Carnival 2018 in Rio de Janeiro

Gilman Global Experience Blog

This past February, Brazil’s largest festival – Carnival – was celebrated all over Brazilian cities, from Rio de Janeiro to Bahia, Salvador. Carnival 2018 officially began on Friday, February 6, 2018; though pre-carnival festas (parties) began back in January and continued to the end of the month. Carnival officially ended on the 18th of February. According to Guinness Worlds Records, Rio de Janeiro’s carnival event is the world’s largest, with millions of Brazilians and foreigners in the streets of Rio enjoying their time with family and friends, dancing and listening to a variety of of Brazilian and foreign music.

Photo 1Carnival’s history dates back hundreds of years when Egyptians celebrated the beginning of Spring. Thanks to Alexander the Great, the Greeks would adopt the festival thereafter, and soon too would Romans (after having converted to Christianity), creating a food festival attached to Christianity where all types of food were eaten before…

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By Kevin Loder

First in My Family: To Go Abroad

Gilman Global Experience Blog

First in My Family: To Go Abroad

One of the best parts of college is that it often a time and place that many “first-time” experiences happen. Although I wasn’t the first in my family to go to college, I definitely was the first to go abroad. This was thanks to the Gilman Scholarship I was awarded to complete a two-month internship in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2015. From my first time abroad I’d like to share three other types of first experiences that stay with me today.

One of the essential life-skill first experiences I had abroad was how to prepare foods that I had never cooked myself. While it’s exciting to eat out as much as possible, I found that after the first month abroad I was hungry for more home cooked meals, let alone watching my budget. To my surprise, some groceries I expected to find…

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By Kevin Loder

The Accelerated Guide to Learning a Language

Gilman Global Experience Blog

I have always had a mission, a mission to have a full conversation in Arabic without any stuttering or mistakes. This goal seemed very simple and straightforward, but never attainable. Even though my continuous studying throughout my education I always conjugated a word wrong or forgot the translation of a specific word. To tackle this I thought the best way would be going to a country that spoke the language. This thought process pushed me towards Jordan, but when I chose a city I chose one knowing that the native population does not understand the English Language. At first, this seemed like a great idea and ended up being one, but getting adjusted to it was a challenge.

The Arabic language is unique as it is written from right to left, has over 30 different letters, exclusive phonemes not found in any other languages, too many dialects, and the list…

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By Kevin Loder

Three Essentials For Every Blog Post

PR Landscape


Your blog audience wants you to deliver concise, useful content week after week. Demanding, right?

But maybe it’s not as hard as you think. As SOJC students learn to blog in our J452 class they are often surprised to learn that writing out their opinion is less important than the links they’re able to find through online research.

Most experts agree that a good blog post will engage your audience. That means understanding audience needs and providing useful information. Whether your blog is for a corporation or yourself, it needs to showcase your knowledge and experience to build a following.

What’s the best way to make sure you deliver? How can you build a relationship with your audience that positions you as an expert?

While the tone of your posts might vary depending on the topic, the essential elements will remain the same: Headline,  lead paragraph and relevant, useful…

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By Kevin Loder

Week Eight

PR Landscape


In a rush to get campus, I left my phone charging on the counter yesterday. There was no time to turn back. It was either return home to get my phone or a make sure I found a parking space. (More about @uoparking here).

Such is the nature of week 8.  It’s dark. I’m still coughing after three weeks and I forgot my phone.

Behind the wheel and stuck at a light on 18th, I started to catastrophize. What if someone really important called me? What if I was getting a text from my kid’s school? How would I sort out dinner plans with my husband? My screen could be blowing up with urgent information and I wasn’t there to see it.

By the time I reached campus, I’d made a decision to roll with it. I would be more Zen. I would find more time to connect in person…

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By Kevin Loder