#JackieAbroad – Welcome to Ireland!

Hi! My name is Jackie, and I am a junior at the University of South Carolina and studying Marketing and Management. Currently, I am abroad in Limerick, Ireland as an Exchange student. Throughout the semester I will be sharing my personal experiences with academics in a new setting, the amazing sights Ireland offers, cultural differences between Americans and the Irish, and my travels to other countries throughout Europe.I arrived in Limerick at 6:55 am Irish time (in America, it was 1:55 am.) I tried to sleep on the plane, but there was so much nerves and excitement, after awhile I gave up. By the time I got through customs and to the dorms, I was so tired I almost fell asleep standing up! I am living in Plassey House, a customary freshman dorm, and I have 7 other roommates. The apartments have 2 levels with 4 bedrooms and 1 bathroom on each level. The most interesting thing about them is that the heat is only on 3 hours in the morning, and 3 hours at night (due to high costs in heating and air conditioning.) It’s actually not that bad when you get used to it (but you have to plan to take a shower between those times.) I unpacked my things and ventured across campus to where we were going to have coffee and fresh scones (which were delicious.)Because of the time difference and lack of sleep, I didn’t do much that first day. The second day, however, was LOADS of fun.
STUDY ABROAD TIP: If you bring electronics, make sure they are low voltage when you plug them into your adapter. After I took a shower, I tried to plug in my hair dryer and it sparked and started a small fire! Needless to say, I broke not only my hair dryer, but also the adapter and had to walk around with wet hair – so be careful!The next day we toured the Bunratty Castle and & Folk Grounds in Limerick, Ireland. Bunratty Castle was pretty small as far as castles are concerned but what it lacked in size, it made up in rich history. The castle was built in 1425 and has many awesome characteristics including trap doors and a super creepy dungeon. One thing that I thought was astounding was that there was a small hole in the wall above the “main guard room” where the Earl would have his meetings. A guard would be peeking through that hole watching the meeting, just in case there was a problem. The hole would be covered by a picture or tapestry and the eyes would be cut out for the guard to see. This is where the saying “there are eyes in the walls” comes from.
Bunratty Castle

Bunratty Castle

The views of Ireland from the top of Bunratty Castle

The views of Ireland from the top of Bunratty Castle

A church on the Folk Grounds

A church on the Folk Grounds

Another cool fact about the castle was that it was designed for the castle’s guards to have advantage if they were ever in battle.  Advantages such as the doors were purposely made narrow so that the enemy lines could only attack one person at a time. There were also “murder portals” on top of entrances where men would dump hot water or oil on the approaching enemy.

After we toured the castle and grounds, we went to the famous Durty Nelly’s pub. I had some delicious fish “n” chips! The pub was probably my favorite part of the trip because I felt like I experienced something that a typical Irish person does. And what an experience that was!
Durty Nelly’s Pub

Durty Nelly’s Pub

GOING TO BUNRATTY CASTLE TIP: If you plan on going to Bunratty Castle, wear good walking/hiking shoes. There are many steps in the castle and the grounds are big, so it is good to be prepared.

As for today (Thursday), we are attending orientation and learning all about how to sign up for modules (the Irish word for classes), what the University has to offer, the clubs we can join, and papers that need to be signed.I am looking forward to sharing all of my Irish adventures with you! And as the Irish would say it – Éirinn go Brách! (Ireland Forever!)
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How to Become Best Buddies with Your Group Project Members

By: Sarah Kaider 

So you’re sitting in class and your teacher lays the horrible news out on the table: You are going to do a group project, AND you don’t even know any of the group members.   You’re sitting there with your head in your hands, rolling your eyes, and stressing out over what seems to be a huge deal; but really, it’s not.


True story: I had a group project with five members, including my boyfriend. At first, it was a struggle getting everyone to meet. I was terrible with faces and frequently mixed up a couple members’ names. But I made the effort to remember, because I got to know them and wanted to be friends with them. We spent a lot of time working on the project and just hanging out. Two of them spent time with me and my boyfriend on many occasions. One of them spent time with us every once in a while. The last only spent time with us when it was time to work on our projects. Although we knew who would actually spend time with us and who wouldn’t, my boyfriend and I invited all of the members to every hangout. To this day, my boyfriend and I talk daily with the two members who spent the most time with us. We hang out on many occasions, and I can see them as friends for life.

sarah2Your group members are people, just like yourself. They are probably just as nervous as you are about working with strangers. Some people naturally click, and others take time to get used to the idea of being friends. Sure you’ll all feel a bit awkward at first, but if you and your members mutually try these tips, you’ll be friends in no time.

