Words by Frank Rocks, a University of Pittsburgh student who studied abroad in London with CAPA International Education during Summer 2014.
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Hi readers! My name is Frank Richardson Rocks. I am currently studying Communications and Media at the University of Pittsburgh, but in reality, have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. In my free time, I enjoy screen writing and have dreamt of writing for Hollywood one day. I produce/direct music videos in Pittsburgh and spend a lot of time, well, watching and reading about movies. Beyond that, I enjoy exercising and learning about the body. I’m a big runner and really enjoy staying active. I’ve actually considered a degree in exercise science many times.
I chose to study abroad in London because I wanted to intern in a city where English was the first language. However, this colorful salad of a city offers a type of English I’ve never heard before. I’ve found London to be incredibly diverse, filled with people from truly every corner of the world. Nobody has been able to get my order right, but I realize it’s my fault for having the American accent no one can understand.
Before I left, I had a very different idea of what London was all about. I knew very little about the mannerisms of the people and, I’ll admit, expected everyone to be a carbon copy of the British stereotype. What I found instead was a city of people from multiple places with their own twist of English and way of life.
The United States, to me, is very much the same no matter where you go. There’s a noticeable difference between the East and West coast, but in London, every Tube station seems to have its own culture.
It’s just over two weeks since the World Cup ended, and I, like many other soccer aficionados are currently battling post World Cup depression. For the 31 day period between June 12th and July 13th, my life revolved around soccer. It was the first thing I thought about when I woke up every morning and the last thing I thought about before going to sleep each night. My work schedule, social life, personal and professional relationships, eating habits, emotional state and moods, were, for better or worse, all impacted by what was going on in Brazil. With so much drama on a daily basis, even my tolerance for small talk, which is abysmally low at the best of times, was marginally better than usual during the World Cup: ‘Did you SEE Van Persie’s header?’, ‘I can’t believe this is the THIRD time Suarez has bitten an opponent!’, ‘Doesn’t Kevin De Bruyne of Belgium bear a striking resemblance to Prince Harry?’
As far as I’m concerned, seeing the world’s greatest teams and the world’s greatest players competing for the world’s greatest prize, is the greatest experience anyone can ever live through. The World Cup is one of the most important things in life. It’s definitely up there with commas, chocolate, and opposable thumbs.
So, you can imagine how deflated I feel now that it’s all over. For a whole month, I was walking on air watching young players come of age (James Rodriguez), seeing dynasties crumble before my eyes (Spain), experiencing whole nations embrace the beautiful game like never before (United States) and witnessing some of the most bizarre and surreal spectacles I’ve ever seen in sport and life (Brazil 1-7 Germany). Now, I’m a broken man. My whole life has been reduced to nothing. Like countless others, I am trying to navigate the tricky path of re-entry back into the real world… a world that is devoid of World Cup soccer for the next four years.
Universities join with art galleries and museums as part of the range of institutions that bring an international perspective to citizens of a global city. They offer locals an opportunity for international studies and a chance to bring a global insight to many disciplines.
Writing this from Beijing, there are many reminders. These are the institutions of higher learning long-established, such as Beijing Foreign Studies University, Beijing International Studies University, Beijing Language and Culture University, Beijing Normal University, Capital Normal University, the University of International Business and Economics and the Capital University of Economics and Business to name but a few. These fine universities provide access to the study of many foreign languages and/or international courses and often have international colleges where global study is concentrated.
Some universities are set in such beautiful, historic grounds that they become important attractions for international tourists in their own right. Continuing the Beijing example, both Peking University (Beida) and Tsinghua University have extensive grounds. So popular was the lake and pagoda at Beida that many years ago the authorities had to stop large tour groups turning up and swamping the campus. Now groups have to be pre-booked, though individuals with I.D. are welcome to enter on the spot. Away from global cities, the lure of a fine campus is often even clearer. Who would visit England’s Cambridge or Oxford without touring at least one college campus in those university cities?
1. VISIT THE GAUCHO FAIR – FERIA DE MATADEROS. Probably the most authentic gaucho fair in the city of Buenos Aires, Feria de Mataderos is located in the historical neighborhood of Mataderos. The fair has become a permanent space in which to promote Argentine cultural roots. There are beautiful artisan-made crafts to shop, authentic foods to eat and plenty of gaucho entertainment and dances. What better way to enjoy a sunny day in Buenos Aires? The fair is held every Sunday from 11am until 8pm. Don´t miss it!
Jordan Haugan has an adventurous spirit. He loves hiking, rock-climbing and travel, which led him to study abroad in Sydney with CAPA before he graduated from Arizona State University. There, he went scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, skydiving over the beach, surfing with his host dad and riding motorcycles along the coast. He also completed an internship at The WORD Australia, an experience that made a serious impact on his career when he returned to the States. Below he talks about how studying abroad gave him an edge over his peers, jump-started his career and continues to influence his success today.
But first, a video that Jordan created about his experience:
CAPA WORLD: Tell us a bit about yourself. JORDAN HAUGAN: My name is Jordan Haugan. I graduated from Arizona State University in May 2011, and I studied abroad with CAPA Sydney in the Spring 2011 semester. In my spare time, I love drumming, rock-climbing, hiking, anything involving water (surfing, boating, you name it), travelling the world, and spending time with my wife, family and friends.
Words and photos by Elizabeth Karr, a marketing major from the University of Kansas who is studying abroad in London this summer with CAPA International Education.
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We got to Trooping of the Colours about two hours before the parade started because we expected people to start lining up way early.
However, there was barely a crowd that early, so we got to be right at the barricade close the the fountain and had a perfect view of the Buckingham Palace balcony.
Once the parade time grew closer, a lot more people showed up. I believe it started at 10:00am. There were lots of soldiers and marching bands to start the parade and the royal family went by us around 10:30.
On our quest to introduce some of the locals in CAPA International Education’s global city destinations, we look to Beijing where we meet with Rebecca Gan. She was born in a small town in Sichuan Province, moved to university in Hebei Province near Beijing, back to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province to work and then to Beijing for the opportunities of a big city. She’s currently working in real estate. Below she reflects on experiencing Beijing with a small town background and shares her hopes to live and study abroad one day.
Photo:Beijing National Stadium – “Birds Nest” by Wojtek Gurak
CAPA WORLD: Tell us a bit about yourself. REBECCA GAN: I was born and grew up in Sichuan Province, which is considered as a gateway to the West of China. I was not from a big city, so when I had a chance to go to university I came to one in Hebei Province, which is near Beijing, to study marketing.
CW: After graduation, did you move to Beijing to work? RG: No, actually I went back to Sichuan Province to live and work in the capital, Chengdu. This is a famous city, known for its spicy food – especially Sichuan hotpot – and also for its nice parks and generally slower pace of life. Outside Chengdu there is the famous panda reserve. In Chengdu, I worked in real estate sales.
The sun is shining. You’re studying abroad in Beijing. How do you make the most of the day ahead? Our local staff have a few suggestions:
1. TAKE A BOAT RIDE. What better way to feel refreshed on a hot Summer’s day while you’re studying abroad in China than by heading out in a boat on one of Beijing’s lakes?There are popular boating facilities at Houhai, Beihai Park as well as on the lake at the Summer Palace. A group of three or four friends sharing a small peddle or rowing boat is the best option. Book yourself an hour or two and relax on the water.