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.

Image result for ef santa barbara home share


































































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.

Image result for paris fashion week 2019

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!

Image result for cafe de flore st germainImage result for cafe de flore celebrities

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.

Image result for boeuf bourguignon

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.

jb calvin
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.

lil pump
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.

us ww2
Dutch citizens of the city of Utrecht cheer and wave the US flag as they welcome their American liberators.

The Best Places to Go Backpacking in Vietnam

From the islands of Ha Long Bay, to the caves of Phong Nha, cascading rice terraces of Sapa, the maze of rivers and rice paddies of the Mekong Delta, and mountains of Da Lat… Vietnam is really attractive for low budget or backpacking tours. I have now picked out the best places in Vietnam and will introduce them now. Have fun to create your own perfect backpacker trip.

Vietnam Fast Facts

Currency: Vietnamese dong
Language: Vietnamese
Population: 96.5 million
Religion: Buddhist is the majority

Hanoi (2 days)

The chaotic capital of Vietnam is a great place to start your journey, or end it. The city has many attractions to see, most of which are lakes, pagodas and museums, and of course, the Old Quarter. What makes Hanoi great is that, as a central hub, you can easily catch transport to the rest of the region.

Recommendation to stay: Central Hanoi Backpackers Hostel (dorms, 5 $/night)


Sapa (2-3 days)

Sapa is one of the best places to see in Vietnam. And it is the place in Vietnam for trekking through the rice terraces, lush valleys and endless karst peaks of the region. Include Heavens Gate, Mount Fansipan (the highest peak of Indochina) and Muong Hoa Valley. You can either book a 2-3 day tour through a company that will include your buses to Sapa and back to Hanoi that includes your trek leaders, homestay, and food. Or you can rent a Motorbike ($10/day), cheap for the freedom to explore some of the incredible sights around Sapa at your own pace.

Recommendation to stay:  spend the night in a village homestay with a tribal family



Ha Long Bay (2-3 days)

Ha Long Bay, crowned one of the new seven natural wonders of the world, is the epitome of Vietnamese coastline, with its thousands of limestone karst peaks jutting out of its emerald waters and the hundreds of uninhabited islands topped with dense jungle, scattered around the bay. Check out Cat Ba National Park, explore Dau Go cave, and make sure you go kayaking!

Ha Long Bay


Hue (2 days)

This is a beautiful small town offering a great break in the journey from Hanoi to Hoi An. One of Vietnams most royal cities, Hue is littered with impressive historic sights, delighting the inner nerd in us all!

Check out the impressive Citadel on the other side of the perfume river. This impressive piece of history is made up of four separate citadel’s and will take a full day to explore, you can hire a bike to get around! Check out the Thien Mu Pagoda; standing at 21 metres high and decorated with mind-blowing architecture this pagoda is a pretty spectacular eyeful.

 Recommended place to stay: Hue Happy Homestay



Z-Event: The Streamers Charity Event

Lucas Michel, France

It becomes an unavoidable event in the French video games community, after the success of the first edition last year. This new edition of the Z-Event beat all records with more than 1 Million Euros collected in 3 days. Organized by one of the most popular French streamers, Adrien “Zerator” Nougaret, and his assistant, Alexendre “Dach” Dachary. This initiative exceeded all expectations and pulverized all the records.eSport - esport - Adrien « ZeratoR » Nougaret, mégaphone en main, au moment de clôturer le Z Event. (Timo Verdeil)

The results of last year were already very impressive. In live from the Adrien’s home, 30 streamers gathered at the same place took turns during the entire week-end, that is to say more than 50 hours. In the end: 500,000 unique viewers, 109.382 peak audience and 487.578,66 Euros (554.120 USD) collected for the association Red Cross and the victims of the Hurricane Irma. The event was relayed by the TV and the gaming community, often criticized for being nerds in their rooms doing nothing, proved this day that they are a lot more than that and can be very generous and with great abilities to come together for a good cause.

