Category Archives: Student Life

The Advantages of a Summer Internship in NYC

By Jake Sheinman

 

As if your parents, teachers, and advisors haven’t stressed it enough, having a summer internship is the best thing you can do to jumpstart your young career. No matter what your major is or what school you go to, having an internship during the summer will expose you to a real life work environment and teach you lessons you cannot learn in a 300 person lecture hall. Having an internship is similar to feeling like a freshman again and figuring everything out on your own, but you wouldn’t have gotten it if the company didn’t believe in you. So put your creative millennial mind to use and become an asset wherever you end up.

1)  Getting around is so easy:

New York City is one of the largest and most populated cities in the world and can seem extremely overwhelming trying to get around it for the first time. Thanks to the intricate subway system your commute will be a piece of cake. Of course during your first few weeks you might get on going the wrong way or get off at the wrong stop but hey, if you don’t fail your not even trying. And thanks to the brand new 2nd ave subway line, getting from the Upper East Side to your office is now faster, cleaner, and quieter. See available apartments we have right on 2nd ave.

New York Apartments
2)  Networking events:

Networking. This word gets used way too much but it really is something crucial that all interns should be doing. New York City is by far the easiest place to do it. Whether your out getting coffee and run into someone your age or meet a neighbor in your building; there are always opportunities to meet students like yourself and start building relationships with them. You never know what they can lead to. Larger companies also host more structured networking events to help their interns meet each other and higher ups at the company. If you are invited to one of these take advantage of it and make sure you got your 30-second elevator pitched nailed down!

3)  Lunch:

Even if you never have time to meet up with friends after work, getting lunch with them is one of the best things about interning in NYC. At least it was for me last summer. It’s really nice to get out of the office and see some familiar faces. Now the city is overwhelmed with small and quick chain restaurants and to be honest they are all amazing. I am sure by the end of the summer you will have your favorite lunch spots. Here are some of mine:

  • Xi’an Famous Foods (homemade authentic Chinese noodle dishes)
  • Mighty Quinn’s BBQ (the best pulled pork in the city)
  • Uma Temakeria (sushi burritos are worth the hype)
  • Num Pang Sandwich Shop (Asian inspired sandwiches)
  • Chipotle (Did you really think this wouldn’t be on the list, c’mon now)
  • Europa Café (great salad bar, easy to do with friends)

Lunch Spots in New York

4)  Opportunities to Learn:

This seems pretty obvious as an internship is meant to be a learning experience but it is what you make of it. Be the first one in your office every day and prove to your boss that they made the right decision by taking you under their wing for the summer. An internship will expose you to many things that seem out of the ordinary but try to adjust as quickly as possible to give yourself the best opportunity to grow. One thing I learned early on at my internship last summer was to never say no but also ask a lot of questions. By this I mean that when you are asked to do something, ensure your employer that you will get it done but do not be afraid to ask questions on how to do it. Figuring things out on your own shows strong independence skills and many employers are looking for this when making hiring decisions. Lastly, just be you in the office and make relationships with as many people as possible. You will notice that your tasks become more important and carry more value as the summer goes on.

5)  Get out on the weekends:

Now that I am abroad, I can appreciate making the most of every weekend. Even if it’s just for a day, why not go out and do or see things you never have before. After all the weekend is your time to relax and take time for yourself. Luckily for students interning in NYC over the summer, there are plenty of places to get out to on the weekend. Of course this isn’t abroad and you won’t likely be flying to another country for 2 days but NYC is surrounded by beautiful beaches and filled with places for summer activities. Here’s a few ideas:

Things to do on the weekend in New York

Beaches:

  • Hamptons
  • Jones Beach
  • Atlantic City
  • Long Branch
  • Wildwood

Entertainment:

  • Yankee Stadium
  • Citi Field
  • Outdoor Concerts
  • Central Park Movie Nights

Others:

  • Walk the high line
  • Take a boat cruise around the city
  • Central Park Zoo
  • Smorgasburg
  • Food Festivals

Regardless of what you decide to do this summer, be sure to make the most of it. An internship is a really special opportunity for students to prove their value in the workforce and hopefully get a return offer. You were recruited and given the position for a reason so go out there and do what you do best.

If you are still looking for an apartment for your internship, SAA has just launched a super exciting sub-brand InternBeds. There are tons of accommodation options all over NYC. Let us help you find your beautiful summer home in the heart of NYC. You can see all of our NYC listings here.

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Wine & Dine Your Parents with a Taste of Tuscany

By: Molly Dunn

It’s safe to say you feel like a new person after a few months of studying abroad. You’ve experienced multiple new cultures, eaten foods you’ve never even heard of and managed to direct a taxi driver in a language that isn’t your own. You’ve been away from home for a long time which means you’re starting to miss your parents. Chances are high that not only were your parents missing you too, they were also happy to have an excuse to come to Italy for a visit.

A lot of parents make plans to visit their children abroad around the Thanksgiving time, so I’m writing this as a way to help you prepare. You’re their little globetrotting travel expert now, so you’re obligated to show them a good time! Like any good child, you pull out all the stops.

