Irina Koprivica

Irina Koprivica

Young people today have access to a wide range of programs to study abroad, and the number of them is constantly growing. Studying abroad is a great chance to see how the systems in other countries work, and also to test yourself as a person. A typical list of advantages that come along includes new friendships, experiences, traveling, and so on. As with everything else in life, not even this resists turning into a cliché. The reason is that many perceive a semester or a year abroad as an “academic vacation“. For all of you who are about to go abroad and study as exchange students, take a moment to decide whether you just want months of fun, or a meaningful experience (which doesn’t exclude wild parties).

The suggestions I am about to offer come out of my personal experience, and reflect approaches I have tried in my own life. You may think that traveling solo and going to events alone is a common thing, but would you do that yourself if you had a chance? People seem, at first blush, to be excited about the idea of being 100% responsible for just themselves, but in the end that enthusiasm turns out to be more theoretical than actual. The problem is that we have become too dependent on people. Socialization is, with no doubt, one of the main factors in our lives, but it need not be crucial. Loneliness is having a deleterious effect on us, as we settle for anything that feeds our need for belonging. Furthermore, we forget about ourselves, and we sabotage our sense of self-worth.

At the beginning of this year, the announcement that Norway was shutting down its FM network caused turmoil among the public, and at the same time sparked various debates. Many forums are still filled with predictions and claims concerning the situation and the changes that may be pending for radio. While it seems that digitalization is moving head of the FM frequency, the radio as an influential factor in the media persists. Divided opinions suggest its future is uncertain; and yet, there are facts that support the continuing importance of radio.

People consider indulging in food, excessive shopping, and the pursuit of popularity as new addictions brought about by globalization and the digital era. However, seeing these trends solely as addictions may hinder our understanding of the elements of this trio fantastico, since they have grown into cultural phenomena. They have a large impact on every modern individual’s life, but nonetheless their influence can be controlled if we treat these elements as separate cultures. Cultural norms are willingly adopted, whether they are habits, or just a way of dressing. It is a palette of behaviors that build up an identity, which further governs the way of life.

We live in the world that is too filled with flattery. It may sound ironic, since modern society is under the constant pressure of stress, not to mention a wide range of trends. So-called positive psychology can be considered as another blindly-followed sweet-talking trend, since its purpose has gone too far. In order to find a more direct route to happiness, people must learn to trust themselves, and also to encourage themselves to roam towards certain goals, without beating themselves up if they slip along the way. The charming face of this fashionable philosophy is why people resort to a self-help concept that advocates “positivity” and offers a variety of lists with rules for a prosperous life.

Tweeting Our Lives

Imagine that every social network is like a kitchen table. It is not limited by length, width, or number of seats, so you can have as many guests as you please. Now, imagine your kitchen full of dishes, ingredients, and you, preparing various delicious meals to impress your guests. Have you ever thought about how many guests your table should hold, and how much you are ready to invest in cooking and serving?

Since ancient times, people have placed tremendous value on foreign language proficiency, and people who were considered as polyglots have been highly respected. Today’s globalized society calls for a wide range of language knowledge, since it is necessary for jobs, travel, etc. But, have you ever wondered why languages are so important and useful?

It has become almost impossible to ignore all the travel options. Multiple sources of information are accessible, lots of people blog about their adventures, offer advice, or write travel guides, and low-cost companies are expanding the possibilities of travel while offering combinations that are literally endless. Being travel-wise can for sure be counted as a crucial skill in modern society. With all the gadgetry we have, we can make it through foreign countries, google cheap accommodations, and so forth. But still, even today lots of people would like to take the “daredevil” approach and step out of the digital nest. They rely on maps and local people, miss buses, get lost, get into exciting situations and enjoy all the adventures that the non-digital world has to offer. Andrew John Ganner is one of those travelers. His almost 30 years of travelling are recorded in travel journals. He was kind enough to schedule an unfiltered conversation with us about why he chooses to stick with old-school ways and what makes non-digital travel unique.

Foxes (jap. kitsune) are found all across Japan and are common subjects of Japanese folklore. They are lovable, playful, and quite unpredictable. The fox is an unusual animal, with doglike characteristics and catlike behavior. Foxes are solitary rather than social, they are stealth hunters, mostly active at night, but at the same time are good parents to their pups. It is possible that their dual nature has served as a key inspiration for the myths and legends about Kitsune – the wild shapeshifting and tricky vulpine youkai (jap. supernatural monster, spirit, or demon in Japanese folklore).

Ski season is just around the corner. If you are looking for a place that will remind you of Santa Claus’s village, then Zakopane is an excellent choice. This charming Polish town, situated in the foothills of the Tatra Mountains, has a population of 30,000 inhabitants and has everything you need (and more) for a perfect winter holiday. You will also be amazed by Zakopane’s architecture, its museums, its attractive houses with fairytale decorations, its scenery, and everything else that Zakopane offers to its visitors.

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