On Taking the Leap Abroad and Returning Home

Sep 6, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Hannah Hardenbergh

Hannah Hardenbergh

Hannah Hardenbergh is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An American History and Literature major at Harvard College, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

In her last post, Hannah reflects on her choice to study abroad in the summer and how she gained confidence to reach past cultural barriers to connect with locals and Florence's rich art and history.

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At first, I thought studying abroad didn’t really fit into my life as a student-athlete in college. As a Nordic skier, it’s hard to take more than a month off from training, and quite challenging to take a semester abroad and have a successful training year in preparation for the racing season. Though it’s been done, I simply wanted to focus on training, academics, and social events on campus at Harvard. However, this past year I had been nursing a foot injury, and when I found out about CAPA’s 6-week program, I decided that it would be a really great opportunity to study abroad while recuperating from my injury. I wasn’t 100% sure about the trip, even as I boarded the plane.

In Siena with My Friend TaylorMy new study abroad friend, Taylor, and I in Siena.

My friends and roommates had consulting and campaigning jobs lined up for the summer in hopes of finding a way to enter job markets for a future career, and meanwhile it seemed like I was dropping everything and fleeing to look at sculptures and arches for a while. However, I had forgotten that, despite constantly comparing myself to others, indulging in art and culture is what I have loved doing in my classes all along, and living in a new and exciting culture abroad was exactly what I wanted to be doing.

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Posted in: Florence, Italy, Reflection

Advice: Keep Your Eyes Up and Take In Buenos Aires

Aug 30, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Nora Callahan

Nora CallahanNora Callahan is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An International Affairs and Math major at Northeastern University, she is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.

In her last post, Nora reflects on her time abroad, why she was enthusiastic to document her experience, and how she got to know Buenos Aires better by being in the present—thanks to a broken phone.

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The first concrete challenge I encountered happened right as our first week in Buenos Aires was wrapping up. It’s embarrassing to admit, even though I wasn’t alone in this, but my phone broke. It was dropped in the rain and when my host family heard that...they said to put it in rice for a week in case it was the water. I was skeptical and thought that a week was a little excessive, but I really wasn’t in any position to turn down potentially phone-saving advice. So, I spent my second week in this foreign city without my regular trusty iPhone. What’s an American millennial abroad to do?

The Streets of Buenos Aires on FilmThe streets of Buenos Aires on film.

I actually really enjoyed the experience. I planned ahead with friends and ran into different people for some unplanned meetups on a few occasions. I used a, now very-well-loved, paper map of the city to get around and checked the time on whatever clock was in sight, thinking, “If I’ve left and am on my way, I will get there when I get there.” A cell phone will not change that.

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Posted in: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Practical Study Abroad Advice, Reflection

Coming Home: Reflecting on My Experience in Barcelona

Aug 27, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Julia Schroder

Julia Schroder

Julia Schroder is an official CAPA vlogger for summer 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Political Science and Global Studies major at Arizona State University, she is studying abroad in Barcelona this semester.

In her last vlog, Julia heads back home to Arizona and reflects on her study abroad experience and goals, as well as the strong relationships she has formed in Barcelona.

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Thanks Julia!

See more of Julia's journey in Barcelona.

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Posted in: Barcelona, Spain, Personal Learning, Reflection

How Studying Abroad in Florence Left Its Mark on Me

Aug 21, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Allyson Barnes

Allyson Barnes

Allyson Barnes is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An Anthropology, Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, and Studio Arts major at University of Colorado - Boulder, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

In her last post, Allyson reflects on her study abroad experience in Florence through all the changes and growth, as well as how the city has left its mark on her overall outlook and desire to work with people.

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Stepping off that plane after an agonizingly long flight home was bittersweet. My adventure was over. But I was welcomed with open arms, literally, from my entire family. I was able to sleep in my own bed, be with my dogs, and have American food again. Yet I found myself constantly thinking about what I missed in Italy. It had become a part of me, and me a part of it. I was able to find myself in that city, and I found a place. I knew the streets like the back of my hand by the end of my adventure. I knew public transportation like never before. I understood what adaptation by necessity truly meant, and how utterly difficult, yet so worth it, it was. I was still the same Ally in many ways, and yet in others I was new.

A Group Photo with My Friends in FlorenceA group photo with friends from Florence! 

