Josh Gray & Emily Cundick ISU Abroad

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Josh Gray & Emily Cundick Celebrating Falles in Spain

Emily Cundick and Josh Gray were selected to represent ISU Abroad in Valencia Spain for the Spring 2012.
Since their departure we have been in communications and followed them on their abroad experience. Both students are highly involved here at ISU in the Language Department as Spanish speakers and majoring or minoring in the language. Our recent update from Josh and Emily is their cultural experience in the Fellas Celebration in Spain.

The Falles is a traditional celebration held in commemoration of Saint Joseph in Valencia, Spain. The term Falles refers to both the celebration and the monuments created during the celebration. A number of towns in the Valencia Community have similar celebrations inspired by the original in Valencia.
Each neighborhood of the city has an organized group of people, the Casal faller, that works all year long holding fundraising parties and dinners, usually featuring the famous specialty paella. Each casal faller produces a construction known as a falla which is eventually burnt. Acasal faller is also known as a comissió fallera.

The name of the festival is thus the plural of the Valencian word falla. 
(All Pictures By: Emily Cundick)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Emily Cundick Abroad in Valencia, Spain; A few thoughts

[3:54:23 PM] emily.cundick: Studying abroad has been an amazing experience! I already feel like I've grown a lot.  I've had to step out of my comfort zone many times which was intimidating at first, but I have grown so much by doing so.  I've had so many amazing experiences already and I'm excited for the ones still to come.  Studying abroad has also been a great opportunity to meet new people from across the globe! I have met so many people that I hope to keep in touch with for a long time.  It has helped me to become more open-minded and has given me so much more knowledge about the world we live in.  I would definitely suggest studying abroad to college students.  It is well worth all of the work. Now we'll see if I ever come home! ;)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Daniel Coller Abroad in England, Plymouth

Month 1

I am an Englishman that has never lived in England on a pernament basis (and no, birth to age 6 doesn’t count for much). Age 6 to now I have lived in the USA in New Jersey and Idaho. Now I am 20 and a 3rd year student at Idaho State University. I’m going to spend the next 5 months in England studing English and History at Plymouth University. My Dad went here when he was my age and now I am trying it out for myself. I’ll make one post a week from now on, where Ill let you know all about my excursions without all of the boring stuff included.
These last 4 months have been my preparation time for going abroad. For an entire month (overlydramatic voice) I wanted to go to Umea University in Sweden to watch the northern lights, then I decided I wanted to go to England (of course I stuck with that one)- to reconnect with a heritage that has been lost to me. I decided I wanted to visit castles, pubs, family, and see the history that I have been deprived of during my time in America. Seriously, it’s way cooler to study the reign of King Henry VIII- he did chop of 2 of his wife’s heads, than Columbus sailing the ocean blue in 1492.
But more of that later. I chose to do this trip on a whim. I always wants to do this from my first year of high school. Then one day my Dad told me I was running out of time, so I went down to the international office and told Omar (international student coordinator) what I wanted and he made it happen. I learnt that when I went abroad I would not be able to study psychology- but I thought that would be ok because the experience would pay of in the long run. Only time will tell. A couple months of planning and paperwork later, I am sitting in Gilwell Hall right next to Plymouth University writing this post- it’s surreal. I am 1 month into my stay so I have lots I could talk about but I’ll save that for my next post. Check back in a couple days and I’ll be sure to have something new up. Ok, well until then, have a great day folks.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Meet Maria from the United States

Name: Maria Lemos
Home Country and City: USA, Pocatello
Home University: Idaho State University
Programme of StudySocial Work
Favourite thing about Umeå University: meeting so many people from all over the world!
Favourite Swedish word or custom: fika!
Three words to summarise your time in Umeå: fun, beautiful & relaxing

Why did you choose to study at Umeå University?

I chose Umeå University because it offered courses within the social work area. With one semester left before graduating with my Bachelor’s degree in social work, I wanted to learn about a different culture, how social issues are handled what role social work plays in this country. Since Umeå University offers courses in English, this also played a large role in my selection.

What do you like most about your courses?

The teachers within my courses are very helpful and are dedicated in making sure that the student understands what’s being taught. The courses are fun! I enjoy the relaxed atmosphere within the classroom.

What has been your most memorable moment about the courses so far?

