It’s Fiesta Time

Patrycja Iwaniuk, The Netherlands

The Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara is a week of celebrating the traditions, history, heritage, and culture that has been in Santa Barbara for hundreds of years. Since the beginning of the week, the first preparations can be seen. Music can be heard on every corner of the street. The first Fiesta eggs can be bought and smashed to color the streets with colorful confetti and even the people dress up in beautiful and traditional costumes. They proudly walk through State Street giving it wonderful ambiance.

Also, here at the EF school and in the Santa Catalina residence the feeling of Fiesta is in the air. More and more decorations are being hung up in the school and even some teachers can be seen wearing some great colorful outfits. Wednesday was Tamale Day and some students had the opportunity to make some beautiful Fiesta eggs, which are by the way strictly forbidden to use in the residence. Luckily for us, there is enough space outside to break these eggs and throw some confetti on our friends. As Wednesday night was the grand opening at the Mission, Thursday morning the decorations were even greater. In the afternoon students were welcome to enjoy some chips with salsa and delicious churros. To add to that, in what way can you end the day better than having people break a piñata in the middle of the schoolyard?

The big days, however, were without hesitation Friday and Saturday. Before the big parade, everyone started to get out their chairs and blankets to save the best spot for the whole family. After a very long wait in the sun, the parade had begun. Dozens of beautiful horses gaited through State Street and the music played by the musicians completed the picture. It was really a new experience for me as a foreigner, since I have never seen or been to this kind of a parade. Over the past couple of days, I have really seen that the people of Santa Barbara cherish this week of joy and a lot of tourists who walk down the streets with the biggest smile when someone throws confetti to them. We can still savor the moment for a few weeks until the confetti disappears and then the first eggs can be eaten as a preparation for next year. As for me, this was my first time and hopefully not the last… VIVA LA FIESTA!

Plastic Trash – One of the Main Causes of Environmental Pollution

Lina Steffens, Germany

About eight million tons of plastic trash end up in our oceans every year, which is affecting the wildlife in the ocean and on the coast. Annually, about 100,000 marine mammals die due to plastic pollution and millions of birds and fish mistake plastic debris for food or get stuck in them. Along the shores, thousands of bird corpses rest on the beach with their stomachs full of plastic trash. From whales, sea lions, and birds to the zooplankton, plastic is greatly affecting marine life, and those who suffer most are the animals.

Why is the consumption of plastic so tremendous? It is lightweight, flexible, moisture resistant, strong and inexpensive, qualities that make the use of plastic in different areas of industry and production very attractive, which leads to an over-consumption of plastic goods such as plastic bags, packaging, straws or bottles. Coupled with littering and polluting, plastic represents a danger for nature, our environment and the animal kingdom.

A plastic bag takes about 10-20 years to decompose, while a plastic bottle needs about 450 years until it’s completely decayed. If you imagine the amount of already existing plastic trash, and the amount that is added daily, the likelihood to eliminate it from our oceans completely seems impossible.

One of the main problems is recycling, or the fact that many people are not aware what proper  recycling, and the conscious use of plastic goods could change. Different types of trash are usually put in one bin together, regardless of the possibility to help saving the environment by just separating it. Bags, bottles and packaging are often dropped on the ground where they start polluting the environment.

Each and every person that consumes plastic goods daily has to rethink their use of it. Even small changes of the amount we use and how we recycle it can make a big difference. Separating our trash, recycling plastic, minimizing the use of plastic or the use of biodegradable plastic can help. There is no way to undo it, but we can prevent the worldwide problem from getting worse.

What You Can Do When You Visit Amsterdam

Floortje Klein Schiphorst, the Netherlands

History
Amsterdam is the capital and most populous city of the Netherlands. Amsterdam has a population of 851,373 within the city. Amsterdam’s name comes from ‘Amstelredamme’,  of the city’s origin around a dam in the river Amstel.

Facts
– There are 17,620,000 visitors per year
– More then 100km canals
– Daily use public transport: 747,000
– There are 881,000 bikes
– 63% of the people who live in Amsterdam travel everyday with the bike

Things to do
There are a lot of things that you can do if you visit Amsterdam.

