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Central Alumni Newsletter

Tuesday, May 12, 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.

One of Central College Abroad’s Spring 2009 Photo Contest winner.
One of Central College Abroad’s Spring 2009 Photo Contest winners.
See all of the spring photo contest entries.


H1N1 Virus Update — Merida, Mexico

Central College Abroad continues to closely monitor the H1N1 influenza situation. While there are still no confirmed cases of H1N1 flu in the state of the Yucatan, students studying on Central’s Merida, Mexico, program this semester returned one week early. The decision was based on information and advice from various health authorities including the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Arrangements have been made for all students to complete their academic work to successfully finish the semester.

Central College Abroad is happy to announce that it is running the 2009 Merida, Mexico, program as planned. The decision to continue with the program is based on the current situation in Mexico, which is stabilizing. Universities in Mexico re-opened on May 7 following a mandatory government-imposed seven-day closure.


Prominent study abroad presence among graduates

Our hats are off to the 135 Central College study abroad alums participating in the 2009 Central College Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 17. These students studied abroad for a summer, semester or academic year and comprise more than half of the 262 students celebrating their graduation this spring. As they leave Central College, we know that each of these students take with them an unforgettable experience that will remain with them long after they leave. Congratulations and best wishes from everyone at Central College Abroad!

Graduates Stephanie Uthe, Whitney Longnecker, and Erinn Lauterbach attending Mama Mia in London, England
Graduates Erinn Lauterbach, Laura Halder, Stephanie Uthe, and Whitney Longnecker
enjoy a game of football (soccer) in London, England; spring 2007.


Central College Abroad Annual Breakfast at NAFSA L.A. May 28

We’re excited to host a breakfast reception again at this year’s NAFSA Conference in Los Angeles on Thursday, May 28. Our annual breakfast is an informal gathering at the NAFSA conference for members of the Central College Abroad Cooperative Council and friends of Central College Abroad to have the opportunity to meet and speak with our staff and to learn more about our programs. This year, Eric Sneddon, our director of international operations, will be in attendance, along with Jessica Klyn de Novelo, senior coordinator of institutional relations, and Jennifer Larson, coordinator of institutional relations. Please watch for more information to come by e-mail, or e-mail studyabroad@central.edu if you are interested in attending. We look forward to seeing you!

Learn more about becoming a cooperating institution.


Alumni Spotlight

Who: Daniel Cate

Major: Business administration: finance and international studies; Texas Lutheran University,
May 2009

Semester Abroad: Hangzhou, China; spring 2008

About his language learning experience:
Everybody has kind of an ‘Aha!’ moment when they are first able to converse with a local. I'd say that first conversation is pretty significant.

Towards the end of the semester, two other students and I planned a trip to Xi'an. I think that trip is a great example of how far our language skills had progressed. We had gone from zero experience to being able to handle the entire affair by ourselves.

How going abroad has helped:
In my current job search I specifically look for jobs that might take me back to China. Many American and European companies have financial offices in Shanghai, which is near Hangzhou. When writing a cover letter for a specific job application that directly relates to China, I try to indicate the knowledge of the country that I gained while I was abroad. I always include my study abroad information such as the language experience, the cultural studies and the internship in my resume because they reflect on my character regardless of the specific job I'm applying for.

“The most significant part of living in China is that you get to actively experience the sheer massiveness that IS China. It’s something that you really can’t grasp until you live it for yourself.” – Daniel Cate
“The most significant part of living in China is that you get to actively experience
the sheer massiveness that IS China. It’s something that you really can’t grasp
until you live it for yourself.” – Daniel Cate

Learn more about Central College Abroad in Hangzhou, China.


Travel Writing — A Way to Remember

“Writing helps us make sense of our experiences — helps us shape our lives. Nowhere is this more important than in a class like Travel Writing, where students are trying to figure out what their time abroad means. Annie Dillard says that writing about our experiences is much more intense than actually living them. I think that’s true.”

–Keith Ratzlaff, Central College English professor and instructor of travel
writing course

For nearly 30 years, students at Central College have pen and papered their way across the globe, recalling true-life tales of riding the Tube, making Thanksgiving dinner and witnessing firsthand the Passion Play live through an intimate course on travel writing. Their inspiration? Their own semester or year abroad. Thanks to Keith Ratzlaff, English professor and former co-resident director of the London program, any student who has studied abroad can enroll in English 343 – Travel Writing.

Ratzlaff created this class in the winter term of 1990 after he and fellow colleague, Walter Cannon, English professor, realized students needed a way to connect to, internalize and give meaning to their time abroad after coming “home.” In the early days of the course, students met once a week in a small corner of an on-campus cafe to discuss their writings as well as current events taking place in their study abroad locations. This format eventually evolved into what is now a formal 3-credit travel writing course just five years later.

