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On This Day: China's Past & Why We should Never Forget December 13

Dec 13, 2018 10:37:00 AM / by 'Connecting Global Cities' by Colin Speakman

Today is the 81st anniversary of an event that horrified the world. On December 13, 1937, during the 2nd Sino-Japanese War, Japanese troops attacked the then capital of China, Nanking (Nanjing) - the government already having relocated - and over six weeks, according to records and reports, murdered around 300,000 Nanjing citizens, including women and children. Today fewer than 400 survivors are still alive to tell the tale.

The story of the Nanjing Massacre has been well told in Iris Chang's 1997 book The Rape of Nanking and in several movies in recent years including "Nanking" ,"City of Life and Death", "John Rabe" and most recently "The Flowers of War". It was perhaps fitting that, along with my students, we watched the showing of "The City of Life and Death" in a large movie theater in Nanjing in 2009. We were a small Western group in a cinema packed with locals and it was impossible not to feel the tears of the audience that night. I wondered how many in that very audience had lost grandparents and other kin in that massacre.

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Posted in: Shanghai, China, Beijing, China, Local Culture

3 Days in Beijing

Nov 23, 2017 11:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

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Sarah is an official CAPA vlogger for fall 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Fashion Retail and Merchandising major at Lasell College, she is studying abroad in Shanghai this semester.

In this week's post, Sarah goes to Beijing with her CAPA classmates and spends 3 days exploring the modern and classical aspects of the historic city.

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Thanks Sarah!

Sarah's journey continues every Thursday so stay tuned.

Learn More about the CAPA Shanghai Program

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Posted in: Travel, Shanghai, China, Beijing, China

CAPA Study Abroad Alumna Interview: Jasheah Howard

Apr 20, 2015 9:30:00 AM / by Stephanie Sadler

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Jasheah studied abroad in Beijing with CAPA International Education during Fall semester 2014. Below, she talks about the many ways that China suprised her by being a fantastic study abroad destination, how her experience helped smash a bunch of stereotypes she had about other cultures by bringing her into contact with people from around the world and how her internship with GMGC shaped her goals for a future career. 
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CAPA WORLD: Tell us a bit about yourself.
JASHEAH HOWARD: I studied in one of the best, most exciting places known to man: Beijing! I must say that I am extremely glad I studied in this particular region. I go to the State University of New York at Oswego and I double major in Broadcasting / Mass Communications and Language and International Trade. I love traveling, learning different languages, meeting and interacting with people from different backgrounds and cultures. Basically, I enjoy trying new things, from new foods to new ways of thinking.
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Posted in: CAPA Alumni, Interviews, Beijing, China

Interview: CAPA Beijing Study Abroad Alum Jason Baxter

Aug 18, 2014 8:41:00 AM / by Stephanie Sadler

Jason studied abroad on the CAPA Beijing program during the summer of 2012, an experience that influenced the course of his life over the next few years as he prepared to become CELTA certified as an ESL teacher. He's now living in Taiwan, teaching English. Below he talks about processing his abroad experience, what it has taught him about life and the world around him and how he communicates these stories to others.

CAPA WORLD: Tell us a bit about yourself.
JASON BAXTER: Hello! My name is Jason Baxter and I like yoga, exploring and Chinese culture. In 2012, I spent the summer in Beijing, China. A deciding factor in selecting my study abroad program through CAPA was that it included an internship, which provided me invaluable experiences as an English teacher intern. At the time, I was attending Arizona State University. My major was Psychology (BA) and my minor was philosophy. Prior to going to Beijing, my only experience outside of the United States had been a two week visit to Taiwan.

CW: What have you been up to since you graduated? How has your career developed since your study abroad program finished?
JB: Having successfully completed my summer in Beijing, I came home with a new found sense of adventure. My ambitions were to return to Asia as an English teacher, to continue to build on what I had started. Before heading out on my next adventure, I decided to return home to reinforce my relationships with my family. I graduated in 2012, and spent 2013 living in Massachusetts among my family. During our time together, we shared new experiences and broke new ground together.

