4 Tips for Coping with Anxiety while Studying Abroad

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 this week’s post, Samantha talks about dealing with anxiety while studying abroad and how it is important to continue to exercise, eat healthy and not be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

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*Cue heavy breathing*

My caffeine problems have finally been resolved (thank god… I overestimated my tolerance for freeze-dried coffee grounds) and I am now free to drink coffee until my heart stops. Or until I break my miniature French press. While I am happy to have a quality cup of brew to accompany my morning oatmeal and fruit, I’m afraid to say the availability of good coffee presents a new host of problems. Insomnia and sleep deprivation are obvious consequences of drinking a cup of coffee at eight o’clock at night. From personal experience I don’t recommend making this a habit, however much you’d like to run through the streets of Dublin during the wee hours of the morning. What starts as one late night cup of coffee turns into a late morning cup of coffee. And it’s a necessary part of your morning if you want to reduce your zombie-like appearance and make yourself a bit more human for your Irish history class. I swear to you German students, I don’t usually look this crazy. Your guidance counselors have warned you, your parents have warned you, that little inner voice hiding behind caffeine-induced personality quirks is saying it: sleep is good. You need it to live a healthy lifestyle and to make the most of your study abroad experience; no one wants to hang out with the zombie-esque foreigner who’s been staring at a statue in Dublin Castle for the past five minutes. That leads me to the point of this coffee fable: coping with anxiety while studying abroad.

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Study Abroad: 5 People Who Taught Me a Lesson

Words by Lisa Vassallo who studied abroad in London with CAPA International Education during Fall semester 2013.

Each person that I met when I studied abroad in London had something to teach me. I this post, I decided to highlight a few of those people (there were countless!) to illustrate how they helped me to have the incredible experience that I had during that semester, and hopefully leave them with something in return.

1. LAURA SWEENEY. Laura was my internship supervisor at Chisenhale Dance Space. She was funny and genuine. As one of the first British people I met, and probably the one I saw the most, I gained insights from her about everyday British life. More importantly, though, she taught me about passion and work ethic. Chisenhale is a non-profit and relies heavily on grants. Even when grant applications were not going her way, Laura did not let herself get bogged down with stress. She loves Chisenhale, and it was apparent in her work and in her demeanor at work every day. Seeing this really stuck with me, and made me want to find a career into which I can put the same amount of effort and passion.

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VIDEO: Architecture and History in Oxford

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 takes a short trip to Oxford where she enjoys the architecture of the city and and visits a pub with some literary history.

Anita’s journey continues Thursday so stay tuned! If you’re interested in learning more about the CAPA blog and vlog grant program, please visit the scholarships page on capa.org.

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Thousand Word Thursdays: Sydney Blues

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: Sydney blues by Leigh Griffiths

Thinking about studying abroad in Sydney? Don't miss out top 10 Sydney series!

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Visiting Cairns on a Student Budget

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 takes us on her Spring break adventure to Cairns and shows us a few of the fun ways you can explore on a student budget. 

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Over my spring break this past week, I went to Cairns! And Melbourne, but that’s another story. For now, I’m here to tell you what I did, what I recommend and what I found to be the cheapest ways of doing those things. This is a build-your-own trip a-la-carte style, so if you’re keen for someone else to plan all these deets for you, you’re better off looking at a site like Discover Australia or Travel Scene.

GREEN ISLAND / SNORKELING / GLASS-BOTTOM BOAT TOUR

For only $98, I got a round-trip cruise, snorkeling gear rental (with prescription mask and stinger suit to protect from the sun and jellies) and a glass-bottom boat tour with Big Cat tours. I booked through Viator, which has great deals on other tours in the area as well if you want a one-stop-shop. All tours here will be roughly the same price because they all go through Big Cat, but you can shop around for packages on various sites.

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Intern Abroad in London: On Making Tea & an Impact

Words by Cassie Naes, a University of Missouri School of Journalism student who studied abroad in London with CAPA International Education during Spring semester 2014.

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When I think of interning in London, I think of two things: Pumpkin and tea. Let me explain a little further; Pumpkin is the name of the public relations firm I interned for and making tea for the girls in the office was my first struggle.

Pumpkin Limited is a small, all female, public relations firm located in the heart of London. They have a prime location in Oxford Circus, which is one of the main shopping hubs in London. Walking to and from work I passed Dior, H&M, Chanel, Topshop, and many other stores calling out to me to empty my wallet and fill my suitcase.

