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

Orientation Day in Buenos Aires

Mar 5, 2018 1:30:00 PM / 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 wakes up to a different morning experience in Buenos Aires and gets to know her new campus and fellow classmates during orientation.


Though I've woken up to the incredible knowledge that I'm in Buenos Aires every morning for the past nine days, this morning was different. This morning I woke up and wasn't quite sure where I was, until I sat up and remembered that yesterday afternoon I moved from my host family from high school's home across the city to live closer to the university I'll be attending starting next week. This morning orientation started.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Buenos Aires_Spring2018_From Claire Shrader - Universidad Austral Sign.jpgA sign of my campus location!

For me, this morning looked like café con leche with pan tostado covered in dulce de leche, and a sweet hour of quiet time to read a devotional. After two months at home and then this past week with my Argentine family, it felt strange to be alone in the morning. Mornings in my house are a time to sit and be together, to enjoy coffee on the couch, to discuss our plans for the day. It felt kind of lonely to sit alone. But as I made café con leche, trying hard to make it taste as good as it does when my host mom makes it, I could see other city dwellers going about their own morning routines from the big windows in the kitchen. We were all going about our morning separately, and alone, but that window made it feel not lonely, after all.

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Posted in: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Orientation

Arriving in Florence: Exploring Our Beautiful Home

Sep 14, 2016 5:30:00 PM / by Stephanie Sadler Sides is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2016, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A psychology major, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester through the custom program at Norco College.

In this week's post, Kayla takes us on an orientation tour through the city, shares her first impressions and shows us her apartment for the semester.


Greetings! As I am finally relaxing and taking a break from the hustle and bustle of orientation festivities, so I decided to give you guys a recap of my journey and arrival in Florence!


I headed over to Riverside City College around 10am on Wednesday and waited around with the other students and staff until it was time to go to the airport. After the hour long bus ride, we arrived at the Tom Bradley terminal (I think that’s what it’s called). We waited a while for everyone to meet, but eventually we went through the check-in/security process like champs. By this time, we still had four hours to go before our flight left, so we walked around, ate some food, and talked about everything we were excited about!

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Posted in: Official Bloggers and Vloggers, Florence, Italy, Arrival, Orientation

Arriving in London & Study Abroad Orientation

Sep 14, 2016 8:00:00 AM / by Stephanie Sadler

CAPAStudyAbroad_London_Fall2016_From_Katrina_Katie_Deisler_-_Profile.jpgKatrina Deisler is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2016, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A student at Rollins College, she is studying abroad in London this semester.

In this week's post, Katrina shares her experience of arriving in London and her thoughts as she attended orientation, explored her neighborhood and started to settle in to life in the city.


After a long day in airports, I arrived in London early Tuesday morning. After meeting up with friends from my home school, we jumped in a cab (with my massive amount of luggage), and headed to our new home. I was pleasantly surprised by our flat! I was expecting something small and dingy and our flat, while close quarters, is bright and open (one of the larger flats in the building), with skylights that let in the sunshine. One thing that surprised me was the lack of air conditioning, which is standard in the UK. It was pretty warm while moving in, but since then I’ve never felt too hot or uncomfortable without AC.

Photo: Exploring Piccadilly Circus

After unpacking, my roommate and I attended the CAPA-led walking tour of the neighborhood. While the tour was short, it really helped me get my bearings and feel more at ease knowing that everything I needed was just steps outside my door (one of the first things I had to scope out was the nail salon, of course). Our apartment is located just above a grocery store meaning I don’t have to lug my groceries for a long walk or on public transportation. I’ve heard very similar feedback from other CAPA students. While the accommodations and flats themselves are always different (even within the same building), CAPA does really well making sure all students have access to the same amenities near their flats.

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Posted in: London, England, Official Bloggers and Vloggers, Arrival, Orientation

Westering “Home”: Arriving in Sydney

Aug 30, 2016 8:30:00 AM / by Julie Ritz

CAPAStudyAbroad_Sydney_Fall2016_Matthew_Benczkowski_Square_Profile.jpgMatthew Benczkowski is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2016, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A molecular biology major at the University of Pittsburgh, he is studying abroad in Sydney this semester.

In this week's post, Matthew talks about his arrival to Sydney, despite a few changes to his initial plans, and his orientation events.


Eckhart Tolle once said, “Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there.’” On my way to Sydney, I'm not sure if anything felt so accurate. The trip I took was dreadful, not meaning it was dangerous in any way, but rather out of my hands.

Photo: My travel mates, Liz, Meg and I after missing our connecting flight

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Posted in: Sydney, Australia, Arrival, Orientation


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