Soccer Culture

By Simon Kjellgren, Sweden

For Americans, soccer is just something you drive your daughter to. A world cup they always think they’ll win despite just being no.28 on the FIFA world ranking. For the rest of the world, it’s more than a sport, it’s a lifestyle. We live and breath soccer, some fans even kill and die for their club. The club is our god, the fans of that club is our family and the stadium is our home, our church. Soccer is a religion, a religion with thousands of gods. The leader of all those gods? Sadly FIFA. I’ll explain later.

tifo2Borussia Dortmund TIFO

The fans are the most important thing a club can have. It sounds cheesy I know, but there’s a reason fans are called “the 12th player”. They provide atmosphere around the stadium; they provide electric chants that energize the players. Most importantly, they provide TIFOs. A TIFO is a synchronized display before the game starts, with banners, flags and songs that the team march in to.

Jewelry in Santa Barbara

Katharina Krainick, Germany


One of the oldest ways to decorate and express oneself. Jewelry has been around for ages and lots of people cannot imagine their everyday life without them. They just give your outfit the personality it needs, right? So for those who love to find new unique masterpieces all around Santa Barbara you should stick to this article. There are lot of great shops and also markets where you can find them, just keep your eyes open. But I will talk about my favorite one, because there are just way too many shops to talk about.

First of all, there are not only such things as Tiffany, Forever 21 or H&M where you can get jewelry. No! Santa Barbara has so much more to offer. I was surprised to discover all the wonderful places where you can find jewelry and the variety that is offered here. And of all the places I’ve been to, this still is my favorite. Its called…

plum goods

For all those who love handmade jewelry this place will be great. It is located in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara. They also sell other stuff like books, clothes, body care and more . The shop runs 24 different lines of jewelers, but let me just show you the most popular ones.

The most popular designer in this shop is called Lily Lambert. She has been in business for around 20 years and she is doing great. Her jewelry has a magical touch, everything seems so spiritual. For her, everything, even the smallest stone on here jewelry, has a meaning. She actually believes in magic which in my opinion really is wonderful and so interesting. 

If your looking for jewelry  recycled out of  gold and silver you definitely should stick to the line called Tumbleweed. Also recycled is the jewelry from the brand called Article 22, their jewelry is actually made out of bombs of course just the silver jewelry. There are no such things as golden bombs haha. At least I hope that they don’t exist. By supporting this brand you are helping Vietnamese farmers.

Also local designers are represented in this shop one of them is called Hide and Stone. The designer is an elementary school teacher in Santa Barbara and the other designer, who I unfortunately don’t know the name of anymore, is 22 years old and also lives in Santa Barbara. She learned how to make jewelry at City College and her jewelry is made out of see glass which really is inventive.

Here are a few more pictures of the beautiful jewelry that you can buy in this store…




I would recommend that you visit this place and maybe you will find your next favourite IT piece.


Trip to LA

This weekend I am going to LA. Here are some good things to do, and what I am going to do. After the trip I will write what I thought about it.

  1. Bel Air and Beverly Hills, to the houses of stars (Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber)
  2. Beverly Hills sign
  3. Driving over Rodeo Boulevard
  4. Walk of Fame
  5. Walking over Melrose Avenue
  6. Griffith Observatory
  7. Hollywood sign
  8. Urban lights (when it is dark)
  9. Santa Monica

What I thought about the places I went to:

We could borrow the car form the uncle of a friend of mine. With that car we went to all the places. First we went to Bel air and Beverly Hills and it was very beautiful. We went to the houses of the famous people and they were unbelievable, so pretty and enormous.

Of course after that, we went to the Beverly Hills sign to take some cute pictures. Across from the Beverly Hills sign there was a pink wall with hearts on it and I needed a picture with that wall, sbeverlyhillso we had a little photoshoot.

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After the photoshoot we went to the Walk of Fame. It was very big and very crowded. I was looking for the star of David Hasselhof, because our last name is quite the same and it was an inside joke with the staff from the residence. We went to all the famous places on the Walk of Fame. For instance the Dolby Theatre and the Chinese Theatre. We didn’t really went in, but we saw it from the outside and inside until we couldn’t go further except when you got a tour.


We drove over Rodeo Drive when we went to Melrose Avenue. I know Melrose Avenue because of its famous walls. There are a lot of coloured walls where you could take pretty photos, and of course we did that.

This is one example of a wall. This wall is saying GIRLS TOUR.

