All the Places I Explored During My First Week in London

Sep 24, 2018 12:30:00 PM / by Genevieve Rice

Genevieve Rice

Genevieve Rice is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An English Literature major at Anderson University, she is studying abroad in London this semester.

In this week's post, Genevieve explores London spontaneously and shares her first impressions of the city.


In the past few days, I have discovered that the best way to get to know a city is simply to get lost in it. Take the back alleys and go down the strange side streets, and then make yourself find your way home through common sense—or with your phone. Over the past week and a half, I have tried many different ways of touring London, but I enjoy getting off the tube and picking a direction, then following my gut reactions to the streets that I am traversing. This method always leads me to find the most fantastic things, from a new favorite coffee shop to a fascinating museum. This is how I spent my weekend as I attempted to orient myself in this sprawling city. We only started classes last Monday, so many of the CAPA students utilized the first four days in London to introduce ourselves to the city. Each day revealed something new about this city that I am calling home for the next three months.

Covent Garden

On Friday, I started by exploring a little around the CAPA London center on Cromwell Road. The building is surrounded by museums, cafes, and shops. My first objective was to check out some of the museums.

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Posted in: London, England, First Thoughts

The Places I Visited During My First Week in Dublin

Sep 19, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Casey Rhode

Casey Rhode

Casey Rhode is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An Interdisciplinary Studies major at Arizona State University, she is studying abroad in Dublin this semester.

In this week's post, Casey shares her first thoughts about Dublin and the places she's visited so far in this global city.


I’m looking down and I see green, tons and tons of green…until I land and walk into the city where it’s buildings upon buildings, all shapes, sizes, and colors. In my first week in the city of Dublin I have been fully immersed and I’m loving every moment of it.

Croke Park

I have been blessed with three amazing roommates, one even from Arizona State University like me! We all get along and have similar ideas of how we want to keep the apartment and where to travel throughout the semester. We’ve set a goal of 3-4 places besides Ireland to travel to, so we’ll see if we can accomplish that while also attending classes and internships.

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Posted in: Dublin, Ireland, Activities Abroad, First Thoughts

Arriving to a Royal Sighting in London

Sep 14, 2018 4:30:00 PM / 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 his first impressions of London and how he stumbled upon the Duke and Duchess of Sussex during a casual stroll.


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.

By Tower Bridge

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, Cultural Insights, First Thoughts

CAPA Orientation in Barcelona: Arriving and Exploring the City

Sep 13, 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 arrives in Barcelona to a CAPA orientation kicking off her first few activities while exploring the city.


Several days ago, I experienced one of the craziest, most exciting, and terrifying days of my life. I left Boston and flew thousands of miles away to take part in CAPA Barcelona’s Fall semester. It was pretty hard to leave my loved ones behind for this long period of time. However once I got past all the tears (and there were A LOT of them), the excitement kicked in again and I couldn’t WAIT to land in Barcelona. Upon arrival in Barcelona, the first thing I noticed was how huge their central airport was. I have been to big airports before, but was surprised to see that Barcelona’s airport was much like a shopping mall with lots of places to eat and many stores. When I stepped off the plane, I saw massive amounts of people waiting by the departures exit holding signs, balloons, and presents for their loved ones who were arriving. I have only seen that in movies! Especially the amount of people there were waiting.

Exploring the City During Orientation

Finding my flat by taxi was easy, and in no time I was all moved in! My flatmates are very nice, and we all went out that night to find dinner and get to know each other a bit—but jet lag won this battle and we were all in bed by at least 8.30pm or 9pm. The next day was orientation.

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Posted in: Orientation, Barcelona, Spain, First Thoughts

How My Packing Woes Turned into Pre-departure Lessons

Sep 5, 2018 11:00:00 AM / by Martyn Megaloudis

Martyn Megaloudis

Martyn Megaloudis is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Marketing major at the University of Pittsburgh, he is studying abroad in Sydney this semester.

In his first post, Martyn talks about his preparation to study abroad in Sydney and reveals how he quickly learned from his packing mistakes by turning them into lessons.


Hey everyone!

My name is Martyn Megaloudis, and I’ll be blogging about my Fall semester with CAPA's Sydney Program. I am a 3rd year senior at the University of Pittsburgh studying marketing. Before I went to Pittsburgh for college I lived in North Plainfield, New Jersey, for most of my life. In my spare time, I participate in Pittsburgh Attacks Cancer Together, and I am the social media chair for the Chi Colony of Pitt’s Sigma Pi fraternity. Other than that I enjoy going on hikes, heading to the movies, and discovering and listening to new music.


I would have like to have said that I heavily prepared for my semester abroad in terms of packing, but to be completely honest all of my preparation came about a day before my plane was scheduled to leave. I was so used to splitting my time moving between Pitt and New Jersey that it didn’t hit me until August 15th that I actually had to plan differently, instead of figuring out a carload of things to pack what I needed, I had to condense my semester into a single suitcase. I, then, took a few days to procrastinate on what to pack and waited until the day before to actually pack.

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Posted in: Sydney, Australia, Predeparture & Study Abroad Preparations, First Thoughts

Leading Up to My Decision to Study Abroad in Sydney

Aug 31, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Lorenzo Corazzin

Lorenzo Corazzin

Lorenzo Corazzin is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Global Studies major at the Arizona State University, he is studying abroad in Sydney this semester.

