The Key to Adaptability: How I Learned to be More Flexible in a Foreign Country

It’s not easy to adjust to a new culture. It isn’t always easy to get by in the country where you are studying abroad either, but it is important that you try. I was fortunate enough to study abroad for 6 months this past year in Japan and learned many things about myself – who I am, what I want out of life, and how much more open-minded I can be. Living in another country forces you into an unfamiliar situation which can be difficult at first; however, if we learn from these situations rather than running away from them they will make us more adaptable people with greater knowledge about ourselves and our world.”

Learn to embrace the new:

When I first arrived in Japan, everything was so different from what I was used to. The language, culture, and customs were all unfamiliar to me and it was difficult trying to adapt. However, if I had not embraced these differences I would have missed out on so many wonderful experiences and lessons. There are always going to be things that are difficult to learn, but if you try and accept them rather than run away from the situation, it will make your life much more meaningful.”

Learn how to get by:

One of my favorite words in Japanese is “tsukiau,” which means “to use”. When I first arrived in Japan, I felt lost and didn’t know how to get by. However, after a while I learned that if I used the resources around me – the people, the internet, etc. – I would be able to survive in this new country. The same is true for any new situation you may find yourself in; don’t be afraid to ask around or look online for answers. You’ll be surprised how much you can learn from your peers, family members, or friends.

Learn to see things differently:

I think that one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is to look at life in a different way. For example, when people ask me what my favorite thing about Japan was and I say that it’s the people, they don’t understand. Japanese culture is very different from American culture and their way of thinking can be hard to grasp at first. However, what I mean when I say that my favorite part about living in Japan was the people is that after being with them for so long I learned how to see things differently through their eyes. I think that this is an important lesson for all of us; to be able to see things from another person’s perspective, no matter how different it may be from our own.

Living in a foreign country can be difficult at first, but if you open your mind and embrace the new experiences you will find yourself becoming a more adaptable person. I encourage all of you to take the plunge and study abroad – it will be one of the best decisions you ever make!

Why Having A Dog Helps When Living In A Foreign Country

Dogs can serve as an ideal companion in our journey at times. At present, many people ask for dogs and puppies to make them as their pets at home. Why having a dog helps when living in a foreign country? This query is common from people planning to buy pet dogs when they are planning to settle in a foreign country. The inclusion of a dog as a pet in your home can provide a wide range of health benefits to the owner. When searched, you can find that many old age people are making use of the help of dogs to get them newspapers and needed things. There are many people living across the world with the help of dogs as pets.

Loneliness is one of the main factors that can give rise to neurological diseases like stress and depression. You can alleviate this trouble by including a pet in your home. Dog as a pet can alleviate a wide range of troubles like depression, stress, and anxiety. This feature, in turn, improves the mental health of the person and alleviate mental issues like depression naturally. Blind people generally need a companion to accompany them to do their works and other life activities. Blind people can make use of the help of dogs to help them as a companion wherever they go. Pet dogs can assist them to cross the roads and assist them wherever they need.

Similar to blind people, other disabled people can also get the help of dogs to meet their life necessities. Becoming alone can give rise to several troubles like unhealthy lifestyle and depression. You can reduce this fact by adding a pet dog as your companion in life. It can make your life happier by assisting in all your life activities. The safety and security of a person outside the country can be enhanced by keeping a dog as a pet at home.

Generally, people with wrong intentions can come home without knocking the door or informing us via calling bell. Keeping pet dogs in the home can really assist us in alleviating the difficulties due to strange intruders. A trained dog can help the owner to provide information regarding visitors in the home. In many cases, the prevention of theft in the home was happened due to the interference of pet dogs. Dogs generally bark when they saw burglars. This habit, in turn, assists the pet owners to prevent theft in the home.

