that existed.

Probably you have been making preparations for a very long time to get ready for your exchange program by gathering documents, going to interviews, saving money, etc. All of that mixed with several emotions like excitement for having this kind of opportunity, longing for leaving your home and family for a while, and a lot of expectations about the new country, host family, University … It is definitely a big change, but don’t be afraid, in the lines below you will find some recommendations to deal successfully with all these things and have a great experience during your exchange program.

Dealing with your emotions

Yes, as I said before there are a lot of psychological and emotional situations that come to the surface during experiences such as exchange programs and you have to be aware of that. It is completely normal to feel a little bit overdosed. In this case, there are three words I like to remind myself: gratefulness, pride, and confidence.

Be grateful for being able to be part of this exchange program that will surely become into a life-changing experience in every way. Be proud of giving you the chance to face this challenge, which will improve your skills in every way. And every time you feel sad or nostalgic for what you left behind, have the confidence and trust that this is the right decision for your own life and future, as well as  for your loved ones who will understand and wait for you to come back and share with them all the things you learned during your exchange program.

Before departure

Getting organized

Before leaving your country and starting your exchange program make sure everything is in order: let your bank knows that you will be abroad for a while in order to avoid problems with your accounts and take copies of the most important documents with you. Also, investigate everything you can about the new country you will be at, it will make things easier for you when it comes to adaptation, and pay special attention to the official currency of the host country and take some cash with you, not only your credit card.

Practice your language skills

The new language will be an important thing when it comes to getting communicated in the new country, so the more you practice the most important words and phrases, the better for you. Get rid of shyness and start incorporating some new words to your vocabulary every day.

Once you arrive

Stay open-minded to receive all the knowledge that this experience brings to you as a student and as a person- The exchange program is a holistic adventure, but don’t forget that its main purpose is that you study. Pay attention to all the options that your new university offers you as an international student and take advantage of them, academic and socially. Make international friends and in your free time travel a lot, there are always options for every budget to enjoy and visit new places near from the place you are staying at.

Respect the new culture

Learning about a new culture

This new country will be full of new traditions and laws. Be sure to respect them, learn and take part in them too. It may take you some time to get adapted to these new rules, but it will worth your while. Finally, find support in your host family, University’s authorities and partners, have fun and appreciate every second. Quite simply: get the most out of your exchange program.

Setting sails
Family, Travel,

The experience of hosting an exchange student

Would you like to be part of a host family? Please contact us so we can help you.

There are people who enjoy being hospitable: they do their best to receive relatives, friends and even strangers in their homes, and they care for these people by giving them not only food and shelter but also good vibes. Usually, these people make the decision to be part of a host family for exchange students and taking into account that this activity is not profitable (although it can be agreed that the student pays a sum that would compensate such family for their living expenses), many wonder what the host family wins with all this. The answer is, among many advantages, they acquire the experience of hosting an exchange student.

Raising and setting sails

Setting sails

The adventure begins with the host family and the student have their first conversations. Once both parties have all the necessary information they reach an agreement and then the host family should start making their arrangements to receive the exchange student: give them a bed, a space to place their belongings and buy groceries taking into consideration that there will be one more member in the family.

Certainly, preparations must also be made with respect to the children, telling them that the exchange student will be their sibling during the time of the stay. It is also important to encourage children to do their best to make the exchange student feel comfortable and that there will be times when more attention will be given to such student to help them through their adaptation process to the host country, but that this does not mean that they, the children, are less loved.

Navigating waters of all kinds

Notwithstanding the above, it is possible that from time to time there will be discussions between the exchange student and the children because, as it happens in every family, they will all compete for the attention of their parents. Also, the exchange student will sometimes not have the best spirits or will carry out actions to which the host family is not accustomed so both parties will have to be patient.

The other side of the coin is that there will be areas in which the exchange student will add value to the host family. In effect, if the exchange student speaks a language different from that of the host family, they will learn new words and phrases – perhaps including some bad words that will make the host family laugh and it will be one of those things for which they will always remember the exchange student.

