16 Feb By Any Other Name

There’s a good reason parents spend such a long time choosing the moniker for their newborns: names shape our self-identity and how others perceive us. This is not only true for people, but also products, places, and pets. Despite all the precautions taken by parents, countries, and governing bodies, sometimes an odd name sticks. This is never more evident than in regards to the place names in the UK. Whether they have outlasted their original meaning or were just oddly named in the first place, here are our Top 5 Puzzling Place Names.   5) Lost, Aberdeenshire Luckily not too many people are “Lost.” With a population of less than 2 dozen, this hamlet originally went by its Gaelic name taigh òsda, which translates to “inn.” Not many people come to stay in Lost though, unless they actually are. 4) Gog Magog Downs, Cambridge Despite the rather ominous biblical name given to these chalk hills, they are relatively non-threatening. Inhabited as early as the Bronze Age, the Gog Magog Hills used to house forts, these days the most you’ll find is a 5k fun-run. 3) Barton in the Beans, Leicestershire One of the main attractions of this town, according to online sources, is the post box. Yep, it’s really that small. Entered in the Domesday book, this town’s name harkens back to one of its earliest crops: beans. 2) Catbrain, Bristol Before you get upset and call PETA please be reassured: no cats were harmed in the making of this...

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12 Feb There’s No Place Like Home…

Living overseas is certainly an adventure. There's always a new place or go or a new thing to see, and it's hard to get bored. But sometimes you may feel like you need a break from the constant adventure. I spent 2 years living in Russia, and most days I absolutely loved it. However, there were a lot of things I couldn't do or see just because I was in another country. This was always when I started missing home.  Homesickness is a very normal part of the life of a traveler, and there are some simple things you can do to combat it. Here are a few things to try he next time you're feeling down or lonely: [caption id="attachment_1512" align="alignnone" width="300"] It's not always fun and games...

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12 Feb Love Makes the World Go ‘Round

Here it comes…the day when couples are expected to shower each with love and expensive gifts, while their singleton friends gather together to get drunk, defiant and depressed. Well that’s what happens in the States, but there are many different Valentine’s Day traditions happening in different countries around the world. Here’s an insight into how different cultures celebrate February 14. Italy Long before Juliet was meant to be blowing kisses at Romeo from her balcony, Italians celebrated Valentine’s Day as the Spring Festival. The young and romantic would stroll arm-in-arm through gardens, resting beneath tree arbors to enjoy poetry readings and music. Today on Valentine’s Day, Italians are more likely to be exchanging gifts and chocolate over a romantic dinner. And when we say chocolate, we don’t mean a Hershey Bar. Italians believe the bigger and better the chocolate, the stronger the love you will have. France France has given the world its most romantic city, most seductive accents, and it’s sometimes claimed, its best lovers. It’s even said that the first Valentine’s Day card originated in France when Charles, Duke of Orleans, sent love letters to his wife while imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415. Today, you’re more likely to find French people wining and dining each other than exchanging heartfelt cards on February 14.   United Kingdom In the UK, Valentine’s Day is when you can discover your secret admirer, or confess your secret passions for another. Sending anonymous Valentine’s cards is a tradition...

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08 Feb Knocking down the price of interning abroad

The New York Times recently gave a shout out to international internships, and Panrimo in particular! While the article made a point to address the pros and cons of interning abroad (international experience looks great on a résumé, but the skills you learn while interning are just as, if not more, important), cost proved a major discussion point. Arguments abound when it comes to privilege and the accessibility of international internships, and Panrimo is dedicated to providing internships for all types of students, and we want to offer advice and insight into making interning abroad an affordable reality for everyone. Below, you’ll find a few suggestions on how to minimize your expenses for international internships! Utilize the major scholarship search engines There are dozens of databases available that are explicitly dedicated to indexing available scholarships for students. This should be your first step in searching for scholarships, as these resources are already compiled for you! You’ll find our favorite resources below: NAFSA's Scholarship Resources StudyAbroad.com Scholarships International Scholarship Search Foundation for Global Scholars GoOverseas.com Scholarships After that, search anywhere and everywhere for scholarship Scholarships can come from some incredibly strange places. Panrimo’s Director of Admissions, Dominic Palazzolo, received several scholarships from his hometown’s baseball league. There’s a scholarship available for left-handed students (yes, for real. Check it out here). The Rotary Foundation offers grants to students who are willing to apply. Panrimo’s University Relations Manager, Ellen Knuth, even found scholarships available for students who are willing to learn about fire sprinklers and...

