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Office Closed - Happy Thanksgiving!25-Nov-2014

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The Iconic Thanksgiving

Global Immersions Recruiting - Monday, November 24, 2014

Whether you're from the U.S. or abroad, the imagery that comes to mind of Thanksgiving is that of a perfectly browned roast turkey surrounded by heaping mounds of various dishes and the entire family, eagerly awaiting a slice of the juicy poultry. But why is the turkey the most intrinsic part of the Thanksgiving meal? And where do some of the other most enjoyable, but uniquely Thanksgiving dishes (marshmallow topped roasted squash, bread stuffing, and mashed potatoes to name a few) come from? 

Many people believe that the classic Thanksgiving dishes get their origins from the first Thanksgiving held in 1621 when the English Pilgrims put aside their differences with the Native Americans and shared a fall harvest meal together. However, Thanksgiving didn't actually become a widely celebrated annual holiday until about 200 years later. The first celebrated Thanksgiving was in fact in celebration of the pilgrim's first successful harvest in the new world. The main dishes of this first Thanksgiving in the 1800's would probably have included venison, corn, fowl (often turkey) and barley - no potatoes, pumpkin, or even stuffing were yet commonly eaten in New England. Although turkey, cranberries, and sweetened pumpkin rinds were most likely eaten in this celebration, none of the recipes quite resembled those of today.

So how did the holiday evolve if it wasn't from the classically cited harvest meal of the pilgrims and Native Americans? It turns out that the writer of the classic children's tale "Mary had a Little Lamb" petitioned for the holiday to become nationalized after reading about the pilgrim's first fall harvest event. To gain a following in her campaign she published a number of recipes as suggestions to be used for the holiday celebration including the classic roast turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie recipes still used today. During the Civil War Abraham Lincoln (one of the most famous U.S. presidents) made the holiday a national annual event on the last Thursday of each year. 

With the history in mind and for preparation for the holiday here are a few of the most common Thanksgiving dishes and their most classic recipes.

The Roast Turkey and Stuffing 

A whole raw turkey is typically simply seasoned with butter, salt, and pepper and filled with aromatic vegetables and fruit such as apples, celery, carrot, onion and bread (this is where the stuffing comes from) and roasted in the oven for around three hours. 

Mashed Potatoes

Potatoes are boiled until soft and then smashed into a smooth and chunky mash. Butter, salt, pepper, and sour cream are typically added making a creamy addition to the Thanksgiving meal.

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean casserole is a one-dish plate using green beans as the main ingredient. Adding creamy soup or cheese and sour dream, caramelized onions, and fried onions on tops and then baking the dish adds a unique spin on this vegetable.

Pumpkin Pie

A flaky crust that lines the sides and bottoms of a pie pan provides the base for this decadent dessert. Pumpkin puree from a roasted pumpkin with added sugar, spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, molasses, egg, and heavy cream make the custardy filling. Once baked the golden orange pie becomes one of the most iconic Thanksgiving images. 

So is your mouth watering yet? Or did we miss any classic Thanksgiving dishes? How will you be celebrating the holiday? We want to know! 

Sources: http://www.foodnetwork.com/thanksgiving/thanksgiving-menus/classic-thanksgiving-menu.htmlhttp://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/first-thanksgiving-meal

Cheese, Cheese, Cheese!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, November 14, 2014

Cheese is one of the world's favorite foods. From Europe to the U.S. to the Mid-East and Latin America, countries around the world have their own take on this salty, creamy delicacy. In fact, Americans alone eat 32.6 pounds of cheese per year. However, its the Greeks and French who take the cake for the most cheese consumption- the Greeks eating 68.5 pounds per year and the French with 57.5. This consumption may be in part due to the huge variety of types of cheese. Of all the 2,000 varieties most come from cow, sheep, goat, or buffalo milk although cheese made from camel and donkey milk is becoming more popular. Cheese made from moose milk is even considered a delicacy in Sweden. And these cheeses are produced in various countries around the world. Their styles, textures and flavors depend on the origin of the milk (including the animal's diet), whether they have been pasteurized, the butterfat content, the bacteria and mold, the processing, and aging. Herbs, spices, or wood smoke may be used as flavoring agents. The yellow to red color of many cheeses, such as Red Leicester, is produced by adding annatto. Other ingredients may be added to some cheeses, such as black peppers, garlic, chives or cranberries. So what are some of the best cheeses from countries around the world? 

