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Labor Day Around the World

Global Immersions Recruiting - Monday, August 27, 2018


American Labor Day:

The first Monday of September, the day when workers and all they have accomplished is celebrated. For most people this holiday just means they get to enjoy a three day weekend and a day off work. It also  means that sadly summer is coming to an end and the school year is starting. Do you know how this holiday came to be?

History:

12 day hours, 7 days a week was the average work schedule for an American in the 1800s during the Industrial Revolution. Adults and even children were working in unsafe and extreme conditions for little money. Strikes and rallies were formed to protest rights such as the Chicago Haymarket Riot in 1886. In New York 1882, 10,000 people took an unpaid day off work and marched for rights. This became the first Labor Day Parade which is still held today. People kept protesting for the work day to go from 12 hours to 8 hours to the point where violence was involved. Finally, in spring of 1894, President Cleveland signed a bill to pass a legal holiday for workers and their rights. To learn more about the history, click here.

Labor Day Traditions Around the World:


Many Americans have barbecues, family gatherings, go to the beach and see fireworks in early September. For more than 80 countries around the world, May Day or International Workers Day is held on May 1. In some countries, people even work on the day instead of it being a work-free holiday.

In France, people give their family members flowers. Parades and campaigns are held for workers' rights as many shops are closed. In Jamaica, people celebrate the workers who contribute to their country on May 24th, which originally honored the labor rebellion. It also used to honor Queen Victoria's birthday because she helped end slavery. In the Bahamas, the first Friday in June is taken off to remember the workers' strike held in  1942. There is a parade held in the capital, Nassau every year. 

In New Zealand, the fourth Monday in October is a public holiday to honor the 1840 eight-hour working day movement. In Trinidad and Tobago, June 19th is a day to remember the 1937 Butler labor riots. In Bangladesh, April 24th is known as Labor Safety day to honor the victims of the Rana Plaza building collapse. This day is used for inspecting safety measures in companies and businesses. 

In Italy, festivals, concerts and public demonstrations are held around this holiday. In Germany, 'Witches Night' is celebrated the night of April 30 to rid the evil spirits and pranks are played on friends. May 1, spring is welcomed by people putting up maypoles and marches being held for workers rights. In countries such as Ireland, Poland and Norway, the beginning of spring is celebrated with planting flowers and being outside on May Day.

We hope you enjoy your Labor Day Weekend!

Exploring Boston Trails

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, August 21, 2018


Are you interested in walking or biking along Boston's beautiful scenery? Learning about Boston's intriguing history? Whether you want to take a simple stroll or get your steps in for the day, check out some of these trails!


The Freedom Trail: Follow a red, brick trail through Boston that goes past 16 Revolutionary War landmarks. Walk past the site of the Boston Massacre, the Old North Church, famous burial grounds, where the Boston Tea Party began, Kings Chapel, the Old South Meeting Hall, Paul Revere's Statue and the Bunker Hill monument. 2.5 miles of rich history along this popular trail.


The Emerald Necklace: Walk through 7 miles of  green designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed Central Park in New York City. The trail starts at the Boston Common and ends at Franklin Park. It passes by Jamaica Pond and the Arnold Arboretum. 


Minuteman Trail: Learn about the Revolutionary War through this historic trail. Walk along where Paul Revere rode his 'Midnight Ride' in 1775 and see battle grounds such as Meadow Grounds, Tower Park and the Munroe Tavern. This 10 mile trail also has a railroad history from the mid 1800's. The trail connects Cambridge to Bedford starting at Alewife Station and ending at South Road. People use this trail to commute to work on bike as its well-known around the area.

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway: If you're downtown exploring, take a quick 2 mile walk starting at the North End Park, ending at the Chinatown Park. Along the way, check out Paul Revere's house, a carousel, gardens and public art. This trail was named after President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Senator Ted Kennedy's mother, Rose F. Kennedy. This trail is accessible by the MBTA through the Aquarium Station, Haymarket Station and South Station.


Southwest Corridor Park / Pierre Lallement Bike Path: Want to walk or bike through Boston? Check out this 4 mile, popular commuter trail for cyclists that runs through the city and runs along Boston's skyscrapers. The path is named after the inventor of the pedal bicycle, Pierre Lallement in 1860. Starting from Dartmouth Street off Mass Turnpike I-90, the path spans through New Washington Street in Jamaica Plain.

South Bay Harbor Trail: Nearly 4 miles, starting at Melnea Cass Blvd. adjacent from Ruggles Station and ending at Pier 4, near the Institution of Contemporary Art, this trail connects many Boston neighborhoods together. Accessible through the MBTA, this trail also includes the Harborwalk displaying Boston's waterfront.

