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Study Abroad, Arcadia Summer Internship Program
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Sara

Major: Economics
Minor: Political Science, Business
Hometown: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

How did you learn about this opportunity?

Whenever any of my friends studied abroad, they always came back with wonderful stories about their experiences. I never thought that I would want to go, because I did not want to leave Penn State for an entire semester. After taking classes relating to international politics and international development, I realized that not only did I want to develop my understanding of the world, but I wanted to see how the world saw me, as an American. One day over winter break, I made the decision that I wanted to study abroad, and so I went on the PSU Global Programs website, and started searching for opportunities there. It didn't take me long until I stumbled upon the Arcadia Summer Internship Program in London, and after doing some research and speaking to an advisor, I came to the conclusion that this program was the best fit for me.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My time in London was absolutely incredible. In the first few days of the program, all of the students that were a part of the Arcadia Summer Internship Program went through an orientation that introduced us to British culture. After that, I attended a class about the Global Business Environment that met about once or twice a day for two weeks. This really focused on the British political economy, and how it has developed over the past 400 years. In the third week, I began my internship with an economics consulting firm, Europe Economics. During my six weeks with them, I helped develop multiple cost-benefit analyses for our clients. Outside of work and class, I "traveled" a bit throughout London and the rest of England, and even got the chance to visit a friend in Geneva, Switzerland. The most interesting part of this experience came when the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. The U.K. Referendum (more commonly known as the Brexit) was a historical moment for the U.K. and the rest of the world, and to witness this major decision firsthand was amazing. My favorite part though has to be joining a Korfball team (it's a sport similar to basketball), and meeting a really great group of people who welcomed me into their club for the summer!

How did this experience impact you academically?

It is always encouraging for me to see the connections between the classroom and the workplace, and be able to use those connections to add value to my work.

During my internship, the projects I worked on dealt with financial services regulation. Last spring, I took a class about the financial crisis of 2008, and the factors that lead to the Great Recession. Many of the topics we reviewed in class also came up in the projects I worked on during my internship. It is always encouraging for me to see the connections between the classroom and the workplace, and be able to use those connections to add value to my work. Additionally, I also took a course about the Political Economy of the U.S., and it was really interesting for me to take that same course, just about England.

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

Prior to me leaving, my career goals included me moving to Washington D.C. or North Carolina to work for two years, and then get my MBA at UNC. This experience completely changed that. I absolutely loved London, and because of that, I am determined to eventually move back and work there for a few years. Additionally, I really enjoyed working with banking regulatory policy, so I would like to continue with a career in that either in the private sector or the government.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes. Why? You're young, you have the time, and you may never again get the chance to do something like this. Even if you are "on the fence" on whether or not to go, just go-you won't regret it.

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

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