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Welcome to Boston Homestay - Chiba Japanese School Group!15-Mar-2019

Our largest group of Japanese teens from Chiba, Japan arrived to homestays. The group will atte..

Welcome to Boston Homestay - Gifu High School Japanese Group!10-Mar-2019

A group of visitors from Gifu High School arrived to Boston and homestay on Sunday evening. The gro..


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Happy St. Patrick's Day

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, March 14, 2019


Every year those of Irish ancestry celebrate St. Patrick’s day on March 17th. St. Patrick, the Irish patron saint himself, is commemorated for bringing Christianity to Ireland in the 5th century. Traditionally, the holiday had a religious connotation. The Irish would attend church in the morning and prepare feasts for the afternoon! Although March 17th usually corresponds with the Christian fasting holiday of Lent, the rules would be waived as a tribute to St. Patrick. The holiday has evolved over time and celebrations quickly spread to countries such as the United States where many people identify with Irish descent.




America is responsible for the first St. Patrick’s day parade in New York in 1762. More than 100 St. Patrick’s day parades are held across the United States annually, including cities such as Boston, New York City, Chicago, and Savannah! Chicago is known for celebrating the holiday by temporarily coloring the Chicago River green for about five hours. In the holiday’s home city of Dublin, Ireland, more than one million people take part in the St. Patrick festivities.  



There are many symbols associated with the holiday. If this is your first time celebrating St. Patrick’s day, the most important social cue to follow is to wear all things green! The tradition of wearing green began in the 17th century as Irish immigrants to the United States believed that wearing green made one invisible to leprechauns, fairytale creatures who would pinch you otherwise. Leprechauns themselves are symbols of the holiday. Legend says that leprechauns are notoriously mischievous and are depicted as small bearded creatures with a green coat and hat. According to myths, they are most commonly seen at the end of a rainbow with a pot of gold. Further, if you are to catch a leprechaun, he will grant you three wishes! Another important symbol of the holiday is a shamrock. A shamrock is a three-leaved clover said to represent the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in Christianity. If you find a four-leaved clover, it is said that you will be bestowed with good luck!




Some of the favorite holiday foods include corned beef, cabbage, shepherd's pie, and Irish soda bread. Bakeries will decorate their pastries green and with symbols such as the shamrock noted above. Make sure to head to Boston’s very own St. Patrick’s day parade this Sunday, March 17th starting at 1 PM. Make sure to show us how you celebrate this St. Patrick’s day by using #HomestayBoston or sharing with @globalimmersions!


Sources: History, USA, Brittanica, BHG, Express


FREE Pancakes at IHOP 3/12/19!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Sunday, March 10, 2019

Happy National Pancake Day!

Head over to IHOP on Tuesday, March 12 to celebrate and get your FREE short stack of original buttermilk pancakes and donate to help children battling critical illnesses! Find your nearest IHOP and learn more here.

Do you know the history of Pancake Day? Last Tuesday, March 5, was also Shrove Tuesday. "Shrive" means for one to confess their sins. During the olden days, on the day before Lent, people would use all of their eggs, fat and butter to make pancakes since they would not be eating these foods over the next 6 weeks. Lent is the 40 days preceding Easter in Christian traditions where fasting and food abstaining occurs. Lent began this year on March 6 and ends April 18.


Around the world, different countries celebrate Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day in many ways! In some towns in the U.K., people have pancake races while flipping them in frying pans. In Denmark, the day is called Fastelavn, in which children dress up in costumes and eat Danish style buns. In Canada, their pancakes are filled with objects to predict the future as the ring finder will be married first, the thimble finder will be a seamstress/tailor, the name finder will be a carpenter and the coin finder will become rich. In France, Shrove Tuesday is known as Mardi Gras or "Fat Tuesday", but their pancake day is on February 2nd and called Candlemas. They eat crêpes which are believed to bring a year full of happiness, wealth, health and good crops. Whoever flips their pancake without dropping it on the ground, has good luck for the year. Let us know your Pancake Day traditions in the comments below!


Hosts: Try making pancakes from scratch with your students with this recipe from Food Network! TAG us in your Instagram pictures @globalimmersions and enjoy!


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups milk, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more as needed

Sources:

https://www.whyeaster.com/customs/shrovetuesday.shtml

http://blog.english-heritage.org.uk/pancake-day-traditions/

http://projectbritain.com/pancakeday/world.htm

Favorite American Foods

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, March 05, 2019


The United States is known as the melting pot of the world, a unique mixture of religions, peoples, cultures...we have it all. And we have all of the food too! Often times when deciding what to eat for dinner, you will hear Americans say they want Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Tex-mex; the possibilities are endless. Although one’s first thought of American food may be McDonald’s hamburgers, the truth is there are plenty of more cultural dishes to offer! Today we want to share with you some of our favorite American meals, to try while eating out or to try while cooking at home. There’s too many to choose from, so we picked out the best for you!