At present, there are several dog training centers available across the world to assist the pet owners. Those people in need to get their dogs trained can make use of the help of the kennel club to get the best result. A trained dog can assist you in picking the newspapers and similar parcels for you daily. Also, you can also alleviate the boredom of loneliness by playing games with pet dogs. When searched, you can find dogs as an ideal companion to play balls with you. Hence you can also suggest a pet dog as an ideal companion to make your leisure time happier and interesting. The breed of the dog is one of the factors considered while planning to buy an adult dog as a pet. Good breeds of dogs assure you of safe and secure living to your family.

Practicing Ongoing Language Learning In Everyday Life

If you truly want to know and absorb a language you need to be practicing it all the time. Any experienced language learner will know this very well. It’s one thing to get the basics of a language under control, but it’s an entirely different to internalize all of that knowledge in a way that you can actually go out and speak with a native. To get to that level takes years.

Once you get past the basic familiarity, you’ll need to switch up the methodology that you use to continue improving your learning. The three best ways that I’ve found to do this are reading, listening to conversations, and participating in conversations. Let’s go over how to implement these in our daily lives in a way that works with your busy schedule.

Where To Read

Reading in your target language is a great way to boost your vocabulary. I find that the best place for me to read is in my living room once I’m winding down for the day. It doesn’t always have to be a book that you’re reading either, it can also be magazines, internet articles, or even some quick practice with Duolingo in a bind.

I find that reading in my living room is the best place because I can sit up, still be active, and get in the zone. I’ll usually prepare a nice warm cup of tea and sit down by my new electric fireplace (which I picked out using this ultimate guide from BEFR), and just dive into whatever I’m reading until I get tired enough to fall asleep. Sometimes I’ll only squeeze in ten minutes or so, but sometimes I can go on for hours.

Where To Listen to Conversations

My tried and true place for integrating listening to conversations in my daily life is in the kitchen. I cook dinner almost every single day, without exception. If you don’t do so yourself, then maybe you can find a similar alternative. Another suggestion could be at the gym, for example, if you have an exercising habit.

While I’m cooking in the kitchen I usually will put on a television show in my target language. There are tons of good shows to pick from on YouTube, and that’s my go-to. Another alternative is to listen to something on audio, such as an audio book or a podcast.

Where to Participate in Conversations

This method of practice can be the toughest to implement. I’ve managed to nail something down that works well for me, but it did take a bit of work to systemize I’ll admit. What I’ve managed to do is work with a coach who I can speak with over WhatsApp, and we have daily scheduled lessons that I participate in while I’m commuting in my car.

My ride to work takes about 30 minutes each way, so what better to do than to utilize that idle time for something useful. You could probably save yourself some money by having a friend to speak with in your target language, but I’ve found that it’s hard to have someone who is consistently available to chat with unless it is their job.

These tactics are what are working best for me these days, but obviously there are so many out there that will work just as well. Maybe these examples will inspire you to take your language learning to the next level. It’s a long process, but we’ll get there eventually!

Finding Headphones for Audio Language Lessons

Taking an audio class may be a great way to study language lessons but requires good concentration. Using headphones is a good way to cancel out background noise in order to focus on the audio lesson. Finding a good set of headphones can be somewhat challenging because of the many options available. Three important factors to consider when searching for a good set of headphones are comfort, sound, and durability. Let’s take a closer look:


Finding a comfortable set of headphones is important when you are going to be wearing them a lot or over long periods of time. Noise canceling attributes may sound great but the positive pressure created may make the headphones extremely uncomfortable especially if they do not have proper padding. Being able to focus on the lesson instead of the pain in your ears is vital for concentration. Too much or too little padding may also affect the sound.


The ability to hear and understand the speaker is vital to successfully completing an audio language lesson. What is being said is just one aspect of sound. How the word or words are said is also very important to interpreting tone. Select the headphones with the best range and treble in order to focus on the intricacies of the voice. Some adjustment to sound can be made through the equalizer If you are playing the lessons through a computer. Even with adjustments, the overall quality of the sound depends on the speakers or headphones.


