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Welcome to Boston Homestay - Danish Aalborg Handelsskole Saxogade 3E Group!06-Sep-2018

A group of Danish visitors from Aalborg Handelsskole Saxogade arrived to Boston and homestay on Sep..

Welcome to Boston Homestay - Danish Aalborg Handelsskole Turogade 3T Group06-Sep-2018

A group of Danish visitors from Aalborg Handelsskole Turogade arrived to Boston and homestay on Sep..


Best in Hospitality

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

International Summer Festivals

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, May 29, 2018

June 22nd will be the longest day of the year. The Summer Solstice signifies the first official day of summer in the United States and the start of what will hopefully be a period of warmer weather in Boston! The meaning of the Summer Solstice varies across cultures, though many recognize the start of summer with special holidays, festivals or rituals. While the United States does not have a popular holiday related to the start of summer, other areas of the world have specific cultural traditions that celebrate the Summer Solstice. Here is how some countries welcome the start of the summer season.

Kupala Night

Kupala Night is a celebration observed in countries with Slavic ancestry such as Ukraine, Russia, Poland, and Belarus. The festival signifies the end of the summer solstice and the start of the harvest season. During this festival participants build fires that they then jump over to demonstrate bravery and strength. A strong theme of the festival is love, and couples will jump over the fire while holding hands to prove that their relationship will last. Additionally, women will float flower wreathes in rivers, which men then try to capture, in the hope of also capturing the interest of the woman who floated the wreath. A sinking wreath is considered a predication of loneliness while a floating wreath indicates the prospect of love. Some participants will also search through the woods for the mythical "fern flower", which is thought to bring good fortune if found, although botanical experts do not believe that this flower actually exists. Historically, this search was an excuse for unmarried couples to spend alone time together without a chaperone, though today is done just for fun. While the festival has Pagan roots it has been incorporated into the Christian calendar as "St. Johns Eve" however, it still contains Pagan elements such as fortune telling rituals and the wearing of flower crowns. Many of these traditions are customary to rural areas as the holiday has been given a more modern twist is major cities where fireworks and concerts are also held.


Midsummer

At the start of the Swedish holiday of Midsummer, many Swedes head to the country side to begin their five week summer vacation.  On Midsummer's Eve (usually a Friday between the 19th and 25th of June) cities essentially shut down as many businesses close and streets are deserted. Families gather together in the country and have large celebrations complete with traditional dances around a may pole and crafting flower wreathes and other decorations. A typical midsummer meal is a variety of pickled herring and potatoes as well as grilled salmon or ribs followed by strawberries for desert. After dinner many Swedes go out dancing. Midsummer is also a popular time for weddings or christenings. Despite the fact thatSwedes are not particularly religious, many people want to get married at a country church during this time of year.


The Duanwu Festival

The Duanwu Festival, known in the West as the "Dragon Boat Festival", is a traditional Chinese holiday that takes place each year near the summer solstice.The festival is also often called the "Double Fifth Festival" as it takes place on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Lunar Calendar. This year the festival will take place from June 16th to 18th. The Festival celebrates Chinese poet Qu Yuan, who is considered to be a martyr in the country. Qu Yaun was a member of the ruling house in the ancient state of Chu.  He drowned himself when the powerful Chinese state of Qin captured Ying, the Chu capital. The story of Qu Yuan describes how local admirers of Qu raced out on boats to try to save him. When they could not find Qu, they dropped balls of sticky rice into the river so that fish would eat them instead of Qu's body. This is the origin of Duanwu's dragon boat races and the reason why people snack on "zongzi", or sticky rice balls, during this holiday.

Boston will hold its own Dragon Boat Festival this summer. The 39th Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival will take place over the weekend of June 9th - 10th and feature Dragon Boat races as well as performances, art, and food.


The Bon Festival

Japan's Bon Festival, or Obon, occurs this year on August 13th - 15th. The three day celebration honors Japanese ancestors and has become an opportunity for families to reunite and spend time together. During the festival people hang lanterns outside their houses to help guide their dead ancestors back home. Families will also visit and clean the graves of loved ones who have died. Perhaps the most significant tradition of the Bon Festival is the Bon Odori, a traditional folk dance that welcomes the spirit of the dead. The dance is different in each region with songs a lyrics specific to that area.

Boston will also host Obon celebrations this summer. Historically Japanese schools such as Boston Higashi School and Showa Boston will each have their own Bon Festival featuring music, dancing, and Japanese food.

