Wearing the Poppy: Poetry and the First World War

Nov 9, 2018 2:36:00 PM / by Dr. Michael Woolf

What we remember

The ending of the First World War (1914- 1918) will be widely commemorated on November 11th  2018. It was a global conflict that began and ended in Africa; thirty per cent of the British troops served on the Eastern Front. The conflict reshaped the international environment.  Old monarchies failed. The Austro-Hungarian and the Ottoman Empires collapsed. New countries in Europe and the Middle East emerged from the ruins including Czechoslovakia, Poland, Yugoslavia, the Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Serbia, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Trans-Jordan. The consequences of that war are still part of our global political landscape.

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Posted in: International Education, History Abroad, Cultural Insights

7 Ways CAPA Students Can Experience Cultural Immersion

Nov 5, 2018 11:13:48 AM / by Jessie Gibson

When you are thousands of miles from home in a new country, how do you break out of the “American bubble” and actively integrate in the host culture? In this post, we’re checking in with our students to see how they have explored different avenues for cultural immersion in their Global City.

Here are just a few examples of how you can learn about cultural traditions, meet locals, and go beyond while abroad!

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Posted in: Cultural Insights, Local Culture, Why Study Abroad, Cultural Immersion

An Excursion to Featherdale Wildlife Park and the Blue Mountains

Oct 31, 2018 10:19:17 AM / by Martyn Megaloudis

In this week's post, Martyn highlights the CAPA trip to the Blue Mountains and Featherdale Wildlife park, discussing how important it is to immerse yourself in the natural environment of a place like Australia when you're abroad to fully understand the culture. 

For this week’s blog post I wanted to talk about a CAPA sponsored trip that I went on this weekend to Featherdale Wildlife Park and the Blue Mountains. This was a trip that I was particularly excited for because as I mentioned in my introduction and first blog posts (which I’m sure you all read numerous times by now) hiking remains one of my favorite activities to do in my free time. It’s an incredibly therapeutic and relaxing experience for me and a good walk is more than enough to turn a bad day into a good one for me. Granted hiking with me involves seven near death slips, six actual slips and a ballpark estimate of close to five thousand stops for water but that’s beside the point (and myself).

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Posted in: Local Culture, Cultural Insights, Sydney, Australia, Activities Abroad, My Global City

Talking About My Generation

Oct 30, 2018 2:30:00 PM / by Dr. Michael Woolf

Well, people try to put us down.
Talkin' bout my generation.
Just because we get around.
I'm not trying to cause a big sensation.
I'm just talkin' bout my generation.

—The Who (written by Marley, Carter, Jones etc.)

The idea that being born at a particular point in time creates some kind of collective identity is a relatively recent invention. The idea of a “generation” only came to be used to distinguish the younger from the older in the early 20th century. As an arbitrary means of interpreting historical change, it implies that those born within a given period are invested with distinctive behavioral traits. Sarah Laskow argued that “Societal generations are a relatively modern idea, hit upon by 19th century European intellectuals and refined in the beginning of the 20th century.” The idea of the generation offers a mechanism by which we impose some kind of pattern upon history: a model defined by age conflict.

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Posted in: Study Abroad, International Education, Cultural Insights

Why Experiencing Other Cultures Helps You Better Understand Your Own

Oct 24, 2018 9:00:00 AM / by Martyn Megaloudis

In this week's post Martyn reflects on how his interactions with people from across the globe and their perceptions of him as an 'American' has changed his own perception of US culture.

I had the opportunity to experience a community outside of my host city by traveling to Melbourne this week. I decided to stay in a hostel called The Nunnery, located in the heart of Melbourne in a neighborhood called Fitzroy. Built in 1888, The Nunnery is a beautiful Georgian style building that has an amazing interior. What was really special about the Nunnery was the variety of different travelers that I got to talk with. Getting to interact with so many different cultures had me finally taking into consideration my place as an American studying abroad.

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Posted in: Local Culture, Cultural Insights, Cultural Differences, Sydney, Australia

Experiencing London Sub-cultures Inside & Outside the Classroom

Oct 4, 2018 12:48:25 PM / by Christopher Halka

In this week's post, Christopher discusses one of his unique CAPA Courses: Post War British Pop/Subculture. He  highlights the field-trip style setting of the class, including a visit to the Shoreditch neighborhood.

As another week has passed and midterms are right around the corner.  I thought a good topic for this week’s installment would be to discuss my experiences in the classroom. This semester I am taking four classes, Global Supply Chain Management, Post-War British Pop/Subcultures, Exploring and Analyzing the Global City, and my Internship workshop. I enjoy the perspective of challenging myself and ultimately look forward to my time in the classroom each week, I’m going to highlight some of the experiences from my favorite class Post War British Pop/Subculture.

