Florence: International Studies Institute (ISI) at Palazzo Rucellai (Summer)
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Francis X McVey

Major: Economics
Hometown: Aston, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity just by researching all of the study abroad options on Penn State's website, and it was very easy for me to find one that fit all of my needs.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I participated in a six week program in Florence, Italy while taking a class on photography and history. While abroad I got to simply enjoy life. I made many new friends and every day was a new adventure. We took one class a day, which often included getting to explore a new part of Florence, and then took the rest of our time to explore for ourselves. On the weekends I was able to take trips to explore other cities such as Venice, Rome, Positano, Amsterdam, and others. Overall it was an experience of my life that I will always cherish; I will forever hold a special place in my heart for the people I met on this trip.

It is an educational experience that goes far beyond the classroom.

How did this experience impact you academically?

For me this was perfect for my academic plan and my goal to graduate from Penn State in the Spring of 2018; I am a transfer student and still needed to make up at least six credits this summer. I still needed to fulfill my humanities classes, arts classes, and an elective. I was able to achieve two of these while studying abroad this summer. With completing this trip I will maintain my plan and get closer to the goal of graduating on time.

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

I am a person who seeks to obtain as many new experiences and life adventures as possible. I enjoy immersing myself in new groups of people because taking this new perspective always allows me to learn more about the world and myself. I one day hope to start my own business; I rely heavily on these experiences as the driving force behind what I want to do in the corporate world as well as the person I want to be viewed as by others.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I would, simply because it is an educational experience that goes far beyond the classroom. It is a unique experience, and I loved every second of it. My only regret is I wish I had gone abroad sooner before entering my senior year, because I would do it again if I could.

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