Introducing CAPA’s Fall 2014 Bloggers and Vlogger

We’re very excited to welcome on board this semester’s bloggers and vlogger who will be sharing their study abroad journeys with us through weekly posts here on CAPA World! Each of them will receive a grant of $600 accompanied by a $300 explorer fund while they are in country to help them generate content. From pre-departure over the next few weeks through December’s homecoming, we will watch these five storytellers learn about their host countries, explore and discover the real city beyond the stereotypes and expectations, interact with locals, take classes and complete internships and then come back and reflect on all of these experiences.

So who are they and where are they going? Introducing…

ANITA CHOMENKO, VLOGGER, LONDON. Anita is a Digital Media major at Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey and will be vlogging her way through Fall semester abroad in London. While she’s there, she’ll be taking media courses and completing an internship. She’s also looking forward to trying some strange new foods, working on her photography skills, traveling around other parts of Europe and finding beauty in the world around her. Anita will be giving us some local restaurant recommendations with a range of prices and cuisine, talking about the cultural differences she encounters and sharing some tips on traveling further afield from her host city.
Look for Anita’s posts on CAPA World every Thursday and read more about her on her Official CAPA Vlogger page where the archives will be compiled.

SAMANTHA GAUVAIN, BLOGGER, DUBLIN. Samantha is a Journalism major at Arizona State University in Phoenix and will be blogging her way through Fall semester abroad in Dublin. With a passion for literature, she’ll keep an eye open for rare books and visiting literary museums. She looks forward to sharing knowledge learned through her Gaelic class and excursions like a trip to Belfast to learn about “The Troubles”. She’ll also be sharing her experiences of traditional Irish folk music and visiting The Brazen Head – the city’s oldest pub – which hosts nightly storytelling and traditional Irish tales. A veggie lover, Samantha is challenging herself to find Dublin’s best.
Look for Samantha’s posts on CAPA World every Friday and read more about her on her Official CAPA Blogger page where the archives will be compiled.

CELESTE GUHL, BLOGGER, SYDNEY. Celeste is a double History and Comparative Literature major at University of Massachusetts Amherst and will be blogging her way through Fall semester abroad in Sydney. A seasoned traveler, Celeste has already visited nine countries and this is her second study abroad program with CAPA (the first was in London). Ballroom dancing, Magic the Gathering, and performance arts are on Celeste’s agenda for Sydney as well as traveling around the country with a side trip to New Zealand. She’ll be exploring alternative Sydney, the city on a budget, theatre, street art and learning how to interact more with local communities.
Look for Celeste’s posts on CAPA World every Wednesday and read more about her on her Official CAPA Blogger page where the archives will be compiled.

EMILY KYLE, BLOGGER, FLORENCE. Emily is a double English and Psychology major at UCLA in California and will be blogging her way through Fall semester abroad in Florence. She hopes to be sharing with us “entertaining and meaningful anecdotes of culinary genius, cultural novelty and linguistic acquisition”. Beyond food, the arts and language, we’ll hear about Emily’s host family, her journey to meet long lost relatives and understand her Italian heritage and what it’s like to celebrate a few holidays (her birthday, Halloween and Thanksgiving) abroad. Knowledge gained inside the classroom will help guide Emily’s stories of adventure in the greater city and beyond.
Look for Emily’s posts on CAPA World every Tuesday and read more about her on her Official CAPA Blogger page where the archives will be compiled.

EMILY MCGEARY, BLOGGER, LONDON. Emily is an English major at Arizona State University in Phoenix and will be blogging her way through Fall semester abroad in London. She’s a huge ‘Hunger Games’ fan and hopes to attend a film premiere while she’s abroad. With a bucket list filled with literary locations, we’ll surely see her visiting places like 221B Baker Street and the Charles Dickens Museum. She’s hoping to head to the Jane Austen Festival in Bath too. On a non-literary note, Emily is on a mission to find London’s coolest non-traditional afternoon tea and is looking forward to telling us how she handles adjusting from her dessert home to a city known for its rain.
Look for Emily’s posts on CAPA World every Monday and read more about her on her Official CAPA Blogger page where the archives will be compiled.

