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 proper. Amsterdam’s name derives from ‘Amstelredamme’, indicative 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 life in Amsterdam go everyday with the bike

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

Canals of Amsterdam
In 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. The most 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 by 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 souvenirs 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 museum 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 works from the Hermitage in Russia.

Next to this 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’, what is build 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, at 27 of April. We celebrate the birthday of the king and wearing all orange cloths 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, they tell you were 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 in Amsterdam. And there is a special card you can you 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 cruise, free givaways and discounts and a lot of more things. So you can check the website for more information and prices.

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Why Should We Travel Alone?

Beatrice Esposito, Italy

Going on a trip with your friends or with your family can be really awesome because you can share your experience with someone else who is close to you.

But have you ever thought about traveling alone? 

Here are 4 reasons why you should travel alone.

Focus on your destination

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You can totally choose the destinations that you like the most; you are not influenced by anyone, so you don’t have to go somewhere that you are not interested in. In addition, when you go on a solo trip you can concentrate on what you would want to visit without being influenced by other’s opinions.

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Meet locals

Since you are alone, you can’t talk with your friends or family when you have nothing to do, so you have to interact with people who live in that country. That can be a good thing because they can show you what are the best things to do in that place or you could even become friends with these people in order to experience the locals’ life.

Build confidence

At first it is absolutely scary and I can tell that it is true! I came to Los Angeles to study English and I flew from Rome to Istanbul and from Istanbul to Los

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « build confidence traveling »Angeles all the way alone. That scared me a little bit because I was scared I would take the wrong flight or I thought that something bad could happen. But at the end, everything was fine and I became more confident!

Learn about yourself

Last but not least, during your solo travel, you have to face who you are and you will better understand what you are interested in.Résultats de recherche d'images pour « Learn about yourself traveling »

 

So traveling with others you will find great friendship and you will have fun, but traveling alone you might find yourself.

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).

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Wallis

Kevin Oliver Theler, Switzerland

I want to introduce you to my home canton in Switzerland. Here are some facts:

-The location is on the south of Switzerland on the border of Italy.

-Wallis joined Switzerland in 1815

-Population: 339.060

-Area: 5’224km2

Wallis has a lot of mountains and activities. In the winter you can go skiing, snowboarding, free riding, ice climbing and much more. It’s a big nature adventure park, especially for adrenalin freaks. For example in Zermatt, their ski slopes are  360km long. You can ride with your skis over the border to Italy, and go eat a original Italian pizza.

In the summer, you can do big hiking tours, and get up to the top of the mountains. When you are searching for action you can go skydiving, downhilling and paragliding. The views from the mountains are amazing, and to get there is really easy. From the main train station you only need about 45 minutes, and 15min with the cable car. Then the world of the mountains are open for you.

My favorite ski resort is Saas-Fee, because there is a big freestyle park for skis and snowboards because it  is near my hometown. I just have to go to the bus, ride it for an half hour and the I arrive already. I love to ski and do some flips in the park.

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Traditional dish

Cholera

Yes you read it right, we have a dish that has the same name like the bacterial infection. The dish got the name when the cholera broke out in 1830 in Wallis, because the risk of infection the people would’t leave the house. That’s why the people have to make the food with the ingredients they have in the pantry.

Ingredients:

  • 500 g Puff pastry
  • 40 g Butter
  • 200 g Potatos
  • 200 g Apple
  • 200 g Leek
  • 200 g Onions
  • 250 g Swiss Raclette Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper

Preparation:

-Cut the onions in to thin slice and stew in the pan with butter

-Cut the leek lengthwise and wash under the cold water. Then cut the halves into strips of 2 to 3 cm and blanch them for a maximum of 3 to 5 minutes in lightly boiling salted water. Drain and quench under running cold water to stop the cooking process.

-Cut the apples into small cubes and fry in a frying pan with butter. Increase and season the onions, leeks and apples.

-Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 25 minutes.Then cut the potatoes in small cubes of 2 cm. Add this to the Apple and Leek onion mixture.

-Rub the cheese in to the mixture.

-Lay out a deep dish with puff pastry and spread the mixture on it. Cover with puff pastry. Bake in the oven for one hour at 170 ° C.

 

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

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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

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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

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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

FIFA World Cup 2018

Chloe Persoglio , Nico Cojocari (France,Belgium)

The best footballers are going to battle next month until there is only one team left, the champion. There is no higher reward, every player dreams of it. Football might just be a game, but when it comes to the World Cup, it is more than that. You can see passion, determination and the will to win on the player’s faces. There is no better way to make your country proud.

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It takes place every four years and it was created in 1928 in France by Jules Rimet.

jules rimet

The tournament includes 32 teams and starts from June 14 to July 16. The competition has 8 groups of 4 teams that are randomly assigned. Each team plays 3 games, 1 against every other team in the group. The two best teams in the group go further to the 16th round then 8th, 4th, 2nd then the finals.

