Category Archives: Travel

3 Ideas on how to spend winter break

 You may be wondering: how to spend winter break? Snowboarding is a great way ... just try not to wipe out too much like this derp... :P

With final exams coming up in the next few weeks, you’ve been furiously studying to ensure that you make the most of the crucial marks that remain up for grabs in all of your courses. Somewhere in all that studying and exam writing, you need to pick up a few gifts for Christmas as well.

With all that going on, you only now realized that you also have a week or two before you get back to class as well! What will you do with all this free time? Below, we have a few suggestions that instruct you on how to spend winter break in style…!

1) Party like a rock star on a tropical beach

That’s right – do the spring break thing a full three months early. While you might not have the crowds and the hedonistic atmosphere that goes along with that time of year, it’s still warm and sunny, and when you’re in a place where the palm trees sway, any night could be occasion for a blowout party.

Cancun is a place where one can rock out with abandon with Senor Frog at any point during your winter break, while the once-monthly Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan, Thailand will give you the excuse you’ve been looking for to finally check out the Far East before winter semester begins!

2) Tear up the slopes at a mountain resort near you

Instead of running away from the snow and cold, you may wish to embrace it. If this sounds like you, then there is no better way to do this than to set your course for the nearest mountain range with plans of ripping the slopes there a new one.

Whether you choose run the glades of the Northeast at a resort like Sunday River, or challenge gnarly alpine terrain in Rocky Mountain ski areas such as Jackson Hole, you’ll get the adrenaline rush of a lifetime, along with all the apres ski nightlife you can handle in these popular snow resort towns.

3) Be a tourist in your own hometown – staycation!

Of course, you could just go home and spend your winter break with friends and family – that’s totally cool. However, if you find things becoming a little stale towards the end, don’t despair … just treat your hometown like a tourist destination and watch new possibilities open up.

Being away from the place of your upbringing at college allows you to see it as a place to be visited, rather than as your home. So check out the museums you’ve always ignored, eat at the joints you passed up because you had your favorites, and drink the bars you’ve never seen before (because you know, you weren’t legal back in high school … duh!)

By the time the day rolls around to go back to your new home at college for your second term of the year, you’ll see your former one in an entirely different light.

Take a Left: Studying in North West England

For all the appeal of London and southern England in general, the north west of England can hold its own just as well when it comes to accommodating the nation’s brightest minds. As glamorous as London and its southern counterparts may be, cities like Manchester and Liverpool shouldn’t be ruled out when you’re seeking that postgraduate degree, MBA or other higher education qualification.

Liverpool cityscape

So why would people pack all their things in the car and head for the north west rather than driving south?

Academic prowess

The north west boasts some fine universities and is a good place to study an MBA. Manchester itself, for instance, has four universities and there are a further 14 in the surrounding area. As you can imagine, this in itself has given the region a thriving student population. If you are looking for a particularly specialized qualification, you might like to try an MBA at the London School of Business and Finance in Manchester.

Major sports and entertainment hub

Football is something of a religion in the north west of England. The region boasts some of football’s biggest clubs, such as Liverpool FC, Manchester United (possibly the biggest club in the world!) and Manchester City. Then there’s the music scene, which has produced huge names such as the Beatles, the Smiths and the Chemical Brothers, to name but a few. And if you like to dance the night away, you’re not too far away from super nightclub, Cream, in Liverpool.

Lower accommodation costs

Students, of course, have to live on a budget and try to make their loan stretch as far as possible. Accommodation is a big part of the cost. In the north west, the average cost of accommodation is lower than in London and in the south in general. This gap is most noticeable when it comes to private accommodation, where there’s as much as £100 difference in the weekly rent between the North West and the capital. Think of all the money you could save for books or other expenses, especially when it comes to international students.

The northerners themselves

Sometimes it’s the people that make a place great to study in. Northerners are renowned for their open, happy-go-lucky nature. They’ll make you feel right at home while you settle into student life.

So when you’re flicking through the university prospectuses and deciding where to study, be open to looking north for your education. You can receive just as valuable an education. You’ll also be able to keep more money in your pocket for the graduation celebrations!

 

 

Join the Global Movement to Protect Africa’s Elephants!

Brought to you by 96 Elephants and The College Blender Team

96 elephants are killed every single day in Africa. You can help stop it.

The increasing demand for ivory is driving African forest elephants close to the point of extinction. People across the world are uniting with the Wildlife Conservation Society to protect them. Join the Wildlife Conservation Society to help stop the killing, stop the trafficking, and stop the demand.
You can do your part to save elephants now by pledging that you will not buy or sell ivory products in your country. To pledge and take part in the global movement, visit: http://www.96elephants.org.

