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Red Sox Opening Day!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Monday, April 06, 2015

The Red Sox opening day is this April 13, and officially marks the beginning of Spring in Boston! Due to the special occasion, we're sharing some fun facts about the historic Fenway Park, as well as the Boston Red Sox. Don't forget to pick up your game tickets here, or learn more by taking a tour

Because of the park's age and constrained loaction, Fenway parks has been renovated many times, resulting in quirky features like "The Triangle," "Pesky's Pole," and the Green Monster. It is the fourth smallest MLB ballpark, but of course one of the most iconic!

 

You can also notice the retired numbers at the top of the stadium which signify numbers of particularly influential Red Sox players. You can find the list of players here:

1. Bobby Doerr

4. Joe Cronin

6. Johnny Pesky

8. Carl Yastrzemski

9. Ted Williams

14. Jim Rice

27. Carlton Fisk

42. Jackie Robinson (retired for all MLB)

The Red Sox are most well known for their almost 100 year dry spell between 1912 and 2004. Since then, Boston has won the Championship in 2007 and 2013. The 2013 win was particularly special because they were crowned champions in Fenway Park. 

We highly suggest you head outside with your visitor on these beautiful spring days and venture out to the beautiful and historic Fenway Park. What is your favorite way to celebrate spring? Let us know! 

Donuts!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Donuts are the ultimate breakfast treat. Sweet and soft dough with hundreds of topping varieties, you really can’t go wrong! Luckily for the people of Boston, there is a wide variety bakery to suit your every doughnut need. But how did this sweet treat find its way to our breakfast tables?

Well, it turns out donuts have Dutch origins, and made their way to America under the name olykoeks or “oily cakes.” The holes were added in the donuts so they could bake thoroughly and not have an under cooked center. However, they became particularly popular during and after WWI. The women volunteers would bring donuts to men in the front line trenches to give them a taste of home. Naturally, when they returned to America, they had a craving for these delicious treats. And thus the doughnut machine was born. These machines work are used by some classic doughnut chains like Krispy Kreme or the Boston favorite: Dunkin’ Donuts.

So, where can you go to sample this American delicacy? One of the more popular choices is Union Square Donuts. This particular bakery offers a wide variety of donuts with very unique flavors. They also offer vegan donuts for anyone with dietary restrictions. Some of the flavors they offer include Sea Salted Caramel, Pink Lemonade, and Brown Butter Hazelnut Crunch. If you’re feeling really brave, try the Maple Bacon!

For a more classic variety of donuts, head out to Saugus to enjoy Kane’s Donuts. You can enjoy Honey Dip, Boston Cream, or Maine Blueberry. Or if you want a selection of gourmet flavors, Blackbird Donuts on Tremont is the place to go. There, you can enjoy a variety of flavors, but go fast because their menu changes! But these aren't the only places you can go to enjoy this special treat! There are even more doughnut bakeries in the Boston area that you can try out. For more information click here.

No matter where you decide to get your fix, enjoying a doughnut with your visitor is sure to be an experience they won’t forget! It’s always fun to have classic American treats  with your visitor, because there’s a possibility they've never eaten something quite like it. We suggest taking them to a bakery near you an allowing them to choose their own flavor!

Where’s your favorite doughnut shop? Are there any other treats you like to enjoy with your visitor? Let us know! 

Saint Patrick's Day!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Monday, March 09, 2015

In Boston, Saint Patrick’s Day is a very popular holiday. Since Massachusetts is the nation’s most Irish state, it would make sense that Boston had one of the top celebrations. This year, on Sunday, March 15 all of the people of Boston will crowd into South Boston to watch the big parade in their emerald green outfits! The parade is an excellent opportunity for hosts to show their students what Boston life is all about! But before you go, here's a little bit of background on this green holiday. 

