Marketing and Business 2.0

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Business 2.0 is a fairly new concept and not many people understand what it is all about. In the corporate world it is important to get your information out to the public so they can see what your corporation is all about. Businesses do this by creating blogs, or websites with information about their products and what they are up to. These blogs can be created by one person, or multiple employees and sent out on the web to the public. This way people can read what is going on and then they can spread the word to friends about this new corporation.

I believe that if there is going to be a corporative blog, it should be written by just one high up person in the corporation. This way, correct information is being sent out and not being repeated. Also, there will be no way for a person to sabotage the blog if only one person is posting in it. There are so many advantages to having a corporative blog, such as its cheap price, the company’s ability to then network with others, a good way to get customer feedback, and you can update the blog as much as you want with new and upcoming information. Businesses also use Facebook and Twitter to send out links to their corporate blogs and since so many people use these social networking sites they are able to click right on the link and are transferred to a blog.

Although I believe corporative blogs are a great idea, there are many things that could go wrong with one. There could be blog sabotage which could happen in employees post false information, or a company can be criticized if their product does not work like they say it does. This happened with the bike lock brand called Kryptonite. They wound up having to replace all the faulty bike locks they sold and lost 10 million dollars, as well as their image.

Business 2.0 is a way for mainstream businesses and big corporations to get their word out into the world and receive feedback from customers on things to improve, or things that are working just fine. All in all I believe that all businesses should transition to the web and get their word out there!

YOBO…You Only Barcelona Once

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I have taken most of my trip to think about what I wanted this post to say. There are few words to describe my time abroad in Barcelona. This amazing city has given me some of the most amazing months of my life and without this experience I would not have grown into this new person. Before I arrived in Barcelona, all I heard was that the night life was the best in the world and that the city didn’t really have much else to offer. These people that told me that truly have no idea what they are talking about. The city of Barcelona is beautiful and has SO much to offer. Not only is it a bustling city, but it is a beach town as well. It is the best of both worlds with the mountains and the water. During the day in Barcelona you can visit some of the beautiful touristy sites such as Sagrada Familia, or the Boqueria or walk down the streets and walk into little bakeries and other shops and just explore. There are a vast amount of activities that people can participate in during the day that makes this city so special. There are always friendly people walking in the streets and hanging out and it just is such a homey city and I was instantly engulfed in this new lifestyle. However, I do definitely agree that Barcelona nightlife is the best in the whole entire world. Every night a bar then a new club. Start at 1:30 and go till 5 AM!

Us with a club promoter

Another thing I was told about Barcelona is that the food is not good at all. FALSE. Barcelona and Spain itself has amazing food. In Barcelona there is such a wide array of food varying from traditional Spanish tapas, to greek and Japanese. Everyone can always find something they like. Obviously my friends and I found one restaurant that just stuck with us; our home away from home. This restaurant, Ugarit, is a little mediterranean place walking distance from my apartment and has the freshest ingredients and never lets us down. Sometimes, we even go twice in one day so they know us all by name now! However, we came here with someone’s guide from last year that lists everything you need to do in Barcelona, including a list of restaurants you must try. We try to follow that guide perfectly.

Barcelona is nothing short of amazing and I know I made the right decision when I chose to study abroad here. One major aspect of my trip that made it all the more better was my program, CEA.  CEA allowed me to have the safest, most fun trip I could have ever asked for. They did everything for us, including making us doctors appointments. They were so accommodating and if there was ever an issue they would be right there to help us solve it.

Although my time in Barcelona is ending soon, I will never be able to forget my experiences here and I am coming back a much more responsible and mature person. I definitely plan to come back soon and relive old memories!

SENSATION WHITE

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A few weeks ago I traveled to Belgium for a huge techno concert called Sensation White in Belgium. It is filled with so many Belgium locals as well as every American tourist studying abroad. The one rule is that you MUST wear the color white. In the huge arena is a sea of people dressed in white from head to toe. That same weekend I was able to see my best friends from school who did not go abroad because they came for the concert and then came back with me to Barcelona for the week. It was amazing to see them and overall, the night was a huge success and one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

While we went to Belgium mainly for the concert we decided it would be a good idea to visit this little town call Bruges that we heard was similar to a fairy-tale world. And it was just that. It felt like we hopped right into a storybook and we were surrounded by gorgeous buildings, cobblestone roads and horse and buggies. There were little shops on every street that we walked in and out of and there was even a castle. There were gondola rides going in the river that ran through the entire town. It was honestly one of the best days of my life. It was so carefree and relaxing and we were able to experience a life that I never thought I would be able to witness.

