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An Inside Look at CAPA's Virtual My Global City Events

Jan 14, 2021 10:08:00 AM / by Cara Pizzorusso

CAPA's virtual version of My Global City events is an effort to bridge the gap for remote interns and online students to take part in cultural activities and connect with locals in our Global City locations. Take a closer look at what this experience entails and what you can look forward to!

Students who study or intern abroad online with CAPA can take a deep dive into other cultures by participating in unique global experiences from home. These cultural activities and social events, called My Global City events, are completely optional but highly recommended for students looking to enhance their online program, meet peers from other universities around the country, and connect with locals in CAPA’s Global City locations.

By enrolling in CAPA’s Online Study Abroad programs and Remote Global Internships, students are eligible to participate in thoughtfully planned experiential learning activities which take place through Zoom and other online platforms. A variety of live and self-guided events are available each week from our Global City locations, and students can attend events hosted in any location. At the beginning of the semester, students will receive a master calendar of My Global City events and culturally immersive Service Learning programs.

Virtual MGC Events - IG (9)"CAPA gave me the opportunity to broaden my mind with unique classes and experiences from countries around the world." —Wendy Parra, Rollins College student and CAPA Online Global Cities alumna

Each My Global City activity is tied to one or more of CAPA’s Student Learning and Development Outcomes (SLDOs): Globalization, Urban Environments, Social Dynamics, Diversity, and Personal and Professional Development, with the goal of helping students gain a deeper understanding of the value of their experiences. By achieving these outcomes, students are well-equipped to articulate what they have learned to future employers and/or graduate schools. Learning from your host city through cultural immersion and experiential learning with a focus on these SLDOs is at the forefront of CAPA’s goals for students—and yes, this is possible online!

Here are some live virtual events that CAPA has hosted in the past:

CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall2019_Barcelona_Isha Mahajan_Surrealist_Art_DaliTake a virtual visit to the Salvador Dalí Museum outside Barcelona.

  • Barcelona: Take a virtual tour of the Salvador Dalí Museum with a member of the CAPA Barcelona team. You’ll learn about Dalí’s work, see a few key pieces, and hear about his influence.

  • Florence: The CAPA Florence team opens up their kitchen to teach you how to make some traditional Italian recipes like bruschetta, zucchini and mint risotto, and tiramisu. You can cook along with the lesson and share the food with your friends and family!

  • London/Dublin: CAPA's Toolbox Workshops are another way for students to acquire new knowledge, and further develop professional skills and experiences that will impact their career readiness. Learn how to make your profile stand out, how to avoid common mistakes on LinkedIn, as well as some tips for how to network online!

  • Dublin: Join a member of the CAPA Dublin team to learn some Irish, the first official language of Ireland. You’ll learn cúpla focal (pronunciation: "koo-pla fuc'ill") "a couple of words" for yourself!

  • Sydney: Visit Redfern—an inner city suburb of Sydney characterized by its Indigenous Australian population, migrants, and working class history. On this live virtual tour, you'll learn about an important part of Sydney shaped by colonization, globalization, and now gentrification.

Self-guided My Global City events are also offered each week for students to explore on their own time. Here are some past activities:

  • Barcelona: Unwind with a movie night and watch selected movies in Spanish or English.

  • Florence: Watch the New York Times’ “36 Hours in Florence” to learn more about Florence’s rich history and vibrant culinary, artistic, and musical experiences.

  • London: Look around inside London’s most iconic Underground stations.

  • Dublin: Bake traditional Irish recipes at home, such as freshly baked scones. We’ll provide the recipes, and the rest is up to you!

  • Sydney: Get a feel for Australian culture and learn to better understand your coworkers though suggested videos such as “10 Things you Should Know About Australian Culture” and “How to Speak Australian.”

  • Multiple locations: Take a virtual walk around your Global City and explore famous landmarks with interactive 360-degree tours.

In addition to events like the examples above, students can participate in optional Service Learning Programs. The two Service Learning programs currently being offered are based in Florence and provide opportunities for students to establish genuine connections with locals in Italy, deepen their knowledge of the culture, and gain exposure to the Italian language to make their online study abroad experiences even more meaningful. The programs are called the Ganzo program—where students will be matched with an Italian family—and the FriendMe program—where they’ll be matched with an Italian peer. Students typically meet with their family or friend on Zoom once a week for about 45 minutes to an hour-and-a-half. Learn more about each program:

Ganzo! Meet an Italian Family

Photo 5_CAPA_Blogger_Fall2018_Florence_From Payton Meyer_Ganzo Family in KitchenCAPA alum Payton Meyer took this photo of her Ganzo family in their kitchen in Florence.

“Ganzo” is a dialectal word to say “cool” in Florence, and only in Florence. With this project we help students to create a connection with a local family interested in having weekly meetings with English speaking students.

Zoom calls will be scheduled in advance and will be run by all the members of the family. CAPA will help you to structure this experience so that you can get the most out of it. The staff will arrange the first meeting and will offer some tips on how to manage the following ones.

FriendMe! | Meet a Global Friend

CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall 2018_Florence_Connor McGlone_ FriendMe Program 4On in-country study abroad programs, CAPA students meet with their FriendMe friends at the CAPA Center in Florence. On online programs, students connect over Zoom.

FriendMe is not just a language exchange, but a cultural one as well with the goal of connecting people around the globe to learn more about one another. You’ll be connected to an Italian peer who’s interested in practicing English and eager to know more about American culture! We’ll be present at your first meeting to help break the ice and then you’re free to arrange the following meetings according to your own availability. We’d recommend meeting once a week for at least eight weeks, which is a little less than your semester with CAPA.

We asked two members of the CAPA Florence team to answer a few questions about the Ganzo and FriendMe programs. Here’s what they said:

What would you say are some of the most impactful things that students gain from the Service Learning experiences?

“Some real connection with locals, and some deep knowledge of the host culture. Exposure to the Italian language. Proactive engagement, personal growth.”
—Laura Ceccherini, Senior Program Affairs Coordinator in Program and Student Services

Why do you think it’s important for students for students have these experiences with locals in Florence, especially while studying from home?

“To make their remote-study abroad experience a little more engaging and “real.” To add some “abroad” component to their experience.”
—Laura Ceccherini

Is there anything you would like to add?

“…[T]he only thing I’d like to stress out is how important both Ganzo and Friendme are in connecting our students to the local community—they’re really able sometimes to create some honest and very valuable relationships.”
—Valentina Fatichenti, Program Services Coordinator for Florence

Find out what CAPA Remote Global Internship alumni had to say about their online Service Learning experiences:

I love the family I am paired with! We have not communicated as much as I would like since it is summer and the children have been to camps and spent extended time with family. I think they adore me though. The children were shy at first, but the next time we chatted, they shared with me what they did at camp and took me on a tour in a little town. We use Zoom and WhatsApp to communicate.
—David Davidson, Arizona State University

I absolutely loved it! I honestly can't think of anything negative about this experience. I know the family's English wasn't fluent (the mother was close), which was totally fine, but they were equipped with Google Translate ready for anything they needed to translate and for us to figure out. We talked about so much, whether it was daily life, cooking, folklore tales, literature, etc. Our communication via email was excellent. Overall, it was great.
—Ella Isaacs, University of Minnesota at Twin Cities

Learn more about CAPA’s Online Study Abroad programs and Remote Global Internships:

Learn more: CAPA's remote global internship programs and online study abroad programs

Topics: Florence, Italy, Local Culture