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Central Alumni Newsletter

Friday, November 9, 2012

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

Students on the Bangor Summer 2012 program get ready to canoe.
Students on the Bangor Summer 2012 program get ready to canoe.

Featuring International Education Week November 12-16

International Education Week is a nationwide event promoting global vision and the importance of international education programs. Central College Abroad is excited to facilitate a host of activities for the week. Events include British/Chinese tea time, cooking demonstrations from our six program locations, public speakers and so much more! View the schedule.

Celebrate International Education Week with British Tea

Accepting applications for summer and fall 2013!

Nothing to do over your winter break? Start your application to study abroad! Take advantage of the unique cultural, language and internship-rich experiences waiting abroad while earning academic credit and building your resume. Eight 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!

The summer application deadline is March 1 and fall is March 15.

2012-2013 Travel Grant Awards

Formal site visits for study abroad professionals are essential for providing accurate and important information to students. Central College Abroad is proud to provide such an opportunity to Cooperative Council member institutions. Each year, CCA awards travel grants to visit one or more of our international program sites.

Visits are conducted on a one-on-one basis where grant recipients can expect to visit classes, affiliate universities and internship and service-learning placements, as well as tour classroom facilities and accommodations. Recipients meet extensively with the on-site resident director and talk with current students to gain a better understanding of the student experience.

Congratulations to this year’s recipients:

  • Andrew Wiseman, Cedarville University
  • Ashlee Flinn, Austin College
  • Barbara Pieroni, University of Evansville
  • Martivon Galindo, Holy Names University
  • Mark Kehren, Loras College
  • Steve Hoekstra, Kansas Wesleyan University
  • Charla Bailey, Texas Lutheran University
  • Perry Morrison, Baron College
  • Mansir Petrie, Hartwick College
  • Stacey Shimizu, Illinois Wesleyan University
  • Corey Roberts, Calvin College

Learn more about the travel grant program and our Cooperative Council.

You can still be an athlete when you study abroad

By: Joy Santos of Cedarville University and Katie Kepford of Central College. Santos and Kepford studied abroad in Bangor, Wales, during fall 2011.

I’m Joy Santos from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. And this is my best friend Katie Kepford from Central College in Pella, Iowa. We both came to Wales for different reasons; I needed to take classes for my exercise science major, and Katie knew since starting college that she wanted to study abroad in Bangor, Wales. Both Katie and I are actively involved with athletics at our respective schools and knew that even in Wales we wanted to use our God-given athleticism. I don’t think that we could have ever predicted the adventures we had, but all semester we lived by the motto: ‘living life on the edge’. This motto led us to join four of the ten sports clubs at Bangor University.

Being on the track team at Cedarville, I joined the Bangor Athletics team to stay in shape during my off season. Because Katie is on the basketball team at Central, she joined the Bangor basketball team. Together, Katie and I joined the volleyball and Gaelic football teams, which kept us extremely active during the semester. We got so much more than just physical activity from these teams.

Katie and I made memories that will last a lifetime. One of the biggest reasons we love Bangor so much is because of the people we met. Between the four different teams we joined, we met many amazing people. Not only did we spend a lot of time with our teams during practices, but we also had “socials” or team outings together. We still keep in contact with some of our teammates today!

Kepford (left) and Santos showing off a decisive win with the Bangor basketball team.
Kepford (left) and Santos showing off a decisive win with the Bangor basketball team.

Along with getting to meet and play with some really cool people, another perk of being on the sports teams was traveling. With volleyball, Katie and I made it on the 1st team squad and got to travel to day-long tournaments in Liverpool and Manchester. We got to travel to Manchester three different times to play in Gaelic football tournaments and made it to the semi-finals in the league. In basketball, we had the privilege of traveling all around the UK, including Lancaster, Chester and Liverpool, as well going to a few local gyms to play men’s teams. Some of the many memories we have with the teams include: going into overtime in two basketball games, getting muddy head to foot from playing in a Gaelic football tournament, working hard and enjoying every minute of practices and having loads of fun with everyone at the socials.

Join a team in Bangor, Wales. Sports not your thing? Check out other Bangor University clubs and organizations.

Bloomsbury: Student Capital of London and site of new program housing

Central College Abroad fall London students are the first to live at Woburn Place in the Bloomsbury district.

The new residence is in the heart of London’s academic community. Students from the surrounding university mill about in all of the numerous parks, holding philosophical conversations on street corners, bustling to their next class or perusing one of the many the shops in the area.

In the Bloomsbury district, students can find grocery stores, scrumptious sandwich cafes, endless coffee shops, pubs, Thai food, Mexican restaurants and a couple fabulous bookstores—all within a five-minute walk of Woburn Place. The proximity to the University of London’s Memorial Union means that students have opportunities to join clubs, organizations and teams, and get to know other local students.

A glimpse of Woburn Place

London students cook their own meals, and Woburn Place includes fully equipped kitchen facilities. Kitchens, lounges, study nooks and common areas are all shared facilities. Our students share a room with one other student in the Central College Abroad London program.

Jen Pollard, assistant director of the London program, said of the new location, “I'm always noticing the calm, the greenery and the community. It's very safe!”

Discover Woburn Place, and explore Bloomsbury District in London, England.

Central selected to participate in IIE’s Academic Partnership Program for Brazil

Central College was chosen as one of thirteen colleges and universities by the Institute of International Education (IIE) to be part of the International Academic Partnership Program (IAPP) 2013 Brazil enterprise.  The program is designed to incorporate a year of training exercises on how to establish relationships in Brazil, as well as explore options for mutual international advancement.