Likewise, the exchange student will be able to share with his host family other expressions of their culture such as songs, dances and even typical food of their country. By the way, the exchange student will also have obligations within the home as if they were another child of their host parents. However, it should also be considered that the main objective of the exchange student is to succeed in the study program in which they are participating and to learn the language of the host country, in case it is different from the one of their country of origin. For this reason, the host family must give them the necessary time to go to class, fulfill assignments, attend extracurricular activities and be able to recreate themselves.

It should also be noted that the host family will have a fundamental role in each of these aspects. It is not only about housing a person and giving them food, but also about supporting them as much as possible as if they were another member of such family. Therefore, the host family will do well in helping the exchange student in their activities, as well as giving them valuable information about the country, such as which are the fastest routes to reach certain places, places of interest, offers and security information. In short, the host family must do everything necessary for the wellbeing of the exchange student just as it would do for any of its members.

Arriving happily in port

Arriving happily in port

All of the above is summarized in the golden rule: “Treat others as we would like to be treated”. If both the host family and the exchange student do this, both parties will get the most out of this experience and create a lasting friendship. Perhaps that last one is the biggest gain of hosting an exchange student: the possibility of connecting, creating value and exerting a positive influence on another human being.

Suitcase
Travel, World,

How to prepare before making an exchange

So you already made the decision to participate in an exchange program and you are very excited. First, let us congratulate you because you’ll live an experience from which you will get many benefits. Now, in this article, we will give you a series of recommendations so that you can make the transition between your country and the host country in the best way, and get the most out of your exchange program.

1. Make sure you have a valid passport and visa

Passport

Many countries require that the traveler’s passport be valid for 6 months after the date of return, so make sure that yours meets this requirement. Also, find out about the type of visa you need (if required), which will depend on your country of origin and the duration of your exchange program: usually, if the program lasts more than three months you will need a student visa. In any case, try to have these documents at least two months before the date of your trip to be able to handle any delay in that regard.

2. Acquire travel insurance

Your current medical insurance may not have international coverage. In such case, it is convenient that you acquire an international policy for students in order to be covered before any contingency that may arise on the flight (such as the loss of your luggage) or during your stay in the host country. It is better to be alert to the occurrence of this type of situation.

3. Find out about travel warnings and recommendations

It is important that before embarking to your exchange program’s host country you should find out if there are warnings and travel recommendations regarding that country with respect to health issues or problematic social conditions which may not be covered by travel insurance.

4. Pack properly

Suitcase

At the time of packing, you should not only define the type of clothing you must carry with you take taking into consideration the climate that will be in the country of destination during your stay, but you should also avoid storing valuables in your suitcases. It is preferable that you take this type of objects with you in your carry-on luggage, as long as this is allowed by the airline. Also, it is recommended that you be aware of your luggage at all times and that you do not receive objects from other people to avoid risks.

5. Get vaccinated and obtain medical prescriptions if you need them.

Some countries require that one or more vaccines have been placed in order to enter them; Find out in advance this information, preferably six weeks before your trip. Likewise, if you have any special health condition or use corrective lenses, it is important that you bring all this information so that you can give it to a doctor in the host country, if necessary. Also, if you plan to take medicines from your country of origin to use them during your exchange program, it is important that you bring the medical prescription that proves your medical condition, and that you ask the airline if there are any restrictions in the host country in this regard.

6. Contact the closest diplomatic corps

Once you are in the host country, it is important that you go to the closest consulate or embassy of your country to report your presence in the first. This is important because these diplomatic corps are in charge of handling the evacuation of the citizens of their country in case of an emergency.

7. Get in touch with your banks

Banks usually block unusual transactions. For this reason, contact the banks that issue your credit cards to inform them that you will make a trip as well as its duration so that you do not have any problems when making payments during your exchange program. It is important that you have at hand in a safe place the telephones of your banks as well as the keys or any necessary information in that sense in case you require it to handle any situation with these institutions during your exchange program.

