30 April, 2009

Swine Flu (or Pig Flu) and Travel: What Should You Do?

Are you rethinking your travel plans in light of swine flu? Here are travel recommendations to keep in mind.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has not recommended travel restrictions to Mexico or any other countries, because those measures may not be effective in stopping the spread of the virus.

Individual countries are free to set their own travel policies and to handle swine flu as they see fit. No one is going to stop you from getting on a plane, train, ship, or car. But there are steps that you can take to limit your swine flu risk.

Here is what the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) wants you to do if you must travel to an area that has reported cases of swine flu:

* Check updates from the CDC, WHO, and local health authorities, and follow their guidelines.

* Before traveling, people in high-risk groups -- such as the elderly and people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, or heart disease -- should get the prescription antiviral
medications Tamiflu or Relenza to take while traveling in areas that have reported cases of swine flu.

* Check on health care resources in the area you'll be visiting before you depart.

* While you're in an area with reported swine flu cases, wash your hands often with soap and water, or if soap isn't available, use an alcohol-based hand gel.

* Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

* Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

* If you get sick while traveling, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, and throw the tissue in the trash afterward.

* Seek medical care if you are ill with a fever and other symptoms of swine flu, especially if you think you may have had contact with someone with swine flu or severe respiratory illness in the seven days before you got sick.

* If you're sick, don't travel, except to get local medical care. Try to limit contact with other people, so your germs don't spread.

Once you get home from an area with reported swine flu cases, the CDC asks that you closely monitor your health for seven days. If you get sick during that time, call your doctor or clinic for an appointment. And when you arrive for your appointment, tell you doctor your symptoms, where you traveled, and if you had close contact with someone infected with swine flu.

Taken from: http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/news/20090428/swine-flu-and-travel-what-should-you-do

28 April, 2009

New Zealand

New Zealand's spectacularly beautiful landscape includes vast mountain chains, steaming volcanoes, sweeping coastlines, deeply indented fiords and lush rainforests. It is a haven for those seeking peace, rejuvenation and relaxation as well as a playground for thrill seekers and adventurers. A temperate climate with relatively small seasonal variation makes it an ideal year-round holiday destination.

Have you ever thought about going whale-watching???

Seeing whales surface off the coast of Kaikoura is one of those truly magnificent New Zealand sights. Kaikoura is about a 2 to 3 hour drive from Christchurch, and it’s worth everything you can do to get down here to enjoy one of the whale watching tours. You can observe orcas (killer whales), humpback whales, sperm whales, and even the occasional blue whale from either a boat or a helicopter, and it’s not something you’ll soon forget.

- Activities and Adventure: For those who want breathtaking adventure can indulge themselves in jumping, sky diving, white-water rafting, jet-boating and heli.adventures. The Waitomo Caves gives the opportunity for black water rafting under a galaxy of glow-worms. Whereas for those who love extreme adventure can try out rock climbimg and abseiling. You can also have a conducted glacier trek or view the majestic Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers from a flight. In addition to it other activities that are offered includes horse riding, safaris, 4WD tours, quad bikes, hot-air balloons and kayaking.

- Nightlife: There is something for all age groups with innumerable nightclubs, restaurants and bars. The young pub-going crowd loves to hear to live bands whereas the more matured ones attend the jazz venues. And if you are attracted to thrills and excitement of the nightlife you must try and visit the gaming tables and machines of the casino. One thing to be kept in mind before attending a casino is that one should be above 20 years. Restaurants, live music and dancing are also present in some of the casinos.

- Shopping: The regular CBD retail outlets coexist with modern hi-fashioned malls. Factory outlet centers sell well-known brands for all age groups including shoes, accessories and music. They give 70% off compared to the retail shops. A number of designer boutiques, galleries, souvenir shops as well as art and craft shops are spread throughout the country.

- Tours: The conducted tour offers sightseeing along with farm, fishing, wine and movie set tours. In addition to this one can also experience train journeys, cruises, sand safaris, with tours to historic places and factory. One can choose from a wide range of tours from the large national enterprises to small, family-run businesses.

23 April, 2009

Why Study Abroad?

The following video shows some guys talking about the advantages of studying abroad.
Would you like to send us a video expressing your opinion about travelling abroad (to study or not) - or even your experience with it?? We'll be glad to post it! Send an e-mail to teachercadu@yahoo.com and we will tell you how to proceed. Much more than just joining the blog, we want you to be part of it.

20 April, 2009

Travel Health Tips for Students Studying Abroad

Few events can negatively impact the study abroad experience more than becoming sick or being injured while far away from home! Learn about important travel health information that can help students stay safe and healthy while studying abroad. This podcast features a conversation between a student preparing to study abroad and Dr. Christie Reed, Travelers' Health Team, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, CDC.


Taken from: http://www.cdc.gov/

18 April, 2009

My Dream Trip to London

Last July I was awarded with a trip to London and a teacher refresher course. I know! Life IS good. So when the boss (Ana Zullo) told me it was my turn I realised I had never expected to get the trip even though all the teachers senior to me had got it. Well, it came as a surprise but of course I said yes! It was very refreshing indeed (to say the least).

