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Central Alumni Newsletter

Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011

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.

Explore Mayan ruins throughout the Yucatan while studying abroad in Merida, Mexico.
Explore Mayan ruins while studying abroad in Merida, Mexico.

Summer 2011 deadline coming up!

Bust the boring routine of your usual summer vacation and study abroad! Take advantage of the unique cultural, language and internship-rich experiences waiting abroad while earning academic credit and building your resume. Nine personalized programs across the globe allow you to get the most out of your experience abroad. Take advantage of our fully online application — it's fast, easy and FREE!

Act now – the summer application deadline is Tuesday, March 1.

Apply Now!

One alumnus' story: How I integrated in Vienna

Who: Andrew Knot
Major: German
Home institution: Calvin College
Study abroad site: Vienna, Austria, spring 2010

Why he chose Vienna: As a German major, a German-speaking city/country was the obvious choice. Calvin College has a great partnership with Central College Abroad, which made the decision relatively simple. I knew the opportunity to spend four months in such a beautiful, historic city was a special one. After living there for a semester, I can't imagine a better place to study abroad.

How he made connections with local Austrians: The Central program in Vienna intentionally places students in dorms with Austrian roommates. This is a tremendous immersion opportunity. The night we arrived in Vienna, Dominik, a friend from my dorm, took some of us Americans out to watch a soccer game. This marked the beginning of a great relationship between the Americans and the Austrians in my dorm. The Austrian students really went out of their way to welcome us. By the end of the trip, we had become great friends.

I also got to know some Austrians through a class at the University of Vienna. We met for a weekly study group and became great friends from there. The line between "Austrian friends" and "American friends" quickly blurred. We all hung out together regularly. We often cooked meals together, went to student parties and even traveled together.

Most impactful immersion experience: I went to my friend Domnik's home in Burgenland (Austria's easternmost state) for a weekend. His family was very welcoming. They prepared a huge meal, and we just socialized with a group of Dominik's Austrian friends. He lived right next to Neusiedler See, Austria's well-known lake, so we spent a lot of time there. It was a great way to experience home away from home. The German language has a word, "gemütlich," which means comfortable or homelike. Life in an Austrian home was a little more gemütlich.

How he stays in touch: I still talk to a few of my Austrian friends on a weekly basis. We use Skype, Facebook, and e-mail to stay in touch. I've also sent a few e-mails back and forth with Ruth Verweijen, the resident director in Vienna. She and Marie Trappl, the assistant director, were fundamental to the adjustment process for me and the rest of our study abroad group.

I've already looked at some post-graduate opportunities in Austria and am seriously considering a few of them. I don't have set plans on when I'll go back, but I think that some of my Austrian friends have a trip to America in the works. With the way they shaped my Austrian experience, I'd love an opportunity to show them my home country.

Advice for future study abroad students: Take every opportunity to learn. When living in a foreign country, everything is a learning experience. Try new things and integrate yourself to the culture as much as possible. Vienna is a city that offers unending cultural opportunities. A semester isn't nearly enough time to do everything, but it's more than enough time to gain a sincere appreciation for the culture.

Learn more about study abroad in Vienna, Austria

Andrew Knot
Andrew Knot (right) and Dominik visit the Albertina art gallery in Vienna.

$1,000 China travel voucher

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

To apply, visit Applications must be received by Tuesday, March 1, to be considered. Enter promo code: China11 in your application.

Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang Province and is considered by many Chinese 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.

Limited offer ― additional application materials may be required.

Learn more about study abroad in Hangzhou, China.

Discover China with fellow classmates and become immersed in the Chinese culture.
Discover China with fellow classmates and become immersed in the Chinese culture.

Attention study abroad faculty and advisors

Mark your calendars for our annual Coop Conference March 31 - April 1 on the Central College campus. This year's conference, 45 Years: Putting the Experience in Global Learning, will examine the evolving role of experiential learning in studying abroad.

Conference highlights include:

  • Professional development (focusing on, but not limited to, topics such as mental health, faculty led programs, and assessment)
  • Individual appointments with resident directors
  • Opportunities for networking with and learning from colleagues in the field
  • Roundtable discussions ― provide your input for Central College Abroad programming
  • A $150 travel stipend for each institution
  • Special programming and professional development for student attendees*

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

*Each institution can bring up to two student attendees. Meals and lodging will be provided.

Can't slow down this alumna!

World traveler. Spanish and psychology double major. Future school counselor. These characteristics all describe Central College Abroad alumna Justine Celoni. You might be surprised to learn that Celoni has cerebral palsy, a disability that affects movement, muscle tone and posture. However, this disability didn't stop her from studying abroad not just once, but twice!

An alumna of the Granada, Spain, and Bangor, Wales, programs, Celoni didn't think about her disability when applying to go abroad.

"I initially chose to attend Central College because of the wonderful study abroad opportunities," said Celoni. "I love to travel, and I'm a pretty determined person. I wanted to study abroad … so I did it!"

