The Dreaded #Physical!

Had my annual #physical for the #Chinese residence permit & #Visa! 😷

Managed it alone without a #translator – quite a feat! Look at my bold self go 😜

For #China 🇨🇳 you need: Blood Analysis, Urinary Analysis, X-Rays, Ultrasound, ECG/EKG, and Blood Pressure.

 The X-Rays 📷 are competely #Topless with other people (men included) waiting in the room 😱 for their turn – no protection. 😓 The ECG requires baring it all in front of a major, street level window with no curtain and a ferris wheel🎡 right outside❗ Goodbye dignity, hello #crosscultural oversharing! 😂
What’s Your International Hospital Story?!?
 

Blog Official ~ I’m #Moving!

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s time ⌚to make the official blog 🖋announcement📣 – I’m moving again!  I’ll be staying abroad in China🗺, but after 3 years in central Henan I’m going North. Way north. As in Arctic Circle ❄ level north!  

We will be moving to a city called Changchun in the province of Jilin.  For those of you familiar with China, it’s up by Harbin – land of the ice sculptures. For those of you who have no idea what those words even mean – it’s up in the arm of China that is surrounded by Mongolia (great! Horses 🐴!), Siberia (Brrrrrr💂), and North Korea (0_0)❌❗.  

china-provinces-map

See the blue circle in the map up there? That’s Changchun.  I’m moving clear up to the land of Winter Olympics⛷🏂⛸, Forests with wild Bears 🐻 and Tigers, and Deer Antler soup. 😵 Craziness I tell you!

No, actually it looks like it will be really nice.  😀 The university 🏫 is called NorthEast Normal (NENU) and I will be working with the joint program with Rutgers University 🏫.   I will be teaching Economics 💹 and International Business 📈 this semester.  Economics and maybe some other classes next semester. The hours are a bit more than at my current university, but the pay is better, the students are of a higher academic quality (1st tier univ. instead of 4th tier univ.), I get most of the same benefits🚪, and it’s a new adventure 📷 awaiting me!

I was delighted to find out that one of my students and good friends 👭(Simon and his girlfriend Alice) live about 15 minutes away from my school. They are moving home and already invited me to BBQ.  Such a relief to have someone in the area!  I have two students👩👩 from Mongolia that I am hoping to get a chance to visit, and the train goes from Changchun directly to Moscow💂!  🚉 Course it takes a week one way, but still – I think I can get up to see Russia.  Not taking time to see North Korea ❌ – I’m sure it’s lovely, but not my cup of tea. Still, that’s a lot of new open doors 🚪 waiting to be checked out!  😀

I’ll keep you up to date on the details as I go.  My schedule 🕔 this week is insane.  Tomorrow I leave at 7:30 for the city (one hour) to get a Physical 😷done (surprise! wasn’t expecting this – just found out this afternoon). Then on from there a 3 hour trip to Beijing 🚝 (+ 1.5 hour subway ride to my stop) for some government paperwork on Wednesday.  Then back to school 🏫so I can give Final Exams on Thursday. Friday, back to the city to pick up my physical 🏥results. Back to school 🏫to grade and get signatures.  Then on Saturday, entering grades into the computer. Sunday off to Changchun ✈to get all my paperwork complete. Monday back to school 🏫to pack and get ready.  It’s a wild ride, but I am so excited to welcome the new year! 

100 Best Things to do in Germany

“100 Best Things to do in Germany”

via Jen’s Reveiws

Here are the 100 best things to do in Germany that will show you the charm, beauty and cultural diversity of this country.

Germany is rich with surprises and contrasts just waiting to be discovered by the discerning tourist. A country of enchanting little villages nestling between lofty and imposing mountains, fairytale castles and churches and lush vineyards rolling down towards the banks of the Rhine or the Mosel, Germany also boasts of the more rumbustious Munich Beer Festival and the Cologne Carnival, a very fine choice of gateaux, sausages and beer and a powerful and somewhat spooky folkloric tradition.

1. Die Zugspitze

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Located in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen region of Upper Bavaria, the Zugspitze can be accessed by cable car from the Eibsee lake (around ten minutes) or by cogwheel train from Greinau followed by a cable car from the Zugspitzplatt to the summit. There are also five hiking routes for the more intrepid and guided tours with overnight stops are a popular tourist attraction for avid hikers.