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After the photoshoot we went to the Hollywood sign instead of going to the Griffith Observatory because the Observatory is still pretty with the sunset and you can’t take nice pictures with the Hollywood sign when it is getting dark. My friend knew a place where we could make pictures from the Hollywood sign pretty close. We needed to climb a bit but it was worth it. Not only the Hollywood sign was nice but also the view was stunning.

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The sun was already going down when we drove to the Griffith Observatory. It was very busy because today the montly show was given. I fell asleep while trying to go up, but everytime we were send away. We went up for 3 times and then we decided to just go the next day and see it with daylight.

(next day to Griffith) We could just directly go up because there was no traffic. I already knew a lot of things that were displayed in the Observatory because I learned about it at school at home. Still it was very pretty and the view was beautiful.


(back in time again)

It was already dark when we arrived at the LACMA musea. We walked to the urban lights and I fell in love. I just looked at it for 5 minutes straight with not saying anything just observe the piece of art, but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t take a picture of it.

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We were all very tired of the long day and we went to the house of the uncle. We saw the movie SING and after that we all went to sleep. I slept very well. I slept for 10 hours straight. It was so lovely because I haven’t done that since two weeks.

Before we went to Santa Monica we went to the Walmart to buy all crazy stuff that they don’t sell in The Netherlands. We went to Santa Monica with a Uber and there we first went shopping. The stores were really big and fun to shop in. When we were done with that we went to the Pier. We justed walked on it and saw some streetartists perform. It was already dark so we couldn’t take nice pictures or see the view, but it was still very nice.

When we saw everything we went back to Goleta with the Uber and went straight to bed when we arrived.

The weekend was so much fun with my friends and the places where we have been to were stunning as well.

Bernou Hazelhoff Roelfzema, The Netherlands


Giulia Ferriani, Italy

Is it strange or not that American people include you in their community?

When I arrived, I was very shocked because of the acceptance of American people: now it’s clear that this is their way of life. In general, they accept everyone like members of their big family.

Here in Santa Barbara maybe people are accustomed to seeing students or in general visitors, but it’s so strange because the city is very full of people that are curious, or maybe interested in knowing other cultures.

In fact, the first time I went to a supermarket to buy something to eat, I had to talk with the cashier for maybe thirty minutes, because he wanted to know if in Italy we have good desserts. Besides, another night, when I was returning home, I met a bus driver that stopped me when I was getting on the bus, to ask me about my permanence here  in America. He was very friendly.



So it’s very unusual, because people here are very nice. In Italy, nobody stops you on the street, and if the cashier can’t talk with you is better. People in Italy (especially in the north) are always busy. Sometimes if you want to ask somebody information, people continue walking and ignore you: sometimes you look invisible, maybe.

In my opinion, here in America there is an important concept of community: all people try to help each other and to emphasize this notion they try to include foreigners. Frequently, along my holiday, I met new people and they were always friendly. For example, I was stopped by a young guy on the street because he was in love with Italy and he wanted to know more about this country. So we talked so much while he escorted me to the bus stop. It was an unforgettable experience because, before leaving Italy, I was very afraid of strangers, and now it’s like my everyday life to talk with them.

In conclusion, we should say that travel is a good way to meet new people and to discover the world, and you have to be sure that if you come to America, you will find your perfect place in the world.


Top 5 Places to Visit in Portugal

Carlota Pedro Pinto, Portugal

Did you say you needed a vacation?

With the increasing amount of stress in our routines throughout the years, the word getaway is becoming more popular in our society. Everybody is always looking for an opportunity to turn off all the noise and go on a  little vacation.

And that’s when Portugal comes along….

Being one of the best getaway destinations right now, I’m gonna give you an inside scoop of some of the best places to visit while in Portugal!

1.Elevador de Santa Justa (Lisbon) – For one of the best views in Lisbon head to one of the most beautiful monuments right in the city’s heart. Towering above the whole city you can get  a breath taking view at any time of the day.

Risultati immagini per elevador de santa justa


2.Ponte de D. Luis I (Porto) – The panoramic views of the outlying city and the mouth of the river are truly memorable. One of the best spots to get to know Porto better.

Risultati immagini per ponte d luis porto


3.Ponta da Piedade ( Algarve) – The Ponta da Piedade makes for an amazing half day excursion from Lagos, and hiring a fishing boat to explore the cliffs is a life time experience!

