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Welcome to Boston Homestay - Danish Saxogade Group at BHCC15-Sep-2017

A group of Danish visitors arrived to Boston and homestay on September 15th. The group will be atte..

Welcome to Boston Homestay - Iwate University08-Sep-2017

Global Immersions Homestay is happy to welcome our Japanese tour group from Iwate University to ..


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Gone Beachin'

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, July 26, 2016

One thing that a lot of people don't know about Boston is that beaches exist in the city. Yes, despite popular belief you don't have to travel all the way to the cape/south shore for a pleasant beach experience. If you're a Boston native then maybe you frequent Carson or Revere beach, but for me, this being my first summer living here in the city, I hadn't visited any of the local beaches until last weekend. Upon spending all of Saturday and Sunday laying on a beach towel I learned something: "that dirty water" is actually kind of nice - freezing, but nice.

The two beaches I visited were Revere Beach in - you guessed it- Revere, and M Street Beach in Southie. Saturday was the International Sand Sculpting Festival at Revere. What's that? It's like a display of those sand castles you always built when you were little, except way way WAY better. Every year artists from around the world come to Revere to create huge sand sculptures from a bunch of sand imported from New Hampshire. I have no idea how they do it but I know it looks amazing. The festival draws over 300,000 spectators - so you can imagine how difficult it was to park.

In addition to the sculptures there was also a live music stage, carnival rides, and just about every type of food truck you could think of. The whole event was super lively and I'm really glad I went. Definitely better than staying home in my AC-less apartment. 


M Street Beach on Sunday was a lot more laid back than Revere.  The beach wasn't nearly as crowded (probably due to the lack of any international festivals taking place) and the ocean was a lot more calm. While it wasn't as big as Revere, I still liked M Street because the atmosphere was relaxing and the beach itself was pretty. From the sand you have a nice view of the JFK Library and neighboring Carson Beach as well as a perfect location to watch the planes landing/ taking off at Logan. This beach was also cool because the majority of beach-goers are typically young, college-aged Bostonians.  My friends and I started a game of spike ball (think volleyball but the net is a trampoline) and tanned until the sun began to set. It all made for a perfect end to a perfect weekend.


Vamos a la playa! Find a list of Boston's best beaches here. 

Locations and Transportation: 
Revere Beach: 
Revere Beach, Revere MA 02151
MBTA: Blue Line to Revere Beach 
Bus 110 to Wonderland or Broadway & Park Ave. 
M Street Beach
William J Day Blvd. (at M St.)
BostonMA 02127
MBTA: 11 Bus E 8th St @ M st. or N st. 

Red, White, and Burger

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, July 20, 2016

In my travel experience, I have found that one of the best ways to learn about and experience a new culture is by trying the typical cuisine of that region or country. When traveling to the US, sampling the local food should definitely be on your "to do "list. If you're just visiting the United States you might be thinking : America has its own cuisine?? Yes, as much as we do love the food of other cultures ( ex: Mexican, Italian, Chinese) America has a few dishes that are classically American. To get you started, here is a list of a few USA favorites for Americans and tourists alike. 

What's the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about American food? The burger. A classic meal that originated in the 1800s right here in the good ol' U S of A. There is some debate as to who actually created the first hamburger but virtually no debate as to whether or not they're delicious. The popularity of the hamburger (no, not only in the US but all over the world) since its creation speaks for itself. My pick for a must try burger in Boston is Boston Burger Company on Boylston Street.When I went recently there was SO MANY different burgers on the menu it was difficult to decide on just one...but in the end I think I made the right choice (see picture above). They even have a burger topped with mozzarella sticks, fried mac and cheese, onion rings, bacon, and BBQ sauce. If that doesn't scream America then I don't know what does. 

 

The hot dog - commonly coupled with the burger- was created in the US thanks to German immigrants. While Coney Island is the original home of the hot dogs that we know and love today, Boston offers many worthwhile renditions of this American classic - and no I'm not referring to the $20 Franks at Fenway Park. Instead, I would opt for a real outdoor BBQ at Formaggio's Kitchen. Every Saturday from 11 am the restaurant hosts a BBQ outside of their Cambridge location with not only hot dogs but also smoked meat sandwiches, ribs and corn bread. The best part is Formaggio's hot dogs are all beef, not that mystery concoction of meats you sometimes find in grocery stores, so you don't have to feel bad post devouring one Saturday afternoon. Speaking of eating hot dogs on Saturdays...THIS Saturday (July 23rd) is National Hot Dog Day so go out and celebrate America's favorite cooked sausage.

A true meal is not complete without dessert, so in keeping with the spirit of all things American I urge you to try a slice of apple pie from Petsi Pies on Beacon Street in Somerville. All of the pies here are baked fresh daily with real ingredients, so you know they're good. The perfect addition to an American BBQ. I like to top mine off with Vanilla ice cream, but you can do what you want. 

