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Office Closed -- Happy Holidays!15-Dec-2017

Happy Holidays from Global Immersions Homestay! We wish you and your family a safe and healthy h..

Welcome to Boston - Japanese Christmas High School Group!11-Dec-2017

A large group of high school visitors from Niijima Gakuen High School (https://niijima-gakuen.jp..


Best in Hospitality

Happy Independence Day!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, June 29, 2017


Also known as Independence Day, the Fourth of July is a widely celebrated holiday in the United States.  The holiday began on July 4th 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was adopted, thus making the American colonies the United States of America. The federal holiday has been observed since.

Not only does this patriotic holiday mark America's independence from Great Britain, the
Fourth of July serves as a summer-time holiday where families come together and celebrate. Families have cookouts, partake in outdoor activities, and enjoy fireworks together around the city. This holiday is the perfect time to expose your visitor to American culture, and participate in fun activities throughout Boston! Below are some local happenings around the city that you and your visitors can take part in to celebrate the day.


This year, celebrations begin June 30th with the Annual Boston Harborfest Celebration. The festival will start off at the West End of Faneuil Hall with Mayor Marty Walsh and music performed by the 215th Army Band. From Friday June 30th through July 4th, countless outdoor family-friendly activities will be taking place as part of this festival. Check out the schedule for details on these activities, which include a scavenger hunt, a showing of the movie "Yankee Doodle Dandy", and a reading of the Declaration of Independence at the Old North Church.   Another highlight of the festival includes a Boston POPS Orchestra Concert at the Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade, taking place on July 3rd. On July 4th, the same concert will take place with fireworks at the end. Here are some other activities you can take part in:


Visit the Boston Harbor Islands

Enjoy a nice picnic and a scenic view of Boston from any of the Boston Harbor Islands! The islands can be accessed through the Boston Harbor Cruises. and are great for relaxing or spending an active day walking around!


Go Kayaking, Paddleboarding or Canoeing (and get a prime view of the fireworks!)

Paddle Boston offers kayaking, paddleboarding, and canoeing starting at just $15 an hour. This is a great way to cool off and get a scenic view of the city in the summer! In addition to this, they are offering rentals the night of July 4th, allowing kayakers to catch a beautiful view of the fireworks and the city right from the Charles River! 


Host a family barbecue!

It's always nice to spend some time with family and friends and enjoy some hot dogs and hamburgers. (On that note, check out our crazy burgers around Boston blog). Visitors visiting the U.S. may not have had the experience of a barbecue before, and the Fourth of July is the perfect time to host such an event! So kick back, relax, and grill some food to enjoy quality time with family and friends from the comfort of your own backyard.


Visit a Beach 

Although Boston is on the cooler side this year, typically temperatures are pretty high in July. Whether its on the cooler side or sweltering, hit up a local beach to relax and catch some sun. Revere Beach  is T-accessible and is a great spot just outside of Boston to relax. If you're feeling adventurous, there are plenty of beaches outside of Boston such as Plum Island Beach in Newburyport, Singing Beach  in Manchester By The Sea, or various beaches throughout Gloucester. However, these are only suggestions as there are countless beaches just outside of Boston and in the Cape Cod area! (Check out our blog on beaches here!)

Check out other ongoing activities and fireworks viewing spots around Boston hereFor more viewing spots for fireworks around Massachusetts, check out this list of viewing spots around the state! Hopefully these activities will keep you busy, have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend!

Burgers in Boston

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, June 21, 2017



Boston is filled with tasty restaurants and a wide variety of cuisines, however despite the variety there's nothing better than a good old classic burger. While many burger trends have taken off  (such as ramen burgers), the burger still stands strong in its popularity. Countless restaurants offer gourmet and unique burger choices, such as Boston Burger Company with its 420 burger (think mozzarella sticks, friend mac and cheese, and onion rings all on a single burger). Besides Boston Burger Company's crazy burgers, many places offer their own unique spin on the classic American sandwich. Here are a few burger options around Boston for you to explore:


Craigie on Main

Craigie on Main has gained great popularity in recent years, well known for their brunch and the Secret Burger. The burger gained national acclaim and made Eater's 38 Essential Burgers Across the Country List as well as Thrillist's Best Burgers in America list. Each night, less than 20 of the burgers made from a custom blend of three different cuts of meat are served. While the burger is hard to come by, check out their upcoming event on July 7th to ensure you'll get a taste of this delicious creation.


