Credentialism in Education

Yerin Lee, South Korea

Are you a high school student? How long have you studied in one day? If your answer is over 15 hours, you might be an Asian.

Korea TV series ‘Sky castle’

Nowadays, in South Korea, there is one TV series that talks about the educational fervor, named ‘Sky castle’. It describes Korea’s excessive education in reality. In the series, students are like racehorses. They just study to be accepted into the top universities, even if it’s not their aspiration. It’s not only a problem for Korea. Many Asian countries, such as China, Shanghai, Hong Kong and India also have excessive pressure of education. Their high school curriculum is the same as US college freshman or sophomore courses and there are less extra curriculum activities than US high schools. This rigid system is because they have examination-oriented education. In many Asian countries, they just focus on the result of grade, not on the process. Also, these countries have university focused social values, which means almost everyone, including companies evaluates candidates based on the fame of their universities.


For these reasons, students have to enter the top universities, so they have to study hard and compete with others who are their friends. In addition, they are under the pressure of parents who really value their success based on entering a famous university. In these environments, if they don’t have the self- will to study, this pressured situation must be difficult to endure.

Recently, the Department of Education tried to introduce an evaluation system which is not focused on grades. This system evaluates students’ achievement through participation. They require work which is not academic, but more practical, for example, composing music with a group or creating a virtual country themselves. However, despite the government’s intentions, most parents offer private after school lessons to their children to do these extra activities more easily. Therefore, even these new evaluation systems become competitive.

Students suicide rates in India

This phenomenon called ‘credentialism in education’ triggers students’ depression or even worse their suicide. In reality, in the countries referred to before, especially India, there are several cases of student suicide. It is a serious problem but is becoming more serious rather than less. To prevent this problem, students’ parents have to pay attention to their children and governments have to develop more effective evaluation systems. Also, companies have to evaluate their applicant not only by the level of education, but also by a candidate’s capacity and abilities.

Rosalia – Flamenco for a New Generation

Raquel Esperanza Knecht, Switzerland

Related imageRosalia Vila Tobella, known as Rosalia, is a singer and songwriter from Spain. She was born in Sant Esteve Sesrovires, Catalonia and is 25 years old. She is well known in Spain for her number 9 studio album “Los
Angeles”. After her collaboration with J. Balvin “Brillo” she became internationally famous.

Her Family never really listened to Flamenco. She only heard her mother play artists like The Beatles, Queen and other English or American artists. Rosalia grew up in Barcelona, Sant Esteve Sesrovires, so not a city with a lot of Flamenco input, but the area El Baix Llobregat had many Andalusian immigrants. It is similar to Los Angeles and the Mexican immigrants – you can feel, hear and see the culture, it is all around you.

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She heard Flamenco for the first time when she was thirteen. She used to go to a park with some friends and they listen a lot to Flamenco. That’s when she started to love it. Later on, she started to sing and perform and had the opportunity to perform at festivals and collaborate with other Spanish artists. She also posted videos of herself performing on Youtube and gained a lot of followers and a fanbase. Rosalia moved to California after singing at Universal Studios, which sponsored her first Studio Album “Los Angeles”. That is how her career started.

Related image“For me flamenco is the most honest and visceral music that exists. That’s why it captured me… You have to implicate yourself in it, if not it doesn’t work.” (Rosalia, 2018 Billboard)

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The song “Malamente” is her most popular song and she even went golden in the United States Latin charts. It is her first song from the second studio album “El mal querer”. The album was inspired by the anonymous novel “Flamenca”. It presents a toxic relationship of a Gitana “Chips woman” in Spain. The concept of a twisted romance is dynamic and alive, one moment chill and temperate the next.

But what makes Rosalia’s music so special?

It is the way she interprets Flamenco. She makes it modern, but the Flamenco inspiration is still there. You hear it, but at the same time it is something else, her own style and that is what makes her music so special. She is the inventor of a new kind of Flamenco with some Urban classic, Hip-hop, Trap and electronic in it, while the spotlight is still on the rhythmic handclaps (las palmas) and the romantic guitar (toque). She introduced the world to a new music style.

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So give it a try and listening to a new style with some Flamenco flavor.


Football in California

Football in USA is very important for American people. It’s the most developed sport in the country. It’s the one that brings in the most money whether for professional teams and players or for universities, with clothes or diverse products. We can find the most prestigious stadiums  in the country and in universities, such as the Rose Bowl Stadium in Los Angeles and Levi’s Stadium in San francisco. But what is the worst problem that meets the NFL and the NCAA ?