Source: WikipediaCulture Trip, Meet the Slavs, Sweden.se, Colorzine

Memorial Day Weekend 2018

Global Immersions Recruiting - Monday, May 14, 2018

Memorial Day, the U.S. holiday that honors those who have lost their lives in the military, takes place next Monday, May 28th. As Memorial Day is federal holiday, many people will be traveling elsewhere for the long weekend. However, if you will be staying in the Boston area here are some exciting (and free!) ways to spend the holiday. 


Memorial Day Parades

Neighborhoods of the greater Boston area will hold memorial day parades over the weekend and on Monday. Most parades will feature local veterans as well as services and activities to honor fallen heroes. Somerville's Memorial Day celebration was early (Sunday, May 20th) but other parades, such as those in Brookline, Watertown, Belmont, Malden, Medford, Everett and Revere, will take place next Monday.This map shows where, when, and at what time each parade will occur.

The Boston Common Flag Garden

The Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund's Flag Garden on Boston Common  is a Memorial Day tradition. Each Memorial Day tradition hundreds of volunteers help "plant" small American flags at the Commons' Soldiers and Sailors monument. The completed garden contains over 37,000 flags that represent each Massachusetts service member who lost their life defending the United States since the Revolutionary war. 

Free Admission to the MFA and ICA

On Memorial Day Boston's Museum of Fine Arts and Institute of Contemporary Art are offering free admission to all visitors.  This month the MFA and ICA have new exhibits such as "M.C. Escher Infinite Dimensions" and "Phantasmagoria" at the MFA and showcases by Kevin Beasley and Caitlin Keogh at the ICA.


The Run to Remember

Sunday, May 27th is the 14th annual "Run to Remember", a charity half-marathon or 5 mile race in honor of all first responders who have lost their lives in the line of duty. The race is sponsored by the Boston Police Department and Boston Runner's Club. The race course, which begins at the Seaport World Trade Center, extends throughout downtown Boston. Proceeds from participant entry and donations will benefit community and children's programs of the Boston Police Runner's Club. "The Run to Remember" features other family-friendly events in the days leading up to the race. On Friday and Saturday, the Seaport World Trade Center will host a free Sports and Fitness Expo as well as a variety of activities for children. Popular Boston radio station, Mix 104.1, will also be on site both Saturday and Sunday playing music and providing entertainment.

The Month of Ramadan

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, May 10, 2018

May 15th marks the beginning of the Islamic celebration of Ramadan. Ramadan is not a well-known holiday to those outside of the Muslim community in America, but is widely observed by those who practice Islam. Here is a little information about this up-coming celebration.

(A Ramadan celebration is held at the White House each year. This tradition was started during the Clinton Administration and has been since followed by Bush and Obama. )

Islam is the world's second largest religion, after Christianity. Over 1 billion people in the world are Muslim, or followers of Islam. In the U.S. it is estimated that there is 7 million Muslim people, and each of the 50 U.S. states is home to at least one mosque, the Muslim place of worship. Followers of Islam believe that around 610 A.D. a man named Muhammad, from the now Saudi Arabian city of Mecca, started receiving messages from God (known as Allah) through the angel Gabriel. These messages have been collected in the holy book of Islam, known at the Quran (or Koran). Muslims believe that Muhammad was the last and final prophet in a line of prophets that includes such religious figures as Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus Christ. Muslims also believe that God, Allah, is the single, all knowing God and that Muslims can achieve salvation by following the commandments of God. Five key concepts form the basis of the Islamic religion. These core ideas, known as the "Five Pillars of Islam", include a declaration of faith (known as shahada), prayer (five times per day), charitable giving (known as zakat), fasting, and pilgrimage to Mecca.

(Mecca, Saudi Arabia)

Ramadan refers to the ninth month of the 12-month Islamic lunar calendar. It is the month that during which Muslims believe that Muhammad received the initial messages from God that became the Quran. Because the lunar calendar is based upon the phases of the moon, Ramadan does not start and end at the same time each year. This year, Ramadan begins at sunset on Tuesday, May 15th and ends on Thursday, June 14th.

