Friday, January 16, 2015

Inspiring Travel Books to Read Before Traveling Abroad

Going abroad is an experience that can change the course of your life (or at least should, if you do it correctly). There’s so much to see, so much to experience, so many places to go, and, of course, so much to eat.
Whether you already have a trip planned for the upcoming semester, or you’re trying to decide where it is you want to go next year, I’ve compiled a reading list that is sure to inspire your taste for adventure. Read these 11 books, from Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast to Maya Angelou’s All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes, before embarking on your trip.
Why? They’ll help whet your appetite to hop a plane now and get you prepped to experience the wonder, the strangeness, and the beauty of living in a foreign place. Trust me — these books are way better than any travel guide you’ll read. (But, um, you might want to pick up one of those, too.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Old City, New Experiences

 This is from UNO's Mackenzie Hoffer. She is studying in India. Check out her blog to see what it's like to be an American living in a new country. She even includes what it was like before her long flight over seas and colorful photos. 
The Charminar is Hyderabad’s greatest identifier. It is located in the Old City, which is full of historical monuments that make Hyderabad what it is. Surrounding the Charminar is the Laad Bazar, known for their bangles. Down the road sits the Chowmahalla Palace, a palace of the Nizams of Hyderabad. That being said it was one of the first things on our go-see list.
Train is the best way to go from the University, so three friends and I took a rickshaw to Lingampally station and prepared to buy our tickets and hop on the train. As we approached the ticket stand we began to notice that there is no such thing as a line, just arms that slither in front and around each other waving rupees. After figuring out how to play the game, we bought tickets only to put them in our pockets and forget about them. Not everyone buys tickets but we were told it’s a “community service.”
The train was packed but slowly dwindled down the further we rode, stopping for about 20 seconds at each stop. Frantic people were coming on and off the train with no type of organization. Some even ran next to the train to jump onto the footboard of the door once it began leaving.
Speeding up and slowing down, even stopping at some points to let other trains pass, it came to be an hour and a half ride. Outside of Yakutpura station sat a large group of rickshaw drivers ready to lure you into their autos. The streets lined with all types of shops, people and animals. We crammed the four of us in a rickshaw to the Charminar, the ride was short but hectic (as always).
Afterward we shopped around in the bustle of the Laad Bazar. Every place I looked there was someone looking at me holding jewelry saying, “Madam! Madam, look!” If you are an impulse buyer, this place is your worst nightmare.Old City is so much more populated than the outskirts that the University sits on; it was a completely different feel. We bought tickets to go up inside the Charminar to get some good views of the city. Climbing up the stairs inside one of the pillars was intense and definitely not for anyone claustrophobic. The granite, limestone, mortar and pulverized marble stairs were in twisted up in the small space of the 160-foot tall pillar. Although the reasoning of monument built in 1592 is debated, most can agree it was built in the center of the city to commemorate the eradication of plague.
This alone took most of the day, so we went home with intentions to go back for the Chowmahalla Palace, which we did. Also known as Chowmahallat meaning four palaces, this little oasis covers 12 acres. We spent forever walking the property, with each door and archway leading to another. Everything was completely different than from what was on the other side of the gates; I almost forgot we were in Hyderabad.
Each and every thing up to the ceilings had intricate detail. My favorite part was a room filled with restored Quran manuscripts. I was unable to take pictures inside, but the work on them was unbelievable.
Old City is filled with so many more things to do and see, this blog post doesn’t even do justice. It’s a bit overwhelming to think about how much there is to tackle this semester and I haven’t even touched on other cities in India yet.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Will in Japan

This is a news letter from UNO's very own Will Hotchkiss;

Hello Everyone!
I hope everyone has been having a great holiday season! While it of course would be nice to be home for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, I am still having a great time here! Time has really been flying, it is hard to believe that 2014 is almost over. Things have been going well here, I have had a great time seeing old friends and an awesome time making new ones. That is the best part about being back in Shizuoka. It is a great city with a lot of great people.
We just started our winter break this week, just in time for the events for the New Year here in Japan. Christmas is not a big holiday around this time of year like it is back home. They have a lot of decorations and things like that but it is really all about the New Year. And for them, the time around New Year's day is all about family. It might include a visit to a shrine or temple, and they have special food. Most students who are studying at the university will go back to their hometown. I'm hoping to stay with a family for New Year's so I can get the real feel for the way they celebrate it here.
The weather is really nice here, the past couple of days have been spectacular! And I just have the best view from my balcony. The way the red sky lights up the mountains and the ocean is really something. I hear the weather back in Omaha has been as crazy as ever! No surprise there. I also hear that gas is getting really cheap. Of course that happens when I can't take advantage of it.
I'm including a few pictures with this newsletter as well, and I think you will see a few familiar faces for those of you involved with the sister cities! I hope you all had a great holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Monday, November 17, 2014

CIEE Commits $20 Million to Study Abroad Initiative

The Council on International Educational Exchange has announced a commitment of $20 million to eliminate some of the barriers — including cost, curriculum, and culture — that keep students from studying abroad.
The commitment — in the form of scholarships and grants to American students — will support the Institute of International Education's Generation Study Abroad initiative, with the goal of doubling the number of Americans studying abroad by the end of the decade. To that end, CIEE will also sponsor passports for ten thousand students to enable their participation, and will make an annual $20,000 grant to a college faculty member in support of innovative approaches to customizing study abroad programs.
Data show that fewer than three hundred thousand U.S. students a year — roughly 10 percent of all college students — study abroad before they graduate. "Globalization has changed the way the world works, and employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and expertise," said Allan E. Goodman, president and CEO of IIE. "Studying abroad must be viewed as an essential component of a college degree and critical to preparing future leaders. CIEE's greatly expanded outreach and scholarship offerings will make a significant contribution to expanding and diversifying the population of students who have the opportunity to study abroad."

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Chris DeFoe

Blogger Chris DeFoe, UNO student, is currently studying abroad in Norway! Check out his blog to hear about all his adventures while over seas. He includes many photos of the beautiful country making readers desperately hope they were right there with him. He has also traveled outside of Norway to neighboring countries. So go read more and be oh so jealous. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Boren Awards

The applications for the 2015-2016 Boren Scholarships and Fellowships are now available at Boren Awards, an initiative of the National Security Education Program, provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to study in Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East, where they can add important international and language components to their educations.

For the fifth year in a row, through the African Flagship Languages Initiative (AFLI) funding is available for Boren Scholars and Fellows to study one of the following languages domestically, prior to commencing their overseas Boren funded programs.

Place you can go: Senegal (French), Mozambique (Portuguese), Tanzania (Swahili), Akan/Twi, Swahili, Portuguese, Wolof, Zulu

Monday, November 3, 2014


For recent or upcoming graduates...

The JET Program is an initiative sponsored by the Japanese government to promote internationalization at the grassroots level by bringing young, college-educated individuals to work in communities throug
hout Japan. JET participants work full-time as Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) in the public school system or as Coordinators for International Relations (CIRs) in local government offices. With the JET Program, participants can gain valuable work experience abroad and explore a rich and historical culture.