IES Rome
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Lauren Rickert

Liberal Arts Major: Communication Arts and Sciences
Other Major: Art History
Minor: Global and International Studies, Museum Studies Certificate
Hometown: Lancaster, California
Experience Time: Fall 2021

Give us a brief summary of your experience?

While studying abroad, I took art history classes and an intensive Italian language course. My art history classes had a field study component where our class was held on archeology sites, ancient monuments, museums, and churches. IES Rome held extracurricular sessions once a week after classes to teach students about Italian culture. My favorite sessions I participated in were the pasta making class and oil olive tasting. Rome is filled with beautiful art and delicious food and has been a wonderful city to live in.

How did this experience impact you academically?

As an art history major, I was able to see in person the art and cultures I have studied in my classes. Rome has amazing art museums, and I have been able to view artworks I would never have been able to see in the United States. I have had the opportunities to travel throughout Italy to visit the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Last Supper in Milan, and the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua.

“Spending the semester surrounded by the art and history of Rome helped me decide that I want to pursue a master’s degree in art history.”

How will this experience impact your career goals?

Spending the semester surrounded by the art and history of Rome helped me decide that I want to pursue a masters degree in art history. Graduate school for art history requires students to be proficient in a language, and living in Italy has significantly improved my Italian language skills. In the future, I would like to work in a museum. Visiting museums has given me insight on how Italy and Europe communicate art and its historical context.

How has the College of the Liberal Arts helped you to find and/or succeed in this experience (e.g., adviser, faculty, staff, enrichment funds, etc.)?

The College of the Liberal Arts was extremely helpful with the process of studying abroad. My academic advisers helped me with planning what classes I should take and how the credits would transfer back to Penn State. I also received funding from the Career Enrichment Network. I appreciate all the support from my professors, advisers, and the college for the opportunity to spend the semester living in Italy.

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