Saint Patrick's day occurs every 17th of March, which is the death date of the most recognized patron saint in Ireland, Saint Patrick. This holiday began hundreds of years ago in the 17th century, and is a feast day that commemorates Christianity in Ireland. For those of you who participate in lent, the Lenten restrictions are lifted on this day! But why is he celebrated? Well, from what we know, Patrick converted the pagan Irish to Christianity. Tradition holds that he died on March 17, and centuries later he is still Ireland's foremost saint.

As we all know, Saint Patrick's day is customary to wearing emerald green and shamrocks. The reason for this being, when Saint Patrick described the holy trinity to the pagan Irish, he used a shamrock. The color green is not a new association with Ireland, as it's been a symbolic color since the 16th century. 

 

Saint Patrick's day, though not a national holiday, is celebrated widely throughout the United States. In fact, the only county that recognizes Saint Patrick's day as a legal holiday is Boston's own Suffolk County! Boston, however, celebrates Saint Patrick's day not only for the traditional meaning behind the holiday, but another reason as well. During the Revolutionary War, on March 17, 1776, the British soldiers saw a line of 55 American cannons at Dorchester Heights, and left Boston. The password for safe passage through the lines at that time was "Saint Patrick." 

There are so many ways and reasons to celebrate Saint Patrick's day this season, and what better way to do so than enjoying it with your visitor?! Make sure they're wearing green, and head out the weekend of March 14 to enjoy all kinds of Irish festivities.

What is your favorite way to celebrate this lucky holiday? Let us know

Boston Sports

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, February 12, 2015

If you love sports, then Boston is the city to be in. With professional teams in Hockey, Basketball, Baseball and Football, there's something for everyone to enjoy. And don't forget about the universities in the area, all with their own sports teams! You don't even have to go to the games to enjoy all of the sporting events Boston has to offer, just step outside and you could run into a champion parade or a sports museum

One of the most exciting things to happen to Boston recently is winning the Superbowl against the Seattle Seahawks 28-24! One of the best parts of having a winning sports team is the parade that follows. On February 5, people gathered around the streets of Boston to celebrate the victory and watch the Patriots players travel by duck boat around the town. We certainly hope you and your visitor enjoyed all of the Superbowl festivities. 


It's not too late to enjoy the Boston Beanpot coming up on February 23 at the TD Garden! Boston University and Northeastern will be playing each other in the final that Friday night. Hockey is a popular sport here in the northeast and the upcoming Beanpot is a great opportunity to teach your visitor about a sport they might no know much about! Who will you be rooting for? 


Most Boston sports are played in the TD Garden, but not only sports are played at this great arena. You can go to concerts, ice skating performances, and of course hockey and basketball games. Check out the TD Garden for events next time you're in the area.

Fenway Park is one of the most iconic destinations in Boston. The home of the Red Sox and the Green Giant, it's a great place to go for a baseball game in the spring and summer, or tour year-round! 

Boston has so much to offer to any sports fan. Be sure to check out some of these fun places and games with your visitor!

Boston Bruins and the New England Patriots

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, October 03, 2014

This fall marks the beginning of two of the best seasons of the year, the American football and ice hockey seasons of course! The two teams representing Boston and the Boston area in these sports are the New England Patriots (American football) and the Boston Bruins (ice hockey). The Patriots season has already begun (although none too well) while the Bruins will be holding their season opener on October 8th at the TD Garden rink here in Boston. The fan base for both these teams is a strong part of Boston culture. Seeing fans with sporting Patriots and Bruins shirts is unavoidable while walking through Boston. Sunday football games and evening hockey matches are spent in front of the television with classic game-day snacks like nachos, chicken wings, grilling hot dogs and hamburgers, salads, and pizza for many American families. Gathering friends and family together for these games is especially common here in Boston because both of these teams are widely respected and have strong histories in championship winning. To get you in to the fall and winter sport spirit, check out these fun facts about both these teams! 

