Monday, November 9, 2015

Experiencing new things!

Choosing to study abroad can mean something different for everyone. But the common theme is always the chance to experience things in a new way. For example, the simple act of going to see a movie is made new and exciting simply by being in a different country! Not only are theaters set up differently, but the crowd involvement and language used can be very different, too!

MESLS students will be going to see the new James Bond 007 movie Spectre tomorrow night. The action-packed Bond movie is sure to be a hit, and the experience will be unforgettable. We will also be visiting a local favorite restaurant called The Great Dane, where students can sample locally-brewed beer and enjoy classic Wisconsin food, like savory hamburgers and German-inspired soups and appetizers.

Have you seen the new movie yet? What did you think of it? Dinner and a movie are a great way to spend time with others and try something new. What is your favorite way to spend time with friends?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

New MESLS Messages on Social Media

The MESLS message is getting revamped! We realize that a lot of communication all around the world happens through social media. So, we at MESLS want to strengthen our presence on social media and have a couple new projects on the way. One example is a series of videos showing the everyday life of students here at MESLS. Hopefully these videos can give people who might want to study here a taste of what it would be like to live and study in Madison.

Here is a sneak peak of these highlight videos.....

Stay tuned for other new and exciting things happening on our social media sites. And please let us know what types of things you like to see. Are you a fan of pictures? Videos? News about upcoming events? We want to make our message fun and engaging for you!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Apple & Pumpkin Picking

Fall means many things in the Midwest. It is a time when the trees begin to change colors, the weather becomes much cooler than in the summer, the skies are often clear and beautifully blue, and many farms open up their land for people to come apple pick and pumpkin pick. We had an opportunity to visit a local farm on Saturday to fill a big with fresh apples and to pick out some pumpkins to carve into Jack-o-Lanterns.

Today, we are enjoying the delicious apples at school, and tomorrow we will have a pumpkin carving contest to see who can make the best Halloween Jack-o-Lantern. We can't wait to see how they turn out!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

A whirlwind of activity at MESLS!

We had a busy few weeks at MESLS with international recruiting fairs in Brazil and Colombia, plus a university visit to our school in Madison, WI. October has been increasingly busy as we begin to prepare for the end of the session and we are still working on our grammar, reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.

During our international students fairs, we had the opportunity to meet many of you in-person, and we are so grateful for the chance to get to know your needs better. After speaking with so many interested students in São Paulo and Bogotá, we may be making a few small changes to our program and session offerings. Thank you so much for speaking with us and letting us know what would be best for you and your education!

Yesterday, we had the chance to hear from our partner university, the University of Wisconsin-Stout, about their bachelors and masters programs. Many of our current students were very interested to learn about the small class sizes offered at Stout, and the many degree programs available to students. We are very appreciative of the time UW-Stout took to meet with our students and present their university!

Monday, September 28, 2015

International Cooking & Dinner

What better way to meet new friends and try new foods than at the monthly International Cooking & Dinner evening at Christ Presbyterian Church? Saturday afternoon, several of our students joined other international visitors at CPC to cook dishes from their home countries and share a meal together. This is a consistently popular event at CPC, and nothing brings people together like a shared meal and good conversation. We hope you'll join us for the next one in October!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A great day to pick some apples!

We had a spectacular time enjoying the beautiful weather on Saturday. We got to join Christ Presbyterian Church on their annual trip to the Apfel Haven outside of New Glarus, WI. Here, we met the owners of the apple orchards and were able to fill our own bags with hand-picked apples. We also were able to take a hay ride around the orchard and see the beautiful Wisconsin countryside. Afterwards, we headed to Verona for a picnic together at a CPC member's home. It was a wonderful afternoon full of good times, good memories, and lots of apples. Now, it's time to bake them all into something delicious to share!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Sunflower Days

Yesterday, we said good-bye to our fantastic intern, Angela. She is about to begin a new internship in Canada to complete her Masters degree work, and we couldn't be more grateful for the time we have spent with her and the work she has helped us with. 

To say good-bye, we visit the Pope Farm Conservancy where they are currently celebrating the bloom of 500,000 sunflowers. What a spectacular sight! We had perfect weather and great conversation while we were surrounded by all the happy, yellow flowers. And we ended the night with authentic American food, ice cream and pie at the Hubbard Avenue Diner. 

