Taking Art Classes in Florence is a Dream Come True

Jul 10, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Allyson Barnes

Allyson Barnes

Allyson Barnes is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An Anthropology, Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, and Studio Arts major at University of Colorado - Boulder, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

In this week's post, Allyson writes about fulfilling her passion and practice of art in a prominent and historic art city like Florence.

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My favorite class here in Florence this summer by far has been my drawing class. I love art, which is why I picked it up as another major. I am so passionate about my art and so getting to practice my art in the art capital of the world was just a dream come true.

Ponte Vecchio ArtworkTrying pen and ink drawings of the Ponte Vecchio.

In the class we got to not only explore art practices in the classroom and studio, but we also took outings all around the city to explore and find sculptures to base our drawing on. It was a great way to practice our techniques and also a way for us explore the wonderful city that we are in. Jaime was our professor and she did a wonderful job. She was so passionate about everything, including whatever she taught us, that it always made us more interested in the topics. She was always someone I enjoyed listening to.

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Posted in: Florence, Italy, Academics Abroad, Art Abroad

Living Out What I'm Studying in Barcelona

Jul 9, 2018 4:30:00 PM / by Julia Schroder

Julia Schroder

Julia is an official CAPA vlogger for summer 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Political Science and Global Studies major at Arizona State University, she is studying abroad in Barcelona this semester.

In this week's vlog, Julia talks about her study abroad classes and how she's enjoying her course on Analyzing and Exploring the Global City in Barcelona.

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Thanks Julia!

Julia's journey continues every Monday so stay tuned.

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Posted in: Academics Abroad, Barcelona, Spain

What My Post-War British Pop Culture Course Taught Me

Jul 2, 2018 1:30:00 PM / by Irene Kanthan

Alice Ding

Alice is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Computer Science and Marketing major at Northeastern University, she is studying abroad in London this semester.

In this week's post, Alice tells us about her summer course on Post-War British Pop Culture and the different subcultures she has explored through this class in London.

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Upon receiving my schedule for CAPA, I was surprised at the timings of my classes. Here, I only have classes on Wednesdays and Thursdays; that’s twelve days of classes for the entire course of the program. I’d have five weekends. Compared to American school schedules, it truly seemed like a dream like true, but maybe only on the surface level. Imagine having a class that runs from 8:30am - 4:00pm every Wednesday and then a class right after that from 4:20pm - 7:50pm. Yup. Almost 12 hours of class straight. Part of me dreaded this. Wednesdays were going to be crazy for me. A seven-hour class? No way I’d survive.

CAPAStudyAbroad_London_Summer2018_From Alice Ding - Street Art in Shoreditch on our Walking Tour
Our first class: street art in Shoreditch where we did a walking tour to see several pieces of work.

After the first day though, I realized that this would probably one of my favorite courses I’d ever take, abroad or otherwise.

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Posted in: London, England, Academics Abroad, Classes in London

What My Summer Art Classes Are Like in Florence

Jun 28, 2018 1:30:00 PM / by Hannah Hardenbergh

Hannah Hardenbergh

Hannah Hardenbergh is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An American History and Literature major at Harvard College, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

In this week's post, Hannah shares about her art classes in Florence and the wonder of learning and seeing the city's artwork and architecture in the flesh.

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While it seems to me that I have been spending copious amounts of time pleasure reading, journaling, and traveling, I sometimes remind myself that I am also in Florence to…study! The classes I enrolled in—drawing and renaissance art history—started the week after I arrived, and I have class 3 days per week, per class. The learning environment is quite unique for each class, and I have enjoyed studying with the expat professors at CAPA, who decided the grass was greener across the pond, and who enthusiastically share their passion for Florentine culture and art with students each semester.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Summer2018_From Hannah Hardenbergh - Looking Up into the Dome from BelowLooking up into the Duomo from below.

At first, I was surprised to hear that my teachers were not in fact of Italian descent, or grew up in the country. Their perspectives of the city are part of what makes the learning environment so unique. Our drawing professor prefers whimsical assignment changes that best fit the group’s interests, and our art history professor is a walking encyclopedia, who I’m sure would know when and where each Medici family member lived and breathed his or her last breath if you were to ask her. Both of my classes have been extraordinarily unique.