Quirky Things to do in Paris

The Big Thumb statue is certainly one of the quirky things to do in Paris...

The Big Thumb statue is certainly one of the quirky things to do in Paris…

Out of all the travel destinations that you have dreamt of during repetitive and boring Biology 101 lectures, Paris with its romantic mystique has stood out among all the world cities that you have lusted over recently.

While all the cliché sights and attractions all appeal to you, you also have a thing for the off-beat highlights of any destination that you visit. In spite of what you might think, Paris is no different in this regard, as it has more than its share of quirky things to do.

Before you hop on that plane to head out on the most fun you’ll have all year though, don’t forget to pre-book your stay to avoid a potential crisis when you get on the ground. Find some accommodation here that will allow you and your friends to have a place that will exceed anything you can find in a hotel or hostel, as well as the peace of mind that comes from having an apartment that is ready and waiting for you upon arrival.

Now that we gotten that necessary advisory out of the way, let’s get down to the business of revealing all the quirky things to do in Paris.

1) Musée de la Magie

If you ever spent a significant portion of your childhood attempting to nail that card or coin trick perfectly, then checking out La Musee de la Magie (The Magic Museum) will be of great interest to you.

Here, artifacts from centuries of magic performances around the world can be found, from the boxes where you watched in horror as that magician’s assistant got sawed in half, to ventriloquist’s puppets that are as mystifying as they are creepy.

2) Le Cimetière des Chiens

The great majority of us have grown up knowing a favorite furry friend. Unfortunately, this also means that we have likely been around long enough to witness their inevitable demise. Most pets in the developed world are either cremated or buried on a private plot of land.

However in Paris, there is a dedicated cemetery where human’s best friends are given over to the earth in the same manner that our human loved ones are. Here, custom tombstones and tributes will touch you and creep you out, often at the same time, while the land’s resident stray cats will also give you the chance to celebrate life as well.

3) The Giant Thumb

This attraction is exactly what the title suggests: it’s a statue of a giant thumb, carved in intricate detail from a piece of metal. Located in Paris’ central business district of La Defense across from the ultra modern version of the Arc D’ Triomphe, its positioning in the midst of what is otherwise a rather sterile business center makes it all the more surreal.

3 of the best cities in Spain to study abroad

Unbeknownst to most people, Salamanca is one of the best cities in Spain to study abroad!

Unbeknownst to most people, Salamanca is one of the best cities in Spain to study abroad!

 

While taking on student loans may make you hesitant to take to the road on an epic trip with all the bills that you owe to your creditors, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to sacrifice seeing the world until you are 55.

An interesting way to get over this beguiling hurdle is to apply to study in your discipline overseas. Most universities and colleges offer arrangements like this, or you can go to the trouble of arranging it yourself.

One nation that is an excellent place to spend a year or a semester overseas is Spain. Being home to amazing culture and history, mouthwatering tapas, and a language that is one of the most popular mother tongues in the world, this nation is an excellent choice to spend a period of time separate from the life you’ve always known back in America.

The only question that remains is: what city should choose to study in? This guide will you choose the best cities in Spain to study abroad so you can get the best possible experience during your brief period in this amazing country…

1) Barcelona

If being near a fabulous beach, amidst unique architecture, and within a community that speaks a regional language in addition to Spanish appeals to you, then Barcelona will prove to be a good choice. La Sagrada Familia will inspire you with its soaring spires, the strong regional identity of the Catalans will undoubtedly pique your interest in geopolitics, and when the time comes to relax on weekends with your new found friends, the beach will provide a chill spot to relax.

2) Salamanca

The mixed use of Catalan and Spanish will make it hard to focus on the latter if you are you are determined to learn it; if you are in this camp, Salamanca is a much better choice. A lack of English speakers makes it easy to immerse yourself in the local language, and when you are at ease in the community with your improving Spanish proficiency, you will be able to experience local cultural aspects like the generous lunches that are indulged in by the local population, experience the fervor that they employ to cheer on the local football team, and run errands like picking up mobile wif-fi from All Day Internet Spain with ease.

3) Madrid

If Spain’s complex art history has you interested in this storied nation, the best place to experience it is in the capital, Madrid. The Museum Triangle downtown contains some of the finest art museums in the world, and once you’re done getting your culture fix, some of Europe’s most lively nightlife awaits you in this cities’ entertainment district.

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