Risultati immagini per ponta da piedade portugal


4. Pasteis de Belem ( Lisbon) – Pastel de Belem is a Portuguese cake, so it’s mandatory to at least have one when you come to the city ! Pasteis de Belem is the name of the world famous bakery that opened in 1833. It’s still open today and there’s always a long line to get in because of it’s amazing reputation, so be sure to get there early!

Image result for pasteis de belem


5. Sintra – Remarkable cultural landscape this historic town is worth a day of your trip! In this amazing town you will find many monuments and breathtaking sights that will blow your mind away, which is totally worth an amazing tour through the streets of Sintra!

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As a native I’ve been always in love with Lisbon, being my hometown i have a special connection with the city. There’s many places that  I love to visit on my daily basis but walking through the streets of Lisbon will always be my favorite thing to do!!

Image result for streets of lisbon

The Differences Between My Hometown in Germany And Santa Barbara

Paula Krumme, Germany

I live in a little city in West Germany. The name of the city is Stadtlohn, not far away from the Netherlands. My city has only 20,000 inhabitants, so Santa Barbara is much bigger because Santa Barbara has around 92,000 inhabitants. I will have only been here for 6 weeks in SB, nevertheless, it is a big change for me. Not only the number of people who live there is a big difference, but also the style of the houses. The houses of Santa Barbara have a very special style. They have white walls and red tiled roofs. The houses in my hometown are all different. I cannot say how a typical house in Germany looks, but what I can say is that the houses are often much bigger than in Santa Barbara.

Stadtlohn :

Výsledek obrázku pro stadtlohn

Santa Barbara :

Image result for santa barbara

Added to that to go shopping is a very different thing, too. When I want to go shopping for some clothes in Santa Barbara, I only ride with my bike to State Street and there are a lot of different clothing stores. When I want to go shopping in my hometown, I have to drive around one hour with the car because in Stadtlohn there is only one great clothing store.

Moreover, in Santa Barbara there is literally always something happening in the city. It does not matter what time is it. There are always many people walking around. Also you can do many different activities. For example you can go to the beach, surfing, stand-up paddeling, hiking, bowling or you can go to a disco in the evening. In my hometown, there is never really much going on, because we do not have many activities we can do. The sea is really far away (around 2 hours by car) and, in addition, we haven’t got a lake to swim in. So when it is really hot we must drive to another city or we must go to the public outdoor pool, but this is not very much fun. In addition, we do not have a disco, a cinema or something like this. For activities like these we have to drive to the next city.

But a big advantage of my little city is that everything is reachable by bike. All my friends live only a maximum of 15 minutes away from me. So it is really easy to meet them and I am independent because my parents do not have to drive me and I do not have to wait for a bus. Also I do not have to pay for something. Compared to Santa Barbara, this is a big difference. For most students who live in a hostfamily must ride the bus every morning and sometimes the way is longer than 1 hour. I had a lot of luck in that I have the possibility to ride a bike to school every day here in Santa Barbara. Also my way is not too long. I only need around 15 minutes. But on the first days it was really stressful and complicated to ride the bike because the driving rules are really different to the driving rules in Germany, too. Here in Santa Barbara there are many streets, where all cars drive in the same direction. So you don’t have oncoming traffic. Every second street goes to the left and the other streets go to the right. This is possible because all the streets are parallel. In Germany you always have two-way traffic. So you can drive on every street in every direction, also with the bike.

The last difference i want to talk about is that in Stadtlohn everybody knows each other. In Santa Barbara you are one in a thousand. On the one hand, in Stadtlohn, there is a strong family environment and it is fun when you go in the city and you can be sure you will see people you know, but on the other hand, they also talk about everybody. So when there is new gossip, everybody knows it directly, for example when somebody posts an ugly picture on Instagram. Compared to Santa Barbara, there are so many different kinds of people and it doesn’t matter what you say, do or wear.

In conclusion, I can say that Santa Barbara and Stadtlohn are completely different. In my point of view Santa Barbara is in every case the better city for a vacation because of all the activities you can do and the good weather, but for living, I prefer Stadtlohn because in Stadtlohn the living standards are higher. When you want a big house in Santa Barbara you need a lot of money. Also you need a lot of money in Stadtlohn, but most of the people can afford this. I think the reason for that is that in Stadtlohn you have better chances to get good jobs.



The 5 Scariest Roller-Coasters in Six Flags Magic Mountain

Isabelle Gerig, Switzerland

First of all, there are many different roller coasters you can ride and all of them are really exciting. However, if you visit the park for one day, you don’t have the possibility to ride all of them. So I will show you the five scariest and funniest ones! So here we go:

LEX Luthor; Drop of Doom: There are no words to describe it, watch the video and you will see!


