SCOLA Travel Journal: Week Twenty-Five

I sit down at my computer and soon I am off on my next adventure with SCOLA‘s newest and most exciting service, Savoir-Vivre. So far with Savoir-Vivre I have been able to travel to a zoo in Macedonia where I discovered komodo dragons in Indonesia and migratory birds in Japan, and I also visited a hotel in Thailand where it was recommended I try the delicious food at Mozem Soba House in Japan, and went on a family holiday in Port Harcourt, toured Bhaktapur City in Nepal, and went dolphin watching in Bali! With all this adventure you would think I’d be worn out, but traveling the world with Savoir-Vivre is made easy! All it takes is a few clicks of my mouse and I am ready for my next journey.

Spring has sprung here in Iowa, and many plants are starting to bloom. This makes me wonder what kind of plants are grown in other parts of the world, and where could I buy them? I click on the flower icon on the Savoir-Vivre map to find out. I’m instantly transported to the streets of Iran where I can walk forward until I find a flower shop called Aftab. I explore the flower shop and quickly discover Native Plants found around the world. I travel to India where a group of people plant trees on World Environment Day, to Turkey where a man sells cactus on the streets of Mersin, and then to Syria where I meet women working on a cotton farm. A short time later I am exploring different flower shops in places like Georgia, India, and Indonesia. After my adventures I find myself back in Aftab, ready to see where Savoir-Vivre will take me next!

I may not have the time or money to travel around the world learning about other cultures, but that didn’t stop me from experiencing several countries today! Join me on my adventure with a free log in for our blog followers. User username WordPress and password Scola2015 at www.scola.org to access Savoir-Vivre and other wonderful SCOLA services for FREE!

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SCOLA Travel Journal: Week Twenty-Four

Here I am, still traveling the streets of Savoir-Vivre. Did you know you can visit a museum in Uzbekistan, a technology store in Pakistan, a retail store in India, and so much more? See real cities and streets and enter real buildings exactly as you would if you were actually in that country! I’ve been traveling awhile, so what better place to stop at next than a hotel in Thailand? Travel down the street and enter the hotel to see vacation hotspots like famous landmarks, recommended restaurants, bars, salons, and shops, and tourist attractions from around the world!

All this traveling has me a little hungry, so my first stop inside the hotel is to find a recommended restaurant. I click on the link and it gives me a list of restaurants from places like Georgia and Turkey. I choose the Mozem Soba House in Japan, and soon I am in Sado! Soba is one of the most popular foods in Japan and the Mozem Soba house is a high class soba restaurant situated in the countryside in a natural environment. The food was delicious, and just what I needed to carry on with my travels…but don’t take my word for it, see it for yourself today!

After I ate I have some energy back, so I go back to the hotel and check out the tourist attractions Savoir-Vivre has to offer. Should I take a family holiday in Port Harcourt? Visit Bhaktapur City in Nepal? Or perhaps I’ll go dolphin watching in Bali! So many choices, I better just go to them all! Join me in my adventure today with your free trial at www.scola.org!

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SCOLA Travel Journal: Week Five

Fall has almost arrived here at SCOLA and the weather is getting cooler, I’m ready to go somewhere warm on vacation! I log on to People and Places and start searching when the colorful landscapes of Indonesia catch my eye. I’m ready to get out of my sweatshirts and long pants and into some shorts and sandals!

One of my favorite things to do when visiting a new country is converse with the locals, so before heading to On the Street Videos to travel to Indonesia, I make a pit stop at Insta-Class. Insta-Class is ready to use, multi-media language lessons produced exclusively for SCOLA by experts from around the world! The service has over 420 lessons for Indonesia that are easy for independent learners like myself to use. I log on and quickly brush up on my Indonesian. Soon I feel confident that I will be able to converse with the locals on my upcoming adventure.

My hands shake in anticipation as I log on to On the Street Videos to begin my journey. My first stop is Bali. Choosing a destination from People and Places was tough, and learning a new language on Insta-Class wore me out, so my first quest is to learn how to make a traditional Balinese dinner. The SCOLA provider gave detailed instructions that were easy to follow, thanks to the practice I received on Insta-Class! Once I eat dinner I have the energy to explore the rest of what On the Street Videos and Indonesia have to offer.