Step #1: Exchange Contact Information

Before your group leaves the class, make sure you all exchange contact information so that you know where and when to meet. While getting everyone’s information, be sure to be inviting. Ask what each person prefers to be called while entering information into your phone, notebook, or computer. This shows the other person that they are not just another piece to your grade. This shows that you actually care about the members as individuals.


 Step #2: Group Meetings

Make sure everyone is aware of meeting times and locations. If you are hosting the meeting, have snacks available for munching on. Be sure to get your work done, but do not make the meetings completely project-based. If you are working on your project with plenty of time before the due date, plan on breaking the project up across multiple days, having everyone participate at each meeting. Converse with your group members about the project and other things in between, the same way you would get to know your friends, you would try to get to know your project partners.


Step #3: Hang Out After Meetings, or Any Other Free Time

Spend time with your members outside of the academic setting. Get to know each member’s interests, career goals, and more. Have a movie night, go to lunch or dinner, go to the mall, have a sleepover, help each other with other homework. Just do things that you would do with your best friends, and don’t forget to have fun.


 Step #4: Follow Up

Send them messages or call them to continue hanging out, or just to show that you’re still interested in being friends, and not just pieces to each other’s grades. This is especially important after the project has been presented. Some members may just want to get the work done and go separate ways; and if that is the case, you’ve tried your best and that decision is on them. But if you keep showing the members that you want to remain friends afterward and keep spending time doing things you all enjoy, you’ll be friends for a long time.

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5 Thoughts You Have Before Giving A Presentation

If you’ve ever done a presentation in English class or suffered through your first public speaking experience, we know you can relate!

1. Calm

“Oh, I’ve got plenty of time to work on this!”

2. Panic 

“Wait, that presentation is due TOMORROW?!”

3. Confidence

“Phew, that didn’t take too long. I’m going to rock it tomorrow!”

4. Nervous

“AHH, I have to stand up in front of all these people?!”

5. Satisfaction

“Woohoo, I just did FANTASTIC!”

Happy e-nnouncing!

The GoEnnounce Team

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E-nnouncing Our New Partnership With SymbalooEDU

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January 19, 2015 (New York, New York) — We are excited to  e-nnounce our new partnership with SymbalooEDU!

SymbalooEDU is a resource management tool that helps teachers and students curate and organize the best of the web. Its features enable educators to encourage student-to-student communications and promote innovation while maintaining simplicity in teaching. With SymbalooEDU educators can save their teaching resources in the cloud and access them from any device.

With the new partnership, SymbalooEDU launched a GoEnnounce tile, recommending educators to use GoEnnounce to teach Digital Citizenship. Teachers can place the GoEnnounce tile into their own dashboard and easily access GoEnnounce directly through SymbalooEDU, every day. SymbalooEDU has also enhanced their Student Certification by launching two GoEnnounce tiles as part of the Digital Citizenship Student Certification steps students must complete to become certified. The first step ask students to read a GoEnnounce article on Why a Postive Digital Footprint is Important. The second step takes students directly to GoEnnounce, encouraging them to create GoEnnounce Student Pages starting a more Positive Digital Footprint.

Thomas Hauser, Director of Operations and Marketing at SymbalooEDU, knows that digital citizenship is crucial to a student’s success: “In this day and age, students have an enormous opportunity to collaborate with their peers online and create positive social media impact. GoEnnounce provides a platform on which students can build their personal and professional brands while supporting one another, and SymbalooEDU is proud to support the digital citizenship initiative.”

SymbalooEDU allows teachers and students to create their own personal learning environments.  On SymbalooEDU educators create their own personal dashboards, called “webmixes”, by adding their own resources, or using academic subject-specific webmixes shared by educators  around the world. Top tools like TeacherTube, Slideshare, Google Docs, Flickr and more are fully embeddable. Teachers organize their lesson plans, top websites and work with students. Students can take a Student Certification to utilize SymbalooEDU in the classroom with their teacher. The Student Certification teaches lessons in bullying, digital citizenship, copyright education, how to do research and more. The Student Certification educates students about the importance of a respectful handling of technology and the internet.