Clam chowder may not be a typical dish of America in general, but it is definitely a typical dish of the New England region. There are A LOT of places in New England to get chowder, but my recommendation in the Boston area has to be the Barking Crab in Seaport. Here, the food is good and the atmosphere is even better. From the outdoor terrace you have a great view of the harbor making for an authentic New England experience.

Pair your meals with other uniquely American things, maybe? A NASCAR race? A football game? You don't even have to feel bad about eating all this food - consider it a learning experience. 

Cue The Music

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, July 14, 2016

Do you like music? What about live music? Yes? Ok well lucky for you Boston has the best kind of live music in the summer - the free kind. With countless locations throughout the city hosting performers of all genres and styles, Boston's live music scene has something for all tastes and is super easy to find (if you know where to look). So whether it be a piano sonata at noon, a soft acoustic set after work or a fiery Latin rhythm at night, the city has what you want to hear. To help you add a little more music to your summer here is a list of just SOME of the concerts you can enjoy each week (and did I mention they're free??)

 

Brewer Fountain Piano 

Close your eyes at Brewer Plaza and you'll feel like you've been transported to a fancy restaurant or classy hotel as you listen to the soothing sounds of the piano. Every work day from 12 -1 a pianist plays a lunch time set on a solar powered piano. This relaxing (and Eco-friendly) concert is the perfect addition to an afternoon picnic in the Commons. On Thursdays at 5, the pianist teams up with a trio for an even greater sound - quadruple the musicians, quadruple the music, quadruple the fun :) To see a full list of musicians click here. 

Berklee Lunch Sessions at the Prudential Center:

If you're looking to have your sandwich with a side of live entertainment the Prudential Center is the place for you. Every Tuesday until July 26th Berklee students will be there giving performances from noon to 1. Bring your lunch or grab something at the pru and work on your tan while enjoying the talent. To see the lineup of performers click here.

 

Summer Concerts at the Greenway Sessions:

The Greenway Summer Series is an awesome place to go to chill out at the end of the week. Every Friday at 5 Berklee students perform at the Greenway's North End Park, located on Hanover Street. These shows are the perfect for after work socializing and de-stressing before the weekend. Maybe check it out before an Italian dinner in the North End? It's a date.

Tito Puente Latin Music Series:

I know when I go out I like to hear music that I can dance to. So, if you're anything like me (but hopefully a better dancer) you'll love Berklee'sTito Puente Latin Music Series. On Thursday nights at various outdoor locations across Boston performers - Berklee faculty, students, alumni, and world renowned artists - perform live Latin music. So put on your dancing shoes, grab a partner (or fly solo) and salsa your little heart out

Want more music? Berklee has TONS of free shows throughout the summer - in fact you can find a whole list of them here

Independence Day Around the World

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Hopefully your independence day this year was filled with fireworks, American flag T-shirts, barbecues, and plenty of potato salad.  As I was impatiently awaiting the start of the Boston fireworks this year, from the comfort  of a roof top in Mission Hill (see above - pretty scenic right??), I wondered if our celebration, fireworks and all, is really as uniquely American as we perceive it to be. So, I decided to do a little research about the Independence Day celebrations of other cultures and I discovered that firework shows, eating contests, BBQs,  parties, and parades are actually a pretty universal thing and seem to be the standard way to celebrate freedom. 


Australia: January 26

OK so Australia Day isn't exactly the Australian equivalent of Independence Day but it's pretty close. On this day the Australians celebrate the first arrival of the British (I know total opposite from the 4th in America) and the first unfurling of the British flag at Sydney Cove. Australia and America have different reasons for celebrating, but the way they celebrate is similar. Just like Americans, Australians celebrate this day with family gatherings, festivals, fireworks, and (of course) BBQs. Each city has its own Australia Day traditions, for example Sydney holds its famous boat races, while Melbourne has a People's March to celebrate the diversity of the nation. Overall it seems like a pretty good time.

Ghana: March 6

Ghana was the first African colony to celebrate its independence from Britain in 1957. Every year on this day the people of Ghana celebrate with fireworks parades and traditional street parties. And if you think street parties sound fun, on the coast people have beach parties and celebrate with dance moves that combine traditional elements with hip hop.


France: July 14

France's independence day commemorates the day of the storming of the Bastille prison during the French revolution.The day begins with a military parade on the famous Champs-Élysées. The French also attend Firemen’s galas, where fire stations across France are open to the public for dancing, drinking, and partying and even some live demonstrations. A party with French firemen?? Oui s'il vous plaît. 