Ramadan Practices

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn until dusk each day. Fasting is seen in the Islamic religion as a cleansing process, meant to relive the body of toxins and also to show empathy for those who are less fortunate and may be hungry. The first meal of the day during Ramadan, eaten just before sunrise is known as "suhoor". Usually, healthy foods are eaten during this meal so that the person fasting has enough energy to last them throughout the day. East day's fast is broken with a meal known as "iftar". Iftars are typically larger, more elaborate feasts celebrated with the family or close friends. The foods eaten during the iftar meal vary across cultures.  


(Sweets prepared for Eid-Al Fitr)

Eid Al-Fitr

Eid Al-Fitr (or Eid ul-Fitr) is a major celebration that signifies the end of the month of Ramadan. The name of this celebration means "The Feast of Fast Breaking". Eid lasts three days following the end of Ramadan. During Eid Al-Fitr families will recite special prayers and enjoy meals with relatives and friends. Often gifts are exchanged among family members.

Source: History.com

(Free) Outdoor Events

Global Immersions Recruiting - Monday, May 07, 2018

Boston is finally seeing warmer weather, which means that it's a great time to be outside enjoying the sun and the city. Throughout the summer, different organizations are putting on events around Boston- and the best part is that they're free! If you're looking for something to do during the week, after work, or over the weekend, check out some of these fun events starting this month.

Lawn on D

Beginning this month and throughout the summer, the Lawn on D is open to the public almost every day. The Lawn on D is an open community space offering a variety of lawn games; such as bocce, corn hole, Jenga, ping-pong, giant chess, lawn checkers, and large connect-four. The Lawn on D also has a concession stand with a complete menu of food and beverages. During the week, the Lawn on D hosts different events, that are usually free to attend. Every Thursday night, the Lawn on D will host a free movie showing outdoors on a large projection screen. On the weekends the Lawn has live music performances or parties sponsored by different companies like Del's lemonade or Harpoon Brewery.

Boston Calling Block Parties

Boston Calling Block Parties are a free event series occurring every Thursday from now until the end of the summer. The event takes place weekly from 5 pm-8 pm in Dewey Square Park on the Rose Kennedy Greenway and features a free performance from different local artists as well as a selection of beverages for those that wish to drink.

                                                                               

Berklee Greenway Concert Series

Pack a picnic and go support local artists! Talented musicians from Boston's Berklee College of music will be giving live performances in the North End area of the Rose Kennedy Greenway on Hanover street. Concerts will take place every Friday at 5:00 pm. These free concerts are a great way to hear some of the up and coming artists from Berklee while spending time relaxing outside.

                                                                              

The Coolidge At the Greenway

The Coolidge Corner theater is partnering with the Rose Kennedy Greenway to screen classic films outdoors in Wharf District Park during the summer. All films will be screened in 35 mm and begin at sunset. Spectators are encouraged to bring blankets or chairs to enjoy the film.

Mother's Day Around the World

Global Immersions Recruiting - Monday, April 30, 2018


In the United States Mother's Day is traditionally celebrated on the second Sunday in May, so this year that means May 13th. Mother's Day was founded by a woman named Anna Jarvis, who held a memorial for her deceased Mother at a church in West Virginia in 1905. Anna's Mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, had been a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War.  Anna Jarvis wanted to honor her mother and all mothers in America and so she began to advocate for Mother's Day as a recognized holiday. At first, Congress rejected the proposal to make Mother's Day an official holiday, but then several states, beginning with Jarvis' home state of West Virginia, began to adopt Mother's Day as a holiday. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother's Day as a national holiday to honor America's mothers. Mother's Day is also celebrated elsewhere in the world. Here are how some countries observe Mother's Day.


Thailand

Mother's Day in Thailand is celebrated on August 12th, on the day of  Queen Sirkit's birthday, a former queen of Thailand who is considered the "mother of the country".  In the days before the holiday, Thai people celebrate by displaying portraits and shrines of Queen Sirkit, as well as putting on fireworks shows and candle lighting ceremonies. In addition to comemorating the birthday of the Queen, Thai mother's are celebrated on this day as well. Children often give their mother's gifts such as white jasmine flowers, which represent maternal love. Children may also give alms to monks in honor of their mothers.


Australia

In Australia, Mother's Day is celebrated on the same day as in the U.S. The traditional flower of the Australian Mother's Day is the Chrysanthemum, which is in full bloom during the season of Autumn when Australian Mother's Day occurs. On this day, Chrysanthemums, as well as carnations, are given to mothers. Many Australians wear colored carnations if their mothers are still living and white carnations if they are deceased.