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The California State account 3 NFL teams :

Los Angeles Chargers  had just 1 appearance in Super Bowl, but have never won the Super Bowl :

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Los Angeles Rams  had 3 appearances in Super Bowl and won 1:

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San Francisco 49ers  had 6 appearances in Super Bowl and won 5:

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Oakland Raiders  had 5 appearances in Super Bowl and won 3 :

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Bad news for California the Oakland Raiders will become in 2020 Las Vegas Raiders, The Raiders’ move to Las Vegas comes after years of failed efforts to renovate or replace the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum, which has been rated by multiple sources as one of the worst stadiums in the NFL. The Raiders pay additional compensation to cover the US$1,000,000 annual loss the Coliseum incurs by hosting Raiders games. This relocation makes a lot of scandals in California because the team was at Oakland for a long time and the fans expect that Coliseum Stadium will be reopened one day. 

NCAA in California : 

In California it’s not just NFL teams that are famous, there is the college football, too. Football is very famous in universities. The most famous programs in California are :

Bruins UCLA ( Los angles) the program has won just 1 National championships :

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UCS Trojans ( Los Angeles) the program has won 11 National championships :

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Stanford Cardinals University the program has won 2 National championships :

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University of California the Golden Bears ( Berkeley) the programs has won 2 National championships :

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This year one NFL team will participate in the Super Bowl 2018. California football is becoming more important with increasingly strong teams.



Ilia Vuillermet France.

Home-share vs Host-family


We  are going to describe the differences between living in the home-share and in the host-family.

At first, we will describe the home-share. In the home-share the people need to share their room with 3 other students, in total 4 students in one room. It depends on the home-share, but at least there are 22 people leaving in one house, so of course is going to be a bad experience for someone who doesn’t like to be with other students around or need more space for his day a day living.  On one hand, there is a positive view of the home-share, and that is that you meet lots of people from very different countries and you learn from them about their different cultures; there is another point and is that usually you never get bored in there. On the other hand, there is no privacy and the living there sometimes could get a bit difficult and stressing. In the home-share there is not enough food for some people. To do the laundry you have to pay $3.50 per laundry load.

If you decide to go to a host-family, you could be in a really good one or in a home that is not a good fit. Sometimes,  the host-family could be really far away from the school, or be not as clean as you are used to, the food could be not good or there is a possibility that the host-family doesn’t give you food on the week-end. Otherwise, if you are in the good family the best point is you can share the American culture, and that’s really good. You can also have host-siblings with your same age.

Sometimes you need to pay for the internet and the washing-machine and other times there is no washing-machine. Instead, you need to go to the laundromat. If you are less than 18 years old you have the curfew and in each house you have to respect the house rules.

Daniel and Manon.

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You Want To Be a Cool Parisian Guy ? Follow my Advice


1- The Style

  • A lot of big luxuous companys come from France, like Louis Vuitton, Chanel or Yves Saint Laurent. Parisian guys are inspired a lot by the street mode. For exemple, when people wait at the pedestrian crossing, it’s time to find your inspiration.

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Paris fashion week 2018.

2- Good Place to Be!

  • Paris is a big city, but not so big when you want to discover beautiful areas without a lot of tourist. The district of Saint Germain des Pres is a really good place to be! I really like to seat in the “Cafe de Flore”. This is an really expensive coffee, but I can see a lot of celebrities (from France or Internationnal) and thst can inspire some people!

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3- Are You Really Already Going to Paris?

You can’t say that you are going to Paris if you have not made these trips:

  • The Eiffel Tower is one of those must sees! I don’t recommend it to anyone who is afraid of emptiness but when you are in the Tower, we can see a beautiful view of Paris! And for the richest you can even eat in a starred restaurant in the first floor.Image result for tour eiffel
  • The Champs-Elysees is the most beautiful street in the world. They are many shops for all budgets. In the winter, all the trees are illuminated and this makes the street even more beautiful!Image result for champs elysees illumination
  • Montmartre is a very old district in Paris. Hilltop Montmartre district is a former artists village once habited by Picasso and Dali, and home to the domed Sacre-Coeur basilica. There are sweeping views of the city from its steep, winding streets, while the iconic Moulin Rouge cabaret below draws tourists and night clubbers.Image result for montmartre

4- The French Food

During your trip you should try the beef Bourguignon in a restaurant! It’s a beef stew braised in red wince, often red Burgundy (very delicious), and beef stock, generally flavoured with carrots, onions, garlic and a bouquet garni, and garnished with pearl onions, mushrooms and bacon.

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I hope you will soon discover the city of Paris and share your experience :).


Do Mistakes Control Our Lives?

Alicia Rank, Germany

“Maybe our mistakes are what make our fate. Without them, what would shape our lives?”  – Carrie Bradshaw 

We all learn from former mistakes, right? Or should we at least? Will we maybe make the same mistakes again, just because we don’t care about the consequences, or the consequences weren’t that bad the last time? But, how bad must consequences get until we wouldn’t repeat our actions?

