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Central Alumni Newsletter

Tuesday, March 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 host its annual Cooperative Council Conference April 2-4, 2009, on the Central College campus in Pella, Iowa. 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 a highly anticipated optional workshop on the Global Perspective Inventory (GPI), led by GPI co-author, Larry Braskamp, professor emeritus at Loyola Chicago University and Central College alumnus. The GPI is a quantitative survey that expresses how students’ global perspectives change over the course of a study abroad experience. We will also highlight timely topics such as experiential learning and assessment. For more information on the conference, please contact Annique Kiel at kiela@central.edu. Learn more about becoming a cooperating institution at http://www.central.edu/abroad/coop/coop.cfm.


Internship Spotlight

Name: Sarah Vandenberg
Major: Psychology; senior at Central College
Semester abroad: Bangor, Wales, fall 2008

Sarah at an excursion to Harlech Castle in Wales.
Sarah at an excursion to Harlech Castle in Wales.

Memorable internship: I interned at the Bangor Dyslexia Unit, one of the most renowned dyslexia organizations in the UK. I had a lot of duties in the unit from filing, copying material, to observing learning-disorder assessments and dyslexia teaching sessions. I also observed a reading tip session for university students. Towards the end of the term, I organized Bangor Dyslexia Tests which are used in the screening process to determine if a person may have weaknesses in various areas (reading, comprehension, etc). These tests are going to be used to judge the reliability of the tests and to determine if any of the items still apply to dyslexia or other learning disabilities.

How study abroad impacted my life: I found the experience very enlightening. This internship gave me a much better understanding of dyslexia in general. Because of it, I am considering working in similar populations. I am pursuing a master’s in social work, which gives me the opportunity to work in a variety of areas, including dyslexia. I'm interested in working with students who have dyslexia to help them adapt to and overcome the challenges of academics and in life. Increasing the awareness and understanding of dyslexia would help everyone.

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


Leiden program announces required integration activities

Leiden, the NetherlandsExperiential learning has always been a part of Central’s Leiden, the Netherlands, program. The Central College Abroad Art of Photography and Drawing in Leiden courses allow students to discover the unique scenery of the Netherlands through a camera lens or artists’ pencil; and the popular Dutch Art and Architecture course takes students out of the traditional classroom and puts them before the buildings, designs and history unique to the Netherlands. Needless to say, students do not lack for hands-on opportunities!

But if that weren’t enough, beginning fall 2008, the Leiden program added another distinctive learning opportunity to its curriculum. As part of the required cross-cultural course, The Netherlands and its European Context, all students explore a personal area of interest — such as music, theatre or even basketball — but approach it through local Dutch culture. Students have involved themselves in a wide array of activities from attending international church services to creating a mural painting with a local artist and volunteering with an animal rescue program. Regardless the activity, students connect with their host culture in a more meaningful and personal way. At the conclusion of the semester, each student submits a report and gives a presentation, rounding out their overall experience. Because experiential learning and integration has always been a main component of all Central College Abroad programs, the required activities are a great addition to the already intentional programming in Leiden.


Central College Presents at Forum on Education Abroad

Central College Abroad’s Brian Zylstra, manager of on-campus operations and student services, and Tecwyn Vaughan Jones, resident director in Bangor, Wales, along with Dennis Doyle, Central College professor of communication studies, recently attended and led a session at the Forum on Education Abroad in Portland, Ore. Joining them in the session was Joan Gillespie, associate vice president of academic affairs and assessment at IES. This panel presented integrative models of teaching and learning strategies to take students from initial inquiry to re-entry. This intentional approach serves to integrate the study abroad experience within the students’ entire college experience. Panelists discussed how the coordinated efforts of study abroad administrators, home campus faculty liaisons, and the on-site resident director can enhance global learning for students. Panelists also presented on how these coordinated efforts work effectively within the “4 Cs” framework (culture, curriculum, co-curriculum, community) that can guide the student’s study abroad journey.

