Oxford Study Abroad Program
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Sophia Wertz

Liberal Arts Major(s): Economics, International Politics
Hometown: Emmaus, Pennsylvania

What was the best part of your experience?

The best part of studying at Oxford was the exposure to a completely different system of education -- the tutorial system -- and the boundless opportunities I received as part of it. I was able to study two subjects I love (poetry and economics) under esteemed faculty members of the University. Being immersed in a new university was exhilarating, and I'm so grateful I was able to participate in this program.

Being immersed in a new university was exhilarating, and I'm so grateful I was able to participate in this program.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience was very academic in nature, as I primarily studied for the duration of my trip abroad. The opportunity to work directly with my tutors in a one-on-one setting challenged me academically and exposed me to a multitude of new ideas and readings. The tutorial system of Oxford is very self-driven, and I felt I flourished as a student under the freedom it provided. As I end my study abroad experience, I have a deeper understanding of my major. I am also greatly appreciative for the opportunity to study poetry, as I am not an English major or minor and wouldn't normally have room in my schedule for additional literature courses.

How will this experience impact your career goals?

I aspire to work in international economics -- potentially in political economy or developmental economics -- and I believe an understanding of cultural differences is critical to success in these fields. From partaking in student life in another country to traveling around Europe, I feel I have acquired a heightened awareness of what it means to be a global citizen. After I graduate and begin working, I will carry with me the lessons I learned from experiencing life in another country for a semester.

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

I am so grateful to have received enrichment funding from Paterno Fellows for my study abroad experience. Because my program was not offered by Penn State, I was ineligible to receive my normal merit scholarships. Being awarded enrichment funds was so valuable as I used it to fund the costs of my Oxford education.

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