Wear and tear is normal for headphones especially for the wires. Finding a comfortable pair of headphones with good sound may be difficult but making the pair last for an extended period of time can be challenging. Headphones made with metal parts tend to be longer lasting then those made with plastic parts. USB connectors usually are more durable than audio jacks. Nylon cords are more likely to knot then their rubber counterparts. Knotting can cause kinks which degrade the sound. Regardless of how durable the headphones are proper care is vital.

Headphones cords are usually more durable then earbuds but wireless headphones are sometimes the better option. Wireless headphones are generally more expensive but made be worth the money if you need to be able to get up and move around during the lesson.

The best way to find the perfect set of headphones for you is to test them out. High end music stores usually have testing displays. Look for the set with the clearest voice. Remember bass is not as important as treble when listening to audio language lessons.

A Summer In Spain Cleaning Fishing Boat Hulls

How many of you are working summer jobs in Spain? A summer job will help you to build character. It is a great way to add something unique to your professional resume. Today’s content is about cleaning a fish boat with an electric pressure washer. The boat probably belongs to someone else, and they are trusting you to clean it the right way.

6 Tips To Keep the Job Fun and Feel Less Like a Chore

1) Take the pressure washer and clean the floor from bow to stern. If you’re in need of a pressure washer you can take a look at reviews of some of the best electric options, as they are usually easier to use than gas-powered options when working on boats. Also keep in mind that the floor gets more abuse than any other surface on the boat. You should get yourself a deck brush to remove those harder-to-reacher areas.

Why not sing a song why you are doing it? Plug in your iPad and play your favorite music.

2) You need to clean the livewells. Use a non-toxic product because a toxic product will be detrimental to the fish. Baking soda and water work great when you use the pressure washer. Things like bleach will be bad. Use the pressure washer to flush the livewells once you are done.

Why do you need to flush the system out? You need to make sure the dirt and debris have been removed before hitting the open water. Dirt that remains free will be harmful to the animals that live in the open water.

3) Boat bilges are probably the grimiest part of the boat. Get yourself a commercial cleaner and get to the bottom of the issuev(wink, wink.) A commercial cleaner will allow you to get to the bottom without getting yourself dirty in the process.

4) The boat consoles can be taken care of with Windex and spray cleaner. You will not need a power washer for this part. You will need a partial wt sponge for the first part, and then a dry cloth to finish the job. It is that simple.

Now some of this will get boring so keep that music playing. Music gives us the incentive to keep going. Keep those tunes on full blast and scrub away.

5) Does the boat have vinyl seats? The sun’s UV rays have a nasty way of turning the seats a different color. The seat will look cracked after a certain period of time.

You will need Star Brite Vinyl Shampoo. The shampoo will restore the seats to their former glory.

6) How does the boat hull look right now? It may appear discolored and stained in certain areas. You will want to give the problem areas a good scrub first. Next, take the pressure washer and clean it off. The pressure washer will also add some efficiency to the boat’s performance, not to mention add to the fuel efficiency.

Some Added Cleaning Tips

Do you want to get a bonus in your paycheck? Take a few extra minutes and clean the trailer. The owner will be very impressed. Clean everything including the wheels and tires. Your boss might give you some more work to do after this.


Cleaning a fish boat with an electric pressure washer may not be your idea of a good time, but it will earn you a paycheck. It will also earn you the satisfaction of a job well done.

I Can’t Find the Screws! Language as a Barrier

The problem

Often times in life we are fearful of situations in which we may not understand some written material or understand what is being said due to comprehension or a language barrier.

Imagine being in a hardware store in Thailand. As you search the aisles in desperation for the screw section. Above you are signs in Thai and not an English word in sight. All around you are curious faces, with some of them that may have never seen a white person but you can’t even entertain the thought of a conversation because of your quest to find a screw. As you stand bewildered in front of the store, looking across a sea of shelves and finally a clerk approaches you a manages to muster the words “hello, I help you?”