Manager of on-campus operations Central College Abroad, Brian Zylstra, prepares to present at the Forum for Educational Abroad.
Manager of on-campus operations Central College Abroad, Brian Zylstra, prepares to present at the Forum for Educational Abroad.

In addition to the conference session, Zylstra and Doyle led a half-day workshop with Larry Braskamp, professor emeritus at Loyola Chicago University and Central College alumnus. The workshop focused on the Global Perspective Inventory (GPI) and study abroad programming which promotes holistic learning and development. The GPI is a quantitative survey that expresses how students’ global perspectives change over the course of a study abroad experience. Central College Abroad has administered the GPI on all eight programs for four semesters.

On April 2, Central College Abroad will hold a highly anticipated optional workshop on the Global Perspective Inventory (GPI), led by Braskamp, for Cooperating Institutions as part of this year’s annual Cooperative Council Conference. For more information on the GPI please visit https://gpi.central.edu/index.cfm


Alumni spotlight

Who: Cody Fuller
Major: Business administration; concentration — finance; Texas Lutheran University
Semester Abroad: Hangzhou, China; spring 2008

Spring 2008 Hangzhou, China, student Cody Fuller on an excursion to the Great Wall
Spring 2008 Hangzhou, China, student Cody Fuller on an excursion to the Great Wall

Memorable experiences abroad: While I was abroad I had the opportunity to have an internship. It was a wonderful experience interacting with another culture's work environment and receiving business insight. I landed my internship with a publishing company that specialized in foreign trade providing books and audiovisual products. During my time with the company I worked to expand international relations.

How studying abroad has impacted him: My time abroad really showed me what I had inside myself. I experienced things that I never could have dreamed of. From walking on the Great Wall to meeting with a Chinese developer, it opened my eyes to see things in a different light. Interacting with the culture broadened my views in more than one would think. Despite how fundamental it may seem, I know that there is more out there in life than the community that surrounds me. I feel that I am stronger person now that I have a better understanding of how I fit into this world made of various cultures. The trip taught me to think more globally and to look for the bigger picture. Deciding to study abroad was one of the best decisions I have made, and it has given me the ability to confidently delve into life.


Central College Abroad in Merida Hosts First Global Health Conference

Central College Abroad recently hosted the first Global Health Consortium Conference held Jan. 3, 2009, at the Central College Abroad residence in Merida, Mexico. The Global Health Consortium was developed in 2008 by members of the Iowa Heartland Consortium of colleges and universities in efforts to foster collaboration between consortium schools to expand the international education, research and service opportunities for students and faculty in health-related fields.

Faculty and staff from Central College, Des Moines University, Drake University, Iowa State University, Simpson College, the University of Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa met for the organization’s first international conference to explore collaborative learning opportunities and complete strategic planning. Over the course of the week-long meeting, the 22 participants met with representatives of the Yucatan state government as well as private and public health providers and educators in efforts to understand the Mexican health system and health concerns within the population as well as identify ways in which students and faculty can become involved through internships or exchange programs. Their time in Merida also included visits to urban and rural medical facilities as well as Yucatan’s archeological sites, former haciendas and local markets.

Members of the first Global Health Conference outside of the Central College Abroad House in Merida, Mexico.
Members of the first Global Health Conference outside of the
Central College Abroad House in Merida, Mexico.

The collaboration had an immediate impact on Central’s own Merida program, creating new service-learning projects in healthcare including a diabetes prevention program and an HIV/AIDS prevention center.

“We are excited to be pioneers in establishing relationships with health care systems and providers in Yucatan,” said Valerie Grimsley, Merida resident director. “Central College Abroad students will benefit greatly from these contacts through internships and service-learning opportunities.”

Central College Abroad looks forward to continued collaboration as the consortium works to establish and expand multidisciplinary educational, research, and service opportunities and inspires and equips students to become leaders in global public health.


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 alumni@central.edu for more information including costs of the travel as well as special accommodation plans. https://www.central.edu/alumni/events/index.cfm?
myaction=ShowEvent&EventID=57


812 University
Pella, Iowa 50219
1-800-447-0287
studyabroad@central.edu