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Central Alumni Newsletter

Tuesday, Oct. 12, 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.

Leiden program students tip-toeing through one of the Netherlands' many tulip fields.
Leiden program students tip-toeing through one of the Netherlands' many tulip fields.

Time is running out to apply for spring 2011!

For a short time you can still apply to study abroad during the spring 2011 semester.  With Central College Abroad, you can expect a more valuable experience. Personalized program options across the globe allow you to get the most out of your experience abroad.  Explore your possibilities and start your free application today.  Applications are due Friday, Oct. 15. 

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

Apply now!

Goodbye Texas, Bonjour France

The Paris program is a language immersion program which includes a number of cultural activities, excursion, and numerous internship opportunities for both French and non-French majors.

First impressions of a new country are particularly important in adjusting to new surroundings. Take a look at a Central College Abroad student’s first reactions to study abroad in France.

Who: Courtney Ng
Major:  Economics
Minor: French
Home institution: Trinity University (Texas)
Semester abroad: Paris, Fall 2010
First reaction: “When I first arrived in Paris, I couldn't believe that I was finally here! The next day, we took a train to Tours, a town about a 45-minute train-ride away, and it was beautiful! I had never seen countryside like it before.”

Immediate differences: “The pace of France is much slower than back home. Also, it took a day or two to get used to the amount of walking that I have done.”

Adjustment to living abroad: “It is still kind of hard not to miss friends and family back home, but it is also exciting to be immersed in an entirely different culture and to really hear French being spoken in its purest form. Thankfully though, there are both Skype and Google phone calls that make staying in touch very easy. I already feel I am learning more of French culture. The days I read about traveling on the TGV have now come to life (though the Franc is no longer in circulation). I am very anxious to see what new things await in Paris!”

Interesting stories: “This past weekend in France, the country was striving for cultural awareness. From Tours, we were able to buy roundtrip TRAIN tickets to and from another town called Blois for only four Euros. Not to mention, the entrance to the château that we visited was free! There are also plenty of gardens and walking paths for the outdoorsman. There is never a dull moment in France! What has surprised me the most, one day when I went running along a small river, I saw several families tossing days-old bread to the ducks. Now, who thought that French people only eat bread? Apparently, the ducks do as well!”

Courtney and friends at Château Villandry in France. Château Villandry was the last of the large chateaus built in the Loire Valley during the Renaissance
Courtney and friends at Château Villandry in France. Château Villandry was the last of the large chateaus built in the Loire Valley during the Renaissance.

Follow Courtney’s Journey at:
Learn more about a semester abroad in Paris.

Lisa Ellor Smith, new Central College Abroad territory representative

My name is Lisa Ellor Smith, and I am a territory representative for the Central College Abroad office.

I am moving to Pella from Fort Worth, Texas, with my husband, Chad. This is a bit of a homecoming for me because my roots are in the Midwest. My childhood was spent in Illinois and Wisconsin. I am a 2006 St. Norbert College (Wis.) graduate with a major in communication studiesLisa Smith and a minor in leadership studies. St. Norbert is a small liberal arts college just outside Green Bay, Wis.

My first experience abroad was on a Girl Scout wide opportunity trip to Ireland, England, France and Switzerland. I was only 15 years old, but the flame that was kindled on this trip has burned brightly ever since. I studied abroad at the University of Swansea in Wales during the fall semester of my junior year while attending St. Norbert College. During my semester abroad, I completed an internship with a Welsh television station. The personal growth, cultural awareness and respect for people of many backgrounds can best be found in a study abroad experience. My enthusiasm led me to share this message while I was still in college. I served as a student intern in the study abroad office at St. Norbert and at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

After graduation I joined the study abroad staff at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. I have spent the past four years helping students experience the wonders of study abroad. I believe a global education, once considered an option, is becoming increasingly important. I am personally passionate and professionally committed to the field of study abroad. I completed master’s degree with an emphasis in culture and society in December 2009.

On April 24, I married my wonderfully supportive husband, Chad. Of course, international travel was important, so we toured Italy, Croatia, Turkey and Greece on our honeymoon. Since the fall semester is particularly busy in the study abroad office, I came to Pella to start my work with Central College Abroad this month. Chad and our adorable dog, Bella will join me later this fall.

Together we plan to share the excitement of a new home.

