It’s New Year’s, Canada

Alright everyone!  It’s time to put your party pants on and celebrate the new year in Canada!  Sure it might be a little chilly outside, but that’s a good reason to get together with big groups of people.  There are a lot of FREE EVENTS to choose from. Check them out:

TORONTO:

http://www.bttoronto.ca/events/2014-01-01-the-chevrolet-city-new-years-celebration-2014/
http://www.bttoronto.ca/events/2014-01-01-the-chevrolet-city-new-years-celebration-2014/

New Year’s Celebration 2014 will take place at Nathan Phillips Square on Tuesday, Dec. 31 from 8 p.m. to midnight. This exciting event for all ages is one of Canada’s biggest and longest-running outdoor celebrations.  Skate on Nathan Phillips Square’s outdoor rink, indulge in mouthwatering international street food, and enjoy high-energy musical performances from award winning DJ Clymaxxx. Also performing live are JUNO Award-winning R&B band Fathead, and JUNO nominated R&B/Funk band, God Made Me Funky.

LONDON:

http://gtucke0.wix.com/rockin-new-years-eve
http://gtucke0.wix.com/rockin-new-years-eve

Rockin’ New Year’s Eve, 6pm-Midnight, in Victoria Park.  Be amazed by the magician, The Amazing Corbin, and gather to watch fireworks at 9pm.  Vibrant musicians “The Beagles” and “Honeymoon Suite” will heat things up until the clock strikes midnight.

OTTAWA:

http://www.sparksstreetmall.com/new_years_eve.html
http://www.sparksstreetmall.com/new_years_eve.html

#CapitalCountdown is taking place on Sparks Street in Downtown Ottawa, from 6pm to 1am. Beer gardens, prize giveaways, the vendor village, loads of restaurants, and the Juno Award Winning Musician K-OS will skyrocket Ottawa into the new year with style.

Top 10 Pictures of 2013!

It’s been another fantastic year at CultureWorks, and you can see the pictures to prove it on our Facebook page.  Choosing the top 10 pictures that our students took from 2013 Canadian Studies trips was harder than choosing what to eat at one of our delicious pot luck events!  Here’s the pics that I think capture our amazing experiences.

#10.  This CW Oshawa student means business. Lock and Load!

Paint Ball in Oshawa
Paint Ball in Oshawa

#9.  The big man in red makes every student smile at our London Holiday Party!

Santa in London at 2013 Holiday Party
Santa in London at 2013 Holiday Party

#8.  CW Ottawa embarks on a boat tour for their Opening Ceremonies. Big smiles!

Ottawa Boat Trip
Ottawa Boat Trip

#7.  I’m a sucker for nature shots.  Thank you for this beautiful snapshot of Canadian nature!

Rouge Valley Walk in Oshawa
Rouge Valley Walk in Oshawa

#6.  I’m not sure if this was taken on a Canadian Studies trip, but it’s definitely one of my favourite of the year.  Our teacher Man Tran in Ottawa!

Man Tran in Ottawa
Man Tran in Ottawa

#5. CW Oshawa’s great spirit is captured here after their floor hockey tournament.

Cooking in Oshawa
Cooking in Oshawa

#4.  I love the way the trees frame this picture of Ottawa’s Chateau Laurier.  Beautiful!

Chateau Laurier Ottawa
Chateau Laurier Ottawa

#3.  Guys, um, there’s a giant spider behind you, photo bombing your picture.  They’re not even scared!

National Art Gallery Ottawa
National Art Gallery Ottawa

#2.  This serene shot of three grazing deer was taken in London early one morning.

Deer spotted in London
Deer spotted in London

#1.  Ok, this one wins for spirit!  The CW Oshawa boys had a blast fooling around at their cooking class.

Cooking in Oshawa
Cooking in Oshawa

Please leave a comment to let me know what you think.  If you are a CultureWorks student, send me the link to your blog so I can see your top pics of 2013!

Stylishly Smart

http://ferisjunianto.com
http://ferisjunianto.com

So, apparently, it’s fashionable to be smart.  Did you hear about this?  Yeah, it’s all the rage.  Dumb is so 2012.  Big brains are sexy.  Cunning intellect is down right cool.  If you can write an A+ exam with plenty of time left on the clock to relax, you are one hip individual.  Think Einstein.  No hair stylist has ever been able to replicate his hair. That’s because his intellect burst with so much pizzazz!  I don’t know what to attribute his women’s shoes to in this picture though…

Anyway, in order to get smart, I recommend you find some ‘study style’.  Everyone’s studying style is different of course, so it’s vital to find out what works for you.  Consider some of these tips:

1. Treat your notes like they are Facebook updates.  Review them OFTEN.  This daily habit makes the information common, and then makes studying for an exam much less difficult.

2. Figure out your best time of day to study and make a weekly routine.  Most people are most alert in the morning, but nighttime works for others, too.  Avoid afternoons, you’ll be snoring in no time.

3. Prioritize the information you need to learn.  This could be from hardest to easiest, or most interesting to least interesting.  If nothing is interesting, consider choosing a new subject.

4. Study in small allotments of time.  Studying for hours on end gets you a headache, not good grades.

5. Use an alarm. After 45-50 min increments when the bell rings, get up and change things up for 10 minutes.  Drink some water.  Call a friend.  Dance like a happy monkey.  Or something.

6. Turn off your Internet and mobile devices.  I know it’s hard.  It’s like asking you to hold your breath. But just think of how much MORE information there will be waiting for you after your study session!

7. After studying, practice what you’ve learned to a classmate.  Try to be as detailed as possible ~ when you do this, you are actively interacting with the content and therefore understanding it better.  This is particularly important if you are learning a second language!

8. Create a study group.  Choose serious people, and avoid people who don’t want to pull their weight!  Discussing and reviewing makes the information real.

9. Draw!  If you can illustrate the information into diagrams and illustrations, you are visualizing your new knowledge making it easy to remember.

10. Visit your teaching assistant or professor before, during, and after the course.  Ask them where you are making mistakes and correct them for next time.  If you’re not making mistakes, try learning something harder.

Now you know that being smart is in vogue, grow your brain!  With the right study routine, you too can look as good as old Albert Einstein!

Rent or Borrow?

Courtesy of http://www.canada-usblog.com
Courtesy of http://www.canada-usblog.com

One of our students told me a funny story once about renting a car to go over the U.S. border* for a visit.

He said he found a nice, two-door hatchback perfect for him and his friend.  Not too expensive with a great insurance package and return policy.

“So what’s the funny part?” I asked. “Sounds perfect to me.”

“I made a mistake in translation,” the student laughed.  “I told her I wanted to borrow the car.  I forgot the difference in meaning between ‘rent’ and ‘borrow’.  I got mixed up!”

“That’s an honest mistake! So what did the lady say?”

“She said, ‘Sure, you can borrow the car.  For $30.00 a day!’”

* If you plan on visiting the United States while you are studying in Canada, we highly recommend applying for a visitor’s visa before coming to Canada.

For more information on visiting the USA, please visit: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1262.html

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