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Welcome to Boston Homestay - ADZ Female Group from Japan01-Aug-2017

Welcome to our ADZ female group from Japan! They will be touring around Boston for one week while li..

Welcome to Boston Homestay - Japanese Sakae Institute Group01-Aug-2017

Welcome to our Sakae Institute (https://www.sakaeusa.com/) visitors from Japan who arrived this past..


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The Many Challenges of Speaking English

Global Immersions - Friday, September 30, 2011

Have you ever traveled abroad and noticed a sign in English that makes no sense or has been literally translated into English?  They are often very funny and for an English speaker it is cause for a good laugh!  Let’s relate this same translation concept to our homestay visitors and how easy miscommunication can happen between the host and visitor due to misuse of a word. 

Our homestay visitors are all learning English and come to our program with varied degrees of understanding and comprehension.   Adjusting to a new country on your own and translating everything you want to say can be tiresome and challenging especially for those with lower level English skills.   

When a visitor is trying to express themselves in English, some words may get lost in translation and come across as sounding odd or nonsensical just like the translated signs. Many words used may not have a direct translation or might only be used in specific sentences, thus creating confusion for the host.  When you are communicating with your visitor, remember the visitor might not know the correct word to use or how to use it to convey their question or idea so patience is important.

Here are a few examples of signs found in other countries that have been translated into English, word for word, to start a conversation with your visitor about the many challenges of speaking English!

French:

Chinese:

Arabic:

http://skylersdad.blogspot.com/2010/10/welcome-once-again-to-poorly-translated.html

 

Cultural Events - DÜNYA Concert

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, September 21, 2011

In order to provide both our hosts and visitors with additional information about the many cultural events and locations in Boston, the Local Ethnic Resources and Cultural Events guides will highlight some of the more unique and diverse spots around town. From little-known ethnic grocery stores to big-name musical shows, Bostonians and visitors alike can use the guides to enjoy more of what Boston has to offer.

Next weekend, be sure to check out the special CD release concert of DÜNYA's A Story of the City: Constantinople, Istanbul, which is currently on the Grammy ballot. DÜNYA Organization's goal is to present a contemporary view of a wide range of Turkish traditions, alone and in interaction with other world traditions, through performance, publication and other educational activities. The concert will bring together several DÜNYA ensembles to perform upbeat selections from the CD program including Turkish, Greek, Armenian, Sephardic Jewish and Ottoman music.

To find out more about DÜNYA visit their website at: http://www.dunyainc.org/

DÜNYA Special CD Release Concert

Location: First Church in Cambridge, 11 Garden St. Cambridge, MA
Date/Time: Saturday, October 1, 8pm
Price of Admission: General $15, Students/Seniors $10

Explore Boston - Back Bay

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The next stop on the Explore Boston series is the affluent neighborhood of Back Bay. Known for its’ historic architectural landmarks, shopping, and trademark brick row houses, Boston’s Back Bay is a major center for both locals and tourists alike.

Located in the heart of Back Bay, the celebrated Copley Square invites visitors to marvel at architectural masterpieces of world stature from the medieval, classical, and modern traditions, all within the same view. Notable structures on the square include the Old South Church and Trinity Church, both completed in the 1870s, as well as the Boston Public Library, boasting the first public library in the United States. Nearby, Copley Place provides a vast assortment of shopping, restaurants, offices, and hotels to the area. In addition to the buildings, Copley Square’s sculptures, fountains, and park grounds provide visitors with ample opportunity to relax and hang out while enjoying the beautiful backdrop.  

Boston's Copley Square

Another institution in the Back Bay neighborhood is Boston’s premier shopping destination, Newbury Street. With an enormous selection of shops, restaurants, and galleries, The Back Bay sums up the area perfectly: “from internationally renowned designers and luxury brands to the more bohemian establishments, there is hardly a better way to experience the cosmopolitan flavor of Boston than on the sidewalks of Newbury Street.”