Italy: Pecorino Romano, Parmesan 

Italy is famous for its cheeses, from soft mozzarella to hard Parmesan many Italian cheeses are globally popular. However, the less well known Pecorino Romano is considered the pinnacle of Italian cheeses. The make process is one of the most sophisticated in the world.  It shows in the flavor, alternately buttery, nutty, and fruity. 

England: Farmhouse Cheddar

Cheddar cheese is another widely popular type of cheese, especially in the United States and England. It originates in farmhouses in England and is a hard cheese, yet easily meltable and perfect for grilled sandwiches.

Netherlands: Gouda


No doubt the most famous Dutch cheese, gouda is a yellow cows milk cheese. Known worldwide it is iconic in its packaging in larger, red waxed wheels. It is a semi-hard or hard cheese and is often used in sandwiches and various dishes/ 

Nepal: Chhurpi

Chhurpi is a Nepalese cheese made using yak or cow's milk. In eastern Asian countries cheese is not widely eaten, however this soft cheese has become extremely popular and can be found throughout the country and in neighboring Bhutan.

Spain: Manchego

Manchego is an aged sheep's milk cheese and one of the most well known Spanish cheeses. It has a firm and compact consistency and a buttery texture, and often contains small, unevenly-distributed air pockets. Known as a delicacy, it is eaten in extremely thin slices. 

France: Bleu Cheese, Brie, Boursin, and more


France has more varieties of cheese than any country in the world. Many of the most famous cheeses in the world originated in France and have contributed to the association of elegance with cheese. Brie is the classic creamy cow's milk cheese often baked in a buttery crust. Controlled mold makes bleu cheese gleu and gives it a distinct sharp flavor. Cows milk boursin cheese is creamy and smooth and infused with herbs and spices and often spread on crackers and bread. 

Central America: Queso Blanco

This cheese is the most common cheese in Central and South America. Is it a creamy, soft, mild, unaged white cheese. It is one of the simplest cheeses to make and is very similar to Indian Paneer. 

India: Paneer

A fresh cheese common in South Asian cuisine. In eastern parts of Indian Subcontinent, it is generally called Chhena. It is an unaged, acid-set, non-melting farmer cheese or curd cheesemade by curdling heated milk with lemon juice, vinegar, or any other food acids.

Greece: Feta


Feta is a brined sheep's milk cheese. It is aged and crumbly. It is the most commonly used cheese in Greece and is used in salads, used as table cheese, baked in pastries, grilled, or in sandwiches. Its versatility has led to its widespread use and popularity. 

Interested in even more cheese? Click on this infographic to enlarge and read the following article to become a cheese connoisseur!  

So what's your favorite cheese? What cheese is most common in your country? Did we leave anything out? We want to know!

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cheeses

Veterans Day, Armistice Day, and Remembrance Day

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, November 07, 2014

Veterans Day is an official United States holiday that honors people who have served in the armed services, also called veterans. This holiday is celebrated on the 11th of November because of its origination as Armistice Day- a holiday celebrated by a number of Allied European countries still today such as Belgium, France, and Serbia. Armistice Day marks the end of World War I which was officially ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when the armistice with Germany went into effect.

In 1954, at the proposal of a veteran after the end of World War II, Armistice Day in the U.S. was changed to encompass all veterans, not just those who died in World War I. In countries such as Canada and Australia the name of the holiday also been changed to encompass veterans from all wars to the name Remembrance Day. Remembrance Day is also sometimes called Poppy Day. The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem In Flanders Fields. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red color became a symbol for the blood spilled in the war.

Celebrating around the world


In Europe, Britain and the Commonwealth countries it is common to observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. every November 11. The central ritual at monuments and memorials throughout the Commonwealth is a stylised night vigil. The Last Post was the common bugle call at the close of the military day, and The Rouse was the first call of the morning. For military purposes, the traditional night vigil over the slain was not just to ensure they were indeed dead and not unconscious or in a coma, but also to guard them from being mutilated or despoiled by the enemy, or dragged off by scavengers. This makes the ritual more than just an act of remembrance but also a pledge to guard the honor of war dead.

