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Puebla, Mexico: Spanish Language, Art and Mexican Culture (Summer)
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Lena Becker

Major: Spanish, Psychology
Hometown: Elysburg, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I went to a Liberal Arts study abroad meeting night. I also talked with my Spanish adviser about programs the university offered.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I was in Puebla, Mexico for six weeks taking 9 credits at the local university. I stayed with a host family, and on the weekends the group of us all from Penn State went to different places around the country. My classes and trip were run by Penn State faculty; it was really convenient and nice to have a connection to home. Staying with a host family really made the trip for me. I learned so much from them.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I got to take nine credits there, and two of the courses count towards my Spanish major, which helps free up some time during normal semesters. I learned so much about the history and culture of a country that is horribly misrepresented in America, which was really eye-opening. I also improved my Spanish a lot too!

Staying with a host family really made the trip for me. I learned so much from them.

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

In the future I hope to be a doctor who can directly help not only English speaking patients, but also Spanish speaking patients. I am not sure what field I plan to go into exactly, but I know I want to help as many people as possible and be culturally knowledgeable as I do so.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Of course! Studying abroad should be a requirement for everybody at Penn State. There is so much to learn from traveling to a new place!

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

Yes. My advisers told me that studying abroad was a requirement for the program and that it had to be for at least five weeks. This affected which program I chose, and I am really glad it pushed me to go on a longer trip.

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