Thousand Word Thursdays: A Stray Cat and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Each Thursday we will post a photo worth a thousand words from one of CAPA International Education’s global cities and let the image speak for itself. 

Photo: A stray cat and the Blue Mosque by Lisa

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Reasons to Study Abroad in Sydney in the Spring (Sept – Oct)

Celeste Guhl is one of CAPA’s Official Bloggers for Fall 2014, sharing her study abroad story in weekly CAPA World posts. A University of Massachusetts Amherst student, she is studying abroad in Sydney this term.

In this week’s post, Celeste shares a few reasons (like the Cabramatta Moon Festival and the Festival of the Winds) why Fall semester is a great time to participate in a study abroad program and head overseas to enjoy Sydney’s Spring! 

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If you’re wondering whether to spend time in Sydney in the Spring (Sept – Oct), let me give you two reasons to go through with it: the Cabramatta Moon Festival and the Festival of the Winds.

In 2014, the Moon Festival took place on September 7, a Sunday, and the Winds was on September 14. Both were very nice, mildly warm spring days.

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A Private Tour of the BBC Broadcasting House, London

Words by Daniel Rodriguez from the Univsity of Massachusetts. Daniel studied abroad in London with CAPA International Education during Spring semester 2014. 

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London is a global hub for various media outlets and as a journalism major, I knew it was the perfect place to study abroad.

One of the most memorable experiences I had during my time in the U.K. was when I received a private tour of the BBC Broadcasting House in central London. My journalism professor at UMass Amherst connected me with her friend who works as a producer for the organization. She then invited me for coffee and to take a tour of the building.

When I first arrived, I was in awe at the size of the facility. My flatmates had taken a tour of the building a few weeks prior in their CAPA media course and they had described the massive size of the place. I walked into the lobby and viewed large television screens displaying news reports from all over the world.

My professor’s friend Serena met me a few minutes later and our first stop was the main newsroom. There, she introduced me to various producers and I was able to view a live broadcast as a presenter delivered the news from the anchor desk.

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Italian 101: How to learn a foreign tongue

Emily Kyle is one of CAPA’s Official Bloggers for Fall 2014, sharing her study abroad story in weekly CAPA World posts. A UCLA student, she is studying abroad in Florence this term.

In this week’s post, Emily discusses the paradox of language, the ways we can get on without a common tongue in another country and the reasons why it is one of the most necessary skills to take full advantage of an experience abroad. 

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The biggest obstacle posed by my study abroad journey in Florence thus far has undoubtedly been the language barrier. I came to this city without a single word of Italian, and though my vocabulary has increased exponentially (I can now say good morning and goodnight, how are you and I am well, thank you and you’re welcome), communication remains a massive struggle.

I’ve learned a thing or two about language in general throughout this experience. Language is something of a paradox: both essentially important and somewhat unnecessary.

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Study Abroad in Beijing: 10 Instagram Accounts to Follow

Instagram feeds in each of CAPA’s global cities around the world offer wonderful insight into what’s happening now from a local point of view. In this Tuesday 10 series, we share a few of our favorites in each destination. This week, we take a look at Beijing. You can also follow us: @CAPAStudyAbroad. Feel free to share yours in a comment and let us know who else we should add to our Beijing list!

1. TIME OUT BEIJING. In a huge city, it’s often difficult to keep track of everything going on, but from concerts to new restaurant and shop openings to hidden hutongs and beyond, Time Out Beijing is there, instagraming away. Follow them for everything from everyday oddities to cheese filled sausages to fire-breathing street performers.

2. THE GIRL WHO WALKS. Julia is a 24-year-old living in Beijing who enjoys walking the city. Her instagram feed is full of the little things she spots along the way, from a mop hanging over a wire to dry to garlic hanging over a bike to be sold. You’ll find photos of Chinese meals, abandoned hutongs and all sorts of otherwise unnoticed details and textures she spots around the capital.

3. SMALL HORSE IN BIG CHINA. Matthew mostly lives in Beijing and enjoys exploring China. Through his instagram feed, he takes us along on the journey. We into a jianbing shop where a wheel spins like you’d see in a pottery workshop. We see cyclists in the rain, workers sleeping on the job and a busker playing the Chinese instrument called an erhu.

4. ROB CUNNINGHAM. Rob is the chef at East hotel in Beijing, so as you would expect, his instagram feed is a tease when you’re hungry. He photographs not only delicious looking plates of food, but market scenes, cooks at work and all sorts of Chinese delicacies. There are woks full of chilies, pan fried dumplings being prepared and a pork baozi for breakfast.