At 2.962 metres above sea level, the Zugspitze is not only the highest mountain peak in the Wetterstein mountains, it is the highest peak in Germany. On a clear day, the breathtakingly lovely panorama of the mountain ranges of four neighboring countries – Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland – is clearly visible from its summit. For those who love hiking and/or winter sports, the Zugspitze is definitely a number 1 choice when visiting Germany!

2. The Castle of Neuschwanstein (Munich)

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In 1868, four years after acceding to the throne, the shy and reclusive King Ludwig II commissioned his architects Eduard Riedel and Georg von Dollmann to build him a mediaeval castle where he could hide from his people. Paradoxically, Ludwig himself only lived a few months in the castle before his death in 1886; 7 weeks later the castle was opened to the public and it has been one of Germany’s most popular tourist attractions ever since.

Located in Hohenschwangau in the rolling green hills of southern Bavaria, surrounded by blue lakes, Neuschwanstein appears to float in the clouds like some magical castle in a fairytale. From Munich, it can easily be visited as a day trip. Tickets should be booked in advance!

3. Europa Park (Freiburg)

North of Freiburg in Baden-Württemberg in the little village of Rust is the biggest amusement park in the whole of the German-speaking world. In 2015 alone, it boasted 5,5 million visitors and is among the top 5 tourist attractions in Germany worldwide. In 2016, it won the “Golden Ticket Award” as the best amusement park in the world for the third year running. As an additional bonus, it is also open in winter!

With more shows, rides and attractions than one could ever imagine, including the biggest roller coaster in Europe, the Europa Park offers unlimited fun, excitement and entertainment to young and old alike. The Europa Parkc can be accessed from Freiburg by car in around 30 minutes and the closest railway station is Freiburg. Additionally there are a number of airports close by which offer shuttle-bus transport directly to the Europa Park.

4. Oktoberfest (Munich)

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Munich`s flamboyant Oktoberfest is famous the whole world over. Since its inception in 1810 in celebration of the wedding between Ludwig of Bavaria and his bride Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen, the Oktoberfest has grown continuously in size and popularity. With its dirndls and its lederhosen, its stalls and diners offering a multitude of German and Bavarian specialties and – of course – its fourteen beer tents offering beer for every taste (and wine, too!), the Oktoberfest is a must for anyone seeking the fun side of Germany.

The Oktoberfest takes place once a year, beginning in September and ending in October, on the famous “Theresienwiese”, otherwise known as “Festwiese”. Travel by public transport from München is recommended owing to lack of parking.

5. Cologne Carnival (Cologne)

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Traditionally, Cologne carnival begins whimsically at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, although the serious partying does not begin until Shrove Thursday. However, when it does, it goes with a bang! Cologne carnival is a celebration, above all, of fancy dress: streets, pubs and restaurants are full of exotic and bizarre costumes, streamers, balloons, practical jokes and laughter. The highlight is a 6 kilometre-long parade through the streets of Cologne on shrove Monday. A colorful, unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Though Cologne carnival is predominantly a street festival, there are plenty of carnival dances, dinners, parties and other indoor events running at the same time to choose from. Street activity during carnival time is at its height in the city center and the old parts of the city, which are accessible by bus or train from Cologne airport within 20 to 25 minutes.

6. Cologne Cathedral (Cologne)

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At the time of its completion in 1880, Cologne Cathedral, with its awe-inspiring twin spires, was the highest building in the world. Even now, at 157m, it dominates the surrounding architecture with ease. Building commenced in 1248 but was halted during the Middle Ages and recommenced in the 19th century. Cologne cathedral reputedly houses the remains of the Three Biblical Magi- which were given to the Archbishop of Cologne by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in 1164 – and is an important destination for modern-day pilgrims to this day. For this reason, but also because of its being “an exceptional work of human creative genius”, Cologne Cathedral was dubbed an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

Cologne cathedral is situated very close to Cologne railway station and is impossible to miss! It is around 25 minutes from Cologne airport by bus or rail.