Do you want to participate in an exchange program? Contact us so we can help you.

The Mayan calendar
Languages, Travel, World,

Advantages of learning Spanish, countries that you can visit and communicate without problems

Wanting to learn a new language usually has to do with two causes: 1. Professional reasons or 2. An inclination towards it or with respect to the culture where it is spoken. In the case of Spanish, it can be said that for many people these reasons converge. Indeed, from the commercial point of view, many companies are interested in addressing an audience of more than  400 million people, but from the cultural and tourist point of view, this language is one of the distinguishing marks of more than 21 countries, which are the countries where Spanish is the official language today. In this article, we will talk about the countries that you will be able to visit and communicate without any issues after you learn Spanish.

Communicate with more people in the United States

If you live in the United States or want to connect with more people from this country, it is a good idea to learn Spanish, because according to an article published on the website of The Guardian in the United States there are more people who speak Spanish than in Spain itself.

Spain and Latin America

Speaking of Spain, learning Spanish would allow you to go to this country without having communication issues, and there is so much to do and things to learn in Spain! There you’ll enjoy the most picturesque festivals and traditions, but also stroll through its many cities and towns, these being its main tourist destinations. Also, Spain is an excellent destination country to go on an exchange program through which you can get a quality education and learn or improve your Spanish skills, for which you can also follow these tips.

Also, by learning Spanish you will be able to communicate with Latin Americans and it is difficult to synthesize such a rich culture in a few words. To speak of Latin America is to speak of the Inca Empire, whose Brain surgeries were said to be better than those done during the American Civil War 400 years later. Latin America is also about the Mayan Empire, which, among other inventions, had a great astronomical, scientific and architectural development, which is evidenced by its pyramids, calendar, and writing system.

The Mayan calendar

Moreover, you can learn about the colonial era, the independence wars and all the internal and external conflicts of each Latin American country, which shaped their current geography and idiosyncrasy. In this context, the arts were developed, being some of the more named  Latin artists the Mexican Frida Kahlo, the Colombian Fernando Botero, as well as the Venezuelans Carlos Cruz Diez and Armando Reverón.

 

Fernando Botero’s version of the Mona Lisa

In Latin America there are also writers laureate with the Nobel Prize for Literature, as is the case of Gabriela Mistral (1945), Miguel Angel Asturias (1967), Pablo Neruda (1971), Gabriel García Márquez (1982) and Mario Vargas Llosa (2010) , among other Spaniard and Latin American authors who speak Spanish and received this award and whose books you can read once you learn this language.

Finally, there is also a wide diversity of autochthonous musical genres such as merengue, salsa, bachata and vallenato, being some of the most prolific artists of these genres Wilfrido Vargas, Rubén Blades, Juan Luis Guerra and the Binomio de Oro, respectively -not to mention the many singers and groups of each musical genre that currently exists in Latin America.

Unusual places in the world where Spanish is spoken

Maybe you had some knowledge about what you have read so far, but did you know that by learning Spanish you can also travel and communicate in an African country? That’s right, one of the official languages of Equatorial Guinea is Spanish. However, this last country is not the only unusual tourist destination where this language is spoken. In fact, in Asia there is a country that although Spanish is not its official language, it’s spoken by more than 2 million people: we are talking about the Philippines, which was a Spanish colony for 300 years.

On the other hand, in Andorra, 93% of people speak Spanish and there are minorities that speak Spanish in Aruba, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, Guam, Western Sahara, Algeria, Canada, Norway, and Switzerland. Thus, Spanish is spoken in countries of the five continents, so learning this language will open many doors. Now, the best way to learn a language is going on an exchange program. Would you like to become an exchange student? Please contact us so we can help you.

The Sagrada Familia
Travel, World,

Best plans to do if you visit Barcelona

The sky exists and it’s called Barcelona. This city combines architectural wonders, art, beautiful parks, a dream nightlife, friendly people, one of the best football teams in the world and, as if that were not enough, cool beaches. You must definitely visit Barcelona. In this article, we will tell you some of the best plans to do when you visit Barcelona.

