Santa Barbara: a New Home

Francesca Vinciguerra, Italy

“One’s destination is never a place, but always a new way of seeing things,” said Henry Miller, an American writer. My destination was not Santa Barbara, but was seeing a different culture. I came here to improve my English and to become more fluent in speaking, but now that I am almost at the end of my trip, I can say I had learnt much more.

I understood that, wherever you go, you will find a new home where you feel yourself. Home is not just a pretty building, but also an ensemble of friends and people that take care of you. I have been living in Carpinteria for a month with other four lovable multicultural girls, Anna from Germany, Solene from France, Didem from Turkey, Hikari from Japan, and with a big family composed by Michael, Lucy, their daughter, her husband and their three grandsons.

Before coming here, I was afraid of leaving my family and my country completely alone. I was longing for years to come to America, but I have never thought my dream would be concretely realized. America is the many European students’ big dream because someone says that here every dream could come true. My dream is to reach my personal success: becoming a biotechnologist and helping the research to find new solutions for diseases such as Alzheimer Disease, Obesity or Infertility.

Why right in California and not in Italy? I love Italy, but no sooner had I entered in University than I had understood that I would have to move abroad to practice my lab skills.

In just one month, I have recognized that I fit well with the way of living and working. People here are open-minded, out-going and like talking with foreigners. The weather is warm and you can go hiking and tanning at the same time because there are both mountains and seaside. The only flaw is food. People here love fast food and rarely sit down to eat. In Italy, we are used to sitting down around a table for lunch and dinner and the mealtime is a sacred moment. I enjoy high-quality cookery and sharing the mealtime with friends and with my family. I prefer simple and not too spicy food where you can distinguish each different flavor and tastes rather than a mix of a hundred ingredients. Except for food, in Santa Barbara I feel at home. I suppose that the reason why nobody makes me feel as a stranger or a tourist is that in California there is a mix of people coming from all over the world, accustomed to live and work together.

I hope to come back soon to be part of this “big American team”.

How Social Media Influence Our Lives and Why That Should Stop

Lucija Krmpotic, Germany

“There is no need to do what others are doing. You must do what truly matters to you” (Unknown) is something we have to keep in mind to live happy lives.

There are more and more people all over the world thinking that they have to be like someone else to be accepted and loved in this world. That is the reason why so many of us are pretending to be someone else and not truly who we are. When we open our social media profiles we just see a perfect world with perfect pictures of perfect looking people living a perfect lives. We start to think about ourselves and how much we would like to be like one of these “perfect” people. This is a big problem nowadays because it can and actually leads to many dangerous trends and lifestyles. Some of these dangerous trends are the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge where people have to suck the lips in a glass until having a vacuum inside to get lips like Kylie Jenner or the Sunburn Art Challenge where challengers have to create a pattern on an area of your body and let the sun burn the unprotected skin. By following all those trends and doing all those challenges you get nothing for yourself but dangerous risks about your own life.

In my opinion, it is totally the wrong way to live your life by pretending to be someone you are not and you will never be. In reality, nobody’s life is perfect and there is no “perfect” person. So before you start pretending to be someone else, you have to ask yourself if this is the right way to live. Is it really worth it to spend your whole time thinking about who you want to be like and what you want to pretend to like? But wouldn’t it just feel better to be the person you really are doing things you really like? Every person is unique on its own way. So why wouldn’t we just stay what and who we are and start enjoying our lives with things that truly matter in life? I really hope that people will realize that it is not worth it to spend the time you have to do nice things on thinking about how you could change your life for everybody but yourself. You just have one life so do the things you love and try the things that really interest you.

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Could Venice Be Cleaner Like It Used To Be Once?

Arianna Ferrari, Italy

I’m sure you all have heard about Venice and how amazing is, which is true, but it’s also true that Venice is overrun with tourists and that could be a problem for people who live there. I’m just an Italian girl who lives in a small city near Venice, like 30 minutes by car and that’s why I often go to Venice. I love the city, but sometimes it’s hard to stay there. I mean, there are a lot of tourists who don’t respect the city and the environment; they just forget that they are in a city that it’s not theirs.

This year, I graduated and I had to decide where I would go for my studies at university and Venice has a great university for what I would like to do, but the thing is that I refused to go there just because of the chaos of the city. Sometimes people think that  local people overreact about the tourists and sometimes I also heard about people who said that local people treated them ruedly, but in my opinion, for a person who lives there and has to deal with that problem everyday, it’s not so easy.

