15 Sep Basic Study Abroad Questions: Answered!

[caption id="attachment_2180" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Have questions about study abroad? Here are some answers![/caption] After and during my study abroad last year, I was bombarded with questions--and I loved it! If helping people understand why and how they can study abroad will help them do it, by all means ask me questions for days. Here are some of your common questions, answered. 1. Why study abroad? Personally, I always knew I wanted to study abroad--it simply seemed appealing to me. Studying abroad allows you as a student to take advantage of being a student! Many things involving travel are cheaper as a student, and there are many, many scholarships exclusively for study abroad! You're also pretty free at this age, you know? Yeah, you have a family and friends and relationships and all that...

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06 Apr Path Less Traveled

Avoiding the Beaten Path in Prague Prague is best described as an eclectic mix of old and new, where history can be seen and felt no matter where you are. Whether you are dancing the night away in a modern club housed in a two hundred year old building or eating traditional Czech food in a centuries-old restaurant along a winding, cobbled street, you will feel the past merging fluidly with the present. In the last few years people have begun to recognize Prague as a melting pot of culture, entertainment and beauty, which has increased the tourist traffic dramatically. For those of us who want to experience all that Prague has to offer while avoiding the crowds of people flocking to the most well-known venues, here 4 alternative experiences that can only be found in Prague.   Vyšehrad (High Castle) Though much less well-known than the Prague Castle, Vyšehrad is a favorite spot for locals because of the amazing view of the city, the popular beer garden located on the grounds, and the castle cemetery which is full of famous Czech people. At Vyšehrad you can drink like a local while looking at the graves of the more permanent locals.   Františkánská zahrada (Franciscan Garden)   Experience a peaceful oasis just off the famous (and famously busy) Wenceslas Square. The Františkánská zahrada is a small garden that was established in 1348 and which offers an ideal escape from the crowds without being completely removed from the energy of...

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24 Nov Turkey Time

The Panrimo offices are full of pre-Thanksgiving cheer and we've combined this with our obvious international inclinations to bring you: PANRIMO'S CURSORY INTERNATIONAL GUIDE TO TURKEY SOUNDS First up, American English. Turkeys are well known and well eaten on the North American continent. So their cry of "Gobble gobble gobble" should come as no surprise. (Please note the historically appropriate headgear) [caption id="attachment_1234" align="alignnone" width="640"] American turkeys have a proclivity for flag waving.[/caption] Our second turkey hails from the European nation of Belgium. It should come as no surprise that Belgian turkeys quite enjoy a nice stack of waffles, washed down with Duvel. Afterwards they remark on the deliciousness with their call of "Irka kloek kloek." [caption id="attachment_1235" align="alignnone" width="640"] Clearly a turkey with a finely-honed palate.[/caption] No turkey gathering would be complete without the high-class French turkey. Easily the most refined of birds, he often coos "Glou glou" towards the rising spires of that most French of buildings, the Eiffel Tower. [caption id="attachment_1236" align="alignnone" width="640"] French turkey never leaves the coop without his beret.[/caption] Finally, we have Mexican turkey. Quite a rebel, he likes to conceal his true identity behind his Lucha Libre mask, which pairs well with his festive sombrero. His cry of "Goro goro goro" strikes fear into the heart of those hoping to eat him for Thanksgiving. [caption id="attachment_1237" align="alignnone" width="640"] Don't mess with this bird.[/caption] So now you know. Armed with your new international turkey knowledge, go forth and have an excellent holiday, Panroamers!...

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13 Apr Wandering through Wales, Part 2

[caption id="attachment_2352" align="alignnone" width="660"] Time to revisit the magic of Wales.[/caption] Ready to resume the trip through Wales? Having regained the energy lost exploring castles and the Caerleon Amphitheatre, it’s time to hit the road and explore the wilderness, both above and below ground. You’re off to Brecon Beacon National Park, the Big Pit National Coal Museum (located inside the mines themselves), and finally, Tintern Abbey, a gorgeous palate cleanser after the claustrophobic tunnels below the earth. Known for its rolling plains and scattered collections of waterfalls, Brecon Beacon National Park will have you mesmerized as you blaze along the trail. Appropriately, Brecon Beacons takes it’s name from the fires formerly lit atop the mountain range's peaks to warn villages and cities of invading enemies. This scene from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King visualizes the process perfectly. Driving through the National Park, you’ll find flocks of mountain sheep dotting the plains, as well as a few mountain ponies; proof that these lands are still as wild as in the past, preserved from industrialization. The Black Forest (Fforest Fawr in Welsh) sprawls across the path you’ll follow, and Black Mountain looms to the West. After braving the forest, you’ll briefly get a comforting view of the fields and pastures once again. Relish these plains because soon, you’ll be deep within them. It’s time to hit the mines. Upon arriving at Big Pit National Coal Museum, you’ll receive some training in proper...