In India, the day is usually marked by tributes and ceremonies in army cantonments. There are memorial services in some churches such as St. Mark's Cathedral and St. John's Church in Bangalore


In the United States, an official wreath-laying ceremony is held each Veterans Day at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery, while parades and other celebrations are held in states around the country. Because it is a federal holiday some workers and students who attend public school have the day off. Many restaurants and casual diners offer free meals for veterans on this holiday. 

To see more about Veterans Day and its origins check this history.com video!

Danish Groups: Short-Term Programs

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, October 31, 2014

Global Immersions Homestay specializes in customized group homestay programs.  We spend time discussing and determining exactly what each client wants their visitors to experience during their time in Boston.  Hosts and visitors are matched by our coordinators based on their compatibility. This compatibility is determined by the shared hobbies of hosts and visitors, preferences on pets, gender, and various other aspects of the household to ensure all involved have the most enjoyable experience possible.  There is a minimum of four nights on the length of stay but not for the number of visitors in the group. Each homestay program is specifically designed for the each group! 

This fall Global Immersions had the pleasure to accommodate homestays for number of high school groups from Denmark. During their programs these students took part in business seminars at Bunker Hill Community College, visited iconic site in Boston such as Faneuil Hall and the Boston Science Museum, attended a Celtics game, visited Salem, took part in Halloween celebrations and activites, and toured local schools. The goal of the homestay program was to live with Americans in order to truly experience and learn about U.S. culture and traditions and enhance the overall program.  Our hosts exposed the visitors to a variety of activities and events and foods that allowed them to have a taste of American life with locals to entirely culturally immerse them. 

Here are a few of the experiences the Danish visitors enjoyed with their hosts!

  • Going to church
  • Shopping at the Prudential Center, malls, and Newbury Street
  • Sightseeing in Boston
  • Dinner enjoyed together
  • Visited the Patriots Stadium in Foxborough
  • Watched football games
  • Cultural conversations
  • Birthday parties
  • Playing billiards
  • Cooking meals together
  • Playing ping pong
  • Carving pumpkins
  • Watching Bruins ice hockey games
  • Apple picking on a local farm
  • Watching Halloween movies
  • Halloween parties and trick-or-treating
  • Attending corn mazes and haunted houses
  • Eating out at restaurants
  • Playing with host children
  • Manicure and pedicures
  • Bowling
  • Making ice cream sundaes
  • Touring neighborhoods looking at decorations

Boston is a city filled with all types of activities and happenings for any interest. The highlight is not only the diversity of our great city's offerings but the fact that many events are FREE! We post many fun, interesting and upcoming activities on our facebook page daily.

One of these Danish students wrote, "My host family always cared about us. They talked to us many times and when we didn't know what to say or do, they helped us. They let us meet 17 people and we got to go to many places so our schedule was busy and full of fun!!" And another student said, "I was worried about homestay at first, but I really enjoyed this homestay. I can't thank my host family enough. I want to put this experience to good use in the future!"


The hosts sincerely enjoyed this group program as well. One host wrote, "I wish they could've stayed longer everything went so fast but they were very very polite.  We thoroughly enjoyed the visit"
 Another host commented, "I found this group to be excellent! It's like heaven sprung a leak in the hosting student department and the Danish girls fell out! I told them they came as students and left as family."

In regards you our group programs, one host wrote "I enjoy hosting with Global Immersions because I think it is great that 2 students are required in each home. I also think it gives the student a sense of security and also someone to have quiet time with when the day is over and everyone goes to bed, it gives them the opportunity to talk about what they think and feel without any interruptions."

Do you have a group that you would like to bring to Boston?  Contact us today to learn more about our group homestay programs.  

Would you like to host for our international visitors and get involved with these group programs? Check out the Global Immersions short-term programs page for upcoming groups.   Contact us for details on hosting and an application.

Thank you to all the hosts and students who participated in these homestay programs!

Halloween History and Traditions

Global Immersions Recruiting - Sunday, October 26, 2014

Halloween is one of the most iconic and evolved of American holidays. On Halloween (the 31st of October) in current times the most common traditions include dressing up in costume as frightening beings, famous characters, ironic jokes, symbolic professions- basically any sort of costume that transforms from the everyday person. Themes of darkness, death, and legendary creatures of the night are symbolic to this holiday. Houses are often decorated with spider webs, bats, grave stones, and other terrifying themes. Jack-O-Laterns (pumpkins carved with faces or scenes illuminated from the inside by candles) can be seen on doorsteps of most houses. Candies and treats are eaten more than any other American holiday of the year on this day. 

