Register Today for our 2015 Users Meeting!

Register online today to join us for our 2015 SCOLA Users Meeting! The meeting will be held Thursday, May 21st and Friday, May 22nd in Omaha, Nebraska and McClelland, Iowa. The two day conference will be packed with trends and resources for foreign language and cultural education, presented by leaders in the field.

At this year’s meeting you can expect to:

  • Learn how industry experts are approaching foreign language and cultural training!
  • Interact with people just as enthusiastic as you are about looking at the world from a global perspective!
  • Get hands-on experience with everything SCOLA has to offer, including our exciting new service, Savoir-Vivre!
  • Have the rare opportunity to tour the inside of a US Air Force reconnaissance plane!
  • Eat great food and have fun!

THURSDAY

10:00 a.m.: Check-in, DoubleTree Hotel lobby, Downtown Omaha, Nebraska
11:00 a.m.: Lunch
Afternoon: Presentations
Evening: Dinner and RC-135 Tour at Offutt AFB

FRIDAY

Morning: SCOLA campus tour and breakfast in McClelland, Iowa
Afternoon: Lunch and Congressional Speaker at the DoubleTree Hotel

Transportation to all events and meals are included with the $100 registration fee.

Register in advance at www.scola.org.

Discounted hotel accommodations are available at DoubleTree Hotel.

For additional conference information, please check our website at www.scola.org.
Also, please feel free to e-mail us at conf@scola.org or call 712-566-2202.

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Behind the Scenes: Meet Franciszek

franek_matysikFebruary was spent traveling around Poland for our Country of the Month. Our Polish provider Franciszek shared with us traditional Polish food, let us experience the cold winter weather in his country, and much more!

Franciszek’s adventure started with SCOLA a few years ago when he was asked about programming in his language. With SCOLA he found that the programs broadcast in his country were of interest to viewers around the world.

Over the years, cooperation between Poland and SCOLA have grown with Franciszek sending in more and more material. He appreciates the work he does with SCOLA and all the employees. He enjoys his partnership with SCOLA that allows him to share Polish programming with people around the world.

Follow along with our next Country of the Month: Germany!

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Behind the Scenes: Meet Somayeh

This month SCOLA followers traveled to Iran with SCOLA provider Somayeh. Somayeh is from Iran, originally Tehran. She is currently a second year graduate student in French Language and Translation Studies. Her thesis is about the role of the translator as a researcher in the process of translation. Somayeh also currently teaches French at Language Institutes. Somayeh loves teaching in general, but especially enjoys teaching languages.

Somayeh began working for SCOLA last July when her sister, also a SCOLA provider, encouraged her to send her resume into SCOLA. Somayeh says she likes to work with SCOLA because it helps her be in touch with people, learn foreign languages and cultures, and learn more about her own language and culture. It has always been her dream to travel to Africa, and recently she started working on Foreign Text with French publications from Africa. Somayeh says “it seems that these are my first steps in knowing the country I hope to travel to.”

Have you enjoyed the material Somayeh sent in for our December Country of the Month? Then be sure to check out Savoir-Vivre, coming soon to SCOLA for more material from Somayeh!

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SCOLA Travel Journal: Week One

Week One:

My international journey through SCOLA On the Street Videos has begun! If you read my last post you know that I recently signed up for a SCOLA subscription, which allows me to travel to foreign countries…right from the comfort of my own home! My first stop: the Philippines!

I arrived in the Philippines on Sunday and stayed for one week. While in the Philippines I was able to experience Filipino culture, expand my knowledge of Filipino languages, and so much more!

My first adventure in the Philippines was to meet some of the locals and gain insight into Filipino culture. I met two sisters and, after telling them about my plans for my international travels, participated in a discussion about social issues in the Philippines and other countries around the world. One sister told of her experiences of bigotry and discrimination in a foreign country. The other sister recounted her own observations of bigotry and discrimination that happen locally. Through my conversation with the two women I was able to discover how local people treat and perceive foreign nationals who stay or travel in their country. This was especially helpful as a beginner traveler!

