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Studying abroad with CAPA was a unique and exciting experience for me. I knew going into it that CAPA was unlike other program providers. Here are some of my tips for how to make the most of your experience studying abroad with CAPA!
1. Get to know the CAPA staff
After going on the CAPA Florence program a few years ago and now working at CAPA, I can assure you that the CAPA staff in all of our centers are fantastic. Each and every staff member is friendly, knowledgeable, and eager to assist you! They will be able to help you navigate the city, share some non-touristy restaurants and attractions, and overall be a helping hand and great resource throughout the semester. Take advantage of this! Get to know each and every CAPA staff member in your center—learn about who they are, how they started working for CAPA and definitely take their suggestions!
2. Get to know your professors
I also recommend getting to know your professors throughout the semester. Many of them will be locals to the city you're studying in, will have some great insight into your host city (just like the CAPA staff), and are great resources! They are also experts in their field and will have a wealth of knowledge to share right at their fingertips. Since most of CAPA's classes are on the smaller side, you'll have more opportunities to talk and get to know your professors.
3. Participate in My Global City events
CAPA plans events, called My Global City events, throughout the semester that are aimed to get students out exploring and taking advantage of all that the city has to offer. You'll have the chance to go on walking tours, excursions outside of the city, and a whole range of other fun and exciting events that the CAPA staff plans. Most of the events are low cost or free, so take these opportunities to get to know your new city!
4. Explore the city on your own—get lost!
This may be more of a general study abroad/travel tip, but it will also help enhance your experience with CAPA. Go out and explore the city on your own. As cheesy as it sounds, when you get lost, you'll find yourself in the most unexpected situations and as a result, you'll discover the city in a whole new way. These experiences will be some of the memories you'll never forget. Since many of CAPA's classes focus on using the city as your classroom, your time exploring on your own will enhance to your learning and you'll be able to reflect on and share your experiences with your classmates and professors.
5. Take advantage of the small size of the program
One of my favorite parts about CAPA was the size of the program. Since going abroad was quite an overwhelming and nerve-wracking experience for me, I was excited that CAPA's program was small. This helped ease my nerves and made me feel more comfortable. I knew going into the semester, I wouldn't just be a number. I knew I would be cared for and supported. Take advantage of the program size—you'll form some amazing bonds with everybody involved!