But this year was even more impressive. This time it was 40 streamers in the same place. Not at Adrien’s house but in a large room lent for the occasion by the city. More organized, the start  already broke a record, 100,000 Euros were collected in less than one hour. It had taken the entire first night to amass this amount of money last year. In the last hour in the night of Sunday to Monday, the streamers saw the pot increased by 200,000 Euros to overtake the symbolic amount of 1 Million Euros.

More than 190,000 people were connected at 1am to attend the end of the event, more than 1,500,000 unique viewers. A beautiful rewards for Adrien and his team after 53 hours of streaming. The tiredness and the emotions were the reasons Adrien, like some of other streamers, could not restrain their tears after having crossed the level of the million of euros collected. Often despised for their passion for the video games, the gamers community has proven that they can do big and generous things.

History of China

Written by,  Sebastiaan Han, Netherlands

forbidden city


The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC from the Shang dynasty. Ancient historical texts such as the Records of the Grand Historian (c. 100 BC) and the Bamboo Annals (296 BC) describe a Xia dynasty (c. 2070–1600 BC) before the Shang, but no writing is known from the period, and Shang writings do not indicate the existence of the Xia.


The Xia Dynasty (2070-1600 BC)

The Xia dynasty is the legendary, possibly mythical first dynasty in traditional Chinese history. We never found any written records of this dynasty, but there are a few ancient texts which indicate the existence of this dynasty.  The Xia dynasty was the first government to emerge in ancient China and became the first to apply to the policy of dynastic succession; and so making it the first dynasty of China

The Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC)

Archaeological findings providing evidence for the existence of the Shang dynasty, c. 1600–1046 BC, are divided into two parts. The first part, from the earlier Shang period, comes from sources at Erligang, Zhengzhou, and Shangcheng. The second part, from the later Shang or Yin period, is at Anyang, in modern-day Henan, which has been confirmed as the last of the Shang’s nine capitals (c. 1300–1046 BC).

The Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BC)

This is the longest-lasting dynasty China has known. The Zhou dynasty began to emerge in the Yellow River Valley. They captured the territory that belonged to the Shangs. The Zhou lived west of the Shang, and the Zhou leader had been appointed Western Protector by the Shang. The ruler of the Zhou, King Wu, with the assistance of his brother, the Duke of Zhou, as regent, managed to defeat the Shang at the Battle of Muye.

The Zhou people were not invaders; they were Chinese-speaking people descendant from the Longshan Neolithic culture. During the course of several centuries, the Zhou moved away from barbarian pressures, migrating towards the westernmost agricultural basin of North China, the lower Wei River valley, present-day Shaanxi province. Here they began to develop Shang-style agriculture, and they also built a city in an area named Plain of Zhou, which gave its name to the state and the dynasty. The Shang ruling class considered the Zhou “semibarbarious country cousins”. For many years the Zhou and the Shang coexisted alternating peace and war.


The Warring States period (476-221 BC)

After further political disagreements, seven prominent states remained by the end of 5th century BC, and the years consolidation in which these few states battled each other are known as the Warring States period. Though there remained a nominal Zhou king until 256 BC, he was largely a figurehead and held little real power.

Numerous developments were made during this period in culture and mathematics, examples include an important literary achievement, the Zuo Commentary on the Spring and Autumn Annals, which summarizes the preceding Spring and Autumn period and the bundle of 21 bamboo slips from the Tsinghua collection, which was invented during this period dated to 305  BC, are the world’s earliest example of a two digit decimal multiplication table, indicating that sophisticated commercial arithmetic was already established during this period.

As neighboring territories of these warring states, including areas of modern Sichuan and Liaoning, were annexed, they were governed under the new local administrative system of commandery and prefecture. This system had been used since the Spring and Autumn period, and parts can still be seen in the modern system of Sheng & Xian (province and county).