Visit Barcelona’s parks

Parc del Laberint

Barcelona has a wide selection of parks where you can breathe fresh air and connect with nature. Among these can be mentioned the Parque de la Ciutadella, which was built on the occasion of the Universal Exhibition of 1888, has an area of more than 17 hectares and is one of Barcelona’s lungs. This park is characterized by having a large waterfall, a lake, gardens, a grove, a greenhouse, monuments and the Barcelona Zoo.

On the other hand, the Parc del Laberint, designed in 1792 by Domenico Bagutti, is the oldest garden in Barcelona. It has an extension of 55 hectares in which there is a neoclassical garden and a romantic one. The main attractions of this park are the Minotaur’s Grotto, the Chinese gate, the artificial rocky waterfall and the romantic canal.

On the other hand, among many other parks in Barcelona, you can not miss are the Joan Miró Park, the Botanical Garden, Turó Park, the Park of Montjuic and Park Güell, one of the many splendid works of Gaudí, who we will talk about next.

Learn about Gaudí’s work

The Sagrada Familia

Antonio Gaudí was considered the most revolutionary architect of modernism and was characterized by building comfortable and striking buildings. Fourteen of Gaudí’s works are in Barcelona, among these can be mentioned the Sagrada Familia, an impressive basilica whose construction is estimated to culminate in 2030; Casa Milá, a modernist building built between 1906 and 1910; the Casa Batlló, another avant-garde building that represents the battle of San Jorge, and the remodelling of the Güell Palace, in which Gaudí provided creative solutions to increase the elegance and habitability of such palace.

Marvel at Barcelona’s cathedrals and churches

The Sagrada Familia is not the only important religious building in Barcelona. In fact, the Basilica of Santa María del Mar is the church preferred by locals. Sometimes concerts are held in this basilica, as it has an enviable acoustics. Likewise, the Basilica de la Merçé, near Port Vell, has a Gothic style and was restored with baroque tendencies. It is worth noting also the Cathedral of Barcelona, built on the remains of a mosque and a Romanesque church in the nineteenth century, and the Royal Chapel, whose construction was ordered by James II of Aragon and is located in the Roman Wall.

Enjoy tapas, pintxos, and vermouth

The tapas are appetizers that come in many forms, the most famous being patatas bravas. Among the best places in Barcelona to eat tapas are Esquinica, Quimet i Quimet and La Cova Fumada. Now, the “pintxos” are the Basque version of the tapas: bite-size dishes served on top of a loaf, being the classics made of black pudding and cod, as well as the empanadillas, but there are also newer recipes. Finally, the perfect companion for tapas and pintxos is the vermouth, which can be drunk in historic bars or cellars. In this sense, Electricity, La Pepita, and Bar Calders are recommended.

5. Bathe in the Mediterranean

One of the things that makes Barcelona the perfect city is that, in addition to all its architectural wonders and parks, it is a coastal city. In fact, it has more than 4 kilometers of beaches in which to bathe during the summer but also to walk and connect with nature at any time of the year. Among Barcelona’s main beaches are the Nova Icària, Sant Sebastià, and the Mar Bella.

Do you want to go to Spain on an exchange program and visit Barcelona? Please contact us.

Get to know the world thanks to an exchange program
Travel, World,

Know the world thanks to an exchange

In this article, we will tell you how it is possible to know the world thanks to an exchange program. Let’s face it: the best way to do this is by going personally to each place; there is nothing like getting on airplanes to collect each country’s immigration stamps. However, sometimes the barriers to travel seem insurmountable. Below we will explain how to go through these barriers by becoming an exchange student.

How to overcome the reasons not to travel and get to know the world thanks to an exchange program

Get to know the world thanks to an exchange program

There are three main barriers to travel: time, money and personal safety.

