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Voyage Abroad Horizon Awaits

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valencia ventures forth






CALLING Semester

AT SEA Honor



Top Travel


Tips Tricks

Voyage Abroad Horizon Awaits

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Our Mission

Our mission as a publication is to introduce students to the many study-abroad opportunities available at Valencia and other colleges, and to prepare students to take the first step towards studying abroad.


Shay Castle

Assistant Editor Staff

Marianella Zapata Noriega Arie’l Austin Jennifer DiDomenico Francesca Fey Juan Gutierrez Fred Lambert Edward Mueller Sarah Pariseau Amanda Smith Anisha Tandon


Sebastian Arbelaez Christopher Correa


Kent Nguyen Brittany Rose Mary Stevens

WANTED: PHOTOGRAPHERS Did you take this picture? Do you know who did? The photography in the magazine was used with permission of Valencia’s Study Abroad and Global Experience (SAGE) office. If you or someone you know is the photographer of any of the beautifual images featured in our magazine, please let us know.



Spring 2012

Contents. Trip Tips Pay.


7 Finance your fun Studying abroad is expensive, but help is available. Lucky you.


11 Travel To-Do’s We made a list and checked it. Twice. Now it’s your turn.

How to . . . 12 Pack to perfection 14 Take pics like a pro 16 Find your way

9 Ch-ch-changes SAGE is growing at Valencia.

19 Beat jet lag

valencia ventures forth Denmark Poland London, UK Guyana





that will


Spring 2012

grow your mind

p. 21




Seminole Takeover

5 FSU students cover the globe to study in the world’s coolest places.

Think of England Semester at Sea Nicole Rosa spent 105 days sailing around the world. And earning college credit.

Words of Wisdom Valencia College president Sandy Shugart reveals why the world is like a book.



5 Professor Marshall Hall extols the many virtues of London.

From Denmark with love

5 Valencia College hosts its first international exchange student.

First Time Traveler A novice traveler chronicles the personal journey that comes with new experiences. 5


Spring 2012

Vietnamese Hustle A writer learns the finer arts of commerce and cons on the mean streets of Hanoi. 5




There are two rules that govern both traveling and journalism: 1.) Be prepared for anything. 2.) The best stories come from the experiences you didn’t plan for. These truths were proved by two situations that arose while the Voyage staff was in London this past spring. Riding the Underground one afternoon, our crew struck up a conversation with a fellow passenger. The man, an American, had lived in London for 22 years working as a study-abroad professor. The perfect interview for this magazine had literally walked into the subway car with us. We scrambled for our supplies. Did no one have paper or pen?! Thankfully, Arie’l did. She saved the day by being prepared, and we snagged a great story by being open to new experiences. The next day, we were in a part of London that we hadn’t yet explored. We passed the London satellite of Florida State University, a campus abroad for students who study in London. Back in the States, we had contemplated contacting FSU to do a story about its program, and now here we were, standing on their doorstep. Some students walked up as we took stood there, dressed in sweats and clutching bags of junk food. We were ready. Notebooks in hand, we captured a great story. Valencia College encourages foreign study to prepare students for a global future. Studying abroad is a fantastic first step into the international community. This magazine’s mission is to prepare students to take that step. We hope these pages are filled with knowledge, courage, and inspiration for you to take with you on your journeys. Now go; a broad horizon awaits.


Shay Castle Editor-in-chief

See the interview on page xx.

Read all about it! on page xx.

Cover Photo Amanda Smith Photography All photographs provided by Valencia SAGE unless otherwise indicated Special Thanks to Valerie Burks Richard Gair Deymond Hoyte Lee McCain Gustavo Morales Steve Myers Bonnie Oliver Eileen Perez Sandy Shugart Valencia SAGE Office Jennifer Robertson, Director Jessica King, Assistant CIA World Factbook Fonts “Motor Oil” by Mohammed Rahman “Hit the Road” by Matthew Welch “Arual” by Curtis Mack “

Like Giselle?” by

Ammy K “Marker Palafotz” by Manuel Palafox

Wise Words

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” -St. Augustine

Welcome to this publication focused on the amazing

opportunities international travel affords all of us to learn and grow. I was fortunate enough to attend school overseas to finish my high school education. While the school was exceptional, I am sure I learned more from everyday life in another country and culture than I did from the classes I took – more about them and more about myself. In literature, there is a long tradition of journey stories, from the Odyssey to Lord of the Rings. I’ve always loved the metaphor of journey for our lives and for a life of learning. Jump in and begin to dream about experiencing a world both larger and smaller than any of us imagines. Look for opportunities to connect travel to your formal learning. Learn a new language and test yourself in an immersion experience. Begin to make friends among the astounding diversity of students already attending Valencia from nearly one hundred different countries. The world is a book. Read as many chapters as you can.