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**If you were to give advice to future SAS (study abroad students) for your country, what would YOU recommend?!? Post in the comments! ** DB

Terror attacks prompt FSU to create travel tracker for study abroad students

“Terror attacks prompt FSU to create travel tracker for study abroad students”

by Julie Montanaro via “WCTV”

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Best Mattress Sleep scholarship

Hey Guys! 

So I got an email a while back about this scholarship, and I somehow missed it when I was going through the mail.  But Best Mattress asked me to pass the information on to you all in case you’re interested!  It’s a scholarship for $1,000 (good start on a study abroad plan!) and the deadline is May 19, 2017 so you need to jump on it fast!  I’ve posted the information below.  Scholarships don’t have to cover the entire cost of your trip if you can add them together.  So here’s a great place to begin planning for your dream trip to study!  The website is here.

BestMattressReviews.com Sleep Scholarship

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Adventures with the GMAT Abroad: Finding the Location

Since I know several college student from International Countries (or from the US living abroad) also take the GMAT every year, I thought I’d keep you up-to-date on the process I go through while I’m taking it in China. Partly just because it’s kind of a glimpse into how things are different just traveling and surviving abroad. 

The registration process itself was pretty  simple – I did the normal US registration website and everything. Registered an account and selected Zhengzhou, China as my location.  

However, that was the end of the easy part. First of all, finding English study books is a pain though do-able. My students order them off of Taobao (Chinese Ebay) or Amazon.cn.  I went ahead and purchased one while I was in the States on holiday and brought it with me.  As long as its a semi-developed country where many students take the test, I think you can find study books. I wouldn’t count on it in other countries necessarily. 

I don’t actually live in Zhengzhou, instead I live about an hour away. Since the GMAT is less common in China, the testing centers are less populous.  So I was kind of lucky to find one this close to me.

My test is at 8:30am local time, which was the only time slot available. The dates are not as open, and you are more limited as to what time of day is available here than in the US I think. That means I need to arrange a hotel for the night before. Since my test will not end until after noon, that means I would have to rush in order to get to the bus and home on time. So I ended up getting  a hotel for two nights instead–A lot of students from out of town do this I’ve found.  

So the total GMAT cost goes to Test + Travel (for me about $10 for bus + subway + taxi) + Hotel ($150 for two nights).  

Unfortunately, the location itself is clear out in the boonies (sp? — out in the middle of nowhere) and I could never have found it on my own.  As with all good small-town Chinese addresses, it isn’t even a real address.  The location according to the MBA site is at “NEEA-Henan Higher Education Admission Office Zhengzhou HEN, CHN.”  Legit – I put in the name of the location that the MBA site gave me and it doesn’t show up on Google. 

Luckily my ticket had a little more information — HENAN COLLEGE OF FINANCE &TAXATION,  ZHENGKAI RD&KANGZHUANG RD INTERSECTION,  RM 517, ADMINISTRATION BLDG.. Yep – that’s a helpful address – “at the intersection of Zhengkai Rd & Kangzhuang Rd.” I tried looking up the college, and found an address on the opposite end of town (apparently the old address? – I’m not really sure).  

One of the things you learn when you travel abroad is that GoogleMaps can be much less helpful depending on the country. I’ve heard that it’s pretty on spot in Europe. But in Japan, Korea, and China where I’ve traveled extensively, GoogleMaps is frequently not helpful whatsoever. The names on Google are in Chinese (which I don’t speak and certainly can’t write or read), the roads aren’t up to date, the buildings move, everything is a couple years old. In a well-developed city, a couple years might not mean much for a map. But in a still swiftly growing and expanding area like Henan, China just two months might see a complete and total difference. 

I finally just posted the address on Weixin (China Facebook/Twitter) and my students (have I mentioned how much I love them to pieces?) immediately responded with the Chinese map, the Chinese name of the School, the Chinese address, and directions to give to a taxi driver. According to the map, it’s out in the middle of nowhere – land  several kilometers outside of the actual city.  Seriously, it’s at a small community college “on the road between Zhengzhou and Kaifeng” (hence the intersection of Zhengkai road 😛 ). So we all agreed, I’d need to take the subway all the way to the end. Then one student said I should take Exit E (thank God for that piece on information — people appreciate the Exit number not enough!) then go east to the main road. No one knows where the bus stop is (our city doesn’t have a good bus map or layout — so no one really knows when or where it’ll stop). Just that I need bus 102 to the stop (of course it’s in Chinese).  At first they said try to find Chinese students to help me find the bus — then we realized its the holiday and there probably won’t be anyone. 😛

Oh the life I lead!

