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Central Alumni Newsletter

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

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 in Granada, Spain.
Central College Abroad summer programs have begun!

Central College Abroad at NAFSA

Central College Abroad comes off a successful week at the NAFSA conference held May 30-June 4 in Kansas City, Mo. The conference annually draws over 7,000 professionals from within the field of international education, and Central College Abroad was one of approximately 365 conference exhibitors.

Our presence at the 2010 conference featured our highly anticipated annual NAFSA breakfast reception, with keynote speaker, Harry Smith, CBS news correspondent and Central College alumnus. This event brought together members of the Central College Abroad Cooperative Council and friends of Central College Abroad to listen to Harry speak on “The Value of Globalized Education Today.” We were also pleased to introduce Central College’s 21st president, Dr. Mark Putnam who warmly addressed attendees.

Cheri Doane, directory of community-based learning at the NAFSA poster session.
Cheri Doane, director of community-based learning at the NAFSA poster session.

We were proud to participate in educational poster sessions at the conference. Central College director of community-based learning, Cheri Doane, and Central College Abroad senior coordinator of institutional relations, Jessica Klyn de Novelo, presented “Shaping Global Perspective: Engaging students though service-learning abroad,” which highlighted Central’s leadership in international service-learning. Central College Abroad manager of on-campus operations, Brian Zylstra, and Jennifer Larson, coordinator of institutional relations, also presented Central’s advancements in assessment in “Navigating the study abroad experience through assessment-based programming.”

“It was heartening to interact with so many institutions who want to gain an understanding of service-learning and who understand the potential of the service-learning pedagogy,” commented Doane. “We had a chance to discuss the academic, civic and developmental outcomes of academic service-learning with dozens of colleges and universities.”

We extend a thank you to all those who attended our breakfast, and we appreciated the opportunity to meet with so many of our colleagues in the field during this year’s conference.

Learn more about becoming a cooperating institution at

Spring Vienna students say farewell with final excursion

As the last few weeks of school come to an end, so does another semester in Vienna. However, there is one last adventure in store for this group. On June 19 students will depart on the last, but not least, excursion to the Wachau Valley.

This scenic valley along the Danube River is about an hour outside of Vienna and a UNESCO world heritage area. Students will venture out of town to visit the Melk monastery. The monastery not only served as a place for religious matters, but also as a host to the imperial family when they were traveling. The Abbey’s beauty graces all who visit Wachau Valley.

After taking in the 900 years of the monastic community of Melk, the Vienna group will travel down the Danube River by boat to the town of Dürnstein. There, students will climb up the ruins of the fortress where Richard the Lionheart was kept prisoner. The views from atop the fortress are truly breathtaking.

Photo contest winners are now announced online!

The final part of their excursion will be a light dinner at a local heurigen, wine restaurant, then back to Vienna by train. Students will then finish out their final classes and hold a goodbye dinner the last week of June with all Central College Abroad professors.

For more information about Vienna, Austria, visit:

Internship Spotlight

Who: Cody Jandik
Major: Business management, Central College 2011
Semester Abroad: London, England, spring 2009
Internship Placement: Fitness Professionals

Memorable Internship: I worked for a company called Fitness Professionals, known as FitPro. This company is one of the largest associations for fitness industry professionals. They help companies or individuals obtain programs, publications, products and services that they need to be successful. I worked in the events planning department. I helped plan multiple training sessions all over the United Kingdom, but I mainly worked with the International Convention.

We had to market the event to all of our members, and also make sure that our presenters, who from all over the world, had a way to get to the convention. I helped plan and line up plane, train and rental cars for the presenters. I also helped make the convention run smoothly which was probably the best part.

Cody Jandik, second from left, and his fellow coworkers at Fitness Professionals
Cody Jandik, second from left, and his fellow coworkers at Fitness Professionals

I was very fortunate to work for a great company that was a perfect fit for me! At the end of my experience, I was offered a position with the company, but declined so that I could come back and finish my degree. They agreed that was a good decision, and decided that they would wait until I graduate and have a position for me after graduation. I plan on taking this job offer at graduation, and then working abroad for five years.