Since I was already in Bali I decided to do a quick tour. I had an excellent tour guide that showed me some of the best beaches and shops Bali had to offer. I learned a lot about Bali and was able to enjoy the warm weather I had been craving, so next up was my favorite activity: conversing with the locals!

Through SCOLA I was able to meet with a Balinese man to talk with him to learn about his daily lifestyle and work. This gave me further insight to Indonesia’s culture than any typical vacation ever could.

On the Street Videos not only allows you to explore and experience places, it also allows you to discover the locals and their lifestyles, including community and family, work and recreation, and so much more. I’m very lucky to have the service available to me, and you could too by logging on to www.scola.org for your free trial!

SCOLA Travel Journal: Week Four

You would think that after three weeks of traveling to three different countries would leave me tired and yearning for home, but traveling with the comfort and convenience of SCOLA On the Street Videos, my travels have only left me wanting more! In the past three weeks I have traveled to the Philippines, Peru, and Nepal. The time has come for me to log on to SCOLA and decide where I would like to go next!

To scope out my surroundings, I first like to log on to People and Places. The online photo gallery has over 29,000 original photos from SCOLA friends and providers from around the world! I scroll through the photos and land on scenic views from Band-e Amir National Park in Afghanistan. Looks like I have found my fourth destination…

Before I begin my travels, I want to know what’s going on in Afghanistan…are there any current events I should know about? I first log on to SCOLA Foreign Text, a global newsstand of newspapers, magazines, and books. Foreign Text has over 1,400 resources from Afghanistan, so I peruse some of the recurring newspapers such as Barkhleek Weekly and Sarnavesht Daily to catch up on Afghanistan’s current affairs.

PP-AF-Band-e Amir Natural Lakes

Band-e Amir Natural Lakes

Next, I head on over to World TV Online, where I tune in to SCOLA Channel Six for news from the Middle East. Did you know you can view evening and nightly newscasts in Dari and Pashto every day of the week? I check those out too, and watch some past news broadcasts just to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Finally, I am ready for my visit to Afghanistan!

I log on to SCOLA On the Street Videos to begin my journey. With a collection of over 340 videos from Afghanistan this should be quite the adventure! My first stop in Afghanistan is to experience an overview of Afghanistan, including information on Afghanistan’s native plants and animals, food and cuisine, cultures, and traditions and much more.

My second stop is Jame Mosque, the largest and most prominent mosque in Herat City. The tour guide Mohamad tells me about the architecture, art, the location of the mosque, and the people that gather there. He tells me Muslims gather at the Mosque every Friday to pray, and the mosque is open other days of the week as well for anyone who would like to enter and pray. The Mosque is considered very important to the Afghan people, even in the time of the Taliban regime which hated art and architecture.

Next, I go speak with another native Afghan about work and labor in his country. He says that there are major difference between the types of work done in villages and in cities, adding that there are more work opportunities in the cities than in the suburbs. He goes on to talk about work opportunities in the areas of agriculture, business, construction and so on. He also talks about terms and conditions of work in Afghanistan. He provides me with a lot of detailed and interesting information from a firsthand perspective of an Afghan laborer.

The long tour through the large mosque has made me hungry, so next I stop to learn about local produce, such as tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. I learn how the produce is grown and why they are good for my body.

During my time in Afghanistan I was able to take many photos, so my last stop in the country was a tutorial in Dari over Photoshop. I want to be able to edit my photos and this was also the perfect opportunity to brush up on my Dari. On the Street Videos offers many technical and instructional videos in foreign languages and I was able to easily follow along with the Photoshop tutorial. My pictures have been retouched, I have added another country to my adventures, and I am ready to go home and plan where I will go next…

Do you have a suggestion on what country I should travel to next? Let me know in the comment section below!

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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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28 Days of Love

28 daysThe month of February often stirs up feelings of love and romance in many people. However, those feelings aren’t expressed the same in all countries around the world. Have you ever wondered what dating is like in Namibia? Or how Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Japan?