1. Time

It could be thought that the fact of traveling to another country could temporarily stop our professional growth. The truth of the matter is that, as Oscar Wilde said: “Every experience is of value”. The fact of traveling per se is a transcendental experience: seeing how other people live, relate to each other and handle their own problems is something that we can extrapolate to our own personal situation, by using good examples as inspiration to improve our lives and the bad ones as a warning so to not make the same mistakes. Thus, even when you travel for pleasure you get something: experience.

 

However, when you participate in an exchange program, in addition to getting pleasure from traveling, you learn the content of the study program taught in the host country, and possibly also a new language, in the event that it is different from the one spoken in the exchange student’s country. In this way, traveling would not be in any way a waste of time but an investment in yourself that will give you a series of advantages at a professional level.

2. Money

Euros

Knowing new places, people and cultures will always be charming, but doing this within the framework of an exchange program goes much further. When traveling for pleasure you are a tourist, but this is not the case of an exchange student, since during your stay that student will be a member of the host country in the same terms as the others during the exchange program.

This has advantages and challenges. Among the first, it can be pointed out that being a member of another country has access to information, relationships and experiences that a tourist could hardly acquire: knowing which are the preferred sites for the people of the area, obtaining better prices on products and services, making friends, getting to know other people thanks to these, etc. This information will not only save you a lot of money but will make you live a more transcendental experience.

Among the challenges (not called disadvantages for the reasons explained below) is that an exchange student will experience the same difficulties as the people in the area: if there is a shortage of food, some basic service is interrupted, etc., said student will have to endure said situations. This has a double advantage: on the one hand the exchange student will learn to appreciate more their country, seeing that there are no such difficulties; and on the other hand, they must learn to handle these situations, which necessarily produce a personal expansion.

3. Personal safety

Another advantage of participating in an exchange program is that the exchange student will live in the host family’s home and will be treated as one of their members. Naturally, this family will ensure this student’s wellbeing and safety, by letting them know the safest places and travel methods and advise against those that could put them at risk. Although a travel agency could provide information in this regard, it is difficult for a company to have the same knowledge of the host country as someone who lives there, nor will it be as passionate about the exchange student’s wellbeing as the host family. Thus, you should not fear for your personal safety when traveling within the framework of an exchange program, as long as you act reasonably and follow the recommendations of your host family.

Taking into consideration the above, a person could participate in multiple exchange programs to get to know the world country by country. Are you interested in being an exchange student? Please contact us.

 

Learning while traveling
Languages, Learn, Travel,

Advantages of making an exchange for your professional life

When seeing an exchange student, it is inevitable to ask questions like these: What language will they speak? Will they be kind people? Will they do well in their new educational institution? We may also wonder if it is worth for them to be part of an exchange program. In this article, we will tell you what the advantages for your professional life of going on an exchange program are.

1. The chance to attain additional knowledge

Learning while traveling

Whenever an exchange program takes place, knowledge is acquired in at least two areas: 1. the host country’s culture and 2. The content of the chosen study program. Additionally, if the language of the host country is different from that spoken at home, there is the possibility of learning that other language. It is not that you can’t learn all the above from home, but it would be like learning about Europe with a geography book: no matter how good such book is, it will never be the same as the experience of going to the Old Continent.

2. It opens your mind

Even if a student goes to a university in another state of the same country, and that is why they have to make certain changes in their life. While being an exchange student, there are many more situations to handle, and this causes that said student is forced to leave their comfort zone and, subsequently, develop the skills that allow them to solve these problems. In effect, the exchange student is always giving the extra mile to solve some everyday situation, ranging from the simple fact of being able to communicate an idea in another language to handle another currency, adapt to a special system of public transport, etc.

3. Traveling is implicit

Although the main objective of being an exchange student is learning, it is also the perfect opportunity to travel. Again, it is very likely that within one’s country there are many wonderful places to know, but traveling by using your passport is a different experience because it allows us to have a first-hand experience of other places, colors, smells and tastes that simply can’t be appreciated on YouTube. Whether you go to any European country or the United States, the possibilities of traveling cheap are endless, especially in the case of an exchange student. Finally, traveling not only gives us pleasure but also allows us to see how people from other places live and take that learning to our professional life.

