Study Abroad programs provide students with a chance to experience an adventure like no other. For many who embark on these journeys, their perspectives are widened and they get to experience an entirely new culture. Many students at Penn State across all years and majors get the chance to do this during the school year, and sometimes the summer.
We caught up with a few students who are studying abroad and got to learn about their experiences:
Whitney Brown – Tanzania
Whitney Brown is a senior majoring in Forensic Science. This summer, she studied abroad in Tanzania, Africa participating in the Biology of Eco-Health course. Her favorite parts were seeing the “Big Five” and visiting/talking to Maasai families.
Luke Nugent – Singapore
Brian Davis – Cuba
Brian Davis is a junior majoring in sociology, criminology and African American Studies who studied abroad in Havana, Cuba. His favorite part about Cuba was talking to different Cubans and learning about the many struggles they face in their everyday lives. He realized that many things he complains about at home are things people in Cuba don’t have access to or can’t afford. He felt that Cubans show a great sense of national identity and knowledge of self. The best part of the trip for him was when they met with the community activists. They asked them what they thought about Americans. They said, ” We like Americans, We don’t like the American Government.” Davis is also headed on another study abroad trip in a few weeks.
Daje Walker – England
Daje Walker is a sophomore majoring in history and secondary education. This is what she thought of her experience:
Every trip was an adventure from the minute that I decided which country I would go to. Whether it was decided which Airbnb to stay in or whether or not to risk staying at a hostel. It included running through the hallways of airports when running late for the plane. My favorite and most memorable part of being studying abroad were all of the adventures that I went on. When I decided to travel to a country where I didn’t speak the language I had to quickly learn subway stop names. I needed to actually use a map and know which to go especially when not one member of the group had data to CityMapper our way home. The best parts of studying abroad were the days when I pushed myself out of the comfort zone that I had formed and did things that I didn’t otherwise believe I could do. Every adventure was a for me to push my limits and try something new.
Sydni Jean – France
Sydni Jean is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism currently studying abroad in France. These are her thoughts on the journey so far:
There are so many things that I can say is my favorite part, but I would probably say going to Paris and then meeting my host family in Besançon. Paris had an amazing vibe and atmosphere to it. It was something about it that made it special and magical and also because I really love cities. I stayed in a hostel near the Gare du Nord train station there and since everyone had a weekend bus pass, we could all travel anywhere in Paris. It was such a great time and I plan to go back during my time here.Meeting my host family was also a thrill because I was so nervous and scared at first. I thought it was going to be a difficult task because of the language barrier, but it actually made my level of French a little better. They really make me feel as though I am at home and it is safe to be here. Besançon has been such a peaceful place with a lot of nature and some city parts. I am excited for the next 6 weeks here!
Shana-Kay Hart – Cuba, Dominican Republic