Back Bay’s charming boulevards and café’s offer some of the best places in the city to walk around, or enjoy Boston’s four distinct seasons. From strolling down the tree-lined Commonwealth Avenue, to window shopping and people watching on Newbury Street, Back Bay is one of the most beautiful and exciting places in all of Boston.

Farther away, Back Bay’s Hatch Shell and Charles River Esplanade compromise some of the most picturesque river views throughout all of Boston. With 6 miles of walkways and bike paths, boathouses, play grounds, soccer fields, and more, the esplanade is one of the most frequently populated locations in all of Boston.

Have you visited Boston’s Back Bay? If not, now is your chance! If you are are Global Immersions host or visitor, join us at the Hatch Shell on Saturday, September 17th for our Explore Boston event at the 2011 MixFest! Meet us outside of the Charles/MGH “T” station at 4pm. We hope to see you there!

Sources:

The Back Bay

boston.com

Different Cultures - Different Chips

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, August 26, 2011

Though different cultures and people worldwide eat a variety of different foods, there’s at least one thing we all have in common – potato chips. As Vicki Santillano of Divine Caroline states, “we think of potato chips as being quintessentially American, [but] they’re a popular snack in countries all over the world.” The different flavors, however, may not be quite what you expect. Here are a few of the unique favors from around the world:


1. Fries 'n Gravy, Canada




2. Wasabi Beef, Japan

 

3. Mango Flavor, China

Photo source: zieak (cc)

 


4. New Yorker's Street Cheese Dog, Japan

 

5. Spanish Chicken Paella, UK


6. Lime 'n' Masala Masti, India 




Slowly but surely, the U.S. is catching up with our foreign snack-food counterparts and creating fun, unique flavors to excite our taste buds! What is your favorite chip flavor from your country? Let us know!


Sources:  Divine Caroline

Host Event - Journey Through Japan

Patty Brownlee - Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Global Immersions Homestay values its relationship with hosts, and works hard to build meaningful and lasting experiences between hosts, visitors, and our organization. In order for our hosts to gain deeper insight into the daily lives of their visitors, Global Immersions Homestay organizes quarterly host events that focus on the different cultures of our visitors. The events often include a “hot topic” discussion related to hosting that provides an opportunity to exchange information and insights; our seasoned hosts are able to share their expertise, and new hosts are able to learn new tips and tools of the trade. The host events act as a great way to bring our Global Immersions network together, and help to create a positive homestay experience for all involved.

Our summer host event, Journey through Japan, focused on the country and culture of Japan. Throughout the years, Global Immersions has provided numerous quality homestay services to individuals of all ages from Japan, from middle school students to working professionals. This year alone, Global Immersions has placed over 300 Japanese students in homestays, and we continue to support and maintain our esteemed Japanese relations.



Host event panelists discussing differences in culture between the US and Japan.

The highlight of the event was a Japanese panel discussion. The panel included three Japanese professionals who live and work in Boston and have an in-depth understanding of both U.S. and Japanese culture. The panel answered questions regarding various aspects of culture, including differences in communication styles, food, and daily life. Hosts and panelists discussed the different nuances of Japanese culture, such as differences in bowing, non-verbal communication, and dinner-table etiquette. Hosts were able to share experiences, ask questions, and learn more about the visitors they host from Japan. The event also included a variety of delicious Japanese foods, host prizes, host appreciation awards, and a donation table for the relief efforts in Japan.

Several of the hosts expressed their appreciation for the event, noting that “the three panelists were absolutely charming,” and gave “great, helpful, practical advice.”


Japanese panelist joking with hosts.

The event also focused on the relief efforts that are currently going on in Japan
following the recent earthquake and tsunami. As many hosts throughout the years have greatly benefited from and enjoyed their time with Japanese visitors, Global Immersions Homestay felt strongly the need to give back to our many friends in Japan. Local charitable foundations such as panelist Atsushi Tanimura’s project “B2J” were highlighted; more information can be found at: http://www.supera2c.com/A2C_Productions/A2C_Productions.html



Donation table for relief efforts in Japan.

