Category Archives: Travel

Study Abroad in Anonymity…Not in Norway!

Studying abroad is something everyone should experience during college, but, sometimes external factors might not make it the most ideal time to ship off to Europe for 6 months. If you never made it overseas to take your higher learning to another level, don’t fret, there is always grad shcool!

BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo created probably one of the coolest PR campaigns I have ever seen and they’re going to select one lucky applicant to essentially be the most popular person in the city, no, really!

Watch this video if you don’t believe me:

Imagine seeing your face and personal interests plastered all over Oslo in magazines, billboards, everyone in school friend requesting you on Facebook, everyone knowing how to pronounce your name properly, your name being placed onto a beverage, an actual national TV commercial, etc.

This is all going to happen for one lucky individual and I don’t see how that person will not be the most popular person on campus, even before they touch Norwegian soil. They’ve named the campaign, “A Flying Start” which is a pretty appropriate title given what the school plans to do for the one student who wins the honor.

lars_olav_dybvig_112 lars_olav_dybvig_141

Oslo is the largest city in Norway as well as the capital. It is consistently being ranked as one of the top most livable cities in the entire world. Oslo showcases a large international student population, beautiful architecture, alluring surrounding nature, a lively nightlife and much, much more.

BI Business School is very diverse and proudly holds many major accreditations recognized the world over. Currently, there are more than 1800 students from an amazing 106 different countries making it one of the most diverse on the planet.

Where to visit near Bali

Wondering where to visit near Bali? Lombok's version of Kuta is a great start ... photo by CC user Tanti Ruwani on Flickr

Visiting Bali soon, but want to see a bit more of Indonesia than this uber-popular island? Next door, there is an island by the name of Lombok that has many of the natural and cultural charms that Bali has, but without the hustle and bustle that can plague much of Bali today.

Wondering what places you should visit here if you have a week to spare there? The following destinations will give you an island to rave about to friends back home that isn’t as well known as Bali (giving you those all-important bragging rights when it comes to travel)…

1) Senggigi

If you’re looking where to visit near Bali where you can access most of the conveniences that you come to expect from a tourist destination, then Senggigi is the place where you’ll want to hang your hat during your stay in Lombok.

While it is nowhere near as built up as Kuta, Seminyak or Ubud on Bali, Senggigi is home to enough restaurants, cafes, bars, and karaoke parlors to keep those in need of constant stimulation busy, and with tons of tours and cooking classes available through tour agencies, those seeking a bit more action will be well catered for as well.

2) Gili Islands

Senggigi has a beach that is good enough for some, but if you consider yourself a connoisseur of these seaside attractions, then taking a day trip to the Gili Islands (three are inhabited: Trawangan, Air and Meno) will satisfy your longing for beauty in this aspect of nature.

Diving and snorkeling are popular in the reefs located off these isles, while those looking to get their day drink on will find no shortage of venues to do the job on Gili Trawangan.

Those looking for a more chill atmosphere will find it on Air and Meno, which have not been as overrun by the party crowd as Trawangan has.

3) Kuta (Lombok)

Those fearing the hawkers, noise and insane traffic of the Kuta on Bali will find the complete opposite on Lombok’s version, which remains much more tranquil than its neighbor across the Lombok Strait.

One thing the two towns do have in common is excellent surfing: the breaks here have long served as a refuge for those sick of the scene in Bali, and while its secret does seem to be getting out (oops), it is still a world apart from the party-hearty nature of South Bali, making it a great place to get away from it if it isn’t your cup of tea.

Does an itinerary like this sound great to you, but you haven’t the first clue where to start? Luxury travel planners like eShores (www.eshores.co.uk) specialise in assembling the logistics for trips like these, allowing you to go about your daily life while the professionals plot out the journey of a lifetime.

5 of the cheapest ski resorts in America

Mount Shasta is among the cheapest ski resorts in America ... photo by CC user 41205764@N08 on Flickr

While skiing and snowboarding is a thrilling sport that many students enjoy on their winter break from college, it doesn’t come cheap. Gear (whether rented or bought new), lodging, food and lift tickets all exact a heavy toll on one’s wallet, making getting away seem a fleeting dream to many.

Don’t lose heart, as there are still resorts across America where one can get a lift ticket for a reasonable price. The resorts below are among the cheapest ski resorts in America, so scourge through your couch for change and return those beer bottles, and you might have that snowsports trip that you’ve been longing for recently…

But, before getting all exited and booking your ticket after reading the post, make sure you apply for your ESTA visa before heading there or you’ll be just dreaming about hitting the slopes on the plane back home.