Of course, because it’s so far out, there were no hotels in the area to speak of.  A couple that were low end – $20 a night- places. But while a cheap motel might be okay in the US, I don’t trust them here in China. Too many horrific experiences (namely one including a plate on the floor outside the hotel restaurant with so much mold on it, it should have been a lab experiment .) 😛  So I had to go further up line 1 on the Subway to find a hotel.

 To be honest, I have no idea how much time this whole thing is going to take me. And I’m kind of dreading the whole “Check-in” and get a computer process. They say the people will speak English, but I’m not really counting on it. 🙂 I’ve been told that before. Anyway, I’ll let you know how the process itself goes. Off to work on my math. Wish me luck!

46 Study Abroad Statistics: Convincing Facts and Figures

“46 Study Abroad Statistics: Convincing Facts and Figures”

by Ruth Kinloch via “Study.Smart”

Are you thinking about studying abroad, but are not sure if it’s worth your time? Or are you ready to participate in a study abroad program, but need some extra talking points to convince your parents that you’ve made a smart decision?

The number of American students who go abroad has more than tripled in the past two decades (304,467 students in the 2013-2014 academic year), and this increase is likely to continue. International education is on the rise, and for good reason: research has shown that students who study abroad have better career prospects and are more socially aware. Read on to discover more study abroad statistics, facts, and figures that reflect the latest trends in international education.

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Benefits of studying abroad

For many years, the benefits of studying abroad have been described in words like these: “It will completely change your life!” and “You will come back a new person.” But the exact long-term benefits were unknown. Now, though, the positive impact of study abroad experiences can be proven with study abroad statistics.

The Institute for International Education of Students (IES) conducted a survey to explore the long-term impact of study abroad on the personal, professional, and academic lives of students. Here are some interesting findings:

  1. 95% of the students who were surveyed admitted that studying abroad served as a catalyst for increased maturity, 96% reported increased self-confidence, and 95% said it had a lasting impact on their worldview.
  2. More than 50% of the respondents are still in contact with U.S. friends they met when studying abroad.

One of the goals of study abroad programs is to train future global leaders who will respect other cultures and political and economic systems and care about the world’s welfare. The survey reveals that study abroad is succeeding in this mission:

  1. 98% of the students stated that study abroad helped them better understand their own cultural values and biases, and 82% said that it helped them develop a more sophisticated way of looking at the world.
  2. 94% stated that their study abroad experience continues to influence interactions with people from different cultures.
  3. 87% of the students said that study abroad influenced their subsequent educational experiences. Nearly half of all respondents took part in international work and/or volunteerism since studying abroad.
  4. Three-quarters of the respondents said that they acquired skill sets that influenced their future career paths.

The survey results proved that studying abroad can greatly influence a student’s life. The results of the survey show that study abroad had a positive influence on the personal development, academic commitment, and career paths of the students who took part in IES study abroad programs.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the results show that the longer students study abroad, the more significant the academic, cultural, and personal development benefits are. But the survey also suggests that study abroad programs lasting at least six weeks can also produce good academic, personal, career, and intercultural development outcomes.

The Erasmus Impact Study (2013) analyzed the effects of mobility on the skills and employability of students and on the internationalization of higher education institutions. The results of the study proved the benefits of studying abroad for the career development of mobile students. The study highlighted that mobile students are more likely to get managerial positions in their future careers and are less likely to experience long-term unemployment.

Here are some key findings.

  1. More than 85% of Erasmus students study abroad to enhance their employability abroad.
  2. More than 90% of mobile students reported that they improved their soft skills, including their knowledge of other countries, the ability to interact and work with people from different cultures, adaptability, foreign language proficiency, and communication skills. . . . .

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