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Posted in: CAPA Alumni, Interviews, Beijing, China

Interview: Beijing Local Rebecca Gan

Jul 23, 2014 8:41:00 AM / by Stephanie Sadler

On our quest to introduce some of the locals in CAPA International Education’s global city destinations, we look to Beijing where we meet with Rebecca Gan. She was born in a small town in Sichuan Province, moved to university in Hebei Province near Beijing, back to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province to work and then to Beijing for the opportunities of a big city. She's currently working in real estate. Below she reflects on experiencing Beijing with a small town background and shares her hopes to live and study abroad one day.


Photo: Beijing National Stadium - "Birds Nest" by Wojtek Gurak

CAPA WORLD: Tell us a bit about yourself.
REBECCA GAN: I was born and grew up in Sichuan Province, which is considered as a gateway to the West of China. I was not from a big city, so when I had a chance to go to university I came to one in Hebei Province, which is near Beijing, to study marketing.


Photo: Incense outside a temple in Chengdu by Lyle Vincent

CW: After graduation, did you move to Beijing to work?
RG: No, actually I went back to Sichuan Province to live and work in the capital, Chengdu. This is a famous city, known for its spicy food - especially Sichuan hotpot - and also for its nice parks and generally slower pace of life. Outside Chengdu there is the famous panda reserve. In Chengdu, I worked in real estate sales.

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Posted in: Interviews, Beijing, China

Beijing Local Interview: Wei Jingqi

May 9, 2014 8:30:00 AM / by Stephanie Sadler

On our quest to introduce some of the locals in CAPA International Education's global city destinations, we look to Beijing where we meet with Wei Jingqi. She's from China's port city of Dalian originally, and managed to fulfil her dream of starting a life in Beijing when she came to study seven years ago. She now works in the capital. Below she talks about some of the everyday challenges she faces as a Beijinger, her experience volunteering at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and shares her best advice to American study abroad students heading to the city she calls home.

CAPA WORLD: Tell us a bit about yourself. Do you have an English name? Where in China did you grow up? How long have you lived in Beijing?
WEI JINGQI: My name is (Wei) Jingqi and my English name is Helen. It was given to me by my English teacher in senior middle school.

I grew up in Dalian, in Liaoning Province. Dalian is a beautiful and clean city. The weather is warm in the summer, and not so cold in the winter. Walking along the beach with my family and friends is the most unforgettable memory in my life so far. There's also a bridge on Binhai Road called Beida Bridge which is known as the bridge of lovers. When people get married, they often walk along the bridge together to symbolize the start of a happy and loving life together. Dalian is a place that is really worth visiting.

I have been in Beijing for nearly seven years. I first came to Beijing in 2007, the year before the Olympics.


Photo: People's Square in Dalian, China by Jackson Lee

CW: What brought you to Beijing?
WJ: I came to study at university here and graduated in 2011. When I was at university, I won the first prize in the English competition for college students. Then I got a job in Wudaokou, near the famous Tsinghua University. Currently, I work as a translator (Mandarin and English) in Wangjing, which means I have a long journey from home to work. Mainly I translate articles, but sometimes I also do oral translation.

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Posted in: Interviews, Beijing, China

Chinese Holiday Culture by Colin Speakman

Feb 6, 2014 10:36:37 AM / by Stephanie Sadler

We've asked CAPA's Director of China Programs, Colin Speakman, work works regularly between CAPA cities Beijing and Shanghai, to share his insights on Chinese holiday culture.

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Chinese Lunar New Year has just brought us into the Year of the Horse, and the week following that day is known as the Spring Festival. Chinese people in the mainland are finally getting some lengthy vacation time, and they do it big time!