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Posted in: Florence, Italy, Academics Abroad, Art Abroad

Several Ways I Learned About the History and Culture of Buenos Aires

Jun 28, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Nora Callahan

Nora CallahanNora Callahan is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An International Affairs and Math major at Northeastern University, she is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.

In this week's post, Nora shares several ways she has learned about the history and culture of Buenos Aires through classes, tours, and museums.

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Classes are such a cool part of studying abroad. We take classes with local professors at Universidad Austral's Buenos Aires campus located right on one of the widest streets in the world—Nueve de Julio. I'm taking Spanish and Global Cities which have 3 and 4 students total respectively so we get a lot of attention to ask questions about the city's history or practice our language skills. We are able to focus the class discussion on things we are especially interested in and continue our discussions with peers outside of class since there are so few of us.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Buenos Aires_Summer2018_From Nora Callahan - Global Cities Class Tour of Recoleta CemetaryOn a tour of Recoleta Cemetery with my classmates.

In a recent class period while learning about the coups in Argentina and the political turmoil they triggered, we got to talking about the differences in the ways we experience the political moment back in the U.S. and the differences in the culture around protest in each country from our own perspectives. [Note: Protest and political speech is a huge part of the culture here and interesting to observe or even participate in, but safety is also super important especially with respect to our heightened visibility here as foreigners.] This discussion was incredibly interesting and one that may not have developed in a larger, more structured class.

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Posted in: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Academics Abroad, Classes

A Walking Tour of Buenos Aires

May 21, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

CAPA_Claire Shrader_Buenos Aires_Headshot.jpgClaire Shrader is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Pre-Occupational Therapy major at Mississippi College, she is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.

In this week's post, Claire shares how going on a walking tour of Buenos Aires brought an academic course to life.

It’s so easy to learn language on the colectivos chatting with the people who press in around you, asking where they’re headed and finding out what their day holds. Or in time with tango as you let your feet learn a new language of their own. Or in the plaza where the kids play and shout it out in a way that only kids can. Or in the phrases you need to request a café con leche, with azucar, please. I’ve found that my time in Argentina has stretched and grown my Spanish in ways I never even imagined it would.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Buenos Aires_Spring2018_From Claire Shrader - Claire with Bianca the Friendly CatBianca the friendly cat is a must-visit attraction!

Buenos Aires has been my greatest teacher this semester, and my Global Cities class has given me a great chance to learn more about the city. We talk about the city in regards to the world, and what makes it unique from the rest of South America or even the cities we call home. We’ve learned its history and discussed class issues and economic issues, and last week we took the class to the street to combine what we observe in our day to day with what we learn in the classroom.

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Posted in: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Academics Abroad, History Abroad

My Study Abroad Experience Has Changed How I Think About Cities

Apr 27, 2018 1:30:00 PM / by Irene Kanthan

CAPA_Brandon Mooney_Dublin

Brandon is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2018, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Political Science major at Clark University, he is studying abroad in Dublin this semester.

In this week's post, Brandon visits Amsterdam and analyzes how a course in Dublin changed the way he views cities and traveling.

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I would like to use this blog post to talk about my weekend trip to Amsterdam and how taking the Analyzing and Exploring the Global City course has changed my view of travel. I went to Amsterdam last Friday (a day earlier than the rest of my friends because I don’t have class on Fridays) and stayed through Sunday night.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Dublin_Spring2018_From Brandon Mooney - A Canal with Reflection in Amsterdam

I didn’t really have a set plan for Amsterdam. I didn’t do any real research about attractions or things to see. I just figured that I would get there and walk around and stumble upon something interesting. Friday was spent wandering the winding streets and canals. I really got a feel for the city as a whole. I happened to chance upon an enormous park and spent an hour sitting on a bench basking in the sun and people watching. I came across several open-air markets with stalls selling everything from thrift clothes to waffles to antiques. I walked along the canals and saw the house boats.