Let’s start with breakfast, known as the most important meal of the day.The American culture typically encourages a larger breakfast portion size than other cultures, although a breakfast routine is different for every individual. New England especially is well-known for its American breakfast diners with plates piled high with scrambled eggs, pancakes, waffles, and of course, local maple syrup. At home, people commonly eat cold cereals, toasts, and eggs. Breakfast sandwiches are also commonplace, as well as oatmeal or granola dishes. For those near or visiting Boston, 11% of Northeasterners report preferring to eat bagels for breakfast, which is more than anywhere else in the United States! Another important American phenomenon normally found in cities is brunch. For those of you new to the idea of ‘brunch’, it is a combination of a breakfast and lunch time meal typically served from 10AM-2PM on the weekends. Lucky for you, Boston has some of the best brunch. Most importantly, Americans need their coffee in the morning. One study shows that more than ⅓ of the American population drinks coffee daily, and the average coffee drinker has more than 3 cups per day!



For lunch, most Americans opt for a quick and easy meal such as salads or sandwiches. One American favorite is the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, most commonly loved by children. A Boston favorite is a New England lobster roll. Caught locally, these lobster rolls can be served hot and toasted with butter, or cold and tossed in mayonnaise. (Many people have their preference but both are worth a try!) Another important food group for Americans is all things barbecue. We love grilling and hosting picnic get togethers with friends and family. Every region of the United States is known for its own barbecue style or flavor. Hotdogs and hamburgers also fall within the barbecue category. The most “American” restaurant you will find in the U.S. is a burger or barbecue joint. Favorite side dishes may include homemade macaroni and cheese, corn on the cob, cole slaw, or french fries. Many diners or burger places will also serve sweet milkshakes to complement the savory burgers! Boston Burger company, a local burger chain, is famous for over ten flavors of decorated milkshakes.




Finally, desserts! First and foremost, are chocolate chip cookies. Whether freshly baked at home or bought from the store, chocolate chip cookies are an American staple. Often kids will dunk their cookies in milk, or put ice cream between two cookies to form an ice cream sandwich called a chipwich. Next, are s’mores. We make s’mores mostly in the summertime by roasting marshmallows over the fire. Everyone has their preference to how gooey or cooked they like their marshmallows toasted. The final product is a marshmallow sandwiched between chocolate bars and graham crackers to form one of America’s all time favorite desserts.

What is your favorite American dish or treat? Share with us by using #HomestayBoston or tagging @globalimmersions!

Sources: ABC News, Time

Lunar New Year - Year of the Pig

Global Immersions Recruiting - Saturday, February 09, 2019


Happy Lunar New Year everyone! The Lunar New Year celebration, also known as the Spring Festival, started on Tuesday, February 5th this calendar year and will end with the Lantern Festival on Tuesday, February 19th. As the most important festivity in countries like China, North and South Korea, and Vietnam, this holiday alone is celebrated by more than 20% of the world’s population! Not to mention that more fireworks are set off on the Lunar New Year than any other day of the year. This is is the most important time for celebrating families all over the world to gather together to welcome spring and share in one another’s company.



This Lunar New Year is the Year of the Pig, which is often seen as a symbol of wealth, diligence, kindness, and generosity. Each Lunar New Year cycle is characterized by one of the  twelve zodiac animals, as well as the five elements of earth. The year you are born and your Zodiac can help predict your fortune, marriage and career compatibility, and so much more.  This Year of the Pig overlaps with the Earth element. So according to the Zodiac, Pigs born in 2019, are predicted to be outgoing, supported by loved ones, and fortunate. Lucky colors include yellow, gray and brown. Lucky numbers are 2, 5, 8. Curious to know your Zodiac sign? Click here to find out!



As family come from all over to celebrate for two weeks, The Lunar New Year has some of the best food recipes and traditions too. Many meals are designed to provide specific blessings for the upcoming year. Certain food groups and dishes have symbolic powers to bring prosperity, fertility, and happiness. For example, eggs are known for big happy families and lobster is known for financial prosperity. Some traditional meals may include spring rolls, dumplings, noodles, steamed fish and chicken, rice cakes, vegetables, and hot pots. There is even special wine saved just for the occasion. Each family has their own favorites and traditions! You will notice that the color red dominates the Lunar New Year celebration. Red lanterns, red string, red clothing. Another famous tradition is to exchange gifts, particularly red envelopes that are filled with money! Most commonly these red envelopes are passed from the elderly to children, symbolically passing along fortune to the youngest generation. However, the envelopes can also be passed between friends, family, and even co-workers.The new year celebration will continue until the Lantern Festival when everyone socializes in the streets, plays games, and lights lantern to celebrate the new year. We want to see you celebrate! Share your Lunar New Year experiences with us by using #HomestayBoston or tagging @globalimmersions!


