Culture Blog Posts

How to Learn a Foreign Language Faster Than You Thought Possible

How to Learn a Foreign Language Faster Than You Thought Possible

Posted by Goats on the Road on September 7, 2016 in Travel

Possibly one of the most exciting and rewarding aspects of travel is getting to immerse yourself in a foreign language and culture. Not only can learning a new language be a practical tool for getting around (and being able to ask where the restrooms are), but it can open up your world. You’ll be able to have meaningful conversations with locals and connect with people you may have struggled to communicate with prior. There's no better time to learn a new language than when you're traveling internationally. You will be surprised by how much locals will appreciate and respond to your attempts to speak to them in their native language, whether you're already nearly fluent or you're a complete beginner!... Read More ...

How to Eat Like an Italian in Italy

How to Eat Like an Italian in Italy

Posted by Abigail Wilson on August 3, 2016 in Travel

At home, you have the occasional sit down dinner with the family. When you move out or move off to college, a meal typically consists of eating out or grabbing fast food to go. These days, families and friends rarely take the time to really enjoy a meal and spend time with their loved ones. In Italy, however, dinner is a tradition. It takes hours, consisting of several courses and a lot of wine (for the adults, of course). Dinner is served late and is usually followed by a fantastic night's sleep. Here is your guide to dining in Italy as the Italians do.... Read More ...

Dealing with Culture Shock

Dealing with Culture Shock

Posted by Kelli Vorndran on July 28, 2016 in Travel

Culture shock is a normal reaction to experience as you adjust to a new culture abroad. However, you don't want to let it ruin your trip! Use this infographic to learn more about the signs and symptoms of culture shock, and how you can quickly cope and get back to enjoying your travels!... Read More ...

How to Choose a College or University in the U.S.

How to Choose a College or University in the U.S.

Posted by Emmet Pierce on May 26, 2016 in Study Abroad

Earning a four-year degree in the U.S. may seem impossible for many international students because of the costs involved, but financial planning and careful school selection can help you achieve your goal. StudyUSA.com notes there are more than 3,000 colleges and universities in America from which you can choose. Tokio Marine HCC-MIS Group's Passport to American Education: A Simple Guide to International Student Financial Aid says that many U.S. schools are respected worldwide.... Read More ...

Challenges for International Students in the United States

Challenges for International Students in the United States

Posted by Eric Rosenberg on March 24, 2016 in Study Abroad

Are you one of many students from all over the world who has applied to study in the United States- or are you thinking about studying in the U.S.? The U.S. is home to several of the top universities in the world and offers many opportunities for research and other academic endeavors. Whether it is finding international student aid, dealing with cultural differences, or finding a solution to an academic problem, international students in the United States face many challenges.... Read More ...

Returning from the Mission Field

Returning from the Mission Field

Posted by Eric Rosenberg on March 9, 2016 in Life Transitions

Going on a mission trip to a foreign country can be an amazing and rewarding experience. In addition to religious work, missions are a great way to help those in need around the world by offering community building, medical, and other support. Returning home from a lengthy trip in a less-developed region can be a big shock. Follow these steps to make your transition home smooth and comfortable.... Read More ...

How to Stay Safe While Vacationing Abroad

How to Stay Safe While Vacationing Abroad

Posted by Robert DiGiacomo on February 29, 2016 in Travel

Despite some recent high-profile attacks and political uncertainties in many parts of the world, it's rare for a vacation to be directly impacted by terrorism. What's more, you can take pro-active steps to ensure you have a safe experience and are prepared for a worst-case scenario. To safeguard your trip, take these seven precautions:... Read More ...

5 Advantages and Disadvantages of Graduate Study Abroad

5 Advantages and Disadvantages of Graduate Study Abroad

Posted by Brianna Weidman on February 25, 2016 in Study Abroad

When you make the decision to attend graduate school abroad, you’re opening yourself up to the endless opportunities and long-reaching benefits than an international degree provides. Not only do these degrees afford students the opportunity to set themselves apart from other candidates vying for similar jobs and careers, but they’re oftentimes shorter and cheaper than graduate programs in a student’s home country. And while there are several potential roadblocks to consider, there are also means of navigating each one.... Read More ...

The Disadvantages of Study Abroad

The Disadvantages of Study Abroad

Posted by Brianna Weidman on February 5, 2016 in Study Abroad

Planning for your study abroad experience can be equal parts exciting and overwhelming, and every decision you make should involve an assessment of both the positives and the negatives. While it’s only natural to imagine the glamorous aspects of your trip abroad, these expectations can cloud your judgment of the reality that awaits you. Studying abroad is a worthwhile and often life-changing experience, but be sure to check out these 5 disadvantages of study abroad- before you start planning.... Read More ...

