5 Fall Travel Destinations in the Northern United States

Fall Travel Destinations in the United States - Bobby Geroulanos

Throughout the northern United States, there is no shortage of destinations for people seeking some old-fashioned autumnal charm. Whether you crave small-town Americana or big-city excitement, America still has plenty of fall appeal if you know where to look.

The highlight of any fall vacation is experiencing the foliage and the surrounding breathtaking landscape. Fall is an outdoor lover’s paradise. If you want to take more than a day trip, however, it isn’t enough to have beautiful scenery. You also need a place to stay and things to do. Fortunately, the lodging spectrum is vast and plentiful, ranging from cozy cabins to modern B&Bs, and the abundant activities in these vacation spots will keep you entertained as long as you can keep up.

The Catskills, NY

Foliage in the Catskills is like a magnificent oil painting – wherever you go, there will be awe-inspiring scenery. Don’t forget to include the waterfalls in your scenic drive. Aside from leaf viewing, the Catskills is also a host to many other activities and delicious treats. Apples are plentiful here, and there is no shortage of freshly made cider. Hiking, playing golf, and camping are all popular pastimes, but if you’re looking for something more exciting, there’s also ziplining and Skyride adventure tours.

Kent, CT

Kent was originally a farming community, but it is now a rural community of about 3,000 residents. Downtown Kent has the Obelisk Civil War Soldiers Monument, as well as an eclectic mix of shops, art galleries, and restaurants. The state and local parks have plenty of small-town fun, like hiking, biking, camping, and fishing. With all the changing colors, Kent is also a great choice for a scenic drive in the fall.

Jefferson, NH

Surrounded by quiet farms and forests in northern New Hampshire, Jefferson is the perfect spot for fresh air and gorgeous scenery. There’s also plenty to do outside, such as hiking or paddling around the local lakes and rivers. For wildlife lovers, there is the Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge, and Jefferson is also home to the oldest 18-hole golf course in the state and two of New England’s oldest amusement parks.

Stowe, VT

Vermont is always spectacular, but it really shines in the fall. Locals will be quick to help navigate visitors to the best leaf peeping spots. Whether you choose to ride, drive or walk, there are numerous ways to view the fall colors and enjoy the brisk, cool air. For thrill seekers, there are also activities like zip lining and hot air balloon rides. With events like Oktoberfest, the Foliage Arts Festival and Restaurant Week, your events calendar will always be chock full.

The Berkshires, MA

There is no better way to fully embrace the magnificence of the Berkshires than with a long road trip, stopping for the occasional apple picking and shopping. It’s also a great opportunity to learn about American history or to search for valuable antiques.

 

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4 Tips for Choosing Where to Study Abroad

Tips For Choosing Where to Study Abroad - Nicholas Fainlight

There is nothing quite like studying in a foreign country and learning about a different culture. While many students make lifelong friendships and experience memorable adventures studying abroad, it’s important to choose wisely before making this decision. For many students, traveling far away from friends and family can be a scary concept, but there are ways to choose which places are a better match than others.
Choose your likes and dislikes

The first thing you should do is start asking yourself questions about your likes and dislikes. This is the best way to begin the process of choosing a host country. Many people might enjoy an ultra-rural setting, whereas some people would prefer the modern-day conveniences of a city. There are people who’d prefer to be centrally located so they can use their free time to travel more extensively, while others might want to fully explore their host location. You should also ask yourself whether you’d be content in a place where you don’t speak the native language, whether you’ll be comfortable being away from home for an extended period of time, how much you can afford to spend on essentials and luxuries, and what your main goals are (academic vs social). The more honest you are with yourself, the happier you will be with the choice you make.

Research

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of countries, it’s time to begin your research. Fortunately, there are tons of resources available online, as well as the study abroad office within your university. Another option is to read independent blog posts by current and former students living at various locations around the globe, and official sites like GoOverseas.com or GoAbroad.com, which have reviews from actual study abroad students discussing the positives and negatives of various programs. You could also reach out directly to study abroad alumni and ask questions about their experiences.

Timing

Timing is also an important factor when deciding on a host country. It’s advised to start researching countries nine months to a year in advance because most programs require about six months for the whole application process. You can also use that time to save money for costs involved with preparation for, and the duration of, your experience. Depending on your climate preferences and your program duration, you should also check the average historical temperatures for the length of your stay.

Program lengths range from summer classes to semester- or year-long programs. You should intensely explore all factors of each program duration before deciding which one suits your financial, academic, professional, and personal needs. Make sure you meet with your academic advisor to establish how many total credits you will be earning, as well as what classes you need to take before, during, and after in order to graduate. If you plan on choosing a program that is outside your university’s scope, enquire about a study abroad “status” and whether you’ll be able to transfer your credits upon your return.

Talk to program directors

Start reaching out to program coordinators, then evaluate their response time and their overall willingness to help you. Ask thorough questions about the culture, emergency care and the daily costs of living. Keep in mind this is the first indication of how your entire experience will go, so you want to work with people who will be readily available to answer your questions, be supportive and informative, and above all, be enthusiastic about your journey.

