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Central Alumni Newsletter

Tuesday, Nov. 9, 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.

Students on the Hangzhou, China program carve pumpkins with local friends.
Students on the Hangzhou, China program carve pumpkins with local friends.

Cooperating with Central College Abroad: St. Ambrose University’s Story

Since the first Central College Abroad program began in 1965, schools across the nation have chosen to work cooperatively with Central College through our Cooperative Council. St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, is one of over 90 institutions that partner with Central College Abroad. Ryan Dye, director of the Center for International Education, and Stephanie Loncarich, coordinator of study abroad at St. Ambrose, share their thoughts on this longstanding partnership.

“We use Central College Abroad because their high quality study abroad programs give us great confidence,” said Dye. “The programs have been thoughtfully planned and thoroughly researched, and thus, we are confident to send our students on these programs.”

In fall 2009, St. Ambrose received a travel grant, giving Dye and Loncarich the opportunity to visit Leiden, London and Bangor. Visiting the programs helped them understand what students experience abroad.  

“Nothing can beat seeing programs with your own eyes,” said Loncarich. “We were able to visit classrooms and residence halls, walk the campuses and the towns, and meet with the resident directors. In particular, visiting the programs in Leiden and Wales greatly raised our awareness of how special these programs are and that they can be a great fit for many of our students.”  

St. Ambrose feels like part of the Central College Abroad family.

“We have developed great relationships with the Central College staff as well as with the resident directors. What we most value about Central College Abroad programs is their experience and credibility in the field. We know we will be treated with the highest degree of professionalism,” says Dye.

For more information on Central College Abroad cooperating institutions visit

Ryan Dye and Stephanie Loncarich of St. Ambrose received a travel grant to visit Central College Abroad sites such as London, England.
Ryan Dye and Stephanie Loncarich of St. Ambrose received a travel grant
to visit Central College Abroad sites such as London, England.

Service-learning Spotlight

The Granada program is a language immersion program that offers a high quality academic experience filled with a variety of classes, activities and personalized attention from staff. The program is open to all levels of Spanish learners and all majors. The Granada program also offers a variety of service-learning projects for interested students.

Who: Katie Quandahl
Major: Spanish and religion
Home Institution: Central College
Study Abroad Site: Granada, Spain; spring 2010
Service Learning Site: Residencia Huerta del Rasillo

Why she chose Granada: “I chose Granada to study because I am a Spanish major, and I felt that it was a good place to experience different cultures. I am also a religion major and wanted to see how Spain was still influenced by its Muslim history.”

Her service-learning experience: “I volunteered at a home for physically handicapped people. I had the opportunity to make crafts, go on walks and converse with the residents for a few hours each week. I would say that the greatest experience for me was on a day I choose to walk a resident around the property. For three hours I pushed him around the home, and I just sang to him in English because he could not talk. He really enjoyed himself; it opened my eyes and I realized everyone can help another person, even if it is only a small thing, that person will appreciate it and you will feel great for doing.”

How service-learning impacted her language development: “It helped my pronunciation and allowed me to pick up words I normally would not have. Some of the residents had trouble speaking, so in a way I had to become accustomed to a different accent in order to understand them.”

How service-learning has impacted her life: “I have become more patient with not only others, but also myself as well. I also believe it helped me see little things do matter and can help others tremendously.”

Katie (center) and friends on an excursion in Granada.
Katie (center) and friends on an excursion in Granada.

View video of Katie sharing her service-learning experience:

Learn more about a semester abroad in Granada.

Mark Your Calendars for the 2011 Coop Council Conference

Our annual Coop Conference will be held March 31-April 1, 2011. The year’s conference, 45 Years: Putting the Experience in Global Learning, will recognize Central College Abroad’s long and successful history as well as examine the evolving role of experiential learning in studying abroad. Conference attendees can expect opportunities for professional development and networking with colleagues in similar fields of interest. The conference is also an excellent way to hear about Central College Abroad programs first-hand from students, staff, faculty, resident directors and fellow cooperating institutions.

For more information about the upcoming conference, please visit our conference webpage.

Scholarship Recipient Highlight

The Leiden program is an English language program for students of all academic interests. Through various excursions, students have the opportunity to learn about the history and culture of the Netherlands. The Leiden program offers distinct course work, particularly for students with an interest in art and culture.

Who: Lauren Yanko
Major: Graphic design
Home institution: Marietta College
Semester abroad: Leiden, the Netherlands; fall 2010

Lauren is a recipient of the Vance Scholarship, a $1,000 merit-based scholarship awarded to students who attend one of Central College Abroad’s cooperating institutions.

