SCOLA Travel Journal: Week Twenty-Three

Many of you have been following my travels with On the Street Videos since Week 1 when I visited the Philippines. But as of last week there is a new service on SCOLA and it’s going to take us on a totally new international adventure! Savoir-Vivre is a global adventure in culture. Travel the world. Discover its people. Explore new lifestyles. No passport needed! Log on to www.scola.org today and access your free trial!

postcardIn the past I have only traveled to one country per week with SCOLA, but I am so excited to travel with this new service I visit many, many more! Savoir-Vivre actually allows you to visit through real cities and places from around the world. My first stop is a travel agency in Germany where I learn how to navigate the streets of Savoir-Vivre. I visit the street in Germany and am able to see buildings just as I would if I were actually walking down the street…I am even able to turn and face each building head on! I continue down the street, stopping once to learn about transportation in other parts of the world. Once I get to the end of the German street I click on the map icon to see where else I can visit in the service. I see a lion icon and wonder where that will take me…I click it and suddenly I am on the streets of Macedonia!

In Macedonia I am able to visit the Skopje Zoo, where I discover other zoos, birds, marine life, mammals and reptiles from around the world! Want to see komodo dragons in their natural habitat? Visit Komodo Island in Indonesia! More interested in birds? Check out a flock of migratory birds on the Abukuma River in Japan!

There is so much to experience on Savoir-Vivre, but I don’t want to give it all away! Go check it out for yourself today 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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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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Preparing for International Visitors

We are excitedly planning SCOLA’s annual training course for the United States Telecommunications Training Institute (USTTI). On August 12, we will welcome visitors from Botswana, Nigeria, Nepal, Tanzania and the Philippines. We will have the opportunity to provide hands-on training courses and show hospitable American culture to international guests for two weeks.

For the past 20 years, USTTI courses at SCOLA have provided great opportunities for exchanging cultures and improving international communication. This year’s training courses will take place each weekday during the two week period at the SCOLA campus in McClelland, Iowa. The training will include hands-on sessions in video transmission, satellite fundamentals, and SCOLA services.

The video transmission training will include sessions in video camera basics, sound and lighting, editing and more. Each session will be taught by various SCOLA staff.

The satellite fundamentals will include information on basic satellite functions, dish pointing, and more. These sessions will also be taught by various SCOLA staff.

The USTTI participants will also attend hands-on sessions for the various language services SCOLA offers. The guests will be taught how to use each service and also gain some experience in sending SCOLA the best possible material for each service. Each session will be ran by the SCOLA employee that manages the service.

The USTTI participants will be taught a lot each day on the SCOLA campus, which is why evenings and weekends will present a more laidback atmosphere. When they are not in their training courses the guests will be enjoying various activities in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Omaha, Nebraska.

The variety of training courses, hands-on sessions, and activities are sure to teach the USTTI participants a lot, while also impressing and interesting them. We look forward to making this the best year yet as we continue preparing for the arrival of our international guests.