After my long and insightful discussion with the women I was ready for some fun! While exploring the streets of the Philippines I met up with some local youth that were skateboarding. I had never skateboarded before, but I was in a new country and was up for trying new things so I thought why not! Skateboarding is a lot harder than it looks and it is safe to say I am going to need a lot more practice, but I did learn a lot about the sport. I interviewed a skateboard shop owner and learned some special tips and techniques for beginners!

Skateboarding was a lot of work and I quickly became hungry. I headed back to the two women I had met earlier, hoping they could point me in the right direction for a restaurant offering traditional Filipino food. I was beyond delighted when they offered to teach me a traditional Filipino recipe for Berenghi! My mouth watered as we started preparing the dish, which is a local version of a Spanish paella that mainly consists of sticky rice, chicken, and chorizo. I was able to easily follow along and quickly ate the dish as soon as it was finished!

It was a long, but successful first day in the Philippines. I went to bed tired and anxious to see what else this beautiful country had to bring!

The rest of my week in the Philippines was just as exciting. One day I was able to tag along with different street vendors to see what work was like in their daily lives. The first person I tagged along with was an employee of a local poultry store. I discovered his everyday routines and learned about the different products and services his store provides. The employee even gave me some tips on how to manage quail egg production, and ways to invest in the business and earn profits. I ventured off to tag along with the next person feeling very lucky…where else besides scola.org would I be able to experience a day in the life of a poultry store employee?

Looks like it was time for dessert! The next employee I tagged along with was a local ice cream vendor! “Dirty ice cream” as they call it in the Philippines, is a regular fixture in the streets of this tropical and hot country. Again, I learned helpful tips on how to invest in this type of business.

While in the Philippines I also met local street vendors, discovered what life was like for newlyweds, and got a first look at construction being done on a pharmaceutical company and a hotel in Quezon City!

My last day exploring the Philippines happened to be my favorite. I spent the entire day discovering local folklore, myths, and legends of the Philippines! I was able to explore four tales with a Filipino native: the first tale was the myth of the creation of the Philippine islands, the second tale was a myth about the creation of the first man and woman, the third and fourth stories were about mountain nymphs and their romantic and playful relationships with human beings. The stories were all captivating and left me even more intrigued on this beautiful country, it’s history, and culture.

Although I was sad my journey in the Philippines had come to an end, I was pleased knowing I could return at any time.

Stay tuned to learn where I will travel on my next adventure!

The Secret to Easy and Reliable International Travel

Imagine the international adventure of your dreams and then turn those dreams into a reality with On the Street Videos from SCOLA. Your first stop is Bangladesh, where you can experience firsthand what it’s like to be a freedom fighter. Our next stop will take you to Iraq, where you can uncover what life used to be like living in Baghdad as a Kurdish political activist. Are you tired of traveling yet? We hope not, because you’ll want to be wide awake on our third stop as we explore the culture of Myanmar at Sunday Buddha School at Min Lwin Kone Monastery. All this traveling has surely made you hungry, so our fourth stop will take you to Japan where you will learn how to make a traditional Japanese sushi roll. Eat up, because you will need your energy for the rest of your travels on this ninety country expedition, including a visit to the Philippines to go wake-boarding, attending a wedding in Mali, lending a hand to a beekeeper in Serbia as he completes his daily tasks, and so much more!

As you experience new countries and cultures with On the Street Videos you can also brush up on your foreign language skills. Each adventure offers an authentic experience in our providers native languages.

Not fluent in Burmese and are having trouble following along with the lessons at the Sunday Buddha School in Myanmar?

No problem! SCOLA.org is equipped with a variety of language services designed to help you expand your knowledge and vocabulary of over 175 languages! Log on to Insta-Class and practice your Burmese with over 200 ready-to-use lessons and then head back over to On the Street Videos once you have refreshed your language skills.

Can’t understand all the ingredients in Japan and are really craving that traditional Japanese sushi roll?

No problem! Log on to Spoken Word and chat with our native speaker Misuzu from Japan! Misuzu can answer any questions you have about Japanese language and culture. Soon you will be on your way to mastering Japanese…and have a full stomach!