From my internship I will take a lot of lessons learned from my superiors so that someday I can manage in a way that they do. I was never afraid to bring up ideas because they wanted my input, and they made work a fun place to attend every day.

For more information about our London, England, program visit:

Summer Merida, Mexico students begin their journey

While the semester may end for most college students in May, the adventure is just beginning as Central College Abroad students embark on their travels to Merida, Mexico. Starting May 31, 2010, the Merida, Mexico Intensive Language Program students headed for an adventurous month in the heart of the Yucatan.

Throughout their stay students have the opportunity to completely immerse themselves in the culture while they live with host families. Students dive into the Spanish language through courses and earn six college credits all while soaking up the summer Yucatecan sun.

Central College Abroad students explore ancient ruins such as Chichen Itza.
Central College Abroad students explore ancient ruins such as Chichen Itza.

Merida is the capital of the state of Yucatan. This region of Mexico is bursting with ancient Mayan culture everywhere you turn and the summer program provides plenty of opportunities to experience it. Whether it is the amazing excursion to the ancient Mayan cities of Uxmal and Chichen Itza or a trip to the beautiful Caribbean to visit Tulum, students will get an in-depth look into the culture of this region of Mexico.

For more information about our summer program in Merida, Mexico, visit:

Gleason performs ethnographic study while in Bangor, Wales

Finding a connection to the culture is an important aspect of studying abroad. Whether the experience is sharing a room with an international student, living with a host family or working as an intern at an organization, students make a direct connection to a different society. However, those are not the only opportunities to become immersed in the culture. For Frank Gleason, learning came through hours of conversation.

Gleason, an anthropology major from Radford University, Va., studied abroad in Bangor, Wales, in fall 2009. He took the opportunity to take an independent study course, ethnographic methods, with program director Tecwyn Vaughn Jones in order to fulfill a requirement for his major, but he learned more than just ethnography.

“This class entailed picking out a particular culture or group in which to study. The 'culture' that I chose to study was pub culture, more specifically, the relationship between students and locals in a pub setting,” said Gleason. “Two things influenced me to pick this topic. First, after hanging out with some of the local students for a while, I noticed the importance that pubs played in the social life of students. Second, when I was looking at what university to go to as a high school senior, my Dad would always ask if the university had a good relationship with the town. Well I wanted to see how that would work out in the pubs in Bangor,” said Gleason.

Frank Gleason, center, and program director, Tecwyn Vaughn Jones, left, enjoy the outdoors while traveling around Wales.
Frank Gleason, center, and program director, Tecwyn Vaughn Jones, left,
enjoy the outdoors while traveling around Wales.

Gleason took on an ethnographic study that lasted the entire three months he resided in Bangor.

“In order to carry out this study, I chose three pubs to frequent on a regular basis. Each pub’s clientele was slightly different, from being predominantly locals with a few students, to mostly students with a few locals and the other being a good mix of both."

“Some nights I would just sit and watch how people used body language and personal space in their interactions. Other nights, I would go around talking to people, locals and students, trying to get them to talk about how they felt about each other. Other times I would ask people I met if we could meet and do informal interviews,” Gleason said.

Through the study that Gleason performed, he made a deep connection with the Welsh culture.

“It really allowed me to get to know Bangor and its people a little bit better. In order to get people to talk about what I needed for my study, I first had to chat with them about anything and everything so they would trust me. Many a night, I had long conversations and a few laughs with some of the locals, just from talking about this or that. I'm not sure if I would have gotten as close to the community, if I hadn't been doing this ethnography,” he said. “It gave me a love of Wales and the Welsh, so much so, that I am doing my senior capstone for my international studies minor on Welsh identity.”

For more information on the opportunities that lie in Bangor, Wales, visit:

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Fax: 641-628-5375

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