The final expansion in this period began during the reign of Ying Zheng, the king of Qin. After he got the approval and trust of Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangdong and Guangxi in 214 BC, this enabled him to call himself the First Emperor (Qin Shi Huang).

The Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC)

The Qin Dynasty is well-know because of the great Terracotta army. The Qin dynasty was the first dynasty of Imperial China, lasting from 221 to 206 BC. Named for its heartland in Qin state, the dynasty was founded by Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of Qin. The strength of the Qin state was greatly increased by the Legalist reforms of Shang Yang in the fourth century BC, during the Warring States period. In the mid and late third century BC, the Qin state carried out a series of swift conquests, first ending the powerless Zhou dynasty, and eventually conquering the other six of the Seven Warring States. Its 15 years was the shortest major dynasty in Chinese history, consisting of only two emperors, but created an imperial system that lasted, with interruption and adaptation, until 1912 CE.

The Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD)

Han dynasty

The Han Dynasty was founded by Liu Bang, who was victorious in the Chu–Han Contention that brought to the fall of the Qin dynasty. A golden age in Chinese history, the Han Dynasty’s long period of stability and prosperity created the foundation of China as a unified state under a central imperial bureaucracy, which was to last intermittently for most of the next two millennia. The Han Dynasty saw an age of economic prosperity and witnessed a significant growth of their economy first established during the Zhou dynasty (c. 1050–256 BC). The coinage issued by the central government mint in 119 BC remained the standard coinage of China until the Tang Dynasty (618–907 AD).

This in particular is a special era for me personally because my ancestors originate from China and specifically from the Han Dynasty. Before my family came to the Netherlands, they lived in Indonesia for many centuries. They came there from China to trade opium and to begin a new business. Several big Chinese families have been settled in Java for centuries, but so far very little has been done to investigate the social integration into the Javanese society and their part of the local economy, but my ancestors are traced back all the way to the 18th century and they played a significant part in the economic development of the “Oosthoek” or Eastern Salient. The family grew bigger and bigger until the Second World War. When the Japanese army came to Indonesia, they took almost everything from my family for their own usage. My grandfather decided to move to the Netherlands, but a lot of family members are still in Indonesia and other parts of the world.

Three Kingdoms (AD 220–280)

By the 2nd century, the empire declined amidst land acquisitions, invasions, and feuding between clans and eunuchs. The Yellow Turban Rebellion broke out in AD 184, happening in an era of warlords. In the ensuing turmoil, three states tried to gain predominance in the period of the Three Kingdoms.

After Cao Cao reunified the north in 208, his son proclaimed the Wei Dynasty in 220. Soon, Wei’s rivals, Shu and Wu, proclaimed their independence, leading China into the Three Kingdoms period. This period was characterized by a gradual decentralization of the state that had existed during the Qin and Han dynasties, and an increase in the power of great families.

In 266, the Jin Dynasty overthrew the Wei and later unified the country in 280, but this union was short-lived.

The Jin Dynasty (AD 266-420)Jin-Dynasty

The Jin Dynasty or the Jin Empire was a Chinese dynasty traditionally dated from 266 to 420. It was founded by Sima Yan, son of Sima Zhao, who was made Prince of Jin and  declared the founder of the dynasty. It followed the Three Kingdoms period, which ended with the conquest of Eastern Wu by the Jin.

The Jin Dynasty was severely weakened by internecine fighting among imperial princes and lost control of northern China after non-Han Chinese settlers rebelled and captured Luoyang and Chang’an. In 317, a Jin prince in modern-day Nanjing became emperor and continued the dynasty, now known as the Eastern Jin, which held southern China for another century. Prior to this move, historians refer to the Jin Dynasty as the Western Jin.

The Sui Dynasty (AD 581-618)

The Sui Dynasty was a short-lived imperial dynasty of China of great significance. The Sui unified the Northern and Southern dynasties and reinstalled the rule of ethnic Han Chinese in the entirety of China proper, along with the reuniting of former nomadic ethnic people within its territory.

