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Central Alumni Newsletter

Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009

Hello friends of Central College Abroad! This newsletter, released the second Tuesday of every month, is intended to keep you in touch with what’s happening with Central College Abroad’s programs across the globe.

Central College Abroad cooperative council conference

Central College Abroad will be hosting its annual Cooperative Council Conference on April 2-4, 2009, on the Central College campus in Pella, IA. All cooperating institutions are invited to attend and meet the international resident directors from all of Central College Abroad's program locations; attend educational sessions and roundtable discussions; as well as network with colleagues in the field. This year's conference features an optional workshop on the Global Perspective Inventory (GPI), led by Dr. Larry Braskamp. Also, the conference will highlight timely topics such as assessment and experiential learning. For more information on the conference, please contact Annique Kiel at Learn more about becoming a cooperating institution at

Get involved abroad!

Name: James Skretta
Major: Music
Semester abroad: Vienna, spring 2008

Home institution: Central College

Memorable experiences: “As a music student, I took advantage of every opportunity Vienna provided. I sang regularly with a church choir, performing at a different Mass every weekend. I also played in a Stadtkapelle (town band) in Klosterneuburg, a town just north of Vienna. We would perform for various city events and festivals. One particularly memorable experience was going into a school for children with disabilities and giving an instrument demonstration. Lastly, I sang with the Vienna Singakademie and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra in the annual New Year’s performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.”

How study abroad impacted my life: In an academic sense, learning German has been the greatest thing to happen during my musical training. Because so much in history happened in German speaking countries, I can more easily understand the original texts, performance practices, and bring greater understanding to the music, as I have been where the composers have.

James Skretta with fellow Central College Abroad Vienna Spring 2008 students, Jackie Krebs (Central College), Andrea Montrone (Central College) and Brandi Magstadt (Augustana College) in Klosternueburg, Austria.
James Skretta with fellow Central College Abroad Vienna spring 2008 students, Jackie Krebs (Central College), Andrea Montrone (Central College) and
Brandi Magstadt (Augustana College) in Klosternueburg, Austria.

All Central College Abroad programs offer the opportunity for experiential learning through internships and service-learning. Learn more.

CCA Web site receives much more than a facelift

Launched this winter, Central College Abroad's new Web site is something to see! The site now provides information for parents, faculty/advisors and alumni making it for a resource for everyone. The new site now features information for the following audiences:

Prospective students

  • Easier access to application information
  • Detailed program information
  • Easy access to their CCA contact representative on the “Contact Us” page
  • Resources for health and safety while abroad


  • Additional information on finances, health and safety
  • Online access to Central’s Parent Handbook

Faculty and Advisors

  • Central College Abroad academic overview
  • Easy access to information about our Cooperative Council including our handbook and login
  • Online form to request brochures


  • Detailed transcript information
  • Advice on how to enhance their resume after study abroad
  • Information about our photo contest

The new content is not the only part of the Web site that changed. You’ll also find a crisp, new easily navigable design and a reformatted login for advisors and current students (but no need to worry, it still works the same). And don’t miss all the new photos and student testimonials.

Even though CCA’s Web site received some changes, popular elements like the “Blog from Abroad” remain. Many more exciting plans are in the works — keep checking the Web site for features to come! We also welcome your feedback. Please e-mail your Web site comments or concerns to

Central College Abroad Homepage

Program spotlight — Merida, Mexico

Get out and head south!

Studying abroad in Merida offers many great opportunities for students of all language levels. Students can choose their housing — either the Central College House, a restored governor’s mansion, or a host family — both are great options for majors and non-majors alike. In addition to Spanish language classes, electives are offered in English and Spanish in a variety of fields ranging from art to U.S. Mexico relations. This variety gives students the opportunity to create a personalized schedule based on their interests.