S. Shugart, President Valencia College

Chris Correa Photography

Trip Tips


Finance your Fun These simple changes will help you put some jingle in your piggy bank.

Cut it out Coffee-a-day habit? Cutting it out can save you . . .


120 a month

($4.00 a day X 30 days)

Change it up

Whether your study abroad trip is a week or a semester long, chances are it will be expensive. Luckily for you, there’s help.

Swap this . . .

. . . for this


No money? No problem

and save . . .

180 a month

(Value meal: $6.50; noodles: $.50) (Save $6.00 a day X 30 days) — SHAY CASTLE

Valencia SAGE office The Valencia SAGE office receives funding from student development and the Valencia foundation to provide scholarships for SAGE programs. Students can qualify for scholarships to pay for up to half of the program costs (amounts vary per student and trip.) To qualify: You must have at least 2.0 GPA and be enrolled in three credit hours minimum.

Financial Aid Degree-seeking Valencia students can apply financial aid to foreign study programs as long as the course awards academic credit and grades go towards cumulative GPA. Eligibility is determined by the type of study abroad program you attend and the type of financial aid you receive. Check out http://www.nafsa. org/students.sec/financial_aid_ for_study/ for more info.

Additional funding sources There are dozens of national and international scholarships available. Some are for particular majors, languages, and fields of study, while others are gender or ethnic-specific. Several are open to all students or faculty. Visit for an — JUAN GUTIERREZ extensive list of available scholarships.

Free Money

& more (but who cares about the other stuff?!)

Valencia SAGE is constantly looking for ways to help you. Stay up-to-date on trips, scholarships and helpful tips at


Spring 2012


Packed to perfection Think you can’t fit everything you need for a week-long trip in a carry-on? With these amazing tips, you’ll even have room left over for souvenirs. BY AMANDA SMITH & SHAY CASTLE

The 4-1-1 On 3-1-1 3.4 oz. bottle or less; 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger. If in doubt, put liquids in checked baggage.

Roll It, Baby! Roll your jeans and shirts up as tight as possible, then, keep everything in place by wrapping a belt around your clothes.

Make It Rain Stuff long, skinny items (like your umbrella) in after everything is packed.

more + Even handy tips: All Wrapped Up Pack your coat last. Fold it horizontally, lay it on top of your packed clothes.


Fine Lines Fold thinner items lengthwise to line the bottom of your suitcase.


Spring 2012

Trip Tips


Suitcase strategy Things to think about before you start packing.

Bag It & Tag It Secure your jewelry and underwear in a plastic bag. Use the bag to separate clean and dirty clothes on the trip home.

Strap Happy The luggage straps that come in your suitcase are you best friend. Fasten them over your clothes to create a few more inches of free space.

Don’t Know A Sole Lay your socks flat along the bottom of your shoes.

Know before you go

Knowing what the weather will be like where you’re going is vital. Try to plan for everything. Layering is key. A travel-sized umbrella and good sunglasses are always a good idea, too.

Check or carry-on?

Most major airlines allow each passenger to have a 22 x 14 x 9 in. carry-on bag. This size is great for mobility, but doesn’t allow for a lot of space. Look for a bag with a durable zipper and wheels and easy-to-use handle. Outside pockets are a good idea for easy access.

Minimum wardrobe; maximum style Plan your outfits so that that bulky items (pants, sweaters, etc.) can be worn at least twice. Go for basic pieces that you can mix-and-match.


The coolest product ever! Paper Soap Stay healthy and clean no matter your destination by traveling with antibacterial paper soap. They even have paper shampoo, laundry detergent, and body wash! Check it out at:

Your choice of footwear should depend on your destination. Most trips include lots of walking, so go for comfort over style. You’ll be away from your hotel for long periods of time, so shoes that are water-resistant are a plus.