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12 Oct Castles and ales, a fine Saturday in Czechy land

[caption id="attachment_2294" align="alignnone" width="660"] Such a nice little weekend castle.[/caption] Built and enjoyed by King Charles IV of Bohemia from 1348 A.D. until his death in 1378, the Karlstejn Castle was only known by men. Men and men only were invited by the King to the weekend lodge of sorts to hunt fox, drink beer, and talk dirty. Think of it as his Man Cave, but a gargantuan one with secret passageways and guards, spreading many acres. King Charles made the castle pilgrimage from his usual castle in Prague (one can’t have too many castles) to bring his revered crown jewels—en tow by dozens of nobles on horseback and carriage—to Karlstejn for safe keeping. Picture a cross between the pomp and circumstance of the palm waving Queen Elizabeth in limousine, and the hooting and hollering of a circus entering town. That was the summer trip from Prague to Karlstejn that King Charles made. You’ll take it too, but on train and with locals. The train chugs along and drops you, your Panrimo coordinator and fellow Panroamers off a little less than a mile from the castle entrance. What simplistic joy and connectivity to nature the mile walk to the castle elicits. I’ll leave visualization of the gargantuan rooms and the stunning crown jewels’ display to your own Internet searching. But trust me, this is a must see. --- “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy,” Ben Franklin is known to...

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04 Oct Out West in Argentina

[caption id="attachment_2270" align="alignnone" width="660"] Gauchos, the original cowboys.[/caption] Buenos Aires is comparable, some say, to New York City. Fast-pace lifestyle coupled with a “work hard, play hard” mentality make days zoom by as quickly as los colectivos (city buses). It’s very easy to create a routine of attending class or internship duties, only to see the semester over, the afternoon sun pushing temperature past 95 degrees Fahrenheit, and you missing all moments to breathe. I unknowingly crave peaceful serenity when hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires seems all but suffocating. I find my breath of fresh air—literally—in la pampa. Known for gauchos, cattle, and maté, la pampa is the area out west from the capital city in Argentina. It’s farm and soy fields, free-ranging cows and asados. Delicious asados—the Argentine bbq. It’s savory smells of a charcoal grill lined with freshly chopped green and red bell peppers, pork, beef, cornhusks and quail if you’re lucky. And that’s where you find your personal time. You soak poolside in the sun, the only sound nearby a colorful bird chirping to her friends. Or the lunchtime bell ringing. After homemade, oven-toasted empanadas, dulce de leche pours over homemade flan. Lunch alone takes more energy to consume than combating crowded sidewalks in central Buenos Aires. But it’s a different energy needed, that of natural food digestion and letting your mind wander through the quiet of the flatlands. What little entertainment there is in a 2,000-person town in Argentina is...

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15 Sep New France excursion: cave spelunking and a pound of fire-heated cheese

[caption id="attachment_2259" align="alignnone" width="660"] Vercors, France.[/caption] The ice age is back. No, not the movie. The actual time when temperatures dropped and the northern continental ice sheets enveloped most of the earth. You don’t need to bundle up to experience it, however. Vercors, France and its caverns and intricate cave system have preserved some interesting fossils from the period. A quick two-hour drive from Grenoble, France and you’re weaving through the Rhone-Alps region and its mountains, dodging tall, thin fir trees stretching outwardly from hillsides. The view soon turns flat like the cornfields of Iowa, and you think for a second you’ve been driving in the wrong direction. You weave around a slight bend and suddenly there it is: a gargantuan mountain range and below it the Vercors cave system, the largest cave entrance in all of Europe. 400 miles of stalagmites and 4100 feet at its deepest point, Vercors caves are an intricately connected system of crevasses, hidden entrances and wide, open rooms of limestone rock. And fossils. Many fossils from the ice age are perfectly preserved on the cave walls as you trek deeper into the system. The Vercors caves are not for the faint at heart. Rope, clips, carabineers, flashlights and a local guide are a must. The depth you can tumble to and the immediate darkness once turning the first corner make this excursion an explorer’s delight (Though to show the caves have a cute side, it does maintain a Facebook...

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