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Posted in: Travel, Dublin, Ireland, Academics Abroad

How College in Ireland Works

Apr 6, 2018 1:30:00 PM / by Irene Kanthan

CAPA_Brandon Mooney_Dublin

Brandon is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2018, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Political Science major at Clark University, he is studying abroad in Dublin this semester.

In this week's post, Brandon describes five ways college classes work in Ireland from his experience at Griffith College and what you should be prepared for.

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Before coming to Dublin, I really had no idea about how the Irish school system worked. I didn’t know how grading was carried out or what professors would expect of me academically. In order to make sure that other students coming to Griffith College aren’t similarly in the dark, this blog post will be dedicated to describing how college here in Ireland works.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Dublin_Spring2018_From Brandon Mooney - Griffith College
Griffith College

First of all, grading is completely different in Irish schools. Instead of grading scales going from 1 to 100, Irish grading scales go from 1 to 70 (and sometimes 80 depending on the class). In simple terms, a 1 is considered a “0” and a 70 is seen as a “100” in Irish schools. Don’t ask me why, I personally think it’s ridiculous and no one can seem to tell me why it works this way. In the U.S., if I received a 95 on an essay, my letter grade would be put in as an A+. However, here in Ireland, in order to get an A+, you have to get a 65 or higher. When I got back my first essay last week and saw that I got a 66, I nearly had a heart attack because I thought I got a D on a major assignment.

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Posted in: Dublin, Ireland, Practical Study Abroad Advice, Academics Abroad

Academics in Shanghai: From Intensive Chinese Classes to Business Courses

Mar 27, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

CAPA_Jolena Hou_Shanghai_Headshot.jpg

Jolena is an official CAPA vlogger for spring 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Finance and International Business major at University of Pittsburgh, she is studying abroad in Shanghai this semester.

In this week's post, Jolena shares what it's school is really like on her study abroad program in Shanghai and the differences between classes in the U.S. and China.

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How has it already been a month since I’ve arrived in China? Time is moving unusually fast, and it’s hard to believe how confused and out of place I felt a month ago. Now I’d say I’m able to live like a local by going through the basic motions of life without fearing that I’m going the wrong way on the subway or ordering a mystery meal while out.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Shanghai_Spring2018_From Jolena Hou - ECNU in the Day

And now that life in Shanghai is in full swing that means going to school. Being an international student is such an odd concept. Back at home, we barely see the international students around or interact with them—and it’s pretty much the same here and I feel like I’ve reversed roles. The international students interact with each other because we’re pretty much on the same boat, whereas we don’t really have classes or chances to meet native Chinese students. It’s a bit unfortunate, but I can understand because the school system between countries can be very different.

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Posted in: Shanghai, China, Academics Abroad, Classes

The Joy of Writing is the Pleasure of Finding Things Out

Mar 12, 2018 3:30:00 PM / by Irene Kanthan

An Interview with Award-Winning Author, Acclaimed Travel Writer, and CAPA Visiting Professor Michael Meyer

Meet Michael Meyer, an award-winning writer who has published a non-fiction trilogy set in China. With experiences abroad as a journalist and as an acclaimed travel writer, and having contributed to The New York Times,Time, the Financial TimesLos Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune among others; he is also an associate professor for the English writing program at the University of Pittsburgh. Below, he talks about how he got his start overseas, shares lessons from his writing and publishing experience, and reveals what students can expect from his Travel Writing course this summer in London.

CAPA WORLD: What sparked your interest in traveling?
MICHAEL MEYER: Both travel writing and China happened by accident. The Peace Corps sent me to the latter after I had rejected seven other countries, none of which spoke Spanish, my second language. China was their final offer. I was about to graduate, broke and without prospects. I majored in Education and worked as a journalist throughout college, but there was no job waiting for me. A plane ticket to China felt like a reprieve, even though I couldn't speak a word of Chinese, or even use chopsticks. I started writing travel stories after landing, an exercise in making sense of the newness around me.

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Posted in: London, England, Interviews, Academics Abroad

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