SCOLA Travel Journal: Week Three

Where will SCOLA take me next? The Philippines and Peru, the two countries I have traveled to so far with SCOLA, will be hard to beat. However, I know there are many other places to experience, so I log on to http://www.SCOLA.org to see what else it has in store for me.

Once again my first stop is People and Places. I enjoyed the warm weather in the Philippines and Peru, but now I think it is time for a change. I type in ‘snow’ into the convenient search bar in People and Places and scroll through the results. The one place that keeps catching my eye is Nepal. The majestic, snow capped peak of Mount Everest is captivating! While I know I would never have the courage to climb the famous mountain, the surrounding scenery and climate are just what I am looking for.

Summer recently ended and I am busy with classes, but I can conveniently use SCOLA Mobile Apps wherever I am! I use my phone to play over 200 broadcasts from Nepal on International Radio, close my eyes, and relax as I imagine myself driving through Nepal listening to the radio. I now feel ready to take on Nepal as I have experienced the beauty of their landscapes, and immersed myself in their culture with over 60 cultural radio broadcasts.

Shaking with anticipation I log on to On the Street Videos and begin my adventure. My first stop in Nepal is a visit with a local family about education in their country. Since I myself just started classes again, it makes me curious to see if other people in the world have resumed classes, what courses they study, and what they think about their country’s education system. I am able to talk with SCOLA provider Sharmila about the education system in Nepal, and experience what daily life is like for two young school boys.

I am on vacation though, so I can’t spend all my time thinking about school! Next, I discover the Nepal Tourism Board for some tips on exploring this beautiful country. As I explore temples and experience the rich Buddhist culture of Kathmandu Valley, I think about how lucky I am to be able to explore the world with SCOLA On the Street Videos. I know I must spread the word about the adventure SCOLA brings and make everyone aware of the opportunities they have to access a free trial! Visit www.scola.org today for yours!

I conclude my travels through Nepal with an experience in Panni Culture and a Children’s Recital. Though my journey in this country was short, it was a wonderful experience that I will not soon forget! I can’t wait to see where my travels take me next!

Check back next week to travel along to the fourth destination on my journey with SCOLA!

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Behind the Scenes: Meet Mari

We would like to send a special thank you to our provider Mari in Georgia! This month Mari sent us interesting and informative material to teach our followers all about our Country of the Month.

            MMariarine ( Mari) Changiani was born on April 4th in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. She is married and has a beautiful daughter, Barbara. Marine has her Masters Degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as an English teacher for ESL for over twelve years. She also works as a director of the American Education Center “Langate”. She has students from many different countries. Mari loves to communicate and make friends all over the world.

Mari started working with SCOLA in 2012 and enjoys the task of providing On the Street Videos every month. She likes to introduce the world to her small country and often sends videos about Georgia, its culture, history and traditions. She tries to participate in SCOLA’s projects as often as possible as it is a great pleasure for her. She is very grateful to her students and friends who help her make videos for SCOLA often.

She likes working for SCOLA not only for opportunity to provide interesting materials and videos, but because of SCOLA’s warm and friendly staff. She would like to thank all SCOLA staff and she hopes to work with them for a very long time providing SCOLA with more and more exciting and interesting videos.

SCOLA staff appreciates all the hard work Mari puts in to help our subscribers learn about Georgia. We look forward to seeing more of her work in the future!

Check back next week to learn about our new Country of the Month!

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Behind the Scenes: Meet James

In May, SCOLA traveled to the African country of Malawi for our Country of the Month. SCOLA is lucky to have people from around the world provide us with the material to share with you on www.scola.org and on our social media pages. This month, our provider is native Malawian James Chaponda.

James wDSC00054as born on April 24th in Malawi. Years later, James married his lovely wife, Tikondane, and had one child. James has a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering with a major in Telecommunications from the University of Malawi-Polytechnic.