Sources: Chinese New Year


Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, January 17, 2019



Every third Monday in January is a national holiday to honor the life, ideals, and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr.  Assassinated in April of 1968, his legacy still lives on today through the observance of this holiday. Best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs, Martin Luther King was also a pastor, activist, humanitarian and leader in the African Civil Rights Movement.  During this period of American history the American Civil Rights Movement was at its height as minorities, mainly African-Americans, protested the many laws and racial prejudices that maintained their status as second-class citizens.  As a Christian minister, Dr. King's main influence was Jesus Christ and Christian gospels with strong emphasis on Jesus’ commandment of loving your neighbors as yourself, loving God above all, and loving your enemies by praying for them and loving them. He was also strongly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi’s success with non-violent activism. With such inspiration Dr. King and several other civil rights activists founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) created to harness the moral authority and organizing power of the black churches to conduct non-violent protests in search of civil rights reform. 

One of these protests was the March on Washington in 1963, where King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech, one of the most well-known speeches in American history and marking King as one of the greatest orators in American history. In 1964 he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in combating racial inequality through nonviolence. In the final years of his life he expanded his work to include poverty and the Vietnam War. In 1968 he was planning another occupation of Washington relating to these issues when he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee by a white man who opposed King’s views on racial equality. Nationwide riots ensued in response to his murder and a national day of mourning was issued by the president days after his death. Although his life was cut short at an early age, King’s legacy still lives on today. Just days after his assassination Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1968 that prohibited discrimination in housing based on race, religion, or national origin that was later expanded. He was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal after his death. In 1986 Martin Luther King Jr. Day became a national holiday as he became a national icon in the history of American progressiveness. The only other two people who have national holidays honoring them are George Washington and Christopher Columbus which exemplifies the significance Dr. King has had on American history. And although inequality is a tremendous issues still facing the U.S. and the world today, commemorating an idol who fought to better the world through nonviolence helps inspire change and improvement in us all and is what makes this holiday so important.  

There are a lot of activities happening around Boston this weekend to celebrate and pay tribute to Dr. King.  Check out our Go Global Facebook page!


See Holiday Theater This Week

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, December 14, 2018

Boston Ballet’s performance of the world-famous ballet, The Nutcracker, is perhaps the most well-known holiday show in the city. The Nutcracker, set to score of Tchaikovsky, tells the story of a young girl named Clara, who is taken on a magical journey when her nutcracker, a gift from her uncle, comes to life on Christmas. For many families, seeing the Nutcracker has become a holiday tradition. But, did you know that there are many other entertaining holiday musicals and plays annually performed in Boston? Local theater companies across the city host a variety of theatric holiday performances, based off of seasonal favorites like It’s a Wonderful Life or A Christmas Carol, all at a fraction of the price of a Nutcracker ticket. Below is a selection of some holiday shows to get you in the Christmas spirit!


A Celtic Sojourn

Boston’a Cutler Majestic Theater will host Celtic Sojourn, an annual show featuring holiday music, with Celtic and Pagan influences. Celtic Sojourn, once a popular radio program, has been transformed into a live performance every Christmas season for the past 15 years. The show features a cast of talented musicians, singers, and dancers from Celtic countries around the world. Performances will run from December 14 -23, 218. You can find more information and a showtime schedule here.  


It’s A Wonderful Life

If you’re a fan of the classic Christmas movie, A Wonderful Life, then you can’t miss out on seeing a live version performed by the Greater Boston Stage Company in Stoneham, MA. The Greater Boston Theater Company is a non-profit theater organization that performs six or seven shows a year. This holiday, the Company will also be performing another well-known holiday film, Tiny Tim’s Christmas Story from now until December 23rd. You can purchase tickets here, and a special discount is given to students!


A Christmas Carol

The Central Square Theater will also be hosting its own version of A Christmas Carol through December 30th. The performance tells the story of Charles Dickens’ famous novel and has become a holiday classic in Boston. Actors dance, sing, and use puppets to animate the story of Ebenezer Scrooge in Victorian-era London. The Theater also offers discounted tickets for both high school and college students. You can purchase tickets and find showtimes here.  