Once abroad, Celoni took advantage of every opportunity available to her, including the Outdoor Pursuits course in Bangor, Wales. Outdoor Pursuits is an experiential-based course that combines activities such as rock climbing, sea kayaking and mountaineering with practical skills like group work, communication and leadership.

"I knew if I went to Bangor and did not take this class, I would be missing out on a great opportunity," said Celoni.

The Outdoor Pursuits instructors were able to make accommodations for Celoni's disability. "I met with the instructors before the class started," said Celoni. "We took extra safety precautions on a few of the activities, but I was still able to work right alongside the other kids in the class."

Central College Abroad works with students with disabilities to find a program that fits their academic and socials needs as well as accommodates their disability. The program sites vary in the level of accommodation that each can provide, but Central College Abroad will do all that we reasonably can to accommodate requests.

"If you have a disability and are considering studying abroad, do it!" said Celoni. "Central does a great job of accommodating your needs but doesn't patronize. They practice a great level of privacy, and include you as a member of the group. If you let a disability keep you from studying abroad, you will regret it later in life."

Learn more about health and safety issues.

Justine Celoni enjoys the view in Wales.
Justine Celoni enjoys the view in Wales.

London internship spotlight

Ashley AlbaughThe London, England, program enables students to tailor their academic programming based on personal interests and ambitions. Among the many opportunities, students can gain valuable experience completing an internship or service-learning placement alongside Londoners and other Brits. Students within all majors are encouraged to consider the London program.

Who: Ashley Albaugh
Major: Communication studies
Home Institution: Central College
Study Abroad Site: London, fall 2010
Internship Site: Hotcourses UK

Why she chose London: I choose London because of the internship opportunities as well as the chance to live in a large, international city. I love to explore, and I've always wanted to travel. I felt that being in London was the perfect place to start my travels. I loved the city and the people! Another thing I loved about London was how the past meets present – old buildings next to brand new buildings, but it all still flows and blends together.

Her internship: I was an intern for a company called Hotcourses. They have quite a few domestic and international websites that provide data on colleges and courses available to students. The company recently launched Hotcourses USA, to which I fixed up and added content. I also worked on a project called "link building," in which I searched for educational websites or blogs to link to the Hotcourses' website.

What she liked most about her internship: The most interesting part of my internship was the people with whom I worked. There were people from around the world who worked on the websites. I worked closely with people from South Africa, Korea and China as well as Londoners. Not only did I get a chance to experience British life, but I also explored other cultures. The work environment in London was so different from back home. Tea is essential [in London]. The office was very laid back with people passing on new songs to each other and talking about the latest episode of the "X Factor."

Explore China this summer

Seeking adventure this summer? Experience Chinese culture and trade during a four-week "business trip" in Yiwu, China.

Yiwu is located in the central part of Zhejiang Province and is home to the country's largest wholesale market. Seventy percent of China-made products are exported from Yiwu, making it a great location for those interested in doing business in China.

Yiwu highlights include:

  • Complete a business internship and Chinese business course.
  • Internship placements with foreign trade companies, Yiwu market businesses, and international organizations.
  • No Chinese language skills are required for this unique opportunity! You will be paired with a local Chinese English major to help with language translation and cultural understanding.

Your Yiwu summer study abroad experience will not be complete without excursions throughout this fascinating country! Spend a weekend in Shanghai and tour "theme markets" throughout Zhejiang Province. Finish with a trip to Beijing featuring visits to the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Olympic Games Square, and Summer Palace, among other sites.

Learn more about summer study abroad in Yiwu, China.

Experience Chinese markets firsthand in Yiwu this summer.
Experience Chinese markets firsthand in Yiwu this summer.

Join us at the Forum on Education Abroad in Boston

Central College Abroad will present at the Forum on Education Abroad Conference Wednesday-Friday, April 6-8, in Boston, Mass.

Valerie Grimsley, resident director, Merida, Mexico; Truett Cates, professor of German and director of the center for global learning, Austin College in Sherman, Texas; and Cheri Doane, director of community-based learning, Central College will lead a presentation titled "Digital Dialogue: Processing Cultural Integration Via Technology." The presentation takes place Thursday, April 7, from 3:45–5 p.m.

Larry Braskamp, co-author of Global Perspective Inventory (GPI) and professor emeritus, Loyola University in Chicago, Ill.; Dennis Doyle, professor of communication studies, Central College; and Brian Zylstra, manager of on-campus operations, Central College Abroad will lead a workshop titled "The Uses of the Global Perspective Inventory in Assessing Student Global Learning and Development." The workshop will take place Wednesday, April 6, from 1–4:30 p.m.

Jessica Klyn de Novelo, assistant director of institutional relations, and Maria Hickle, coordinator of institutional relations, will also be in attendance.

Please visit the conference website for details and full session descriptions. Contact if you would like to meet with a Central College Abroad representative 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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March 1, 2011
Summer 2011 application deadline

March 1, 2011
China travel voucher deadline

March 15, 2011
Fall 2011 application deadline

March 31 - April 1, 2011
Annual coop conference

Refer a friend today!

812 University
Pella, Iowa 50219