However, let’s back track to the concept of holidays in China generally. Chinese professionals work long hours and typically get only one or two weeks of paid vacation that they can take at any time (an exception is school and university staff with two long closure periods). They also do not receive overtime for working long hours each week, and some weekend work is not unusual. Basically, China just likes to keep going, pumping output to keep the GDP growing at over 7 percent a year. The government frets at the seasonal impact of the holidays on these figures.

travelling in China - Chengdu, China
Photo: Chinese National Day travel in Chengdu by Szymon Kochański

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Posted in: Shanghai, China, Beijing, China

CAPA Beijing Study Abroad Alum Interview: Michael Baptiste

Jan 24, 2014 8:16:00 AM / by Stephanie Sadler


Photo: Michael meeting a monk in China

Michael Baptiste is CAPA International Education's second student from Florida Memorial University (FMU), an historically black college and university in Miami, to study for a Fall semester on the CAPA Program in Beijing at Capital Normal University (CNU). Here Michael reflects on how this helped him fulfill his dream of traveling to China, understanding more about China and meeting the locals.

Photo: Michael with other CAPA students in Shanghai Jing An Temple area

CAPA WORLD: Tell us a bit about yourself.
MICHAEL BAPTISTE: I am Michael Baptiste. I’m from Miami, Florida, studying business administration, and I will be graduating from FMU in the spring of 2014.

CW: Did you meet Jarvay Hammonds from our Fall Semester 2012 and, if so, did his experience inspire you to come to China?
MB: Yes, Jarvay was a friend of mine prior to his experience with CAPA in the fall semester of 2012. I had the idea to go study abroad in Italy at first, but then after looking at their economy I began to have second thoughts about making the journey to Europe. Then one day I spoke to Jarvay and he began to tell me about his experiences abroad and how amazing it was for him. Afterwards I started doing my research and realized how fast the Chinese economy was growing and then I decided I would travel to Beijing China to study.

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Posted in: CAPA Alumni, Interviews, Beijing, China

CAPA Resident Director of China Programs Interview: Colin Speakman

Jan 17, 2014 8:14:00 AM / by Stephanie Sadler


Photo: Colin Speakman with CAPA China colleagues at end of year dinner 2013

Having lived and worked extensively in both CAPA global cities in China - Beijing and Shanghai, Director of China Programs Colin Speakman has acquired a wealth of knowledge to share with students studying abroad in these locations. Below he shares some of his favorite hidden gems in both cities, an excellent reason why studying abroad in China is important and why he's excited about CAPA's new Summer International Business Program in Shanghai.

CAPA WORLD: Tell us a bit about your work with CAPA.
COLIN SPEAKMAN: I am based mainly in Beijing, the political capital of China. I am the Director of China Programs and I first worked for CAPA in Fall 2010.

CW: How long have you lived in Beijing and what brought you there? Which area do you call home?
CS: I first came to China just over 10 years ago while working in international education, spending a few months in Beijing, Nanjing and Shanghai each year till January 2008 when I moved to Nanjing and then Shanghai to live. I switched my base to Beijing in Spring 2011 as CAPA expanded programs there.

Shanghai, the economic capital, always feels like my home in China and I have the most friends there. However, although I came to China after living a few years in the USA, as a Brit I have to regard my ancient home as London. Having lived on three continents, I am pleased to be able to write a regular column for CAPA World called "Connecting Global Cities".


Photo: Sculptures in 798 Art District in Beijing by Colin Speakman

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Posted in: Interviews, Shanghai, China, Beijing, China

CAPA Study Abroad Alum Brian Kaniuka Reflects on a Semester in Beijing

Jan 13, 2014 8:08:00 AM / by Stephanie Sadler

Photo: Brian in Beijing's famous 798 Art District

A pioneer for study abroad to China from Lebanon Valley College, Brian Kaniuka reflects on his Fall Semester 2013 with CAPA International Education in Beijing as an experience that has truly helped him grow. Below, Brian talks about arriving in Beijing, his rewarding internship with Vandergeeten and experiencing Shanghai, another CAPA global city.

Photo: Brian with CAPA Director and other students in Tiananmen Square, during orientation tour

As soon as I stepped off the plane at Beijing Capital Airport, I knew that the next four months of my life would be like nothing I had ever experienced before. I had previously studied abroad during the summer between my sophomore and junior year in Maastricht, the Netherlands, but Beijing was nothing like my time there. For most Americans, they have never experienced anything like Beijing before and for me, that was exactly what grabbed my attention and made me want study abroad in China.

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Posted in: CAPA Alumni, Shanghai, China, Beijing, China

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