4. You’ll build new social relationships

Making new friends

For a time, the exchange student will be far from their family and usual social relationships so they will need to bond with other people. Although that may be uncomfortable at first, it will make these students more sociable people by having to share for months and even years with their host family, as well as with their new classmates and teachers. As a consequence of this, it is quite likely that they will develop a strong bond with many of these people, some of which will end up becoming great friends and even allies in their professional life.

5. It makes a big difference in your resumé

Naturally, any human resources manager is interested in hiring the most suitable person for a given position. Now, although qualifications play a major role in this regard, certain qualities tend to tilt the balance in favor of certain candidates over others. Former exchange students possess such qualities: in any case, they went to another country, learn its culture, and had to adapt and respond to situations that they would not have lived otherwise.

So, as you can see, being an exchange student is not just about going to another country; it gives you a series of advantages for your professional life. Do you want to participate in an exchange program? Contact us so we can help you.

 

Train Station in Bulgaria
Languages, Travel, World,

4 essential travel tips for exchange students

Are you interested in becoming an exchange student?  Contact us.

One of the advantages of being part of an exchange program is the possibility of traveling. In the first place, it is necessary to go to the host country, for which there are a series of requirements, procedures, and recommendations (which, in Spain’s case are these),  but once you are there, it is most likely that you want to get the most out of your experience, which includes traveling within that country and (why not?) beyond its borders. In this article, we will provide you with the four essential travel tips for exchange students.

1. Get Organized

Organization

The priority of every exchange student is to learn. Learn the knowledge and skills associated with the study program that will be studied in the host country, the language spoken in that country and its culture. An excellent way to reinforce the learning of these last two aspects is by traveling, which in general requires organization but with more reason when participating in an exchange program, since there are a series of special benefits for exchange students.

For that reason, the first thing you should do is to investigate which are those benefits in your host country. One of the best known is the International Student Identity Card (ISIC), which is accepted in 130 countries and allows you to get better prices in certain restaurants, hotels, air tickets, museums and other places. We recommend that you obtain your ISIC card in your country of origin so that you can seize its advantages from the beginning of your exchange program.

2. Save on transportation

Train Station in Bulgaria

Naturally, the less you spend on certain aspects you will have a larger budget to travel. Therefore, in addition to obtaining the ISIC card and any other similar credentials accepted in your host country, we suggest that you travel mostly by bus and train. About this last means of transport, if your host country is located in Europe and you are under 27 years of age, we recommend that you buy Eurail passes, under which you will have discounts of 20% on all your train trips.

As regards air tickets, we recommend that you evaluate them in each particular case, because although they are usually more expensive, it is worth paying the price of certain domestic flights. Furthermore, unless the situation warrants it, avoid using cabs, because, naturally, by doing so your budget will be exhausted much more quickly.

3. Become friends with local people

When traveling, there are usually two scenarios: the one that tourists know and another one special for local people. The first provides a safe and comfortable environment where tourists can spend their money; in the second you will meet places and special people, and you will live experiences that are usually only available to those who live in the area. The only way to get in the second scenario is being introduced to it by people from the area. Therefore, among other reasons, it is important to make friends with these people.

Although this may allow you to obtain better prices with respect to certain products and services, it goes much further: it will allow you to know the city from the inside and, what is more important, connect you in a better way with others. However, for your safety and well-being, do your best to make friends with constructive people, and keep the toxic ones away. For all the above, it is important that you have a good relationship with your host family since it could lead you to live the second scenario or at least they will be there in case you have any concerns about it.

4. Have a blast!

Organizing, saving money and making friends with people in the area makes sense only so that, as mentioned at the beginning, you get the most out of your experience of being an exchange student. For the same reason, you must do all these things at your discretion: if at some point you want to spend a little more or, in general, do anything that gives you happiness, do it! Isn’t that the ultimate goal?