If you’re in Florence, you’re planning to show off the Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo, Piazzale Michelangelo.. Maybe even a family picnic at the Boboli Gardens. But we all know the most important part of this trip for both your parents and you… is food and wine. You’ve got it all planned, pizza at Gusta Pizza, paninis at Pinos or All’antico Vinaio, some gelato at Gelateria dei Neri and you’re definitely taking them for the pear ravioli at La Giostra.

If you’re in Rome, you’re taking them to the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain.. Maybe even watching the sunset from the Spanish Steps. The food tour will start with pizza from Dar Poeta in Trastevere, Pane e Salame for a panini near the Trevi and then a stop by the Frigidarium for the best gelato in Rome.

So.much. food… You know what you need to wash it down? Wine.

You know the best place for wine? The Tuscan countryside.
Lucky for you, Bus2alps has you covered. Take your parents on an unforgettable “wine crawl” through Tuscany’s Chianti region on the Taste of Tuscany day trip. Visit two different wineries and enjoy a three course traditional Tuscan lunch all while bonding with your parents in a way only ample amounts of delicious food, wine and relaxation can offer up. Share some incredible views with vineyards in your backdrop, have some of world’s top rated gelato, and they’ll be happy to finish off Christmas shopping with some added generosity. Then you just convince them to ship back a couple bottles (or cases) of wine and truffle oils back to the U.S. to be waiting there when they get back.

Your time abroad has made you grow in ways that you never could have imagined, and your parents will definitely take notice. As the wine flows, your parentals will find inspiration to tell you stories you’ve never heard and stories they never thought of telling you. Like that time your Dad got food poisoning in Ireland or when your Mom backpacked through Eastern Europe for a few weeks with a man named Hans. No matter the story, you will find that your relationship with your parents is on a whole new level.

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The Best Christmas Markets in Europe

Well, you’re in Europe, you can’t just sit on your couch! So instead, experience a traditional Christmas market in one of Europe’s coolest cities. The air is crisp, lights are sparkling and there are sugary treats that look like cinnamon rolls on steroids. I assure you a European Christmas market beats that ugly sweater party at home.

  1. Vienna Christmas Markets: November 11 – December 26
    This is the mecca of all Christmas markets. Where it all started. If Santa had a vacation home from the North Pole, it would most definitely be Vienna. These markets date back to the Middle Ages and are some of the best in the world. The smell of fresh schnitzels, roasted chestnuts and that mesmerizing candied walnut smell fill the air. You can grab a glass of hot mulled wine or dabble in chocolate covered strawberries. You will feel like you’re in a fairy tale. There are Christmas trees draped in Christmas lights, horse drawn carriages, and over 200 small wooden market stalls lining the streets selling handcrafted christmas goodies. Now tell me that doesn’t beat sitting on Santa’s lap outside an Macy’s in an American mall.

    bus2alps schonnbrunn
    Being Opulent at Vienna’s Schonnbrunn Palace
  2. Prague: November 26 – January 11
    So you’re probably wondering where you can snack on sausages, enjoy a Czech beer and pet a donkey all at the same time? Right there with you. The Prague markets make you feel like you are stepping into a fairy tale. They ship a giant Christmas tree from the Krykonose Mountains in the Northern Czech region, and it radiates in the middle of Old Town Square. You can find glassware, unique jewelry, embroidered lace, wooden toys, metalware, ceramic, scented candles, ornaments, scarves, puppets…the list goes on!More of an eater than a shopper? I don’t blame you. Traditional Czech foods are made at the market vendors and there are samples galore! It ain’t a market without some free samples. Try a piece of ham roasted on spits, barbecued sausages and flaky pastries prepared right in front of you. Wash it all down with a famous Pilsner, Urquell, Staroprament or Budvar beer. To cap it all off, there’s an animal stable where you can play with some goats, sheep and donkeys.

    Night at the Prague Castle
    Night at the Prague Castle
  3. Budapest: November 13-January 6th 
    The smell of spiced mulled wine and chimney cakes baking will get you into the holiday spirit like nothing else can. Stock up on trinkets for everyone back home. Taste the local cuisine, check out nativity scenes and folk dances and even join in with the caroling. 532821_3491756006620_976708449_n

 

5 Reasons Why Halloween in Dublin Should Be On Your Bucket List

By Molly Dunn

In the spirit of creepy masks, candy corn and pumpkins, Halloween has developed into one of America’s favorite holidays.  Maybe it’s the sea of sugar skulls, and all of the Disney Channel references to Dia de los Muertos that we grew up with, but, we all seem convinced that Halloween began just across the United States border in Mexico.

I have something really spooky to tell you, something shocking, and even maybe a bit terrifying…the real origin lies in a place where not a soul would think to look…Ireland. We all know that the Irish like to party, and we dress up in green every St. Patty’s day to celebrate with the charmingly accented crew, but who knew they also founded Halloween! 

What started as the pagan festival of Samhain, Halloween as know it now, was a Celtic festival of fire meant to ward off evil spirits as summer changed into winter. In time, October 31st developed from the festival of Samhain, to ‘All Hallows Eve’, to Halloween.