I just ask one thing to the tourists: be more respectful. Venice is a really beautiful and a unique city in the world and it’s bad to ruin the city in this way.

Social Networking Sites, Positive and Negative Aspects

Virginia Carrara, Italy

Before talking about positive and negative aspects of social networking sites, I would like to explain what a social networking site is.

A social networking site is an online platform which people use to build social networks or social relationships with other people who share similar personal or career interests, activities, background or real life connections.

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Today, using social networking sites is becoming for many people, especially for the new generation like me, a daily activity. Through them, we can make friends with people from all around the world, sharing their cultures and learn about the other ones.

So, in my opinion, there are many positive things about social networking sites: I think it’s good not only for people who are too shy to make friends, but also to stay in touch with friends met on internet or face to face, and with relatives who live far away from us.

In my personal experience, for example, I’ve met people from many different countries thanks to EF, so I’ll surely keep in contact with them when I go back to my country, and that’s only thanks to social networking sites, such as Whatsapp, Instagram and Facebook.

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But, of course, there are also some negative things to keep in mind. For example, when you meet a person on Internet, she might not be who she says she is, so you might be the victim of antisocial behaviour or bullying. Another negative thing, but less important in my opinion because it all depends on you, is about the time spent on networking sites that might interfere with work or studies.

In conclusion, I think social networking sites are a very good way to make friends and keep in contact with them, but at the same time we have to be careful knowing all the risks.

When and Why Is International Day of Friendship Celebrated?



The Aquarius is a big boat for the immigrants rescued at sea.

The Aquarius is the last private rescue ship operating in the area used for crossings from Libya to Europe It has been at the center of a row about Europe’s approach to migration since Italy refused to allow it to dock on its shores in June. Last month it spent 19 days docked in the French port of Marseille after Gibraltar revoked its flag. It set sail again last week after first acquiring Panamanian recognition.


The two charities that operate the Aquarius migrant rescue ship in the Mediterranean have urged European governments to step in to secure its future after its Panamanian flag was revoked following alleged pressure from the Italian government.

Médecins Sans Frontières and SOS Méditerranée described the decision by the Panama Maritime Authority to deflag the vessel as “a major blow” to the ship’s humanitarian mission.

They claimed the PMA was forced to revoke the registration after coming under “blatant economic and political pressure from the Italian government”.

The charities are urging European governments to either call on the PMA to reconsider or issue a new flag to allow the Aquarius to continue its work

Italy’s anti-immigration interior minister, Matteo Salvini, has denied that his government was behind the decision to deflag the Aquarius. Writing on Twitter he claimed he did not know the telephone dialing code for Panama


My reaction about that :

I think we need to help  The minors are aged between 13 and 17 and come from Eritrea, Ghana, Nigeria and Sudan, because they need to have a future.

And we need to help them if they are very sick because we have the resources for that.

But i think all the country must participate.




Self Driving Cars, Are They the Future?

Leonard Storch, Germany

Think of the self-driving car, an idea that seemed impossible 10 years ago and yet it’s already a reality on some highways.  It is not like they are regulary on the streets, but although some of them are being used by companies like Tesla or Uber. These companies are seeing like many others the future of traffic and cars in these autonomous vehicles. So, in case you are asking yourself why these cars aren’t used much more on a daily basis, it is because with every new invention comes also a new danger. Even though  the vehicles have an impressive safety record compared to the carnage wrought by human-driven vehicles, their excellent performance is largely enabled by machine-learning algorithms that have been trained on torrents of data about roads, intersections, street furniture, etc. But sometimes there have been fatalities. In 2016, for example, a  self-driving Tesla  drove into the back of a white tractor-trailer; in March this year, a self-driving Uber car killed a woman pushing a bicycle and so on.  These accidents are called “edge cases” because the cars’ software encountered scenes or objects that it didn’t recognize for the simple reason that they had never appeared in the software’s training datasets. Given that the real world is full of things that cars’ sensors and software have never seen before, these edge cases will continue.

So in the end I would say that there is certainly a need, and many benefits, for autonomous cars, but on the other hand, the current technology doesn’t quite seem ready for full autonomy all the time.


Things To Do in Switzerland

Alyssa Knutti, Switzerland

Switzerland is officially the second happiest country on the planet, according to the 2016 World Happiness Report. And while you read this article you’ll soon realize why Switzerland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. There are so many things you can do in this small country from exploring the Swiss Alps to passing the spectacular Rhine Falls or sailing around Lake Geneva.