The New England Patriots

  • The name "Patriots" was selected by a panel of sportswriters in 1959, the year the team was established, but the name was originally the "Boston Patriots" until the team moved the stadium outside of Boston  in 1971 and was renamed the "New England Patriots"
  • The Patriots have appeared in the Superbowl (the American football world championship) seven times, which is the third most in the nation 
  • The Patriots have a record of the most Superbowl wins in one decade, and are one of only two teams to have won 3 Superbowl titles in 4 years
  • But all of their victories have only be won by 3 points
  • The image above is what the original Patriots logo (on the left) used to look like, until it was streamlined in 1993 to the logo of today (on the right) 
  • Similar to the Boston/ New York rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, the Patriots rivalry is with a New York team- the New York Jets
  • The Patriots are the sixth most valuable sports franchise in the world

The Boston Bruins

  • The Boston Bruins are the oldest American ice hockey team in existence, first established in 1924
  • They are a member of the Original Six franchise: They are one of the six teams that first established the National Hockey League
  • The above photo shows the evolution of the Bruins jersey from their first establishment through to the present 
  • They have won six Stanley Cup titles (the ice hockey championships) and have won the most titles of any American hockey league
  • Arguably the most famous hockey player of all time, Bobby Orr played for the Bruins during the 1970's assisting them in winning two Stanley Cups in three years and breaking multiple player records leading to the Bruins of the time to be dubbed "The Big Bad Bruins"
  • The Bruins main rivalry is with the Montreal Canadiens, the winningest team in all of NHL history and another member of the Original Six

So with those facts in mind, are you ready to watch the seasons of these historical sports teams unfold? Watching games is a fun and simple way to engage your student and to learn about American and Boston culture. Most games are aired at restaurants and areas with public televisions, so don't miss out! Check out the Patriots season schedule here and the Bruins season schedule here

Do you think we left out any important facts? Who's your favorite fall/ winter sport team? What sports do you watch in your home country? We want to know! 

Explore Boston: The South End!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, September 26, 2014

The South End of Boston is one of the most historical neighborhoods in the city. Located south of Back Bay, northwest of South Boston, northeast of Roxbury, and north of Dorchester. One of the most famous parts of this neighborhood is the uniform mid-nineteenth century architecture of its buildings.  A common palette of red brick, slate, limestone or granite trim, and cast iron railings provide great visual unity to these unique bowfront buildings. Today, the South End is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Boston Landmark District. It is North America's largest extant Victorian residential district. But not only does Boston have some of the most beautiful and iconic buildings in the city, but many other highly acclaimed restaurants, events, attractions, and areas for shopping. In this Explore Boston we will explore the South End! 

Events


Near the heart of the city, the South End always has events and festivals ongoing. Although well-known for its upscale restaurants and retails, you won't be hard-pressed to find events in this Boston neighborhood. 

  • The SoWa Open Market- Every Sunday this market is open starting in May and going through the end of October. Food trucks, farmer's markets, local artists and foods, and much more are available for enjoying in New England's largest open market. 
  • South End House tours- At various times throughout the year homeowners of the iconic Victorian brownstone homes open them up for the general public to enjoy and admire. 
  • NeckTies- A celebration of the unique South End community and the businesses that make it up. All proceeds go to a local non-profit.

Attractions


Aside from the beautiful architecture of this neighborhood, there are a number of other must-see attractions while exploring the South End.

  • The Institute of Contemporary Art- A feat of art itself, the architecture of this building will awe you as a stark contrast to the uniformity of the Victorian brownstones. Its art isn't something to be missed either.
  • Southwest Corridor Park- A stroll along the section between the Mass Ave and Back Bay subway stops is a great way to start a visit to the South End.
  • Cathedral of the Holy Cross- As the largest Catholic church in New England and has played a critical role in the life of Boston’s evolving immigrant communities

Food


Arguably the highlight of the neighborhood, the restaurants in the South End are renowned for their quality and diversity. From cafe's to upscale restaurants you won't be hard-pressed to find something delicious in this neighborhood. 