Trip Tips


Take pics like a pro Whether you’re hiking through the rainforest or taking grandma to Bingo, you’re going to want top-quality pictures. Even an amateur can snap a fantastic photo by knowing these tips of the trade. BY FRANCESCA FEY

Focus, baby, focus Even an untrained eye can detect an out-of- focus photo. Lightly tap the shutter release and give your camera time to focus before snapping the picture. If you need to zoom, zoom first, then focus your camera. Too flashy The flash on most cameras only covers about 10 feet. If you’re trying to capture a vast landscape or an active sport, your flash will not have any effect. Program your camera’s settings yourself and practice without the flash. Practice makes perfect Take a picture and look at it. If you’re not happy, tweak the settings and shoot again. Once you get into the swing of things, you’ll develop a more accurate sense of what your camera can do for you and how you can personally determine the outcome and quality of your photos. Can’t take it? Fake it! Still unhappy with your snapshots? Don’t give up. Anything and everything can be photo-shopped. The viewers of your pictures aren’t going to know what your photo has been through, only the fantastic final result. 1

Photograph by Kent Nguyen

Cool. Right. Now. 1



Telephoto, Fisheye & Macro/Wide-angle Lens Set

Detachable magnetic rings help these highquality lenses stick to any camera phone. ($49)

Want to shoot professional quality photos from your camera phone? All you need are these cool accessories, available from

2 The Glif

This handy tripod mount allows you to steady your camera for perfect pictures or video. ($20)


Dot iPhone Panorama Lens

Capture all of the action using the magic of mirrors. This lens lets you shoot 360-degree, interactive video. ($79)



Spring 2012

your ad here modest pricing. priceless value. contact

Course of


Valencia students trek the globe on a quest to learn in 7 fabulous

education destinations



Quick Facts Location: Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan Total Area: 3,287,263 sq. km Land: 2,973,193 sq. km Water: 314,070 sq. km 7th largest country in the world Slightly more than one-third the size of the U.S. Climate: Varies from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in north Terrain: Upland plain in south, flat to rolling plain along the Ganges Population: 1,205,073,612 (July 2012 est.)

SerpentineStudy STORY BY

Most students spend semester breaks with family or friends, lying on beach towels in the sand or relaxing at home, assignment deadlines far from their minds. But there is another sect of students, one who travels to remote areas of the globe for the chance to observe exotic animals and plants in their native habitats.


Far from hoping to avoid creepycrawlers, these students seek out the deadly and dangerous in the name of education and conservation. Professor Steve Myers bravely leads groups of students abroad twice a year, to India during winter break as part of his field biology course, then to Guyana in the spring for neotropical ecology.

“To me, traveling is empowering,” Myers says. “Don’t go with what other people say. Strike out and do it.”

Myers has gone to India five times over the past six years. But the pull this South Asian country has on him goes back further — to his days as an undergrad at Florida State University. He was 21-years-old, studying biology and had communicated with herpetologist and conservationist Rom Whitaker. Whitaker, well-known through various PBS and National Geographic documentaries, used the expertise of the Irula in the 1970s, after widespread snake-hunting for

profitable hides led to an explosion in local rat populations. Eventually, the snake trade was banned, and many Irula found themselves without a way to make a living. Whitaker set up a snake catcher’s co-op, known as the Irula Snake Catcher’s Industrial Cooperative Society. The Irula are paid to capture vipers for the extraction of venom (known as “milking”) for use in anti-venom drugs. The snakes are then released back into the wild to control of the rat population.

“These folks are the legendary snake trackers of India. They’ve got a sixth sense for finding them.”

“Don’t be afraid to travel. Take the bull by the horns.”

Clockwise from top left:

Steve Myers and Rom Whitaker at the Madras Crocodile Bank and Snake Park. MacKenzie Norris gets up close and personal with a praying mantis. Myers and his students snap pictures while an Irula handles a King Cobra.

Students on the trips often work with the indigenous people to measure and observe snakes. The Irula’s expertise in handling is unparalleled. Myers also takes groups to the Madras Crocodile Bank and Snake Park and Agumbe Rainforest research station in the Western Ghats, both established by Whitaker. These facilities are for the study and preservation of endangered species like the crocodile. Agumbe, which Myers calls a “biodiversity hotspot,” is the second rainiest place on earth, with 25 to 29 feet of precipitation annually. In one day, Myers and students encountered five feet of rain.