1) Bridger Bowl (Montana)

A 2,600 foot vertical drop, 350 inches of snow annually, and there’s rarely ever a wait at the lifts … sounds like a place that you would shred in your dreams, or at least when you are out in the real world with a job? Nope. As it turns out, you can ski or board Bridger Bowl for the paltry sum of $49.

Even better, your apres ski will have you living it up in Bozeman, one of America’s highest ranked college towns for parties, atmosphere and overall quality of life. Ummm … one plane ticket to Bozeman please!

2) Powderhorn (Colorado)

Colorado may be filled with snow resorts, but most seem to be obsessed with becoming the next Vail or Aspen, making them unsuitable for our purposes.

For those of us that take skiing or boarding seriously (so much so that our gear bills leave us close to broke), places like Powderhorn are a breath of fresh Rocky Mountain air, as this area offers some of the best technical skiing in the state, as well as views of the rusty red rocks that herald the start of the deserts of the American southwest.

At only $61 for a lift ticket, you won’t believe your luck as you blast through powder stashes in challenging glades that get tracked out in hours at other resorts.

3) Mount Shasta Board and Ski Park (California)

Located in the shadow of Mount Shasta, California’s 14,000 foot sleeping volcano, you’ll find a ski and boarding park that offers something that’s really hard to find in this state these days – an honest-to-goodness deal.

For $49 for a weekday adult lift ticket, you can shred 275 inches of powder (and with El Nino set to roll through this winter, it may be a lot more than that!) over 425 acres of controlled terrain, during the day or at night.

With 75% of all trails being rated beginner or intermediate, Shasta is also a friendly place to bring your neophyte friends to get them hooked on the powder bug, and with an excellent snowsports school here, they’ll be planning a return trip with you before you know it!

4) Burke Mountain (Vermont)

In the northeast, Vermont has some of the best skiing, as the Appalachians has blessed them with some truly epic pistes. With the price inflation induced by affluent New Yorkers and Bostonians though, you may find that your wallet will be a lot lighter after visiting your average hill here.

Burke Mountain is the rare convergence of a quality hill at an unbeatable price, as $64 will buy you access to a peak full of runs that will test your mettle. 86% of the runs at Burke rank as intermediate or harder, keeping out the yuppies that cause collisions with their inattention, leaving only those that revel in a true mountain experience.

5) Dartmouth Skiway (New Hampshire)

In case you are wondering if there a college that actually has a snow resort in its backyard … yes. Yes, there is.

Dartmouth College in New Hampshire owns a hill 20 miles north of its campus in Hanover, using it to train its collegiate snowsports athletes, but also allowing the general public to carve up its nearly 1,000 feet of vertical for no more than $47 per lift ticket.

Looking for a reason to take a road trip up to see your Greek brothers or sisters in the ol’ NH? Now you have your excuse!

BONUS: Grouse Mountain (British Columbia, Canada)

While this is a list of American ski/boarding areas, we realize some of you have your passport and want to visit our Canuck cousins this winter. While you might be frightened by the cost of living up there, there are even snow areas here that are totally affordable.

Mix in a visit to friends at UBC with an outing to Grouse Mountain on the North Shore of Vancouver. With 1,300 feet of vertical, massive Pacific dumps of snow, and a killer view of one of North America’s most modern cities below, it is a killer deal, especially when you can get a lift ticket for no more than $58 CDN (~$64 USD).

Go at night, when the floodlights permit you to shred while admiring the glow of Van City below!

Rio de Janeiro on a Student’s Budget!

Hiking Sugarloaf Mountain is the perfect way to experience Rio de Janeiro on a student's budget

With South America being one of the world’s most popular travel destinations for budget travelers, it makes sense that at some point, you might find yourself bound on a plane or bus for Brazil. While much of the continent is affordable for student travelers, Brazil is a notable exception, with prices in the nation approaching first world prices in recent years.

That being said, it is still very possible to enjoy this country and its liveliest city, Rio de Janeiro, on a shoestring. While it does cost money to purchase, investing in a Rio de Janeiro city guide will pay you back by uncovering secrets that only a Rio local would normally know about, helping you to get the most from every dollar spent in this internationally significant city.

While it will have many pointers on how to save a buck here, start your budget planning here so you will have an idea on how to experience Rio de Janeiro on a student’s budget.

