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Central Alumni Newsletter

Tuesday, Nov. 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 fall 2009 photo contest entry
Central College Abroad Bangor, Wales

Save the Date! Central College Abroad Cooperating Council

Please join us for Central College Abroad’s annual Coop Council meeting! Events will run Thursday through Saturday, April 8-10, 2010. Join us on Thursday in the afternoon and on Friday, April 9, to hear first-hand updates from our on-site program directors and participate in educational sessions. On Saturday, we invite you to stay for our morning pre-departure orientation for students and their parents. A formal invitation will follow, but clear your calendar today and plan to attend an informative and fun program with Central College Abroad.

For more info on the Cooperating Council, visit:

Last chance for spring 2010 study abroad!

Some Central College Abroad programs are still open! If you want to study abroad in the spring 2010 and missed the Oct. 15th deadline, find out which programs have an open spot! Contact us at or 800-831-3629

Alumni Spotlight

Corey Roberts
Major: B.A. German, history (Calvin College, 1994)
Ph.D. Germanic Studies (Indiana University, 2002)
Semester Abroad: Spring semester 1992 Vienna, Austria, with introductory month at Goethe Institute in Murnau, Germany.
Current position: Assistant Professor of German, Calvin College

Memorable experience: One of the memorable experiences from my semester is of the Viennese professor Frau Dr. Schmidt-Kliemitsch, who taught an art history course for the Central College program participants. A gruff, chain smoking widow in her early 60s, she practiced a severe pedagogy and strictly monitored whether we had done course readings and studied the pictures. Everyone learned early on to come to class prepared. As the semester progressed, however, I was struck not only by how well she knew her material but also by her love for the subject that came through in her teaching. The high point of the course was our class visit to the Kunsthistorisches Museum where she glowed with glee as she was able to show us first-hand Cellini’s “Salzfaß” and the masterpieces by Rubens that we had learned about. On a spring break trip to Italy, a group of us even organized much of our sightseeing to be able to visit some of the early Renaissance works we had studied. By the last day of the semester, everyone was sad the course had come to an end, and to this day I am still able to draw on much of what I learned in that one semester.

Goals for study abroad: My goals in participating in the Vienna program were to get more experience in German-speaking culture and to improve my German language skills. The Central College program offered great opportunities for both, through directed language instruction at the Goethe Institute and in Vienna and in the everyday experiences gained through living in the Austrian capital with its rich history and countless cultural opportunities. It was also a benefit that we were placed in Austrian student housing with other Austrian students since that offered more opportunities for interacting with German speakers in an informal setting.

How has Study abroad shaped your career goals? Studying abroad opened my eyes to the richness of the study of a foreign language and culture and played a large role in my decision to become a college teacher of German. The experience brought my studies of literature and culture alive, as I was often able to link particular texts or historical events to places I had visited or experiences I had had. As a teacher I continue to draw on my experiences from abroad, especially my time in Vienna. This semester, for example, I am teaching a course on German-speaking cultural history at the turn of the 20th century and will include a large segment on the literature, art and culture of Fin-de-Siècle Vienna.

For more information on the Vienna, Austria program, visit:

Doyle and Braskamp published in Frontiers

Dennis Doyle

Dennis Doyle

Larry Braskamp

Larry Braskamp

Dennis Doyle, Central College professor of communication studies, and Central’s alumnus Larry Braskamp are featured for their work in the fall 2009 edition of Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad. Doyle’s article titled, “Holistic Assessment and the Study Abroad Experience” focuses on his recent research projects examining the study abroad experience from pre-departure to re-entry, centering specifically on implications for program design and assessment.

Braskamp, along with co-authors David C. Braskamp and Kelly Carter Merrill, wrote an article titled “Assessing Progress in Global Learning and Development of Students with Education Abroad Experiences” which focuses on results of assessment on student learning and growth using the Global Perspectives Inventory, or GPI which the three co-authored.

Both articles include significant research conducted on Central College Abroad’s international programs. We are proud to have such valuable research about student growth on our programs. Central College Abroad salutes Doyle and Braskamp for their important contributions to the field of international education.





Opportunities by Major — a new tool to help find the program that fits!

With Central’s study abroad programs, learning begins in the classroom, but branches outside the traditional classroom settings — offering a more in-depth cross-cultural experience. We understand that choosing the right option can be difficult, which is why we’ve created our new “Opportunities by Major” Web page. It guides you through a list of courses, excursions, internships and service-learning options that relate to your major field of study, helping you choose the perfect abroad program.

To view our new webpage, visit:

What can I do with this major?

Enhance your career options by studying abroad — a student’s story

Abigail Schwennen
Major: Communication studies, Central College, 2009
Semester Abroad: London, fall 2007

Memorable internship: I worked for a fashion magazine in London with PR professionals testing out products and writing articles about the products for the magazine. The second week at my internship, my boss gave me tickets to London Fashion Week. I was able to go backstage, meet other members of the press, sit front row at shows and go to after parties during London Fashion Week. It was definitely my favorite part of studying abroad in London.

How going abroad has helped: This has really broadened my horizons back home. I interned for a public relations firm in Des Moines and was able to carry over the skills needed at the magazine in London and apply them to the PR internship. It was interesting to compare the different job duties, because while interning here, I was on the flip side actually calling the journalists pitching our clients. My experience in London carried over well and taught me plenty about working with the press/media. It also helped me during the interviewing process of applying for jobs.

For more information on internships and service-learning opportunities, visit:

Central College Abroad photo
Abigail Schwennen, right, with a friend at Stonehenge

Small-group tutorials — a key to success in Granada, Spain

Teaching two courses at Central College Abroad’s Granada site, José María Pérez López is an integral part of the abroad experience. Recent alum of the Granada program, Stephanie Gibbons, Central College, says, “He’s the craziest and best teacher I’ve ever had. He had an energetic personality that showed itself in his lessons, teaching us applicable language that helped me immerse myself in Granada’s culture.”

José has been working with CCA for seven years. He has a bachelor’s degree in applied linguistics and a master’s in Spanish as a second language. He helps teach the Granada seminar, which focuses on cultural topics like olive oil, gypsies, politics, tapas and bullfighting. But he spends most of his time as a small group tutor, working with students to strengthen their Spanish phonetics and better adapt to the Spanish culture. Students meet with José in groups of three to four once a week.

Central College Abroad photo

“My favorite aspect of working with Central College students is helping them experience Spanish culture and broadening their perspectives on different elements of Spanish daily life,” he says. Whether it’s daily language, music or movies, Jose believes that this is an important aspect of the abroad experience.

The small group tutorials allow students to form a tighter bond with Jose. He urges that “Even though I am the one teaching the students, I learn new things from every group that comes to Granada.” Over the past seven years he’s had many interesting and fun stories with students, but he continues to look forward, “It is the new, fun groups yet to come that continually excite me.”

For more information on the Granada site, visit:

Central College Abroad Quick Links for Faculty & Advisors:

Contact Us

Central College Abroad
812 University Box 0140
Pella, IA 50219
Fax: 641-628-5375

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