Our new service, Savoir-Vivre, aims to take you into the lives of people around the world as you watch them celebrate holidays, marriage, and other aspects of their cultures. This February, we would like to give our followers a sneak peak of the material in Savoir-Vivre with “28 Days of Love”. SCOLA followers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube and Pinterest will learn about expressions of love through dating, marriage, Valentine’s Day and more from a different country each day in February.

What countries and traditions would you like to see featured on 28 Days of Love?

Where’s Bakhtiyar?

For some people, the iresizedea of traveling alone might sound like an experience they would rather avoid, but for adventurous Bakhtiyar it is just an ordinary day. Bakhtiyar is a young boy from Uzbekistan who travels the world exploring a different country each month. Bakhtiyar’s adventure began when his father Askar started sending us material for our July 2013 Country of the Month, Uzbekistan. When Bakhtiyar found out that SCOLA subscribers were experiencing a new country each month he wanted to do the same!

Bakhtiyar’s travel itinerary follows the SCOLA Country of the Month. He began his journey in Nepal, where he joined a group of women planting paddy and singing Ropai songs.  After Nepal, Bakhtiyar made his way to the Philippines and even had enough free time to check out Christmas decorations for sale in Roosevelt markeresizedt. Just last week he arrived at his current destination, the Czech Republic where he was recently spotted at a monastery in the woods.

Bakhtiyar loves seeing the sights and meeting new people on his trip, but the main goal of his travels are that SCOLA subscribers are able to enjoy and learn from his adventures. Following Bakhtiyar’s adventures allows us to visit people and places we may never have the opportunity to experience.

Follow us on Facebook to tag along with Bakhtiyar’s global adventure.

Is there a country, landmark, or person you would like to see Bakhtiyar visit? Please let us know in the comment section below!

Behind the Scenes: Meet Kalpana

This month, SCOLA fans learned about the Country of Nepal on our social media sites. The information shared about the country was brought to us by Kalpana and Chinta, both are from Nepal and both are former USTTI participants at SCOLA!

kalpana2At four years old, Kalpana joined “The Rising School” and went on to pass the SLC (School Leaving Certificate) examination in 2000. She then joined the Unique Academy of Lalitpur and passed in 2002. Afterwards, Kalpana joined the Patan Multiple campus of Lalitpur, which is controlled by Tribhuvan University. She graduated with a BBS (Bachelors in Business Studies) in 2006. Kalpana then  accepted her first job in a computer institute where she received experience in computer hardware repair, and maintenance and general operation of computer applications.

In 2008, Kalpana joined Nepal Television as a Senior Assistant Computer Operator. She has also worked in computer repair and maintenance, Repair Maintenance of Non linear Editing sets, Internet sharing, Audio/ Video Networks, and website updating in Nepal Television.

Kalpana got the opportunity to visit Mexico in 2011 as the representative of Nepal Television Employee Association. While there, she learned about Mexico’s culture and geography.

Then in 2012, Kalpana visited the United States for the USTTI program “Satellite and Internet Delivery of Educational Television and Multimedia” at SCOLA. Since then, Kalpana has been working asKalpana1 a provider for SCOLA.

Currently, Kalpana is completing a Master’s Degree in Information Technology from Sikkim Manipal University in Kathmandu. She will be done with the program soon.

Kalpana says “I am very much happy to be the part of the SCOLA and I am enjoying the work I do for SCOLA. I am ready to work for SCOLA in the future for any types of jobs they require.” SCOLA is also happy to have Kalpana as one of our providers and looks forward to receiving more media from her home country of Nepal!

To learn more about Nepal or learn what the Country of the Month for September will be, log on to any of our social media sites:

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Nepal’s Top 7 Debaters, Filling in the Gap for Parliamentary Discussions

Aarati Raghuvanshi is an undergraduate student at Boston College, in the USA. She is currently an intern for Santosh Shah, a SCOLA provider from Nepal.  Aarati wrote the following article about the new debate show from Nepal that is currently being featured on SCOLA Channel 4. You can tune into the program every Saturday at 14:05:00.

 

Nepal’s Top 7 Debaters, filling in the gap for parliamentary discussions

By Aarati Raghuvanshi

In a country where young generation is barely aware of their rights, responsibilities and their strength, “Nepal’s Top 7 Debaters” is a show that is on its way to change this mindset for good. Produced by Today’s Youth Asia, a youth led organization overseen by its president, Santosh Shah, the TV series is one of the very few platforms where Nepali students are encouraged to voice their opinions on a national level. Launched in July 2012 and successfully on its way to its third season, this annual debate show attracts viewers throughout the country. The show has also achieved recognition as the world’s first reality television show based on a debate theme.

