Dobar Dan! (Good Day!): Study Abroad in Croatia

By on 9-29-2013 in Croatia 2013

Dobar Dan! (Good Day!): Study Abroad in Croatia

Hello from Zadar Croatia!

This is Professor Davison, aka Prof D, aka Papa D. My wife, Mary (aka Mama D) and I have just made the trip to Zadar Croatia with 12 great Central Penn College students for a seven week study abroad program. This is the Central Penn Cultural Immersion Program.

Our flights, Philadelphia to Frankfurt, Germany and Frankfurt to Zadar, Croatia, went well and were on time. We arrived in Zadar just before noon on Friday, September 27. All 14 of us made it with all our bags except one bag that arrived on the 28th. Our apartment owner, Tomislav Kera, met us at the airport with some friends and took us to his apartment. When we arrived, the owners of our second apartment, Ivan and Dragica Knezevic had a luncheon waiting for us on white-table clothed picnic tables outdoors under kiwi vines. The temperature was 21 degrees celcius (about 70 degrees fahrenheit) and the sky was clear.  After lunch several students went swimming in the beautiful, clear, Adriatic Sea which is 50 yards from our apartments.

It is our tradition to have a “first night dinner”. Tomislav arranged a magnificent meal at a traditional Croatian restaurant in old town Zadar where we feasted on the local seafood: fish soup, mussels, ink-fish risotta and pasta, and tuna. (Arsenio Hill learned how to eat a shrimp’s head!)  Tomislav and his sister Maria joined us as we were serenaded by a trio who sang us the local songs while they played accordian and guitars. The trio also led us in a “Happy Birthday” tribute to immersion student Dwight Mckell.

The next day I took all students to the local supermarket where they tested their Hrvatski (Croatian)-to- English phrase books and their “Govorite li Engleski” (do you understand English?) to buy a supply of groceries for the week. The students were quite proud of their acc0mplishments at the supermarket. Food prices are very reasonable in Croatia.

Tonight, students are preparing a home-cooked group dinner and a birthday cake for Christal Lewis.

Students will spend the next seven weeks exploring Croatia and meeting people to learn about the Croatian culture. Students will read books about Croatia, meet and interview Croatian people, plan and take excursions to Croatian and other European destinations and write reports on all of this to tell us what they learned. They will also research selected topics about Croatia, write research papers, and give a presentation on their experience when they return to the US. They will be very busy!

Look to this blog to hear their experiences!

Professor Davison (Papa D)

Arrival in Zadar

Arrival in Zadar!

First Night Dinner - Stomorica Restaurant in Old Town

First Night Dinner – Stomorica Restaurant in Old Town

Ink Fish Risotta, Pasta and Shrimp

We Made It!

By on 9-29-2013 in Croatia 2013

We Made It!

Dobar dan from Croatia (Good day)!
I’m Marilee Long, an unconventional student from Central Penn College, fulfilling my final term requirements by adventuring through Europe. This is my second time taking complete advantage of the Immersion Program here. I traveled to Australia last year with the program. I can’t understand why the entire CPC population doesn’t do the same. Let’s see, I could be sitting in a classroom, or traveling through Europe. Europe, please! I’ll think about my student loans later…
We all met up at the Philadelphia Airport and flew to Frankfort. In Frankfort, the students were all present at the gate for our flight to Zadar, but we had to page our missing professor. It wasn’t his fault, though. The airline changed the gate after our arrival. Luckily one of the students noticed that the next flight out was going to Cairo, and asked the right questions to the right people. We all arrived in Zadar, except my carry-on which the airline offered to check when we left Frankfort. Tomislav and his friends met us at the airport and transported us to our new abode. We were greeted there by a wonderful spread under a kiwi tree canopy. After getting settled into our apartments, we explored the waterfront and rendezvoused for the dinner that Professor Davison touted to us for months. For a good reason. What a feast! Course one-fish/rice soup; course two-garlic mussels; course three-inkfish risotto and shrimp pasta; course four-salmon steak and sautéed spinach and potatoes; course five-custard pie similar to flan. I was so exhausted after our long journey that I fell asleep several times between courses. We took a short tour through Old Town to wet our appetites for more touring and headed back.
I was awoken at 10:58, which was just in time for our first 11:00 daily meeting. We received our weekly food allowances and were shuttled to the supermarket. Phyllis, Christal, Tori, and I were the first group to go. Forty-five minutes later, we were only on the second aisle. A full cart of food only used up half of our allowance! Tori volunteered to make the first dinner of chicken parmesan which we shared with Dwight, Nate, Byron, and Arsenio. We then rushed to catch a bus to Old Town and enjoyed a few beverages al fresco. The social scene in Old Town is quite festive on a Saturday night and we were treated to some great intercultural exchanges. That’s a scholarly way of saying that we had a blast.
Sunday is sort of overcast and drizzly, so we are staying close to home and planning Christal’s birthday extravaganza this evening. Life is good.
I was told while blogging last year to ask questions at the end of the blog. So here goes. Have you ever passed on an opportunity like this program offers?