Peru : July 28 -29

The way Peru celebrates their independence day is actually brilliant. Why? because they take two days to do it instead of one. As someone who thinks July 4th is the greatest American holiday, I am really into the idea of dedicating two days to celebrate. In Peru, they celebrate their independence on July 28, the date when José de San Martine proclaimed Peru’s independence; AND July 29, on which they celebrate the Armed Forces and National Police. The festivities kick off with a cannon salute in Lima, followed by Te Deum mass, led by the Archbishop of the capital city and attended by the President of the Republic. The Gran Corso, (aka a giant parade) also takes place in downtown Lima.


India: August 15

August 15th marks the day the British brexit-ed India ending the three century long period of British rule. Billions of Indians every year commemorate the historic day by decorating their houses, offices, and schools with the deep saffron, white and green of the Indian flag. Families gather to watch the annual flag hoisting ceremony, broadcasted live from the Red Fort in New Delhi. Independence day in India is a beautiful celebration because all over the country the sky is full of colorful kites, which to Indians symbolize freedom. Definitely the perfect day for a picnic outside in my opinion. 


Indonesia: August 17

Celebrations on August 17th begin with the flag ceremony at the National Palace. The flag is hoisted by carefully selected high school students from across the country. It is immediately after the ceremony that the real party starts as neighborhoods ready themselves for street fests with games and music concerts. On this day in Indonesia, the traditional game is "panjat pinang", which is a typical non competitive sport where people try to scale palm trees that are covered in oil (because climbing a non -slippery tree isn't hard enough?) in hopes of grabbing the prizes that have been placed at the top. This challenge is important because it symbolizes the struggle of Indonesians to achieve their independence from the Dutch. If you aren't down to get super greasy climbing trees, then you can try your luck at the hotdog shrimp chip eating contest. Yum.


Mexico:  September 16

The Mexican independence day (no - it's not Cinco De Mayo) memorializes the Grito de Delores, or the battle cry of the Mexican War of Independence by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Roman Catholic priest from Dolores. Mexico city is the hot spot for all the festivities as more than half a million people gather there each year. It is a tradition for the president to repeat the cry of patriotism and then there is a firework show. ¡Viva!

 


Treat Yo Self to Fresh Foods!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Browsing around an open air market is a fun summer activity and a nice way to enjoy the good weather. Thankfully, Boston has a few options when it comes to farmers markets and finding foods that are (for the most part) actually good for you!  

Copley Square Farmers Market  

Located in the heart of back bay right by the Boston Public Library, the Copley Square Farmers Market is a great place to buy fresh produce and sample items from businesses that use locally grown ingredients. I stumbled upon the market one Friday afternoon and I immediately was thrilled with my discovery. Having just returned from a four month stay in Paris, I was missing the open air fruit and vegetable marchés that I had grown accustomed to shopping at.  That's why when I found this market I was excited that it had a similar feel to those in France. All the food is fresh, and made with REAL ingredients, which is very different from the majority of the products I find in grocery stores here in the US.


What's the best part? FREE FOOD! Many local restaurants, bakeries, and cafes give away free samples at their booths. That means you can not only try delicious fresh fruit, but also taste products like Boston's best (in my opinion) cheesecake from 7ate9 bakery. So, even if you've already done your grocery shopping for the week The Copley Square Market is still worth checking out if you want to snack on new treats from a restaurant you've never tried before or just need a good excuse to get outside and explore a part of the city in the summer. The market is open every Tuesday and Friday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.

     

The Greenway

The Rose Kennedy Greenway is a lively spot in Boston during the summer. Located in the financial district across from South Station, the Greenway is another great place to buy and sample delicious foods from over 20 vendors, like fresh baked bread from When Pigs Fly Bakery and ice cream from Honeycomb Creamery.  The Greenway hosts markets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 am to 6:30 pm, which means if you're getting sick of the boring lunch you bring to work every day, the Greenway market can be the perfect solution as many vendors sell "grab and go" lunches and prepared food to enjoy outside on the lawn of the park.

Another interesting lunch idea is to visit one of the many food trucks that park on and around the Greenway everyday  as part of the Greenway Mobile Eats Program.  You can find just about every type of cuisine, as trucks range anywhere from Zinneken's Belgian waffles to Bon Me's Asian food. So, while it might not be as healthy as fresh vegetables from the farmers market, you'll definitely be able to find a delicious meal no matter what you're craving.

 

The Greenway is also home to the Greenway Open Market every Saturday and every first and third Sunday of the month until October. Like the other seasonal markets, the Open Market consists of local businesses, however it is uniquely an artisan market. Local area artists and designers sell their works here on three consecutive sections of the park. If you're an art lover, proud small business supporter or just looking for something to do this weekend I strongly recommend taking a look!