North Bank Bridge: A gorgeous 1/2 mile walk, perfect for Instagram photo opportunities on the bridge over looking Boston. Connecting North Point Park in Cambridge to Paul Revere Park in Charlestown, the path goes underneath the Zakim bridge and above the MBTA tracks.

Want to find more trails to explore? Click here for more Boston trails and here for all Massachusetts trails. 


All About McDonald's

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, August 03, 2018

In America, fast food began in 1916 at a White Castle in Wichita Kansas.  By the 1920's, people would deliver food to cars as curb service starting at A&W Root Beer Shop. Roller skates were worn by the waitresses called car hops. Drive through windows were invented in the 1940's becoming a quick and easy way to order and receive food. 

McDonald's, one of the most successful companies in the world, started out as a hot dog stand, which then became a drive in barbecue restaurant. In 1948, it became the burger place we know of today. 

Let's learn about a few facts about McDonald's.

The Golden Arches of McDonald's became the logo in 1968. 12.5% of the population has worked at McDonald's at some point in their life. Every second, 75 hamburgers are sold and 68 million customers are served each day. You can find a McDonald's in 119 out of 196 total countries in the world. Ronald McDonald is the most universal character in the world besides Santa Claus. 3.4 billion pounds of potatoes a year are purchased and used to make McDonald's infamous french fries. 550 million Big Macs are sold a year globally.

Whether you're craving a Big Mac or nuggets, you can have an inexpensive, quick and easy meal at McDonald's in the U.S. Most everyone obviously knows and has eaten at McDonald's, no matter where you're from. Here in the U.S., there are over 1.5 more McDonald's than hospitals. In Hong Kong, you can even get married in a McDonald's starting at $1,200. In 1961, Hamburger University was opened where over 5,000 people attend every year to learn how to become a manager of McDonald's. Did you know that McDonald's is the world's largest distributor of toys? Over 1.5 billion toys are given out in Happy Meals a year.

McDonald's menus varies from country to country around the globe reflecting the culture.  In Japan, you can find a teriyaki burger, squid ink burger and McChocolate potato fries. A McRice burger in Singapore, mashed-potato burger in China, and McSamurai pork burger in Thailand. In Germany, there's the McSasuage burger, a McFalafel in Israel, and a McCurry pan in India. The McLobster can be found in Canada, Gazpacho soup in Spain, and McNoodles in Austria. Would you be up for trying some of these meals at your McDonald's? For more global McDonald's foods, click here. 


Watch Americans taste and provide feedback on menu items at McDonald's in Japan here and Dubai here

Whether you are traveling abroad or in Boston for the first time, visiting a McDonald's to check out the menu should be on your itinerary. 



Pets Around the World

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, July 27, 2018
In the U.S., having a pet is very common.  A cat or dog and/or both are part of the family and live inside the home. Set aside dogs and cats, are you curious to learn about the most common pets around the world?

Peru


  • 90% of the world's alpaca population is in Peru where they've been domesticated for years. Their fur is used to make products and sold in the mountains. Who doesn't love a friendly, cute and cuddly animal?!

Brazil


  • The highest population of birds in the world are found in Brazil and there are over 1,800 species! The most common pet birds are parrots, cockatoos and macaws.

Japan

  • Large horned rhinoceros beetles called kabutomushi and kuwagatamushi are popular, low maintenance pets found in a lot of households. If you're squeamish, we'll spare you the image.

  • Bunnies are common as Japan even has an island called Bunny Island!
  • Japan is also known for owl, reptile, sloth and hedgehog cafes to name a few.

China


  • Goldfish are the most popular pet found in China as the fish originated there in the Jin Dynasty from 265-420 BC.
  • Crickets are viewed as lucky in China and are kept as pets. There are even competitions to see which cricket is the strongest!

Taiwan


  • Tortoises can be traced back to ancient times when their shells were used to write messages on. Did you know the average pet turtle can live up to 25 years? It's believed having a tortoise will lead to a long life.

Middle East


  • Pigeons were originally bred in the Mughal Empire in the 16th century for racing, but are now pets! They're known for their beauty in the Middle East unlike the pesky pigeons found in the streets here in the US.

Canada

  • These next few are certainly not popular, but legal to own as a pet in Canada

  • Capybara - ever heard of these huge hamster-like creatures? They are around 100 pounds, originally from South America, can be aggressive, and require lots of attention.

  • Wallaby - similar to a kangaroo in the marsupial family, they enjoy jumping and need lots of space to roam.

