02 Jun 5 Classes to Take in Your Second Language

Studying abroad is a hugely enriching experience, which deepens your understanding of your host country and yourself. Before you leave home you’ll picture yourself on your new campus: Making new friends, settling into new accommodations, trying new foods, and gaining fluency in a language previously foreign to you. All of these things will happen. You’ll make more friends than you can count, the food and housing will initially frustrate and then enchant you, and little by little that language that was always confined to the pages of your textbooks will come alive. It’s a crazy, humbling experience and you’ll never, ever regret it. However, there will be aspects to your overseas program that you might not be able to anticipate so accurately. For example, most of your friends will probably be other exchange students. Odds are you will be housed with other international learners, you’ll all be in the same language classes, and during the evenings and weekends you’ll form an amazing group of adventurers. They will be some of the best friends you ever make, but they will also be in the same boat as you. They will also be “other” in this adopted country and therefore not much closer to linguistic fluency OR local savvy than you. This can be frustrating if your ultimate goal is to acclimate to your surroundings. So what should you do? It’s always a good idea to become involved with your local community, whether through volunteering...

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21 Jul Knot Just Art

One of Ireland’s chief exports (apart from zinc, ore, and Guinness) is artwork. Hugely popular all over the world, the colors, craftsmanship, and patterns integral to Celtic culture can be found reproduced on everything from t-shirts to jewelry. One of the most integral and recognizable elements is Celtic knot work, but do you actually know the meaning behind the knots? Before you get that cool-looking tattoo, better check our basic guide to Celtic knots first. 5) Tree of Life Knot [caption id="attachment_919" align="aligncenter" width="500"] I want to plant a few of these in my yard.[/caption] http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41pcpSZj3nL.jpg Just like the Shel Silverstein book about a similar deciduous character, the Tree of Life is all nourishing, all giving, and a symbol of how life continues despite it all. With strong roots to anchor it, and branches reaching out to all, this knot is the perfect design to remind us of how we’re all connected. 4) Sailor’s Knot [caption id="attachment_920" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Who knew sailors could make such cute bracelets?[/caption] http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/img-thing?.out=jpg&size=l&tid=76841387 Also commonly known as a Lover’s Knot, designs of this type always feature 2 separate threads intertwined until it’s impossible to figure out how to tear them apart. So why are there two different names for the same style of knot? Historically, sailors would present their sweethearts with knots or symbols of this sort before leaving on long voyages. So romantic! 3) Shield Knot [caption id="attachment_921" align="aligncenter" width="674"] This letter is signed, sealed, and SHIELDED.[/caption] http://images3.sw-cdn.net/model/picture/674x501_297970_135607_1338413387.jpg One of the most ancient designs, this four-cornered...

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06 Jul These Hallowed Halls

Top 7 French Museums France has produced some of the most influential painters, sculptors, dramatists, writers, and philosophers in history, so it’s no surprise that France boasts some of the most incredible museum collections in the world. While some may be well known, you’ll be surprised by the breadth of arts represented in Panrimo’s top 7 French museums! 7.) Institut Lumière Dedicated to the Lumière brothers, who helped create cinema as it’s known today, the Institut Lumière honors French contributions to filmmaking, though with a particular focus on the innovations and techniques of the Lumière brothers. 6.) Foundation Maeght Founded by Aimé and Marguerite Maeght, this museum features collections of avant-garde works by artists such as Giacometti, Chagall, Braque, Miró, Matisse, and Barbara Hepworth. 5.) Musée Toulouse-Lautrec Dedicated to the French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, this museum has collected many of his works, including the Belle Epoque works he created in Paris and is most famous for today. 4.) Musée Historique Lorrain This museum shines a light on the entire province of Lorrain, featuring collections of works throughout the ages, including engravings and paintings by local masters, as well as exhibits on Jewish history in Eastern France, antique furniture, and wrought iron. 3.) Centre Pompidou This building has been the called “the most avant-garde in the world.” Immediately iconic, it’s exterior is a system of tubes and scaffolding, appearing the be in construction still, though that’s the point. A bastion of 20th century art, it’s impossible to enumerate just how much...

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20 Jun Florence: Open your mouth and your mind

[caption id="attachment_2182" align="alignnone" width="660"] Helloooooo paradise![/caption] I have several initial, unfettered, pure thoughts on being in Florence for 4 days: The clean streets are completely walkable giving off an "old Europe" charm. So much cheap wine and natural, fresh, local, great-tasting food! Have you ever ordered macaroni and cheese? Pasta and meat sauce? I'm sure you have. Order it in Florence, Italy and a party explodes in your mouth. Taste buds dance all day long here. Tourists abound, sure. But take a side street and it's all Italian language. Order a coffee in broken Italian (or no Italian at all, just using your hands!) and you're transported to real-life Italy. Art is EVERYWHERE. Yesterday I went to an art and ceramic restoration business. 4th generation family. After walking the aisles of impressive 13/14/15/16th century paintings and works getting touched up, I accidently hit a gold-colored pointed dome-like structure needing some fixing (it rests atop a church usually, but is only 8 feet tall). I apologized to Tomasso, the owner's son, for knocking it. "Oh, no harm done," he said casually. "But it is a work by Michelangelo."  When Florentines speak, they sing. Hands gyrate and sway and cut the air like a butcher's knife to a slab of beef on Via della Cernaia. Be ready to speak with your hands. Conclusion: Florence is a travelers paradise. And for a Panroamers perspective of Florence, be sure to follow Kelly's blog here. Tony Amante Schepers...

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