5 Reasons to Become a Business Major

_Reasons to Become a Business Major - Bobby Geroulanos

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), business has been the single most common college major since 1980. There are many reasons why so many students choose to study business at the undergraduate and graduate level.

Useful in any industry

No matter what industry you end up leaning towards, a business degree can help you land a job and find success. The reason it has a reputation as the one-size-fits-all degree is that there will always be a need for job candidates with core business skills such as management, accounting, planning, and organization. Having these abilities will make your post-grad career choices endless and will set you up for a lifetime of long-term success.

Specialization

If you aren’t quite sure about the path you want to take in life, business is still a great major. Within the field of business, there are numerous specializations, so a student can start on a regular business trajectory, then switch if they decide to specialize in a more specialized area, such as finance, marketing, accounting or human resources.

Great salaries

For students looking for the quickest return on their educational investment, starting salaries for business majors are in the top five, even at the undergraduate level. The highest paying jobs go to entrepreneurial graduates, either with a bachelor’s degree or an MBA, with e-commerce and marketing following closely behind. For those who take their degree further and invest in getting an MBA, the benefits are consistently higher and the payoff is worth it. There are many companies who won’t even look at a candidate unless they have an undergraduate business degree.

Become an entrepreneur

If you are the entrepreneurial type, then a business degree will provide you with many of the tools you’ll need to start your own company. If you aren’t ready to start your own business immediately, an entrepreneurship minor or a dual entrepreneurial-business major can still help you get a variety of jobs. Being a business consultant is perfect because your core business classes can help you identify other people’s problems and fix them. If you have above average writing skills, becoming a business reporter is also a good match for you if you enjoy researching and reporting on current trends in society.

Get into teaching

If you like educating others, teaching some of your newfound skills is great practice for public speaking and for someday having your own team. The world of sales and marketing is also a great career choice for recent graduates because of the skills every business major learns in their core curriculum. If you have a fondness for numbers, becoming a financial analyst could be a good choice, since you will have the ability to recommend investment opportunities, study current economic trends and prepare detailed reports.

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3 Benefits of Having a Mentor While in College

Benefits of Having a Mentor in College - Bobby Geroulanos

mentor is someone who helps a less-experienced person navigate life, school, or business. The relationship between the mentor and mentee is based on mutual trust and a common respect between both parties. A good mentor understands the role they play and adheres to boundaries, knowing their main purpose is to be reliable, caring, and supportive. When it’s a good match, having a mentor while you’re in undergraduate or grad school can be a priceless tool, providing you with advantages other students will never get to experience.

Motivation

The life of a student is filled with stress and worry, and it’s very easy to get overwhelmed, even questioning your choice of major at times. Sometimes all you need is a shoulder to cry on and a word of encouragement. A mentor can pick you up when you’re feeling down and help you keep your focus on long-term goals, instead of just panicking about the next assignment or exam around the corner. For those moments when you think that you don’t have what it takes, a mentor can help bring you down to earth and offer comfort. Boosting someone’s confidence in the form of a kind word can carry a lot of weight and mentors understand that.

Learn time management

Time management is another way mentors are invaluable. Most students tend to struggle with all of the different aspects of college life. They know they need to set aside the right amount of time for work, classes, socializing, and studying, but there are only so many hours in a day, and sometimes multiple things can seem equally important. A mentor provides an unbiased opinion about how you should organize your time and priorities. This perspective can help stop you from aimlessly juggling your responsibilities.

Get answers

Most people who volunteer their time as mentors have years of knowledge and experience, so take advantage of this and ask plenty of questions throughout your mentorship. If you are planning on entering the same industry as your mentor, they might have even gone through some of the same challenges you are facing, which means they have first-hand experience with solving your specific issues. Don’t be afraid to confide in your mentor and seek all the advice you can. They also have access to a wide network of potential connections that you should definitely get to know. Often in business, knowing the right people matters, so the more connections you can make early on, the better your changes once you graduate.

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6 Moves to Make for Your Finances at Your First Full-Time Job

finances-fulltime-job-bobby-geroulanos

When you get your first full-time job, it’s a wonderful feeling. You’ll get a sizeable paycheck, probably higher than you’ve ever gotten before. It can be tempting to go out and spend it on something awesome to treat yourself, but it’s vital to start making smart money decisions as soon as possible. You can enjoy some of the money you’re earning, but a full-time job means you need to make some serious financial decisions. Here are a few tips to follow in order to get yourself in the best financial standing possible.

Negotiate your salary

The initial step to take when you get your first full-time job is negotiating your salary. You might simply be happy that you were hired, but it’s always worth negotiating your starting salary. Your employer might say no, but they likely also expect you to try to negotiate your compensation. Do some research to increase your chances of successfully negotiating.

