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History 426 Embedded Course to Poland
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Lauren Nogay

Major: History and International Politics
Minor: French
Hometown: Hermitage, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity through visiting the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Festival. Even though my majors were already declared, I stopped by my departments to ask about any upcoming opportunities.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This was a week long trip that included three major stops. First, I visited Warsaw. There I visited a museum about the history of Jews in Poland, visited memorials to the Warsaw Ghetto, and visited a large Jewish cemetery. Second, I went to the town of Oswiecim, known under Nazi rule as Auschwitz. There I toured both Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau. Lastly, I went to Krakow. There I visited the former Plaszow Concentration Camp and learned about the history of Jewish life in Krakow.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Visiting Poland gave me insight into the history of the Holocaust that you can't truly grasp from reading a book. Despite going with the purpose of learning about the Holocaust, I learned much more than that. I came away with with a deeper understanding of both Polish and Jewish culture.

"Visiting foreign museums and historical sights gave me a new perspective on the handling of cultural heritage."

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

After graduating, I plan on going to graduate school for Library Studies and eventually become an archivist. Ideally, I would like to one day work as a museum archivist. Visiting foreign museums and historical sights gave me a new perspective on the handling of cultural heritage. Meeting with an archivist at Auschwitz was particularly interesting for me.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Absolutely! Embedded programs are a great way to study abroad without the time commitment/financial responsibility of studying for a whole semester.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

Paterno Fellows has both encouraged me and enabled me to challenge myself academically. I likely would not have been involved with all that I have without my participation in the Paterno Fellows Program. The Program's emphasis on global awareness helped me realize the value of studying abroad.

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