Canals of Amsterdam
There are 165 canals that combine for a length of over 100km (about 60 miles). There are 2,500 houseboats in the canals. You can book a boat tour through the canals. There are many different canal cruise companies. You can choose many different types of tours, like hop-on-hop-off sightseeing tours or night time cruises with food and wine.

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Shopping
Amsterdam is a excellent city for shopping. Most of the brands are on Kalverstraat and Leidsestraat. Kalverstraat is close to the ‘Dam of Amsterdam’, also a part that you need to visit. Another nice shopping area is ‘The Nine Streets’ (De Negen Straatjes). It called that because this area, located in the heart, has nine narrow streets. There are a lot of great restaurants, cafés, art galleries, jewelers, boutiques and vintage stores.

In heart of Amsterdam you have also a lot of typically Dutch souvenir shops.

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Parks
If you want to enjoy the sun, you can buy some food at the supermarket and go to a nice park. The most famous park in Amsterdam is ‘Vondelpark’. In the summer, there are also a lot of people from Amsterdam and it is close to the heart of the city.

Located in Amsterdam West is ‘Westerpark’. It’s is a nice place to walk, skate, relax or have a picnic with friends.

Also ‘Amstelpark’, located in the south, or ‘Rembrandtpark’, located in west, are both good parks to go to.

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Museums
There are several museums you can visit in Amsterdam.
– Amsterdam Rijksmuseum is one of the most popular museums. They have historic art by Vermeer, Frans Hals, and the most famous one of Rembrandt ‘ The Night Watch’.
– Stedelijk Museum is at the Museumplein. It presents the best of modern art in Amsterdam.
– Van Gogh Museum is one of the most popular museums in the world and presents all the work from Vincent van Gogh.
– The Anne Frank House is at the Prinsengracht 263 where she lived in hiding with her family for more than two years during World War Two.
– Hermitage Amsterdam is rotating their collection of art from the Hermitage in Russia.

In addition to these museums, there are a lot of other ones like, Het Scheepvaartmuseum, Nemo Science Museum, EYE film, etc.

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In the Night
If you want to go out at night you can go to Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein in the heart of the city. There are a lot of bars and clubs. In Amsterdam South you have also a lot of nice bars, in the neighborhood ‘de pijp’. If you want to know what kind of parties there are, you can go to: https://www.djguide.nl/events.p?city=amsterdam&language=en

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Other things
You can go to ‘Olympic Stadium Amsterdam’, which was built for the Olympic games in 1928. You can also go to the zoo in Amsterdam ‘Artis’. If you go in April, you need to go to King’s Day, on the 27th of April. We celebrate the birthday of the king and wearing all orange clothes, and there are parties everywhere on the street.

Nice places and restaurants 
There are a lot of nice places in Amsterdam that you can visit. We have a lot of festivals in the summer, but you can also relax on a terrace. The best spots in Amsterdam are Hannekes Boom, Waterkant, Cafe de Jaren, pllek, Café de Ceuvel, Tolhuistuin, Canibal Royal, Westergasterras, Foodhallen, Sumo Sushi, etc.

I AMSTERDAM City Card
A good website you can use for research: http://www.iamsterdam.com
There are a lot of good tips and they tell you where you need to go if you want to know more things that you can do in Amsterdam. They also sell a lot of tickets for places to visit. There is a special card you can buy when you are staying in Amsterdam. You can choose a card for 24, 48, 72 or 96 ours. It includes free entrance to over 50 museums and attractions, free unlimited public transport in Amsterdam with tram, metro or bus, free canal cruises, free giveaways and discounts and a lot more things. So you can check the website for more information and prices.

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Women’s Soccer

Amelie Plenk, Switzerland

 

FIFA World Cup

The FIFA Women’s World Cup has been in existence since 1991 and takes place every four years. In 2019, the next Women’s World Cup will take place in France. Then the World Cup will be held for the eighth time and 24 teams will compete against each other.

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Marta Vieira da Silva

Marta Vieira da Silva was born on the 19 February 1986. Marta has been a Swedish citizen since 14 March 2017, but she will also retain her Brazilian citizenship. Marta Vieira da Silva, commonly known as Marta, is a Brazilian 

Image result for marta vieira da silvafootballer who plays for the Orlando Pride in the National Women’s Soccer League and the Brazil National Team as a forward. With 15 goals, she holds the record for the most goals in FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments.