This is mostly because children traditionally go door to door of the houses in their neighborhoods in such costumes on this night. The classic greeting when the door is opened is for the children to say "trick or treat?" and the response to give children candy- a "treat". Parties are often held on this night as well by children and adults alike. Similar dark-themed decorations are seen at these parties with the colors of black and orange most common with most attendees expected to be in costume. Games are often played at these parties such as "bobbing for apples" where apples are placed into a large pail of water and contestants must catch hold of an apple using only their mouth. To someone who has never celebrated such a holiday this may seem like a menagerie of some of the oddest traditions. What is the meaning of Halloween and where did these seemingly strange traditions come from? Let's find out!

Halloween actually has its origins in Irish tradition. Evolving from the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain, modern Halloween has become less about literal ghosts and ghouls and more about costumes and candy. Starting around 2,000 years ago, the Celts used the day to mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, and also believed that this transition between the seasons was a bridge to the world of the dead. The night before the holiday of Samhain (October 31st) the Celts believed the dead came back to the world of the living. They would leave food and wine out on the doorstep in offering to the dead to keep the spirits at bay and wear masks when leaving the house in order to be mistaken as other ghosts or spirits. In the 8th century the Catholic church converted the name of the holiday into "All Saints Day" or "All Hallows Day" therefore, the night before became "All Hallow's Eve" and later was shortened to Halloween. During this time is was common for the destitute youth of Britain to go door to door in their costumes asking for donations of food, money, or drink in exchange for prayers for the dead or jokes and entertainment. The Irish and Scottish immigrant to the United States brought this tradition over in a revised form. If the home-owners did not give these costumed youths a "treat" or donation, they often played pranks such as throwing eggs at the home or playing jokes as a "trick" and thus began "trick-or-treating". 

 In the 1950's with the huge surge in youth population in the United States the holiday became a much more friendly youth-oriented holiday much more similar to the Halloween today. Over the millennia the holiday has transitioned from a somber pagan ritual to a day of merriment, costumes, parades and sweet treats for children and adults.  Want more information the evolution of Halloween? Check out this neat History.com video about the holiday!

Do you celebrate Halloween? If so, how? Does your home country have a similar seasonal holiday? What's your favorite part about Halloween? We want to know!

Fall Treats and Candies Around the World!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, October 17, 2014

Fall Treats

With Halloween around the corner candies and treats are filling up American stores and being enjoyed more than any other time of year. For Halloween and the fall season a variety of seasonal treats start appearing again. Check out some of our American fall favorites!


Caramel Apples

Caramel apples are created by dipping or rolling apples-on-a-stick in hot caramel, sometimes then rolling them in nuts or other small savories or confections, and allowing them to cool. These are common in fall because it's the apple harvest season. During Halloween these are most commonly enjoyed. 


Pumpkin Pie

The pumpkin is a symbol of harvest time and featured also at Halloween.The pie consists of a pumpkin-based custard, ranging in color from orange to brown, baked in a single pie shell, rarely with a top crust. The pie is generally flavored with nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Thanksgiving is the most common time to find this dessert.


Maple Candies and Desserts

Maple syrup is used to make many desserts in the fall time. It comes from the sap of maple trees and is boiled down into a syrup consistency with a unique sweet flavor. Candies made from the hardened maple syrup or added to cakes, cookies, and other treats is a seasonal favorite.


Apple Cider

Because of the huge amounts of apples available in the fall (apple harvest season) a number of drinks and desserts are made with them. Apple cider is made by pressing the juice out of these fresh apples and adding spices such as cinnamon and clove to add flavor. On cold evenings it is common to heat this cider and drink it hot out of the mug with added spices. 

Candies Around the World

The U.S. isn't the only country with a sweet tooth though. With Halloween around the corner and candies in higher demand than ever, check out some of the favorite candies and treats from around the world!


Australia 

Kookaburra Licorice: soft chew licorice available in a variety of flavors.


Austria

Mozartkugel or "Mozart Ball": a ball of green pistachio marzipan covered in a layer of nougat is with a dark chocolate coating. Named after and wrapped in the image of the famous composer Mozart.