  • Fennec fox - friendly, energetic and similar to a dog. They are only 3 pounds, originally from the desert in Northern Africa and can be litter trained.

USA - In addition to dogs and cats, people here in the U.S. sometimes have these pets...


  • Hedgehog

  • Ferret

  • Pig

  • Hamster

  • Lizard
Love animals? Check out some more fun facts here.

How Do You Say...?

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, July 20, 2018

For the non-native English speakers in America, I imagine it's tricky. Have you thought about how we pronounce the same thing differently or have multiple names for the same object?


Here are some things America disagrees on...

  • Is it firefly or lightning bug?
  • Tennis shoes or sneakers?
  • Hair tie, hair elastic, hair band, ponytail holder or hair bow?
  • Y'all or you guys?
  • Soda, pop or coke? 
  • Water fountain or bubbler?
  • Sub, grinder or hoagie?
  • Lollipop or sucker?
  • Dinner or supper?
  • Garage sale or yard sale?
  • Crawfish, crayfish or crawdad?
  • Rotary, roundabout or traffic circle?

Words with a different regional pronunciations: crayon, aunt, mayonnaise, syrup, caramel, pajamas, cauliflower and route

Check out a full list with maps here and here.

For foreigners, American English can be confusing because usually the variation of a word someone uses is common in the area where they're are from. For example, if you are on the east coast, you might say sneakers, but on the west coast you might say tennis shoes.

Play a quiz here to determine which region you're from based on your vocabulary!

    

The Bostonian language is even more complicated. Between the thick accent that excludes the letter "r" and the sayings, it can be hard to understand. Basically in words, you replace "r" with "ah".  Some common slang phrases are...

Wicked - extremely or very such as "wicked awesome"

Down the Cape - Cape Cod

Dunkies / Dunks - Dunkin Donuts

Spa - convenience corner store

The Hub - Boston (Beantown)

Bang a U-ie - turn

Bubbler - water fountain

Pahlah - parlor meaning living room

Chowdah - clam chowder

cellah - cellar / basement

clickah - clicker / TV remote control

Jimmie's - sprinkles

Frappe - milkshake

No suh - no sir / no way

the Hill - Beacon Hill

the Vineyard - Martha's Vineyard


Take a quiz to test your Boston slang knowledge here.

For a full list of words check out the unofficial Boston dictionary here.

Click here to hear an authentic Bostonian accent and click here for a clip from James Corden and Matt Damon.

Whether you're a native speaker or a learner, good luck at understanding the American English and especially the Bostonian language!

Happy National Ice Cream Day!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, July 12, 2018

                                                                           

National Ice Cream Day is this Sunday, July 15th!

Ever curious about the difference between soft serve vs. regular ice cream? Here's a little history lesson on the two:

   

Soft Serve 

Who doesn't love the soft, smooth and creamy taste of soft serve ice cream? It was originally invented in 1934 by Tom Carvel after his ice cream truck broke down in Hartsdale, New York.  His ice cream melted, yet customers still bought it. Carvel realized a lighter version of ice cream was a brilliant business idea. He created a secret recipe and opened a store called Carvel  within two years. Dairy Queen  had similar ideas when developing a soft serve recipe in 1938 in Moline, IL.  In a sample tasting of their new product, 1,600 servings were consumed within two hours. Still today, soft serve is a hit among ice cream lovers. It is lower in milk fat and stored at a lower temperature than regular ice cream.  Soft serve is up to 45% air in volume which gives it the fluffiness that melts in your mouth.

Regular Ice Cream 

Variations of ice cream can be traced back centuries to the ancient world.  It began in China around 200 BC where they used a mixture of milk, rice and snow. In 400 BC, Persians ate ice flavored with fruit and rose water. At this time in Ancient Greece, snow with honey and fruit was served at markets in Athens. In Rome, Emperors carried ice from mountains to combine it with fruit. During the sixteenth century, Mughal Emperors in India had ice transported to make fruit sorbets. By the 1600's, ice cream became popular in Europe appearing in recipes in French cookbooks. Ice cream finally reached North America by the mid 1700's as it was introduced by Quaker colonists. Fast forward to the 1840's and ice cream makers were invented in England and America by Agnes Marshall and Nancy Johnson. Today, the average American eats anywhere from 19-23 pounds of ice cream annually. It contains at least 10% milk fat and 16% sweeteners. 12% is milk and 55% is water.



    

Looking for the BEST ice cream in Boston?