  • Wally's Cafe- A former jazz locale, this restaurant still entertains with live music 365 days a year. 
  • Toro- One of the best Spanish restaurants in the city, this is the perfect place to taste some tapas. 
  • Flour Bakery & Cafe- One of the most famous bakeries in the city they also serve one of the most delicious and decadent brunches in Boston. 
  • B & G Oysters- If you're looking for authentic seafood and a more upscale dining experience B & G can't be missed. 
  • Stella- For authentic Italian in the South End, Stella can't be beat.

Shopping


Shopping is another huge draw to the South End neighborhood. With both high-end boutiques and small local businesses you can find anything you need or want in the South End.

  • Gifted- A neat little store with gifts and nick-nacks both local and global. 
  • Boomerang's Special Edition- A cool consignment shop for the thrifty buyer. Hats to clothes and more. The men's department is especially eclectic. 
  • Follain- For the ladies, cosmetics and skin care, and homemade products. Friendly staff are always available to give suggestions. 
  • Table & Tulip- Beautiful flowers and floral arrangements that can't be found anywhere else are here with knowledgeable staff to help the floundering boyfriend. 
  • Bazaar Bizarre- Over 85 local vendors selling their crafts. Perfect for gifting. 

So, with this guide in hand, get ready to go explore one of Boston's historic neighborhoods! What is your favorite place in the South End? Did we leave anything out? We want to know! 

Fall Activities in Boston

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, September 19, 2014


As summer draws to an end and the crisp evenings of fall (also known as autumn) set in activities to do in and around the city change as well. From apple picking, to pumpkin carving, to simply enjoying the fall foliage, the changing American seasons also bring new and exciting culture events. And even simple everyday activities you enjoy in your home can be exciting cultural events. American football is a sport almost solely followed in the United States. Watching a Thursday or Sunday evening football game is an American past-time enjoyed by many Americans, and very easy to access in most restaurants and public locales around the city if you don't have access to a television. Check out the New England Patriot's (the official Boston football team) fall schedule here 
 


Once the leaves start to change (a phenomenon not common in many other regions of the world) simply going for a neighborhood walk to admire the colors of the leaves can be a beautiful and relaxing fall event. The Boston Public Garden's and Boston Common have some of the best fall foliage in the city. Harvard's University's Arnold Arboretum is one of the most spectacular places to see diverse plant life and the beautiful warm hues of fall leaves. Check out this list of the Seven Best Places to see Autumn Color in BostonFor the more adventurous willing to head outside Boston there are many ways to enjoy the last few weeks of mild weather. From easy walks through Jamaica Plain to the MBTA accessible Blue Hills trails there are many nearby locales for hiking and exploring the foliage as well. Check out these 6 hiking routes accessible by MBTA


Apple picking is another great American fall tradition. Going to local apple orchards and farms that grow their own produce including squash and pumpkins and often make their own homemade apple cider is a classic fall tradition, especially in New England. Sometimes they even have corn mazes you can play and get lost in (but don't worry, there's always a way out!) Here's a map of the best apple picking areas around Boston. 



Open markets aren't over yet in the city either! As fall produce comes to harvest the market season remains in full swing. Pumpkins and squash, apples, cider, pies, corn, potatoes, and turkey are all traditionally American foods that can be found at these farmer's markets. Check out some of the best markets ongoing in the city too! 

So what's your favorite fall pastime? Have you ever tried apple cider before? Did we miss any important fall events? We want to know! 

Explore Jamaica Plain

Global Immersions Recruiting - Monday, July 07, 2014

Jamaica Plain is one of the most diverse and dynamic historic neighborhoods in Boston. The oldest community theatre in the US, Footlight Club is located in this neighborhood. In the 19th century, Jamaica Plain became one of the first streetcar suburbs in America and home to a significant portion of Boston's Emerald Necklace of parks, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. The commercial district, along Centre and South streets, reflects Jamaica Plain’s eclectic community of artists, writers, musicians, activists, young families, and indie-business owners. Fine dining and casual restaurants serve foods of Cuba, Scotland, India, Lebanon, Cambodia, Japan, and other international fare. Boutiques sell everything from kitchen gadgets to funky vintage attire to one-of-a-kind artisan crafts. This neighborhood's dynamic diversity has caused us to choose Jamaica Plain as our next Explore Boston location!


