On Homesickness, Keeping in Touch, and Being Present

May 7, 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 talks about the ways she keeps in touch with her family and friends back home and how she toggles between speaking in Spanish and English.

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Within our first week here, we had a guest lecturer on culture shock. I kind of rolled my eyes through most of the conversation. I had arrived to Argentina early, and this was my third time here. I loved it, and thought surely I, the one who has been drinking mate and making empanadas at home for six years now, won’t experience culture shock or homesickness or any of the normal things. After all, I love Argentina.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Buenos Aires_Spring2018_From Claire Shrader - FaceTiming from Argentina to the USVideo chatting between Argentina and the U.S. What a joy to be connected!

I do love Argentina. And though I knew Argentina when I got here in February, I knew it like you know someone after a couple of dates. I was still enamored with every part of it and my knowledge was more dreamy idealizations than reality. After two-and-a-half months, I’m not so naïve as to say I know Argentina like I’m married to it, but I know it like a best friend. I still adore it and am enamored with it and so thankful to call it my home for the time being, but sometimes I get frustrated with it or, dare I say it, homesick.

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Posted in: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Homesickness, Tips

10 Helpful Tips for a Stress-Free Break in Europe

Mar 30, 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 shares 10 travel tips that will help you plan your own trips and have a great time between destinations.

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I thought that I would use this blog post to give 10 helpful tips on traveling in Europe. I traveled to Poland, Germany, and Switzerland over spring break, visiting Poznan, Berlin, Nuremberg, Munich, and Zürich.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Dublin_Spring2018_From Brandon Mooney - Merchant's Houses in Poznan, PolandMerchant's Houses in Poznan, Poland

1. Bring a water bottle

Bring a water bottle and fill it up before you go out for the day! Also, keep your eyes peeled while going about your day for water fountains to fill your water bottle if water starts to get low. In much of Europe, especially Germany, restaurants and food outlets will not provide tap water. As an American, I’m used to having a bottomless cup of free water whenever I go out to eat, but this is not the case in Europe. In Germany, I had to buy a bottle of water at every restaurant, and they often charge exorbitant prices. For instance, at a restaurant in Berlin, a bottle of water was 5.90 euros.

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Posted in: Dublin, Ireland, Spring Break Abroad, Tips

3 Ways to Make Packing Easier

Feb 20, 2018 10:30:00 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 her first post, Jolena lists 3 packing tips to help you start your study abroad journey on the right track.

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I have had my suitcases out and open on my floor for the past two weeks because I just can't seem to commit. There are way too many things I need and too little space in these rolling boxes. Why am I even writing about packing when I'm struggling with it myself? So that you and I can read this now and then probably read about all the things I didn't need later. Today I'll be sharing three packing tips I've read/received. Hopefully it'll help those who plan to study abroad or travel!

CAPAStudyAbroad_Shanghai_Spring2018_From Jolena Hou - Predeparture_1.pngYou can find a packing list on Pinterest.

1. Get a Packing List

First off, I have too many clothes. And when it comes down to narrowing them down, you might as well be asking me to pick my favorite child. Along with this I'm a major procrastinator, so I've been putting off packing for as long as possible. But because I am planning on being abroad for about five or so months (traveling after my semester ends), I really can't procrastinate this (as much as I'm trying to). My first tip is to write a list of what you need and tape it up on the wall. If you're lazy like I am, just pull one off of Pinterest or Google! BAM! Your essential needs are written out for you so you won't forget them. For China, there were a couple of packing lists up on Pinterest already (made my life 10 times easier); I also looked up the weather for the months I'll be there and modified the list based on that.

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Posted in: Shanghai, China, Predeparture & Study Abroad Preparations, Tips

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.

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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

How Studying Abroad in Sydney Taught Me to Embrace Life

Jan 31, 2018 11:30:00 AM / 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 her last post, Hanna reflects on the challenges she's been through and how studying abroad opened doors for her to grow personally and professionally.

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It took me a while to organize my thoughts and come back to the reality of campus life. Studying abroad definitely had a huge impact on me; not only do I notice it, but my friends and family notice it as well. Though, I have been studying abroad in the U.S. for almost 5 years already, participating in the CAPA study and intern abroad program represented a way for me to exit my comfort zone.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Sydney_Fall2017_From Hanna Okhrimchuk - With Her Dog at Home.jpgBack home in Kyiv, Ukraine, with my dog!