What if it’s not the person itself who controls what comes next? The question is, if everything’s already written in the stars, do we have any power to decide for ourselves, who know’s… Is a higher power such as God setting our destiny? It depends on what we believe in, either in god who set’s our way in stone, or in free will and that everyone of us can decide where our future should lead to.

Let’s say there is someone who controls our future and our decisions. Automatically, this person is then responsible for all those bad things that happen in the world, right? How should we explain the “bad” to a child? Should we tell them that God and the Devil are playing chess and sometimes God wins and sometimes the Devil? If we are not sure ourselves what to believe in, how should we explain this complexity to another person, especially a child? I mean nobody deserves bad fate anyways.

Might karma be the solution for everything? The system of karma is quite easy. If you do and behave well, good is what you get. If you behave badly, karma will bring revenge.

So now it’s up to you, in what do you believe in. But remember, everything you do could come back to you, either the good or the bad. My advice to you: do you whatever your heart desires, but be aware of the consequences which might follow. No matter if you believe in a set path, always try your best and make as many exciting choices and memories as you can.

Love, Alicia

The influence The United States imposes on Europe.

This article was written in its entirety by Maurice Leeftink from The Netherlands.

The United States of America is undeniably one of the most influential countries, if not the most influential country, on earth. Next to being a military world power, the United States also stands strongly when it comes to the music and fashion industry. American companies intelligently utilize these two factors to stand out from the foreign competition by combining phenomena from both markets in order to create great revenue. An example is Calvin Klein. During the spring of 2016 Calvin Klein launched their ‘’MyCalvin’s’’ campaign which features controversial and popular recording artist Justin Bieber, sparking major media attention as well as a significant rise in sales. Calvin Klein acknowledges the popularity of Mr. Bieber and wisely uses it for their own benefit and financial gain.

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Justin Bieber as shown in the 2016 ”MyCalvin’s” promotional campaign.

While the fashion industry uses celebrities and influential individuals such as musicians and reality stars in order to gain sales and popularity, music artists often utilize popular brands in order to gain status and a certain image, for example: critically acclaimed rap artist ‘’Lil Pump’’, who shot to the top of the charts with his song ‘’Gucci Gang’’, which heavily emphasizes on his apparently extravagant arsenal of pricy Gucci items, as well as boasting his image and wealth to the viewers of his, now viral, music video. By using the name Gucci in both his song title as well as repeatedly stating it in his song, Lil Pump attracts attention from the youth, as they are interested in expensive items which Gucci is well known for.

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A screenshot from ”Lil Pump” his ”Gucci Gang” music video, showing the young artist dressed fully in Gucci attire.

Due to the fact that America is a very prominent source of entertainment and fashion inspiration in Europe, it only makes sense for American companies to partner with major names in different branches to attract maximum attention from the European territory. Doing so ensures successful campaigns which lead to significant revenues, which is obviously what these companies are after. Because American musicians are so popular in Europe, brands from the United States can use them for promotional purposes, while the celebrities featured in these campaigns can intelligently use their affiliation with the brand to establish a certain image, resulting in gains for both parties.

When using factors that people tend to be interested in or be a fan of, such as musicians, you are certain to spark their attention for at least the slightest bit. However, sometimes, that can be enough for them to gain interest in a certain item which often leads to sales and thus, revenue.  Because the biggest and best known companies are predominately located in the United States or have American roots, the Unites States enjoys a tremendous grip on what goes on in fashion, music and technology. If something is ‘’not done’’ in the US, it’s usually not done anywhere.

We can also wonder why the United States has become the country that we all look up to and why is it that we all so desperately want to be like the Americans.. Why not Russia? Or maybe even China? I believe the origin of the reason behind this desire leads us back to the great wars that humanity has known and suffered through. When you look at the position of the United States in these wars, you can perhaps imagine why the Europeans look up to America so much. During both World Wars, the US was seen as ‘’the good guy’’, who shows up and saves the day, while countries like China and the Soviet Union/Russia are often seen as the ‘’communist bad guys’’, which they more or less were. In the wake of the Second World War, Europe was divided into two: Capitalistic Western Europe and Communist Eastern Europe. The capitalistic west was run predominately by the United States, while the communist east was under the reign of the Soviet Union/Russia. In conclusion, the fact that the United States is a country with such a great influence on Europe has a lot to do with the fact that, throughout history, the US has shown to be the savior of the day and the protector of freedom, which is why people often are great fans of the United States while the other great powers remain in the background, which explains why the United States have acquired such great influence over the European continent over time.

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Dutch citizens of the city of Utrecht cheer and wave the US flag as they welcome their American liberators.