Attractions

Jamaica Plain is just 3 miles or so from downtown, yet it has the most green space of anyplace in the city. The "Emerald Necklace" of the city was designed byFrederick Law Olmsted (also Central Park, NYC) and encompasses Franklin Park and surrounds, Forest Hills Cemetary, Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Pond and all that attaches them together. In general, JP, as the locals call it, has tons of trees. Long ago, affluent Bostonians used JP as a summer vacation spot and many had second homes in the area. A number of historic sites also dot JP. Check them out!

  1. Jamaica Pond- A top location to go for a run or just enjoy the green space, oh and sailing too!
  2. Forest Hills Cemetary- An open-air museum with Victorian architecture
  3. The Arnold Arboretum- 281 acres of forest, meadows, and ponds
  4. Loring-Greenough House- For a sense of JP colonial history 


Food

Both fine and casual dining experiences are available throughout Jamaica Plain. From the famous J.P. Licks ice cream shop to fare from across the globe, you'll be sure to find anything and everything that suits your taste!

  1. J.P. Licks- Located in a former Victorian fire house, and enjoy homemade ice cream, fair trade house-roasted coffee, hot chocolate, and baked goods
  2. The Haven- Scottish fare with a New England twist
  3. Tres Gatos- Tapas style food with a new American flare
  4. El Oriental de Cuba- The best Cuban food around 
  5. Blue Nile Restaurant- Delicious Ethiopian Cuisine


Shopping

The shopping in JP reflects the artsy and eclectic community that makes up this neighborhood. Boutiques sell everything from the funky to the functional to the fun. Check out some of our top picks!

  1. Lucy Parsons Center- A local bookstore sure to have any book not found in the library
  2. 40 South Street- For all your all-vintage clothing needs
  3. Salmagundia full-service shop offering a selection of about 9,000 hats handpicked by the owners as well as a selection of accessories, including jewelry, handbags, dresses, ties, and gloves.
  4. Boomerangs- A thrift shop benefiting the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts

So hop on the Orange line and head to Jackson Square to check out these fun, delicious, historical, and beautiful locales and events while the weather is warm!

Have you been to Jamaica Plain before? Did we miss something? What is your favorite thing to do in Jamaica Plain? We want to know!


Explore Harvard Square!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Monday, June 16, 2014

Harvard Square is one of the most iconic squares in the Boston area. It is the historic center of Cambridge. Adjacent to Harvard Yard, the historic heart of Harvard University, the Square (as it is sometimes called locally) functions as a commercial center for Harvard students, as well as residents of western Cambridge and the inner western and northern suburbs of Boston. These residents use the Harvard station, a major MBTA Red Line subway and bus transportation hub. Not only is Harvard Square's colonial architecture and small-town feel charming in its own classic New England right, but the proximity and shared name with that of arguably the most prestigious university in the U.S. has caused the business that make up the square uphold the standards set by such an iconic location. From burgers to coffee, Curious George to the Harvard Co-op Store, music festivals to Cambridge tours, Harvard Square has it all! We start our summer "Explore Boston" series with Harvard Square!

Festivals and Events 


There are numerous festivals and events in the Harvard Square area! The Harvard Square community is constantly alive with various festivals and events throughout the summer. Here are some of the best events going on in the Square this summer: 

1. The 7th Annual Make Music Harvard Square/ Fete de la Musique

The Harvard Square Business is gearing up to celebrate the summer solstice with the 7th Annual Make Music Harvard Square / Fête de la Musique. On June 21st, the streets of Harvard Square become a free, live music festival featuring more than 70 musicians from across the USA playing on 12 different stages. Festivities kick off at 2pm and come to a close at 10pm. - See more