Do you live in the Boston metro area and have an extra bedroom?  Would you like to learn more about other cultures?  Do you like making friends from around the world?  If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a host with Global Immersions Homestay, contact us today or visit Boston Homestay Programs to learn more about our programs.

Boston Bikes!

Global Immersions - Tuesday, August 09, 2011

When the weather is nice in Boston, there is no better way to explore the city than by bike. With the recent introduction of the Hubway bike sharing program, getting around Boston has never been easier!


Hubway bike station in Boston

Joining Hubway is simple and affordable, allowing users to purchase a 24-hour, 3-day, or Annual membership for $5, $12, or $85, respectively. Riders can join at any bike station kiosk, and each trip under thirty minutes is free after initial payment (usage fees rise incrementally: under 1 hour is $2, under 2 hours is $14, etc.), designed to empower users to make relatively quick, short distance rides around town.

As Hubway continues to expand, the city of Boston likewise aims to become a world-class bicycling city. As Senator John Kerry notes, “Biking is becoming a bigger part of urban transportation every day, and Boston has led the way incorporating bikes into the city. Now with this new bike share program, we’re on track to remain one of the most bike-friendly cities in the nation.”

For visitors who are new to the Boston area, renting a bike can be a great way to explore Boston at a low cost. With over 600 bikes at 60 locations, Hubway can be found nearby many of the universities and language centers throughout the city. Global Immersions encourages international visitors in the Boston area to try biking as a way to exercise, have fun, and learn more about our city!

 
For more information about Hubway and bike sharing in Boston visit:
http://www.thehubway.com/ or   http://www.cityofboston.gov/bikes/

Explore Boston - Government Center

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, August 05, 2011

Boston’s Government Center is one of the most visited and recognized places in all of Boston. Home to Boston City Hall and directly across from Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, Government Center is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike to shop, eat, and enjoy the outdoor entertainment.


Boston Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall

Located in the heart of downtown Boston, Government Center provides a space for many outdoor events at both City Hall Plaza and Faneuil Hall. Throughout the summer months thousands of people come together to attend festivals, plays, circuses, or other happenings that often take place on the Plaza. Street performers also add to the fun of the setting, providing free entertainment all day long throughout the warmer months.

Government Center is also a well-known location for some of the best food and shops around Boston. At Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall, visitors can explore one of the oldest festival marketplaces in the United States. As
www.faneuilhallmarketplace.com states about the area, “[it is] alive today as it was in 1742 when our nation's fathers proclaimed it ‘The Cradle of Liberty,’ it combines the glories of Boston's past with the urban sophistication of the city today.”

If you are a Global Immersions Homestay visitor or host, please join Global Immersions for our Explore Boston Summer Event on August 18th, 2011 for the Boston Greenfest in Government Center! Learn the many ways we can create a better world by greening our lives and our communities, and enjoy the interactive exhibits, presentations, and continuous live entertainment all night long!


Sources:
http://www.cityofboston.gov/freedomtrail/faneuilhall.asp
www.faneuilhallmarketplace.com 

Explore Boston- Beacon Hill

Global Immersions Recruiting - Monday, July 18, 2011
Next up on the Explore Boston series is the renowned neighborhood of Beacon Hill, what boston.com calls, “the most historic neighborhood in America’s most historic city”. Located in the heart of Boston, Beacon Hill is home to not only the Massachusetts State House, but also to some of the most picturesque locations throughout the city. Known for its iconic brick row houses, historical background, and beautiful landscapes, Beacon Hill is the model for a Boston neighborhood.


Massachusetts State House

Home to Boston Common and the Public Gardens, Beacon Hill boasts the world’s first public urban park. Throughout the year, Bostonians and tourists alike flock to the Common in order to enjoy the weather and take part in events such as concerts, softball games, or splashing in the Frog Pond! At the nearby Public Gardens, you can enjoy the delightful scenery as well as take a ride on Boston’s famous attraction, the Swan Boats.

