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Literary London
Up one level
Carly Snyder

Liberal Arts Major(s): English
Other Major: Secondary English Education
Hometown: Ephrata, Pennsylvania

What was the best part of your experience?

The best part of my experience in London had to be the amount of museums, tours, and in-city classes we had during our study abroad experience. I was thrilled by the amount of information absorbed through both personal exploration and our English classes. It is one thing to visit a foreign country, but it is another thing to truly live in a foreign country. Living implies knowledge of the country, its people, its history, and the like. I felt - after four weeks - as though I had lived in London. Upon coming back home to the States, I feel confident speaking about London and all that entails: historical context, architectural significance, political climate, literary influences, rhetorical strategies used in public atmospheres, etc.

Upon coming back home to the States, I feel confident speaking about London and all that entails: historical context, architectural significance, political climate, literary influences, rhetorical strategies used in public atmospheres, etc.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, I was pleasantly pushed outside my comfort zone. The courses I completed were ENGL 473: Reading Material and Memorial Sites in London and ENGL 455: Mysticism, Magic, and the Occult in Literary Modernism. I felt as though I learned a plethora of knowledge through curriculum that I personally would not have chosen if scheduling my courses on Penn State's campus. Having the opportunity to learn from the well-educated professors teaching these courses allowed me to open my eyes to both a new city and a unique curriculum incorporated in said city. Very quickly, London - in my eyes - became a city with much more than red telephone booths and a giant Ferris wheel. The city became deeper with meaning, revealing to me the people and culture that changed and adapted based on the times and the world's involvement.

How will this experience impact your career goals?

Literary London will forever impact my future career. As I aspire to be a Secondary English educator, first-hand experiences such as standing for a Shakespearean play in the Globe Theatre or free-writing one's stream of consciousness in the expansive Kew Gardens are worth more than any textbook to future students. Being able to stand in front of a class and explain how the curriculum they are learning is actively used in everyday life around the world reveals a reason for learning. A reason for learning is the one nibble of food-for-thought the majority of students need to be motivated to learn a particular topic. That one nibble can gradually transform into a bite, a meal, and a feast of academia -- all because their teacher can show them even a dallop of the world outside their classroom.

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

The Paterno Fellows program affected this experience before the experience even began, in all honesty. With the financial help of the PF program, the cost of the program became that much more affordable. While studying abroad (in this case) is a requirement for the program, being nudged to travel and learn overseas was a once-in-a-lifetime honor. Having the founder of the program as a professor allowed me to learn - from the foundation of the program - the awareness one needs to understand, or even accurately observe, a culture. With Professor Jack Selzer teaching rhetorical application and analysis, I was able to conceive the many factors of London purposefully demonstrated in the city's spaces flooded with meaning from their respective creators.

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