Hike up Sugarloaf Mountain

Start your trip to Rio by getting the adrenaline pumping on a hike up the area’s most iconic peak. No matter where you are in Rio de Janeiro, Sugarloaf Mountain dominates the skyline, but as nice as it is to look up at this granite monolith, it is quite the experience to gaze down upon the urban chaos that comprises this city from the top of it.

While the true summit of Sugarloaf requires a pricey cable car ride to reach, the lower of the twin peaks is free to access on foot, giving views that are no less impressive than the ones had on the slighter higher point nearby.

Hit up any one of its fabulous beaches

After dropping near your body weight in sweat, you will have earned your dip in the Atlantic at any one of Rio’s world famous beaches. After cooling off, you can continue to carve up the surf on a body, surf, or SUP’ing board (Barra da Tijuca is best for this, with 11 km of surf breaks that gives everybody room to do their thing), or you can indulge in the active social life that takes place at beaches here.

On the latter point, beach soccer and volleyball are available for active types, while others will enjoy having some cervejas (not cervezas … that’s Spanish, Brazilians speak Portuguese) with the animated and very good looking locals.

Of all the beaches in Rio, the best place to take in this scene is at Copacabana and Ipanema, as they are both the focal point of social life on the many excellent days that Rio enjoys during the year.

Go on a favela tour

Unfortunately, not everyone in Rio is having a fabulous life, so if there’s any guided tour to go on while you are here, be sure to go on one to a favela (Do NOT attempt to go to one alone, unless you like being mugged for all your worldly belongings).

These competitively priced tours will show you how less fortunate residents of this city get by every day, even as their well-off neighbors live in luxury next door, with less other than a security fence separating them in some cases. Definitely an eye-opener!

Live it up in Rio after dark without going bankrupt

Before bidding Rio farewell for points further afield in Brazil, party in style without emptying your wallet of Reals. Two places that stand out for an affordable night out here include Cinelândia, which is an outdoor bar set up on a street offering reasonably priced drinks that pair well with street food and local samba musicians, and Lapa, which allows its many bars and clubs to spill out onto the streets.

In a city with such an infectious party spirit, it doesn’t make sense to keep it all bottled up in a building, especially when the weather is so agreeable much of the year.

Tips For Cheap European Travel

By catering for yourself at market stalls such as this one, you are sticking to the ethos of cheap European travel that will keep you on the road for a long time ... photo by CC user yukikomatsuoka on Flickr

GET A EURAIL PASS

A Eurail pass can help you save a lot of money especially if you are travelling across vast countries. Europe boasts of some of the best railways and speed trains across the globe. However, if you buy a single ticket for every time you travel from one point to the next, it may be too expensive. According to sites like this, Eurail passes are a fantastic way to save money when travelling across several countries in Europe. All you need to do is plan your itinerary carefully, to avoid ending in one place twice and book in advance.

EAT LIKE A LOCAL

Have you ever wondered how chameleons survive in the wild? Well, they change their color to match with the environment. This concept should help you as you travel on the cheap in Europe. Avoid the touristy high-end restaurants, cater for yourself in markets, and eat in places where you see most locals, chances are, the food is great and affordable. Eating local dishes also gets a taste of authentic dishes as well as great services. You can also shop for snacks in local department stores and have picnics in any of the numerous parks across UK.

BOOK A LARGE VILLA WHEN TRAVELLING IN A GROUP

Group travelling is always fun and apart from offering safety in numbers in a strange country; it is also a fun way to save money on travel in Europe. Accommodation can really clear your travel budget, and fast, however when travelling as a group, you can enjoy all the comforts of a villa like this and split the cost. Villas are a smart way to save money for groups as they often have more rooms, kitchens to prepare your own meals and offer privacy. Some villas also allow parties on the premises, so you can always party with your friends as you explore Europe.

TRAVEL SECOND CLASS IN TRAINS

Travelling first class is tempting, with all the comforts, but it could end up leaving a huge hole in your pockets. However, travelling second class can cost about 50% off compared to first class but it will still get you to your destination same as the first class. The differences in comfort are always minimal yet the difference in cost is vast, so save money and travel second class.

TRAVEL OFF SEASON

Travelling across Europe when everybody else is on the move can really end up being costly, travel agencies, airlines and hotels are looking up to recover from the low seasons. However, in the low seasons (usually in the winter) you can travel in Europe on the cheap, you can save on flights, hotels, restaurants and avoid long queues in major attractions. During the low seasons, the attractions have fewer tourists and you can be able to visit more attractions than when they are overcrowded. Major cities in Europe such as Paris and London are always fabulous to explore any time of the year, hence travelling during low seasons does not mean missing anything, but it saves you a lot of money.

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