Online pre-departure course begins in November

Will you be studying abroad during spring 2011? Beginning in November, Central College will offer an online pre-departure course that will prepare students for the study abroad experience. The course, offered in real-time and recordings, gives students the added benefit of connecting with other program participants prior to the start of the study abroad experience.  Students can register for this course via their online account.

Learn more about this fantastic opportunity at:

Scholarships put mind at ease

Central College Abroad is proud to offer scholarships to deserving students across our programs. The Vance Scholarship is a $1,000 merit-based scholarship awarded to students who attend one of Central College Abroad’s cooperating institutions.

Who: Monica Mesite
Major: Intercultural studies
Minor: Linguistics, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), and Chinese studies
Home institution: Houghton College (N.Y.)

Semester abroad: Hangzhou, Fall 2010

Why she choose China: “I chose the China program because the classes and timing fit really well into my major. The expense of the trip was within the parameters of what I wanted to spend on a study abroad program. The brochure on the Central College Abroad table really caught my eye, and I found I could see myself in China. The Chinese have such a unique and distinct culture, and I wanted to experience that for myself.”

How the Vance Scholarship has helped: “Receiving a scholarship helps the ever-present concern of financial issues in my mind. College is expensive, and receiving a scholarship definitely puts my mind to rest. I’m very thankful for the inexpensive program and the scholarship I’ve received from Central to help with the expense of a study abroad program.”

What she is enjoying most: “I’m loving the fact I can learn Chinese and practice it outside of the classroom, everywhere I go. I’m really enjoying getting to know the people in the program and watching the social dynamics involved with getting to know a new group of people. Experiencing how the other side of the world works is such a new and thrilling experience.”

How this experience impacts her life: “Study abroad is a time to not only experience how other cultures work, but to also see and understand what the home culture is like. It’s a time to truly experience the contrast of two separate and distinct worlds. There’s a deep self-reflection involved, an analysis of oneself, a way to interact and experience how people thrive in two separate places. I would definitely recommend study abroad to anyone and everyone!”


Monica Mesite studies abroad in Hangzhou, China.
Monica Mesite poses during a visit to Shanghai.

Follow Monica’s journey at:
Learn more about a semester abroad in Hangzhou.

The scholarship deadline for spring 2011 programs is Monday, Nov. 1. Scholarship applications are available within the online acceptance packet. For students interested in applying for a scholarship, please visit:

Central College Abroad to present at the Forum on Education Abroad

Central College Abroad has once again been selected to present at the Forum on Education Abroad Conference, an annual conference, solely focused on the field of education abroad. This year’s conference is April 6-8, 2011, in Boston, Mass.Amanda Mackey

Valerie Grimsley, resident director, Merida, Mexico;Truett Cates, professor of German and director of center for global learning, Austin College; and Cheri Doane, director of community-based learning, Central College, will lead a session titled “Digital Dialogue:  Processing Cultural Integration Via Technology.”

"I am excited that the perspective we bring to the panel accurately reflects the collaborative manner in which CCA works with faculty, staff, coop schools and program directors to create experiential learning opportunities for students with a strong academic component,” said Grimsley.

Also presenting, Larry Braskamp, co-author of Global Perspective Inventory (GPI) and professor emeritus at Loyola University in Chicago; Dennis Doyle, professor of communication studies at Central College; and Brian Zylstra, manager of on-campus operations for Central College Abroad, will lead a workshop titled “The Uses of the Global Perspective Inventory in assessing student global learning and development.”

Please watch the conference website,  for conference details and full session descriptions.

Join us at NAFSA bi-regional conference in Omaha

Central College Abroad staff member, Jennifer Larson, senior coordinator of institutional relations and new staff member, Lisa Ellor Smith, territory representative will be in attendance at NAFSA bi-regional conference Monday-Wednesday, Nov. 15-17, in Omaha, Neb. 

Larson is a panelist in the session, "Have It All But Too Tired to Care: A Conversation Opportunity on Life/Work Balance” from 8:30-9:45 a.m. Monday, Nov. 15.

Contact us at if you would like to meet with Jennifer or Lisa at the conference.

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
Spring 2011 application deadline

Nov. 1, 2010
Spring 2011 scholarship deadline

March 31 - April 1, 2011
Annual coop conference

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Pella, Iowa 50219