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Central Alumni Newsletter

Friday, February 10, 2012

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

Granada students take in the Alhambra during orientation.
Granada students take in the Alhambra during orientation.

Study abroad for Faculty?

Under the leadership of President Mark Putnam, Central College is in the midst of an intense planning year. President Putnam has charged some of higher education’s most well-known players and other campus leaders to think about how to change the landscape of higher education at Central College. Listen in as Dr. Putnam discusses faculty development.

Study abroad for faculty?

Tune in next month to hear Dr. Putnam describe unique opportunities for student development abroad. Learn more about Central’s planning year initiatives.

Register today! Coop Council Conference

We invite members of our Cooperating Council to register for our annual Coop Council Conference, April 12-13 in Pella, Iowa. This year, we are pleased to announce that Dr. Madeleine Green, expert in internationalization and higher education leadership and management issues, will deliver a keynote address on assessing global education—where we are and how we are doing.

Dr. Green serves as a Senior Fellow at the International Association of Universities and at NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

The conference theme, “Facilitating Student Learning Abroad: Before, During and After,” examines the ways in which professionals on campus and abroad facilitate student learning and how clearly defined student learning goals can have a long-term impact on a relatively short experience. Hear firsthand from faculty, study abroad professionals and our international resident directors.

This is a great professional development opportunity for those in the field of international education. We look forward to seeing you at the conference. Register online today.

Paris and Granada program updates

Attention students and study abroad advisors! Please note these important updates from our Granada and Paris study abroad programs.
Pre- and Post-language testing in Paris
Beginning spring 2012, students on the CCA Paris program will take the TEF (Test d’Evaluation de Francais), a language proficiency exam given by the CCIP (Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry). The exam is internationally recognized as a validation of French competency and designed to assess the level of French language of those who are not native French speakers.  Students are assessed in reading and listening comprehension as well as vocabulary and language structures.

Why is the TEF important?

  • It assesses comprehension and expression skills in French.
  • It gives a quantitative and qualitative measure of the level of students’ linguistic and communication skills.
  • It offers a detailed and personalized analysis of results.
  • Students can use results on their home campus, with French universities or for work in France.

Please contact Central College Abroad if you have questions about testing your students’ language proficiency.

Islamic Studies in Spain
Central College Abroad is pleased to announce the addition of an Islamic Studies in Spain track to our Granada program. Students enrolled in this unique track will closely examine the profound impact of the Islamic culture on Granada and southern Spain. Students must complete at least four semesters of college-level Spanish before enrolling and will take both Spanish and Arabic language courses while in the program. Students will also enroll in “Islamic Culture in Spain” and complete a personalized research project under the instruction of Professor Aurelio Ríos Rojas. Excursions with a special focus on Islamic culture will round out a student’s semester with visits to Morocco, Cordoba, Seville and Ronda.

The Islamic Studies in Spain track will be available beginning fall 2012.

Students interested in participating in the Islamic studies track for the Fall 2012 semester should contact their Central College Abroad advisor

Application deadlines quickly approaching

Still debating if you should get away and study abroad this summer or fall? Well, application deadlines will be here before you know it! The application for summer is due March 1. Fall application materials are due March 15. Application materials include an online application form, official transcripts, an essay and recommendations. Both applications are online and completely free!

Need some extra funding? Don’t forget to apply for Central College Abroad scholarships! Fall 2012 scholarship applications are due with the program application on March 15. Learn more about scholarships.

Studies in Global Health in Merida

Valerie Grimsley, Merida resident director, talks about the growing need for health-related professionals and how the practical skills and cultural awareness gained through a study abroad experience are an asset in the health sciences.

The Central College Abroad program in Merida, Yucatan, has long been an ideal study abroad destination for students pursuing the health sciences. Field experience opportunities abound, with past students landing internships and service-learning placements at locations including physical therapy clinics, children’s recreational programs, health promotion and advocacy sites, a home for the elderly and programs for disabled children.

Through our new Studies in Global Health summer program, the opportunities are only growing. Courses include “Healthcare in Yucatan” and “Spanish for Health Professionals.” Students will focuses on Yucatacan healthcare from a social, political and economic perspective. “Healthcare in Yucatan” will examine rural and urban health issues and services, as well as the roles of modern and traditional medicine through site visits to large public hospitals, small rural clinics and more. “Spanish for Health Professionals” is designed to increase a student’s health-related vocabulary and awareness of how to address clients or patients and the role cultural background plays in medical decision-making.

Understand Mexican healthcare services through site visits
Understand Mexican healthcare services through site visits.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Health, therefore, touches on every aspect of a community from access to basic healthcare services to access to clean water and sanitation, from public policy to politics. 

The major causes of mortality in both developed and developing countries is shifting away from infectious diseases and malnutrition to chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer and respiratory diseases, many of which are related to the physical and social environment. While many of us are familiar with health problems that can develop from concerns in the physical environment such as air pollution and lack of access to clean water, the social environment plays an increasingly important role in health. Examples of the social environment include employment, social support, social cohesion, poverty, stress and personal lifestyle choices. 

The need for healthcare workers to address these problems is ever-increasing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states 10 of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S. are health-related. Between 2010 and 2018, an estimated 3.2 million new healthcare jobs will be created in the U.S., more than in any other industry. 

