Relaxing in Global Cities

Jul 31, 2015 1:30:00 PM / by Stephanie Sadler

“Connecting Global Cities” is a monthly column written by Colin Speakman, Resident Director for CAPA Shanghai.

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Global cities are exciting places. By definition there should be lot to do there: eating out in great restaurants, visiting world class museums, crossing bridges, looking up at towers, spending in shoppers' paradises.

Yet, wait a minute, when can one catch one's breath? Where to go to just sit and relax and watch the essence of that city go by...for people watching, neon watching, transport watching, scenic views.  

In New York my favourite venue for that was Times Square. It's not always possible to get a simple seat on a bench, but I could watch through a seat in the window of a cafe. There must be a lot of people watching or there would not be all those ticker tape breaking news items and large screen broadcasts in the square!

Times Square
Photo: Times Square via wiki commons

In Beijing, sitting out sure won't be in Tiananmen Square; there are no seats and squatting on the square gets one promptly removed. However, sitting out at the Summer Palace has a lot to recommend it - there are people walking by for sure and others in little boats on the lake. It's an oasis of quiet and a great place to reflect.

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Posted in: Global Cities

Understanding Cultural Differences Between the US and UK

Jul 30, 2015 5:30:00 PM / by Stephanie Sadler

CAPAStudyAbroad_London_Summer2015_SawyerCoffey_OfficialCAPABloggerSawyer Coffey is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2015, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A public relations major at the Western Kentucky University, she is studying abroad in London this summer.

Below, Sawyer points out some of the differences she's encountered between the US and UK during her exploration of the city, classes and at her internship site.

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I've started to become extremely aware of the little that people know about life in the United States. It is common for me, and many others, to assume people of different nationalities know everything about us. It may come as a surprise, but we are actually not the center of attention in this world.

Hardly ever do I pick out an American accent in London. I get asked the origin of my accent daily; it never gets old for people to tell me they love my accent. In groups, people say they hear mine first.

Most people have heard of Kentucky, but many of them quickly mention KFC. I typically chuckle. To some people's surprise, I actually do like KFC. But then I try to give them some quick facts about Kentucky, like how much bigger London is than Kentucky as a city versus a state. I tell them that we do not have public transportation except for a few buses, and they're certainly not red double deckers at every quarter of a mile.

CAPAStudyAbroad_London_Summer2015_From_Sawyer_Coffey_-_city_scape

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Posted in: London, England, Official Bloggers and Vloggers

Thousand Word Thurdays: San Telmo Market in Buenos Aires

Jul 30, 2015 1:30:00 PM / by Stephanie Sadler

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. Today, Buenos Aires.

San Telmo street fair
Photo:
 San Telmo market, Buenos Aires by Juan Eduardo Donoso Rosas

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Posted in: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Study Abroad in Buenos Aires: Pre-Departure Anxiety

Jul 28, 2015 5:30:00 PM / by Stephanie Sadler

CAPAStudyAbroad_BuenosAires_OfficialBlogger_Shavon_Jones
Shavon Jones (also known as Joy!) is an official CAPA blogger for Fall 2015, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A English and American Studies major at the Ursinus College, she is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.

Below, Joy shares her pre-departure thoughts as she prepares to travel to Argentina.

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This describes my feelings when I was deciding whether or not I was going to study abroad:

I was standing outside upper Wismer. Wismer is our two story cafeteria at Ursinus. It was built on the side of a hill. So on one side upper Wismer, or Upper, is ground level and around the other side Lower, or lower Wismer, is ground level. Inside are two lunch rooms on either level; Upper is buffet style and Lower is like a mall food court. Each has its own faults and benefits, but that’s not the point right now. I wasn’t standing outside waiting to meet friends for lunch. Or agonizing over Upper or Lower for lunch that day.

CAPAStudyAbroad_BuenosAires_Fall2015_Shavon_Jones_-_Pre-Departure_Post_-_me_and_tony_on_ferris_wheel
Photo: Joy with brother Tony on a ferris wheel

It was 11:45am and inside one of the conference rooms that make up Wismer was the last mandatory meeting of the year for study abroad. At 12pm, the meeting would start. I was agonizing over sitting through the meeting and then later deciding whether I really wanted to go abroad. I had a class at 12:30 and attending the meeting would mean missing this class, not that this really was a factor in my decision. It was just an excuse my mind came up with to leave me indecisive for a few more moments. I checked my phone again. The screen showed 11:55.