Best wishes to Angela!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Come have a picnic with us!

On Friday, July 31, 2015, MESLS had its annual picnic! We had fresh corn on the cob, hamburgers and turkey burgers, fresh fruit and vegetables, and a few rice and potato dishes cooked by the students. Almost all of our students were able to come, and we had a great volleyball game going, too!

Everyone had a great time enjoying the sunshine and perfect weather, and we can't wait to have another one!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Food brings everyone together!

Food is often the best way to bring people together. From the care and love that goes into the preparation of the meal, to the laughter and memories made while eating together, food consistently plays a central role in everyone's life.

Today, we used food to introduce our cultures to our classmates by holding an International Curry Cookoff. Not every country has "curry" as part of their diets, but every culture has something sort of similar. We got to try curry (or variations) from Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Jordan and Mexico. We also got to sample a delicious strawberry dessert from Colombia. 

After eating our fill, we all voted on the curry (or variation) we liked the most. Can you guess which one won?? 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fresco Opera at Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Yesterday, we visited Olbrich Botanical Gardens to see the gorgeous landscaping and listen to the Fresco Opera. Olbrich has a summer concert series where performers from all over the state come and share their talents in a free concert. The grounds were full of people enjoying a picnic dinner together and listening to the amazing vocal talents of Fresco Opera. We had the perfect weather for the event, and loved exploring the many themed gardens.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Happy Birthday, America!

Can you think of a better way to watch the 4th of July fireworks than from a pontoon boat on Lake Monona? We had a prime view of the Monona firework show, as well as other firework shows going on around the lake. We also had a beautiful view of the Capitol building all lit up for the evening. Since some students are observing Ramadan, we brought food on board to share and break the fast! We enjoyed Saudi Arabian coffee, red tea, kabsa, sandwiches, and many other delicious foods. One of our Korean students even prepared Korean barbeque pork! It was wonderful being able to share our food and make memories together.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

It's the beginning of the new session!

We're half-way through the first week of our new session! Our students are already showing off their skills and learning new things each day. This session, we have students from Korea, Japan, China, Jordan, Colombia, Hong Kong, Hungary, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Spain, Thailand, Somalia and Taiwan. We are loving the diversity, and the daily opportunity to learn something new about a new part of the world!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

A hole-in-one!

Have you ever wondered how you would play your favorite games from home, abroad? What are the vocabulary words you would need? How do you cheer others on? What do you say when you win?? These are all questions that come up, whether you're playing football (soccer) or golf or chess.

Yesterday, we learned a few golf terms while playing mini golf at Vitense Golfland in Madison, WI. We had a blast putting with our clubs, getting birdies and eagles, and even a few hole-in-ones! We'll definitely be going back soon!!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Which animal would you be?

To get to know our students better, we started a whiteboard project where we ask questions about our students to see their creative sides. Every few days, we try to ask a new question for our students to answer. They get to practice reading and writing while having a bit of fun. Our latest question asked students what kind of animal they would be. We got some pretty awesome responses and even a bit of art! What kind of animal do you think you would be?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

International Cooking Night

Christ Presbyterian Church hosts an International Cooking night regularly, where members from the community can interact and cook with international students, people who have recently moved to the Madison area from abroad, and internationals who have been living here for years. This past Saturday was the last International Cooking night for the season, until fall starts up again. We had several students attend, as well as our director, Poom!

Food is life, so there is no better way to meet new friends and those who may not otherwise cross our paths than by cooking together! It was a delicious way to end the week, and we can't wait until the next one. But until then, here are a few photos to make us all hungry for the next one!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Madison Farmer's Market

Madison is known for it's year-long Farmer's Market, where you can buy anything from fresh fruits to pastries to vegetables, flowers, herbs, and many other things. Students on Saturday had the opportunity to try some local specialties like Hook's Garlic Cheese Curds, freshly made fruit smoothies, Stella's Spicy Cheese Bread, pastry from the Silly Yak and fresh clover honey from some local beekeepers. We also got to buy fresh herbs and delicious vegetables!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Bowling Night

Bowling at Schwoegler Park Towne Lanes last night was a blast! We had a great group of students, and a ton of fun together. Check out our high scores :)