Lyn Isaacson, associate dean for global education, will be represent Central College and will work with members from the select schools.  Isaacson said of the venture, “The opportunity to explore potential partnerships with educational institutions in Brazil aligns well with Central’s strategic initiative to expand education abroad opportunities in key areas of the world.”

The IIE has been internationally renowned since 1919, with offices in 18 locations worldwide and more than 1,000 institutional members. The IAPP program began in 2009 and is a major initiative that seeks to increase the number of international partnerships between higher education institutions in the U.S. and those abroad.

Read more

Service-learning in Vienna: Steine der Erinnerung

By: Chelsea Ford, Davidson College
Chelsea Ford studied abroad in Vienna, Austria, during the spring 2012 semester. Steine der Erinnerung, Stones of Remembrance, is a recent addition to the service-learning opportunities in Vienna.

The organization I worked with, “Steine der Erinnerung” or “Stones of Remembrance,” is dedicated to commemorating the lives of the murdered and deported Jews of Vienna, beginning in 1938 with the Nazi annexation of Austria. There are plaques, referred to as stones, placed throughout the city in front of former meeting places, residences and businesses belonging to Jews.

My duties include going once a week with Karl, a member of the organization, to clean stones. These stones are located throughout the districts of Vienna and most heavily concentrated in the 2nd district, which was historically Jewish. There is a rotation schedule, and all the stones are cleaned at least once every six weeks.

Stones remembering and celebrating the lives of Viennese Jews.

The organization consists of only six members, and most have full-time jobs. Many new plaque station openings occur in the spring when family and community members come to celebrate the lives of former loved ones. I had the opportunity to witness one of these openings. The new station was in the fourth district, coincidentally where I lived, and it consisted of four plaques. Family members came from Austria, Canada, Israel and England. It was a very emotional experience, listening to the families recollect their parents and grandparents. The Vienna Jewish choir was there to sing, and everyone joined in. The families’ stories were remarkable, as was their strength, courage and perseverance.

On more than one occasion, I have attracted the attention of onlookers while cleaning the stones. Some people find it peculiar to see a young girl cleaning on the sidewalk, and it is obvious that some people still have prejudices. Sometimes stones are vandalized, even urinated on. Most the stones are laid along the sidewalk because current owners seldom permit stones to be mounted along the walls of the homes.

I cannot express how much I benefited from my experiences working with this group. Every week I was educated on important people and places in Vienna’s Jewish community. I was able to converse with Viennese Jews and satisfy all of my curiosities about their personal experiences.

Go deeper through service-learning in Vienna.

A Tale of Two Passports

Cory Ingram, M.D. studied abroad in Leiden, the Netherlands, for three semesters between 1990-1991. He is assistant professor of family and palliative medicine at the Mayo Clinic, College of Medicine. He is also the medical director of palliative medicine at the Mayo Clinic Health System.

My experience at Central College was transformative in many ways, and it is impossible to envision what my life would have been like had I never taken the leap of faith to study abroad.

Studying abroad will allow you to learn about another culture and meet new and interesting people, and yet that is just scratching the surface.  Studying abroad is really about the personal journey and self-discovery that reveals itself when all of life is viewed through a new cultural lens that challenges common beliefs, values and your way of life. 

I had met several people at Central from other parts of the world, and I was intrigued by their worldview and cultural perspectives that differed from mine, since I had grown up in rural Iowa.  Practicalities led me to Leiden.  It was the only English-speaking study abroad program on the continent of Europe at the time, and I was searching for a place with people like those I had met and admired from Central. In fact, I changed my major to pre-medicine from interdisciplinary studies overnight, and then I was off to Leiden. It was truly a leap of faith, one of many yet to come in my life.  

After my graduation from Central, I applied to a medical program that accepts 30 foreign students from about 3,000 applicants and distributes them across eight Dutch medical schools. I received word that I was one of the 30. I took my second leap of faith and went back to Leiden for medical school. Six months of intensive Dutch language classes and exams at Leiden prepared me to matriculate in 1994 into the 2000 class of Leiden University, College of Medicine. I lived the Dutch life, immigrated and married my Dutch wife. 

Students taking a breather during the Ghana summer program
Dr. Cory Ingram with his wife, Lillian, and children

I took another leap of faith moving back to the United States in 2002.  Dutch life and Dutch medicine proved difficult to navigate. The market for doctors was saturated, and many Dutch doctors were leaving the country. I returned on the word of my residency director at the University of Nebraska and a prayer that I would pass all my U.S. Board exams. It all worked out! Many of my friends from medical school are still in the process of their postgraduate training almost 18 years later, and I have been enjoying the life of a consultant for the last six years. 

After a few years, my wife and I decided that it was important for her to return to The Netherlands. She needed to breathe in the culture again, visit friends and family and simply be home for a while. We returned to Holland in the summer of 2011 with our four children. During our vacation, we realized that the trip was equally important for me.

Holland is also my home.  In retrospect, by the time I was 33, I had lived in Holland a third of my life, essentially all of my adult life. I spoke the language and held a desired position in Internal Medicine at the Queen’s Hospital in The Hague caring for seriously ill Dutch people.  I am Dutch.

Life has been interesting, full and rich. I can only attribute that to studying abroad. You see, I came to Central without a passport and today I have two. 

Discover how Leiden can transform your life!

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

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