Samantha Gauvain is an Official CAPA’s Blogger for Fall 2014, sharing her story in weekly CAPA World posts. A Journalism major at Arizona State University, she is studying abroad in Dublin this semester.
Having been on the move quite a bit, in this week’s post, Samantha shares her travel playlist with us.
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This past week, I traveled to Lyon, Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels. Needless to say, there was quite a bit of running to catch metros and desperately trying to solve the riddle that is the Belgian train system. Despite this frantic traveling, this Grecian Khaos or nothingness before the plan, I managed to pause in front of the travel Parthenon and collect myself so that the gatekeepers, a.k.a T.S.A. equivalents abroad, may deem me a worthy entrant.
Boarding an airplane is almost a religious experience for me; certain rituals must be performed and offerings must be made to the airline gods to avoid the wrath of the airline harpies known as flight attendants. Boarding passes and passports are presented in supplication at the gate, baggage is presented with modesty and a bit of fright at security (have you erred from the ways of a good traveler and packed more than 100 ml?) and window seats are offered to the family of four returning home from Disneyland.
We’ll soon be hearing a lot more from Dee Liang who is excited to begin writing a column about life after study abroad called Musings of a Study Abroad Alumna for CAPA World in a few weeks. Stay tuned! In the meantime, we’ve asked her a few questions to find out about her time studying abroad with CAPA and what she’s been up to since she recently graduated from CU Boulder. Below, she tells us how her study abroad experience in Florence helped shape her career goals, the transferrable skills that she was able to take away from Italy and a story of grocery shopping on a Sunday with the help of a few kind local Italians.
Photo:Climbing the Duomo
CAPA WORLD: Tell us a bit about yourself. DEE LIANG: Through the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder), I studied abroad with CAPA in Florence during Summer 2013. I studied Communication and Chinese along with Digital Media! During my undergrad, I spent my days dancing for the Buffs on the CU Dance Team for four years and when I’m not schooling, dancing, or working, I’m researching a cool coffee place I haven’t tried yet or looking up either places to add to my To-Travel List or recipes to try.
Anita Chomenko is CAPA’s Official Vlogger for Fall 2014, sharing her story in weekly CAPA World videos. A Digital Media major at Rider University, she is studying abroad in London this semester.
In this week’s video, Anita talks about a few of the ways you can get involved in student life while you’re studying abroad in London with CAPA. Taking advantage of your Imperial College ID card to join clubs and sports or having your say in the Student Council can really enhance your experience. She also shares a few of her favorite places froem a recent trip to Barcelona.
In this week’s post, Celeste taps out an itinerary for other study abroad students who are thinking about spending a few days in Melbourse, a city that she enjoyed immensely.
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Even though I love Sydney and am in denial that I will have to leave it in two weeks, when I visited Melbourne, I couldn’t decide which city I like more! Melb has so much to offer the young traveler, and I honestly think that no one should study abroad in Australia without at least dropping in for a day. And if you do, here’s how you should fill your day(s).
(To see a pre-planned day that pretty much covers all your bases, skip to the bottom where I’ve made an itinerary just for you.)
FREE TOUR. Who doesn’t love nearly free things? For the low price of a tip of your choosing, you can get the DL on Melbourne’s history, best sights, and where the locals (and the tourists) go. There are two (of the same) tours every day, at 10:30am and 2:30pm led by I’m Free Tours which meet at the State Library of Victoria. It’s worth getting there a half hour early to see Ned Kelly’s suit of armor among the Library’s exhibits.
More than 36% of students study abroad on a semester program, according to the most recent IIE Open Doors data, but deciding which semester to study abroad can depend on many different factors.
While CAPA’s 140 partner institutions each have their own unique campus culture, many students choose to study in the Spring instead of the Fall semester. This is understandable: Fall sports, academic and social commitments and even the timing of outreach initiatives for study abroad can all factor in to a student’s decision to study in the Spring instead of the Fall.
