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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!

Spellabrate: A Guide to Correct Spelling

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Spelling mistakes are easily one of my biggest pet peeves, ever. When people confuse you’re with your, or its with it’s, it drives me completely insane. In my head IT’S common sense – isn’t it?

Okay, I’ll stop with my little rant, and get down to the root of my issues. Woah, okay, not all my issues. The more I think about it, I’m interested as to why spelling mistakes bother me so much. If anything, I’d be more lenient to spelling mistakes because, well, English wasn’t my first language. But I think that’s precisely why it infuriates me as much as it does.

When I came into the US, I literally spoke about three words of the English language: book, bear, and house (you know, the essentials for everyday life, which at age six, was Bear in the Big Blue House). So my poor second grade teacher, pretty much got the worst-case scenario when I was placed into his class. Poor guy couldn’t get three words out (that weren’t book, bear, and house), without seeing my hand being raised at the corner of his eye. As much as I was a definite hassle for my poor teacher, he definitely engrained true Americana English in my head. He constantly corrected my spelling mistakes, in the nicest way possible. And every time I listened to his corrections, I would get a gold star, and sometimes a cookie. With positive reinforcements like that, correct spelling kind of became an obsession for me – but in my mind, I think that’s the case for a lot of students who come from across the pond. We become so adamant about learning our second language to the best possible ability we can, spelling mistakes just simply don’t happen anymore.

(definitely not what my teacher was like - but what a great movie)

I’ve never been in an ESL class, so I can’t pull from those experiences at all. But to my understanding, ESL is even more one on one. The simplest mistakes are made noticeable, not to spite ESL students, but to have them be the best they can.

I have to say though, there are many words in the English language that phonetically make sense, and then as soon as you try to spell them, you’re at a standstill. Let’s look at pneumonia. You don’t hear anyone say, Pneumonia, it’s just pneumonia with a silent p. What in the world is a silent p? Why would it make any sense to include a letter, that isn’t even pronounced? Apparently the residents of Washington, Missouri, and North Carolina, agree with me. It’s the most commonly misspelled word in those three states! I have one word for you guys: autocorrect.

(get on your spelling game America)

Not that I ever need it (haha, lies), but autocorrect is both a blessing and a demon. It makes you look incredibly smart in the texting world, but when it comes to writing a note by hand, you can’t call on siri to fix your “namonia” for pneumonia (I’m okay with that though, because how many times will you actually write down a note by hand with that word?)

My recommendation for you readers that are struggling with your spelling bee skills, and have to constantly google whether you’re spelling something correctly – is to turn off your autocorrect. I’ve done it before, and besides the annoyance of having to go back and correct your texts when you only have one hand to text with him, while you hold a chai latte in the other, it actually taught me a lot. I wasn’t so lazy anymore, and it forced me to keep up with the spelling skills that I gained in second grade. So put that chai latte down (I know, this won’t be easy), turn off your autocorrect, and take a stand against spelling laziness. Who knows? You might become so great you’ll sign up for an adult spelling bee, win, and buy yourself a drink with your earnings. It’s a win-win.

(this could be you)

Everything Guadeloupe: A Little Bit About a Little Island

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, March 17, 2016

I've come across an extremely interesting piece in the Boston Globe, more specifically, the Sunday edition: " Beaches with an irresistible French Accent." As we prepare to welcome a group of Guadeloupian residents into our program, Christopher Muther, a writer for the Globe, has written a piece about their little-known Guadeloupe. 

A small island of 400,000, Guadeloupe is known for its pristine, white sandy beaches. I know, you're definitely picturing that beach in your head right now. But, is it filled with people? Are you irritated that someone else would have the audacity to take up your peaceful getaway? Well, luckily for you, as much as Guadeloupe is known for its beaches, not many people visit. Many of its beautiful beaches are virtually empty, mostly inhabited by local wildlife such as goats and the occasional chicken.

Muther spent a week in Guadeloupe traveling from east to west, spending little to no time in the capital city of Point-à-Pitre. He further discusses that until now, the only airline company offering direct flights from Boston to Guadeloupe, has been Norwegian Air. For as little as $49, one-way, you have the opportunity to lay in the Caribbean sands for less than the cost for a trip to New York.

Now, before you rush to the Norwegian Air website, let's catch up on some Guadeloupian facts. For one, before you jet off, you should catch up on your high school French. It is a French Territory, English is simply not spoken there. As Muther phrases it, English is the "abnorm." If you by chance speak Creole, that's also one of the island's main languages.