Being home I have certainly noticed some changes in me, luckily all for the best. I am so much more open about everything and so hungry to learn about anything I can. I want something to constantly surprise me so that I am challenged to learn more and think deeper about everything from varying points of view. I wouldn’t have done any of that or felt this way if I hadn’t decided to study abroad. It changed me, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

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Posted in: Florence, Italy, Personal Learning, Reflection

7 Takeaways from My Study Abroad Experience

Aug 6, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Alice Ding

Alice Ding

Alice Ding 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 last post, Alice reflects on her semester abroad in London and 7 important things she's taken away from this experience, including some of the challenges she has overcome.

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My study abroad experience has been everything that I’ve imagined and more. While I can’t exactly say that my life is forever changed and I’m a completely different person, I can say that it was an experience that I’d highly recommend to anyone and everyone and that I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I’ve fallen in love with London and am keen on visiting again, whether it be for more school or just for travel.

CAPAStudyAbroad_London_Summer2018_From Alice Ding - In Front of Tower BridgeThis was from my first weekend in London on the bus tour provided by CAPA.
How time flies!

In general, though, to sum my experience up as best I can, here are 7 takeaways from my study abroad semester in London as well as some of the challenges I faced along the way.

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Posted in: London, England, Personal Learning, Reflection

Take Time to Enjoy the Small and Unexpected Moments

Jul 30, 2018 4:30:00 PM / by Julia Schroder

Julia Schroder

Julia Schroder is an official CAPA vlogger for summer 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Political Science and Global Studies major at Arizona State University, she is studying abroad in Barcelona this semester.

In this week's vlog, Julia shows us how she enjoys the small moments in Barcelona and finds joy just by living in the present.

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Thanks Julia!

Julia's journey continues every Monday so stay tuned.

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Posted in: Barcelona, Spain, Reflection

The Empowering Experience of Studying, Interning, and Living Abroad

Jul 9, 2018 10:30:00 AM / 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 her last post, Claire reflects on her study abroad, international internship, and living experiences in Buenos Aires, and how the past few months will color a lot of her life and friendships.

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It’s so easy for people to ask, “Oh my gosh how was your semester abroad?!” but the answer is so complex.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Buenos Aires_Spring2018_From Claire Shrader - Saying Goodbye to Buenos AiresEnjoying some Coca-Cola with my friends before we say goodbye to Argentina!

It was amazing, in so many ways: amazing to get to use my Spanish in new settings, amazing to have an international internship and to learn how to work in the Argentine work environment, amazing to build community and to get to know people I met on my high school trips in a deeper way.

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Posted in: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Personal Learning, Reflection

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

My Favorite Buenos Aires Experiences So Far

Jun 4, 2018 10:30:00 AM / 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 enters into her fourth month in Buenos Aires and reflects on creating roots and relationships in this city.

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I had to laugh today because I saw a group of backpackers, dreadlocks pulled back with thick fabric headbands, hiking pants obviously going on a few uses and, unsurprisingly, all with Nalgene water bottles almost exactly the same as mine.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Buenos Aires_Spring2018_From Claire Shrader - Visiting Teatro Colon with FriendsVisiting Teatro Colon!

My water bottle is a novelty here. Sometimes I’m called, “Claire with the bottle” because people are so just not used to seeing water bottles, and especially not Nalgenes, which are massive. I guess I look a little something like those adventurous vagabonds wandering through the city with wonder in my eyes and a walk that obviously isn’t exactly sure where I’m going. And my water bottle, of course.

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Posted in: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Personal Learning, Reflection

Why the City of London is an Inspiration for Travel Writing

Mar 29, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

CAPA_ProfessorMichaelMeyer_TravelWriting_1.jpg

Award-winning author Michael Meyer will be teaching the Travel Writing course for CAPA this summer in London. As an accomplished travel writer, he has spent time in China and in different global cities, garnering bylines in notable outlets such as The New York Times, Time, the Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune among others. He has kindly accepted the invitation to share his thoughts on London on the CAPA World Blog.

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In London, history is always close at hand. The shelves of Charing Cross Road bookstores sag with guidebooks covering the capital’s food, art, architecture, statues, shops, tea, writers, war, buses, churches, jewels, flowers, ghosts, and “secret open spaces.” The longer you stay in London, the more you realize how little of it you’ve seen—despite the fact that in 1666, most of the city burned down.

CAPAStudyAbroad_London skyline - sunset.jpg

This ever-present past is unique to global capitals. I’ve written two travel books about China, but Chinese cities are different: the longer I lived there, the more aware I became of what I could never see, because in China progress often looks like destruction. In London you can drink a pint at the Thames-side pub where Samuel Pepys watched the Great Fire. In Beijing, it is surprising to find your favorite dumpling restaurant still standing after one year has passed, let alone 350.

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Posted in: London, England, Reflection

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