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04 Feb As Local As It Gets – Inis Mór, Aran Islands, Ireland

I'll set the scene: Arrive on ferry boat, a green landscape that would inspire Crayola, huts with thatched roofs and smoking chimneys, a man named Thomas and a horse named Johnny, another shade of green, fences made of rock and the smell of peat in the air. You're at the edge of Ireland. Not the Cliffs of Moher - you're on the Aran Islands and you own the islands. [caption id="attachment_1451" align="alignnone" width="300"] Inis Mor Arrival (Photo Credit: D. Palazzolo)[/caption] While designing programs, it's important to experience life as a local would. While I know a local wouldn't hire a horse and carriage to cart them around; locals do have horses and they do have carriages - and what better way to see the island than to have Thomas Faherty and one of his horses (Johnny) show us around? [caption id="attachment_1452" align="alignnone" width="300"] Johnny (the horse) and his Carriage (Photo Credit: D. Palazzolo)[/caption] Hiking to the Worm Hole requires one to have a keen eye and and strong ankles. Thomas dropped my wife and I off at a starting point and said, "Follow the red arrows. Make sure not to get sucked under by the tide. I'll meet you in a couple hours for some tea." As I looked out among the field of rough terrain, trying to locate even one red arrow, I noticed that, all of a sudden, the rock stopped. There was a cliff  and then there was a limestone pool...

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02 Feb Beachy Keen

OK, so you have your enormous designer sunglasses and know how to order a croissant and café au lait, totally French-ified, right? Hate to burst your bubble, but there is much more to France than Parisian cafe culture, so trade your book of Sartre for swimwear and hop on a train to the coastline of Southern France. Here, you can channel Brigitte Bardot or pretend you’ve been invited onto a mega yacht by P-Diddy. Known colloquially as Le Midi, the region’s beautiful beaches (and the Cannes Film Festival in May) have made it a haven for jet setters, filmmakers and celebrities. But you don’t have to be rich or famous to enjoy the idyllic scenery. Anyone can enjoy the golden beaches, deep blue Atlantic Ocean, pine-lined headlands, and aspirational yachts bobbing in the sea. For indulgence, relaxation and a glimpse of the European high life, check out our picks of the best beaches in Southern France.   Cap Ferrat, Paloma Plage Located in Cap Ferrat, one of the richest areas in Europe, Paloma Plage is a tree-lined stretch in a small shallow cove. Swim out in the crystal clear waters for a great view of the area’s palatial mansions, where people like composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, make their summer homes.   Argeles-sur-mer, Le Racou Situated at the top of Cote Vermeille, France’s only eastern coastline, Argeles-sur-mer is the sun-drenched region where you’ll find Le Racou, a small bay set against a...

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28 Jan Play With Your Food

Do you like to get creative with your food, or harbor a secret passion for a good food fight? If you answered "yes" to any of those queries, or if you have just started flinging food about at the very suggestion, then you’ll love these quirky, messy, no-holds-barred food festivals from around the world.   Ivrea Carnival and Orange Battle, Italy, February/March Prepare for a pummeling at this three-day food fight, held in the small northern Italian city of Ivrea in the days leading up to Fat Tuesday. Around 400 tons worth of over ripe oranges are brought in from southern Italy for the epic battle, which re-enacts a Middle Ages rebellion against the Holy Roman Emperor known as Barbarossa (Red Beard). Thousands of people in medieval costumes gather in teams, with the king’s guards pelting foot soldiers and other carriage teams from their horse-drawn carts.   Copper’s Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake, UK, May Yes it could just be the cheesiest festival in the world. Held atop steep Cooper’s Hill in the village of Brockworth near Gloucester, the event involves rolling an eight pound cheese wheel down the hill and racing down after it at death-defying speeds. The official event was cancelled in 2010 due to concerns around crowds and safety, but was quickly resurrected in an unofficial form. Last year, organizers replaced the Double Gloucester cheese wheel with a lightweight foam version, and a Colorado Springs estate agent and a Japanese contestant each won one...