Why Leiden: “Although I study Spanish at my college, I had difficulties finding a Hispanic program with a large focus on art and design, so I decided to try something different — and when I say different, I mean it. Instead of the overly laid-back attitudes, vivid colors and afternoon siestas I would be a part of in Latin America, I am spending my fall semester communicating with people who are friendly yet blunt, and experiencing a culture that is punctual, clean-cut and health conscious. Through Central College Abroad’s program in Leiden, I am not only exploring a culture different from a typical program abroad, but I am adapting to life below sea level and learning the sounds of a guttural language.”

How the Vance scholarship has helped: “As thrilled as I am to be here, my adventures may not have been possible if I did not receive a scholarship from Central. My scholarship helped cover a portion of the program cost so that I was not on such a tight budget during my actual time abroad. I am truly thankful for Central's help, and I am having a wonderful time.”

What she enjoys most about Leiden: “Perhaps what I enjoy most about my program in Leiden is how at home I actually feel here. I am living in a dorm with international students who are as excited about seeing the world as I am, and I receive all kinds of support from my professors while I try to further integrate myself into this culture (i.e. taking classes at other universities, joining a rowing club). The food I eat is fresh from the market and bakery, and I ride my bike or walk nearly everywhere I go. Although I am out of my comfort zone, I do not feel scared. I am learning the language, becoming accustomed to how Leiden functions, learning a new way of studying, and going to bed happy. Every day is an adventure, and I do not think I could have chosen a city more fitting for me than Leiden.”

What she hopes to gain: “Studying abroad was never a question for me, but the next step in discovering who I am. I expect to do a lot of soul searching while abroad, and I hope to gain a new design perspective that will benefit me in my field of study. Studying abroad offers so many opportunities — to learn, fail, network, experience — and I plan to take full advantage of my time here.”

Lauren enjoys the Leiden Ontzet Festival.
Lauren enjoys the Leiden Ontzet Festival.

Learn more about Central College Abroad scholarship opportunities.
Learn more about a semester abroad in Leiden.

Inauguration of Central College's 21st President

Horizons of Opportunity celebrates the inaugural year of Central College’s 21st President Mark Putnam, who began presidential duties July 1 following David Roe’s retirement after 12 years at the college. Horizons of Opportunity, the theme given to the inaugural year, gives the Central College family a unique occasion to think broadly and deeply about the college’s past and present and explore the potential range of interests that could help define the future.

Keeping the focus on Central College, Putnam spoke about rediscovering academic community in his inaugural address titled “Enduring Values.”

“This is a celebration about Central College and its future,” said Putnam. “We have a responsibility to sustain our heritage and roots of this institution in order to make a difference in the world through our students.”

Board chair Dave Wesselink '64 congratulates President Mark Putnam.
Board chair Dave Wesselink '64 congratulates President Mark Putnam.

Find video, photos and more from the inauguration ceremony of President Mark Putnam at Watch or read the inaugural address, review the program and sign the inaugural guest book. Don’t miss additional inaugural year events coming up soon. Visit for more information.

A talented writer, Putnam has launched a blog titled “Mark: My Words” on Central’s website Also follow Putnam on Facebook and Twitter.

Central College Chosen to Participate in National Project on General Education for a Global Century

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced Oct. 22 the names of 32 colleges and universities chosen in a competitive process to participate in General Education for a Global Century, a curriculum and faculty development project that is part of AAC&U’s Shared Futures initiative and is funded by the Henry Luce Foundation. More than 140 institutions applied to be a part of the initiative.

As one of 32 participating institutions and the only one in Iowa, Central College will revise general education curricula to better prepare today’s students with skills and knowledge essential for socially responsible citizenship.

Central was chosen in large part due to its well-respected study abroad programs (Central College Abroad) with demonstrated learning outcomes, not to mention the recent adoption of a new academic core and a campus-wide commitment to global learning in a variety of forms. Central also boasts a service-learning program that serves as a benchmark to other institutions and a commitment to global sustainability that integrates curricular and co-curricular offerings. 

In concert with a Global Learning Leadership Council, Central College will help lead a high profile, national effort to:

  • articulate essential global learning outcomes for all students;
  • refine and disseminate models of global general education curricula that can be adapted across all institutional types;
  • provide faculty development opportunities to assist college faculty in designing and teaching interdisciplinary, integrative courses that focus on real-world global issues;
  • and develop rubrics to assess global learning outcomes.

 “It was gratifying to see how many campuses applied to be part of this initiative,” said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider. “It is testament to how seriously today’s academy takes the challenge of preparing college students to participate effectively and responsibly in an interdependent global community. Both their future employers and our society need students with much higher levels of global knowledge and skill. This initiative will help the higher education community graduate students with these critical capacities. The Shared Futures initiative and this work on general education are important foci for AAC&U’s ongoing work to connect liberal education with the needs of a fast-changing world.”

For additional information about the initiative, see:

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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