Poland

Polish Mother's Day, also known as "DzieƄ Matki", is celebrated on May 26th. The holiday gained popularity after WWII, and is now an official holiday of Poland. Because it is an official holiday, many businesses are closed and families have celebrations at home. On Mother's Day, schools often host special events where children give their mothers gifts such as "laurki", or papers decorated with flowers and written messages. At home, family members may gather and have a party, complete with more gift giving and cake.


India

India's Mother's Day is celebrated on the same day as in the U.S. On Mother's Day , Indian children give their Mother's cards and often cook a meal for them. A similar holiday is celebrated by followers of the Hindu religion in October. This festival, called "Durga Puja", honors the goddess Durga, or the "Divine Mother" of India. Durga Purja lasts 10 days, during which people fast, then feast, pray, sing, dance, and perform cultural dramas.

Source: Thebump.com

Boston's Hidden Museum Gems

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, April 27, 2018

Boston has many well know museums, like The Museum of Science, The Museum of Fine Arts, or the Boston Children's Museum, just to name a few. What a lot of people don't know is that the Boston area has a ton of other lesser-known museums, that are just as interesting as those that are more commonly frequented. What most people also don't know is that many of these museums are free or discounted for students. If you have visited many of the more popular or "touristy" museums in Boston and want something new, check out one of these "hidden-gem" museums in the city.


Museum of African American History

The Museum of African American History contains some of the most important historical landmarks and acts as an important memorial to African American History in New England. The Museum's Boston location includes the Abiel Smith School and African Meeting House, located in Boston's Beacon Hill, a historically African American neighborhood in the 19th century. The African Meeting House has undergone historic restoration, returning the building to its 1855 appearance. The building was once a church, school, and community meeting place. The Abiel Smith school is the oldest surviving public school in the United States that was built for the purpose of educating African American children.  The Museum also conducts walking tours of the African American History Trail, which encompasses historic sites that depict life in Boston for free African Americans before the civil war. The MAAH contains some of the most important historical landmarks in the nation and acts as an important memorial to African American History in New England.

The Museum of Bad Art

While most art museums are dedicated to celebrated works of art, The Museum of Bad Art is dedicated to art that is exceptionally bad. This unconventional museum, located beneath the Somerville Theater, contains a collection of art that is "so bad its good." Some of the pieces are less appealing works of normally talented artists, whereas others have been created by "amateurs". The museum is great because it displays works that would never be hung in traditional galleries. The museum celebrates and honors the labor and creativity of artists whose work would otherwise go unappreciated or unseen. Admission to the museum is free with the purchase of a movie pass to the theater, however free passes can also be requested on the MoBA website if you want to skip the film.

The Gibson House Museum

The Gibson House was one of the first homes to be built in Back Bay. The Museum provides an inside look into a 19th century Victorian row house in Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood. The home, occupied for three generations by the Gibson's, a wealthy Bostonian family, has been preserved in its original 1860 style. The Museum collection includes original wallpaper, textiles, furniture, and family artifacts.  

The Boston Fire Museum

The mission of The Boston Fire Museum is to "preserve and display the fire fighting memorabilia from the Greater Boston area" while educating the public on fire safety and supporting fire fighters in general.  The Museum, which is housed in the old firehouse at 344 Congress Street in Boston's Seaport district, includes fire fighting artifacts such as alarms, equipment, antique fire apparatus and photographs. One of the most interesting exhibits at the Museum is the display of old fire trucks from the 18th and 19th centuries. Admission to the Fire Museum is free.


Warren Anatomical Museum

The Warren Anatomical Museum, located at Harvard Medical School, is one of the last surviving anatomy and pathology museums associated with a medical school. The Museum contains artifacts of health science, that in combination, detail the history of the profession. One of the more famous exhibits is the skull of Phineas Gage. The story of Phineas Gage is well known in the medical community as it informed much of what we know today about the brain and the way it functions. Phineas Gage survived an injury in which a metal rod was pierced through his skull and he was still able to function, though noticeable changes in his personality occurred after.


The Commonwealth Museum

The Commonwealth Museum is located near the more well -known JFK Library, and contains everything you would ever want to know about Massachusetts. The Museum's exhibit includes documents on the Pilgrims, dating from 1603, as well as letters from Governor John Winthrop, papers from Vice President John Adams, and records of the Sacco and Vanzetti case. Other popular artifacts include Paul Revere's copper plate depicting the Boston Massacre, The written charter given by Charles I to John Winthrop when he sailed from England to establish the Massachusetts Bay Colony, as well as Massachusetts' copy of The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In addition to the trove of documents, the Museum also has many interactive exhibits that are interesting for kids as well as adults. Entry into the museum is free.


Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House

Further away from Boston, but still accessible by the Commuter Rail's Fitchburg Line, is Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House, the home where Louisa May Alcott wrote and set her famous novel "Little Women," a story modeled off of events and characters in the author's own life. Upon visiting the Alcott's home visitors can tour the house as well as learn about the family and items in the home that were significant to them. The home has been well preserved since it was lived in by the Alcott family. While you are in the area, you may want to also visit the nearby Walden Pond Reservation, a place made famous by Henry David Thoreau's Walden.

Lesser-Known Tip: Free Museums for Bank of America Card Holders

If you are a Bank of America card holder, as many of our international visitors are, you can receive free admission to many popular Massachusetts museums during the first full weekend of every month.  You can find a list of qualifying museums here.

2018 Boston Marathon

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, April 13, 2018

If you're a resident of the Boston area, you're probably aware that this Monday (April 19th) is Presidents' Day and Marathon Monday.

                                                                                 

Marathon Monday has a become a widely celebrated event in Boston. On this day, Boston schools are typically closed in observance of Patriot's Day and several roads are blocked off for the race. Spectators from across the country and even across the world come to cheer on friends and loved ones  along the route. Others come to stand  by the finish line and watch competitors complete their final miles.


How did the Marathon get its start? The first Boston Marathon was first run in April 1897, making it the oldest continuously running marathon and the second longest continuously running footrace in North America. The Marathon was inspired by the revival of the marathon for the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.  The first winner of the Boston Marathon was John J "JJ" McDermott, who ran the 24.5 mile course in 2 hours and 55 minutes.  Women were not allowed to officially enter the Marathon until 1972. The first woman to run the entire Boston Marathon was Roberta "Bobbi" Gibb, who finished the race in 1966.


While the Marathon was originally a local event, its fame grew to attract runners from around the world. The Marathon was originally a free event, and only began awarding cash prizes in 1986, after professional athletes refused to run the race unless they received a cash prize.

If you want to catch this year's race (either live or on TV) here is what you need to know.


Where: The race will span from Hopkinton to Boston. You can find a race map hereThe race will span 26.2 miles

Time: The Marathon begins at 8:50 a.m. with mobility impaired competitors having the first start time. The women's elite race begins at 9:32 am and the men's at 10:am.

How to Watch: Get there early to claim a good spot along the route. This guide gives the best spots to watch. 

TV/Live stream: f you want to watch the race from the comfort of your own home, it will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network. You can also live stream the race on NBC Sports Live and from the Boston Athletic Association website.

Happy Marathon Monday and good luck to all participants!

Cherry Blossom Season is in Bloom

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Spring is here (although from recent weather you probably can't tell)  and that means cherry blossom season! Cherry blossoms usually bloom in Japan from late March - mid April, or even early May. Cherry blossom viewing is a cultural event in Japan, observed by many. Hanami, or "flower viewing" refers to the custom of enjoying the cherry blossoms after winter has gone. A typical hanami usually involves holding an outdoor party under cherry blossom trees. Observers will bring a picnic of food, beer, or sake and relax as sakura¸ or cherry blossoms fall from the trees.

Several cities in Japan are famous for their hanami festivals. Hirosaki, the Japanese city centered around the 17th century Hirosaki Castle, holds the Sakura-Matsuri festival every year. Yoshino-Yama, a mountain in Japan's Nara Prefecture is considered to be one of the best viewing spots in Japan, as the mountain is covered in over 30,000 cherry trees.  Other notable spots include the Japan Mint in Osaka, and Ueno Park in Tokyo.

Our Groups Coordinator, Gen, is working for us in Japan until July. He sent these beautiful photos of cherry trees in bloom in his home city.




The U.S. is also home to cherry blossoms. A grove of cherry blossom trees was gifted to the United States from Japan and now align the title basin in the West Potomac Park. These trees bloom every year, usually in April. The cherry blossom blooming is not nearly as celebrated in the United States as it is in Japan, however D.C. does have an annual cherry blossom festival and annual cherry blossom festival parade.

Source: JNTO