Central College Abroad
Central offers a taste of real-life work in a truly vibrant European city. With an extensive network of internship sites in a wide variety of disciplines, your internship...
Learn the skills, knowledge, and attitudes appropriate to a variety of outdoor recreational activities at Central College Abroad Outdoor Pursuits program in Bangor, Wales....
Take part in a Spanish language and culture immersion program offered in Merida, Yucatan. Students of all language levels are welcome to join this four-week summer program....
Granada (the City) Was AMAZING.
Submitted by Arthur E. - Davidson College | September 26, 2014
Granada (the city) was AMAZING. The program was decent overall.
My homestay was disappointing. My experience was a little like living in a crappy hostel run by a kindly, senile old man, attached to a mediocre cafeteria run by a crotchety old lady. My one request was that I not be with another American, and that I be in the older area of Granada. Instead I was with another American living in a Franco-era apartment building on an ugly, congested street. Incidentally, urban planners from Madrid actually came to our street to study exactly why it was so terrible. I can definitively say I lived on one of the ten ugliest streets in all of Spain. I did live with a couple other Spanish students, but they had little interest in talking or hanging out. Understandable, given that they already had their friends and lives.
Oh, the meals were...interesting. One of them consisted of a gelatinous, gooey cream-like substance, rolled in gross cold-cuts, then the whole thing was breaded and deep-fried. Did I say deep-fried? Yeah, that was the most common cooking method. More often the results were...disappointing. Occasionally they were More, such as calamari day. Another of my senoras favorite meals was 'ensalada.' Though this technically translates as 'salad,' salad this was not. There was a 2-inch thick layer of baked potato, topped with a 1-inch thick layer of mayonnaise; I kid you not. On top of everything were some sliced bell peppers and tomatoes. One of my friends regularly had a meal known as 'migras,' fried bread crumbs. Every once in a blue moon, my host mother would make paella, which just made the homestay even more painful, because I got to see what could have been.
The central problem with the homestay is that it wasn't any sort of cultural exchange. My homestay was a source of supplementary income for the family. Any expense on food or such cut into their profit.
All this said, the homestay experiences of my friends was pretty mixed, some very positive. One of my friends lived with this kindly old Spanish lady in a beautiful flat in the historic area of Granada. She made her gourmet meals that made me exceedingly envious.
If I could have gone back and done it again, I would've lived with European Erasmus students and Spaniards studying in Granada for a semester.
The Yucatan Expanded And Developed My Views On Global Issues And Mexican Culture
Submitted by RT - Central College | September 26, 2014
I loved my experience in Merida, Yucatan. It was cool to learn about how the Maya and other native people's culture mixed with Spanish and Lebanese culture to form life there. The excursions were informative and fun and complimented my classes. My favorite was our week long trip through Chiapas. The shopping, the beautiful scenery, and many different Mayan groups made my week. My hostmom was accomodating and she often gave me opportunities to try new food. There are a lot of weekly community events that are free in el centro and the clubbing was a good time (though it can be expensive). The best part for me was being able to talk to locals, who were friendly and willing to talk and also I loved the food. Elotes and salbutes were among my favorites. The Yucatan can be humid and hot, but many people wear pants throughout the year. The bus system took some getting used to because it's very disorganized. There aren't many designated stops, but you can flag a bus down just about wherever. Always negotiate prices with the taxi drivers before getting in the car, always know the exchange rate, and always carry pesos. My homestay was in a safe neighborhood about 20 minutes from the main house. The house is located near Paseo Montejo, which is a main road and has most everything you need. A trip to one of the shopping centers or el centro is about 20-30 minutes and 6 pesos each way. A ride to Progresso and the beach is a short walk to the road the bus takes and 16 pesos each way for about a 40 minute bus ride. I left with improved Spanish because of my wonderful grammar/conversation class, becoming friends with locals, and because I did service-learning tutoring English.
Try restaurants you see walking around, especially open patio, casual ones that look like they are full of locals. Try the food stands and street food! Ask people in stores or restaurants or friends you make to recommend places to you that they've never seen a 'gringo' in :) Waayane's is a fabulous taco place and I think there are a couple sites near the house. At El Carrito's (a taco stand), the owners are sweet and they have decent tacos and tortas at night. Dogger's (another stand)--order their special with everything on it. For shopping there are a couple malls but learn how to barter, never be afraid to say no or walk away. If you don't intend to buy something, don't mess with people. Barter if you want something on the street, always have an idea of prices.
I walked home alone because we were in a safe, well-lit area. But it's a city, don't forget about pick-pockets in el centro.
There are a lot pharmacies and the director will help you out if you need something.
No Place Like It
Submitted by leela - Central College | September 26, 2014
This was the 2nd time that I studied abroad and I don't know if it was the wonderful location or the people, likely a combination of both made for some of the greatest memories. We made some of the greatest friends who live there and I am planning on going back some time soon!! To truly experience anything you have to make the effort but sometimes the greatest things that happen are spontaneous and unplanned. I can't say thanks to all the great people down there, to Conci and Paco and Ana Maria. It was amazing
My Experience Couldn't Have Been As Amazing With Any Other Program.
Submitted by Leah Walters - Drake University | September 25, 2014
I couldn't recommend this program more. It focuses on immersing students in the London life and the program administrators strive to give you a taste of "real Britain" too. You have the opportunity to participate in internships around the city and take classes at London Southbank or London College of Fashion so you feel like a real, independent British student. The trips around Britain, theater excursion, football & rugby matches, and gut-busting meal at a Pakistani restaurant (honestly the best thing ever) made the program all the more fun. The administrators were a joy to get to know and always willing to help students out. I couldn't have asked for a better time abroad.
The administration can't be beat! Mark and Jen are fun, knowledgable and so, so helpful. The duo put everything into making the London program enriching and memorable.
Though you live and study with American kids, the program directors do a fabulous job of providing cultural experiences and encourage students to immerse themselves in British culture. The day trips around England, city excursions, and the Pakistani meal were the highlights of my time abroad.
Living quarters are tight, but you literally live in the heart of London. The location couldn't be more ideal.
Coursework isn't as rigorous as it is at my home university and the credits I received won't directly count towards my major. But hey, I didn't study abroad for the classes. It was fun to take courses at the London College of Fashion that I wouldn't otherwise have had the opportunity to take.
Program: Central College Abroad in London
Greatest Life Decision I've Ever Made
Submitted by Emily Hutchinson - Central College | September 25, 2014
One thing they do not tell you in the departure sessions before you leave America is that once you go to London, you won't want to come home. It's just that much of a fantastic place. There are so many different people and as a student, you will get the chance to go to school with British students--they became some of my very good friends. And if you have an internship, they become your second family. There is never a dull moment in London. Some of my favorite times were random 11pm ice cream runs to Tesco. The friends you make on this program will become your life long friends and they make the whole experience even better. London has so much to offer. I hope you all have as wonderful experience as I did.
Mark and Jen are definitely the coolest people you will meet in London. As the program directors, they see to everything and are there to make your stay in London the best time of your life.
Program: Central College Abroad in London