Advice: Spend Your Time Exploring and Becoming Culturally Experienced

Jul 6, 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 his last post, Brandon reflects on his semester abroad and shares 3 major ways he has changed, as well as vital advice for future study abroad students.

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Hello, I hope your week is going well! This is my last post as an official CAPA blogger, and it is bittersweet. On one hand, this means that my time studying abroad is over and I get to return home to see friends and family, but on the other, I have had the most amazing experiences of my life while in Dublin and Ireland now feels like my home-away-from-home. I should add that I will not be returning home immediately, however. I am currently on a family vacation around Europe, and I will be spending some part of the summer working on a vineyard in Spain.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Dublin_Spring2018_From Brandon Mooney - Self-Outside Temple BarThis is me outside Temple Bar.

I would like to spend my final post reflecting on my study abroad experience. Looking back on who I was before going abroad and who I am now, I can see several significant, positive changes. First, I am far more confident in myself. Being abroad separates you from your traditional support networks, be they friend or family-based, and it forces you to find strength within yourself. Second, I am more comfortable being friendly with strangers.

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

How I Knew Sydney Was the Right Choice

Jul 1, 2018 11:30:00 AM / by Marianne Zarzar

Marianne Zarzar

Marianne is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Deviance major at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, she is studying abroad in Sydney this semester.

In this week's post, Marianne discusses how she made the decision to study abroad and why Sydney is the right city for her.

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I still cannot believe I made it to Sydney! I wake up every day and feel excited about having been given this amazing opportunity to not only visit Sydney, but also be able to complete an internship and experience the Australian workplace.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Sydney_Summer2018_From Marianne Zarzar - One of My First Photos of SydneyThis is one of the first pictures I took once I arrived in Sydney. T
his is the view with my back toward the Sydney Opera House.

A lot of people I have talked with have told me that they had planned to study abroad in Sydney for a long time, which wasn’t really the case for me. I knew I wanted to study abroad, but I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go. I went to an international school during my senior year of high school, which gave me the opportunity to interact with people from countries I didn’t even know existed. That experience has made me want to travel more and learn about other cultures. Despite knowing I wanted to study abroad, I waited until the last minute to apply to this program, and it wasn’t until that moment that I decided to specifically apply to come to Sydney. I say this not to encourage people to make last-minute decisions, like I did, but rather to reassure you that if you are still undecided about where to go, or if you should study abroad at all, you can still do it and have time to decide. Use all the resources available to you! I talked with my parents, academic advisor, and friends before deciding, which definitely helped.

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Posted in: Sydney, Australia, Practical Study Abroad Advice, Study Abroad

10 Practical Ways to Fit In Better in Dublin

Jun 29, 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 counts 10 practical ways to fit in better as you study and intern abroad in Dublin.

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As this is my last blog in Ireland, I have decided to make this post about how to better fit in as an American in Dublin. Although letting you in on some trade secrets of a 4-month study abroad student may seem like cheating, I would have liked to have known some of these things before I arrived. Also, it just seemed like a fun way to close out my time here. However, don’t worry, I have one last post after this, but it will be written as a reflection on my time here.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Dublin_Spring2018_From Brandon Mooney - Grafton StreetThe stereotypical Irish weather.

1. What to Pack

Do not put any stock in online articles telling you how to dress in Ireland. I know that I read a few that told me that only American tourists wear jeans. This is nonsense. Everyone wears jeans everywhere. In addition, some articles are going to tell you to pack tons of heavy sweaters. Once again, this is nonsense and will only take up space in your luggage. Pack a good jacket and some sweaters if you’re a sweater person and you’ll be fine.

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Posted in: Dublin, Ireland, Practical Study Abroad Advice, Top 10

A Student Experience with the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS)

May 11, 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 gives us a look at his experience with the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS). If you have any questions, please consult your CAPA Admissions Advisor or Program Manager.

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Although it may seem boring and unnecessary, I would like to devote this blog to the task of registering with the Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service (INIS).

CAPAStudyAbroad_Dublin_Spring2018_From Brandon Mooney - INIS WebsiteThe INIS homepage for appointments.

As a non-EU student, you need to get a visa in order to stay in Ireland legally. When you first arrive at Dublin Airport, you will walk up to the INIS immigration officer behind his window and explain that you’re not a tourist but a student looking to study in Ireland for the course of the semester. The officer might ask to see your documentation proving that you are indeed studying at Griffith College, but will most certainly stamp your passport. This stamp has a date on it that shows what is officially known as your “permission to remain.”

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Posted in: Dublin, Ireland, Practical Study Abroad Advice

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

My Advice on How to Get Yourself Acquainted with Florence

Dec 26, 2017 3:30:00 PM / by Irene Kanthan

Kristopher (also known as Kip) is an official CAPA vlogger for fall 2017, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Finance major at University of Colorado - Boulder, he is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

In his last post, Kristopher looks back on his study abroad and shares simple ways to quickly integrate with life in Florence.