X2: That’s a fifth dimension roller coaster. With its 360-degree  rotating seats and head-first, face down drops, X has been one of the most popular thrill rides on the planet. There is nothing ordinary about this roller coaster.


SUPERMAN: This is my favourite one! 1,315 feet of track that bends straight up into the sky 415 feet high! It’s really beautiful, but daring. You and 13 others would-be super heroes must escape by piling into a sleek car that will blast you off this frozen rock, where the whole adventure starts.You’re about to shoot from 0 to 100 miles per hour in seven seconds. This is a record breaking speed and has never before been achieved in a thrill ride, let alone backwards.





BATMAN: When you ride this roller coaster, it really feels like being BATMAN. The roller coaster was introduced at March, 1994. It reaches a top speed around 50 mph. During your ride you watch the ground under you and see your feet whipping around. It starts with a full 360-degree loop, then you are a superhero and you don’t need to warm up. This roller coaster will grind you into submission just like the criminals of GOTHAM CITY.




TWISTED COLOSSUS: Wood meets steel at this roller coaster Twisted Colossus – one of the longest, most innovative hybrid coasters in the world. When you think your ride is finished, it starts over again and you can feel the adrenaline a second time. During that, there is an other one starting and so you do the ride next to each other. This is a really special, scary and unforgettable experience.

Braveness for Imperfection

by Nina Brietzke, Germany

“To be brave enough to show your weakness”- this quote is seen very controversial and is interpreted differently by people. The opinions of “showing your weakness” are often negative, because it is incomplete and something is missing. I mean, nobody likes a blank between their teeth or a blank in the fence. Is this adage nothing else as a succession of words? Or should we focus on this proverb more often, especially in our private lives? Should we take this as advice in a world full of ideals and prejudices?

“Mom, I can’t study for this test, I’ll show my “braveness for imperfection” tomorrow. This sentence comes in mind first, when people think of the topic of imperfection, but it means so much more than just a lazy excuse. It means to be brave enough to try something new or to be brave enough to be yourself, which isn’t easy the whole time. It can also mean to accept the imperfection to be different from the others. Now one should already see the wideness of this topic and the most exciting thing is that every person in this world gets confronted with this- even if they don’t want to. After a short survey of some of my friends I found out, that this “blank” is mostly seen as positive.

A “blank” in your personality is such a normal thing and is even necessary, because of the uniqueness. These things only make us interesting- and they’re right. So this “blank” stands for the uniqueness or just for the imperfection. To be different from all the others is interpreted as a positive aspect.

But, if you look on this extensively, you will know that this isn’t very easy, especially school kids can be very harsh to other kids. The girl that colored her hair blue and cut it short is the one the others are laughing at and that is because she is different. To open your character to others and show your interests requires much braveness. It’s sad that young people in particular are being influenced by the fear of being different or being imperfect, but they should risk this fear to develop their own personality and not just be a copy of someone else’s characteristics.

To be brave enough to show your weakness could also mean to find out your sense of life without knowing about it before and just being open to what the future will offer you. These experiences can be the reason of growing up to become an independent person and they also form our character. So we become who we are – perfect with our own imperfections. So the “blank” can be so much more than the translation of imperfection or wasted time.

Everyone aims for Perfection

Whether at work or in your private life: everything around you seems to be perfect. Often women are under so much pressure because the environment expects them to be dressed to the nines, take care of their children and cook all the time after they cleaned the house. Moreover, they have to be in a good mood all the time and when the man comes home from work they are expected to take time for him because he had “such an exhausting day”. At the same time, most of these women forget about themselves. These women should definitely free themselves of some expectations in their environments and take care about how they see themselves.

Set Priorities

Showing the courage to be imperfect- in this case it means to focus on the things which are really important and also to be brave enough to say “no” to certain things which are unimportant. First, you have to ask yourself, if it’s important for you how many friends you have on Facebook! Or, is it more important for you to be seen as a perfect person?! No it’s NOT! It does not make anybody happy or even better.

The braveness of imperfection- one can look on it from different perspectives. You can either see this as positive or you could be negatively biased, but all in all every one of us has to show their “perfect imperfections” in certain situations of life. The truth about that is that we can accept our own mistakes. We can’t claim that the “braveness for imperfection” will be easy all the time.

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