Top 5 Study Abroad Destinations

Top 5 Study Abroad Destinations

Posted by Eric Rosenberg on January 28, 2016 in Study Abroad

Each year, hundreds of thousands of American students depart for a study abroad experience. In recent years, the number of students taking part in international study programs has grown steadily. For many, the destination is the most important factor when selecting a program or organization. Here are our top 5 destinations for American students going abroad:... Read More ...

6 Tips for Meeting People While Studying Abroad

6 Tips for Meeting People While Studying Abroad

Posted by Brianna Weidman on September 1, 2015 in Study Abroad

The value of studying abroad is undeniable; these once-in-a-lifetime programs provide opportunities for educational and personal growth, intercultural development, and professional advancement- all while immersing you in a foreign culture!... Read More ...

Music Study Abroad: Top 5 Destinations

Music Study Abroad: Top 5 Destinations

Posted by Brianna Weidman on August 31, 2015 in Study Abroad

Studying abroad offers a unique opportunity for college students to broaden their horizons and get a glimpse into the inner workings of the global community. For most, the once-in-a-lifetime experience of studying abroad and engaging with a foreign culture is both valuable and enriching. This unique experience will provide you with a world-class education in global human relations, while also expanding your international network- thereby putting you a step ahead in the career process.... Read More ...

Guide to Sightseeing in the U.S.

Guide to Sightseeing in the U.S.

Posted by Jonathan Daniel on June 11, 2015 in Travel

Traveling to the United States can be intimidating. Because of its size, the U.S. offers a dizzying array of destinations. This vastness means the country offers a wide variety in terms of climate, culture, history, foods, and fun. From big cities to open spaces to museums and tours exploring U.S. history, there is something for every visitor.... Read More ...

Keirin Racing: 5 Fun Facts

Keirin Racing: 5 Fun Facts

Posted by Jarred Juett on May 5, 2015 in Travel

Keirin racing is a Japanese phenomenon almost as old as modern sporting itself. An over-the-top combination of athleticism, gambling, glory-seeking, and tradition, Keirin has provided Japanese cyclists a place to strategically compete on their bikes for more than half a century. It’s a mega-budget sport, grossing funds in excess of $10 billion dollars in ticket... Read More ...

Five Tips for Your Missionary Travel Experience

Five Tips for Your Missionary Travel Experience

Posted by Shelby Walton on April 22, 2015 in Travel

Going on a mission trip is a huge decision and an even greater commitment. While some mission trips are short term, many can last anywhere from 1-2 years. Expectedly, leaving your home country for this extended period of time requires lots of careful preparation.... Read More ...

Fun London Facts

Fun London Facts

Posted by Kristen Kaweck on April 22, 2015 in Travel

London has always been a place that tourists from all over the world flock to experience history and culture. It is the biggest city in Europe and the former capital of a vast empire. London was founded by the Romans nearly 2,000 years ago, and has endured many hardships and victories on its journey to... Read More ...

Alternative Oktoberfest Celebrations

Alternative Oktoberfest Celebrations

Posted by Kelli Vorndran on March 27, 2015 in Travel

Traveling to Munich in Bavaria, Germany, might not be in the cards for you this year, but you can still celebrate one of the most famous German holidays right here in the United States. After all, we have a long history of enjoying the best holidays from nations around the world, and Oktoberfest is one... Read More ...

Culinary Travel in New York City

Culinary Travel in New York City

Posted by Shelby Walton on February 26, 2015 in Travel

One of the best parts about taking a trip anywhere is exploring all of the delicious foods that location has to offer. Whether you are enjoying local delicacies or dining at the finest restaurants, the joy of culinary travel is something to which we can all relate. Undeniably, one of the food capitals of the... Read More ...

Customer Story: 60 Acres, 3300 Years, Four Religions At Karnak

Customer Story: 60 Acres, 3300 Years, Four Religions At Karnak

Posted by Muhammad Yasin on February 26, 2015 in Travel

Allison Carter, an Atlas Travel® Insurance customer, recently fulfilled a long-time desire to visit Egypt. She shared with us this blog post, the sixth in a series, detailing her experience visiting the Temple of Karnak. You can find more of her story in the HCCMIS Blog and at the HCCMIS YouTube channel. If you have travelled abroad with coverage from one of our products, and want to share your stories, we encourage you to leave a comment.... Read More ...