Lincoln Tavern
Also known for its delicious brunch (check out their fruity pebbles pancakes), Lincoln Tavern offers the Lincoln Burger, complete with a wood-fired patty, bacon aioli, cheddar cheese and caramelized french onions. Located in South Boston, this restaurant is always busy so be sure to make reservations in advance!


The Gallows

The Gallows has received many positive reviews on its burgers, particularly the "Our Way" burger. They also offer a unique burger known as "The Mook" topped with Italian charcuterie, mozzarella, basil pesto, and balsamic aioli. Delicious!

Alden & Harlow

Alden & Harlow is a trendy and fairly new restaurant (having opened in 2014) located in Harvard Square. While they offer a unique selection of meats (check out the rabbit on the menu), they also serve a "Secret Burger" with noted limited availability. It features a crispy cheese addition, almost resembling the texture of bacon. The burger has been thoroughly analyzed and broken down by Boston Magazine here, for those of you who are wondering what exactly this "Secret Burger" entails.

 

Wild Willys

Wild Willys is more on the casual side but nonetheless absolutely delicious. They offer three grades of beef for your burger: Angus Beef, All Natural Beef, and Tender Bison. From there, there are an array of options. The "Willy Burger" is their classic burger, and nothing but plain in its flavor. Don't forget to add a side of their crispy sweet potato fries for a tasty meal! *They also offer gluten free options!

Drink

While Drink is primarily known for its unique and custom cocktails, they also offer a fine menu of must-try food items, such as a duck frankfurter. However, their burger (listed as Burger on the menu) features Wagyu beef and a thousand-island like sauce complete with pickles and cheese. 

 

R.F. O'Sullivan

Known for their thick, juicy pattys, R.F. O'Sullivan a variety of delicious and filling yet inexpensive burgers. Also ranked on the Best Burgers in American list, this Somerville burger is definitely worth a try.

Happy Eating! If you're a burger fan wanting more, check out this Boston Burger Blog for even MORE options!

Employee Spotlight: Nicole Trecartin

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, June 15, 2017



As my time here at Global Immersions comes to an end and I move towards my next adventure in Indonesia, I was given the opportunity to tell you a little bit about my experience as our Homestay Coordinator. With a background in travel and a clear interest in learning and understanding new cultures it was no surprise I ended up here. For most of my life travel has been a vital part. I believe the very act of traveling and entering yourself into a new culture opens your mind to new experiences and perspectives which you may otherwise have been unable to see.  About a year and a half ago, as I entered into my second semester of my Master's Degree, the position of Homestay Coordinator here at Global Immersions seemed like the perfect next step after all of my travel experience. It is here I was able to gain new daily insights into the dynamics of hosting international students. My role as Homestay Coordinator really let me switch between two perspectives of host and visitor.  I constantly was brought back and forth between what I remembered as a traveler, where everything was a new experience, to my old Bostonian ways and understanding a host’s perspective when having a visitor in their home.


                                                          


Working with international students is a constant eye opening experience. What I and the office consider to be the "norm" is constantly challenged from day to day. This allows for an open mind and continued learning opportunities. This continued ability to learn and understand is what makes the whole team here at Global Immersions continually improve.  I imagine some larger companies with their algorisms and long listed numbered surveys, where they allow a computer to match a student with a homestay. At Global Immersions we take the time to analyze each visitor application personally and match the students with the homestay they would best fit in. Working in this role you continually learn that it is the experiences and scenarios which come up day to day that provide us with the knowledge necessary to make the best placements.


                                                                


The matching portion of Homestay coordinator, although an important part, is only a small piece of the pie.  In addition to the time I take to match students into homestays I also act as a cultural liaison between host and visitor. During our busy season as well as throughout the entire year, I act as the front line contact person for host and visitor needs. I am able to fine-tune the skills I was taught in University to help our host network navigate through and problem solve any cultural issues which arise in the home. Personally this is my favorite part of this position. Being a natural people person I enjoy the conversations I am able to have with our hosts and helping them to make life in their homestay as comfortable as possible. I love the unpredictability of the scenarios our office comes across and the collaborative approach we take to solving them. The continuing variety that I was able to experience in this role kept things fresh and new with each new day!