James started working with SCOLA in September 2012 and enjoys the task of providing content each month. James also works at Malawi Telecommunications Limited as a Transmission Engineer. James says “I love working with SCOLA to teach the people of the world different languages, especially Chewa from Malawi. Many people don’t know where Malawi is and what kind of language(s) we speak. Other countries are more well-known because of things like wars and disasters. I would like to encourage people of the world to start learning the Chewa language because it is spoken in various central African countries.”

James looks forward to working with SCOLA for the rest of his life, and would like to thank his wife for her encouragement and help in coming up with different resources and programs for SCOLA subscribers to enjoy. James would also like to thank the management and staff at SCOLA for their warm reception when he visited SCOLA in 2012.

SCOLA would like to thank James for the interesting and educational information he sent for the Country of the Month and for the material he sends for our services on www.scola.org.

So…May is over but you didn’t learn enough about Malawi? Be sure to check out www.scola.org for over 400 audio, image, text and video resources from Malawi, and then check us out online for our next Country of the Month!

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China: Making Learning Fun

As we begin our Chinese adventure, you may start to notice the perks of following our SCOLA Country of the Month. Each month, followers can learn traditional international recipes, vocabulary in native languages, and compare their countries climate and geography to that of the Country of the Month.  This month is full of good luck, as our providers in China have sent along something extra.

The Chinese providers are making the March Country of the Month not only educational, but also entertaining! The Chinese providers have sent in traditional recipes to make your mouths water, fascinating clips of Huangshan Mountain to captivate your mind, and unlike any other Country of the Month before them, jokes to tickle your funny bone!  The jokes they sent will not only give you insight into their culture and the holidays they celebrate, but will make you laugh as well! Enjoy!

The first Chinese joke we will share is about Qingming Festival. Qingming Festival will be celebrated April 5th, 2014 in China. The Chinese enjoy a day off of work to worship their ancestors. According to Chinese customs, people visit the tombs with gifts for their ancestors to enjoy in the other world including fruit, wine, flowers, food, and paper money. They put the food, fruit, and flowers in front of the tomb. They spray the wine and burn the paper money so it rises to their ancestors. They also put fresh soil to cover the tomb, and plant twigs around the tomb. The Qingming Festival is also one of 24 solar terms in China.

Qingming Festival (Memorial) is coming up so a man went to an offerings shop to buy sacrificial offerings. There he saw some paper Apple phones. He felt very strange. He said, “Aha, but if I burn an Apple phone, how will my ancestors know how to use it?” The shop owner said,”Steve Jobs is already there to teach them, why are you worried?” Appeased, the man bought one. The shop owner then reminded him, “You should buy a charger, you don’t want them to ask you to deliver a charger there do you?” When the man checked out he said “May I have your business card? The shop owner asked why, and the man said “I will burn your business card with the offerings to my ancestors, that way if the phone has any problems they can come looking for you!”

The next joke is about Valentine’s Day in China.  As in the United States, Valentine’s Day was also celebrated on February 14th in China. The Lantern Festival in China also fell on Valentine’s Day this year! The night of the Lantern Festival, people in China enjoy the first full moon of the year. It is a family holiday, where they gather together and eat sweet dumplings made of glutinous rice flour filled with sweet ingredients like sesame and peanut.

On the night of the Lantern Festival families go to parks or public squares to watch lanterns in different shapes and sizes. The lanterns are different shapes and designs, some made to look like special characters or historical figures. The sky is colored red with lanterns. People also write riddles on the covers of the lanterns or on pieces of paper hanging from the lanterns. Young children are carried on the shoulders of their fathers, the old are supported by the young, and the young forget the year of hard work. Children’s laughs and screams of excitement can be heard throughout the night.

SCOLA’s friend from China tells us “It is interesting that your holiday and our Lantern Festival happen on the same day in China. Our Lantern Festival is also a holiday for love in many places in China. People in Hainan Island will exchange flowers for love, or express good will…Today if you receive flowers,you spend today as Valentine’s Day, if you receive sweet dumplings, you consider it Lantern Festival, if you receive nothing, just consider it Friday!”