  Bruge

Before I arrived in Belgium I had some preconceived notions about what this foreign place would be like. I thought it would be a lower middle class country with nothing to really offer. Boy, was I wrong. It was one of the wealthiest places I have visited so far. Every other car was either a BMW, or a Mercedes and the shopping was incredible! We had amazing food and then people were also some of the nicest I have ever met. Overall, Belgium was one of my favorite trips abroad so far!

Giant Beers, Giant Pretzels…SPRINGFEST

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This past weekend my friends and I traveled to Munich, Germany to attend the annual Springfest carnival. We went through the program Bus2Alps  who set us up in a hostel, a bike tour, and a trip to a concentration camp. First, we arrived at our hostel, which was certainly not what any of us were expecting. It was filthy and the beds felt similar to what I would imagine prison cots feeling like.We squished into a 10 person room and went straight to dinner. We stuffed our faces with Italian food since that is all that we could find and then went straight to sleep.

The next morning was our famous bike tour around the city. I haven’t ridden a bike in close to 5 years so it was a struggle in the beginning. After a few minutes however, I got used to it. We rode in the streets of Germany seeing famous building and then ending at the famous beer gardens. Here we ate bratwurst, big pretzels, french fries and of course…HUGE BEERS. After this was over we drunkenly rode our bikes back to where we began. We had time for quick showers and then if was off to the Springfest carnival. Day 1 was complete insanity. We went straight to the hippodrome where we say every person we knew from abroad, home, school, camp etc. We got humungous beers and danced as the band played. We got home at around 11 when the festival ended and passed out knowing that we had a long day ahead of us.

Day 2 went a little differently. When we first arrived we all thought it would be a great idea to go on this upside down, spinning ride that held you hundreds of feet in the air. BAD IDEA. I was of course hysterically crying the entire ride and saw my life flash before my eyes. It was something I will never forget and never want to experience ever again.

After the ride...

After that traumatic experience we decided we were in desperate need of a drink. We went back to the hippodrome, found all our friends and began to drink again. Keep in mind it was 11 AM and we had till 11 PM. We drank, ate, drank, ate until we decided it was time for some more rides. We went on the bumper cars multiple times, as well as this not-so-safe roller-coaster, which turned out to be my favorite ride of all time. We had such a blast and was sad to see the day end. However, we knew the next day was going to be unforgettable.

The next morning we awoke and got transported to Dachau concentration camp where we were given as much time as we needed to look around and take it all in. We walked around for hours just trying to fathom what went on during the time of the Holocaust and everything we saw was so powerful. It was a depressing note to leave on, but definitely a necessary place to visit while in Munich.

Overall, Munich, Germany was my favorite trip of abroad so far and I am so happy I got to experience it with all of my closest friends.

Why Ryanair is the Worst Airline…EVER!

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When traveling throughout Europe, especially as a 20-year-old abroad student you try to find the CHEAPEST flight possible. Obviously we are not all rolling in money so we try to save where we can. However, I feel that picking a safe, but more expensive airline is a much better idea than a dirt cheap, dangerous airline. I didn’t always feel this way. When I first got to Barcelona and we began to travel, we would google “cheap flights” and other key phrases similar to that to try to save a few euros. After stumbling upon Ryanair I changed my mind forever about cheap travel. This airline is not only cheap, they try to squeeze every last penny out of you to get more money for their crumbling company. My friends and I have had multiple bad experiences with Ryanair and after talking to others realized everyone else hates them as well.

I could go on for days about how much I despire Ryanair; they are an awful airline with nothing to offer, except annoying shuttle buses and a lack of backseat pockets. I LOVE to fly and enjoy relaxing and listening to my iPod, however, one flight on Ryanair and I am now scarred. I had an incident where I literally was hysterically crying, huddled in my seat hanging on for dear life. If I could sue something, it would be this filthy airline. I was talking with a friend about how much we hate Ryanair as we sat in line waiting 3 hours to board our flight (obviously) and she told me about this website: I Hate Ryanair and I had to check it out. It really brings together the community where people can just read about all the stupid things Ryanair does on a daily basis.

My one word of advice for everybody who ever flys…DO NOT FLY RYANAIR!!!

Ryanair Podcast

What Happens in Lagos, Stays in Lagos

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This past week was SPRING BREAK! It was a week filled with drinking and sun and I got to be with my friends from all over Europe. We had some pre-spring break drama of course…but what else is new. We originally wanted to get a villa to stay in with a bunch of people, but obviously my friends and I can never get our shit together so that did not wind up happening. We went the hotel route instead and found something called an apart-hotel. It is part apartment, but part hotel as well. The great thing about these is that you get all the freedom you want in this big apartment, but you get the perks of a hotel such as a front desk. They ordered food for us, called us taxis, and the best part was that it was way cheaper than any villa. It really was the best of both worlds. We also wound up staying at the same hotel as our friends so we were able to party and drink with them whenever we wanted. It was our own little villa except now we had personal space.

