CORONAVIRUS UPDATES: Select the "more info" link for coronavirus-related resources and updates for Liberal Arts students, faculty, and staff. More info >
Rome Summer Study Program
Up one level
Sarah McKenna

Major: History and Secondary Education (Social Studies Teaching Option)
Hometown: Collegeville, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I was looking into doing a summer study abroad program as a way to fulfill a lifelong goal and to keep up with my classes. I spoke with a career coach at the Career Enrichment Network where she gave me a few programs to look into, including the Rome Summer Study Program.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

During my experience, my classmates and I mostly stayed in Rome. We attended class everyday with our professors lecturing at the various sites rather than in a classroom (imagine listening to a lecture on Roman History while sitting on the floor of the Colosseum...amazing!). We did travel to the Bay of Naples and Sorrento for four days, where we visited Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Ostia. During the 17 day experience, we had two free days, which I spent at the Vatican and exploring other parts of Rome that weren't included in our class.

During my time at Penn State, I got used to learning history through photographs and documents, but being able to learn about Ancient Rome at the physical sites was an incredibly powerful learning experience.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience impacted me academically because I was able to learn history by actually visiting the site. During my time at Penn State, I got used to learning history through photographs and documents, but being able to learn about Ancient Rome at the physical sites was an incredibly powerful learning experience. This experience has also inspired me to branch out with my learning and research by traveling to sites to complete my work in a unique way.

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

My career goal is the become a high school history teacher, but I am looking into the idea of continuing my education by working towards a PhD in history and teaching and researching at the university level. This experience has impacted my career goals because I was able to experience a new method of teaching and learning history. No matter where I end up teaching, I hope to be able to take this experience and pass it on to my students by motivating them to learn from study abroad and travel experiences.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students because of its uniqueness. Although this was only a 17 day experience, we did so much while we were in Rome that it felt like a whole semester. We were constantly seeing new sites and learning as much about Ancient Rome as possible all while exploring a new city and learning about a new culture.

 

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
Return to Top