2. Summer Solstice Celebration: Night at the Harvard Museum

Enjoy a fun evening of telescope viewings, music, and hands-on activities for all ages at the Harvard Plaza, with free evening admission to four HMSC museums --the Harvard Museum of Natural History, the Harvard Semitic Museum, Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology. June 21st.  More info 

3. Cambridge Common Tour

Founded in 1631, Cambridge Common Park was once the common pasture for Old Cambridge. Later it served as an encampment for the Continental Army. Today it’s home to playgrounds and ball fields, surrounded by historic houses, churches, and buildings of Harvard University. We’ll explore nearly 400 years of history & architecture on our loop of Cambridge Common. July 21st. More info 

Food


After checking out some of these fun events, what's better than sitting down to a delicious meal? Harvard Square has numerous highly rated and amazingly delicious restaurants inspired by cuisines from around the world! Check out some of the bet places to grab a bite: 

  1. Otto: Pizza lovers delight 
  2. Veggie Planet: Delicious and a huge variety of vegan and vegetarian options
  3. Russell House Tavern: Classic American tavern food, but delicious
  4. Alden & Harlow: A refined twist on classic American 
  5. Cafe Sushi: Some of the best Japanese around
  6. Border Cafe: Tex-Mex, Cajun/ Creole for those looking for some Southern comfort food
Attractions



In and around Harvard Square there are a number of historical and cultural sites to visit as well! Here are some of our favorites:
  1. Harvard Yard and University: An obvious must-see 
  2. The Charles River: The beautiful river with a breath-taking view of Boston 
  3. Mt. Auburn Cemetery: A National Historic Landmark 
  4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT): Another of the most prestigious universities in the world 
  5. Harvard Museum of Natural History: A beautifully maintained public museum 
Shopping



As the central hub for Harvard University and the city of Cambridge, shopping is a must-do while in the Harvard Square area:
  1. Harvard Bookstore: A Square original 
  2. Black Ink: Cards, stationary & toys- something for everyone!
  3. World's Only Curious George Store: An iconic American children's tale come alive in a toy store
  4. Goorin Bros.: Unique and beautifully crafted accessories and hats 
  5. Planet Records: For all your musical needs
  6. The Harvard Co-op: For all your Harvard Square tourist needs
So hop on the red line and head to Harvard Square to check out these fun, delicious, historical, and beautiful locales and events while the weather is warm! 

Have you been to Harvard Square before? What is your favorite thing to do in the Square or Cambridge? Did we miss something essential? We want to know! 

Memorial Day

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, May 21, 2014

This Monday, May 26th marks a very important national federal holiday for Americans- Memorial Day. This holiday, celebrated annually on the last Monday of May, is one of the oldest traditions in U.S. culture. Originally called 'Decoration Day' Memorial Day became a holiday after the American Civil War to commemorate the soldiers from both sides (Union and Confederate) who died during the war. Memorial Day has now been extended to honor all men and women who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The U.S.'s pride, influence, and sheer number of members in the armed forces both past and present cause this holiday to be one of the most widely celebrated non-secular holidays in the country. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly those who have died in military service, and place flowers on their graves. There are often religious services on this day as well. As it is one of the first federal holidays at the beginning of summer months, this holiday is also used to mark the beginning of these summer vacation months. Traditionally families and friends gather to eat a picnic or have a cookout and often wear the national colors, red, white, and blue. 

Parades are often also held on this day, especially in large cities such as Boston. Current members of the armed forces, veterans, marching bands, military vehicles from various wars, and an overall military theme is the norm for these parades. Other traditions include the lowering of the American flag to half-staff during the first half of the day on Memorial Day. Since the day is a federal holiday all government run offices and public schools are closed on this day. 

So how do you plan on celebrating this special day? Will you be honoring the fallen soldiers with your family, or will you be marking the beginning of the summer months and heading to a friendly cookout like the one in the photo above? If you are in need of some ideas check out this list of 10 things to do in and around Boston on Memorial Day! 

And don't forget to let us know how you celebrated! 


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