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27 Jan A Splash of Color

Around here in Michigan, things get pretty gray and dreary in January. While anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring and a little bit of sunshine, we’ve let our minds virtually escape to some more colorful places that we’d love to share. If you’re color deprived too and need a little boost- or if you’re not, and simply want a break, take a little mental get-away with us and travel to some vibrant spots across the Atlantic. It’s free! 1. Park Guell, Barcelona, Spain- When you’ve had your fill of basking in the sun on the sands of some of the world’s best beaches (according to National Geographic) take a break for a walk in one of the most colorful parks of Barcelona, Park Guell. The park, officially declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, was designed by renowned Catalonian architect Antonin Guadi in the early 1900s. Inspired by shapes and colors occurring in nature, the park’s architecture boasts brightly colored tile mosaic walls, and soft, curved lines. [caption id="attachment_1417" align="alignnone" width="1280"] http://owtk.com/2012/04/away-no-more/gaudi-bench-in-park-guell/[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1418" align="alignnone" width="900"] http://vesping.com/blog/media/park-guell-5.jpg[/caption] 2. Holika Color Festival,  India- This traditional Hindu spring festival of love and color couldn't possibly do anything but brighten your spirits. As one Hindu legend has it, Krishna, an Indian diety, remarking that Goddess Radha had a fairer complexion than he, playfully smeared her cheeks with colored powders. The act resulted in a friendly battle of color throwing and has become a trademark of the...

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21 Jan King of the Castles

Top 5 Castles in France One of the first words you need to learn when you get to France is "chateau". France is home to some of Europe’s most stunning castles (or should we say chateaux). For a change from cosmopolitian Paris, why not indulge in a different kind of experience and take a fairy-tale journey of France’s most beautiful castles? Without further ado, here are our top 5 French castles:   5. Chateau d’Amboise Located in the town of Amoise, this castle is a late 9th century design that sits above the River Loire. The medieval castle was restored after the 16th century and it still retains its formidable outer circuit of defensive towers and walls. 4. Chateau de Chantilly Situated in the quaint town of Chantilly, the Chateau de Chantilly is a historic monument boasting a rare assortment of 17th century pieces. Every two years, the castle hosts Nuits de Feu, a biannual fireworks competition. 3. Chateau de ChenonceauBuilt in the 11th century on the banks of the River Cher, this castle is one of the most well-known castles of the Loire Valley. Designed by French architect Philibert de l’Orme, the picturesque, bridge-like castle spans across the width of the river with the western side looking out to the water. Inside, visitors will also be impressed by the castles’ extensive collection of art and antiques. 2. Chateau de Chambord Located in the Loire valley in Europe’s largest enclosed wooded park, Chateau de Chambord is the perfect fairytale castle. With...

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19 Jan Travel Resolutions: 2015

The Panrimo staff didn't get into the business of study abroad by staying at home. We're all true travelers at heart, and with a brand new year before us, there are plenty of places on our "To-Go" lists. Because writing them all down would be impossible (and might crash our website), we have instead limited ourselves to one destination apiece. So where are you going this year?   Paul - Founder, Executive Director [caption id="attachment_1405" align="alignnone" width="555"] Fearless leaders aren't afraid of comets.[/caption] Place: The United Kingdom Reason: There are many golf courses waiting to be conquered.    Dominic - Director of Admissions [caption id="attachment_1406" align="alignnone" width="640"] "Starry Night" has competition.[/caption] Place: Bavaria Reason: The Christmas markets! Time to finally try those soft pretzels and mulled wine at the best time of the year.   Emily - Intern Abroad Advisor [caption id="attachment_1407" align="alignnone" width="597"] Queen of all she surveys.[/caption] Place: Egypt Reason: Seeing the pyramids has been a dream since childhood. Hieroglyphics? Mummy curses? Yes, please!   Michael - Study Abroad Advisor [caption id="attachment_1408" align="alignnone" width="640"] All the best portraits wear cheese hats.[/caption] Place: Poland Reason: Time to return to the ancestral land! With both grandparents native to this country, it would be nice to see the places from the family stories.   Ellen - University Relations Manager [caption id="attachment_1409" align="alignnone" width="640"] Totally just upped the ante.[/caption] Place: France Reason: A visit to Paris wasn't enough, there's a lot more country to see! First on the list: Versailles, palace to end all palaces.   Audry - Study Abroad Coordinator [caption id="attachment_1410" align="alignnone" width="960"] Never doubt the existence of...

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