There's obviously the infamous Ben & Jerry's,  Emack and Bolio's, and J. P. Lick's, but what about some other local shops?  Here are a few to try around Boston: Gracie's Ice Cream, Christinia's Homemade Ice Cream, Forge Ice Cream Bar,  Lizzy's Ice Cream, Tipping Cow Ice Cream,  BerryLine, Amorino, Toscanini's, Cold Stone Creamery, Juicy Spot Cafe, Blackbird Doughnuts,  Molly Moo's Ice Cream and Cafe.  

Looking for non-dairy options? Try FoMu which serves dairy free ice cream, vegan, gluten free, soy free and kosher sweets.

For more detailed information and the top 10 list check out these links below:

https://www.bostonmagazine.com/restaurants/2018/06/29/best-boston-ice-cream/

https://boston.eater.com/maps/best-new-ice-cream-boston

     

Craving Gelato and the Italian experience

Head to the North End to be transported to Italy to enjoy some delicious gelato.  During the summer, you can stroll the streets of the North End while enjoying a cone without the airfare!  Click here for a list of places in the North End where you can find the best gelato.

Fun Facts about Ice Cream

  • Chocolate ice cream was invented before vanilla
  • Vanilla is the most popular ice cream flavor
  • In Norway, the record for the tallest ice cream cone was over 10 feet tall
  • 90 % of American's have ice cream in their freezer
  • New Zealand consumes the most ice cream
  • A record holding 1.75 gallons of ice cream was eaten in eight minutes 
  • Some of the strangest ice cream flavors are lobster, octopus, horseradish and raw horse flesh... ew!

Whether you're chilling at home or out at the beach, we hope you beat the heat and celebrate a day for eating ice cream!

   


Set up Camp This Summer

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, July 05, 2018

Spend some time in the great outdoors this summer at one of Massachusetts' many camp grounds. Although some of these sites are located only a short distance from Boston, you'll feel miles and miles away from the loud noises of the city. Massachusetts has several different State Parks that are open for camping. You can visit this state website for a full list of camp grounds and to reserve a campsite.

Wompatuck State Park: Hingham, MA

Wompatuck State Park is easily accessible from Boston, just 35 minutes South of the city.  The 3,526 acre park extends from Hingham to the nearby towns of Cohasset, Scituate, and Norwell. The land was originally the property of Indian chief Josiah Wompatuck who gave the land to English Settlers in 1665. During WWII and the Korean War, the land served as an ammunition depot for the U.S. military. Wompatuck offers 262 campsites, of which 140 have electricity. The campground also contains a 12 mile network of bike trails as well as areas for fishing, running, and walking. The park is also pet friendly and a popular spot for dog walking.  

Harold Parker State Forrest: Andover, MA

Only 20 miles North of Boston, Harold Parker State Forest is an ideal campsite for those who want a real "forest" camping experience. Each campsite is spread out so that campers are immersed in the nature and secluded from one another. The camp ground has more than 35 miles of roads and trails that are great for outdoor activities like hiking and biking. Fishing and non-motorized boating are also permitted on any of the campground's 11 ponds. While in the area campers can visit nearby State Parks, such as Bradley State Park, Boxford State Park, Cleveland Farm State Park, and Willowdale State Park.

                                             Salisbury Beach State ReservationSalisbury, MA

Salisbury Beach is a popular tourist destination North of Boston on the New Hampshire border. The State Reservation is a perfect spot for those who want to stay by the beach and don't mind being surrounded by other campers. There are 484 campsites arranged to resemble a small town, completed with lettered streets. The camping experience at Salisbury Beach is therefore very different from a secluded campsite in the forest. Each campsite is a short walk to the ocean and is equipped with water, a picnic table, a BBQ grill and bathroom and shower facilities.

Camp Nihan Education Center: Saugus, MA

Camp Nihan, located in nearby Saugus, MA is the perfect campsite for larger groups. The 65-acre camp ground offers group campsites as well as cabins furnished with bunk beds and a dining area. Camp Nihan also offers free nature education classes to visiting schools and non-profit groups. The area, once a Native American campsite, is home to a variety of wildlife such owls, otters, and turtles. The Saugus river runs through the camp grounds and contains different species of freshwater fish. The campsite is also a short hike away from Breakheart State Reservation, where campers can go for swimming, hiking, and other activities.

Your Guide to July 4th in Boston

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, June 29, 2018

Boston is an exciting city during the week of July 4th. The city is a host of many different events, from concerts to parades to historical reenactments. City-sponsored celebrations are popular with Boston residents and tend to be very successful is drawing large crowds of  participants. If you plan on spending Independence Day in Boston consider attending one of these major events.