 

My experience

I have been playing soccer for four years on a women’s team in a small village. Four years ago, we were still the only girls team in our club and now there are 4 teams – women’s football is becoming more popular! But, of the 265 million football players worldwide, only 10 percent are women. 

 

 

Visit Extraordinary Belgium

By Andreas Top

Belgium is one of the favorite countries of tourists and students. Every year we receive more than 1 billion tourists. I would love to tell you guys something more about the places you must see. We have an abundant culture, from the beers to the French fries,…

Bruges

brugge

The spirit and history emits strongly in this lovely city of canals. Burges has beautiful architecture, particularly on the southern side of the city, for example The Grote Market Square.  If you are interested in visiting musuems, then you should go to the chocolate museum or the Belfort.

Brussels

Brussels

Brussels is the capital city of Belgium and is likely where visitors will begin their sightseeing. As the headquarters of many European institutions, Brussels might also be considered the capital for the European Union. The Grand Place is the city’s center and was established in the 13th century. There are terrace cafes and pubs around this central square, and other sites of interest such as the Gothic style Town Hall. The shopping is fun there, too.

Ghent

ghent

Ghent is a city of history. The impact of its past can be clearly seen when viewing the impressive architecture of churches and the houses of rich traders. The entire center of the city is restored in this style. Ghent is also one of the biggest student cities in our country, with more than 74,000 students.

Antwerp

antwerp

Antwerp is a city with many faces. While it may not be as historically preserved as Bruges or Ghent, it is a very dynamic city, offering a perfect mix of history and present-day modern life. Lovers of great food, great beer, and good times, this city is most well-known for the Diamond District, where more than 70 percent of the world’s diamonds are traded.

Leuven

leuven

Leuven has the oldest Catholic university.  It has 100,000 residents,  35,000 are students. Two long streets have interesting shops and galleries. You must visit the Belfry on St. Peter’s Church and the Grand Beguinage.

 

Appenzell

Raphaela Vogel, Switzerland

Appenzell is a region in the northeast of Switzerland. I will show you some of the places you have to see:

Mountains: Alpstein

In Appenzell, there are a lot of mountains. Altogether they are called Alpstein. The biggest mountain in Alpstein is called Saentis, which is 8,216 feet (2,504 m).  In the summer, there are a lot of hiking trails. In the winter you can go skiing and go for a winter walk in the snow.

Appenzellerland   Appenzellerland

One of the most popular mountains in Appenzell is called Ebenalp. It became very popular because of a restaurant on the way up. The restaurant is called Aescher and it was built precariously into the face of the rock.

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Cheese factory

Another typical thing for Appenzell is the cheese. We have our own cheese called “Appenzeller cheese”. In a little village called Stein, we have our cheese factory. Overthere you can look over the shoulders of the cheesemaker and you will see how they produce their cheese. And if you like, you have the possibility to make your own cheese. Of course, there is also a restaurant and a shop where you can eat something or buy some cheese or a souvenir.

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Appenzell (City)

The capital of Appenzell has the same name as the region. In this city, you can see some typical houses for this area. And, of course, you can spend some time in this cute city. If you would like to learn something about the culture of this region you can go to the museum. There they will show you all about their lifestyle and their culture.

Appenzell

Silversterchlausen

There is something that only exists in Appenzell. It is called Silversterchlausen. Each year at New Year’s Eve, some groups of six men (Silversterchlauese) go from house to house. First, they will sing together. After that, they will wish you a lucky New Year!

There are two different kinds of Silversterchlaeuse. We called them “The Beautiful Ones” (picture on the left) and “The Ugly Ones” (picture on the right).

Image result for Silvesterchlausen   Image result for Silvesterchlausen

 

Must-See in Switzerland

Gabriel Martins-Switzerland

Bern “City of Fountains”

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Located in the heart of the Bernese Mittelland on the Aare River in northern Switzerland, Bern is Switzerland’s capital. The structure of Bern’s city center is largely medieval, and  was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983. It is also known as the “City of Fountains” for the more than 100 fountains gracing its streets and squares. Bern is also ranked among the world’s top ten cities for the best quality of life.