 5. INSTAGRAMERS BEIJING. Many cities have a community feed where a collection of photos is built up by a team of instagramers. Some of the others on this list are contributors. It’s almost a “best of” as it’s curated by a few central members who each day pick the best submisson over the last 24 hours. There’s lightning in the Beijing sky, costumes at the Beijing Opera House and a toothless old man playing mahjong.

6. ZHAO686. The best shots in Zhao’s Instagram feed are the ones of people, the glimpses into the lives of locals living in Beijing. There’s two men negotiating the sale of bracelets on the street, a woman trying on a hat in a market jewelry stall and an egg seller sleeping on the job. Among the photographs of people, there’s everything from bunches of chilies to heaps of interesting garbage.

7. BEIJING BY HEART. Beijing by Heart sets out to explore the “hidden side of Beijing” and while there are classic shots of the lions outside of the Forbidden City, there’s also a photo of a boy jumping over a puddle on Dashilan West Street, a fashion shoot in the hutongs and a bird in a cage hanging over Sihui Bridge.

8. VISIT BEIJING. Visit Beijing takes us on a whirlwind journey across the city, from the sculptures of the 798 Art District to a boat ride on Houhai Lake. You’ll see some fascinating shop window displays, fried insects being served on sticks, a visit to Chaoyang Park’s water slide and jars of drinkable yogurt with straws sticking out the top.

9. MATTHEW S. Matthew is an American expat living in China. He enjoys “capital cities, urban planning, and dystopias.” These interests, are presented in his Instagram feed full of architectural details, cracked old tiles, and symmetry beneath the rooftops of the Old Summer Palace pavilions. You’ll also see bright city lights at night, gelatinous rice bars with red beans and chickpeas dipped in sugar and the Beijing traffic.

10. ABDELA. Abdela describes himself as “A Moroccan wanderer lost in Beijing’s alleys, always reaching out for untold stories.” His photos area almost always of people. Earlier this year, he was part of a special portraiture project in Beijing’s alleys that resulted in an exhibition. In his Instagram feel, Abdela often uses the description area to tell the story of the scene he has photographed.

BONUS: Follow us @CAPAStudyAbroad for plenty of Beijing photos as well:

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The Global Business Institute To Encourage Students to Gain a Global Perspective

To emphasize the importance to business majors of gaining global experience as undergraduates, the University of Pittsburgh, a CAPA International Education partner of 25 years, will officially launch the Global Business Institute (GBI) in Spring 2015. The GBI will act as the anchor of a new program for University of Pittsburgh’s College of Business Administration (CBA) which aims to give all of its students an international educational experience within the next five years.

CAPA will be working alongside them to recruit faculty, provide student housing and set up internships in five overseas global city locations: Buenos Aires, Florence, London, Shanghai and Sydney. Each of these sites will specialize in a different area of business and classes will be open to other undergraduate students outside of the University of Pittsburgh.

In a University Times article, associate dean of CBA Audrey J. Murrell said: “I wanted to push the envelope on preparing undergraduate business students. And to me that means they have some sort of international experience.”

CAPA alumni Gabrielle Tsang who studied abroad in London and Rosalyn Nye who studied abroad in Sydney were interviewed in a local CBS news story. “I’m a Global Management major, so I wanted the experience working with people from other cultures,” Rosalyn said of her semester in Australia. “And I wanted to have that experience in another culture while doing an internship.”

Gabrielle highlighted the benefits to her future career. “As a Finance major, what better way to experience the finance industry than to be in one of the financial centers of the world?” she said. “Having the opportunity to study abroad in London and complete an internship there was absolutely amazing, to really learn about the culture and [how] to be a candidate in the global workforce.”

The Global Business Institute also recently featured in an NPR news story, in which Murrell was also interviewed. She elaborated on the program and its importance for students who will go on to enter the business workforce. “It’s taking a step beyond just going and visiting a different country,” Murrell said. “It’s immersing [students] in projects, taking courses that are relevant for their curriculum and for their academic concentration and also international internships where they’re actually working in these places to gain global experience.”

Stay tuned for more on the GBI as programs get underway this Spring.
For more information, visit www.abroad.pitt.edu/gbi.

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Study Abroad: Adapting to London Life

Emily McGeary is one of CAPA’s Official Bloggers for Fall 2014, sharing her study abroad story in weekly CAPA World posts. An Arizona State University student, she is studying abroad in London this term.