A lasting legacy of the Sui Dynasty was the Grand Canal. With the eastern capital Luoyang at the center of the network, it linked the west-lying capital Chang’an to the economic and agricultural centers of the east towards Hangzhou, and to the northern border near modern Beijing. While the pressing initial motives were for shipment of grains to the capital, and for transporting troops and military logistics, the reliable inland shipment links would facilitate domestic trades, flow of people and cultural exchange for centuries.

The Tang Dynasty (AD 618–907)

The Tang Dynasty was founded by Emperor Gaozu on 18 June 618. It was a golden age of Chinese civilization and considered to be the most prosperous period of China with significant developments in culture, art, literature, particularly poetry, and technology. Buddhism became the predominant religion for the common people. Chang’an (modern Xi’an), the national capital, was the largest city in the world during its time.

Underlying the prosperity of the early Tang Dynasty was a strong centralized bureaucracy with efficient policies. The government was organized as “Three Departments and Six Ministries” to separately draft, review, and implement policies. These departments were run by royal family members as well as scholar officials who were selected by imperial examinations. These practices, which matured in the Tang dynasty, were continued by the later dynasties, with some modifications.

Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (AD 907–960)


The period of political disunity between the Tang and the Song, known as the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, lasted from 907 to 960. During this half-century, China was in all respects a multi-state system. Five regimes, namely, Liang, Tang, Jin, Han and Zhou, rapidly succeeded one another in control of the traditional Imperial heartland in northern China. Among the regimes, rulers of  Tang, Jin and Han were sinicized Shatuo Turks, which ruled over the ethnic majority of Han Chinese. More stable and smaller regimes of mostly ethnic Han rulers coexisted in south and western China over the period, cumulatively constituted the “Ten Kingdoms”.

Amidst political chaos in the north, the strategic Sixteen Prefectures (region along today’s Great Wall) were ceded to the emerging Khitan Liao Dynasty, which drastically weakened the defense of the China proper against northern nomadic empires. To the south, Vietnam gained lasting independence after being a Chinese prefecture for many centuries. With wars dominated in Northern China, there were mass southward migrations of population, which further enhanced the southward shift of cultural and economic centers in China. The era ended with the coup of Later Zhou general Zhao Kuangyin, and the establishment the Song dynasty in 960, which eventually annihilated the remains of the “Ten Kingdoms” and reunified China.

Yuan Dynasty (AD 1271–1368)

The Yuan Dynasty, officially the Great Yuan, was the empire or ruling dynasty of China established by Kublai Khan, leader of the Mongolian Borjigin clan. It followed the Song Dynasty and preceded the Ming Dynasty.

Genghis Khan and his sons set the foundation for the Yuan Dynasty by defeating the Western Xia and conquering Central Asia, Mongolia, and the Hexi Corridor. This gave them a base of manpower, horses, technology, and experience to finish the conquest of the fierce Jin army and then to go on and conquer the Dali empire and the Song empire.

Genghis Khan died in 1227 and had named his son, Ogedei, to be the next emperor. Ogedei was said to rule the whole Mongol empire from 1229 to 1241, but he concentrated his efforts in the eastern part of it. In 1232, he invaded the Jin Empire in alliance with the Song Empire. Jin was defeated in 1234. From 1235, Ogedei started a campaign with the Song Dynasty.

Kublai was a grandson of Genghis Khan. He had a comparatively long rule and reformed the empire to increase his power and make the empire prosper.

In 1253, he captured the Dali Kingdom in Yunnan Province.


In 1259, Kublai campaigned against the Southern Song Dynasty.

In 1260, Kublai took the throne after his elder brother, Mongke, died.When he heard that his elder brother, who was the Great Khan Mongke, had died, he and another brother went to war. Both of them wanted to be the Khan.

They fought a series of battles and Kublai won. This caused a division in the Mongol Empire. The Golden Horde that controlled the area of Russia and Chagatai Khanate did not recognize Kublai Khan as their ruler.