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Thanks Kip!

See more of Kristopher's journey in Florence.

Learn More about the CAPA Florence Program

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Posted in: Practical Study Abroad Advice, Florence, Italy, Reflection

4 Pieces of Airport Advice for First-Time Travelers

Dec 14, 2017 8:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

You’ve been waiting to travel to a different country for the longest time, and that moment has finally come. You know this is a journey you’ve been working up to. From city to city and state to state, your travel experiences have been accumulating for your first major trip overseas for your study abroad. While there may be similar aspects to the type of travel you’ve accomplished back home, getting on your first international flight will be quite the experience.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Sydney_Fall2017_From Hanna Okhrimchuk - Sydney from the Plane.jpg

1. Be Prepared

Start your preparations early on--both mentally and packing-wise. Whether you’re an experienced or last-minute packer, it helps to go through 1 or 2 rounds of asking yourself whether you really need what you’re packing. Keep all your important documents together in a safe and handy manner. Unsure about the airport you’ll be stopping over and arriving at? Do some research to see what amenities are available during your travel.

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Posted in: Travel, Practical Study Abroad Advice, Tips

From Professor to Student: Study Abroad and Career Building Advice

Nov 17, 2017 3:30:00 PM / by Irene Kanthan

Hanna-Okhrimchuk-Profile-Photo.png

Hanna is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Marketing, Finance, and International Business major at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, Carlson School of Management, she is studying abroad in Sydney this semester.

In this week's post, Hanna interviews CAPA Professor Andy West on how students can make the most of their experiences studying abroad in Sydney.

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I cannot believe we are about done! A week ago, we all had our last days in our classes and at our internships. As we were trying to wrap up all the assignments and exams, we were all also hectically trying to pack. Now, looking back at the program I feel that it was a great time—one to be grateful for.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Sydney_Fall2017_From Hanna Okhrimchuk - Bondi Coastal Walk_1.jpg

Many of us, especially back in the U.S., are concerned about academics and education systems these days. I was glad that the professors and CAPA staff in Australia were very easy to approach and communicate with. During my final week, I decided to talk to one of my professors to reflect on the experience with CAPA from a different perspective. Andy West, a CAPA Sydney professor, leads the International Economics and the Global Internship course. I really enjoyed both his classes and felt like I had a lot of opportunity to get to know my professor and the Australian culture better, as well as also engaging in interesting conversations on various topics. Thus, I decided to conduct a small quick interview and ask him a couple of questions. Read on for his responses and see what advice he has to share.

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Posted in: Sydney, Australia, Practical Study Abroad Advice, Sydney Interviews

How I Packed Efficiently for My Semester Abroad

Sep 11, 2017 3:30:33 PM / by Irene Kanthan

CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Fall2017_Celess-Valle_Headshot.png

Celess is an official CAPA vlogger for fall 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Business Administration major at Riverside City College, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

In her first post, Celess shows us how she fit everything in her bags without going over the weight limit.

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Thanks Celess!

Celess' journey continues every Monday so stay tuned.

Learn More about the CAPA Florence Program

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Posted in: Practical Study Abroad Advice, Florence, Italy, Predeparture & Study Abroad Preparations

The Gilman Scholarship: How to Look for Other Ways to Fund Study Abroad

Aug 7, 2017 8:30:00 AM / by Julie Ritz

A CAPA Student Interview: Sarah Pressler

CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Summer2017_From Sarah Pressler 1.jpg
Photo: Me & Mauro. Meeting up with an old Twitter friend before the program started. I never thought we'd ever meet in real life, but here we are enjoying Italy! What a treat.

Meet Sara Pressler, a Public Administration major and Honors Studies minor from Texas State University who is studying abroad in Florence this semester, summer 2017. Below, she talks about being a recipient of the Gilman Scholarship, why she chose to study abroad, and ways you can look for more scholarship opportunities.

CAPA WORLD: Tell us a bit about yourself.
SARAH PRESSLER: My study abroad program has brought me from Texas State University in San Marcos, TX, to Florence, Italy. I'm finishing up my bachelor's degree in Public Administration and my minor in Honors Studies. In the fall I'll begin working on my Masters in Legal Studies with ABA Paralegal Certification. Texas State University is currently the only college in the state of Texas to offer a combination degree program where you earn your Masters AND certification as a Paralegal through an ABA (American Bar Association) program. It's an amazing opportunity for those of us who want to work in the legal field but do not want to, or cannot, attend law school. I'm looking forward to diving into the program! Other than academics, at the moment, my hobbies and interests are focused on my four children ages 20, 17, 15, and 13. Between home life and academic life, the only other interest I have is napping!

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Posted in: Interviews, Practical Study Abroad Advice, Financing Study Abroad

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