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Posted in: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Predeparture & Study Abroad Preparations

10 Walks to Take When You Study Abroad in London

Jul 28, 2015 1:30:00 PM / by Stephanie Sadler

Walking can be one of the best ways to discover a new city away from the tourist trail, understand its layout and observe the everyday life of locals. Download some offline Google maps, pull on a pair of sneakers and head out the door for some fresh air and exercise. Here are 10 of our favorite routes to explore when you study abroad in London.

1. FROM WESTMINSTER TO LONDON BRIDGE. Take the tube to Westminster station and walk out to see Big Ben in front of you. Walk over Westminster Bridge and turn left when you reach the end. Now, just follow the river! You'll pass by the London Eye, entertaining buskers, the National Theatre, the Royal Festival Hall, some South Bank street art, Gabriel's Wharf, an open air book market, a sand artist at work, Tate Modern (with a view of St. Paul's Cathedral across the river), Shakespeare's Globe theatre and the Clink Prison Museum which will give you plenty of distractions if you wish to take a detour. Turn away from the river when you reach Stoney Street or Winchester Street and you'll bump into the famous foodie paradise that is Borough Market where you can stop to refuel before hopping back on the tube at London Bridge. Or, carry on for the Shard, Tower Bridge and the Design Museum all nearby!
(see route, about 2.2 miles)

Borough_Market by Stephanie Sadler, Little Observationist
Photo: Borough Market Vendor by Stephanie Sadler

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Posted in: London, England

5 Common Stereotypes about China (And What It's Really Like)

Jul 27, 2015 5:30:00 PM / by Stephanie Sadler

CAPAStudyAbroad_Shanghai_Summer2015_Official_Blogger_Rashad_WilliamsRashad Williams is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2015, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Strategic Communications and Political Science major with a concentration in Pre-Law at Hampton University, he is studying abroad in Shanghai this summer.

Below, Rashad takes a look at some of the typical stereotypes people have of China and what it's really like from his perspective as a study abroad student living in Shanghai.

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Before coming to China, I had many preconceived notions about its people and their culture. These notions were based on things I’d never seen for myself, rather than what I’d see or hear second or third-hand. The thing is that there are still many others who are in the same predicament as I once was.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Shanghai_Summer2015_From_Rashad_Williams_-_City_at_night1

 

Fortunately, I have the opportunity to see a tidbit of Chinese people and cultures, recognize stereotypes that may linger in the minds of those who have never been to China, and dispel those stereotypes, based on what I have seen first-hand.

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Posted in: Shanghai, China

How to Build a Community When You Study Abroad

Jul 27, 2015 1:30:00 PM / by Stephanie Sadler

CAPA Study Abroad Interview: Mikala Gilroy

CAPAStudyAbroad_Dublin_Spring2014_From_Mikala_Gilroy6
Meet Mikala, a Lasell College student who studied abroad in Dublin during Spring semester 2014 in an effort to learn a bit more about her heritage. As you'll read below, she discovered a lot more than that while she was in Ireland. Mikala gives us an insight into building a community when you study abroad, a few pleasant surprises about Dublin and what it feels like to return to the States.

CAPA WORLD: Tell us a bit about yourself.

MIKALA GILROY: Hello! My name is Mikala Gilroy. If you couldn’t tell by the name, I have a deep Irish heritage. So naturally, I wanted to go to Dublin to discover more about it! (I’m also a Boston native, and if anyone knows Boston they know that that’s a huge part of living here.) I’m a Communications major at Lasell College in Newton, MA. In my spare time, I really like graphic design, going to concerts, discovering new places, and running. Another thing that has peaked my interest since going abroad is traveling!
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Posted in: Dublin, Ireland, Interviews

Five Life Takeaways from NBA Dancer Auditions

Jul 24, 2015 5:30:00 PM / by Stephanie Sadler

CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Dee Liang alumni column profile

Dee Liang is a CAPA Florence alumna and graduate of CU Boulder in Colorado, sharing her world as a study abroad alumna in bi-weekly CAPA World posts.

In today's column, Dee shares a few important lessons she learned from the NBA dancer auditions!