A Chinese man asks his brother what he thinks of Valentine’s Day. His brother answers “Valentine’s Day? Oh, let me think. It is the same as Tomb-Sweeping Day (the Chinese Festival on April 5, to memorize the ancestors). Giving flowers and food and saying something sweet to make the ghost happy.” The man replies “Younger brother, you are wrong. The conversation on Tomb-Sweeping Day is a conversation between humans and ghosts in the human language, but the conversations on Valentine’s Day are between two humans in a ghost language.” The brother says “We cannot regard money as important, but buying reasonable gifts and flowers is ok. The Valentine’s Day is short, by the time you blink it passes. But if you don’t buy gifts and flowers, that day is so long, and difficult. Do you know the worst thing about Valentine’s Day? Do you? It is when the gifts are not ready!” The man replies “No, the worst thing about Valentine’s Day is when the gift is ready, but you have no lover!” His brother says “ Brother, that is not a big deal. The most miserable thing is that the gifts are ready, and the lover is ready, but your wife finds out!” The man laughs and says “Nonsense, the most miserable thing is that the gift is ready and you take it home for your wife, and sadly discover she is out spending Valentine’s Day with her lover!”

And last but not least:

A man received a text from his neighbor: “Sorry that I have been using your wife, I have been using day and night, and whenever you are not at home. In fact, I have been using more than you do.I confess to you because I feel guilty.I hope you will accept my sincere apology.”The man went home and fought with his wife.A few minutes later he received a text,”Sorry ,I typed wrong, it is not wife, it is your WIFI!”

Do you have a joke from your culture or country you would like to share with SCOLA? Post it in the comments below!

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Behind the Scenes: Meet Mercy

The years travels are off to a great start as we find our adventure in Nigeria,  our February Country of the Month, coming to a close. As our journey ends, we want to thank SCOLA provider Mercy for everything she has taught us about her home country. Mercy taught us how to say ‘love’ in four languages, shared traditional Nigerian recipes with us, and so much  more!

Mercy was born in Nigeria to a family of ten, including four brothers, three sisters and her parents. She married a loving husband, and twenty years later they have three wonderful bomy pics 110ys and a sweet daughter. Her two oldest boys are currently studying engineering at Ghanaian universities. Her daughter is fifteen years old and almost through with her secondary school education. Her youngest child (who calls himself the cutest) is currently finishing his primary school education.

In 1990, Mercy graduated from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, with a Bachelor’s Degree in English (Education).  In 1992, after her compulsory one year of national service, she found a job in the media industry as an announcer with the Rivers State Television, Channel 22 UHF, Portharcourt. She later transferred to the Bayelsa State Television,  which later became Gloryland Television and is presently known as Niger Delta Television. Mercy later had to leave the Niger Delta Television to be closer to her family.

Mercy misses working in television very much, so when the opportunity for Mercy to work in media through SCOLA came along she was very happy. Her sister Azi, a Nebraska resident, got her in touch with a SCOLA employee in 1990. Mercy says “Though working for SCOLA is very demanding, it brings out the best in you. It has exposed me to many aspects of TV production as well as areas of untapped knowledge, culture and much more.”  Since Mercy joined SCOLA she has sent in material for Foreign Text, On The Street Videos, Savoir-Vivre, and World TV Online.

Next year, Mercy hopes to return back to Niger Delta Television in Bayelsa State as Deputy Director of Programs and also pursue a masters degree in Public Relations.

If you didn’t learn enough about Nigeria as our Country of the Month, make sure to check out www.scola.org to see other material Mercy has shared with us about her country. Also, be sure to check back often in March to travel with us to our new Country of the Month…China!

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Homesick? Visit SCOLA.org

In a world where long-term or permanent relocation to find the next best job, education or lifestyle is the norm, many might find that they feel out of the loop on their friends and families social lives, their countries current events and cultural celebrations and holidays. Thankfully, communication methods such as texting, e-mail and Facebook make it easy for families and friends to stay in touch and keep those away from home in the loop.  With advancements in technology it should be just as easy for those people to keep up on their home countries current news topics and cultural celebrations…and with SCOLA it is!

