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Central Alumni Newsletter

Friday, July 15, 2011

Hello, friends of Central College Abroad! This newsletter, released the third Friday of every month, is intended to keep you in touch with what’s happening with Central College Abroad’s programs across the globe.

Take in historic city sites in while studying abroad in Paris.
Bangor, Wales students explore beautiful Ireland through a group excursion.

October 1 deadline

Want to study abroad? Summer is a great time to work on your study abroad application before another hectic semester begins. The spring 2012 application deadline is October 1. Please note this deadline was moved to accommodate visa application deadlines and processing time.

We have also moved our scholarship deadline for all semester and year-long programs.  The scholarship deadline now coincides with the application deadline.

Take advantage of the unique cultural, language, internship and service-learning experiences waiting for you abroad while you earn academic credit and build your résumé. Eight personalized program locations across the globe allow you to get the most out of your experience abroad.

Apply Now

Act now! Take advantage of our online application it's fast, easy and FREE!

Passports and visas the stress-free way

"I'll take international education for $1,000, Alex."
"Answer: Now!'
"Question: When is the best time to get a passport?"

If this was actually "Jeopardy," Alex Trebek would award you $1,000. Being a passport and student visa smarty-pants is not just good for Jeopardy but also for your upcoming study abroad experience.

A passport is key to international travel and all Central College Abroad participants must have a passport before going abroad. It's important to obtain a passport early, as it expedites the student visa process.

"Getting a passport early is essential since most of our programs require a student visa, and visa applications cannot be started without a valid passport," said Mary Grieger, assistant to the manager of on-campus operations and student services.

Obtaining a passport and student visa may seem like a complicated process, but Central College Abroad is here to help each step of the way. Follow these simple tips to reduce stress:

  1. Apply for or renew your passport while completing your study abroad application. Remember, it can take up to two months for the passport application to be processed.
  2. When your passport arrives, sign it immediately. Make one copy for yourself and send one copy to Central at
  3. If you already have a passport, make sure it's valid for at least six months after the study abroad program ends and has 1-2 empty visa pages.
  4. Visit the U.S Department of State website to learn more about the passport application process and requirements.

Once you receive your passport, you can start the student visa application process.

"Most visa applications allow submission no earlier than 90 days before departure, and a prompt application allows time for any processing issues," Grieger said. "The key to applying early for a visa is having a valid passport."

Don't delay. Start your study abroad and passport applications today!

Getting down to business in Yiwu

The launch of our Yiwu, China, business and internship summer program has come to a close with the program proving successful in Yiwu's vibrant business atmosphere. Students took a business course and completed an internship in the world's most burgeoning export market. Hear from Ryan Smart (Baker University) about his experiences this summer in Yiwu.

Students with their "Doing Business in China" course instructor.
Students in Yiwu with their "Doing Business in China" course instructor.

Getting to know the locals: I enjoyed the new and exciting things China offered. I was partnered with a local Chinese student studying English called a pengyou (Chinese for friend). The other CCA students and I hung out with our pengyous, and the pengyous helped us by translating. We were able to help them improve their English skills as well as learn about one another's culture.

My internship: Everyone was assigned three different internships sites, each lasting about one week. My first internship site was a shop in the Yiwu International Trade Market. Next was an online store and, lastly, a trading company. The internship helped me learn how to sell things online, which is an ever-growing force. I also learned how to do business in the Trade Market and at a trading company.

Learning the business culture: I have learned a lot about the Chinese culture. I picked up on some of the taboos: don't give clocks as presents (associated with the end of something) or anything that is the color white (associated with death). Give things that have the colors red or yellow, as well as things associated with the number eight (wealth). If you accept a business card, do so with both hands and look at it and keep it out during the meeting (so you can remember their position, name and make notes on it). When ordering a business meal, order one dish for each person eating, plus one extra.

Do it! Study abroad in Yiwu: I would recommend Central College Abroad's Yiwu, China program. Our schedule was busy with the internship, but we were also able to visit a lot of cool sites nearby. I enjoyed my time on the program, made new friends and learned a lot about Chinese culture.

Learn more about the Yiwu, China summer program.

"Like" Central College Abroad on Facebook

Connect with Central College Abroad by "liking" our Facebook page. As an active member of the Facebook community, Central College Abroad serves as a resource for all things study abroad.