As my time comes to an end here, I will bring these skills and experiences into my next adventure overseas. It has been a pleasure being a part of the Global Immersions team and I hope that this blog has shed a little light on what goes on here in the Homestay Coordinator role.

Until we meet again or as they say in Bahasa Indonesia Sumpai jumpa lagi!

European Gestures

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, June 08, 2017


They say actions speak louder than words, and often times our gestures and body language can say a lot about a message we are trying to convey as opposed to merely words themselves. In some areas of the world such as Europe, gestures hold more weight in communication styles. To an outsider, many of these gestures may go unnoticed or misunderstood., however they play a large part in communication in this part of the world.

Fingertip Kisses

While most commonly attributed to Italy, this gesture is also used in Germany, Spain, and France as well. This gesture consists of kissing the tips of ones fingers then flinging the hand out in front of them. This is most commonly used to compliment something, most frequently food.


Eyelid Pull

Also common is the eyelid pull, which is less friendly and more assertive. This gesture consists of taking a finger and pulling down one's bottom eyelid. Seen as a warning, this gesture sends the message that one is watching you and is onto your clever ways.


Chin Flick

The meaning of the chin flick in Europe vaires by location, however in Italy and France it signifies that one is uninterested or bored. It is considered to be fairly rude, however in Portugal the gesture just means "I don't know."


The Upwards Cupped Hand (Hand Purse)

This gesture is most frequently used in Italy, however is also used in other places in Europe. This gesture indicates a question, however it can also be used to signify annoyance with someone and to call them a fool. In France, this gesture can also mean fear, or good in Greece and Turkey.

The Nose Tap

Tapping your nose signifies secrecy and that something should not be spoken about. In Italy, it can mean "watch out!" and in France and Belgium it can signify a shared secret that no one else knows.

Personal Space

In the United States, people are very conscious of personal space and generally like to have distance between each other when conversing or interacting. However in Europe, people are very affectionate, even with people they do not know. People greet each other with kisses and hugs, and conversations happen at a close distance. In Spain, if you step back, it is considered rude.

Body language and gestures can vary from country to country, so next time you travel or host an international visitor be sure to do some research to know what message you are communicating!



In Honor of National Donut Day: Sweet Treats around Boston

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, June 01, 2017

Tomorrow, June 2nd is National Donut Day! Believe it or not, this sweet holiday has some history behind it. Taking place on the first Friday of June annually, it was started by the Salvation Army in Chicago back in 1938. It began as a fundraiser for the organization, and to honor those who served donuts to soldiers during World War I.  Even today, it is still a fundraiser for the Salvation Army across the United States. These tasty treats are still served widely years later, and many stores feature specials on honor of the holiday. Here are some of the places in Boston you can grab a donut or two!



Widely known throughout Boston, this specialty donut shop is offering two unique donut flavors in honor of the holiday: Dark chocolate covered banana, and a German chocolate cake donut with black cocoa, caramel glaze, toasted coconut, and mini chips. They will also be offering their usual spring flavors. (If you ever need a cake, check out their donut cakes!)



Another specialty donut shop, Union Square Donuts is located in Somerville. Creating a special twist on chicken and waffles, the store will be offering a special donut featuring fresh brioche dough, topped with maple glaze and fried chicken skin. This will only be available on June 2nd so be sure to arrive early to try this unique treat!



Next up, Kane's Donuts! Located in the Financial District, this donut shop features monthly specialty flavors. For the month of June, look out for their  Salted Caramel, Butter Pecan, and Battle Cry Whiskey varieties! In honor of the holiday they will be offering a "Super Dozen" of donuts, which includes a dozen donuts with an additional three complimentary treats!



Finally, a national favorite, Dunkin Donuts. While specialty shops have been popping up around the city, Dunkin is still going strong with their seasonal donut and iced coffee flavors. (If you like sweet coffee, try their S'more swirl, its delicious.) On June 2nd they will be offering a free donut alongside any beverage purchase, so grab your coffee and you'll get a donut to go with it!

Enjoy the holiday and a sweet treat!