Multicultural Monday: St Patrick’s Day

March 17th is St Patrick’s Day and in the US serves as a cause to celebrate one’s Irish heritage.  The date of March 17th is significant because it is the feast day of St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.  Legend has it that he used the shamrock, a clover, to explain the Holy Trinity to pagans and helped convert Ireland to Christianity.

Although not an official holiday in the US, it is celebrated with parades, eating and drinking and wearing the color green.  The city of Chicago even dyes the river green!

The FDNY EMS Pipes and Drums Band Took Part In The New York Parade On Sunday And Then Jetted To Dublin To March In Dublin On Sunday (8566206960)
FDNY Pipes & Drums, NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade

St. Patricks Day Parade (2013) In Dublin Was Excellent But The Weather And The Turnout Was Disappointing (8565108095)
St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, Ireland

Green Chicago River on Saint Patricks Day 2009
The Chicago River, dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day

RELATED ARTICLES:

Happy St Patty’s Day (mahoganywanderlust.com)
St Patrick’s Day Activities (honestlymotherhood.wordpress.com)
St Patrick’s Day (preservationinpink.wordpress.com)
St Patrick:  patron saint of the Irish and a ‘Great Briton’ (historysshadow.wordpress.com)
Happy St Patrick’s Day!  (paperbackwriter28.net)

Multicultural Monday: Loi Krathong Festival

English: Celebrating Loy Krathong in Lumpini P...

English: Celebrating Loy Krathong in Lumpini Park, Bangkok, Thailand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Loy Krathong

Loy Krathong (Photo credit: MY-XpaT)

Recently, we received pictures from our exchange student‘s family in Thailand celebrating Loi Krathong.

This is the “festival of lights” and is one of the most popular festivals in the country.  Some people believe there are a few different origins for the celebration, but it is always held “on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month, the tide in the rivers is highest and the moon at its brightest,” usually in November.

You can read all about the Thai festival of Loi Krathong here.

 
 

Create your own Loi Krathong lantern!

To build your own Loy Krathong lantern, follow these steps:

Supplies:

1 piece of 18-inch x 6-inch tissue or rice paper
2 18-inch x 1-inch strips of cardboard
1 piece of string, about 12 inches long
1 wooden craft stick, about 12 inches long
Glue
Stapler
Glitter and cutouts for decoration

Instructions:

1. Decorate one 18 x 6 piece of tissue or rice paper with glitter, cutouts, drawings or Bible verses of your choice.
2. Glue the two strips of cardboard to the tissue paper – one at the bottom and one at the top.
3. Form the tissue paper into a cylinder and staple along the seam.
4. Tie the string to the wooden stick, leaving about 6 inches of string on either side.
5. Staple both ends of the string to opposite ends of the top of the cylinder.
6. Hang and enjoy!
 
 

Celebrating International Education Week 2013!

iew2013_1

International Education Week is being celebrated this year from November 11 through the 22nd.  According to the US Department of State, International Education Week is “a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education that provides an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. This annual initiative aims to promote international understanding and build support for international educational exchange by encouraging the development of programs that prepare Americans to live and work in a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study in the United States.”

As a State-Department sponsored foreign exchange organization, EF Foundation for Foreign Study helps brings over 2,000 students a year to the United States from all over the world.  We are the leader in high school exchange and international education.  This is a great time to think about bringing a student into your family and bringing this initiative to your home and community!

Get to Know…Belgium!

Belgian flag

Belgian flag (Photo credit: quinet)

  • Official Name:  Koninkrijk België; Royaume de Belgique; Königreich Belgien (Kingdom of Belgium)
  • Language(s):   Dutch, French, German
  • Capital:  Brussels
  • Currency:  Euro
  • Area:  11,787 sq mi
  • Population: 11,035,948
  • Government:  Constitutional Monarchy
  • Head(s) of State:  King Philippe; Prime Minister Elio di Rupo
  • National Anthem:  The Brabançonne
  • Location:  northwestern Europe, between the Netherlands and France

Learn more about Belgium here.

Here are some kid-friendly crafts and activities related to Belgium and its culture.

FAMOUS BELGIANS:

Get to Know…Hungary!

flag of Hungary ►

flag of Hungary ► (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Learn more about Hungary here.

Here are some kid friendly activities related to Hungary and its culture.

English: Parliament Palace, Budapest, Hungary ...

English: Parliament Palace, Budapest, Hungary Română: Palatul Parlamentului Ungariei, Budapesta Magyar: Parlament, Budapest, Magyarország (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FAMOUS HUNGARIANS:

Get to Know…Taiwan!

Flag of the Republic of China

Flag of the Republic of China (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Taipei 101, the tallest building in Xinyi Dist...

Taipei 101, the tallest building in Xinyi District and the second tallest building in the world. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Learn more about Taiwan here.