Customer Story: Aswan-Tranquil Temples, No Hassle Markets

Customer Story: Aswan-Tranquil Temples, No Hassle Markets

Posted by Muhammad Yasin on February 26, 2015 in Travel

Allison Carter, an Atlas Travel® Insurance customer, recently fulfilled a long-time desire to visit Egypt. She shared with us this blog post, the third in a series, detailing her experiences exploring Aswan, the temple of Philae, and the Spice Market. You can find more of her story in the HCCMIS Blog and at the HCCMIS YouTube channel. If you have traveled abroad with coverage from one of our products, and want to share your stories, we encourage you to leave a comment.... Read More ...

Customer Story: Kom Ombon – the Temple of the People

Customer Story: Kom Ombon – the Temple of the People

Posted by Muhammad Yasin on February 26, 2015 in Travel

Allison Carter, an Atlas Travel® Insurance customer, recently fulfilled a long-time desire to visit Egypt. She shared with us this blog post, the fifth in a series, detailing her experiences exploring Kom Ombo, an ancient temple dedicated to Horus and Sobek. You can find more of her story in the HCCMIS Blog and at the HCCMIS YouTube channel. If you have travelled abroad with coverage from one of our products, and want to share your stories, we encourage you to leave a comment.... Read More ...

J’aime Les Belges: An American Girl’s Day in Brussels

J’aime Les Belges: An American Girl’s Day in Brussels

Posted by Allison Ammermuller on February 5, 2015 in Travel

While my stay in Brussels was short—only one day—the city still managed to convince me that it should never be overlooked. Conveniently located between Paris and Amsterdam, my friends and I decided to make it a stop on one of our weekend excursions while we studied abroad. Here’s what we found.... Read More ...

Summer Study Abroad

Summer Study Abroad

Posted by Muhammad Yasin on December 19, 2014 in Study Abroad

So, you’ve decided to study abroad. Good for you! The next decision to be made is when and where you’ll go. For some students, the benefits of studying during the regular academic year make sense. However, every student, like every study abroad experience, is unique, and you have to find the right program. If you are interested in studying abroad, but cannot go during the academic year, consider studying abroad during the summer.... Read More ...

Benefits of Studying Abroad

Benefits of Studying Abroad

Posted by Abigail Pratt on December 18, 2014 in Study Abroad

Studying abroad is a major decision, and plenty of smaller decisions fall under its umbrella. Sure, it’s easy to decide you’ll study abroad. However, once you decide to go, you need to do some research. Where are you going to study? What are you going to study? Do you want a foreign-language program? How are you going to get there? How do you apply for the program? How much is it going to cost to study abroad? What options are there for financial aid? These questions can be overwhelming, but don’t let them deter you. After all, there are many great benefits to studying abroad.... Read More ...

Top 5 Advantages of Studying Abroad

Top 5 Advantages of Studying Abroad

Posted by Jarred Juett on December 3, 2014 in Study Abroad

Taking advantage of the opportunity to pursue an education outside of one’s home country is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Being aware of the advantages of studying abroad will help you make the most out of your time learning away from home.... Read More ...

Shop 'til You Drop in London

Shop 'til You Drop in London

Posted by Randee Portteus on September 18, 2014 in Travel

Though London is rich in history, sometimes a traveler wants to explore what’s going on today in the city. One way to do this in London is to explore the wide-ranging and exhilarating network of markets. Here are ten to get you started... Read More ...

Literary Landmarks in Dublin

Literary Landmarks in Dublin

Posted by Randee Portteus on August 5, 2014 in Travel

The capital of Ireland is a city as rich in literature as it is in history. In this post, you’ll learn a little bit about the tradition of literature in Ireland, as well as some of the best places to go to get your literary fix.... Read More ...

5 Tips For Preparing to Stay with a Host Family

5 Tips For Preparing to Stay with a Host Family

Posted by Courtney Guggenberger on July 30, 2014 in Study Abroad

When you picked a location to study abroad, most likely you were intrigued by your host country’s culture. Deeper research into the family structure and style of your host country will help tremendously in understanding your new family. Each culture has its own way and standard of living, and by gaining insight before even entering... Read More ...

Five Tips For Visiting The U.S.

Five Tips For Visiting The U.S.

Posted by Courtney Guggenberger on July 29, 2014 in Travel

Traveling to the United States can differ from traveling around your own country, or other places around the world. Like any time you travel, there are things you should consider doing before you leave home, and a few things you’ll want to do when you arrive. Here are a few tips for visiting the USA. ... Read More ...

