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Friday, May 10, 2013
Hello, friends of Central College Abroad! Our quarterly newsletter is intended to keep you in touch with what’s happening with Central College Abroad’s programs across the globe.
Central College welcomes international resident directors to campus
Each year, Central College Abroad resident directors return to Pella, Iowa to Central’s campus for a week in the spring. Directors were on campus from April 10-16 this year and the Central College Abroad team was involved in a myriad of events including yearly planning, professional development and team building. We also hosted a variety of events for students including a reception for alums, a study abroad fair for prospective students and pre-departure for students studying abroad this summer and fall.
This is a great opportunity for the entire Central College Abroad team to spend time together working on new projects. Included this year were new uses of social media on our international sites. “One word that comes to mind is practical,” says Valerie Grimsley, resident director for the Merida program. “I picked up good tips about using social media more intentionally for on-going communication.” Grimsley also commented about the week, “It is always good to be reminded how we must work together to make the Central College experience the best it can be.”
Learn more about the Central College Abroad model for study abroad. http://www.central.edu/abroad/aboutUs/
Interning at the United Nations, Vienna
Central College senior and alumnus of Central College Abroad’s Vienna program, Drew Readel, had one of the most interesting and exciting experiences of his life when he chose to study abroad the fall of his junior year.
“At first I wasn’t sure about studying abroad in Vienna, Austria,” Readel said. “I was unsure about how my German skills would be, and as a political science major, I had originally planned on studying in London.”
However, Readel learned that the Vienna program had its own share of internship goldmines and cultural flair that turned into a very appealing option for him, especially with the prospect of an internship at the United Nations.
Vienna resident director, Ruth Verwijen, and assistant director, Michaela Maschek, helped prepare Readel for his interview at the UN. After an interview, he was placed with the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) which focuses primarily on cooperation between its 60 member states in all aspects of international trade law and collaboration. “The internship helped strengthen my German language skills. It was also helpful that my supervisors spoke English and German,” Readel commented. For Readel, having a bilingual office setting was a huge plus to his studies and cultural experience.
From archiving the UNCITRAL library, to digitizing and translating documents and policies for use in both Vienna and New York City headquarters, Readel’s experience in foreign affairs and diplomacy grew exponentially.
A perk of the internship, besides security clearance and a security badge, was the opportunity to sit in on conferences and meetings that were held in the complex. “I remember two weeks in to the internship there was a conference being held at the International Atomic Energy Agency between the U.S. and Iran, dealing with Iran’s proliferation of nuclear research. Talk about cool!” Readel said.
Even though Readel interned for only 4 months, he is grateful for being given such a life-changing opportunity. Adding this experience to his resume, Readel hopes to work in some aspect of international politics after graduation.
Interested in a similar internship to Drew’s? Learn about internship available in Vienna. http://www.central.edu/abroad/vienna/internshipsServiceLearning.cfm
From English to...Welsh?
Students who study abroad frequently discuss the challenges the language barrier can bring; how it can be both a positive and a negative. For Jesse Blauw, a Central College junior studying in Bangor, Wales, Welsh proves to be a very interesting experience.
“I thought it was practically non-existent, but I learned that the language is spoken by about 700,000 people,” says Blauw. Wanting to get the most out of his semester experience in the idyllic and picturesque country of Wales, Blauw decided to enroll, along with half of his fellow program students, in the Basic Welsh language class that is offered through Bangor University. “I have always enjoyed learning new languages, so I figured, why not try Welsh?” he said.
Tecwyn Vaughan Jones, the director for the Bangor program, mentions the increased popularity among students who study in Bangor and their interest in the Welsh class. Not only does it offer an interesting approach to Welsh culture and society, but it also gives students three easily transferable credits—what’s not to like? Wanting to showcase a sampling of his Welsh, Blauw has provided some simple phrases that can be found below:
Learn more about Welsh and the Bangor program. http://www.central.edu/abroad/bangor/
Fostering Global Health Initiatives Abroad
In January, Central College Abroad in Merida was proud to host a quarterly meeting for the Heartland Global Health Consortium. Central College is a founding member of the consortium, which was developed to foster collaboration among Iowa colleges and universities who offer international health experiences for their students. The goal of this collaboration is to share information and resources in order to expand educational, research and service opportunities for both students and faculty.
While quarterly meetings for the consortia created a sense of consistency, most representatives wished for a longer, more fluid process –a program where ideas could continue to evolve, even if some representatives weren’t present. To foster this, Merida, Mexico was established as the international “common place” for the consortium to develop and create new initiatives, not only for its representatives, but for students and faculty in Merida, as well.
Anya Butt, associate professor of biology at Central College; Ellen DuPre, professor of biology and pre-health coordinator; and Cheri Doane, director of community-based learning, represented Central College at the meeting in Merida. While there, the members visited a clinic dedicated to researching the increase of diabetes diagnoses in Mexico. The exchange of ideas is especially beneficial for the Central College Abroad program as we launch a new “Studies in Global Health” semester program this fall.
Learn more about the Studies in Global Health program in Merida, Yucatan! http://www.central.edu/abroad/merida/academicsFall.cfm
Central College presents at the Education Abroad Programs in German-Speaking Europe Conference
Central College Abroad Vienna resident director, Ruth Verweijen, and assistant director, Michaela Maschek were joined by Central faculty members, Maria Snyder and Amy Young, in presenting at the 2013 Education Abroad Programs in German-Speaking Europe conference at Emory University.
The conference, held March 21-23, was attended by several representatives from college and university abroad programs across the nation, as well as members of the international education society. Verweijen, Maschek, Snyder and Young had the honor of presenting on “Personalizing Learning in a Small Liberal Arts Context: the Self-Directed Learner in Vienna.”
Learn more about Central College Abroad in Vienna. http://www.central.edu/abroad/vienna/
A Royal Treat
Central College senior Kate Ricke and junior Kaity Sharp spent the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day learning how to curtsy. Their preparations weren’t for a romantic date but for a prince: His Royal Highness, the Duke of York.
Ricke and Sharp are studying abroad in London this spring and are interning at DeMarquette Fine Chocolates, where nine Central students have interned in the past three years. The luxury chocolate marker supplies the royal family with chocolate, toffee and nougat and has won dozens of awards in its seven-year existence. But the company is also devoted to Fair Trade and humanitarian actions—buying cocoa beans from Vietnam and using the proceeds to finance a vocational rehabilitation center for handicapped children there.
“It truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet a member of the royal family, especially being an American and only an intern,” says Ricke. “I felt very lucky.” The Duke of York chose to tour DeMarquette Chocolates because of its reputation for humanitarian success. The duke, Prince Andrew, is Queen Elizabeth’s third child, the younger brother of Prince Charles and the uncle to Princes William and Harry. He is fourth in line to the throne.
Along with meeting the royal family, the girls love the rich history and diversity of London—and the independence of exploring on their own. “I feel like the world is so much bigger now,” Sharp says.
It’s never too late to start your abroad adventure, apply to study in London today! http://www.central.edu/abroad/london/
Applications to study abroad spring 2014 are due October 1! Use your summer break to learn about the opportunities that are available through Central College Abroad and find out which program is best suited for you. Why wait?! Take your first steps towards a semester or year abroad and apply today at: https://www.central.edu/abroad/apply/index.cfm.
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Pella, Iowa 50219