Spain embedded

Study Abroad Yields Fresh Perspectives

Abington students find themselves at home in the world through courses with brief required international travel. In 2017 they're headed for Malta, England, Ireland, and China.

By: Regina Broscius
The students immersed themselves in the centuries old language and culture of Spain and returned to Penn State Abington engaged with the international community and with expanded academic and career options.

"This trip opened my eyes to how people around the world live every day so differently without us even thinking about it," senior Valerie Santangelo said. "It has given me an entire new perspective and appreciation on how our world connects as a whole."

The Office of Global Education & Engagement opened the world to these students and will do the same for you, finding programs that mesh with your goals and helping find financial assistance when needed. The travel component generally lasts between seven and 10 days.

Spring and Summer 2017 study abroad programs are scheduled in art, business, criminal justice, science, and information science and technology.

A Whole New World in Norway

Amanda Lockery said working with international researchers and exploring Norway opened up new possibilities for her future.

Image: Jacueline Lanning

Amanda Lockerby and two classmates completed a capstone project in the capital city of Oslo with P.J. Capelotti, professor of anthropology at Abington. They expected the rigorous immersion, but they were thrilled and surprised that the historians, polar explorers, and social scientists at the conference treated them as peers.

"Our dinner conversations consisted of 'So, how’s Ireland doing?,' 'How’s Russia?,' and being asked highly debatable questions about politics," Lockerby said. "These international researchers discussed all of those topics without hesitation. They yearned for information, which made me yearn for it as well."  

On the Trail of History

Dr. P.J. Capelotti pays tribute to the widow of an explorer in Oslo.

Image: Jacqueline Lanning

Psychology major Alejandro Cruz agreed, referring to it as an academic and cultural exchange between masters and students.

"It was refreshing, and not as intimidating as I thought, to discuss the state of the world with the great minds who attended the conference." — Alejandro Cruz, psychology major

Abington students find courses with required short-term travel trigger an appetite for research and lead to collaborations across disciplines. They explored museums and cultural sites related to the course and presented their research through the lenses of history, art, film, and photography to the scholars.

"Working with the international team opened my eyes to what research and scholarly work really looks like. It was nice to present original research in an environment where it will help the scholars and researchers." — Jacqueline Lanning, art major

The courses at Abington that integrate the international component lead students to develop new qualifications and broader ideas for post-graduate study and careers. Lockerby said the lively discussions about politics and research flowed into talk about educational systems and graduate schools in Europe. 


 Global Research Team

Global Research Team

The team of international polar researchers welcomed Abington students including Jacqueline Lanning (fourth from left) and P.J. Capelotti, professor of anthropology at Abington.

Image: Leah Devlin

The Norway program was funded by the National Science Foundation on a grant from the Office of Polar Programs. 

About Global Programs

Abington students earn credit for courses with required international travel of up to 10 days during semester breaks including summer. Upcoming courses feature travel to China, Japan, Central America, and England. 

Contact Dr. Dolores Rafter Arevalo in the Office of Global Programs for more information.