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IES Abroad Amsterdam: Law and Criminology
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Maggie Purcell

Paterno Fellow
Major: International Politics/Criminology
Minor: History/German
Hometown: Yardley

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this experience through the Penn State Study Abroad Fair. I then did more research on the Global PSU website where I found more information on the costs, courses, and details of the program.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My study abroad experience was one of the best experiences I've had at Penn State. By fully immersing myself in a different culture, I was able to get a better knowledge of the world around me. I stayed in dorms with students from all over the world, with my floor alone having students from 6 different countries! I was able to become more independent and try things I thought I would never have been able to experience.

It was the most academically and personally enriching semester I have had at Penn State and I learned so much that cannot be taught in a classroom.


How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience was one of the most academically enriching experiences I've had. It exposed me to new topics and new ways of learning. I had classes with Dutch students and was able to learn about topics such as European Migration Law, Dutch History, and Comparative Law between the United States and the Netherlands. Through these classes I was able to engage in interesting discussions and participate in field trips to places like a Dutch criminal court, a United Nations International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia trial, visit to the Dutch Royal Military Police, and many more. 

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Following graduation I would like to engage in some sort of international volunteering. After that, I hope to enroll in law school and focus on international or criminal work. My program specifically focused on law and criminology so a lot of the things I learned would be directly related to my goals. I not only gained a deeper knowledge of United States law, but I also had an introduction to European law.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would without a doubt recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. It was the most academically and personally enriching semester I have had at Penn State and I learned so much that cannot be taught in a classroom. Studying abroad opens your eyes to so much in the world and also makes you take a deeper look at your own country. It cultivates you not only as a student, but as a person overall.

For more information on global experiences for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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