SCOLA prides itself on routinely receiving current authentic resources from all around the world. We want those away from home to still be able to start their day with the front page of their cities newspaper, and end their day hearing the evening news in their native language.  Foreign Text holds publications such as newspapers, magazines, and books from around the world that aren’t available anywhere else online. World TV Online routinely receives news, entertainment and other varied programming from a variety of countries around the world that SCOLA subscribers can stream live or download.

A SCOLA friend and provider recently said about SCOLA that readers can look at the website and say “It is my webpage”, familiar, interesting and easy to read.” He was especially impressed with a special project SCOLA is doing this month called 28 Days of Love, which inspired him to write the following poem:

Spring , A Season for Love

February breeze

stirs the love string of the universe

The earth awakens, stretches his body and

Desires to make love to the sky

Spring rain

falls silently with the previous spring’s memory.

Moist, sweet and happy rain

the thirsty wheat smiles,

the white-haired peasant

through the long(tabacco) pipe,

unburdens himself of a long winter’s anxiety

Spring sun

Taking off the winter muslin

Kisses the winter jasmine

And hugs the willow trees

The flowers yellow and

The twigs green

It is a season for love

The twittering sound from above

Announcing the couple swallow’s back home

“everybody is fine?”

The birds sit side by side,

telling the hostess a winter missing story.

The boy and the girl

Taking off winter coats

Run into spring fields

“You are one end and

I am  the other

No matter how high you are flying

You are sure to come back”

The kite rope pulls the promise of love

SCOLA thanks our friend for the kind words and the beautiful poem. We are always happy to hear from our friends, providers and subscribers interested in our work and mission! We hope that many of you can visit SCOLA.org and feel happiness and at home the way this person does!

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What’s Your New Year’s Resolution?

A new year is often a time many people use to reflect on areas of their life they would like to change or improve. Now that we are a few weeks into the new year have you decided what your New Year’s Resolution will be? And how will you fulfill your New Year’s Resolution?

If you haven’t decided on a resolution yet, or need help in how you are going to fulfill your resolution, keep reading! The following are some popular resolutions people make and how SCOLA can help you accomplish them:

1. Travel More: Would you like to travel more in 2014? Make sure you check out SCOLA BEFORE you book those plane tickets! Find everything you need to know about foreign languages and cultures at www.scola.org. Log on to Spoken Word to chat with native speakers from around the world about their language and culture, or practice your destinations native language with our ready-to-use Insta-Class lessons.

Here at SCOLA we know traveling can be an expensive and time consuming resolution. Lucky for you, SCOLA has a solution for those who want to travel but don’t have a lot of extra time and money to spare! Explore foreign landscapes with People and Places, discover international current events with World TV Online and experience cultures from around the world with Savoir-Vivre (coming soon)!

2. Learn a New Language: Have you always wanted to learn a new language? Make 2014 your year! The variety of resources and languages SCOLA offers make learning fun and interesting. Start out with beginner Insta-Class lessons and move your way up to a more advanced vocabulary with Specialized Word Video Search. Scared you’re not pronouncing something correctly? Log on to Spoken Word and video chat with one of our native speakers! Want to learn on the go? Download our Mobile Apps- free with a paid SCOLA subscription!

3. Meet New Friends: Is your New Year’s resolution to make new friends in 2014? Let SCOLA introduce you to 13 Native Speakers from around the world on Spoken Word! Chat face to face with David from Uganda, Julye from Peru, and many others any time of the day and learn about language subtleties and nonverbal communication in their culture!

4. Learn Something New: Do you want to learn something new in 2014? With thousands of authentic resources in almost 200 languages make SCOLA your destination to learn something new! Learn about the daily life of school children in Nepal with On The Street Videos, dating in Turkey with Savoir-Vivre and so much more!

What other resolutions are you making for yourself this year? How will you use SCOLA to accomplish your resolutions?

What are you waiting for? Contact SCOLA for a free trial today!