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PSU/BU Spring Semester in Athens
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Caroline Ackiewicz

Liberal Arts Majors: History & English
Minor: Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Hometown: Leola, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this enrichment experience when I when I saw a brochure for it outside of my adviser's office.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My program was a joint program between Penn State and Bucknell. We spent three months living in Athens, where we had studio apartments that were close to the Athens Centre, which is where we had our classes, and the city center. Our classes were taught by Athens Centre staff and a Bucknell professor. The Centre provided our housing and also organized our travel around Greece to locations such as Delphi and Crete. Even when we were still in Athens we would often have classes at locations such as the Ancient Agora or various museums.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience really impacted me academically. One of the things that I learned was effective time management. The excitement of being a new country frequently made it difficult to concentrate on academics. However, it was also important that to me that I got the most out of time in Greece because I would probably never get another opportunity like this. Over the course of my time abroad I eventually figured out how to make sure that I was succeeding academically, while still getting the most out of my study abroad experience. The strategies I learned to maintain this balance between work and the other aspects of my life are definitely skills I will continue to use throughout college and beyond.

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

My career goals are to go to graduate school to get degrees in History and Library Science, and then to eventually work as an archivist. This experience definitely assisted me in accomplishing my career goals. For History majors, being able to speak another language is a vital skill because it allows one to access more primary source documents. During my time abroad I studied Modern Greek, which gave me familiarity with a new language. Learning Greek in a place where it is most peoples' first language forced me to speak it more often, thus allowing me to learn the language more quickly.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this program to other Liberal Arts students. The Athens Centre organized all of my travel in Greece, so I didn't have to worry about travel plans. Additionally, I was able to see the places, buildings, and objects that I learned about in class.

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

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