About ubumm

Ubumm (you-bum) is Q&A advising service dedicated to all study abroad students (a.k.a. ubies) with the objective to enhance, simplify, and unify the study abroad experience. As a means of achieving this goal ubumm provides top-notch journalism, pertinent information, and academic articles from distinguished travel professionals, students, and professors located throughout the globe, as well as a selection of off-the-beaten-track travel coupons, classified listings, job boards, and study abroad networking tools designed with the ubie in mind.

We knew Milan had some hidden gems!

Sweetie from the City

They said I couldn’t do it. They said, “Sweetie, Milan is for models, not foodies.” Well, brothers and sisters, I have done it. I have eaten Milan. And I enjoyed every single bite.

The day started off oddly enough: I got on the train in Florence, headed for Milan, and took the first seat I saw unoccupied. Between Florence and Bologna, staff came around handing out newspapers, and a food cart was pushed down the train car offering drinks and snacks. Wow, I thought, Italians travel in luxury. In Bologna, a man boarded the train and told me I was sitting in his seat. Turns out I was sitting in first class…

When I got to Milan, it was pouring. Florence had been pretty wet and rainy, but Milan was much worse. From the central train station I tried to find Brera, known for being a young, hip nieghborhood. I…

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Q: Where can I find a quiet park in Rome?

A: No matter what city you may live in, or even if you are a country-dweller, you know very well the benefits of escaping to a quit park to regain your sanity. Don’t let the hustle and bustle of Rome fool you. There are many parks and quiet nooks throughout the city that are great for an afternoon walk, to study, a Sunday picnic, or just to grab a coffee with a friend.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Villa Ada: This is one of the largest parks in Rome and actually contained the royal residence from 1872-1878. While a portion of the park is private (owned by the Egyptian Embassy), there is still ample room to roam around the in public portion of the park. It is possible to rent canoes, bike, or at time go horseback riding. The park is especially recognized as home to the “Roma incontra il mondo” music festival (since 1994) which stands up against racism, war, and the death penalty. For ticket prices as well as upcoming singers and events, take a look at Villa Ada’s official website.

Villa Pamphilj: This 17th century villa hosts one of Rome’s largest landscaped parks. We have had many a picnic, job, and Frisbee competition at this park which puts it high on our list of recommendations. The park is especially noted for its ample opportunities to bird-watch. If you are looking to make friends to converse with in Italian you might also want to check out Villa Pamphilj. The park happens to be one of the locals favorite venues to pass time over the weekends.

Villa Borghese: Not only can you start your day off in one of Rome’s most enchanting and sought-after museums, but you can finish it with a a nice stroll throughout one of the cleanest parks that we have run across in Rome (148 acres of heaven!). Villa Borghese, also known as the Villa Borghese Gardens, was built in the naturalistic English manner. The park contains a number of historic buildings, monuments and attractions that make the trip well worth a good portion of your day. If you have a dog, this is also a nice place to go dog-walking. We have seen many locals take their dogs on play-dates in this historic part of Rome. Finish your day with a nice walk down Via Veneto, or stop for a coffee at the cafe located on the out-skirts of the park.

Van Gogh & Amsterdam Infographic

In the past we published an infographic by EasyJet on Bikes in Amsterdam. Here we come with another one from EasyJet on the artist, Van Gogh. Amsterdam just became a lot more interesting thanks to this infographic!

Learn more about things to do in Amsterdam via EasyJet.

Featured Q&A with Expat Everyday Support Center

Meet Norman and Carol from the Expat Everyday Support Center. For those of you that choose to take your study abroad one step further, perhaps to becoming an expat, the Expat Everyday Support Center will become a useful tool to keep on hand. Webinars, 24 hour support for expats, blogposts, and coaching are just some of the wonderful resources that you will discover when you visit their official website.

Take a look at the Featured Q&A that we recently did with Norman and Carol to get an inside look!

Featured Q&A with Lets Go Travel

As always, we are thrilled to present you with new and interesting interviews with travel companies and professionals nearly every week. This week we are thrilled to share with you Let’s Go Travel, a veteran in the travel industry.

Let's Go TravelSara Plana, Director of Publishing, Lauren Xie, Director of Marketing, and Tian Kisch Marketing Associate and Staff Writer, share some of the secrets to Let’s Go’s success over the past fifty years or more, as well as some insight into their travel guides and new phone application.

Excerpt: “We’re students writing for students. We know that young travelers aren’t content with sitting on tour buses, nor are they overly eager to spend a lot of money while traveling. With this in mind, we tailor our travel guides to point our readers toward a genuine travel experience on a budget.”

Read complete Q&A with Let’s Go Travel.

Pros & Cons of Technology While Traveling

Technology on the road: how much do you actually need? Guest writer and backpacker, Andy Grebe, lists his top five pros and cons. Do you agree or disagree? Let us know!

Grebe is also the author of Words of Advice from a Fellow Backpacker.

By Andy Grebe

Cons

Boring! – Why travel away from home and feel comfortable? Enjoy the journey.  Get a map and figure it out.

Safety- You already look out of place. Even if you think you blend in most likely you don’t.  Do you want to take the chance of walking around with valuable objects?

Damage- If you’re backpacking you have very little room and your bags will be thrown around.

travel-technology

Click image for image source

Limits – Walking around lost can be extremely rewarding.  You see a lot more of the city you’re in because you aren’t just following the main routes.  You are forced to communicate with locals and not depend on what Google says.

Freedom – If you’re traveling you are probably trying to get away from the normal grind of back home.  You’re friends will still be there when you get back.  You can put your pictures up then.  You don’t have time to show off while traveling!

Pros

Easy communication- With a tablet or ipad you can call whoever you need to communicate with.  You can eliminate a lot of the frustration that comes with language barriers or call home in a moments notice.

Directions- GPS is built into every new phone and tablet.  This is fantastic when you can’t understand road signs and you can’t figure out what way is up.

Check in- You can check train schedules and other accommodation details that make travel just that much easier.

Last minute travel planning- With technology at your fingertips you can enjoy up-to-date travel reviews, read up on possible travel delays, and review potential hostels or hotels.

Save money- Technology can help ensure that your are getting the “best” deal out there.

Ladies (& Gentlemen), You’ll Love This: Study Abroad Style

We couldn’t resist. We recently discovered a page on Pinterest dedicated to study abroad style. Let’s face it — studying abroad is also an open invitation to updating your wardrobe and opening it up to new styles and tastes. That’s why one of the top study abroad rules of thumb is packing clothes that you know you’ll get rid of. You will have plenty of new treasures to fill your suitcases with at the end of your journey.

We enjoyed browsing through these photographs, and we think you will too.

 

Featured Q&A with InsidersAbroad.com

This week’s Featured Q&A is especially useful for our ubies that find themselves (or wish that they would find themselves) in Italy, Spain, or France. The Vice President of InsidersAbroad.com answers some of our questions about their website and shares with us some of the site’s most useful features such as the forums and the classifieds sections.

An expat, student, or tourist, can never have enough information outlets when it comes to traveling to some of the most popular European destinations today. Take a look!

In the words of the Vice President, “Insiders Abroad is an English Speaking community for Italy, France, and Spain. We connect expats, students, tourists, or people interested in these countries to share experiences, questions, thoughts, and reviews. We also provide a platform for local businesses to connect with potential customers.”

Read the full Featured Q&A with InsidersAbroad.com.