In this week’s post, Emily looks back over her first week and a half in London and shares a few of the highlights (diversity, making friends, her homestay) and lessons learned (tube etiquette) so far.

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So much has happened during my first week and a half here in London. It’s hard to explain all the different emotions I’ve had and all the things I’ve experienced so far. One element of London that has really stood out to me, though, is the cultural and ethnic diversity. Since the moment I chose London as my study abroad destination, it’s been drilled into me that the city is an extremely diverse one. I believed that, but the concept of over 300 languages being spoken in one city was just a bit difficult to grasp until I actually got here. Since arriving, I’ve heard Greek, German, French, Korean, other languages I can’t even name, as well as some very thick British accents. When I heard combinations of these all in a single tube ride, it finally hit me how diverse London truly is.

There are cultures from all over the world here. My host parents are Greek and Russian, which is so interesting. I have loved getting to know them, eating with them, and talking about their families and cultures. They have invited guests over a few times as well and each of them has had a new perspective. There’s always been something to learn just by sitting and listening to peoples’ stories.

Photo: View from a park near Emily’s homestay

I have also met so many friendly fellow CAPA students. Living in a homestay, I thought it would be hard to meet people, but everyone has been open to talking to each other and making new friends. We’ve explored the city together on CAPA-led excursions and on our own. All the sightseeing has really gotten me into the flow of traveling around the city and I am proud to say that I feel comfortable that even if I get off at a wrong tube station or make a wrong turn, I’ll be able to find my way again.

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CAPA Study Abroad Alum Interview: Hunter Shull

Hunter spent Spring semester studying abroad in Sydney with CAPA International Education and completed an internship with a financial firm called Driftwood Capital. Below, he talks about his background and how his mindset about international travel changed while he was abroad. He talks about the challenges he faced in Australia, how he funded his time abroad and a valuable contribution he made to his internship site. 

CAPA WORLD: Tell us a bit about yourself.
HUNTER SHULL: My name is Hunter Shull and I am a senior at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, majoring in Business and Economics. This past Spring (2014), I studied abroad in Sydney, Australia. I play football for Ursinus and am also a part of the Investment Club. Some of my other hobbies include going to the beach (which I was able to do a lot of in Sydney), spending time with friends and after studying abroad, my new found hobby is traveling.

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On Deciding to Study Abroad in Dublin

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.

In her first post, Samantha talks about the importance of travel in her life and living in the moment as well as a few of the past experiences that led her to make the decision to study abroad. 

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Most frequent travelers – there’s a few in every social bunch – will tell you it is the novelty of uncertainty that draws them onto planes, trains and automobiles. One might argue that humans are characteristically nomads, unsuited for a sedentary life. I am unable to speak for others, but I do know this: every spring, my feet acquire a certain twinge and my heart adopts the pulse rate of an arrhythmia patient. While mildly uncomfortable, the physical side effects of an abstract longing encouraged me to pursue an education abroad and further myself as a student and global citizen.

Where the River Liffey formed a dark pool and Knarr ships bristled with shields and axes, Dublin or dibh linn emerged. Viking raids on Celt settlements led to the formation of a major trading hub and a prosperous city. These characteristics caused a series of territorial claims and invasions, which would haunt the island nation until the 20th century. Dublin’s history intrigues me; it is solemn, melancholy and yet vibrant, endearing and hopeful. As a result, my suitcase is jammed with a Irish-history books and I’m left wondering how I’m going to fit my shoes.

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Study Abroad: Three Very Different Experiences

Words by Kathryn Tenney who studied abroad with CAPA International Education during Summer term 2014. Kathryn has studied abroad a total of three times now and talks about what each experience has taught her in her story below. 

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My first study abroad experience was in between my freshman and sophomore year of high school. I was fourteen and decided to join the People to People ambassador program and spend my summer travelling throughout England, Ireland, and Wales. It was an interesting trip in a lot of ways. Prior to this trip I could count on one hand the number of times I had spent 24 hours away from home or a family member. I was taking a huge leap, and I am so glad that I did.

The People to People trip taught me a lot about British history. It was more of an extended field trip than a true study abroad experience. We travelled everywhere as a group, and spent most of our time in more historical places, like museums or tourist sites. I loved it, but it was not the true cultural experience my college study abroad trips were. The main thing that this trip did was set the course for my life. Before People to People I had only left home for family vacations, and those were limited to the eastern coast of the United States. However, this trip really awakened my love for travel. It was because of this trip that I decided to major in International Relations, and by extension study abroad again, and again, and maybe even again.

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