Congratulations to all of you! We look forward to following your journeys and adventures throughout the rest of 2014! 

To find out how to become an Official CAPA Blogger or Vlogger for Spring 2014, visit the scholarships page on capa.org.

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Study Abroad: 10 Ways to Spend a Sunny Day in Istanbul

The sun is shining. You’re studying abroad in Istanbul. How do you make the most of the day ahead? Our local staff have a few suggestions: 

1. ENJOY THE BEACHES IN KILYOS. When the sun comes out in Istanbul, it’s a great time to head to the water’s edge. Join the crowds – a mix of tourists and locals – sunning themselves on the Black Sea beaches in Kilyos in the northern part of the city. Sink your toes into the beautiful sand, explore the coves, go for a cool swim to shake the Summer heat or sit back and watch the kite surfers. It’s a popular resort area, so the beaches are clean and there are plenty of places to eat and drink nearby.

Photo: Kilyos by Metin Sanli

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Interview: CAPA Beijing Study Abroad Alum Jason Baxter

Jason studied abroad on the CAPA Beijing program during the summer of 2012, an experience that influenced the course of his life over the next few years as he prepared to become CELTA certified as an ESL teacher. He’s now living in Taiwan, teaching English. Below he talks about processing his abroad experience, what it has taught him about life and the world around him and how he communicates these stories to others.

CAPA WORLD: Tell us a bit about yourself.
JASON BAXTER: Hello! My name is Jason Baxter and I like yoga, exploring and Chinese culture. In 2012, I spent the summer in Beijing, China. A deciding factor in selecting my study abroad program through CAPA was that it included an internship, which provided me invaluable experiences as an English teacher intern. At the time, I was attending Arizona State University. My major was Psychology (BA) and my minor was philosophy. Prior to going to Beijing, my only experience outside of the United States had been a two week visit to Taiwan.

CW: What have you been up to since you graduated? How has your career developed since your study abroad program finished?
JB: Having successfully completed my summer in Beijing, I came home with a new found sense of adventure. My ambitions were to return to Asia as an English teacher, to continue to build on what I had started. Before heading out on my next adventure, I decided to return home to reinforce my relationships with my family. I graduated in 2012, and spent 2013 living in Massachusetts among my family. During our time together, we shared new experiences and broke new ground together.

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A London Study Abroad Internship with the Turkish Cypriot Community Association (TCCA)

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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For the first part of the summer I interned abroad at the Turkish Cypriot Community Association (TCCA) in Haringey, London. The TCCA is a nonprofit organization that 1) Provides health checks to the elderly 2) Offers guidance and counseling to the Turkish community and 3) Provides an after school education center for young students.

Through a health program, an elderly citizen may have care provided to them inside their home. It’s the TCCA’s job to arrange the health check and send a certified caregiver to the house. Through aids, grants and donations—mostly from the government, the TCCA provides basic care to those in need.

For a number of Turkish speaking people, English can be a difficult adjustment. The center provides lessons in English to help make the bilingual adjustment more manageable. Beyond that, the center also offers legal advice, general advice (pointing someone in the right direction) and hosts a number of classes. I’ve stumbled upon the local choir, a gentle exercise class, and even cardio dancing. To raise money for the center, the TCCA rents out its space in the evenings. The money made is used to help subsidize the cost of a hot meal. They also have a kitchen. The kitchen is open all day for anyone looking for a Turkish dish—I recommend the cold spaghetti that I cannot pronounce or spell.

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Thousand Word Thursdays: A 1930′s Shopfront in Spitalfields, East London

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: 46 Crispin Street, London E1 6HQ (still exists) by Steve Bridger

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The Importance of Falling

Thoughts on Education Abroad” is a monthly column written by CAPA International Education‘s Deputy President and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Michael Woolf.

This month, Dr. Woolf talks about falling – physically and metaphorically – and illustrates his point with a few memorable tumbling experiences of his own that ended on a positive note. 