  1. Go skydiving

An amazing place where you can skydive is Interlaken. Interlaken is close to the capital city and is surrounded by peaks of the alps. It’s one of the most spectacular spots on earth to go skydiving.

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2. Take the Glacier Express

You should definitely ride with the famous Glacier Express through the mountains. Riding the train is pretty spectacular because it has huge panoramic, glass windows. If you want to take the whole ride you have to get in from Zermatt and then you go out at Davos or St. Moritz.

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3. Visit the James Bond Restaurant

The famous James Bond restaurant in Switzerland is located at the top of the Schilthorn, a 2970 meter high mountain in the middle of the country. The restaurant is called Piz Gloria. It is where the 1969 James Bond movie was set. It’s also a revolving restaurant. That means you can eat and the view changes all the time.

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4. Get soaked by the waterfalls

If you want to see one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Switzerland you have to go to Lauterbrunnen and take the one hour hike to Trummelbach. You’ll actually pass about two or three other waterfalls along the way. Trummelbach is the most famous waterfall. It has been formed by the melting snow breaking through cracks in the rocks.

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Lotte Michiels, Belgium

When people travel to Belgium, they all visit Brussels. People who live in Belgium know there are more beautiful cities than Brussels.

Belgium is a very small country. When you stay in Brussels you can easily take the train to every part of Belgium. If you want to go to Ghent, you travel 30 minutes. To Antwerp, you travel 50 minutes. You can even get to the Belgian coast.

When you go to Brussels, there are many things to visit. Manneken-Pis and Grand Place are the thing everyone goes take a look at. You also should go to the Atomium and mini-Europe. When you want a beautiful view and see the city, you should go to Mont des Arts. When you want to eat something you should go and get some french fries and for drinks you should drink a good Belgian beer.

In Ghent you can enjoy the medieval architecture such as the Gravensteen Castle. You should take a boat trip on the rivers or you can just walk on the side. Ghent is most beautiful at night. If you want a specialty from Ghent, you can buy some chocolates from Leonidas or Cuberdons. If you are a student and you want to go out, you go to Overpoort, a street full of clubs.

When you go to the coast, there are different places to go. The most popular place is Ostend where you can see the casino. If you want it more fancy then you should go to Knokke. When you are at the coast, go to a restaurant and eat mussels.

Overall , when you are in Belgium, don’t only go to Brussels but look on the internet at other places you can visit.



Working at Google

Mara Klingenschmid, Austria


Almost everybody knows the American multinational company Google LLC. Google is more than just a search engine on the internet. Google LLC developed, for example, self-driving cars and so much different software and apps. But this well-known company is also famous for their very attractive workplaces. Google LLC is a popular employer. Let’s give a little insight in the daily work routine of Google.

Application process

job interview

It is a long way from the application to the hiring and sitting in the Google office. There are many interviews the applicant has to go through. The reason for the interviews is to find out why you as an applicant would fit in the company and why Google should hire you. What benefits does the applicant bring to the company? The different kinds of interviews focus on the different strengths of the applicant.

What’s the best way to prepare for the Google interviews? Watch videos about Google and find out what the ideology and culture of Google is. People are also allowed to ask questions. This shows interest and that you really want to be part of the Google family. But be aware to ask the right questions!

Benefits and environment

Are there benefits you have when you work for a multinational company? Yes, of course. First of all it needs to be mentioned that after hiring you will be part of a big family. Google offers an amazing working environment. In the beautiful buildings there are spacious offices and rooms where the employees can spend their breaks and free time. Outdoor areas, fitness centers, pool tables and soccer tables are very common on the Google premises.


The last thing I want to mention is that Google offers healthy food. The employees can eat together whenever they want and exchange information and help each other. These extras really strengthen the community spirit. And the best thing about it is the food is free!google



Arabic coffee is very different than any other coffee. You don’t need a machine to do it. You just need a pot, usually, we use dallah to make it and for serving it. 


In Arabic coffee, you don’t roast the coffee bean too much, just till it turns to a gold color. The recipe to make a good coffee: pot 1.5 liters of water, wait until it boils then add 4 Tsp of ground coffee bean. When that mixture seems to be mixed, add half gram of saffron and 1 Tsp of cardamom. Keep that mixture on low fire for about 20min. Most people eat dates while drinking Arabic coffee.

And enjoy the nice experiment and the nice smell.