Boston Pop's Concert and Fireworks Show

The annual performance by the Boston Pop's, lead by famous conductor Keith Lockhart, will once again take place at the Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade. This year's lineup features headliner Rachel Platten, a Newton native and artist of the popular 2015 track "Fight Song". The concert will also have performances by Rhiannon Giddens, of Carolina Chocolate Drops, the Indigo Girls, and an appearance by actress Rita Moreno. The free event offers seating on a first come first serve basis and is likely to be crowded- so show up early! An identical concert will be held on July 3rd, however unlike the July 4th show, this concert will not be followed by a fireworks display. Both concerts begins at 8:00 pm and the fireworks show on the 4th will start at 10:30 pm. If you can't make the show in person, you can watch it live online.

Harbor Fest

Harbor Fest is an annual event that celebrates Boston's Harbor and History. Harbor Fest hosts many events over independence day weekend. Such events include live music performances, historical reenactments, Freedom Trail Walks, and boat tours. The festival will also include a clambake and scavenger hunt. Marty Walsh will cut the ceremonial Harbor Fest cake at Faneuil Hall on June 28th, signifying the start of the festival that will last through July 4th. The Harbor Fest website provides a full schedule of events during the week, which you can find here.

Independence Day Recognition

Boston's official Independence Day recognition and Parade will take place at 9:00 am on July 4th at City Hall Plaza. The event begins with a flag raising ceremony and then continues with a parade to the Granary Burial Ground, where wreaths are laid on the graves of patriots before the parade marches on to the Old State House by Faneuil Hall. At 10:00 am the Declaration of Independence will bead read from the balcony at the Old State House by the current Captain Commanding of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, to mimic the way the document was read to the citizens of Boston in July of 1776.

Source: Masslive, BostonUSA, Boston Magazine

Father's Day in Boston

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, June 14, 2018

Happy Father's Day to our host dads! 


Lawn of Champions

On June 16th, the Lawn on D will host a special event for fans of Boston's sports teams. The event will bring a collection of championship trophies from The Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, and Patriots to the Lawn for public viewing. There will also be fitness inspired games where participants can win prizes and craft making workshops for children.



South Shore Art's Festival

The 63rd South Shore Arts Festival will be held from Thursday June 14th - Sunday June 17th. The festival showcases art and handmade crafts from local New England artisans. The event features over 85 exhibit booths as well as live music performances, artists demonstrations, and children's art activities. The festival takes place in the South Shore town of Cohasset, and draws crowds of over 9,000 visitors from the Boston area.




                                                                                           Hyper Local Craft Beer Festival

The 7th Annual Hyper Local Craft Beer Festival takes place at University Park in Central Square Cambridge.  The event is a fundraiser sponsored by the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts that "highlights and promotes local brewers of beer, newly established breweries, cider & mead, artisan beverage makers, and local food vendors." The term "Hyper-local" means that not only are all the brewers from New England, but also all of the ingredients used to brew their beer are local.  A ticket to the event will get participants unlimited beer samples as well as access to live music performances and food vendors. Proceeds from the event will support The Boston Local Food Program -- a non-profit dedicated to providing access to healthy foods for all people while promoting local food producers, farmers, and entrepreneurs.



Father's Day 5K: Brendan's Home Run

The 17th Annual Brendan's Home Run 5K race at Belmont High School track will be held on Sunday, June 17th. The race supports The Brendan Grant Foundation, a charity organization dedicated to the enhancement of youth development. The Foundation and 5K race memorialize Brendan Grant, a former Belmont High School Baseball Player who tragically passed away due to an injury he sustained in a game. For the first time in the race's history, the 5K will be a USA Track & Field sanctioned event.

Boston Porchfest

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, May 31, 2018


If you're a resident of the Boston area you may have seen the term "Porchfest" advertised online, in newspapers, or on flyers around town. But what is a "Porchfest"? Here is your definitive guide to what that term means and where to experience a "Porchfest" near the city.


A Porchfest is an annual music event held on porches outside neighborhood homes. During a Porchfest local musicians hold free concerts for members of the community who walk the streets listening to music and attending different performances. Often times local restaurants will be selling food on the streets or will offer special sales for the festival goers. Other festivals, such as the Porchfest in Jamaica Plain, offer more than live music. JP Porchfest has designated areas for comedy and dance routines, too. Several neighborhoods in the Boston area hold their own version of a Porchfest throughout the summer. If you like live music, want to support local artists, or are looking for a chance to meet others in your neighborhood, check out a Porchfest in your area.


Fenway Porchfest: Saturday, June 16th

Porchfest Quincy: Saturday, June 23rd

Jamaica Plain Porchfest: Saturday, July 7th


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