One of the highlights of the Merida program is the abundance of service-learning and internship opportunities available to students. Many students during the fall 2008 semester were immersed into the culture through placements in the community by teaching English at locations including a public English education program in the heart of downtown, a new community center directed by affiliate institution Marista University and one of the orphanages in the city. Other opportunities include student teaching and placements in business settings. The possibilities are endless! For more information on the Merida, Mexico, program or any of the other study abroad locations, visit

Service-learning in Merida, Mexico
Service-learning in Merida, Mexico

Affording study abroad in today’s economy

Central College Abroad understands the reality of today’s economy, and that students and schools are looking closely at the value of study abroad program options. Studying abroad is an investment in the future of the student, both personally and professionally. Our programs offer internship and service-learning opportunities that enhance learning outside of the classroom, and also add to the list of marketable qualities that are sought after by potential employers. Central College Abroad works hard to keep programs affordable for students and schools by offering the following:

  • Scholarship opportunities – A wide-range of academic and need-based scholarships are available. Students of Central College Abroad’s cooperating institutions are eligible to apply for an additional scholarship. Please see a full listing of scholarships available at:

  • Financial aid – Our programs range in cost and students are able to use varying amounts of their financial aid package, depending on the policy of his or her home institution. Therefore, the real cost is determined by the home institution and how much financial aid is allowed to apply to the program. We encourage all students to speak to their financial aid advisor on their home campus to learn more about financial aid options.

  • Financial planning – One of the many benefits of Central’s on-site resident directors is their local expertise. During orientation and beyond, the directors will advise students on how to get the most out of their money and where to find local savings and discounts. Plus, take advantage of current exchange rates and get more for the dollar!

  • Value-added – Students get more for their money through Central College Abroad’s intentional programming. From our required cross-cultural course, internship and service learning opportunities, as well as excursions connected to what is being taught in the classroom, all programs offer high-quality academic and experiential learning opportunities which are sure to add value for students, both personally and professionally.

Central College Abroad remains committed to providing cross-culturally meaningful programs that will bring students academic, professional and personal value. We look forward to continuing to work with students and schools to make study abroad a priceless yet affordable experience.

Alumni spotlight

Who: Stephanie Liebe
Major: Education and Spanish; Central College
Semester Abroad: Granada, Spain — spring 2006, Merida, Mexico — spring 2007
Job: Middle school Spanish teacher in Daejeon, South Korea

Favorite abroad experiences: While in Merida, Stephanie was able to intern at the Academia Municipal de Ingles. She gained ESL teaching strategies and experience while working with two different classes for two hours a week. Her classes consisted of one section ages 8-13 and another section of students 14-18 years old. She really enjoyed working with the older students and even keeps in contact with one of her past students! Her internship allowed her to get necessary experience for her current position as well as gain valuable contacts in the community, such as the great cooperating teacher she worked with.

How studying abroad has impacted her: “Going abroad definitely prepared me for the challenge of taking a job overseas. Because I have previously lived abroad, I better understand the stages of culture shock. I am also much more independent. Through my abroad experiences, I grew to love challenges, and now I have plenty. Life is never boring!”

Stephanie Liebe

Calling all Leiden alums

Join Central College alumni and friends for an international event on Thursday, July 16, 2009 in Leiden, the Netherlands. Activities include a two-hour walking tour of downtown Leiden featuring historical, artistic, and cultural highlights led by Steef Eman, art historian and resident director of Central College Abroad in Leiden. End the day with a special reception for alumni and friends including a traditional Dutch dinner at the Central College Abroad Center in Leiden.

Call the alumni office, at 800-447-0287 or e-mail for more information including costs of the travel as well as special accommodation plans.

Canal in Leiden, the Netherlands

Holiday celebrations abroad

Fall 2008 program students had the opportunity to experience a U.S. holiday, Thanksgiving, away from home and witness preparations abroad for upcoming Christmas celebrations. Spending the holidays abroad often brings new meaning to these special days. Fall Paris, France, student Liza Calisesi (Central College) joined friends in preparing a Thanksgiving meal that included mashed potatoes, green beans, and of course turkey!

In Granada, Spain, Amy Liakopolous (Valparaiso University) joined the Central College Abroad group to celebrate Thanksgiving Spanish style. In her blog she wrote,

“Everyone met up in the Mirador de San Nicolas at about 9:30. From this spot, we were able to see the Alhambra lit up-it was absolutely beautiful. Shortly after, we went to a nearby restaurant and enjoyed a wonderful meal. If you are thinking a wonderful Thanksgiving meal consisting of turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie … you’re wrong. Thanksgiving was completely Spanish, that is to say the meal consisted of fruit salad, meat/cheese platter, vegetables, fish, pork, bread, flan and the list goes on. Although it was not the same, it was wonderful and definitely unforgettable.”

To read more about student’s adventures abroad, visit our blogs at

Thanksgiving abroad
A Thanksgiving dinner in Merida

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