So, let’s get to the point:

I had been to London before but just for a couple of days and I’ll tell you... two weeks aren’t enough - at least not if you are taking a course from 8 am to 5 pm - let alone a couple of days.

What did I do there that I recommend?

I went inside the Tower of London where people ‘lost their heads’, namely Anne Boleyn - Queen of England (1507- 1536) and Lady Jane Grey, also Queen of England (1537–1554) beheaded at the age of seventeen, just to mention a few. There I was surprised to see some sort of ‘medieval graffiti’ on the walls and lots of armour. People talking about the Tower often refer to the Crown Jewels, which are all very nice but not as much as the history of the Tower itself, in my opinion.

On my way out I was taking a photo by the Tower Bridge (which people confuse and take by London Bridge) when lovely Alexandra joined me.

I went inside the Abbey too, the Westminster Abbey, where Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy are buried - among 3,000 people, starting with Chaucer, the author of The Canterbury Tales, who only got to be buried there because he worked there and the priests liked him, at least that’s what I recall from the guided tour. I had a very special guide, Jeremy Irons, as everyone else. (He recorded the audio guide). Why don’t we have audio guides in Brazilian museums?! This one instead of looking like i-Pod earphones it looked rather like an old and heavy mobile phone you kept holding next to your ear, but it had videos too. By the way, even though William Blake, Lord Byron, Shakespeare, Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters are not buried there they have memorials in the Poet’s corner.

Visited the National Gallery where I fell in love with the painting of Lady Jane Grey about to be beheaded – The Execution of Lady Jane Grey by Paul Delaroche.

Also visited the British Museum with all the heads of pharaohs, mummies and the Rosetta Stone.

Talking about museums, last but not least, I visited the Tate Modern and saw the street art exhibition that included graffiti by the twins from São Paulo on the façade. Great gift shop, by the way.

I saw two gigs – the Mars Volta at the Roundhouse, a legendary venue in Camden where Jimi Hendrix played and, believe it or not, Monobloco at a place called Guanabara.

I wanted to see the Arsenal Stadium in Highbury but it was closed by the time I got there, so I only saw it from the outside. Actually, we got inside the first gates but we couldn't see the field. Such a shame.

I went shopping in Oxford Street – loved Top Shop! Best and almost only purchase: a small yellow bag with a big bow, bright pink on the inside, with a chain handle by Paul’s Boutique.

I had a lazy afternoon at the South Bank on a hot summer day. I went there to join a friend from Niterói who had recently moved to London and had the day off too to relax and have Pimms. We were there chilling at this open air bar outside the Southbank Centre. South Bank is a must, click here to check its official site. There's a book market, a skate park, lots of other stuff and it's just beautiful.

Got a train to Brighton on a Saturday morning, spent the day in those lanes, saw the Royal Pavilion, sat on a chair on the sand watching the sea, visited a couple of friends from Niterói and came back to London in the evening.

I had lunch at Camden Market on a Sunday, when they have the fair.

I had snacks in traditional pubs.

I had delicious blueberry cupcakes.

I saw the change of guard and I saw the Queen's Guard play 'The Final Countdown', made famous by Europe, a hard rock band from Sweeden, in the 80's. If you don't believe me, I can prove it. I recorded it and put it on YouTube:

I watched a trial in the Old Bailey. It was a case of murder.

I walked for hours along Hyde Park.

I went into Kings Cross station just to see the Platform 9 3/4.

I walked across the park from Wood Green, where the students Hall was, to Muswell Hill, where the school was, and saw people playing golf in a public place. Ordinary-looking people. Playing golf in the park.

I decided to have some coffee in Leicester Square and came across the European Premiere of the new Batman movie - The Dark Knight.

I got a brochure of MA courses in the Institute of Education at the University of London.

I ate something I think was called Abbot Ale Meat Pie. The meat pie looks somewhat like what we call ‘empadão’ here in Brazil but I guess it tastes more like a ‘Mille-feuille’. It came with chips and gravy, I was really looking forward to trying gravy but I wanted to eat it just as they do so I asked the young lady: ‘Where do you pour the gravy?’ She replied something like: ‘wherever you like’. So I went: ‘No, where do YOU pour the gravy?’, to which she then replied: ‘oh, on top of everything’. So I did... yummy! Scrumptious!

I made friends.
Christina Henn, from Germany; Stefan Firica, from Bucharest – Romania, supporter of Dynamo; Eftychia Charalambous (aka Effie) from Cyprus and supporter of Anorthosis; Robson Sant’Anna, from Petrópolis, who works at Cultura Inglesa Grajaú and Marcella Correa, from Rio, were the closest ones. I also exchanged emails with Steve Hirschhorn, a local who taught us a couple of lessons, the best ones. He came all the way from Oxford (he's the principal at an English school there called Eckersley) by motorbike to teach us.

I also met people from Poland, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Latvia, Spain and the USA.

What I did not do but might be fun too:

I didn’t visit the famous Madame Tussauds even though they were revealing a new statue – Amy Winehouse – while I was there. I only know about it because of the free papers on the tube (The underground).