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Posted in: London, England, Cultural Insights, Classes in London, Local Culture

3 Ways Study Abroad Helps You See the World Through a New Lens

Oct 1, 2018 10:26:34 AM / by Christopher Halka

Christopher Halka

Christopher Halka is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An Accounting major at Siena College, he is studying abroad in London this semester.

In this week's post, Christopher reveals three ways he's noticed his perspectives on school, life, and his own abilities had changed since beginning his CAPA London program. 

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So far, as I have completed roughly one quarter of the London Program, I have been fully immersed in the hustle and culture in one of the biggest cities in the entire world. My experiences both inside and outside of the classroom have given me a new inspiration of what it means to be a student. It has been a world of difference compared to my experience back at my university in the United States.

Me at StonehengeMe at Stonehenge

Going to school in upstate New York you often find yourself with a lot of free time on your hands and very few creative or adventurous outlets depending on the season; four months of the year there is permanent snow on the ground with constant winds and freezing temperatures. During these long winter months last year, I developed a habit of playing video games so much that it eventually cut into my study time for my classes. Back in my environment at school I often found myself in a cycle where I would be comfortable with not putting my best foot forward when came time to study for tests. My grades were reflective of my efforts, they were enough to meet my scholarship requirements, but they ultimately haven’t been what I have been striving for each semester (which is straight A’s). Now, my outlook towards classes is forever changing, so here are 3 areas where  I've seen my perspective changing this semester, and where yours might too!

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Posted in: London, England, Cultural Insights, Personal Learning

Experiencing Cultural Immersion in Italy Through CAPA's 'Ganzo!' Program

Sep 28, 2018 10:07:46 AM / by Payton Meyer

In this week's post, Payton gets together with a local Italian family through CAPA's 'Ganzo!' program to help them practice their English and experience for herself what the day-to-day life of a Florence local is actually like!

Ciao! I just got back from one of my favorite experiences I’ve had in Florence thus far. CAPA offers a wonderful program called ‘Ganzo!’ which translates to ‘Cool!’ in Italian, that gives students the chance to immerse themselves in the Italian culture by meeting regularly for dinner with an Italian family. I chose to participate, as it sounded like a truly invaluable opportunity that no CAPA student should pass up. I got to meet the family that I was paired with for the first time this afternoon, and can already tell that this is going to be a life-changing experience.

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Posted in: Florence, Italy, Personal Learning, Cultural Insights, Activities in Florence

Understanding the National Day of Catalonia in Spain

Sep 20, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Maya Crawford

Maya Crawford

Maya Crawford is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Business Administration major at  University of Massachusetts Lowell, she is studying abroad in Barcelona this semester.

In this week's post, Maya shares her experience from the National Day of Catalonia and what she learned about its local significance.

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My city for this semester is, of course, Barcelona, and in this blog post I will talk about an event that went way beyond my expectations. It is about the National Day of Catalonia, a day where people come together and peacefully protest for the independence of Catalonia. Our accommodation is very close to the center of Barcelona, which was perfect for us because we were located right at the beginning of the parade.

Experience the National Day of Catalonia with LocalsThe crowd cheering all at once and waving their flags for independence.

As soon as we left our apartment, we saw a sea of people covered in red and yellow clothing, flags, and face paint! Back home in Boston there have been protests, parades, celebrations, and more, but I have never seen anything quite like this. Aerial views of the gathering showed so many people, some said there was almost a million out in the streets—and I believe that wasn’t an exaggeration.

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Posted in: Barcelona, Spain, Cultural Insights

From Arrival to a Royal Sighting in London

Sep 14, 2018 4:30:00 PM / by Christopher Halka

Christopher Halka is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An Accounting major at Siena College, he is studying abroad in London this semester.

In this week's post, Christopher reveals his first impressions of London and how he stumbled upon the Duke and Duchess of Sussex during a casual stroll.

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I embarked for my semester-long journey on the evening of September 4th. Upon my arrival into Heathrow Airport the next day, I found myself enjoying a cup of tea at Costa Coffee when I was warmly greeted into the United Kingdom by the Heathrow Baggage Claims Staff. They performed a choreographed dance demonstrating proper airport etiquette to ABBA’s Dancing Queen. After enjoying a good laugh from the performance, I instantly started to feel more comfortable amongst my surroundings. I then took the lift down to the Underground platform.

My first experience getting on the tube during the early morning commute felt a lot like I was a sardine stuck inside a tin can. However coming from New York City, I have dealt with this same scenario on many occasions. After getting off at Earl’s Court Station, I was then dealt with the next task of finding my way to my new flat. It was in this moment that I had my first experience of culture shock. 

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Posted in: London, England, First Thoughts, Cultural Insights

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