GoEnnounces provides a safe social space for students to e-nnounce academic & extracurricular status updates. Students highlight awards and honors, showcase schoolwork, achievements and projects, and raise money for educational goals and expenses.  A student’s followers can provide mentorship by responding with likes, comments or rewards.  Each Student Page becomes a student’s own personal URL, helping students foster a positive social media presence and develop their college and career readiness.

Happy e-nnouncing!

The GoEnnounce Team

Abroad101 Student of the Week #0036 – Trenton Gilstrap

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This week’s Abroad101 Student of the Week is Trenton Gilstrap from the University of Pittsburgh. Trenton is a junior that is majoring in bioengineering with a minor in mechanical engineering. He wants to focus on biomechanics with an interest in prosthetics due to personal experiences. Trenton has a strong passion helping the veteran amputee community to give back to them for keeping our country safe. Also at the University of Pittsburgh, Trenton is an active member of the marching band, sports analysis club, and the Japanese culture club. Trenton wants to eventually go to grad school and get his phD  from the University ofPittsburgh.

Trenton has overcome many odds in order to be where he is today. He has taken medication to help control epileptic seizures that he’s experienced since the age of 8. Despite this and side effects of the medication, Trenton was happy to e-nnounce that he was recently accepted into the University of Pittsburgh’s INNOVATE program where he will study abroad in China and learn about Chinese engineering practices and sustainability. He has always been interested in eastern culture and is grateful to have this opportunity to study abroad in China during the month of March. You can check out Trenton’s Mission here!

The Abroad101 Student of the Week initiative awards a student who created a Mission for a study abroad program on GoEnnounce with a donation to their fundraiser. Learn more about this partnership from Abroad101 CEO Mark Shay and GoEnnounce co-founder Melissa Davis here.

Stay tuned for our next Abroad101 Student of the Week!

Happy e-nnouncing!

The GoEnnounce Team

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The 5 Best Foods To Eat When Studying

A new year means New Year’s resolutions are in full swing. And a lot of these resolutions involve eating healthy. But why not eat healthy for your body AND keep your brain sharp for studying at the same time. These 5 foods can help you do just that.

1. Blueberries

Blueberries are an amazing little fruit. Not only do they taste delicious but according to WebMD, they have been found to help improve learning capacity and motor skills in aging rats. The recommended does is 1 cup per day!

2. Avocados

WebMD says eating avocados leads to “healthy blood flow which causes a healthy brain”. They have a higher fat content than blueberries though, so try to moderate your consumption to only half an avocado a day!

3. Tea

Tea is one of the most widely consumed drinks around the world. It turns out it’s also one of the best things for you. Most forms of tea contain caffeine which can help with focus, concentration, and even improve your mood.  This will make a long night of studying more productive! Tea also contains antioxidants, which like avocados, help to increase blood flow. The best teas to drink are green and black tea, but you can check out the benefits of all different kinds of tea here!

4. Dark Chocolate

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For those of you that LOVE dark chocolate it’s actually good for you! In moderation… Dark chocolate contains a lot of antioxidants, caffeine, and other natural stimulants to help you stay positive while studying and retain information!

5. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds contain zinc which can really help with retention and thinking skills, according to the BBC. All you need is a handful of seeds in order to get your recommended daily amount of zinc. Is it Halloween yet?!

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11 College Clubs You Didn’t Know Existed

College is one of the coolest times in your life because you get to try all sorts of new things. You may not realize that a humans vs. zombies club or a squirrel club even existed but you are sadly (or happily) mistaken. Our friends over at Admittedly have created a list of the 11 weirdest college clubs. Check out this awesome article here… You never know, the Bigfoot Society might be for you!

Admittedly is the ultimate online college advisory platform for high school students, their parents, and guidance counselors that is leveling the playing field for students at all budgets. We provide tools for students in 8th through 12th grade that are timely and relevant, and early enough to make an impact on improving students’ chances of admission.

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E-nnouncing Our December Scholarship Winner!

Our “GoEnnounce Yourself ” Scholarship, sponsored by Upromise, awards one student $500 each month! This award goes to a student who’s doing a great job showcasing who he/she is, by sharing school related e-nnouncement updates with Followers on their GoEnnounce Student Page. We are happy to e-nnounce our December winner… the multi talented Courtney Thurston!