Must-See: Old-Town (Clock Tower), Museum of Art, Bern Cathedral, Gurten

 

Luzern 

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Lucerne, the gateway to central Switzerland, sited on Lake Lucerne, is embedded within an impressive mountainous panorama. Thanks to its attractions, its souvenir and watch shops, the beautiful lakeside setting and the nearby excursion mountains of the Rigi, Pilatus and Stanserhorn, the town is a destination for many travel groups and individuals on their journey through central Switzerland.

Must-See: Mount Pilatus, Old Town, Swiss Museum of Transport, Chapel Bridge, The Lion Monument

 

Interlaken

Image result for interlaken

Interlaken lies in the Bernese Oberland, between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. The vacation destination, which is presided over by the three mighty mountains, Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, is the starting point for numerous activities.

Must-See: Hiking trails, Paragliding, St. Beatus Caves

 

Zurich

Image result for zurique

Zurich is abuzz with activity day and night with its countless events, diverse museums, own food festival and Switzerland’s most vibrant nightlife. And if you’re after rest and relaxation, you can be in the Swiss mountains in less than an hour.

Must-See: Old Town, Museum of Art, MyKugelhopf Sweet Zurich Tour

 

Grindelwald

Image result for grindelwald

This mountainscape and the numerous lookout points and activities make Grindelwald one of the most popular and cosmopolitan holiday and excursion destinations in Switzerland, and the largest ski resort in the Jungfrau region.

Must-See: Amazing Hiking Trails

Why is Paris the N.1 world tourist destination?

Angele Dubos, France

“Paris is Babylon, the city of all temptations” Christine Angot

Fabulous heritage, outlets and luxury shops, shows and concerts, sports and games, palaces and youth hostels, cafes, bars, pubs and gastronomic restaurants, monuments and musems free on holidays… I’ll have to stop here because it’ll be an exhausting list and a novel as well. Since October 2017, Paris has become, again, the first world city tourist destination. Added to that, France is the first world destination too. But why does such a renown city and have this amazing rank?

First of all, Hausmann architecture found his place in people’s interests. Those astonishing buildings, have been designed with very fastidious details since the 1870s. Grey rooftops are well-known as well to young Parisian people, they can climb or go out on them by their attic windows. Every Parisian has done it at least once.Résultats de recherche d'images pour « grey rooftop paris »Moreover, France is the European crossroad due to its borders with Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium…
That’s why, from a statistical point, for their holiday some people transit through France which supports its No 1 rank. On the culture side, Paris shares with Rome, the most fabulous heritage. Our museum and monuments are free during French holidays. Don’t plan to spend holidays in Paris for only 1 or 2 days, you need so much more! Garnier Opera, the Louvre Museum, Palace of Versailles, Montmartre, the Museum of Yves Saint Laurent, Studio Harcourt for photography’s fans, Notre-Dame… And obviously our outstanding Eiffel Tower where you can eat on the 2nd floor. It truly is a stereotype of French people drinking red wine, eating cheese and bread on the grass (Champ de Mars) in front of the Eiffel Tower while the sun sets.

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Dinner cruises, party cruises, 1 hour-boat rides, are available for sailing on  and visiting at the same time, our breathtaking capital. You will discover the timeless majesty of Paris and be on a journey out of time. Bear in mind that we’re part of the few countries which you can name their cuisine of gastronomic. Enjoy every meal, every taste, every drink because Parisians pay attention to details. That’s why everyone is spellbound (in order to give a great rank to Paris). Gourmet City tours are the most fulfilling experiences in a short time of your stay in this city.


With your friends, you can hang out in the Paris nightlife until 9am, chilling in its awesome and lit streets. At Arc of Triumph, the most unexpected nightclubs show themselves but don’t get used to it because when you taste the flavors and Paris’ life, you can be easily and quickly addicted.
Some events follow Paris’ daily life as the well known Fashion Week. Everyone gets crazy and outrageous. However, anytime you go in Paris, you can find out events to make all of your dreams come true.

 

Here is a little presentation about an comedian Parisian girl for her next show. Let’s find it interesting because it well depicts the Paris lifestyle.