One of the benefits of enrolling in travel writing is the ability to learn about other cultures from people that have already studied there.
One of the benefits of enrolling in travel writing is the ability to learn about
other cultures from people that have already studied there.

Currently, students are asked to keep a journal throughout the semester which serves as both a place to begin travel essays, but also a way to talk about their emotional re-entry into Central College and American culture. The class meets twice a week to discuss current events and workshop essays inspired by their time abroad in a formal classroom setting. This course naturally creates a place for students to connect with others who have shared a similar experience.

“Travel writing gives students a unique opportunity to share and experience study abroad adventures," says Amy Ripperger, senior secondary education major. “I thoroughly enjoy the class because I am able to tell my stories and what I have learned about the Mexican culture, while learning about other cultures around the world and the experiences other students have had. This is a very beneficial and enjoyable class!”

For more information on the travel writing course, please e-mail Professor Keith Ratzlaff at ratzlaffk@central.edu.


Singing Loud and Proud—Music in Paris

Central College Abroad programs are recognized for their high degree of personalization and flexibility regarding students’ needs. Liza Calisesi, a senior music major and French minor from Central College, optimized her experience abroad by completing her music studies major while studying this past fall in Paris, France. In addition to French language courses, Shelley Cavaness, Paris resident director, helped Liza enroll at La Schola Cantorum, a private music school in Paris. Liza took voice lessons once a week and all lessons were taught in French, allowing her to further develop her language skills while experiencing French vocal pedagogy.

"It was such a pleasure helping someone so motivated as Liza, and I would love to have more students come over with a personal project in mind. Watching students accomplish a personal goal while here is one of the highlights of being the Paris resident director," said Cavaness.

“My musical experience abroad couldn't have been better. I was able to continue my vocal studies, finish my music major course work, and expand my artistic vision, understanding and appreciation of music,” said Liza. She rounded out her music studies major through an independent study of world music facilitated by the resident director and one of her Central College professors. Together, they determined that she would attend seven live world music events and research the history, style, instruments and musicians of each concert’s genre.

 

“My musical experience abroad couldn't have been better. I was able to continue my vocal studies, finish my music major course work, and expand my artistic vision, understanding and appreciation of music.” –Liza Calisesi
“What better way to learn about world music than doing it abroad and experience it in a live concert setting?” –Liza Calisesi

A few independent research projects can be arranged per program, before arrival depending on the students’ qualifications, availability of staff and the appropriateness of the topic. Prior approval by the program director is required. The independent study application can be found within the students’ online acceptance packet.

Learn more about the Central College Abroad program in Paris, France.


German Language Immersion at the Goethe Institut

Mark Twain once wrote, “[I] never knew before what eternity was made for. It is to give some of us a chance to learn German.” Since the inception of the Vienna program in 1966, language preparation through the Goethe Institut has been an integral part of Central’s program. Today, both year-long and semester students have the opportunity to jump start their program in Vienna with a one or two-month intensive language immersion at the Goethe Institut in Schwabisch Hall, Germany. Nearly 90 percent of students take advantage of either the one- or two-month program at the Goethe Institut.

Schwabisch Hall, located in southern Germany, is a city of approximately 36,000 people — strikingly different in size than our semester location in Vienna. This unique difference gives students two very meaningful language experiences, and “the best of both worlds.” During their time at the Institut, students cover the equivalent of a semester’s worth of material each month, earning them 6-12 semester hours of credit.

Classes are small and are comprised of students from around the globe. In addition to the 25 hours of language instruction a week, both language and culture study are supplemented by a variety of co-curricular activities, excursions and even language exchange sessions with community members at nearby restaurants , pubs and cafés. This type of preparation enhances the language immersion aspect of the program, whether the student is a beginning or advanced speaker.

Once in Vienna, beginners jump into an intensive language program, and more advanced speakers are well-prepared to continue their language study and take electives in German. All students, including beginners, have the opportunity to intern with Viennese organizations.

The Goethe Institut is an invaluable option for students preparing for their German language program in Vienna.
The Goethe Institut is an invaluable option for students preparing
for their German language program in Vienna.

Learn more about the Central College Abroad program in Vienna, Austria.


Contact Us

Central College Abroad
812 University Box 0140
Pella, IA 50219
800-831-3629
Fax: 641-628-5375
http://www.central.edu/abroad

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DATES TO REMEMBER

Still accepting applications for fall 2009!
Contact the Central College Abroad office for details


October 15, 2009
Spring 2010 application deadline


March 1, 2010
Summer 2010 application deadline


March 15, 2010
Fall 2010 and 2010 academic year application deadline


EVENTS

May 28, 2009
Central College Abroad Annual Breakfast at NAFSA L.A.


April 9, 2010
Central College Abroad Cooperating Council Conference.

Refer a friend today!


812 University
Pella, Iowa 50219
1-800-831-3629
studyabroad@central.edu