With a look of glee, you realize you may have found your savior in a smock. As you proceed to gleefully describe what you are looking for at 100 miles an hour, you realize that the clerk has a blank look and your explanation has been in vain. So with the shopkeep in front of you and the screws, you need hiding in the labyrinth of a store how do you find a way to get what you need.

The Solution

If you were a prepared traveler then you would not have had to face such issues. So if you are in a foreign country and want to buy something as obscure as a screw, here are XS tips to help you combat those sticky and somewhat isolating situations that can be posed by international travel.

1.) Have a hotel employee write you a list in the language of what you need for ease of transaction.

2.) Learn some of the languages before you go on the trip. The internet is full of free courses, all it will cost you is time. Many locals are impressed when travelers take the time to learn the language and might even reward you with an extra shrimp or two at the local market.

3.) Use google translate or hire/buy a translating machine. These machines are cheap and will help you keep your independence on the trip

4.) show the clerk a picture of the screw you need. Pictorial, like math, is a universal language.

5.) Hire a language guide. Language guides are good because not only is the barrier broken, but they can get you the local rates!

In our scenario, you, the weary traveler finally found the screws you needed and left on your merry way because you followed this advice and were victorious in the quest to the hardware store. If you are considering international travel, perhaps you might consider staying at an all-inclusive where you won’t have to go out in search of screws.

Communication Blooper

When my boss announced that it was time for me to take a vacation I grabbed my things and raced home faster than I ever had before. I had been dying to take a trip out of the country for months and I was so happy that the time had finally come. I went home, packed my bags and rushed to my best friends house knowing that she would leap at the opportunity to leave town with me. “I know exactly where we should go Trish!” She exclaimed. “Guatemala! It is such an amazing place I swear! I remember seeing a brochure a couple of weeks ago and I know you will love it!” I smiled at her shrugging my shoulders. For some reason I couldn’t stop thinking about Paris but honestly I was up for anything. We drove for two days non stop switching seats every time we got tired.

When we finally entered the city limits, my mouth flew wide open. It was truly incredible! We dropped our things off at our hotel nearby and we walked across the town to do a little sightseeing. We ended up completely falling in love with the city, it’s people and their culture. The smell of food was so strong that it was literally around each corner we turned. All of the houses were basically stacked on one another so it was hard to determine exactly where the smell was coming from. That didn’t keep us away however. We let our noses guide us around the village until I almost tripped on a little boy running by with his friends. He paused, looked up at me and Shelby, and pointed a scrawny little tree branch close to our faces, as he rambled furiously. We both looked at each other and giggled. “We were just trying to figure out what that amazing smell is. Thats all!” Shelby tried to assure him. He didn’t understand however. Instead he started talking even quicker than he had before, flinging his arms all over the place. I looked at him and put out my hands, waving it in front of him to try to get him to listen.

“Food” I said, making one hand like a bowl and the other like i was holding a spoon, eating cereal. “Mmmmm” I said rubbing my stomach. He raised an eyebrow before going “Aahhh.. Keis..” I didn’t know what he was saying. He made a tight fist and Swung it in a circle. He bounced the fist off of his head and into his stomach. I nodded my head and rubbed my stomach again. His friends laughed and guided us to a house nearby. Shelby and I stood in front of the door not knowing what to expect. The door flew open and the boys started babbling to a man inside. He let us in and started trying to speak to us. We shook our heads and giggled. I repeated the boys actions, throwing my hand into a ball before bouncing it off of my head and stomach. The man laughed and walked away from us. He returned with a jar of frog legs floating in a concoction of green juice. Shelby looked at me out of the corner of her eye and I knew that it was time to leave.

Travel to Germany to Learn German

Being in Germany gives someone that is attempting to learn German, the best experience for various different reasons.