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Courtney Thurston is a senior at Commonwealth Connections Academy, a tuition-free public cyber school in PA. This online school cyber school is very unique because it gives students the flexibility to learn at home with a curriculum that meets rigorous state education standards. It even allows high school students, such as Courtney, to take full-time jobs while in school (how awesome is that!). At CCA, Courtney has won many awards and honors, including some in design and robotics. She is a member of many clubs ranging from National Honor Society to Robotics Club to the Red Cross Club (just to name a few). Courtney has even co-founded Magikstra, a way for high school students to connect with mentors and is currently the COO.  If you aren’t impressed enough already – we also want to mention her longtime involvement as an editor of Wikipedia!!

In December, Courtney e-nnounced that she applied and won many scholarships: the Space Club Keynote Scholarship, the Stop Hunger Now Scholarship, GE-Reagan Scholarship, and many others. She also shared how she was asked to write for the Huffington Post (and graciously accepted)!  On top of these accolades, we were super impressed to see Courtney receive a Certificate of Merit for scoring one of the highest grades on the SAT’s in Pennsylvania. Way to go Courtney!  She also e-nnounced that her name, photo and biography were posted on the IEEE WIE International Leadership Conference website,  highlighting her as a speaker for one of their empowerment panels. What a busy student!  To learn more about why we selected Courtney as our December scholarship award recipient, check out her Student Page here!

Want a chance to “GoEnnounce Yourself” and win a scholarship too?  Learn more and enter here!

To all of our previous applicants – don’t worry if you didn’t win this month you still have a chance to be selected next month! Just keep e-nouncing and inviting all of your relatives and friends to follow your education. We choose one student on the 10th of every month.

Good luck.

The GoEnnounce Team

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5 Ways To Start The New School Semester Off Right

A new year means a new semester for high school and college students. These tips can help you start this semester off on the right foot!

1. Wait Until After The First Week To Buy Your Textbooks

Textbooks in college can be really expensive – Like $500 expensive. A lot of the time you might use your ridiculously expensive textbooks once or twice and at the end of the semester you will regret spending all of that money. If you wait until after syllabus week and the professor tells you that you are going to need it –  buy it. But if you get the feeling you’re only going to use it once or twice, split the cost with friends or check the school library to see if you can use it there!

2. Get To Know Your Teachers

Office hours that teachers offer usually don’t get taken advantage of by students. Try it out this semester! Attending these office hours can not only help you understand the material better but will also help you get to know your teacher. You can’t imagine how much this can assist you out in the future with letters of recommendation or potential job opportunities.

3. Scope Out Where Your Classes Are

The worst thing to do is to show up late on the first day of class and make a bad first impression on your teacher.  A good way to avoid this is to scope out where your classes are before it’s time for class.

4. Don’t Be Afraid To Talk To People Next To You

It doesn’t matter if you are in high school or college, the friends you make now can be some you will have for the rest of your life. They can also be helpful when it comes to getting class notes or extra help on homework. Making friends with people in class is always recommended!

5. See What Friends You Have In Each Class

Besides making new friends in class, taking classes with existing friends can be really enjoyable. One thing we recommend is figuring out who you already know in each class, taking a look at when your tests are, and creating a schedule for study groups to prepare for the exams. This will not only help you avoid procrastinating for the exam but studying with friends is always more fun!

Have some other tips that aren’t on this list? Share it with us on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag @GoEnnounce!

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Abroad101 Student of the Week #0035 – Dakota Lum

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The recipient of our Abroad101 Student of the Week award is Dakota Lum, a freshman at Northern Arizona University. Dakota is an electronic media and film major with a minor in Spanish. She loves rugby and even started her high school’s girls rugby team her senior year. On top of being athletic, Dakota is a hard worker when it comes to academics and has multiple favorite subjects. Just this semester she is balancing 19 units, work, playing rugby, and launching a photography business with her mom.

Dakota has aspirations after college to land a job within the media industry. To help her reach this goal she has has applied for a journalism internship in Florence, Italy through World Endeavors. This trip abroad will not only allow her to gain invaluable experience in her field of study but she will also be learning Italian! Learn more about Dakota and her Mission to study abroad in Florence here!

The Abroad101 Student of the Week initiative awards a student who created a Mission for a study abroad program on GoEnnounce with a donation to their fundraiser. Learn more about this partnership from Abroad101 CEO Mark Shay and GoEnnounce co-founder Melissa Davis here.

Stay tuned for our next Abroad101 Student of the Week!

Happy e-nnouncing!

The GoEnnounce Team

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