Four Awesome Moments in Olympic History

Four Awesome Moments in Olympic History

Posted by Kelli Vorndran on May 27, 2014 in Travel

Since 1896, the world has seen some pretty awesome moments during the Olympic Games. As countries all over the world gather for friendly competition and rivalry, we all spend a couple weeks, every two years, to celebrate the true athletic greatness that exists around the world. There have been some incredible moments and accomplishments that... Read More ...

South Africa: Proudly African, Truly International

South Africa: Proudly African, Truly International

Posted by Cynthia Roush on April 22, 2014 in Study Abroad

Hi! My name is Cynthia Roush, and I am a senior at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. Last summer, before my junior year, I went on a short study abroad to South Africa. South Africa is an incredible country filled with rich culture, food, and atmosphere. Though I have experienced richness in my travels to other countries, such as in Europe, the buzz in the air is different... Read More ...

Top HCCMIS Blogs for August 2011

Top HCCMIS Blogs for August 2011

Posted by Muhammad Yasin on March 28, 2014 in Travel

Customer Story: Aswan – Tranquil Temples, “No Hassle” Markets Aswan feels like Africa in a way Cairo does not. The people are darker skinned, the dusty streets are full of buildings painted blue and gold, bony dogs,... Read More ...

Travel Connections: Utilizing Google Travel Search and the Most Useful Apps

Travel Connections: Utilizing Google Travel Search and the Most Useful Apps

Posted by Muhammad Yasin on March 28, 2014 in Travel

Recent tech innovations have changed the game when it comes to travel. Now, strangers in a foreign land can be buoyed by a buffet of apps and online resources that help them navigate unfamiliar places – everything from finding the way back to their hotel to finding the cheapest parking or the best hole-in-the-wall restaurant.... Read More ...

Traveling Abroad: Four Cultural Customs to Remember

Traveling Abroad: Four Cultural Customs to Remember

Posted by Muhammad Yasin on March 28, 2014 in Travel

Many a traveler has accidentally committed a faux pas after neglecting to respect an important custom or practice of a particular place or group of people. Respecting traditions abroad shows respect to the people of the country you are visiting. Listed below are four cultural customs from around the world.... Read More ...

5 Language Learning Tips for Study Abroad

5 Language Learning Tips for Study Abroad

Posted by Jarred Juett on March 27, 2014 in Study Abroad

As a student, the opportunity to study abroad offers you the ability to expand your horizons in new and exciting ways. You’ll be introduced to a new culture and confronted with new ideas and ways of life. Most of all, you will learn an entirely new way of communicating with others. This is a simple task for those who choose to study abroad in English speaking countries.... Read More ...

10 Tips for Experiencing the Culture While Studying Abroad

10 Tips for Experiencing the Culture While Studying Abroad

Posted by Muhammad Yasin on March 27, 2014 in Study Abroad

Studying abroad is not always easy. Language barriers can leave foreign students feeling isolated on occasions, and home sickness is common among young travelers. Studying abroad can be made easier and more enjoyable if students do not think of themselves as visitors, but instead immerse themselves in a region’s culture. Provided below are 10 tips for experiencing the culture while studying abroad.... Read More ...

Study Abroad in Spain

Study Abroad in Spain

Posted by Ryan Love on March 27, 2014 in Study Abroad

Studying abroad is an exciting time for any student who takes advantage of the opportunity to learn and travel in a different country. However, one of the most difficult decisions you have to make before studying abroad is deciding where you actually want to go. Many students choose to study in countries like England and... Read More ...

Backpacking in Asia

Backpacking in Asia

Posted by Jarred Juett on March 27, 2014 in Travel

The beautiful countries in Asia offer plenty of opportunities for an incredible backpacking experience. However, for first-time backpackers or backpackers unfamiliar with the area, planning your trip can be daunting. Here are some tips for preparing, suggestions for where to go, and how to save some money while you’re there.... Read More ...

Contract Work Abroad: 5 Cultural Awareness Tips

Contract Work Abroad: 5 Cultural Awareness Tips

Posted by Jarred Juett on March 27, 2014 in Travel

It’s no secret that creating the most efficient working environment for you and your colleagues takes time and effort. One effective way to improve your experience if you plan to start contract work abroad is by employing a bit of cultural awareness. Here are some quick and easy tips to help you integrate into your new workspace and surroundings if you decide to take up contract work abroad.... Read More ...

Cultural Awareness Tips for Working Abroad

Cultural Awareness Tips for Working Abroad

Posted by Kelli Vorndran on March 27, 2014 in Travel

Working abroad can be not only a great occupational opportunity, but also a great way to learn about the cultures of other countries. But in order to have a successful overseas working experience, expats must prepare for the possibility of culture shock, or just the challenges that can sometimes accompany living in a new place.... Read More ...