“Because Julie has lived in London, Chicago and New York, but she has always remained a true Parisian … She decided to leave the Legal Department of a large company to play in the first one woman show about a 100% Parisian women in English.
You’ll be won over by her: getting up late, struggling through the crowds in the metro at rush hour, juggling a career and family life, having a quick drink and doing some shopping, preparing a meal with friends, going out clubbing … Come and experience a hectic day in Paris with Julie! Encountering the various characters played by Julie Collas is a hilarious experience: the audience laughs at the foibles of Parisians and revel in Julie’s delightful French accent … A show for everyone.

A joyful show not to be missed!”

The Eurovision Song Contest

By Mareike Rupaner, Germany

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The Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) is an international competition in Europe. European nations must choose each year a singer, who represents their county. The best singer, who has the post points, wins the contest. He hosts the next contest in next year in May.

It all starts on the 24 March 1956 with seven nations. A very strict rule fo2r participants was to sing in their country’s national language, but it relaxed with the year 1973. After that in 1999 the participants could sing in every language, which they want. Today it’s mostly in English.

In the contest, the participants have two options to get points. One the one hand, normal people can vote with televoting by telephone or SMS. On the other hand, there is a national jury, for each participant, which gives the other country’s points. The point’s Scala starts at 1 – 8, 10, and 12 points.

Since the 1990’s more and more countries join to the contest, so the organizer takes two sem3i-finals to find the Top 50. Only the “Big Five”: France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom are automatically in the Final.  The map shows, how many and in time the nations join to the contest by decade.

Fun Fact:  In 1974, ABBA wins the contest for Sweden

In 2015, the ESC celebrated 60 years anniversary. For the first time Australia joins to the contest and since that, it is very strong part in the contest.

The ESC is very important thing in Europe and in the European culture. Almost all nations of Europe join to one place, local or watching at the television.  Look and enjoy the next contest. On the 12th May, 2018, the Final is in Lisbon; don’t miss it or you can watch it next year 🙂

Take a look to the official site: https://eurovision.tv/ 4

The City of New York

by Mirna Vrdoljak, Austria

New York City is the most populous city in the United States. Counting 8 million people living there, it became one of the biggest megacities worldwide. It is described as the financial, cultural and media capital of the US and the whole world.

NYC offers so many themes to discuss- from the theatreal Broadway scene down to the financial capital in Wall Street, but here are some main facts to begin with.

Geography

  • The City of New York is located at the southern tip of the County of New York
  • an estimated population of 20 Million, counting the metropolitan area around New York in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area
  • New York City is located on the East coast of the United States. It consists of islands surrounded by sea. (f.e. Hudson River)
  • the city itself consists of five boroughs: Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island (Richmond)
  • Queens is the largest borough by area and Brooklyn by population, with more than 2.5 Million people living therenewyorkboroughs

    Demographics

    • New York City is home to more than 3.2 million residents born outside the United States, the largest foreign-born population of any city in the world
    • The city is a true melting pot with 44% white (German, Irish, Italian), 25.5% black (23% non-Hispanic black),12.7% Asian and only 0.7 Native American people
    • Like a lot of cities, New York’s boroughs and districts segregate different ethnical groups.
    • Manhattan is known as the business center where a lot of white and Asian people live. Queens and Brooklyn have a wide diversity of ethnical groups, containing a lot of artists and cultural driven people. Bronx is home to a lot of black and Italian immigrants.

koreatown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attractions

As already mentioned, New York City is the center of the world’s of finance, fashion, music, art, theater, literature, and architecture. The city offers so much to see and to do that it just is not possible to see everything in one trip. Still there are some main places you should go to if you ever have the chance to land in NYC.

  • The Statue of Liberty

It was a gift to the United States in 1886 from France in honor of their friendship during the French Revolution. The statue became an American symbol of freedom.

  • Grand Central Terminal

It is NYC’s biggest hub for transportation, but also a breathtaking example of Beaux-Arts architecture. It’s much more than just a station. You can find cafes, restaurants and even a shopping mall inside it.

  • One World Trade Center

It’s the heighest and most expensive building in New York City. The tower was constructed with the memory of the Twin Towers in mind. Right next to the One World Trade center there’s the 9/11 Memorial Museum. The memorial is build in the footprint of the Twin Towers that were attacked on September 11 in 2001. It honors all the victims in the building.