Kublai sent large armies against the Song people in the 1270s. In 1276, the Mongols captured the Song capital of Hangzhou and most of the Song Dynasty clan. However, two young brothers of the captured Song emperor escaped and went south.

In 1227 , the Song Dynasty court fled to Quanzhou.  They were attacked there by a rich Muslim merchant. They fled again to Hong Kong and the court attempted to make a stand there in 1279, but they were soundly defeated by the Mongols. The last emperor died there at the age of 9 in 1279.

The Ming Dynasty (AD 1368-1644)

The Ming dynasty was the ruling dynasty of China – then known as the Great Ming Empire – for 276 years following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynasty in China ruled by ethnic Han Chinese.

Urbanization increased as the population grew and as the division of labor grew more complex. Large urban centers, such as Nanjing and Beijing, also contributed to the growth of private industry. In particular, small-scale industries grew up, often specializing in paper, silk, cotton, and porcelain goods. For the most part, however, relatively small urban centers with markets proliferated around the country. Town markets mainly traded food, with some necessary manufactures such as pins or oil.


The Ming Dynasty intervened deeply in the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–98), which ended with the withdrawal of all invading Japanese forces in Korea, and the restoration of the Joseon Dynasty, its traditional ally and tributary state. The regional hegemony of the Ming dynasty was preserved at a toll on its resources. Coincidentally, with Ming’s control in Manchuria in decline, the Manchu (Jurchen) tribes, under their chieftain Nurhaci, broke away from Ming’s rule, and emerged as a powerful, unified state, which was later proclaimed as the Qing dynasty. It went on to subdue the much weakened Korea as its tributary, conquered Mongolia, and expanded its territory to the outskirt of the Great Wall. The most elite army of the Ming dynasty was to station at the Shanhai Pass to guard the last stronghold against the Manchus, which weakened its suppression of internal peasants uprisings.

Qing Dynasty (AD 1644–1911)

Qing dynasty

The Qing Dynasty, officially the Great Qing, was the last imperial dynasty of China. It was established in 1636, and ruled China proper from 1644 to 1912. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and succeeded by the Republic of China.

The Qing Dynasty (1644–1911) was the last imperial dynasty in China. Founded by the Manchus, it was the second conquest dynasty to rule the entire territory of China and its people. The Manchus were formerly known as Jurchens, residing in the northeastern part of the Ming territory outside the Great Wall. They emerged as the major threat to the late Ming Dynasty after Nurhaci united all Jurchen tribes and established an independent state. However, the Ming Dynasty would be overthrown by Li Zicheng’s peasants rebellion, with Beijing captured in 1644 and the Chongzhen Emperor, the last Ming emperor, committing suicide.

In response to calamities within the empire and threats from imperialism, the Self-Strengthening Movement was an institutional reform in the second half of the 1800s. The aim was to modernize the empire, with prime emphasis on strengthening the military. However, the reform was undermined by corrupt officials, cynicism, and quarrels within the imperial family. As a result, the “Beiyang Fleet” were soundly defeated in the First Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895). The Guangxu Emperor and the reformists then launched a more comprehensive reform effort, the Hundred Days’ Reform (1898), but it was soon overturned by the conservatives under Empress Dowager Cixi in a military coup.

At the turn of the 20th century, the violent Boxer Rebellion opposed foreign influence in Northern China, and attacked Chinese Christians and missionaries. When Boxers entered Beijing, the Qing government ordered all foreigners to leave. But instead the foreigners and many Chinese were besieged in the foreign legations quarter. The Eight-Nation Alliance sent the Seymour Expedition of Japanese, Russian, Italian, German, French, American, and Austrian troops to relieve the siege. The Expedition was stopped by the Boxers at the Battle of Langfang and forced to retreat. Due to the Alliance’s attack on the Dagu Forts, the Qing government in response sided with the Boxers and declared war on the Alliance. There was fierce fighting at Tientsin. The Alliance formed the second, much larger Gaselee Expedition and finally reached Beijing; the Qing government evacuated to Xi’an. The Boxer Protocol ended the war.