I didn’t go to the Cinema even though I would've been to the Prince Charles with my new German friend Christina if I hadn't been late after spending such a long time in Hamleys trying to find the perfect gifts for my kids.

I didn’t go to Notting Hill.

I didn’t go on the Ferris wheel, the London Eye. But I did take many pictures of it.

I didn’t see a musical.

I didn’t even get a glimpse of Harrods.

I didn’t get to know Brick Lane and this is the thing I regret the most, together with not taking a photo crossing the Abbey Road.

Oh, I also deeply regret not having fish and chips.

So, even though it was my second time in London I still must come back. There are many places in the world I still don't know and I really want to but I'm not done with London yet.
Thank you Cultura Inglesa for my English, and now for making this dream trip come true.

Raquel Rodrigues

15 April, 2009

Contributions from Icaraí 1

Hi, everyone! This is Raquel Rodrigues posting. I'm a teacher and consultant in Icaraí 1 and as a blogger I thought our blog might benefit from a couple quizzes like these:

Your Travel Personality Is: The Sophisticate

You're well educated and cultured, and the places you travel to reflect that.

You appreciate the best art, food, architecture, and local flavor.

A true traveler, you are destined to be multi-lingual and very worldly.

I would also like to mention that we're asking students to contribute by sending stories of trips they've been on along with a couple of photos of the place and hopefully they'll be published here soon. I myself will join in with my own testimonial about my Cult Trip to London last July.
Coming soon ;-)

14 April, 2009

Have a Quick Bite

I'm glad that some people replied saying that they want to talk about food. I'm gonna tell you a bit of what I experienced in London, but I do wannna hear from you, ok? I wanna hear whatever you have to say, not only about food!!!!

When I went to London for the first time, I stayed in a very charming old lady's house. There was also a Spanish guy there, taking the very same course I was. Anyway, one day we invited her out of the kitchen and we decided to cook her a Spanish Omelette. Obviously, I don't know how to cook a Spanish Omelette, but I was an excellent helper to Martin (my Spanish buddy). Don't even ask me what the ingrdients are; the only thing I know is that there are lots of eggs involved in the process (laugh).

My second time in London was even better, especially because I had the company of two very dear friends, Vivi and Ana. I don't remember who suggested that we should have an English Breakfsta, but it doesn't matter now. It was memorable!!!
I'm gonna post two different pictures. I want you to tell me which one shows a real English Breakfast, will you?

09 April, 2009

What Would You Like To Talk About?


We really want to share this space and, for this reason, we want to know what YOU want to talk about.

  • Places to go;
  • How to get there;
  • What to do there;
  • How long to stay;
  • What to take;
  • etc.

Just choose (or suggest) the topic. Your wish is our command!



Hit The Road would like to give its warmest welcome to each and everyone of you interested in getting to know more about travelling and things related to the topic. Teachers and students from Cultura Inglesa, be my guest!

Have The Time Of Your Life!

Travelling is awesome, isn't it? That's why we decided to share a bit of our experiences with you and show that travelling is a lot easier than we might imagine. Also, if you want to share some of your experiences as well, be our guest.

Here goes an interview with Carlos, a Cultura Inglesa Madureira student, who is going TODAY (April 09th) to London. Btw, it's his birthday today as well. Happy birthday, Carlos!

HTR. Tell us about when you decided to travel.
Carlos. I've been studying at Cultura for almost 4 years now and I really wanted to test my English. I know I can speak English, but when I finished the Cultura Express 6 (now I'm an Express Plus 2 student), I felt this urge not only to practice what I've studied, but also to become more confident - that's what I really believe is going to happen. I believe that we become more understanding when we travel. Meeting different people, different cultures, having to adapt, is certainly going to help me in different aspects of my life. And I want to have fun as well.

HTR. And, why England?
Carlos. To be honest I wanted to go to NY, but my brother - who gave me the plane tickets as a birthday present - convinced me to go to England. Of course I could always say no, but after all the things he showed me about the Queen's land, it seemed to me that London was the right place to go. But as soon as I come back, I'll start saving again to go to NY. And he promised to join me!

HTR. What was it about England that your brother showed you?
Carlos. He showed me pictures of beautiful places and all the history behind them. He told me about how friendly the people can be and how much one can learn there. It's all about culture, you know. Of course there's culture everywhere - USA, New Zealand, Canada, and so on - but England was the place he had information about (laugh).

HTR. Was it difficult to have all set?
Carlos. Not really. What's important is to close the deal with someone you trust. I don't really want to make any propaganda here, but as I study at Cultura, I thought it would be fair enough to count on them to help me out. I called Rosa - who's the person responsible for this area - and she helped me with everything I needed. I'm staying for three weeks and I'm gonna have 20 classes (not sure if it's 20 classes or 20 hours - laugh) per week. I chose to stay with a host family because I want to experience their daily lives. Simple things like having breakfast together, talking about their routine and being part, at least for three weeks, of a regular British family.

HTR. What are the expectations now?
Carlos. Well, I've already packed. It's my first trip abroad, you know, so I expect to speak English a lot, meet new people, visit places and do everything I can. I wanna have the time of my life!