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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25 Aug Study abroad: On host families, buses and boliches in Argentina

[caption id="attachment_2230" align="alignnone" width="660"] So many colors![/caption] Similarly to my routine with my new internship, I would definitely say it took time to adapt to and develop a routine when in a new culture and living with a host family. Since I have lived alone in the states for the past two years, it was difficult at first to adapt to living with others. My host family and I (5 people) are all busy and we share one bathroom, so we need to time our showers right in the mornings. We use the same kitchen but usually everyone eats at very different times, so that’s not a problem. My host mother Marta (who’s so sweet and patient) usually makes my dinner during the week around 7 or 8 (when we both have time to speak to each other in Spanish); but an average Argentinean won’t actually have dinner until after 9. And going out, restaurants don’t start filling up until around 10pm, and are really busy around 11pm and midnight; and Portenos (people form Buenos Aires) have late nights in general. Even during the week, they will eat their late dinner, go out to drink and dance at boliches, get home around 4 or 5am, and still go to work at 9. I don’t know how they do it! On the language front, I have had many frustrating days. Examples range from having difficulties communicating with workers at the laundromat to not understanding a...

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