However, there are some fantastic reasons to study abroad in the Fall as well. We’ve compiled 10 below, but a future series of posts on CAPA World will look at each of the CAPA cities more specifically. Applications for Fall 2015 are now open, so start planning your Fall semester abroad today!
1. TO START THE SCHOOL YEAR WITH A NEW COMMUNITY. Fall is made for new beginnings and renewed inspiration! In many places around the world, the season marks the start of a new school year. Why not kick it off with a bang and join other university students exploring a brand new city for the first time? Often, it is easiest to get involved in university clubs and activities at the beginning of the year than it is to join in the Spring.
In this week’s post, Emily shares the strange yet wonderful experience of welcoming her parents to her host city. She shows them around Florence, Rome and Chianti.
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I spent this past week with my parents. My real, to the blood, American parents.
It was a strange sensation, the first time I beheld their more than familiar forms in the piazza adjacent to the Duomo…it was something of a spillover effect, a splash of my former American life into my current Italian one. And as unnatural and bizarre as it may have seemed, it was so very nice to welcome them into my city and show them my life.
My mother, myself, and my father in Chianti
In the course of our seven days together, we managed to accomplish a lot: we almost exhausted the main attractions of Rome—the Vatican and the Coliseum and the Pantheon and the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain—, explored the green countryside of Chianti and drowned ourselves in the divinity of its wines, experienced the unique cultural phenomenon of attending a soccer game—VIVA FIORENTINA—, enjoyed a meal with my host family at my Florentine home, and soaked in the many sights afforded by the city center.
You look out the window in the morning and it’s raining. You’re studying abroad in Buenos Aires and still want to make the most of the day ahead. Our local staff have a few suggestions:
1. GO TO A PLAY AT TEATRO COLÓN. When you walk into the amazing Colón Theater, it is impossible not to feel the mystic and magic of this luxurious space. National Geographic listed the “Teatro Colón” as number 3 on their list of 10 top opera houses in the world. It is acknowledged for its acoustics and the beauty and artistic value of the building itself. The theater was inaugurated in 1908 and today is 107 years old. It’s a wonderful place to pass a rainy day – a place full of history where each corner keeps a secret that can be discovered through the guided tours. It even has its own departments to construct scenery and create elaborate stage costumes. Don’t miss it!
In this week’s post, Emily realizes her dream of attending a Hunger Games premiere when the red carpet was rolled out in London’s Leicester Square.
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I’ve been a rabid Hunger Games fan for the last five years. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a bigger fan than me. I’ve worked on a Hunger Games fansite, DownwiththeCapitol.net, for nearly three years, written a Hunger Games inspired cover of Love Story that’s been listened to 60,000+ times on YouTube, cosplayed the character of Effie for the first two films’ midnight releases, and been labeled a “die-hard fan” of the franchise by People Magazine.
But even with all the fandom involvement and love for the series, I’d never been able to make it out to Los Angeles for one of the movies’ star-studded premieres.
Stella Chen (Chen Xiaohua) has been studying in Beijing for the past two years in the Graduate School of China University of Political Science and Law, one of the top two in this field in China. She understands some of the feelings of international students coming to this huge mega city as an outsider and has herself undertaken an internship abroad. In an effort to share the stories of locals in CAPA cities, CAPA’s Director of China Programs Colin Speakman went to interview Stella on her campus. She shares her insights with CAPA World on the challenges of Chinese post-graduates preparing for the world of work and how an international internship was valuable for her career.
CAPA WORLD: Thank you for this interview on this impressive campus. Please tell us where you grew up and did your undergraduate study. STELLA CHEN: I grew up in a village area, in a family of modest means, in Hunan Province – famous as Chairman Mao’s home province. I was admitted to Hunan Normal University (HNU), a ranked university under Project 211, in the Provincial Capital, Changsha, to study Political Education. A “normal” university is one that developed from a teacher training institution and in theory I was studying Chinese Government in order to teach it in a middle school.