Foreign Exchange Friday: EF Exchange Stories

Recently, EF Foundation for Foreign Study launched a new website ( and magazine (The Exchange) to share all the wonderful stories our exchange students and families have to offer, like this one:


You can also follow EF Foundation on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.





Share your great stories and pictures with us and you could be included in a future issue of The Exchange or even in one of our YouTube videos!




The Little Things (
Settled In (
Eyes Widened (
Intoxicating and Overwhelming (
as the romans do.  (



Thoughtful Thursday

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”
Henry Miller



Castle using eye for wide angle lens


Best in Travel 2014 – Top 10 Countries (
100 World Famous Women Travel Bloggers (
Learning Not Earning From Travel Should Be The Main Idea (
So you want to travel the world?  These 5 blogs can help you do it!  (
Sleeping In and Unexpected Landmarks (

Wordless Wednesday: Phuket, Thailand

Since many of us in the US are under a blanket of snow or polar vortex, here’s a picture of a much warmer place…



Our Itinerary for Thailand (
Vegetarian Festival in Bangkok (
Tiger Zoo in Thailand (
Thailand: Railay (
Wistful wanderings.  Good-bye for now, Thailand.  (


Tasty Tuesday: Bibbelsche Bohnesupp (German Potato & Bacon Soup)

A traditional bacon, onion, and potato soup from Saarland in Germany.

Bibbelsche Bohnesupp


6 slices of bacon
1 medium onion
1 lb. potatoes
2 lbs. trimmed fresh or frozen green beans
1/2 gallon broth (chicken, beef or vegetable)
1 cup heavy cream or sour cream
2-3 carrots
1 leek
1 bunch fresh parsley
2 sprigs fresh savory


Cut the bacon into small pieces and sauté in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until onions turn translucent. Wash and peel the potatoes and cut them into small cubes. Clean the beans and cut them at an angle into 1/2 inch pieces. Add the potatoes, beans, broth and the savory. Stir and heat until the broth starts to boil. Reduce to low heat and cook for about an hour. Remove the savory. Season to taste with salt, pepper and ground nutmeg.

Take the pot off the stove and purée about one third of it (in a blender or using a handheld mixer). Add the cream to the pureed soup and combine it with the soup in the stockpot. Return the soup to the stove and reheat it thoroughly, being careful not to let it come to a boil.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot.


Recipe:  Crock Pot Potato Soup (
Potato Soup (
The wonderful and misunderstood world of German food (
The Most Clever German Word That Correctly Calls Something What It Is (
German Meatloaf with Roasted Tomato and Onion Gravy (Falscher Hase) (

Multicultural Monday: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in The US

“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”

~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)



Today in the United States, we honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Dr. King fought for civil rights during the turbulent times in the 1960s, when segregation still existed in this country.  He not  fought for the rights of African Americans to be treated equally, but not in a violent manner.  He preached empowerment, love and civil disobedience.

Dr. King was assassinated in 1968, but his memory is kept alive.  He is known as “one of the greatest nonviolent leaders in world history.”  We honor his memory through today’s holiday, also more recently known as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.  

Thoughtful Thursday

A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed.



~Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)
Norwegian Playwright



“A” (
Teaching Myself Norwegian (
The Splendiferously Bearded Writers Social Club:  Henrik Ibsen (
“Ghosts don’t vanish.  They just come again.” (
An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen (

Wordless Wednesday: Homesick for Germany

I spent a semester in college living in Bayreuth, Germany, a town in northern Bavaria famous for the annual Wagner Festspiel.  Sometimes, I come across pictures and want to go back…a feeling our exchange students will hopefully have at the end of their time abroad.  Enjoy!

Eremitage, Bayreuth

Eremitage, Bayreuth

Pavilion in the Hofgarten

Marktplatz (Maximilianstrasse)

The University


Wagner, Liszt and the guinea-fowl in Bayreuth (
Eremitage (
So, You Want to Study Abroad? 10 Tips For Studying Abroad (
Packing List for a Semester Abroad (
Labas! (

Tasty Tuesday: Tiramisu

Tiramisu means “pick me up” or “lift me up” and is a popular coffee flavored Italian dessert.  Here’s a recipe from Key Ingredient, so you can make your own right at home!



625 ml (2-2½ cups) strong espresso, cooled to room temperature
4 large eggs or 5 small/medium eggs, separated
4-5 tbsp sugar (one tablespoon per egg) I use a regular spoon to measure – if you use a measuring spoon it will taste sweeter (personal preference).
500 g (16 oz) marscarpone cheese, room temperature
1 200-250 g (7-9 oz) pkg Savoiardi or Pavesini (lady fingers) These are known as Löffelbiscuits in Germany.
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (or to taste) Again, I use a regular spoon but a measuring spoon will also work.


1. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites with electric mixture till stiff peaks form but not dry; set aside.

2. In another medium bowl, Beat the egg yolks with sugar until creamy, about 1 minute. If not beaten well, then the filling will have an egg-y taste. Then add marscarpone cheese and mix until there are no more lumps.

3. Gently fold the egg whites into the marscapone mixture with a spatula or wooden spoon. 4. Dip the cookies in espresso (you can add a shot of your favorite liqueur to the espresso, like rum, amaretto, brandy, Frangelico, marsala, etc.) and lay them into a 9×14 rectangular glass pan (or you may use another container/pan). You can leave 3-4 mm (1/4 inch) or a finger’s width between each cookie for the filling, or you can place them close/next to each other so there is no filling between the lady fingers (personal preference).

4. Pour half the marscapone mixture onto the cookies and spread evenly across the top.

5. Repeat step 4 with the next layer but alternate the cookies perpendicular (or just follow the same pattern as in the first layer) to the ones in the first layer.

6. Refrigerate for over night for best results. If you really must, then refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours before serving but it might still be runny. Sprinkle with cocoa.

Makes 12 large pieces or 16 smaller pieces.



Tiramisu (
Peanut Butter Tiramisu (
Caramel Banana Cream Tiramisu (
Easy Tiramisu Cake!! (


Join Team MD / DE – Become an International Exchange Coordinator!

EF Foundation for Foreign Study, the leader in high school exchange, is seeking local coordinators to place and supervise international exchange students with caring host families within your area.

International Exchange Coordinators (IECs) are the heart of the organization, facilitating amazing cultural experiences for both host families and international students. Within your community, you would help us with finding families, maintaining relationships with schools, supporting families, and mentoring exchange students throughout the exchange experience.

Our students come from 13 different countries, and are between the ages of 15-18 years old. All of our students are thoroughly screened in their home country, by our respective offices, and held to a standard of maturity and academic achievement.

This opportunity is part-time and flexible, you decide your level of commitment based on the number of students you choose to supervise. You also earn a part-time income, travel rewards, and other incentives.

All coordinators must live in the continental U.S, be 25 years or older, financially stable and capable of providing students with accommodation when necessary, and most importantly, have a passion for cultural exchange.

By matching students from around the globe with host families in your area, you open worlds, you create lasting relationships, and you change lives, including your own.


One World, One Limb (
The smartest kids in the world : and how they got that way (
Welcome the New Year by welcoming a student (
Studying Abroad: The Who, the Why and the Why Not (
A Reflection from the Past (