Brazil

Brigadeiro: A simple chocolate bonbon that's the national truffle of the country.


Germany

Both Haribo Gummi Bears: the original gummy bear and the Kinder Surprise: egg-shaped chocolate shell that has a toy inside are favorites


India

Chimes Mango Ginger Chews: real ginger and pureed mango juice make this chewy candy.


Japan

Botan Rice Candy: jelly candy with an edible rice wrapper and Pocky: cookie sticks dipped in chocolate, strawberry, and flavored toppings. 

Korea

Cheong Woo: pumpkin flavored chewy candy.


Peru

Tejas: dulce de leche with dried fruit and nuts covered in a white chocolate coating.


Sweden

Daim Bar: crunchy butter almond bar covered in milk chocolate.


Switzerland

Toblerone: Swiss chocolate in unique triangular shape with nougat, almonds and honey. 

Turkey

Turkish Delight: small cubes of gel made of mostly starch and sugar. It can be filled with various nuts or dried fruits and is usually dusted with icing sugar.


U.K.

Licorice Allsorts:  an assortment of licorice in many colors, shapes and flavors, Bassett’s Wine Gums: Chewy candies that come in a mixture of 5 shapes, each named after a different type of wine, and Cadbury Chocolate bars in a wide variety.


U.S.

Reese's: A peanut butter filled milk chocolate cup 

If you didn't already have a sweet-tooth, you certainly do now! What's your favorite candy or fall treat? Did we miss any essential fall treats? We want to know!

Sources: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/10/27/most-popular-halloween-candy-in-usa/3274967/  

Boston Bruins and the New England Patriots

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, October 03, 2014

This fall marks the beginning of two of the best seasons of the year, the American football and ice hockey seasons of course! The two teams representing Boston and the Boston area in these sports are the New England Patriots (American football) and the Boston Bruins (ice hockey). The Patriots season has already begun (although none too well) while the Bruins will be holding their season opener on October 8th at the TD Garden rink here in Boston. The fan base for both these teams is a strong part of Boston culture. Seeing fans with sporting Patriots and Bruins shirts is unavoidable while walking through Boston. Sunday football games and evening hockey matches are spent in front of the television with classic game-day snacks like nachos, chicken wings, grilling hot dogs and hamburgers, salads, and pizza for many American families. Gathering friends and family together for these games is especially common here in Boston because both of these teams are widely respected and have strong histories in championship winning. To get you in to the fall and winter sport spirit, check out these fun facts about both these teams! 

The New England Patriots

  • The name "Patriots" was selected by a panel of sportswriters in 1959, the year the team was established, but the name was originally the "Boston Patriots" until the team moved the stadium outside of Boston  in 1971 and was renamed the "New England Patriots"
  • The Patriots have appeared in the Superbowl (the American football world championship) seven times, which is the third most in the nation 
  • The Patriots have a record of the most Superbowl wins in one decade, and are one of only two teams to have won 3 Superbowl titles in 4 years
  • But all of their victories have only be won by 3 points
  • The image above is what the original Patriots logo (on the left) used to look like, until it was streamlined in 1993 to the logo of today (on the right) 
  • Similar to the Boston/ New York rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, the Patriots rivalry is with a New York team- the New York Jets
  • The Patriots are the sixth most valuable sports franchise in the world

The Boston Bruins

  • The Boston Bruins are the oldest American ice hockey team in existence, first established in 1924
  • They are a member of the Original Six franchise: They are one of the six teams that first established the National Hockey League
  • The above photo shows the evolution of the Bruins jersey from their first establishment through to the present 
  • They have won six Stanley Cup titles (the ice hockey championships) and have won the most titles of any American hockey league
  • Arguably the most famous hockey player of all time, Bobby Orr played for the Bruins during the 1970's assisting them in winning two Stanley Cups in three years and breaking multiple player records leading to the Bruins of the time to be dubbed "The Big Bad Bruins"
  • The Bruins main rivalry is with the Montreal Canadiens, the winningest team in all of NHL history and another member of the Original Six

So with those facts in mind, are you ready to watch the seasons of these historical sports teams unfold? Watching games is a fun and simple way to engage your student and to learn about American and Boston culture. Most games are aired at restaurants and areas with public televisions, so don't miss out! Check out the Patriots season schedule here and the Bruins season schedule here

Do you think we left out any important facts? Who's your favorite fall/ winter sport team? What sports do you watch in your home country? We want to know! 