In his first post, Lorenzo reveals what went into his decision to study abroad in Sydney and shares some travel tips from his international experience.


The decision to study abroad for me came as a result of specific academic requirements for my Global Studies major at Arizona State University. I did not think the requirements were too excessive so I complied with them and decided that, because of logistics (I was already abroad), that the first semester of my senior year would be a perfect time to do a study abroad. The fact that through the CAPA program I would be able to get an internship during this time did make a big difference in the decision process, as I am entering a personal development phase where I value experience.

Photo of Myself with a Mural in Sydney

My expectations for Australia are to find it very similar to America for the most part, especially because Sydney, as a big international city, has some of the features of big cities everywhere. What I think is going to be different is the amount of first-generation immigrants and how their culture mixes with the Australian culture. I am excited about being in a harbor town since I love the sea—and I know Sydney has some breathtaking beaches. I also love being in new cities and exploring them, so that is also a plus.

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Posted in: Sydney, Australia, Predeparture & Study Abroad Preparations, First Thoughts

A Study Abroad Experience Four Years in the Making

Jun 25, 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 her first post, Alice recounts how her high school teacher's advice to study abroad stuck with her and shares why she went through this process independently to fulfill her summer abroad experience.


Study abroad. Even before entering college, I knew that it was something I’d have to do. I distinctly remember sitting in my AP Spanish class my senior year of high school and my teacher talking about her own experiences with studying out of the country during college.

“If you ever have the chance, take it. I promise it’s an experience you won’t forget.”

CAPAStudyAbroad_London_Summer2018_From Alice Ding - The London EyeSummer is the time to go to London, known for one of the rainiest cities in the world,
and yet almost everyday has been as beautiful as this!

I can remember how she was sitting, how she said it, and how those words have stuck with me ever since. Others I’ve talked to have emphasized the same thing, encouraging me at any and every opportunity to go abroad. “Do it, it’ll change your life forever.”

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Posted in: London, England, Study Abroad, First Thoughts

Shanghai: A City Like No Other

Mar 6, 2018 1:30:00 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 gets acquainted with Shanghai and shares her observations about this big city.


It's been a week and a day since arriving in Shanghai and things have been pretty wild. But at this point in time I'd like to say that I feel pretty integrated which is surprising. I didn't think I'd get the hang of things this early on.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Shanghai_Spring2018_From Jolena Hou - The Bund.jpeg

The first couple of days we had CAPA orientation. We were shown around campus and the city and were briefed on our classes for the semester. We got to know where to buy our basic necessities, and we ate good local food! We ended the four-day "orientation" by going to the Bund—probably the most iconic view of Shanghai.

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Posted in: Shanghai, China, Orientation, First Thoughts

A New Environment Full of Promise

Feb 9, 2018 10:30:00 AM / 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 lands in Dublin and gets acquainted with his new neighborhood.


After a 5-hour flight from Providence, Rhode Island, long enough to eat one very mediocre, in-flight vegetarian meal and fruitlessly attempt to fall asleep amid heavy turbulence, I finally landed in Dublin International Airport. I will be honest: my first impression of Ireland was not overwhelmingly positive. Although it was 8:00 in the morning, the sun had yet to come up (a fact that is apparently normal), and the weather outside could be best described as cold, windy, and drizzly.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Dublin_Spring2018_From Brandon Mooney - Bright Door along South Circular Road.jpegA lot of the doors are painted in cool colors like this on South Circular Road.

Pushing aside encroaching jetlag, I followed my group as we were bundled into an awaiting Griffith taxi. Almost immediately, our driver single-handedly reversed my post-flight irritability. This was my first experience with an Irish local, and I must say, I was amazed by his excitement and willingness to take me on a whirlwind, verbal tour of central Dublin's greatest landmarks.

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Posted in: Dublin, Ireland, Arrival, First Thoughts

7 Ways to Keep Calm and Carry On Upon Arrival

Feb 1, 2018 1:30:00 PM / by Irene Kanthan

Rachel Cholewinski_Florence

Rachel is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Business Administration major at Merrimack College, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

In this week's post, Rachel tells us about her flight to Florence and lists 7 ways to remain calm upon arrival in your host city.


Ciao!! I have finally landed in Italia and I am taken back with all the beauty I am surrounded by. This past week has been crazy and at times overwhelming, but it already has been truly amazing! Being in Florence for a week, I have learned how to adjust to unplanned circumstances and to make the best out of situations. When first arriving at the Florence Airport I found out that my luggage was unfortunately still in Amsterdam (where I connected from).

CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Spring2018_From Rachel Cholewinski - Leaving JFK Airport.jpegLeaving JFK airport!

At first I panicked because not having my luggage arrive was actually the one thing I was VERY nervous about. I had to file a claim at the airport and come back to receive it the next day. Although this was definitely frustrating I was reminded about how amazing it was to even have this opportunity to be in Florence. I was immediately welcomed by CAPA staff which helped me calm my initial nerves and then a group of us were put into a taxi to check out our homes for the next four months!

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Posted in: Florence, Italy, First Thoughts, Tips


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