Let me think about where I should begin. Australia has a pretty laid back and relaxed culture, and I think it affected me to the most positive extent. Ever since coming to the States and starting my education career here, I've felt tension and pressure to perform and act in a specific way. I don't know whether it was due to a cultural shock, an attempt to fit in, and/or other reasons. However, going to Australia helped me realize that there is so much more to this world and our lives…the stress and tension should not limit us in our actions and thoughts. Sometimes, we just need to relax, go with the flow, and enjoy good moments without overthinking and emotionally exhausting ourselves.

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Posted in: Sydney, Australia, Tips, Reflection

How to Create Interesting Vlogs

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

Maureen-Gleason-Profile-Photo.png

Maureen is an official CAPA vlogger for fall 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A BFA major at University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, she is studying abroad in London this semester.

In this week's post, Maureen shares her tips on creating interesting vlogs and how to be creative using video.

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Thanks Maureen!

Maureen's journey continues every Monday so stay tuned.

Learn More about the CAPA London Program

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Posted in: London, England, Tips

How to Solve Your Overpacking Problem and Survive a Long Flight

Jan 25, 2018 10:30:00 AM / 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 tackles overpacking, shares her packing list, and suggests 6 ways to survive a long flight.

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Tackling Overpacking

I am the queen of overpacking! As much as I want to bring ALL my shoes abroad… my suitcase just would not close. After talking to other students who went abroad, I ditched my overpacking madness and started figuring out what I actually needed. The main tip I have received when packing has been to pack basics (t-shirts, comfy shoes, a jacket, etc...) and to not stress about not having enough clothes because YOU WILL GO SHOPPING THERE. Florence in particular has a Zara, Brandy Melville, and H&M so if you do forget something you can easily pick it up there.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Spring2018_From Rachel Cholewinski - Packing_1.jpegA smaller suitcase that'll fit on the plane's overhead bin and for weekend travels.

With this in mind, I divided my list by figuring out what items I could get in Italy and the stuff I definitely needed to bring. For the most part I followed CAPA's guidelines for packing and just added a few extra details below that helped me along the way!

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Posted in: Florence, Italy, Predeparture & Study Abroad Preparations, Tips

How to Prepare for the End of Your Semester Abroad

Dec 19, 2017 11:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

Elizabeth is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Communication major at Lasell College, she is studying abroad in Dublin this semester.

In this week's post, Elizabeth shares some tips on how to prepare for the end of your semester abroad. 

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It is crazy to think about how three months ago I was writing a blog about how to adjust to being abroad for the first time. Now my last week has come and I cannot believe how fast time has flown. The last of the weekend trips has come to an end and the realization of the plane departure date is drawing near. The last few weeks of studying abroad can be exciting but also extremely busy. Here are a few tips on how to prepare for the end of your semester abroad.

Sunset from my dorm window

1. Start Packing Early

Yes, this is the number one advice... again. I am writing this while staring at my suitcases knowing that I should have started this process a little sooner. Although the bags may seem symbolic to ‘the end is near,’ it is important to at least think about the packing process a couple weeks out. Start by thinking about what you are going to pack and what you can leave behind. You can save space in your suitcase by leaving items that you bought at your abroad location or items you can buy when you return home. Save the spot where you were going to put your shampoo for a nice piece of art or t-shirt from your local city. Keep your eyes out and talk to your study abroad provider about donation areas for any items or clothing you won’t be bringing with you. If you can’t use it next semester, there is someone who can! The earlier you start to at least think about the packing process, the less daunting the task will actually be. To cheer yourself up while packing, throw on some music, open your door, and have a packing party with your friends!

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Posted in: Dublin, Ireland, Study Abroad, Tips

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

What is Reverse Culture Shock and Some Ways to Deal with It

Dec 4, 2017 11:30:00 AM / 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 this week's post, Celess explains what reverse culture shock is and how to spot it, as well as ways to deal with it after studying abroad.

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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: Florence, Italy, Life After Study Abroad, Tips

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