Explore Boston: The South End!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, September 26, 2014

The South End of Boston is one of the most historical neighborhoods in the city. Located south of Back Bay, northwest of South Boston, northeast of Roxbury, and north of Dorchester. One of the most famous parts of this neighborhood is the uniform mid-nineteenth century architecture of its buildings.  A common palette of red brick, slate, limestone or granite trim, and cast iron railings provide great visual unity to these unique bowfront buildings. Today, the South End is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Boston Landmark District. It is North America's largest extant Victorian residential district. But not only does Boston have some of the most beautiful and iconic buildings in the city, but many other highly acclaimed restaurants, events, attractions, and areas for shopping. In this Explore Boston we will explore the South End! 

Events


Near the heart of the city, the South End always has events and festivals ongoing. Although well-known for its upscale restaurants and retails, you won't be hard-pressed to find events in this Boston neighborhood. 

  • The SoWa Open Market- Every Sunday this market is open starting in May and going through the end of October. Food trucks, farmer's markets, local artists and foods, and much more are available for enjoying in New England's largest open market. 
  • South End House tours- At various times throughout the year homeowners of the iconic Victorian brownstone homes open them up for the general public to enjoy and admire. 
  • NeckTies- A celebration of the unique South End community and the businesses that make it up. All proceeds go to a local non-profit.

Attractions


Aside from the beautiful architecture of this neighborhood, there are a number of other must-see attractions while exploring the South End.

  • The Institute of Contemporary Art- A feat of art itself, the architecture of this building will awe you as a stark contrast to the uniformity of the Victorian brownstones. Its art isn't something to be missed either.
  • Southwest Corridor Park- A stroll along the section between the Mass Ave and Back Bay subway stops is a great way to start a visit to the South End.
  • Cathedral of the Holy Cross- As the largest Catholic church in New England and has played a critical role in the life of Boston’s evolving immigrant communities

Food


Arguably the highlight of the neighborhood, the restaurants in the South End are renowned for their quality and diversity. From cafe's to upscale restaurants you won't be hard-pressed to find something delicious in this neighborhood. 

  • Wally's Cafe- A former jazz locale, this restaurant still entertains with live music 365 days a year. 
  • Toro- One of the best Spanish restaurants in the city, this is the perfect place to taste some tapas. 
  • Flour Bakery & Cafe- One of the most famous bakeries in the city they also serve one of the most delicious and decadent brunches in Boston. 
  • B & G Oysters- If you're looking for authentic seafood and a more upscale dining experience B & G can't be missed. 
  • Stella- For authentic Italian in the South End, Stella can't be beat.

Shopping


Shopping is another huge draw to the South End neighborhood. With both high-end boutiques and small local businesses you can find anything you need or want in the South End.

  • Gifted- A neat little store with gifts and nick-nacks both local and global. 
  • Boomerang's Special Edition- A cool consignment shop for the thrifty buyer. Hats to clothes and more. The men's department is especially eclectic. 
  • Follain- For the ladies, cosmetics and skin care, and homemade products. Friendly staff are always available to give suggestions. 
  • Table & Tulip- Beautiful flowers and floral arrangements that can't be found anywhere else are here with knowledgeable staff to help the floundering boyfriend. 
  • Bazaar Bizarre- Over 85 local vendors selling their crafts. Perfect for gifting. 

So, with this guide in hand, get ready to go explore one of Boston's historic neighborhoods! What is your favorite place in the South End? Did we leave anything out? We want to know! 

Fall Activities in Boston

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, September 19, 2014


As summer draws to an end and the crisp evenings of fall (also known as autumn) set in activities to do in and around the city change as well. From apple picking, to pumpkin carving, to simply enjoying the fall foliage, the changing American seasons also bring new and exciting culture events. And even simple everyday activities you enjoy in your home can be exciting cultural events. American football is a sport almost solely followed in the United States. Watching a Thursday or Sunday evening football game is an American past-time enjoyed by many Americans, and very easy to access in most restaurants and public locales around the city if you don't have access to a television. Check out the New England Patriot's (the official Boston football team) fall schedule here 
 