One of the main reasons I chose the CAPA London internship program was because I had no prior internship experience in the public relations field. Going into the program, I wanted a different internship with a large entertainment firm. Looking back though, I am glad I was placed at Pumpkin. The advantages of interning at a small firm I was able to see all sides of agency life. I saw client meetings, overheard client calls, and saw the differences in duties between being a business owner, senior account executive, account executive and intern.

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A Series of Moments: La Mia Vita a Firenze

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 reflects on her time in Florence so far and talks about the importance of appreciating the little moments in life. She shares with us a selection of moments and memories in the form of stories and photographs.

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What is life but a series of moments? Excuse my philosophy, but sometimes a little reflection is necessary to truly appreciate the magnitude of beauty that life has to offer. Because believe me, it is a lot. Particularly in a place like Florence, and especially at a time like now. Because there really is no time like the present, and I promise you that there is absolutely no place like Florence.

This week, I thought I’d provide you with a little snapshot of my life here in Florence: a series of moments, relayed through words and images. Surely insufficient at capturing the magic of it all, but alas, one can only try.

Photo: Train hopping

Tuscany by train: nothing is so majestic. One afternoon I decided to take a train tour of Tuscany, jumping on and off trains at my leisure with no particularly systematic plan of attack. I had simply a desire to explore this beautiful region of this beautiful country, and boy did I see a lot.

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Study Abroad in London: 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 London. 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 London list!

1. SIOBHAN FERGUSON. From London rain to London fog to those unforgettable sunny days, Siobhan, an Irish expat, is out exploring the capital in all weather. She takes us on colorful adventures around the market stalls of Portobello Road, to a Richmond river scene that could be the Mediterranean and down into hidden mews.

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Experiential Learning: Putting the “Study” in Study Abroad

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.

This week, Emily talks about the academic side of life as a study abroad student and how her classes combine traditional teaching with the opportunity to step outside and use the city itself as a classroom.

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In the spirit of midterms, I thought I’d talk a little bit about how the “study” in my study abroad experience is progressing.

I am enrolled in four classes this semester: Theatricality, 20th & 21st Century Art, Writing the City, and Understanding Modern Britain. Each class is very different, but since each class focuses on London and British culture, at times they can overlap. For example, last week I went on a field trip to the Imperial War Museum—twice. I went on Tuesday for art and then again on Wednesday for modern Britain. As each class is several hours long, you might think this would be boring, but it wasn’t at all.

Photo: Imperial War Museum

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Interning Abroad at The Exodus Foundation in Sydney

Words by Brian Rahn a mathematics major and CAPA Sydney study abroad alum from SUNY Oswego. 

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My study abroad experience was one that I wouldn’t trade for the world. Besides how amazing Sydney was, and my classes, my internship was a wonderful enhancement to the experience.

Interning abroad can be a rare opportunity, so when offered the chance, I jumped on it without much hesitation. Nerves did slowly sneak in, especially waiting to hear back as to if I received a placement and with which organization.

I was lucky enough to be placed at The Exodus Foundation, a not-for-profit based in Sydney, as an Information Technology (IT) intern. I had a mix of emotions in the beginning. I was excited  for the opportunity, but the disciplines I chose – IT – was the one with which I was most shaky. I hadn’t had much training besides a few programming classes, so I was nervous my level of competence wouldn’t be up to par. Regardless, I knew at the least it would be a learning experience!

Fast forward a few weeks to my first day as an intern. Butterflies grew in my stomach with every stop closer on the train. I was greeted by my boss, Peter. I had only talked to him once during a Skype interview, so this was the first time actually meeting him. Instantly I felt comfortable and knew this was a good fit for me. He immediately made me feel welcomed by asking about my first few days in Sydney and my travel overseas. I was also introduced to Sonya, who worked in the office next door. She was also very charismatic, and made me feel welcomed. The first day was focused on meeting the team, and learning about the organization; it was a lot to take in.

After the first day, I knew I was going to like interning with Peter and the team, but only time would tell if my knowledge of IT would be enough. The following weeks taught me that there was much to be learned on my part, but Peter was very helpful and understanding of my limited knowledge. I learned more in those 180 hours as an intern than I had in all my prior classes back home.

One reason I had a wonderful experience at The Exodus Foundation was because I came to understand different areas areas of an organization, including business! Furthermore, I worked and interacted with most people in the organization, so I got a feel for the Australian culture from a multitude of viewpoints and backgrounds.

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