These adventures are exclusive to SCOLA and won’t be beat by your local travel agency, so contact us today for your free trial! Visit www.scola.org where you won’t just read or learn about new skills, languages, and cultures, you will experience them!

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Behind the Scenes: Meet Marina

In June, SCOLA followers traveled to Belarus with our provider Marina for our Country of the Month. Marina shared traditional Belarusian recipes and a word of the month, and taught us about the climate of her home country.it's me

Marina was born on May 16, 1983, in Minsk, Belarus. From 1989 to 2000, Marina studied at school № 137 in Minsk. From 2000 till 2006, she studied at Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts in the Department of Cultural Studies. From 2006 till 2009, Marina worked at the Institute of Problems of Culture as a Junior Researcher. Meanwhile, she also taught herself about video and editing and soon after became a videographer. Marina started working with SCOLA in 2012 and hopes to continue working with us for many years to come. The material she provided for our Country of the Month is just one of the many projects she has helped us work on. She also sends in material for other SCOLA services, including Savoir-Vivre, which will soon be available for SCOLA subscribers.

When Marina is not working on materials for SCOLA she enjoys traveling, cycling, watching movies and attending concerts and open air festivals. Along with our followers, we would like to thank Marina for all the wonderful and informative information she shared for our June Country of the Month!

Want to learn more about Belarus? Contact us today for your free trial and gain access to over 2,000 resources from Belarus on www.scola.org.

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The Warm Heart of Africa

If you’re following us online you have seen we are currently on an adventure in Malawi for our May Country of the Month! James, our provider from Malawi sends SCOLA a lot of material for our services, and most recently he has sent us the material for the Country of the Month. James shares the following with you about his home country of Malawi:

Malawi is located in southern Africa. It takes pride in the fact they are often referred to as the “warm heart of Africa” because of the hospitality that its people show and that it has never shown civil unrest or went to war with any other country. The country is measured at approximately 118,000 square kilometers, with a population of about 16 million. The country has four major cities, Mzuzu in the northern region, Lilongwe in the central region, Zomba in the Eastern region and Blantyre, a commercial city, in the Southern region of Malawi.

Blantyre is called the commercial city because of the industrial sites it has, and the companies there. Blantyre is a busy city and after Lilongwe is the second largest. Blantyre has a large number of people with white collar jobs, so it is no wonder many colleges including a constituent college of the University of Malawi- The Polytechnic call Blantyre home. Along with the colleges and offices, you will also find small shops and established businesses in Blantyre.

Malawi is a landlocked country, surrounded by Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania. Although Malawi is landlocked, the country has a number of pleasing features for people to enjoy. Some of the geographical features include the famous Mulanje mountain, game reserves and national parks, and most of all, the lakes.

One lake people enjoy visiting is Lake Malawi. Lake Malawi is the biggest lake in the country at 365 miles long and 52 miles wide. Fishing at the lake is a source of income to the locals who reside near it. Lake Malawi is characterized by a species of fish called Chambo. Chambo cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Besides the chambo, the lake also has very beautiful beaches with holiday resorts and lodges. Tourists find Lake Malawi very attractive.

Although Malawi is small it has over over nine ethnic groups, namely Chewa, Lomwe, Yao, Tumbuka and Sena.The names of the ethnic groups in Malawi actually reflects the kind of language people speak. For example, Sena people speak Sena. The biggest tribe in Malawi is Chewa, representing 32% of Malawians. Since Chewa is the biggest tribe, the national language is Chewa and it is the language taught in schools.

Chewa people are popular nation wide and internationally because of their culture. The chewa people are known for the gule wamkulu dance. The gule wamkulu was once performed for the queen of England. Chewa functions are always characterised by the gule wamkulu. The dancers wear musks and do not identify themselves because it is widely believed that they are beasts and in their vernacular language they are called “Virombo” or “ Nyau”. The beasts are many, just as their a lot of beasts or wild animals in the bush, which explains why the virombo are often changed.

Welcome to Malawi the “warm heart of Africa”. Enjoy.

Do you have a country you would like to learn more about and see featured as our Country of the Month? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow us online to join in on our travels to our next Country of the Month: Belarus!

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