Modern China

Republic of China (since 1912)

Frustrated by the Qing court’s resistance to reform and by China’s weakness, young officials, military officers, and students began to advocate the overthrow of the Qing dynasty and the creation of a republic. They were inspired by the revolutionary ideas of Sun Yat-sen. A revolutionary military uprising, the Wuchang Uprising, began on 10 October 1911, in Wuhan. The provisional government of the Republic of China was formed in Nanjing on 12 March 1912. The Xinhai Revolution ended 2,000 years of dynastic rule in China.

After the success of the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty, Sun Yat-sen was declared President, but Sun was forced to turn power over to Yuan Shikai, who commanded the New Army and was Prime Minister under the Qing government, as part of the agreement to let the last Qing monarch abdicate (a decision Sun would later regret). Over the next few years, Yuan proceeded to abolish the national and provincial assemblies, and declared himself emperor in late 1915. Yuan’s imperial ambitions were fiercely opposed by his subordinates; faced with the prospect of rebellion, he abdicated in March 1916, and died in June of that year.

Yuan’s death in 1916 left a power vacuum in China; the republican government was all but shattered. This ushered in the Warlord Era, during which much of the country was ruled by shifting coalitions of competing provincial military leaders.

In 1919, the May Fourth Movement began as a response to the terms imposed on China by the Treaty of Versailles ending World War I, but quickly became a nationwide protest movement about the domestic situation in China. The protests were a moral success as the cabinet fell and China refused to sign the Treaty of Versailles, which had awarded German holdings to Japan. The New Culture Movement stimulated by the May Fourth Movement waxed strong throughout the 1920s and 1930s.






Typical Spanish Food

By Mireia Bach 

Spanish food is often recognized as one of the top cuisines in the world. We have a lot of traditional Spanish dishes and recipes. However, I’m going to write about the most typical ones – paella, tortilla de patatas, croquetas and gazpacho -.

Paella, is the most famous dish in Spain. Everybody knows it. The main ingredient is the rice-based and you can mix it with meat like chicken or rabbit (Paella de montana), or with seafood such as calamari, mussels, clams, prawns and fish (Paella de marisco). Moreover, you can mix shellfish and meat together, which, in my opinion is not the best option but, there are people who do it (Paella mixta / Paella de mar y montana). In addition, you can find another type of paella, that it’s not so common, but it tastes so good too. It’s called black rice (Paella de arroz negro) because the rice is stained by octopus ink and then mixed with seafood. 

paella montana.jpg

paella negra.jpg


The Spanish omelette more commonly known as Tortilla de patatas, is another famous Spanish dish. The main ingredients are eggs, potatoes and if you want, you can add onion. Also, there is another choice while the people cook the Spanish omelette. You can cook it a little bit raw or well cooked, always using olive oil. Spanish people eat this type of omelette as a starter for lunch or dinner. It’s called tapa de tortilla.



The third dish is called croquetas, you can find six flavours: meat, cured ham, cheese, mushrooms, chicken or fish. My favourites are the ones which have meat inside. The croquetas is another meal that you can eat as a tapa in every Spanish restaurant or bar. The ingredients that you need for cooking this typical dish are: the flavour that you choose and bechamel sauce, after that you breaded and fried.



The last one but not least, is the gazpacho. This is a typical summer dish and it’s made with full-flavoured fresh tomatoes, olive oil, green peppers, cucumbers, garlic, onions, vinegar and herbs. It’s a refreshing meal that you eat inside a bowl as an appetizer. It is also a good option if you prefer to eat fresh and healthy because is a low calorie dish. As you can see in the picture, you can add some fresh cut vegetables and little pieces of bread to make it tasty.