The Agumbe research station also doubles as the world’s first King Cobra preserve. Students have seen the world’s largest venomous snake - and their nests in the wild during previous trips. “There’s an incredible array of species,” Myers observes of the area. “The Ghats is truly a gem and a place worthy of study.” Learning about giant pit vipers and undiscovered species is just part of India. Students visit Hindu temples, sample local fare, and learn traditional dances. One one trip, a renowned guru blessed them. “The India experience is one of total immersion in culture,” Myers says. “It is an amazing experience.”



Quick Facts Location: Bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Suriname and Venezuela Total Area: 214,969 sq. km Land: 196,849 sq. km Water: 18,120 sq. km 85th largest country in the world Slightly smaller than Idaho Climate: Tropical; hot, humid, moderated by northeast trade winds; two rainy seasons (May to August, November to January) Terrain: Mostly rolling highlands; low coastal plain; savanna in south Population: 741,908 (July 2012 est.)

An Amerindian girl plays in the Kurpukari rapids. Left: A local fisherman hauls in his impressive catch. Right: Kaieteur Falls in central Guyana, one of the world’s tallest waterfalls, is twice the size of Victoria Falls in Africa and five times larger than Niagra Falls.

Guyana: Land of Plenty STORY BY


A remote nation full of undocumented species and unexplored terrain, 75 percent of Guyana is rainforest. Fifteen different biological habitats can be found in the tiny coastal country, from swamp to savanna to white sand forest, and more than a dozen areas have been identified as potential protected environmental zones. “The reality is we know more about inner-space than we do about rainforests of the world,” Myers says. “I didn’t want to pick a country like Costa Rica, which more or less has become a resort. I wanted to go to a country where the interior is covered in rainforest and we can learn a lot.”

Myers and his students have encountered numerous forms of wildlife in Guyana’s interior, what he calls the “mega-fauna” of South America. Examples include the Harpy eagle, a jaguar (from a safe distance), giant anteaters, black caiman, a 15foot anaconda and the arapaima, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish. The group visits two Amerindian villages, Surama and Rewa. Amerindians are the indigenous people of Guyana. “The intriguing part is not only are we learning plant and animal relationships” Myers shares, “we’re learning about the Amerindians.”

“It’s going to be future generations that are going to

save these places.”

“Guyana is a very, very powerful trip.”

The Amerindians utilize local vegetation for food, shelter, medicine and even transportation, according to Myers. Students dine on an Amerindian diet, which is heavy on fish due to the multiple rivers that snake through Gayana’s interior. Myers also takes his groups to one of the world’s highest waterfalls, Kaieteur Falls, which is five times larger than Niagara Falls and twice the size of Victoria Falls in Africa. The helicopter ride to the falls yields breathtaking views. One of Myers’ most memorable experiences in Guyana was attending a shamanic religious ceremony. “Shaman – the medicine men there – are a dying breed,” he says. Entering the shaman’s house to see the performance of rituals, an extremely rare event, was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Myers’ group.

One of the best parts about studying in biologically rich areas is that students are working in the same places where professionals work. “After we go to India, Rom Whitaker will have a National Geographic special on India or conservation or snakes and crocodiles, and students will say ‘I was there,’” Myers shares. “That’s very empowering.” Beyond biology and research, the greatest lesson that students learn is the preservation of national heritage. “We talk about conservation in India or Guyana, or America, but it’s a global problem,” Myers says. “As a planet, we need to consider conservation on a large scale.”

A Macushi Amerindian girl totes a handwoven basket through her village in Guyana. Above: Christa Jones shows off her henna in front of a Nephila spider web in the Western Ghats.

“No matter what part of the world you’re in, we’re all people that have the same needs and wants.

“Everybody is just trying to live.”

Below: The crew goofing off with Rom Whitaker and Myers in India, winter break 2011. The group in Guyana, spring break 2012, at Kaietuer Falls, with professor Steve Myers.

“It becomes addicting,” Myers says of travel, which explains why he continues to lead groups to India and Guyana year after year. Multiple trips have allowed Myers to develop personal relationships with locals, so that all travel arrangements are made without the aid of a travel company. Myers likes the independence this gives his students to truly immerse themselves in the culture of the countries, perhaps to a greater extent than any other study abroad program at Valencia. Myers acknowledges the hesitation that some students have to traveling in remote locations,

but claims that bad experiences rarely occur on the trips. No one has ever suffered food poisoning or hurt by wildlife, even though good portions of the trips are spent handling crocodiles, poisonous snakes, and deadly insects. Clean, safe water, always a concern when traveling overseas, is not an issue. Water is filtered at the facility in India and bottled in Guyana. “Sometimes developing countries might be somewhat intimidating, but we’ve got excellent people we know in these parts of the world.” “Our trips are one hundred percent safe.”