Here are some kid friendly activities related to Taiwan and its culture.

FAMOUS TAIWANESE:

  • Ang Lee – film director
  • Jason Wu – fashion designer
  • David Chu – co-founder of Nautica
  • Min Kao – co-founder of Garmin
  • Steve Chen – co-founder of YouTube
  • Stan Shih – co-founder of Acer
  • Jerry Yang – co-founder of Yahoo!
  • Lucy Liu – actress
  • Connie Chung – anchorwoman
  • Lisa Ling – journalist
  • Jeremy Lin – NBA player
  • Michael Chang – Tennis player

To find out even more about Taiwan, consider welcoming a Taiwanese student into your home!  For more information about welcoming a student from any of our countries, fill out the form below and someone will get back to you within 24 hours!

Get to Know….Austria!

Flag of Austria

Flag of Austria (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Find out more about Austria here.

Here are some kid-friendly activities related to Austria and its culture.

FAMOUS AUSTRIANS:

English: in Innsbruck. Français : La Flussprom...

English: in Innsbruck. Français : La Flusspromenade (Promenade de la rivière), sur les bords de l’Inn, à Innsbruck. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Falco – 80s pop star (“Rock Me Amadeus“)
  • Sigmund Freud – psychiatrist
  • Joseph Haydn – composer
  • Gustav Klimt – artist, helped found the Vienna Secession movement
  • Fritz Lang – film director
  • Gustav Mahler – composer
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – composer
  • Ferdinand Porsche – automotive engineer and entrepreneur
  • Otto Preminger – film director
  • Wolfgang Puck – chef
  • Oskar Schindler – industrialist, WWII hero
  • Johann Strauss – composer
  • Erwin Schrödinger – physicist, Nobel Prize winner
  • Franz Schubert – composer
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger – actor, former governor of California
  • Daniel Swarovski – founder of crystal company, Swarovski
  • Georg Ludwig von Trapp – head of the Sound of Music family
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein – philosopher

Interested in learning more about Austria and its culture?  Consider welcoming a student from there or another of our High School Year countries!

Get to Know…Denmark!

Flag of Denmark ("stutflag" version)

Flag of Denmark (“stutflag” version) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 
 
Find out more about Denmark here.

Here are some kid-friendly crafts related to Denmark and its culture.

View from Rundetårn, Church of Our Lady (Copen...

View from Rundetårn, Church of Our Lady (Copenhagen). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


 
 

FAMOUS DANES:

 

 

If you are interested in hosting a student from Denmark or any of our high school year exchange countries, please fill out the interest form below and an EF representative will contact you within 48 hours.

Get to Know….South Korea!

Flag of South Korea

Flag of South Korea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Official Name:  대한민국 (Republic of Korea)
  • Languages:  Korean
  • Capital:  Seoul
  • Currency:  South Korean Won
  • Area:  38,691 sq mi
  • Population:  50,219,669
  • Government:  Constitutional Republic
  • Head of State:  President Park Geun-hye
  • National Anthem:  애국가 Aegukga
  • Location:  Eastern Asia

Find out more about South Korea here.

Here are some kid-friendly crafts related to South Korea and its culture.

 

This image shows Gyeongbokgung in Seoul, South...

This image shows Gyeongbokgung in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FAMOUS SOUTH KOREANS:


 
If you are interested in hosting a high school student from South Korea or any of our EF High School Year countries, complete the form below and an EF representative will contact you within 48 hours.
 

Get to Know…Switzerland!

The national flag of Switzerland.

  • Official Name:  Confoederatio Helvetica
  • Languages:  German, French, Italian, Romansch
  • Capital:  Bern
  • Currency:  Swiss Franc
  • Area:  15,940 sq mi
  • Population:  8,014,000
  • Government:  Federal republic
  • Head of State:  Federal Council
  • National Anthem:  Swiss Psalm
  • Location:  Central Europe

Find out more about Switzerland here.

Here are some kid-friendly crafts related to Switzerland and its culture.

Switzerland
FAMOUS SWISS:

  • Jacob Ammann – leader of the Anabaptist religious group that would become known as the Amish
  • Jean Arp – founding member of the Dada surrealist movement
  • John Calvin – founder of the Calvinist theological movement
  • Louis Chevrolet – automobile engineer, founder of Chevrolet
  • Roger Federer – championship tennis player
  • Martina Hingis – championship tennis player
  • Paul Klee – painter
  • Henri Nestle – founder of the Nestle company
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau – philosopher
  • Johanna Spyri – author of Heidi
  • William Tell – legendary folk hero
  • Huldrych Zwingli – leader of the Reformation in Switzerland

If you’d like to find out more about hosting a student from Switzerland or any of our other EF High School Year countries, fill out the form below and an EF representative will contact you within 48 hours.