So, now that we all know that Halloween originated in Ireland, it’s becoming clear why going to Ireland for Halloween weekend is a must. There are tons of festivals, parties and celebrations on this spooky day. Who could imagine a better place to be than the country’s capital on the spookiest day of the year? Here is a list of 5 things to do in Dublin, this Halloween.

  1. Monsters! Season at Light House Cinema. This year the Bram Stoker Festival has partnered with Light house Cinema, located just across from The Generator Hostel, in Smithfield square, to offer a series of showings of horror classics. Offering €6.50 matinees and €8.00 nighttime showings. Celebrate the monsters of the 30s by means of watching The Mummy, Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Wolf Man, Frankenstein, and of course, Dracula. Get your tickets in advance here

  1. Bleedin’ Deadly Referred to as ‘Ireland’s freakiest Halloween Event’, experience what is left of the dying street performing art that was once Freak shows. With two shows per night, one at 6:45pm followed by a 9:45pm showing, don’t miss the madness! Buy your tickets online at for €25. For the post show hit up the pub Church for two for one drinks!

  1. Nightmare Plants For €10 visit Dublin’s Botanical Gardens for an ‘immersive performance, told by an ensemble of actors’. Each show is about 30 minutes and brings you face to face with mother natures deadliest creations.  Check out all the details here.

  1. Werewolves Participate in this high energy, high stakes parlor game, any evening of Halloweekend. The concept of this game is simple. There are werewolves among you, a villager was stolen away by them. Now the villagers meet to discuss their strategy, electing a leader. You must be careful as there are werewolves among you, waiting to out number the scared humans. The werewolves aim to subsume the village and it’s survival of the fittest for the villagers. Admission is free but you must get a ticket to participate. Play Friday night at Generator Hostel starting at 7:30pm. Arrive early, grab a drink and get ready to play! Book your tickets here.

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  1. Stokerland Visit this ‘pop-up Victorian fun park’ on Saturday or Sunday, for a ‘gothic gathering of fun and cames’ in St. Patricks Park. Admission is free, get dressed up and feel like a kid again at this family friendly halloween event! Halloween in Dublin should be on everyone’s bucket list, and you have the chance to cross it off early! Visit bramstokerfestival.com to find out more information and events for this Halloween! Whether you attend this ghoulish festival, or parade around Dublin’s incredibly fun Pubs, you can’t go wrong spending Halloween in it’s birthplace, Dublin.

If I haven’t convinced you yet, here’s another reason!  Bus2alps just dropped the Ireland Coast 2 Coast trip to €135 for Halloween weekend…. I can’t think of a better time to go!  

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One of the Locals: Immersing Yourself in the Culture Around You

By: Matteo Fardella

Ah yes, moving away from home is a scary thing, a new culture, new language, new people, new everything. Nobody wants to be that outsider that sticks out like a sore thumb in their new surroundings, that person who knows people are talking about them but can’t understand what is being said. As much as you may have your habits and tendencies, there are some things that you might have to adjust. It’s important when living in a new place to feel that sense of self-confidence in your daily life.

Firstly, take in absolutely everything you do and see without resistance, learn the language, eat the food, make friends with the locals and do as they do.

Clothing is a major standing-out factor, even if you aren’t a fashion guru it’s easy to recognize the difference in trends around you. If your plans include moving to a new location permanently or if you have some spare change lying around, leave your clothes at home and shop where the locals shop. Try to avoid showing the common tourist “add-ons’ like fanny packs, a giant map of the city, or selfie-sticks. I’m not saying don’t use them, just keep them more under the radar as these are the some clear tourist red flags.

Understand the currency of the country before moving there, this will prevent you from looking like you have never used money before because you are fumbling about when it’s time to pay. Be sure to understand where you are going before leaving the house so that after a while you don’t have to GPS your way to every location, staring down at your phone and risking being hit by something or running into the person in front of you in the process.

On the other hand, get lost. This is the single easiest way to learn and understand the geography of a city. You’ll be really impressed with yourself later when you actually start figuring out where you want to go on your own.

Learn the language. Try your absolute hardest to acquire as much of the language as you can. This will make communication and friendships so much easier, greet the shop owners and make friends with them as it is always good to network with new people. Leave your outside voice at home, shouting and screaming amongst your friends whilst out is a sure way to annoy the locals and give your home country and language a bad name. Keep it quieter and try not to draw unnecessary attention to yourself. Keep an eye out for social cues, things that are acceptable at home may not be in your new location. Carry yourself with confidence, even if you have no idea what you are doing, at least act like you do. Fake it until you make it.

Choosing home-stays or apartments in a residential area instead of a hotel/hostel increases your chances of interacting with locals. Participate in local events that tourists would not or do not know about and go and sit in the heart of local entertainment and culture.

Lastly, just be yourself. You are who you are at the end of the day and there is only so much you can do to blend in. Absorb everything around you and take each day as it comes. It will take time and you will be frustrated occasionally but at the end of the day, it will all be worth it.