Stay up to date with application deadlines and scholarship opportunities. Connect with your program-mates before arriving on-site. Hear from students currently abroad and recent alums. Participate in quizzes and polls to win CCA swag! Post pictures, videos and stories from your time abroad. Stay in touch with old friends made while studying abroad. All this and more is possible with the Central College Abroad Facebook page.

We love hearing from you. There's no better way to share your abroad experience than on Facebook. Become a fan and "like" us today!

Like us on Facebook

July: a month for independence

Americans aren't the only ones that commemorate Independence Day in July. Just yesterday France celebrated its national independence holiday, known as Bastille Day.

Just like Americans, the French love to celebrate their country's independence with large parades and fireworks! Central's on-site Paris resident director, Shelley Cavaness, mentioned the celebrations would start early in the day and last well into the evening.

"To celebrate Bastille Day, there is a parade on the Avenue des Champs Elysées at noon and fireworks at night behind the Eiffel Tower," said Cavaness.

The fireworks light up the night sky behind the Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day.
The fireworks light up the night sky behind the Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day.

On the morning of July 14, 1789, the French had finally had enough of absolute monarchy and King Louis XVI's excessive spending habits that had led the country into economic ruin. The French revolution had begun more than a year before the revolution's most recognizable event: the storming of the Bastille.

Located in Paris, the Bastille was the medieval fort people associated with the royal government and power in the country. The citizens of the city swept the Bastille and gained control of the city as the monarchs fled France. Soon the country was rid of the monarchy and proclaimed a republic.

Topics like the history of Bastille Day and French independence are covered in the required cross-cultural course "Discovering Contemporary France." All Central College Abroad programs include at least one required cross-cultural course to help students examine and discuss their experiences and learn more about the host culture. The courses are enhanced by cultural excursions, interesting readings, lively discussions and reflective journaling. Learn about Central College Abroad core components designed to enhance the study abroad experience.

Take in Bastille Day for yourself next summer during Central's Paris program.

Learning Spanish "en las calles"

Although Kathleen Mautner (Scripps College) has taken Spanish language classes since 7th grade, she experienced the ups and downs of language learning while studying abroad this spring in Granada, Spain. Her transition from the American classroom to living and learning in Granada was exciting and at times frustrating. With hard work and a willingness to learn from her mistakes, Mautner not only improved her Spanish skills, she learned the most important lesson of all — practice is important!

Arrival in Spain: I felt fairly confident with my Spanish language abilities and was excited to put my skills to the test with native Spanish speakers. It turns out that learning Spanish in a purely academic setting isn't exactly the same thing as speaking it in an everyday, colloquial, "en las calles" (on the streets) context. At first I struggled to understand my host parents, salespeople, waiters, the newscasters on television and everyone in between. I constantly asked my host mom to repeat words or explain their meaning, and I looked up the translation of a word approximately every 30 seconds.

Practice makes perfect: After some time in Spain, I caught myself throwing Spanish words into English conversations with my family or friends from home, with "vale" (okay) as the most frequent, and "entonces" (so, then) a close second. There were also times when I knew the meaning of a Spanish word but couldn't think of what its meaning in English was. It's crazy to think that I knew the meaning of something better in my second language than my first!

Like learning any new skill, though, some days were better than others. On those "other" days, I couldn't think of the translation for the simplest of words; perhaps the most embarrassing example was when I couldn't even say thank you (we're talking Dora the Explorer level here) to a waitress for my coffee!

All in all, my language abilities improved by leaps and bounds in Granada. By the end of my semester, I understood my professors perfectly, I could converse with the waiter at my favorite café, I had an intelligent discussion about Spanish immigration policy with my host dad over dinner and, best of all, I caught myself thinking in Spanish. In the end, I learned that ¡tengo que practicar más! (I just have to practice more!)

Practice your Spanish with friends on your lunch break in one of Granada's beautiful parks.
Practice your Spanish on your lunch break in one of Granada's beautiful parks.

Improve your Spanish skills in beautiful Granada. Check out the program.

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Central College Abroad
812 University Box 0140
Pella, IA 50219
Fax: 641-628-5375

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Spring 2012 application and scholarship deadline

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