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IES French Studies - Paris
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Kathryn Wroblewski

Major: Math and French
Minor: Economics and Statistics
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

How did you learn about this opportunity?

This experience has allowed me to reach a new level of independence and understanding of the world as a whole. Experiencing multiple new ways of life and meeting a huge amount of new people has been absolutely amazing. This has allowed me to both fine tune and reevaluate what I am looking for in a future career. More importantly, it has given me the confidence to reach for new heights when pursuing internship opportunities.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

It was absolutely amazing! The beauty of Paris is that there is always something new to see or do. After class, I would head to museums, cafes, or parks. I took classes in French related to grammar, art history, and politics. My French improved through my classes, talking with my host family, and interacting with Parisians. If I could stay in Paris forever, I would.

"If I could stay in Paris forever, I would."

How did this experience impact you academically?

By taking coursework completely in French, I completed 12 of the required credits for my French major. I came to Paris with little confidence in my French language skills. After almost four months of living and studying in Paris, I have far more confidence in myself. I do not think I could have improved to this extent without living in a French-speaking country.

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

I hope to work as a consultant or data analyst for a global enterprise. As a math major, I have a strong technical background, but taking French classes has improved my diversity of thought. I believe that this experience will set me apart in future job interviews and careers. While living and studying abroad, I have developed skills far beyond just French. I have become a more well-rounded individual. I adapted to an entirely different way of life, became far more independent, and experienced many different cultures in Europe.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

YES!! If you ever think for one second that you want to study abroad, DO IT. I knew since freshman year of high school that I wanted to study and live abroad. As a sophomore, I went a bit ahead of normal to Penn State standards, but it has been the best decision I’ve made. You have to take advantage of each opportunity abroad in order to fully appreciate the experience.

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

The Paterno Fellows Program encouraged me to go abroad and gave me the resources to experience my time abroad to the fullest. The programs emphasis on global education and personal development allows me to focus on education outside of just State College. Additionally, the funds provided by the Paterno Fellows Program gave me the opportunity to fully embrace the culture of France and Europe without worrying about money.

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