Once the leaves start to change (a phenomenon not common in many other regions of the world) simply going for a neighborhood walk to admire the colors of the leaves can be a beautiful and relaxing fall event. The Boston Public Garden's and Boston Common have some of the best fall foliage in the city. Harvard's University's Arnold Arboretum is one of the most spectacular places to see diverse plant life and the beautiful warm hues of fall leaves. Check out this list of the Seven Best Places to see Autumn Color in BostonFor the more adventurous willing to head outside Boston there are many ways to enjoy the last few weeks of mild weather. From easy walks through Jamaica Plain to the MBTA accessible Blue Hills trails there are many nearby locales for hiking and exploring the foliage as well. Check out these 6 hiking routes accessible by MBTA


Apple picking is another great American fall tradition. Going to local apple orchards and farms that grow their own produce including squash and pumpkins and often make their own homemade apple cider is a classic fall tradition, especially in New England. Sometimes they even have corn mazes you can play and get lost in (but don't worry, there's always a way out!) Here's a map of the best apple picking areas around Boston. 



Open markets aren't over yet in the city either! As fall produce comes to harvest the market season remains in full swing. Pumpkins and squash, apples, cider, pies, corn, potatoes, and turkey are all traditionally American foods that can be found at these farmer's markets. Check out some of the best markets ongoing in the city too! 

So what's your favorite fall pastime? Have you ever tried apple cider before? Did we miss any important fall events? We want to know! 

School Lunches around the World

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, September 12, 2014

As summertime draws to a close and classes start anew so the days of the iconic school lunch. Whether you grew up bringing a brown paper bag filled with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, apple, potato chips, and milk or were forced to stand in line for a reheated meal to be slopped on your tray by the school lunch lady, the traditional American school lunch is anything but gourmet. But what about in schools in the rest of the world? It turns out school meals vary drastically from country to country. From the gourmet salmon and guinea fowl, roasted potato, and steamed vegetables served to school children in France to the tribal bean and corn recipe "Githeri" served daily to students in Kenya school lunches are anything but basic. Check out some of the typical school lunches you can find around the world:

France 

Salmon, rice, ratatouille, a slice of bread, a celery and carrot salad, slice of bread, and a doughnut is a common school lunch in France. These school lunches are provided by the school and cooked by real chefs in efforts to promote healthy eating and to French cuisine. Students are even served their meals on heated plates with real utensils!

Italy

In Italy school lunches provided by schools are also meant to teach students about local traditions and sustainable farming. And pasta isn't the only thing these students are served. Zucchini risotto with a mozzarella, tomato, and basil salad is a typical meal in Italy.

Japan

Rice, fish, seaweed vegetable soup, pickled cucumbers, and soy milk make up a traditional Japanese school meal. Meals are served with the teacher who eats the same food as the children and discourages wastefulness and picky eating during the meal. 

Kenya

In Kenya school meals need to be cheap, nourishing, and filling. The traditional fare for student lunches is Githeri, a tribal recipe using stewed beans and corn and sometimes supplemented with meat or vegetables. As a nation with few resources to use on education these meals are simple while still being nourishing and filling.

Ukraine

Here students get a multiple course meal. They typically start with soup such as borsch- a beet soup with vegetables and meat followed by more meat in either a sausage or cutlet and mashed potatoes. Dessert usually consists of a pancake. 

Argentina

Argentinian meals are also very meat-oriented. Much simpler than Ukrainian meals, Argentinian students typically get a meat filled empanada if they choose to eat at the school. For a more well-rounded meal students bring food and snacks from home.

India

Indian parents most often pack their children meals to take to school as school lunch is not typically provided. Roti, a leafy vegetable, curried lentils and rice is the typical Indian school meal. Indian schools do however provide snacks throughout the day, such as batatavada- a fried potato crumb round, very popular with the students. 

Cuba

School children in Cuba are provided traditional fare that appeals to the young students. Rice, a chicken croquette, a piece of taro root, and yellow pea soup make up the meal for these students. Drinks however are not provided by the school and children must bring them from home. 

So how does your experience with school lunch compare? Have you ever heard of such gourmet school meals before? What was your school meal like growing up? Which of these school lunches surprised you the most? We want to know!

Sources: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ap-photos-taste-school-lunches-around-world-0http://www.thedailymeal.com/school-lunches-around-world-slideshow?slide=2