Although the week was supposed to be about getting extremely tan, it didn’t really end up that way. It rained everyday. We would wake up early every morning, throw on our bathing suits and run outside just to be caught in a rain storm. Then we would retreat back to bed for a few more hours. The one day it didn’t rain was our booze cruise. We all boarded this little boat and sailed into the ocean and drank…a lot. It was definitely a highlight of my trip, but not my favorite. My favorite part has to be my motorcycle ride. My friend Spinner and I hopped on the back of our friends’ motorcycles one night and raced down the streets of Portugal to the beach. It was the most adrenaline-pumping thing I have EVER done! My mom always told me to never get on the back of a motorcycle. Not only did I disobey that rule, I did’t even wear a helmet. I decided you only live once so I was not passing up that opportunity.

Lagos was definitely different than any other trip I have ever been on. It was a week of not too much partying, but not too much relaxation either. It was a rainy week long hangout. That is the best way I know how to describe it. I was so excited I was able to travel to Portugal, a place I never thought I would be able to travel to. I would recommend Portugal to everyone I know and would love to go back there again and experience the sun that it has to offer.

Rain in Portugal

Why Every College Student Should Study Abroad…in Multimedia

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Everyone always says that college is the best four years of your life. However, one thing that people do not always recommend, or tell you about is the study abroad experience. Studying abroad is one of the most fulfilling and amazing experiences and should be a key component to every college student’s life. To spend a semester in a foreign country traveling and taking classes is something that is very unique and irreplaceable.

The process of studying abroad is a long and windy road, but once you arrive at your destination you will realize it is worth all of the effort you put into it. People can choose from a myriad of countries in which they choose to spend majority of their time, their home base. There are multiple programs that students go through where they get set up with housing, classes and obviously credits that they will transfer for you to your home university. Some of these programs include CEA, IES, and many universities have their own study abroad in… programs.

Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity and it allows young college students to travel to a country they have never been to before and experience the culture of not only that country, but an abundance of countries, which they may be interested in traveling to. It is both a learning experience and a chance to let you mature. Just some of the benefits of traveling abroad include:

1)    You get to experience life in a foreign country with friends, or alone

2)    You get to take classes taught by foreign professors with knowledge and expertise about the country you are residing in

3)    You can travel on the weekends to any country you can possibly imagine, and for cheap!

4)    You get to be on your own for 5 months with no parents and not much authority

5)    You get to mingle with locals and other people that you would never meet if you weren’t abroad in that country

Above are just a few benefits of studying abroad. When thinking about it, there are truly no negatives to this process. From start to finish your home institution sets you up with the forms that need to be filled out and make sure you are taking the necessary classes and that you are going through a reputable program while abroad. Once that is taken care of you are in the hands of the foreign institution and are certainly well taken care of. In terms of classes, the programs ensure that you are getting a nice, well-rounded education and that it is not 5 months of pure partying in a foreign city.

Nightlife as well as traveling in/to these foreign countries are something that people who do not visit Europe will never get to experience. With programs such as Bus2Alps, trip leaders set you up with a place to stay and activities during both the days and nights in any country imaginable. This makes traveling easy as well as efficient since you will not need to go to a random country with no sort of itinerary. These programs allow you to get the most out of the short time you have in a certain place.

Bus2Alps Paris Trip!

Allison Miszner, a student at the University of Maryland explains why every student should study abroad during college:

Some people may say that studying abroad is just too expensive. However, there are so many ways to make abroad cheap. There are so many scholarships available and student financial aid that is given out to students that need a little extra money. The programs themselves are just as much as a typical semester at your home institution, maybe even less. Once you are abroad, low budget travel is very common if you book trips far enough in advance. Using websites such as HostelWorld.com allows students to easily book a reputable hostel in advance.

Studying abroad is one of the most exciting events a person will experience in their lifetime. If you have not yet been abroad you cannot even fathom what the experience is like, no matter how many people tell you every last detail about their trip. It gives a person the best of both worlds, work and play, and allows students to come back as independent adults. You get to take a semester out of college to travel and experience a foreign culture with friends. I would recommend studying abroad to every single person I know because being abroad has changed the kind of person I am. I have become more mature and independent, as well as more tolerant to the people around me. I have learned more in the last few months about life and culture than I ever have being at home. It is an unforgettable experience and one that every person should be able to enjoy.