The courses are very interesting, and I have enjoyed them so much! I enjoy my classmates, since we are an international class; discussions held within the classroom are always interesting! But the best part of courses here is the fika break after every hour of class!

What do you do when you’re not studying?

When I’m not studying I’m hanging out with my friends. Sometimes we go to the city centre and explore the area, since there is so much to see! We also have fika, at any given day or time. It’s a great time to share different stories, happenings and of course, have a reason to snack on some food with great friends.

What you like best about the town of Umeå and its surroundings?

Even though Umeå is a large city, it doesn’t feel like one. The university is close enough to the city that one doesn’t have to travel so far to go shopping. The area is absolutely beautiful! One can bike around the city or ride to the lake.

What do you find as the biggest cultural difference, both socially and educationally, from your country with Sweden?

The biggest cultural difference that I have noticed is that people here are very relaxed and helpful! I come from a place where people always appear to be in a big hurry. The mentality here is a very serious but relaxed one. The Swedes are great people, and are always more than willing to lend a helping hand.
Classes here are taken for the most part one at a time. Here you spend more time in the classroom and can dedicate your time to a specific course. This is very different than what I’m used to, where I take four to five classes at a time and have to spread my time evenly in making sure I cover all material needed for the course.

What you would say to another international student thinking of attending Umeå University?

If you are considering attending Umeå University, definitely decide to do so! Everyone is very helpful, classes are great and the town of Umeå is beautiful. It’s an excellent place to expand your perspective of your own country and your own view of the world. Also, if you have never seen snow, this is the place to be!

What are you career aspirations?

Once I’ve completed my education, I will become a social worker that will work with immigrants and refugees, helping them integrate in to the American culture and better understand American society so they can have a better opportunity to live within the country.

Umeå: European Capital of Culture 2014!

From long warm summer nights when the sun shines almost 24 hours a day to the Nordic winters when the famous northern lights shimmer in the skies above, the city of Umeå is truly is a city of contrasts.
Where else can you spend summer days lazing on one of the many beaches that lie along the region's 150 kilometres of coastline? Where else can spend your winter days snowboarding or ice skating at one of the many recreational areas close to the city?
Whether you prefer hiking in rugged, unspoilt countryside where reindeer and elk still roam freely, or feel more at home in the centre of one of Sweden's fastest growing cities with its fashionable shops and great places to eat and drink, Umeå will challenge you with its endless possibilities.
As the largest city in northern Sweden, Umeå is a place where different worlds meet. Over half of the people who live here are from outside the region. More than 50 languages are spoken - with English widely used everywhere - and there is a thriving community of clubs and societies that represent people and cultures from across the globe.
In addition, Umeå has been appointed the European Capital of Culture for 2014. Preparations are in full swing. Umeå, the most northerly Capital of Culture ever, will treat audiences and visitors from all around Europe to a challenging and innovative year.
Therefore, if you are trying to decide between a place to study where you can enjoy the great outdoors or a place where you can experience city life, then relax. Come to Umeå and you can have both!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Yesenia Dominguez abroad at Merida (Feedback from Merida)

 Yesenia tackled several difficult courses in Spanish this semester including Latin American Novel, Mexican Civilization and Advanced Practical Spanish.  

 Yesenia volunteered at a local adult school that specializes in teaching English as a Second language to adults from marginalized neighborhoods.  Yesenia had to fight the impulse to teach in Spanish which was difficult for her, but she realized hearing instructions in English was just as important as doing the lessons in English.

By choosing to study in Mérida, Yesenia stepped far outside of her comfort zone.  She was a long way from home and did not know anyone in the program nor anyone associated with the program.  In spite of her own fears and homesickness, Yesenia adapted well to the new culture.  She made friends easily.  She was open to all adventures and experiences.  Yesenia is not a leader, but she is a compassionate, bright and willing follower.  

Yesenia also won our prize for “Most Creative Final Project.”  She wrote and illustrated a children’s book based on the theme of diversity.  Her art work was amazing as it used a variety of painting techniques combined with fabric and paper.

Whitney Longnecker

Territory Representative
Central College Abroad

Friday, December 9, 2011

Welcome to ISU Abroad news and blogs!

For the latest news on Idaho State University Study Abroad Program follow the Bengals around the Globe! Stay in touch and more blogs to come soon.