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When I’m not gushing over typography design and hashtags at work or in rabbit holes with Instagram travel accounts, chances are, I’m dancing. Quick background: I started dancing when I was in high school, kind of a late bloomer in the dance world. Through YouTube videos, leaping through empty grocery aisles, and using my patio deck window as a mirror to learn to dance. I developed a passion for it, and continued the sport as a collegiate dancer. After college, I went onto dancing for the NLL, MLL, and the World Ski Championships. Now, I am so excited to add one more badge to my collection!

If there is one thing I believe, it is that hard work is rewarded. It may not be right away, it may not come in the form you expected, but in the end, working hard lends itself to a desired outcome. So...last week, I tried out to be an NBA Dancer.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Summer2013_Dee_Liang_-_NBA_Dancer_Tryouts

To be completely honest, having to be on my A-game constantly was intense, exhausting, and physically/emotionally/mentally draining. The amount of prep time, hours dedicated, and thoughts accumulated to what felt like a week-long marathon, and my mind and body kept racing nonstop. Through the process, I have taken note of some habits that have developed and wanted to share five life takeaways from the experience with you: 

1. EMBRACE DISCOMFORT. I took extra dance classes, and consequently, was taking studio classes with young and talented kids. I had a good decade on these teengers, and they were kicking my butt with flexibility, stamina, and the way their bodies could endure any choreography and technique thrown at them. During the tryout week, small groups were analyzed, improv choreography was tested, and showmanship was primed. The whole process forced me to be outside my comfort zone, and I have realized, it’s how we grow as people. Push yourself!

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Posted in: CAPA Alumni

London: Greenwich Now - Markets & More

Jul 24, 2015 1:30:00 PM / by Stephanie Sadler

Ciaran_Blog_ProfileWords by Ciaran Reidy, a CAPA London Student Affairs Assistant who writes the bi-weekly column Ciaran's Chronicles: London Now and Then.

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When I got off the National Rail at Greenwich I was greeted by brilliant sunshine. It was overcast  when I left South West London, so it came as a pleasant surprise. The first of many “Pleasant Surprises”, which seemed to be a running theme that Saturday. I’d been to Greenwich many times before (I always take my visitors there), but at every corner I discovered things I’d never seen before.

My first great discovery was Halcyon Books, a quaint bookstore directly across the street from the subway tunnel that leads you to the National Rail station. Like a moth to a flame, I was attracted to the white sign with red lettering that enticed “BOOK SALE ALL BOOKS £1”. Whereas Barnes and Nobles or Waterstones (its UK equivalent) are serene environments where books are neatly categorized and order prevails, Halcyon books has the ambiance of your grandmother’s attic where things are haphazardly thrown about, neglected and forgotten for years. It’s extremely cluttered - not claustrophobic but comforting - and it smells of dusty books. This really appealed to me. Some of the bookshelves that keep the books in place are labelled “fiction” and “travel books” but this is a ruse. There’s no rhyme or reason to where the books are placed making it an adventure to sort through the treasure trove of literature. A bibliomaniac's dream!

CAPAStudyAbroad_London_For_Ciarans_Column_-_Halcyon_Books_Greenwich

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Posted in: London, England

Bringing My Home Abroad: A Family Visit

Jul 23, 2015 5:30:00 PM / by Stephanie Sadler

CAPAStudyAbroad_London_Summer2015_SawyerCoffey_OfficialCAPABloggerSawyer Coffey is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2015, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A public relations major at the Western Kentucky University, she is studying abroad in London this summer.

Below, Sawyer talks about London life lately, exploring the city, a visit from her family and an excursion to Stoneghenge and Bath with CAPA. 

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I definitely feel like I am part of the real world in the UK. Flexibility and patience are characteristics I have always struggled with and living in London has been a test to both. Whether interning or traveling, I’ve found it is not worth any fret if I have to wait a little longer or do unexpected things to fill my time.

LIFE THESE DAYS...

So far, my internship has not had much structure in terms of when I work, how long I work, and my daily tasks. Every day is different here in London. I have learned that sometimes planning might be a waste of time. If I have the opportunity to simply sit and enjoy the people around me, I will take it.

Like interning, adjusting to class in London has been different too. Learning from the renowned and enthusiastic teachers CAPA has supplied us with is more beneficial.

CAPAStudyAbroad_London_Summer2015_From_Sawyer_Coffey_-_friends

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Posted in: London, England, Official Bloggers and Vloggers

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