Meet Andrea (Andy) Arias, an official CAPA blogger in London, England for Fall 2021:
University: James Madison University
Major: Theatre Concentrations: Theatre education and performance
Study Abroad Location: London, England
Internship or volunteer placement: Synergy
What are you most excited for during your study abroad semester?
I am most excited for my internship. I will have the opportunity to work on projects hands-on and take on roles which will allow me to be a part of a larger theatre-related creation, accomplished by prisoners, ex-prisoners, and others who are a part of the criminal justice system.
What are three of your hobbies and interests?
I love singing! I have my own business as a vocal teacher (4 years now). I also love running and listening to music (70’s, 80’s, Amy Winehouse, Mac Miller are my repeats).
What’s one personal goal you hope to achieve while abroad?
One personal goal I hope to achieve during my CAPA program is to relish each and every nanosecond I get to spend in London. Naturally, I know I will fall in love with the city, but my goal is to really savor each opportunity I am given, and every moment I experience.
What’s one professional goal you hope to achieve while abroad?
I hope to expand my knowledge on leading dialogue and guiding conversations. This will be the first time I get to actually work alongside those who are a part of the criminal justice system, so I want to take this opportunity to learn directly from them. I want to hear their voices on what it is that they are seeking/having trouble with, and what their goals are during the development of the projects/creations they’ll be working on. I will aim to create safe spaces, where trust is established, and find ways to help, motivate, and uplift; all while recognizing the privilege I hold.
What can we look forward to seeing in your blogs?
You’ll hear about what I’ve had the privilege of experiencing in London thus far. I will share what I have found to be the heart of London from my perspective, whether that is the people, food, music, history. Beyond the readers getting to hear about what I’ve learned of the culture, I will share life lessons I’ve learned, beautiful memories relevant to document, and how the life here compares to the life I’m familiar with from Virginia!
Anything else you’d like to say to people reading about you for the first time?
Come along my journey! I hope to make the readers feel that they themselves have stepped foot in London with me.