The Constituent Assembly formed in 2008 was dissolved in 2012 without delivering the promised Constitution. At a time when Nepal’s political, social, and economic development is at halt, the show has become a medium to address public concerns. Megan Titley, a part of the live audience says, “It’s great to get young people, especially girls, out there thinking, analyzing, and adding to the conversation about topical issues.” With thought-provoking topics such as ‘whether Nepal should focus on Asia or the West for its economic prospects’ and if ‘Nepal government should ban the privatization and exploitation of its natural resources’, this platform is a powerful tool for the Nepalese youth to discuss current affairs that were previously limited to the national political figures of the country.

The debate show has also been rated as of the highest caliber by visiting judges from all over the world. For one of the final episodes, where the topic of discussion was “Peace is possible without justice”, one of the judges, Dr. Dee Aker from University of San Diego, praised the tenth grade finalist, Anuska Pant, saying: “I’m very very impressed, I’m not sure if I have university students that would do half as well as you did with the topic.” As for the other finalist, Urusha Silwal of grade twelve, fellow judge Dr. Lilia Velasquez, from California Western School of Law said, “ I wish that my law students had half of the passion that you do while debating”. When asked about the concept of the program, Santosh Shah, the producer of the show says, “After the Constituent Assembly was dissolved in May 2012, there was a dearth of public platform to discuss the grave national issues, and my team and I thought that a debate series on a national channel would fill in the need very well, where young concerned citizens can fearlessly voice forth their findings, logics and public opinions. That is how we conceptualized Top 7 Debaters.”

The TV series may have the added glamour of a reality show, however participants are solely judged by Santosh Shah and two alternating judges. Claire Naylor, a judge for one of the episodes, says “Everyone has their own standard and way of judging, but we all look for the same things from a participant – content, clarity, and confidence. I was blown away by the maturity and the conviction of the students.” Naylor further adds “It’s beautiful and powerful to see youths do something for other youths,” denoting to the fact that the production team is made up entirely of people in their 20s – the producer of the show Mandira Raut and the entire production team are in their 20’s, while the anchors and the research team are even younger.

Leadership Academy, the youth education wing of Today’s Youth Asia that actually operates the show, aims to train many young intellectuals on the technical details of scripting, editing, and production, exposing them to the world of media at an early age. In fact, not only are youths included in the production of the show, but also in the brainstorming phase of the show as students can suggest interesting topics for debate through the use of social media.

Nepal’s Top 7 Debaters is a show that has ignited a spark on the once stagnant and withdrawn spirit of the people of Nepal. It has and continues to provide young debaters a powerful platform to raise genuine and forthright concerns of common people that are often missed out in the discussions of parliaments, politics, diplomacy, and developments. It is indeed heart-warming and inspiring to see an organization that recognizes and values the role of the youth in our society.

 

Not only does SCOLA broadcast excellent programming from Nepal, it is also our August Country of the Month. Visit any of our social media pages to learn more about the country.

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Travel the World. Discover its People. Explore New Lifestyles.

Whether it’s meeting new people, tasting different foods, or visiting famous landmarks, everyone has a favorite part about visiting a foreign country. However, some people don’t have the time or money to travel around the world, which is why SCOLA is excited to introduce you to our new service, Savoir-Vivre (Coming Soon!). Savoir-Vivre is a global adventure in culture. Travel the world, discover its people, and explore new lifestyles. No passport needed!

Savoir-VivreSavoir-Vivre is unlike any other service. You won’t just read about new countries and cultures, you will experience them!  Have you ever wondered how to make traditional Uzbek plov? Or what the dating rules in Nepal are? Escape on a global adventure from the comfort of your own living room. Explore real cities and streets from around the world and discover everything you need to know about life in another country.

You won’t need a passport for this journey, but you will need a subscription to SCOLA. Contact Us today to get started!

Do you have a cultural topic or country you would like to see featured on Savoir-Vivre? Let us know!