You are being fully submerged into the language. In Germany, you are sure to be surrounded around others that know the language. Therefore, when you are using technology or other resources to learn the language, you will also have other resources surrounding you. For example, if you want to learn how to read road signs, you will have live road signs right in front of you in Germany. You can turn off the resources, such as your phone application, and look at the signs yourself. If you are not able to get through the signs fully, you have other resources around you that you can talk to using the language.

There will be a surplus of programs around that are focused on the German language. Just like in the United States where our schools offer a program to students that want to learn our native language, Germany has the same. Instead of being limited to what is being offered in your home country, you will have plenty of programs to pick from. Some of the programs that are offered in Germany include DAAD which is the German Academic Exchange Service and Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX) for Young Professionals. Regardless of your current experience with the German language, there is sure to be a program that will meet your needs and requirements to help you learn the language.

There is plenty of opportunity to practice what you learn. If you remain within your native area, you may be limited to those that you practice using the German language with. There may not be much opportunity to use the langue outside of your learning area. Like the saying says, if you don’t use it, you will lose it. Being in Germany, there will be plenty of individuals walking amongst the streets that will allow you to put your learning to practice. You will have plenty of opportunity to use it. Also, hearing others using the language allows you to hear where you may be making pronunciation errors. It also allows you to hear how those that natively use the language are pronouncing certain words.

Latin from Scratch – Where to Start

Learning Latin was once one of the cornerstones of a good education. Unfortunately, learning that language has fallen out of style in recent decades. If you do want to learn, the odds are that you’ll have to learn on your own. Fortunately, there is a fairly simple path towards greater Latin fluency.

Start Looking at Grammar

Before you pick up your first Latin textbook, you’ll want to spend some time studying your English grammar. Latin is actually a fairly structurally precise language, but you’ll need to remember all of your parts of speech if you hope to translate everything accurately. Building any kind of vocabulary will require you to spend some time knowing your various cases and declensions, something that’s hard to do if you don’t know them in your mother tongue. It’s not a bad idea to keep a traditional grammar book by your side as you go about learning Latin.

Find a Good Textbook

Once you have your grammar down, you’ll need to seek out a Latin textbook. As lovely as some of the computer programs out there are, the most reliable resources for Latin translation are still in print. If you’re looking for something tried and true, Wheelock’s Latin is still used in college courses across the English-speaking world. It’s a bit dry and relies a great deal on rote memorization, but it’s a great introductory text for those who want to familiarize themselves with the rules of Latin.

If you’re not too proud to start with something easier, high school students have been using Ecce Romani volumes one and two for decades. The book is definitely on the simple side, but it does help to introduce vocabulary with a number of memorable and easy-to-parse stories. It may not be up to snuff for many serious language learners, but it is nonetheless a delightful text that can really help novice readers to quickly build up their confidence.

Work on Vocabulary

Now that you’ve got a useful textbook, you’ll want to start building up your Latin vocabulary. One of the most wonderful things about Latin is that it’s formed the basis for some of the most widely-spoken languages in the world, many of which have loaned their words to English. If you already know a few Latin roots, you may be able to suss out the meanings of several words without much difficulty. You should, however, always consult your dictionary to make sure you are translating the words correctly – false cognates abound.

The downside to Latin is that Latin’s many endings often mean that several seemingly-identical words are actually wildly different words in different declensions, cases, or number. Because of this, you’ll need to know the context of a given word before you can adequately translate it.

Move towards Translations

Your final step should be to work with actual Latin translations. If you’re using Wheelock, for example, you should get a few bits and pieces of real Latin to translate during your exercises. Catullus is an incredibly popular choice for many new translators, as it uses a wide range of vocabulary but tends to be very grammatically consistent. Even that Latin Vulgate Bible can be a good project, especially if you are already familiar with other translations. The more real Latin you read, the more proficient you will become.

Latin can be an easy language to learn, but definitely one that’s difficult to master. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of others in online communities or to take a step back and try an easier project if you get frustrated. Once you gain a basic command of the language, you’ll notice that a wealth of new reading material will become available. Enjoy your journey towards greater fluency!
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