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Central Alumni Newsletter

Friday, August 22, 2014

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 Abroad welcomes new resident director to Bangor, Wales

Central's new Director in Bangor, Wales, stops for a photo in her second native land

Meggan Lloyd Prys grew up in the Midwest, but you would never know it when you hear her speaking Welsh with locals in North Wales. After moving to Wales in 2006 to marry her Welsh husband, Meggan quickly became a fluent Welsh speaker, fell in love with the culture and soon won a prestigious national award as Welsh Learner of the Year. Trained as a teacher, Meggan has worked in the field of education on both sides of the Atlantic and understands the educational systems in the U.S. and the U.K. She is ideally placed to advise and support American students as they settle in Bangor. After all, she went through the same experience herself! An avid outdoorsperson, Meggan is well acquainted with the language, culture and landscape of Snowdonia National Park, host to the Outdoors Pursuits program. With Meggan’s support, students will learn, discover, and grow as global citizens in richly cultural Wales.

New education internships for students in Granada, Spain

Central College Abroad is pleased to announce that our Granada program now offers internships for students to gain work experience in education. For academic credit, students will work 8 to 12 hours a week alongside professors of English language in primary and secondary schools in Granada. The internship is enhanced by language acquisition theory from relevant courses such as Spanish as a Foreign Language and Applied Linguistics in Teaching Spanish. This opportunity is especially relevant for education, Spanish and English majors who want to apply language and educational methodology in the classroom.

For general information about the program in Granada, Spain, visit

New Paris summer program: Human Rights in France

This comparative program examines French, European and U.S. perspectives on a variety of complex topics related to human rights.  Highlights of this program include visiting the European Court of Human Rights, NGOs and museums, while living in a multicultural city where debate about human rights is a salient part of daily life.  Students will earn 6 credits.  The program requires study of French language and is open to all language levels.

To learn more go to:

On the eve of a milestone: 50 years of study abroad

Granada, Spain, resident director, Veronica Garcia Montero, joins student
alumni for a photo at the kickoff

Abroad and at home, a buzz of excitement is building as Central College Abroad approaches its 50-year anniversary.  Our celebration will include professional development sessions around the theme of global citizenship on April 16-17. As an institution dedicated to international education, Central invites you to join us in reflecting on global citizenship and what it means to students’ futures, professional and personal.  To improve the way we support student learning and help students identify and leverage the skills they gain abroad, we as a community of learners will draw lessons from the past 50 years.  Study abroad professionals will come away with tools to make a more compelling case in favor of study abroad to students, parents, and university colleagues.

In addition to the professional development and celebratory events in April, please review the dates below for other highlights of Central College Abroad’s 50th year.  You are welcome to join us in Pella at any point in the year.

October 3-4, Homecoming, mini reunions on campus for each of the programs abroad

October 8-10, Residency and convocation speaker Tommy Vietor, former spokesperson for the National Security Council

November, Exhibition in Pella, treasures from the past 50 years

April 16-17, Professional development with Central College Abroad resident directors, global citizenship as a set of life and vocational skills

Merida faculty workshop, January 2015
Application Deadline: September 15th

Faculty members turn their hands to labor. The workshop in Merida is experiential.

Central is proud to invite partner institutions to join us for a Global Experiential Development Workshop January 2-9, 2015, in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico.

The Global Experiential Development Workshop is open to faculty of all disciplines. It is designed to help build support for broad global learning at participants’ home institutions by using locations in the Yucatan as a lens through which to explore a range of global issues, including effects of modernization and globalization on traditional societies, as well as topics of cultural identity.

Cost per person is $925 and includes accommodations, meals and most program activities.  Detailed program information is available here.  Applications are due by September 15, 2014. For an application or more information about the workshop, please contact Lyn Isaacson, Associate Dean for Global Education, at or by phone: 641-628-5266

Central College Abroad's NAFSA breakfast welcomed Arnd Wachter, founder of Morocco Exchange

Arnd Wachter, founder and managing director of Morocco Exchange, spoke at Central College Abroad’s annual NAFSA breakfast in San Diego in May. Wachter talked about his personal journey and how programming like Morocco Exchange supports deep learning and transformation among students. Central College Abroad has been a longtime partner with this program because of the authentic intercultural experiences and direct dialogue that build bridges between the Muslim and Western worlds.

Learn more about the excursions offered as part of our Granada, Spain program.

The Scoop on Dutch Intensive

Leiden students enjoy a stroopwafel during a brisk Dutch spring day

Blog entry by Rachel Mairose, Briar Cliff, spring 2014, Leiden

Now that we’re done with our 11 day intensive Dutch class, I thought I’d give the scoop on what to expect from this required class.

To start off, our Dutch teacher, Rene, was quite the character. Almost every class period he would make a comment about how strange he found the lifestyle of us Americans. He found it extraordinary that our favorite drink is water (“water has no taste! You should drink more buttermilk—it will help you learn Dutch”) and that some Americans don’t like vegetables (“you mean you don’t know what kale and chicory are?!). He nearly passed out when Karly told him that we sometimes eat donuts for breakfast. Best of all was when he told us that once a student had gotten him a “yellow mountain drink” that he had nearly died from. Although he had impeccable English, he had learned British English, so sometimes he would try to imitate American English. My favorite was when he would say “last chance” because it sounded as if he was auditioning for a part in a low-budget western film. If you need a visual of Rene, imagine Liam Neeson with a slimmer face and brown/orange round glasses.

While we laughed every day in class, Rene could be a rather strict instructor at times. When he asked someone a question in Dutch, he expected an answer no matter how stressed out the student was or how long it took to form a grammatically correct answer. Every day we had a quiz that would cover anywhere from one to ten reading assignments. Thankfully, he would always warn us in advance about which chapters it would cover. Some days class would last not quite four hours, and on others it could add up to almost five. Whenever someone said that Dutch was moeilijk (difficult) and not makkelijk (easy), he would suggest that we go to Poland, where he had once been a teacher, and try to learn Polish.  According to Rene, Polish is the most complicated language you could ever attempt to learn. A good chunk of our class time was spent listening to the readings on our laptops or iPods—or as Rene liked to call them, our “MP-4s” or “MP-somethings.”

Even though the class was hard, it was not impossible! I learned more from Rene than I did with any other language teacher, and I liked him because he had a good mixture of humor and strictness. I would give this advice to next semester’s students: be serious about the class. Make an effort to understand the texts. It may look daunting, but you can do it. Most importantly, on the weekends, don’t leave all your studying for Sunday night.

Apply Now!!

The application deadline is right around the corner! All application materials, including transcripts, essay and recommendations forms are due by October 1 for spring 2015 programs. 
Take advantage of our online application — it’s fast, easy and FREE!

And remember, every little bit helps. Central College Abroad offers scholarships up to $1,000! The scholarship deadline is also October 1.

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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