Hip Hop Nutcracker

Hip Hop Nutcracker is an unconventional rendition of the classic ballet, set in 1980s Brooklyn. This contemporary dance performance, hosted by the Emmerson Colonial Theater, features hip-hop mashups of Tchaikovsky’s famous music with a professional cast of dancers, an electric violinist and a DJ. Last December’s performances were all sold out shows, and this year is expected to be just as popular. Tickets still remain for this weekend’s shows, you can browse showtimes here.


Happy Holidays! If you see any of these festive plays, be sure to share your experience with us by using #HomestayBoston or tagging @globalimmersions!

Boston Celebrates Cultural Diversity

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Boston is a diverse city, home to many different cultures and ethnicities. Boston’s diversity makes the city an interesting place to live and study, as different cultural groups share their heritage through food, cultural events, or even film festivals. Boston City Hall has found a unique way to celebrate the different cultures that make up Boston, raising a flag at City Hall each month to bring awareness to the city’s diversity. The Mayor’s office has chosen to commemorate flags from many countries and community’s to “create an environment in the city where everyone feels included and is treated with respect”. According to the Mayor's office, the goal of displaying these flags is also to “foster diversity and build and strengthen connections among Boston's many communities.”


(The Ethiopian Flag raised outside City Hall)

If you have walked by City Hall, in Boston’s Government Center, then perhaps you have noticed another nation’s flag, raised next to those of the United States, Massachusetts, and Boston. Often times, along with a flag raising, the designated cultural group will hold an event, sharing their traditions and heritage with the rest of the city. Depending on the culture, flag raising ceremonies may include dancing, live music, food, and public speeches. Thus, the City Hall flagpole serves as a sort of community meeting place. The steps outside City Hall have become a place of cultural appreciation, where Boston residents can learn more about each other and celebrate each other’s differences.  


(Puerto Rican community members gather at the Peurto Rican Flag Raising)

The full schedule for upcoming flag raising ceremonies is not yet complete, though the Mayor’s Office Website indicates the February flag will be Lithuania, followed by Pride Week, Caribbean American and Puerto Rico in the late spring and summer. Cultural groups can contact the Mayor’s office if they wish to have their flag displayed.


(Performers at the Italian Flag Raising Ceremony)

What are some of the values and traditions of your culture? Share them with us by using #HomestayBoston or tagging @globalimmersions!

Famous Foods in MA

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, November 13, 2018


What food item is Massachusetts best known for? You might recognize certain brands - like Fluffernutter, Ken's Steakhouse dressing, or Cape Cod Potato chips, from trips to the local grocery store with your host family. These products are among the most famous foods to originate in Massachusetts and have become popular nationally. Maybe you’ve been to the Somerville Fluff Festival? Then you’ll know that Massachusetts takes pride in its food innovations. To show appreciation for similar food creations, Thrillist recently published this article, detailing the most important foods to come from each state. The results for New England were what you might expect, Maine was recognized for its lobster rolls, Vermont for Ben & Jerry’s Ice cream, and Connecticut for the burger. L.A. Burdick Chocolate mice were highlighted in New Hampshire, Del’s Lemonade was chosen for Rhode Island…and Massachusetts’ most important food contribution was Dunkin Donuts.

If you've ever wandered through the streets of Boston, this may not come as such a surprise. You can a find a Dunkin' (or two) on almost any street, and the corporation never has a shortage of advertisements on Boston's billboards, taxi cabs, or buildings. Just how many Dunkin's are there in Massachusetts? Well, according to the map below, there's a lot. Boston.com counts 61 Dunkin stores in Boston alone, with countless others across the state, and over 9,000 in the continental US with about 2,000 stores in 36 countries internationally. In Massachusetts, the brand outnumbers Starbucks 10 to 1, so maybe Boston really does run on Dunkin'?

(Map of every Dunkin' in MA)

How did Massachusetts most famous corporation, and apparent greatest food contribution, get its start? It's an interesting story. In 1948, Dunkin' founder, William Rosenberg owned a coffee shop in Quincy, Massachusetts called "Open Kettle". In 1950, Rosenberg changed the shop's name to "Dunkin Donuts", thus the first Dunkin' store was born. The store then began to be franchised in 1955 and grew form there. Recently Dunkin Donuts dropped the "Donuts" from its name and now just goes by Dunkin'. The corporation is currently headquartered south of Boston in Canton, Massachusetts.

 

In 1990 Dunkin’ acquired their main competitor, Mister Donut and changed many of those locations to Dunkins. However, a lot of the international locations were not changed, which is why you can still find a Mister Donut in several countries abroad. If you’re a student from Japan or another Southeast Asian nation, then perhaps you’ve been! Of course, there are many other places in the city find the perfect donut. If this post made you hungry for something frosted and sweet, treat yourself to a snack from one of Boston’s best donut shops. Enjoy!

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!

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. 




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