Having a GANZO Family in Florence: An Interview with Eileen Klawitter

Mar 23, 2017 5:30:00 PM / by Julie Ritz

CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Spring2017_From Danya Carithers - Square.jpgDanya Carithers is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A marketing major at the University of Pittsburgh, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

In this week's post, Danya interviews her roommate Eileen on CAPA's GANZO program.


Integrating oneself in a host country’s culture is something every student abroad strives and plans to do.  But once we get here, we find it difficult with language barriers, time restrictions, and just pushing ourselves even further out of our comfort zones. However CAPA has a new program called GANZO that they just began last year, which has helped a handful of students learn about real Italian culture in a fun, interactive way. This program teams a student up with an Italian family with whom they can eat dinner and spend time. I decided to ask my roommate, Eileen, about her experience so far with her GANZO family and what she has gained from it.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Spring2017_From Danya Carithers GANZO 1.png

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Posted in: Interviews, Florence, Italy, Volunteering Abroad

Embracing Two Volunteer Opportunities in Florence

Nov 30, 2016 8:30:00 AM / 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 shares her two different volunteering experiences from Florence this semester. 


If you study abroad with CAPA, you will be introduced to an abundance of volunteer opportunities that you can take on during your semester abroad. From one-time events to semester-long programs, there’s something for everyone. This is a great way to not only become more immersed in your host city, but also a great way to give back to it. It’s a win-win! I decided to commit to two volunteer programs:

Teaching English at a local elementary school

For the past three months, I have assumed the role of an English teacher’s assistant once a week at the San Giuseppe elementary school. For just an hour every week, I help with English lessons that the teacher has planned.  A lot of the time, 10-15 minutes are set aside for activities that I come up with on my own. 

CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Fall2016_From Kayla Sides - Volunteering - Elementary School.png

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Posted in: Official Bloggers and Vloggers, Florence, Italy, Volunteering Abroad

Vlog: Volunteering in Buenos Aires - Making Pancakes at the Ronald McDonald House

Oct 20, 2016 8:30:00 AM / by Julie Ritz

Melanie Sweeney is an official CAPA vlogger for fall 2016, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A double Spanish and marketing major at Siena College, she is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.

In this week's video, Melanie makes pancakes at the Ronald McDonald House, were she is interning during her time abroad.


Thanks Melanie!

Melanie's journey continues here on CAPA World every Thursday. Bookmark her profile and stay tuned!

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Posted in: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Official Bloggers and Vloggers, Volunteering Abroad

Volunteering Abroad in Buenos Aires

May 30, 2016 8:30:00 AM / by Stephanie Sadler

CAPAStudyAbroad_BuenosAires_Spring2016_Tommy_Sullivan.jpgTommy Sullivan is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2016, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A broadcasting and Spanish major Western Kentucky University, he is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.

In this week's post, Tommy talks about his experience volunteering abroad in Buenos Aires.


And now, I will pick up where my last blog left off:

Learning Through Volunteering

There's just two students in this class: Raven and me.


Dr. Pagano, who is CAPA's Resident Director in Buenos Aires, is the teacher for this class. The semester has been a bit crazy—we've had to change buildings for all our classes a few times—so we've only been able to meet with Dr. P about every other week. That's not a problem, though, because the bulk of the work for the class is outside the classroom.

I write for an English-language news website and Raven volunteers at a charity. She helps prepare medicine to distribute to people in need, prepare and serve meals for the elderly and raise money for her organization. The website I volunteer at is called The Bubble. It focuses its coverage on Argentina and the region, writing everything in a way that's laid back and easily understood. Each story for The Bubble gives the back story and focuses on explaining the news, which can be hard to come by in the Argentine media.

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Posted in: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Official Bloggers and Vloggers, Volunteering Abroad

Finding Opportunities to Interact with Locals in Florence

Jan 25, 2016 1:30:00 PM / by Stephanie Sadler

CAPA Study Abroad Alumna Interview: Esmeralda Herrera


Meet Esmeralda, a CAPA Florence alum from Riverside Community College who studied abroad in Italy during Fall semester 2015. During her time there, she found quite a few opportunities to interact with locals, from her involvement with Ganzo! to lending a hand at a primary school, to honing her language skills at the local markets and with her landlord's assistant. Below, she talks about these opportunities and her overall expereince of Firenze.

CAPA WORLD: Tell us a bit about yourself. 
ESMERALDA HERRERA: My name is Esmeralda. I studied abroad in Florence, Italy from Riverside Community College. My major is linguistics. I am passionate about language, especially phonetics. Italian is widely considered the most euphonic language, and after walking the streets of Florence, I can attest. You should hear how they pronounce my name!


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Posted in: Interviews, Florence, Italy, Volunteering Abroad

Volunteering in Florence: Lessons from an Elementary School

Aug 12, 2015 1:30:00 PM / by Stephanie Sadler

CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Spring2015_From_Claire_France_-Cinque_TerreWords by Claire France, a CAPA Florence study abroad alumna and Psychology and Education major from University of Colorado Boulder.

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No matter which country I traveled to each weekend, spending quality time in the local Firenze classroom with Italian bambini always managed to be the absolute highlight of my week.

Believe it or not, to me the elementary school was the most beautiful environment I came across in Florence, not because of the art or the architecture, but rather because of the 20 little smiles that filled the room each time I walked through the door.

The children taught me just as much as I taught them, if not more. They showed me what it meant to be part of a collectivistic society, as they all took care of one another within their classroom. They look out for each other and work as a team.


My participation within this volunteer work allowed me to remove myself from the city center and dive deep beyond the streets filled with tourists and study abroad students. This became my happy place: San Giuseppe’s second floor classroom led by Maria, and accompanied by Italian children who appreciated my efforts and showed great enthusiasm in my lesson plans each week.

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Posted in: Florence, Italy, Volunteering Abroad

Volunteering Abroad in Sydney at Lentil as Anything

May 11, 2015 1:30:00 PM / by Stephanie Sadler

CAPAStudyAbroad_Sydney_Spring2015_FromJessicaKerr-VolunteeringatLentilasAnything1Words by Jessica Kerr, a University of Pittsburgh student who spent some time volunteering at Lentil as Anything while studying abroad in Sydney with CAPA International Education.

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While studying abroad this semester, I've been volunteering at a restaurant called Lentil as Anything once or twice per week.

I first came about this opportunity during a MyEducation event that CAPA put on for us in Sydney, which was a food crawl around a quirky place called Newtown. 

Lentils was the first place we stopped at, and I immediately fell in love with their mission. The woman who served us our food explained how Lentil as Anything is a not-for-profit organization that hires refugee, long-term unemployed, and homeless people. 

The menu changes day to day based on the food they are able to get, and what makes this menu special is not only that it is vegan, but that there is never a price. They depend on donations to keep their business running because they believe everyone should only pay how much they are able to afford for the day. If someone cannot afford to pay, they can volunteer for a lunch or dinner shift to make up for the lack of monetary payment. 

She then explained that most of the servers are volunteers, and this is where my opportunity came about. Since I do a bit of waitressing at home, I thought my services could be used here to help the Newtown community.


My job at Lentil as Anything is mainly waitressing. I take orders, deliver food, clean up dishes, set up tables, and anything else that it needed of me for the day.

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Posted in: Sydney, Australia, Volunteering Abroad


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