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Central Alumni Newsletter

Tuesday, August 10, 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.

A view of the Alhambra in Granada, Spain
A view of the Alhambra in Granada, Spain

$1,000 China travel voucher

Attention students! Central College Abroad is partnering with to offer $1,000 travel vouchers for the spring 2011 study abroad program in Hangzhou, China. Vouchers may be applied to airline tickets purchased through for travel to China destinations only.

Limited offer is good only while supplies last. Additional application materials may be required.

To apply, visit: Applications must be received between August 15 and October 1, 2010, to be considered. Enter promo code: China11 in your application.

Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang province located in East China, a spot many Chinese consider to be heaven on Earth. The city is surrounded by mountains and near the East China Sea, and students are often amazed at the beauty of this special place. Grow in your language skills through an intensive Chinese language program and gain an intimate understanding of the Chinese people and their country with a local internship and electives in business, history and ESL.

Learn more about study abroad in Hangzhou, China.

West Lake in Hangzhou, China
West Lake in Hangzhou, China

Exceptional opportunity for education majors

In the spring of 2011, Central College Abroad in Merida will offer a fantastic cultural and academic opportunity for education majors and any student interested in child development and learning. Rex Shahriari, Central College professor of education and a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist, will teach two courses, Exceptional Children and Psychology in Elementary/Secondary Education while serving as the spring 2011 visiting faculty member.

“The Exceptional Children course deals with children outside the ‘normal,’ i.e., those with disabilities and the gifted/talented,” said Shahriari. “The course covers causes, characteristics and education and should be of interest to anyone working with children and youth such as teachers, mental health and other health care professionals. The Psychology in Education course covers theories of learning, motivation, behavior and assessment. It should also be of interest to any student who will work in the professional world or may become a parent.”

Shahriari’s upcoming semester in Merida marks his third teaching semester on the program. His expertise in the field of education and knowledge of the city will serve him and students well as he takes teaching outside the classroom. Both courses include field trips to local schools, orphanages and psychiatric institutions. Shahriari and resident director, Valerie Grimsley, will also aid students interested in related internship and service-learning opportunities.

Shahriari looks forward to not only teaching the students but also facilitating growth.

“Students who study aboard are changed in so many ways that they do not come back the same person. They return with a great change in self-confidence, worldliness and cultural horizon.”

Learn more about study abroad in Merida, Mexico.
Learn more about our Visiting Faculty Program.

Stephanie Torgeson interns at a school in Merida, Mexico
Stephanie Torgeson interns at a school in Merida, Mexico

Director of institutional relations resigns

Annique KielAnnique Kiel, director of institutional relations for Central College Abroad, resigned her position effective Friday, Aug. 13. Kiel joined the Central College Abroad team in 2005 as assistant director of Central College Abroad before moving into her current position two years ago. Her dedication, care and professionalism will be missed.

“I am truly grateful for the past five years I have spent with Central,” said Kiel. “I will miss seeing and working with the staff, resident directors and folks from across the country who use Central’s programs. Central College Abroad is an organization with great integrity, and I have grown significantly due to my time here. Thanks to everyone for all of your support and friendship over the years.”

Join us in wishing her well as she moves on to her new position as assistant director for Drake administered programs abroad at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. She can be reached until Aug. 13 at

Resident directors celebrate 10 years

Although the time may fly while abroad, the impact our resident directors leave is something that lasts much longer. Over the past 10 years, resident directors Tecwyn Vaughn Jones (Bangor, Wales) and Ruth Verweijen (Vienna, Austria) have taught hundreds of students about their home countries and cultures.

Tecwyn Vaughan Jones
Jones, a native of Snowdonia in northwest Wales where the program is based, helps students to make the most of their time abroad. He is a native Welsh speaker and received a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s in folklore at Bangor University. He studied in the PhD program at Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada.

“Over the last 10 years, I have directed over 520 students during their study abroad experience in Wales, and it has been a learning experience for me as well as for them,” said Jones. “Most of the students from my first semester are now married and have children of their own (which I hope, in due course, will choose to do their study abroad in Wales!). It is always a privilege to teach young people, and I think an even greater one to guide them through study abroad, which is a formative part of their education. Such a job is the stuff of dreams ... I only wish I’d found Central a little earlier in my career!”

Tecwyn Vaughan Jones on an excursion with the Spring 2009 group.
Tecwyn Vaughan Jones on an excursion with the Spring 2009 group.

Ruth Verweijen
Verweijen, a native of Vienna herself, received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Vienna Tourism College, a Master of Arts from the University of Vienna, and a master’s degree in international and intercultural management from the School for International Training. As resident director, she provides academic advising, leads orientation of the program and city, and facilitates students’ personal growth in all their experiences. Her precise attention to detail and determination to help every student feel at ease are just a few of the many characteristics that make a successful director.

“I appreciated her determination to help us all have an enjoyable experience and her willingness to drop whatever she was doing to help us,” said Christopher Ellerston, Central College 2009-10.

“Ruth was very understanding and accepting of all our differences and never compared our experiences to hers or others’ but took each one of us as individuals — not as a number or a group total,” said Lauren Warmouth, Central College 2009-10. “She was like a caring family member or an Austrian mom.”

“Ruth has a dedicated heart for her students, a great passion for city of Vienna, and an immense desire that two don't stay foreign for long,” said Andrew Knot, Calvin College, spring 2010. “She puts students in every opportunity to create a genuine immersion experience for themselves. Over the past 10 years, she has given students a lot for which to be grateful.”

Ruth Verweijen on an excursion with the Spring 2010 group.
Ruth Verweijen on an excursion with the Spring 2010 group.

Learn more about study abroad in Bangor, Wales.
Learn more about study abroad in Vienna, Austria.

Attention students and advisors

The application deadline is right around the corner. All application materials including transcripts, essay and recommendations forms are due by Friday, Oct. 15, for spring 2011 programs.

Take advantage of our new fully online application — it’s faster, easier and FREE!

And remember, every little bit helps: Central College Abroad offers scholarships up to $1,000! Learn more about scholarship opportunities at:

Apply now!

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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Oct. 15, 2010
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