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Shirly Mayer

Major: Labor and Employment Relations
Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Weston, FL

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this enrichment experience from various people at Penn State. My primary source of information was my adviser. She brought the idea to my attention. After learning about the opportunity from my adviser I talked to students who had previously studied abroad to learn more about the experience and lastly I researched through the Penn State Education Abroad search tool. All of this information really helped in making my decision to study abroad.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain has been incredible. I have learned so much about another culture and way of life and this has really helped me to learn more about myself. I have had the opportunity to travel to more than 10 different countries while studying in Europe and each trip has been better than the last. I have been given the opportunity to meet so many new people from the United States, Barcelona and from all around the world. This has been a life changing experience and one that I recommend to anyone who may be interested in partaking on this semester abroad.

I have learned so much about another culture and way of life and this has really helped me to learn more about myself.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience of studying abroad has impacted me academically in many ways. For starters I have been exposed to the Spanish educational system, which is very different than the educational system in the United States. Having to adapt to these changes has allowed me to learn better ways of studying and understanding concepts. I have learned to approach my academics with different perspectives. Likewise, I have been given the opportunity to take useful credits that I can use for my major in a different country.

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

This experience of studying abroad has experienced me academically in many ways. For starters I have been exposed to the Spanish educational system, which is very different than the educational system in the United States. The ways that teachers teach the material is different, the grading system is different and the overall attitudes towards grades and GPA is different in Spain. All of these differences have allowed me to look at my academics with a different perspective. Having to adapt to these changes has allowed me to learn better ways of studying and understanding concepts that I will bring back with me to the Penn State to use for the remainder of my educational years.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I would definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students because it is an experience unlike any other. Studying abroad in a different country for a semester has allowed me to grow as a person both socially and academically. I have learned more about myself by learning more about the world. This is an unforgettable experience that everyone should have the opportunity to partake in.

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