I'd say besides being stunningly breathtaking, the nice thing about Guadeloupe is its seemingly untouched feel. Devoid of large corporations and the American all-inclusive resorts, it inhabits the "what used to be's", the small local shops and bed & breakfasts. While you're in Guadeloupe, make sure to really indulge. As much as its developed a Caribbean flavor, it is part of France - a.k.a., there are some top notch seafood restaurants and bakeries. 

If this article for some reason convinces you to go to Guadeloupe, you're lucky I've gathered some "must-dos" while you're in Guadeloupe.


Coming from the US, most of us just expect that drinking out of tap is perfectly fine. Well, I wouldn't take that mindset with me to the islands. Surprisingly enough, Guadeloupe has some of the best-tasting mountain water in all the Caribbean Isles, but most people don't drink it. Between the rusty city pipes, and the occasional taste of chlorine, the water isn't drunk often. If and when you go out to eat, restaurants will charge you for the bottled water, so be mindful.

While in Guadeloupe I know you'll want to steer clear of all the tourist attractions, but here are some I thought were worth taking a look at.

Aquarium de la Guadeloupe:

I know you might be coming from Boston, where the New England Aquarium is one of our most prized possessions, but this aquarium is seriously a great place to go. Besides their tropical assortment of fish and marine life, the Aquarium de Guadeloupe offers the unexpected half-day "eco tour." Alongside you and your guests, you'll have a biologist guide and diving instructor, ready to jump in the water whenever you are. You'll travel through the islands mangroves, reefs, and lagoon, from 8:30am - 1pm. Are you ready to take the plunge?


If waking up at 8am while you're on vacation doesn't seem like your cup of joe, maybe you just need some of it to wake you up; Guadeloupe happens to have some of the best coffee around. Joel Nelson, the groundskeeper of his Domaine de Vanibel, is more than happy to take you on a tour of his vanilla and coffee bean farm. Before you put on a summer dress to Instagram a photo of yourself at a Guadeloupian farm coffee farm, don't. Mr. Nelson will take you around the grounds, but he'll also have you picking vanilla and coffee beans, so dress comfortably. Before you leave though, make sure to buy some of his coffee. You'll be filling your re-usable K-cups with the stuff for months to come.

Plage de la Chapelle à Anse-Bertrand 

You might be sick of my touristy suggestions, so take a break at one of the whitest, sandiest beaches you'll ever lay your eyes on. Between the chapel ruins, the coco palm shades, and the little terrace restaurants at the far end of the beach, you may never want to leave. If you do decide to permanently reside on the beautiful Plage de la Chapelle à Anse-Bertrand, make sure to bring your own towel - there won't be anyone renting lounge chairs.


  A little more untouched than Grande-Terre, you'll do a lot more exploring here. Basse-Terre is mostly known for its wide open spaces, so stop by if you're willing to hike, climb, and swim.

Ilet de Pigeon

If you didn't get enough of your scuba necessities during your aquarium visit, well here's another opportunity. Located inside the Jacques Cousteau Underwater Park, Ilet de Pigeon holds the island's best scuba and snorkeling site. If swimming among the reefs is your thing, I would make this part of your itinerary.

Cascade aux Ecrevisses

What translates directly to Crayfish Falls, Cascade aux Ecrevisses is part of the Parc Nationale de la Guadeloupe. Known as one of the island's most popular spots, people usually come here for the trails leading up to the breathtaking waterfall. If and when you decide to make that trek, be careful! The rocks can get pretty slippery. If you don't want any run-ins with other tourists, come early.

Domaine de Séverin Distillery

After all that climbing, walking, scuba diving, I think you'll need a drink. At the island's historic rum distillery, you'll be sure to be amazed. About 5 times per day, a "Petit Train" crosses the entire plantation, moving past its crayfish ponds, the sugarcane fields, the working waterwheel, and the former mansion of the Marsolle family (no big deal, just the family that's owned the distillery since 1928). The mansion is now the distillery's museum, with a tasting room and a gift shop selling everything rum. If you need to fill your stomach before you gobble down some rum, make a stop at their open-air dining room - you'll get a taste of the jumbo crayfish you just drove past.

Now, you may have just decided to read this piece for entertainment purposes, or you may be preparing to receive your Guadeloupian homestay guest. In the latter case, make sure to read our Guadeloupian Host Tips!

If you want to take a look at Christopher Muther's piece, take a look here

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