The selected teams are :

Iceland, England, Russia, Denmark, France, Belgium, Germany, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Japan, Korean Republic, RI Iran, Croatia, Spain, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Serbia, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay.

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Even though some influential nations like Italy and  Holland are missing, it is still going to be the most viewed event in the world. Brazil is looking for redemption since they lost 7-1 against the previous champion, Germany. France wants to prove that they are capable of winning since they lost to Portugal at the Euro 2016 final. At the same time, Portugal definitely wants to show that is was not luck that helped them get the Cup. These are just examples. Every team wants to prove something and win the World Cup.Image result for brazil 7-1

Holding the World Cup has many benefits. One of them is the tourism opportunities that it offers to the local markets. People from all around the world are going to go to Russia in June and spend money there. All the media attraction will be around the World Cup and people are definitely going to enjoy it as much as possible.

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Some will even enjoy it too much since there is a drug tolerance. Travelers have the right to declare drugs at customs if they have a doctor’s approval  written in Russian. Marijuana, cocaine and heroin are among the hundreds of drugs and prescriptions on the list of substances travelers can declare.

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We are definitely going to support our nations, Belgium and France. As patriots it is our duty to support our country. If your country is not selected,do not choose another one who is seen as a favorite to win but the one that is connected to you.

France Squad:

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur/England), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain);

Defenders: Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart/Germany), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona/Spain), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid/Spain), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Adil Rami (Marseille), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City/England), Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid/Spain);

Midfielders: Paul Pogba (Manchester United/England), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich/Germany), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus/Italy), Ngolo Kante (Chelsea/England), Steven Nzonzi (Sevilla/Spain);

Forwards: Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid/Spain), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea/England), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona/Spain), Florian Thauvin (Marseille), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Thomas Lemar (Monaco).

 

Dates:

  1. France vs Australia – 16 June 2018
  2. France vs Peru – 21 June 2018
  3. Denmark vs France – 26 June 2018

Belgium Squad:

Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Koen Casteels (VfL Wolfsburg).

Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Thomas Meunier (Paris Saint-Germain), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City).

Midfielders: Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Nacer Chadli (West Bromwich Albion), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Youri Tielemans (Monaco), Mousa Dembele (Tottenham Hotspur).

Forwards: Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea/Dortmund), Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United), Dries Mertens (Napoli).

Dates:

  1. Belgium vs Panama– 18 June 2018
  2. Belgium vs Tunisia– 23 June 2018
  3. England vs Belgium– 28 June 2018

Calendar :

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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’s 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!”

A Beautiful View That You Need To See in Santa Barbara

Floortje Klein Schiphorst, The Netherlands

The name of the place is Knapp’s Castle in Santa Barbara. Knapp’s Castle is a privately-owned landmark ruined mansion in the Santa Ynez Mountains near Santa Barbara. Located near East Camino Cielo in the Los Padres National Forest, the ridge-top site has a panoramic view of Lake Cachuma and the Santa Ynez Valley. It is a popular destination for photographers and hikers.

George Owen Knapp, founder of Union Carbide, built Knapp’s Castle in 1916. In 1940, Frances Holden bought the property and invited her friend, world famous opera singer Lotte Lehmann, to move in. The mansion was destroyed  by a forest fire only five weeks later, and now only the massive sandstone foundations, fireplace pillars and walls of the original seven structures remain intact. The parcel is still privately owned, but open to the public.

This is not my video but here you can see what Knapp’s Castle looks like:

A lot of people go there and see the sunset. You have a beautiful view and amazing pictures. It is a place where you need to go. You need to climb on the walls to take the nice pictures like the one below. You can see here the pictures I took when I was there:

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If you want to go to Knapp’s Castle, you need to go by car. It’s a road to the mountains that is too long to walk. You need to park your car next to the road and walk the last part. My advice is to have warm clothes with you because it could be cold on the top of the mountain with a lot of wind.

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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.

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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.

About me – Tim

by Tim Schwehn from Germany

Hey! 🙂

My name is Tim and I am from Germany. I just arrived in Santa Barbara and I love the city by now. The beautiful streets and houses with the Spanish style look great. That’s one reason I chose this location for my EF study time.

What do I normally do in Germany?

I finished my exams in January and want to start my university studies in business education in October. So I have enough time to explore the world. For my study time I want to improve my English speaking and writing skills so I chose an English speaking country, but also one where the sun is shining quite often.

I like to do sports very much. I play soccer at a local German soccer club and go the gym at least two times a week. Playing sports is a very good balance for learning or working and you can turn your head off for a time.

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Furthermore, I love music. On the one hand, I like to listen to different kinds of music as well as making music on my own. I can play the piano and the guitar and I really enjoy creating music with some friends of mine.

My favorite food is pizza, but I can’t wait to eat some good Mexican food or beef burgers in Santa Barbara. I already went to one Mexican restaurant and the food tasted great. Maybe you can give me some suggestions about where to go. I will try as much as I can.

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I will stay in Santa Barbara for at least two months. I think it will be a beautiful time that I will never forget. So if you have some questions, feel free to ask. J