Latest Travel Trends in the U.S.

Latest Travel Trends in the U.S.

Posted by Kristen Kaweck on March 27, 2014 in Travel

Travel trends change just as quickly as fashion trends, technology trends, and social trends. Just like leather goes in and out of style, our demand in vacation spots, such as Cancun, increases or decreases. One of the most prominent travel trends recognized in history is The Grand tour, which was the traditional trip of the... Read More ...

Live Local -- It's the Only Way to Travel

Live Local -- It's the Only Way to Travel

Posted by Jonathan Daniel on March 27, 2014 in Travel

Photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff. A new service was recently launched in Berlin where travelers can hook up with a local to tour the city and learn how to imbed themselves into the local culture of the German capital. This struck me as one of the greatest travel, and business, ideas I had heard of... Read More ...

Living as an Expat in Abu Dhabi

Living as an Expat in Abu Dhabi

Posted by Jonathan Daniel on March 27, 2014 in Travel

Abu Dhabi has become quite the destination for expats over the last decade. As a beautiful island in the country of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is close to Dubai, Saudi Arabia, and Oman. Abu Dhabi was once a pearling island and has since grown rapidly as a leading oil foundation in the UAE.... Read More ...

The Best 4th of July Fireworks Shows

The Best 4th of July Fireworks Shows

Posted by Ryan Love on March 27, 2014 in Travel

Whether you are preparing to travel to the United States or are already in the U.S., the Fourth of July is a huge time for celebration. The , or Independence Day, is a national holiday in which friends and family gather together in order to celebrate America’s independence. Typically, these gatherings consist of grilling food,... Read More ...

The Best Vegetarian Holiday Meals from Around the World

The Best Vegetarian Holiday Meals from Around the World

Posted by Kelli Vorndran on March 27, 2014 in Travel

It’s not easy being vegetarian, or feeding a vegetarian, during the holidays. Almost every dish has meat or some animal byproduct. But instead of having just one plate at the Thanksgiving table with a Boca burger, try something new. Here are a few meal ideas to get you started. In India, the holidays Dusshera, which... Read More ...

Top Destinations for Travel in 2013

Top Destinations for Travel in 2013

Posted by Jonathan Daniel on March 27, 2014 in Travel

So it turns out the Mayans were wrong and 2013 will actually happen. Not that we have that squared away, the next question is where to go. Deciding on a destination varies greatly depending on budget, travel experience, travel style and many other factors, but the fact remains that choosing a vacation spot can be... Read More ...

Traveling to New Zealand

Traveling to New Zealand

Posted by Jarred Juett on March 27, 2014 in Travel

One of the best places to visit in the world is New Zealand. An island just southeast of Australia, New Zealand is home to beaches, mountains, lush rainforests, and volcanoes. No matter if you are looking for a relaxing trip or an adventure, traveling to New Zealand will provide you with many opportunities to explore,... Read More ...

Travel in Eastern Europe - Finding My Family Roots and Battling Techeniye

Travel in Eastern Europe - Finding My Family Roots and Battling Techeniye

Posted by Jonathan Daniel on March 26, 2014 in Travel

Last year, Phil headed to Europe. The plan was to visit friends in Italy, then head to Bulgaria and end up in Istanbul, Turkey. Phil ended up in Koper, a small port town in the southwest of Slovenia. Koper is the oldest city in Slovenia and was part of Italy and Yugoslavia before gaining independence in 1991. But none of that was on Phil’s mind as he walked the streets of the city.... Read More ...

Why Study Abroad?

Why Study Abroad?

Posted by Kristen Kaweck on January 29, 2014 in Study Abroad

As a student, you may have heard talk about studying abroad. Perhaps your friends are considering it or maybe your school even requires some degree of off-campus study. You may be hesitant. You ask, “Why study abroad?” You might love to see the world, but your education has to come first. Or maybe you have avoided the experience because you are not sure you would like being on your own for so long in a foreign country. While those are certainly understandable reasons for never having seriously considered studying abroad, here is an opportunity to reconsider.... Read More ...

Finding a Job with No Experience

Finding a Job with No Experience

Posted by Jarred Juett on January 24, 2014 in Life Transitions

As you prepare to graduate college, or if you are a recent college graduate, you might be wondering, “How am I going to get a job?” As someone who most likely does not have a lot of work experience in your desired field, the entire process of finding a job may be new to you. This can leave you feeling overwhelmed, and you may feel a lot of pressure to find that perfect job right after graduating. Whether that pressure comes from yourself or someone close to you, it can make this time needlessly stressful.... Read More ...