Only a short walk away from the Gardens, you can find a number of quaint little antique shops, cafes, and restaurants on Charles Street and the rest Beacon Hill. A few of our insider picks include the famous DeLuca’s Market, Upper Crust, Lala Rokh, and Cheers. Further wandering will bring you to the Charles River and esplanade, a great location to relax by the water or enjoy one of the many free summer concerts at the Hatch Shell.

Summer is the perfect season to explore Beacon Hill! Free tours and concerts happen every week, and the many parks and gardens are in full bloom. Beacon Hill is the perfect location to walk around and experience Boston’s historical past, and colorful future!

Have you gone for a ride on the Swan Boats, or “hung out” at the Boston Common? If so, send us pictures or suggestions, we’d love to hear from you!


Sources:
http://www.beaconhillonline.com/cgi-bin/index.cgi  
http://www.boston.com/travel/boston/neighborhoods/beacon_hill/

Finding the Homestay

Patty Brownlee - Thursday, July 07, 2011

Arriving to a new country, going through customs and then finding transportation can be an overwhelming first experience for any visitor to a foreign country. The next step of getting to the correct homestay can be just as troubling and confusing for a new visitor. We have found during our numerous home visits over the years finding the correct home can often be a challenge due to poor labeling or marking of the home.  Imagine the frustration and our staff members speak English and live in Boston!



Boston's labeling system is not the easiest to figure out or understand even for locals, from lack of street signs to the way homes are numbered on streets.  

Hosts - please take a minute and check the following to make sure your home is well marked and ready for a new visitor to arrive!

1. Do you have house numbers on your home?
2. Are the numbers visible from the street?
3. Do you have a doorbell?
4. Is the doorbell labeled with the family name or apartment number
(if there is more than one)?
5. Does the doorbell work?
6. Do you have a working porch light?

Put yourself in the role of the new visitor and visualize how problems can occur if the home is not easy to identify. It can be even more challenging if it is evening and dark. Complications can even arise if a visitor is arriving by taxi and the driver is not familiar with your area. Most of the visitors do not have a cell phone that will work in the U.S. upon arrival so calling you might not be an option.

To make it easier and less stressful for everyone, we ask you to take a minute and walk outside and review the list above. Please make any updates needed to your home before welcoming your next Global Immersions visitor!

Explore Boston - Kenmore Square

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, June 03, 2011

One of Boston’s most beloved squares, Kenmore Square, is home to Fenway Park and many other Bostonian institutions such as Boston University, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum and the always exciting Lansdowne Street.  The area is also known for its dense population of hospitals in the Longwood Area. 

The Citgo sign has stood high above Boston since 1940 and was replaced in 1965 with the current iconic Citgo sign which was updated in 2010. The Citgo sign is not only a landmark of Kenmore Square but of the Boston skyline.

 
Citgo sign in Kenmore Square

Kenmore Square is Boston’s area for education and enjoyment! If you are looking for a night out or a place to watch a sports game Lansdowne Street is the spot!  From the famous House of Blues, sports bars, pubs and discos and even a bar with a view into Fenway Park!  

As important as Kenmore Square is to Boston’s identity it did not become part of the city until 1900.  Previously it had been overtaken by the Charles River and marsh land.  By 1915 it was part of Boston Public Transportation as a stop on the Green “B” line.  Today it is part of the Fenway/Kenmore neighborhood with a stop on the Green line – Kenmore Square. 

Our insider tips to explore and experience Kenmore Square are to take a tour of Fenway Park and if you can get a ticket to attend a Boston Red Sox game!  If you are in Boston during baseball season and do not get to experience all the excitement of a live baseball game in Fenway Park you are missing out on a true Bostonian experience!   Another not to miss exhibit is the colorful and breathtaking Chihuly at the Museum of Fine Arts now to August 7, 2011.  

If you have a favorite restaurant or not to miss locale for our visitors to explore in Kenmore Square we'd love to hear from you!

Sources:


http://www.wikipedia.org
http://boston.about.com/od/neighborhoods/ss/KenmoreWalk.htm
http://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/chihuly