Create a budget

Far too few people actually create a budget once they get a full-time job. Having a budget to follow is vital for your financial health. Find time to sit down and evaluate your income each month and what your regular expenses are. Once you create a budget, you have the freedom to make informed decisions regarding your finances.

Save for retirement

The earlier you can start to save for retirement, the better. The sooner you begin saving, the more time your investments have to build up your retirement account. Even if it’s just a little each month, it’ll build into greater wealth. Learn what kind of retirement account your company offers and make sure you meet any company match available.

Pay off debt

If you recently finished college, you probably have student loans. You may also have credit card debt or a car loan. Make it a goal to pay off this debt as quickly as possible; start with the highest interest rates first, make all minimum payments, and put extra money toward paying off debt more quickly.

Make some goals

After you’ve created a budget and figured out how much money you have to work with each month, it’s time to set some concrete financial goals. Start creating a solid emergency fund and plan for any larger purchases you want to make. Setting aside a bit of money each month to use at your own discretion helps you stay within your budget and be prepared for emergency expenses.

Regularly check your finances

In order to truly take control of your finances at your first full-time job, it’s crucial that you regularly check said finances. Stay on top of changes in your credit score, how quickly your debt is decreasing, and be generally aware of how much money you’re saving and spending. By regularly checking up on your financial health, you avoid fraud or overspending.

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5 Considerations Before Looking for a Job Abroad

considerations-job-abroad-bobby-geroulanos

If you’re considering working abroad, there are plenty of details you need to take into consideration. Working in another country is an amazing experience and can teach you skills you would never learn otherwise. You’re fully immersed in a culture different than your own and get to meet many interesting people. However, there are plenty of details to consider before looking for a job abroad; you need to make sure it’s a viable option for you and you’re prepared for it.

How you’ll find the job

Are you planning on finding a job before moving? While this method is certainly possible, it’s more likely that you’ll first need to be in the country in order to go to interviews and meet potential employers in person. Where are you going to live? What country or city do you want to live in? Do you know anyone there already? Do you speak the language? These questions are the ones you need to ask yourself before you even start looking for a job.

The cost

Even though you’ll be working and getting paid, it’s important to make sure that you have enough money to get you to your new home and settled in; even if you start working immediately, it’ll be a bit before you get your first paycheck. You also need to make sure you have a job that covers your living expenses.

Proper documentation

No matter where you go, there’s a lot of paperwork that goes into moving to and working in a different country. You’ll need to get a work visa and make sure any other details are taken care of. Communicate these needs to your future employer and make sure anything they need to help with, they can. You’ll need to have your paperwork completed long before you leave and start your new job, so do research to make sure it’s all taken care of.

Time commitment

If you’re heading to a new country for a job, you should consider how long you want to stay there and make plans accordingly. You’ll want to stay in the job for at least a year so you can show you acquired adequate experience, but you may want to stay even longer. You also might not see your family and friends from home for a significant amount of time, so that’s something to think about as well.

Your goals

Finally, consider what your specific goals are for getting a job abroad. If you simply want to travel to another country, taking on a full-time job might not be the best idea; you’ll have to work long hours and may not have as much time to experience your new home as you’d like. A good idea is to talk to expatriates in the country you’re looking to work in and ask about their individual experiences.

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4 Small Acts of Philanthropy You Can Do Every Day

small-philanthropy-bobby-geroulanos

Philanthropy should be an integral part of everyone’s lives; it’s the best way to make the world a better place and connect with those around you. Whether you’re focusing on large-scale philanthropy and working to solve a global issue or doing something within your own community, there are endless benefits to making philanthropy a part of your life. If you’re looking for more ways to be more philanthropic, focusing on small acts you can do every day is a good start and can make a serious difference in how you approach your daily life.

Recycle

While many people already recycle, there are still a lot who do not. There also often seems to be confusion over what can and cannot be recycled; educate yourself and others. If you do not currently recycle in your home, take steps to get it picked up and begin sorting your garbage. If you cannot get recycling at your home, see if your neighborhood has a community-wide place you can take your recycling. This step is an easy way to make a big difference.

Help a neighbor

You may not realize it, but you’re sure to have neighbors who need help from time to time. If you have elderly neighbors or someone who lives alone, consider offering help, especially when it snows. Check on them and see how they’re doing. Even just visiting them can be helpful and become a highlight of their day.

Clean up a public area

If you have some free time and are in a park or other public area, pick up any trash you see lying around. You can work on this act of charity on your own time or you can try to organize a specific event with other people to accomplish even more. Clean and safe parks are a great asset for any community and it’s often difficult for towns to maintain the upkeep themselves; it’s up to volunteers to make sure that the park stays at its best.

Volunteer

Regular volunteering is a fantastic idea, but if your schedule doesn’t allow for it, volunteering in short bursts or for individual events is a great option. Keep a lookout for one-time events that need volunteers and then offer a few hours; your time will be appreciated, no matter how much you can give. Many community events rely completely on volunteers to function. There are also plenty of organizations that need more volunteers for yearly fundraising events that you can help out.

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