Quick Facts Location: Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam Total Area: 9,596,961 sq. km Land: 9,569,901 sq. km Water: 27,060 sq. km 4th largest country in the world Slightly smaller than the U.S. Climate: Extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north Terrain: Mostly mountains, high plateaus, desserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills Population: 1,343,239,923 (July 2012 est.)


good fortune STORY BY


A common street scene in poorer villages contrasts sharply with the business districts in China’s biggest cities. Right: Bicycle taxi’s like these drive right alongside motor vehicles.

Twenty years ago, China looked like Haiti,” professor Deymond Hoyte says. “Today, they have the world’s second-largest economy.” Those are just two of the many reasons why Hoyte will be taking his ninth group of students to study in China this summer. Hoyte, who teaches business and computer engineering technology at Valencia College, believes studying in China will inspire innovative thinking in his students. “Students benefit from seeing firsthand what drives other countries to be more productive than we are in certain areas, the cultural mind-set, the attitude,” Hoyte says. “The Chinese in particular have an incredibly strong work ethic.” “When you’re actually there and experience it, it’s amazing.” As the world’s largest exporter —or, as Hoyte calls it, “the world’s bread basket” — China plays a big role in the world economy. “I wanted to immerse the students into China and give them an opportunity to see why China has become so successful in a short period of time.”

It is no secret that China is steps ahead of other countries. The fastest high speed train in America travels at less than half the speed of the trains in China. For an American train, a trip from Shanghai to Beijing would average 150 miles per hour. That same trip for a Chinese train would be 300 miles per hour. “One of the keys to their success is entrepreneurship,” Hoyte explains. “Go to China, on the streets, everybody is trying to sell something, manufacture something.” Hoyte thinks the entrepreneurial spirit that once defined America has diminished. “Our culture is driven by the idea that you go to college for four years, get your degree, maybe your master’s, and then get a job,” Hoyte says. “ In China, you go to school, learn the skills and then do something with those skills, put them to work.”

Hoyte feels that developing a driven culture should start in the classroom. “The schools here, like Valencia, have to learn how to facilitate that creativity, that entrepreneurship. There has to be a culture and atmosphere that drives change on campus, that cultivates a culture of creativity, of entrepreneurship and idea.” Hoyte has seen firsthand how his students have been inspired by the Chinese, bringing back the ideas of individual responsibility and personal motivation. “They come back, and they focus like a laser,” he said. “I saw one student who’s graduating with his accounting degree. I said, ‘So what are you going to do when you’re done?’ He said, ‘I’m already signed up for my master’s degree!’” “These are the same students I couldn’t get to come to class.”

Despite the success of trips to China in the past, Hoyte will not be leading a group there in 2013. Instead, he is working with Debbie Hall, an engineering professor, to develop a course focusing on alternative energy, with a new destination in mind as part of the curriculum. “We want to combine engineering and business to form that bond that is needed for alternative energy projects,” Hoyte explains. As part of the cross-major course, Hoyte plans to lead a study-abroad trip to Germany. Germany gets much less sunlight than

Florida, yet 30 percent of their total energy comes from alternative sources. “They are miles ahead of the curve,” Hoyte says. The field of alternative energy is ripe for business innovation in the Unites States, particularly in Florida. Abundant natural resources translate into unlimited potential for energy and, subsequently, jobs. “We don’t take advantage of energy we have here in Florida,” Hoyte shares. “There are tremendous opportunities for energy and in turn for new business development. We need to push in a more futuristic direction.”

“If we wait for change from the top, it won’t happen.”

“There has to be a culture and atmosphere that drives change.�

Some of the group on the Great Wall during the 2011 trip to China and (below) in front of the 2008 Olympic Stadium in Beijing in 2010.

Voyage Magazine (Sample)  
Voyage Magazine (Sample)  

Just a preview of Voyage Magazine, which will debut later in the summer. (Please ignore discrepancies in page numbers. I took a selection of...