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Safer than insurance

Safer than the dead

… the safest person in this dangerous dangerous world

- Adrian Mitchell “Maximum Security Girl”

I am spectacularly adept at falling over in the street. I have taken dramatic tumbles on the Cromwell Road; have stumbled in Connaught Place in Delhi; have fallen as if shot outside Blues Alley in Washington D.C., to the mild amusement of the distinguished jazz saxophonist, David Murray who had stepped out for a quiet cigarette. I have found myself embarrassingly prone in most of the great capitals of Europe and, famously (at least among the faculty and senior administration). I walked obliviously into a noxious hole outside of the University of Ghana, Legon. I was wearing a suit and tie, and carried a rather impressive briefcase. This was five minutes before my scheduled meeting with the Vice-Chancellor.

Photo: Cromwell Road traffic by Tom Ingless

This is not, by the way, evidence of increasing frailty or senility. I have been doing this for over 60 years. I recall, at the age of 8, in 1955, pathetically crashing head first in Mare Street, Hackney while hurrying towards an assignation with Rosie Clayman, the siren of the Balls Pond Road. But that is another tragic tale. My poor old Mum used to say, while sewing up my school trousers “yet again”: “Why don’t you look where you are going?”

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Study Abroad: 10 Ways to Spend a Sunny Day in Florence

The sun is shining. You’re studying abroad in Florence. How do you make the most of the day ahead? Our local staff have a few suggestions: 

1. HIKE THE CECERI HILL AND VISIT FIESOLE. Study abroad students who attended the CAPA Florence MyEducation event “the Hike to Monte Ceceri” will be happy to return to spend some time in the shade of the trees overlooking Florence when the sun is shining. You can finish your day by stopping in the hilly town of Fiesole for a cold drink or a gelato. If you don’t know how to get there, just ask the friendly CAPA staff. It’s an experience you won’t regret or forget!


Video: CAPA group hiking in Fiesole by CAPA alumna  

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CAPA Study Abroad Alum Interview: Jorge Herrera

Jorge Herrera recently graduated from Arizona State University where he majored in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in Communication and Film and Media. He studied abroad at the CAPA London center, a semester that he is happy to say pushed him out of his comfort zone. Below, he talks about what it means to live in a global city, his experience from a Latino point of view, a few of the challenges he faced while studying abroad in London and a memorable interaction with a local who had traveled around the world to make a living.  

CAPA WORLD: Tell us a bit about yourself.
JORGE HERRERA: My name is Jorge. I am a recent graduate from Arizona State University where I majored in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in Communication and Film and Media. I studied abroad in London during the Fall semester of 2013. My interests include traveling and anything that revolves around the entertainment/media industry.

CW: A higher percentage of women study abroad than men. Was this true in your case? What are the benefits from a male point of view?
JH: I found this to be true as our program only had about 40 guys out of 200 students in London. The benefits of studying abroad from my point of view are that you get to experience a different culture and lifestyle while you’re still young. Instead of waiting for a mid life crises to happen at the age of 50, it is best to take these opportunities and experiences while we are still without major responsibilities. Meeting new people makes the experience even better and learning about the career goals and life plans can definitely help you shape what you want to do with your life.

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How to Study Abroad on a Gilman Scholarship

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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Choosing to study abroad should not be a last second decision. It’s important to thoroughly evaluate your abroad destination and ask yourself, “Why is this right for me?” Are you interested in sightseeing with a heavy workload? Or perhaps you’d like to intern abroad focusing more on career skills. Regardless of your choice, it’s vital to plan ahead.

Once you’ve collected all the dates and deadlines from your school’s study abroad office, the next step is budgeting your trip. For example, when I decided to study and intern in London, it was necessary for me to apply for multiple scholarships. London is a very expensive city and I refused to let the cost of traveling affect my future plans.

I chose to apply for three scholarships: Two $1,000 scholarships through the University of Pittsburgh’s study abroad office and the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. The Gilman scholarship awards its summer recipients $2,500 and its semester recipients $5,000. The Gilman is truly a lifesaver for anyone in need of that extra cash cushion.

Thankfully for me, I was lucky enough to win one $1,000 grant and the $2,500 summer Gilman award. Believe me, it has made my travel abroad experience much less stressful and exceptionally more feasible—paying room and board and helping me travel beyond the city of London.

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Thousand Word Thursdays: Taking a Break in Dublin

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 break in Dublin by Giuseppe Milo

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