In addition to training and experience, healthcare workers also need to be culturally aware, curious and informed. Language and communication skills are paramount. Considering the growing Latin American population in the United States, healthcare workers who can pair Spanish proficiency with a culturally minded understanding of Mexican patients’ perception of medicine will distinguish themselves.

The Studies in Global Health program in Merida is designed to increase both practical knowledge and cultural and language skills with regard to global health, giving students these advantages.

Click here to apply for the summer 2012 program. Applications are due March 1. 

Cultural Immersion in Ghana

Students of all academic interests will benefit from our History, Arts and Culture summer program in Accra, Ghana. Hear from program alumni and director Dr. Samuel Mate-Kodjo as they describe a day in the life of a Ghana study abroad student.

A Day in the Life of a Ghana Study Abroad Student

Applications are being accepted for the summer 2012 program. Apply today

Spring 2012 bloggers announced!

As a special distinction, Central College Abroad students are selected to Blog from Abroad as a way to reflect on their experiences and let you know what it’s really like to study abroad. From funny language-learning mishaps to educational group excursions, these students tell all through pictures, text and video.

Bangor students prepare for an Outdoor Pursuits high ropes course.
Bangor students prepare for an Outdoor Pursuits high ropes course.
Submitted by Bangor blogger Gina Digiantonio.

Congratulations to our spring 2012 bloggers:

  • Bangor, Wales: Gina Digiantonio (Drake University): Gina is a bit of a thrill seeker when it comes to trying new activities and enjoys being outdoors. She selected Bangor so she could participate in Outdoor Pursuits while taking advantage of the picturesque environment and unique biology courses.
  • Granada, Spain: Colin Eberl-Coe (Colorado School of Mines): Follow Colin from Colorado; he believes his state is the best in the union. He eats, sleeps, studies and especially breathes el fútbol! Colin is discovering that Granada is ‘ancient, yet bustling, terrifyingly foreign, yet terrifically alive.’
  • Hangzhou, China: Talbot Hook (Central College): Talbot is specializing in East Asian Studies, so his return to Hangzhou is not surprising. He has already spent a semester in China, so now Talbot’s focus is to travel often and speak more intentionally with locals to improve his Chinese and cultural understanding.
  • Leiden, the Netherlands:  Kylie Wyman (Roger Williams University): Kylie plans to capture Dutch landscapes, architecture and culture through her photography class. She hopes the images and artistic experience from Leiden will enhance her portfolio and create exciting photographs.
  • London, England: Abby Norman (Central College): If you think you’ve traveled, wait until you meet Abby, the consummate study abroad student. She studied in Granada for a semester, volunteered in South Africa for the 2010 World Cup and is now studying in London to embrace a new role as “Londoner,” intern, passionate ladies’ football player and student.
  • Merida, Yucatan: Cynthia Walker (Central College): Then there’s Cynthia, the ‘soul searcher.’ Cynthia has already spent a semester in Merida and plans to enroll in two university courses with her Mexican peers and intern for a local non-profit as an assistant for communication and web projects.
  • Paris, France: Rachel Rixen (Augsburg College): Rachel is from Minnesota and visited Paris with her family a few years ago. She has been impatiently and eagerly waiting to return to Paris and hopes to travel while putting her ‘French language skills to the test in a real-world context.’
  • Vienna, Austria: Dane Watson (Bradley University): Do you like hockey? Would you join a team in Vienna? Dane from Illinois is hoping to improve his German while playing on an amateur ice hockey team with other university students. He hopes the combination of Austrian classmates and teammates will enhance his knowledge of Austrian culture and daily life.

Follow our study abroad students as they Blog from Abroad.

Internship Q&A: Leiden, the Netherlands

Aaron Schwander of Central College spent the fall of 2011 studying in Leiden, the Netherlands. While there, he interned two days a week at a local company in Leiden.

Q: Tell us about your internship.
A: I worked at Lumesse, which is a global software company specializing in recruitment and human capital management applications. The office in Leiden focused on marketing and sales. One of the big companies we worked was Heineken. My job was to work on English-language summaries of Lumesse’s software. I also validated test scripts of the software for client companies and did some work with social media.

Schwander at his internship with Lumesse.
Schwander at his internship with Lumesse.

Q: Why Lumesse?
A: The sales and marketing angle attracted me to working at Lumesse because my major is business management. I was able to network into the position through a contact my dad had within Lumesse. It ended up being a really great fit. The Leiden office works with people from all over Europe, and it really got me interested in international business. That is something that I would love to do in the future.

Q: What was the biggest difference between a Dutch office and a U.S. office?
A: It was a completely different type of productivity. The Dutch don’t have a steady work week. In the U.S. we work for eight hours, five days a week. In the Netherlands they work 3-4 days a week. When they’re in the office they work very hard, but they spend a lot of time at home with their families. There is also more face-to-face interaction at work. I had to learn that instead of sending emails back and forth to solve a problem, it was better to go talk to the person directly.

Q: What was the language barrier like?
A: It was a Dutch-speaking office. At first it was intimidating, but everybody knew enough English that I didn’t have trouble communicating. Before long, I felt comfortable enough to walk up to people and talk to them. I definitely expanded my Dutch skills and learned a lot just by listening. I learned enough to be polite and say some basic things. They really just like to see that you’re trying. Even though it makes you feel vulnerable sometimes, I really came to like the language barrier. It makes for a really fun and engaging atmosphere.

Build your resume in Leiden, the Netherlands.

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

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