A CAPA Study Abroad Alumna Interview: Aydali Campa
Meet Aydali, a journalism major at Arizona State University who studied abroad in Dublin in Fall 2016. Below, she talks about how surprised she was by Ireland's advanced technology, how her internship abroad differed from internships back home, and how her experience changed the way she views and consumes news.
CAPA WORLD: Tell us a bit about yourself.
AYDALI CAMPA: I am a journalism and mass communication major at Arizona State University. My focus is in digital media and I minor in studio art and international studies. I studied and interned abroad in Dublin, my new favorite city, the fall of 2016. I’ve been known to rant about social justice, art and where I’d like to travel to next.
CW: What surprised you about your host city? What did you discover that went beyond your expectations or stereotypes that exist of the city?
AC: What surprised me was how innovative and technologically advanced the city was. I was unaware of how many Silicon Valley companies were situated in Dublin like Google, Airbnb and LinkedIn. A cool mission that the city of Dublin has is to have free WiFi available city-wide, and you can definitely see that progress. I had FREE access to Wifi almost everywhere.
CW: Tell us a bit about your housing situation- what options did you have, and what did you choose? Why?
AC: I lived in a shared room student residency at Griffith College. There were four of us in our two-room “flat,” two of us in each room. There was the option of doing a homestay or living in the flats. Some students I know have lived off campus in apartments over the summer, so that’s another option too. I chose to live on campus because I wanted to experience the small campus feel that I don’t get to have at ASU. I wanted to make friends from all over the world and I did by meeting people in my hall.
CW: In what ways did you balance the academic side of studying abroad versus exploring your host city and wanting to make opportunities to travel?
AC: This took long nights of studying during the week because it didn’t feel right to be traveling if I knew I wasn’t doing well in a class. School was hard to balance with travel, but not as much when exploring the city. Having to study was a great opportunity to find great places around the city to do just that - sit down and study. I found a couple of places with friends. We would go to different cafes or restaurants to get work done.
CW: Tell us a bit about your internship that you completed while studying abroad, your duties and accomplishments.
AC: I interned at Olytico, the leading social media monitoring company in Ireland, which was an amazing opportunity. Some of my responsibilities included tracking the online reaction in Ireland to big events like the Dublin marathon and then doing an in-depth report about it to publish in the blog. Also, every week I would write a listicle for the blog about the top trending topics on Twitter in Ireland. This is how I was able to be more in the know of Irish current events, which made me feel more like a local!
CW: How did your internship experience impact the way you thought, studied, worked and/or lived when you returned home? How did it help you in your future career?
AC: I learned that it is okay to not have clear-cut instructions, which is something I was more used to. At Olytico they weren't too specific with their instructions because they wanted me to be creative. I was intimidated at first, but it allowed me to grow as a journalist.
CW: What did it feel like to be studying at Griffith College versus your home university? Were there a lot of cultural differences that impacted the way you learned or studied?
AC: Griffith College was the complete opposite of my home university. It was the smallest campus I’ve ever seen and the school is much older than ASU. The course instructions were vaguer and the professors were more laid back. I found the classes to be very interactive, which I really enjoyed.
CW: What about your CAPA classes? How did those integrate with your Griffith courses?
AC: The greatest thing about CAPA classes are the professors. Darren and Oisin, my CAPA professors, were very resourceful and really knew how to help us adapt to Irish culture and the education system.
CW: How did you prepare yourself financially for your travels, both before you left and while you were abroad on a budget? What tips can you share with future students?
AC: A scholarship covered all of my direct fees for the program. Once abroad, my parents helped me with food, I used savings for leisure activities or shopping and I used my credit card for emergencies.
CW: What changes have you seen in yourself since you began your study abroad program? What has your experience taught you about yourself and the world around you? Has it highlighted any particular global issues in a different way?
AC: I view my American and Mexican heritage in a very different way now. I understand both cultures more than ever before. With that, I also think I consume news in a different way. I ask myself way more questions that help me analyze the situation from different perspectives.