Erik's picture

Slovakia vs 'Western' Culture (Part 2)

Erik is a university graduate from Slovakia who is currently living in London. In the second part of a mini-series, (part one is here) he reacts to an article about the differences between Slovakian and 'Western' life:

Family Lunch in Slovakia

Quote: "In Slovakia a nicer meal is often eaten for Sunday lunch than what would be eaten during the rest of the week. The family might even all sit together at one time at the table."

Slovakia is a predominantly Christian country, and keeping the family together is still entrenched in the subconscious of the society. Although the old-school church goers are slowly dying out, or are being institutionalised in the retirement homes, it is not too bad to join our loved ones for a couple of hours, enjoy a meal and discuss the things we can't get down to during the busy week. As the five star chef Gordon Ramsay says in one of his books I recently came across; the gathering at a joint meal can actually take place on any day. Just make sure that you spend some with your family and that no one leaves until everyone has finished their meat.

Giacomo's picture

The Under-Valuation of International Students in the UK

In a recent article on the Guardian's website titled: "UK universities failing to bridge culture gap for foreign students", Diane Schmitt criticises the admissions process at most British universities. She argues that universities in the UK often find their international students not "good enough" to start their careers in the academic institution they have chosen.

Schmitt argues that many foreign students are unable to adapt to the new academic system and to understand how things should be done in the UK. This sense of loss of comprehension among scholars is well represented in the image used on the Guardian's website to support the article. A group of international students are photographed attending a lecture, presumably at a university in the UK, and denote a sense of discomfort and being lost. However, who should be blamed for this uncomfortable situation of "being below the standards"?

According to the author of the article it is the centralised admission system which should pay more attention to the backgrounds of international students, rather then "just" considering their English exams, CVs, personal statements and letters of recommendations.

Erik's picture

How Does Slovakia Differ to Western Culture?

Erik is a university graduate from Slovakia who is currently living in London. Here he reacts to an article about the differences between Slovakian and 'Western' life:

"A few months ago, I came across an article entitled ‘Is Slovakia Stuck in the 1950´s?'. It was written by Allan Stevo- an American who has been living in Slovakia for several years and has a good understanding about the everyday life. His article was a collection of interesting, though anecdotal, facts about Slovak customs and common practices that have become part and parcel of our daily routines. The article contains a healthy dose of criticism, much of which Slovaks were asking for. Yet in general, it seems that he likes Slovakia the way it is.

The article attempts to draw parallels with the American or Western way of life, and often comes out with something that may be interesting to the foreign reader, but rather commonplace for the majority of the Slovak population.

Foreign Students's picture

‘Blood Rain’ Forecast for Halloween in the UK?!

If you're checking the weather forecast for Britain over the next week or so you may be a little surprised by what you see. If you spot that ‘blood rain' is predicted for Halloween you'd be excused in thinking that someone was playing a prank.

However, experts are indeed forecasting that parts of the UK will experience a reddish coloured rain known as ‘blood rain'. Don't worry though, rather than it signalling the end of the world, it is simply a natural phenomena caused when rain picks up sand from deserts.

As a Met Office spokesman explains: "It is a rather grandiose term for fine desert sand particles that are whipped up by winds and mix with the moisture in clouds". Winds then carry the clouds over great distances, before the moisture is deposited from them as red or brown rain (though unfortunately not quite as bright red as the picture above).

In this case, we have the Sahara desert to thank, where storms have mixed huge amounts of sand with the clouds. Particularly strong winds are now in the process of blowing those clouds over towards the UK. However, before they reach us, these warm desert winds are expected to raise temperatures in Britain to as high as 20C (68F) over the next few days.

Foreign Students's picture

It’s a Strange World: Cockroach Eating and Elderly Cannabis Growers

You hear odd stories on the internet all the time, but it seems as though this week they have gone in to overdrive. Every day something strange has appeared, each story more unusual than the last. Here we have a round-up of some of the more bizarre news stories of the week.

Speed of Sound Skydive

An Austrian adventurer has decided it is a good idea to jump out of a hot air balloon 36.5km above the earth, on the edge of space (pictured above). Felix Baumgartner yesterday attempted to break the world record for the highest ever skydive, as well as becoming the first human to reach the speed of sound unaided by a vehicle.

Him and his vast team of scientists were all set to go in Roswell, Mew Mexico yesterday afternoon, but unfortunately weather conditions were too windy. The specially designed balloon that will take him up to such heights cannot cope with even the lightest of winds due to how thin the material is. The team are hoping that they will be able to attempt it again tomorrow.

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