ARAB 99/499: Youth Life in Cairo
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Casey Sennett

Liberal Arts Majors: Anthropology, History, Jewish Studies, Middle East Studies
Minor: Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies and Global and International Studies
Hometown: Philipsburg, Pennsylvania
Experience Time: Fall 2022

Give us a brief summary of your experience?

I participated in an embedded study abroad trip to Cairo, Egypt, during winter break for ARAB 99. During the trip, we visited different museums and archaeological sites related to ancient Egypt, such as the Pyramids of Giza and the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis, as well as more modern historical sites, such as the Citadel of Saladin and the Muhammad Ali Mosque. We also participated in different cultural experiences, such as a cooking class and a Nubian and Sufi dance show.

How did this experience impact you academically?

As a student in the Middle East Studies and Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies programs, the opportunity to interact with both the ancient and modern history of Egypt was surreal. The experience allowed me to deepen my knowledge of Egypt beyond what I previously learned in the classroom. It also pushed me to think critically about prevailing conceptions of Egypt in Western media and popular culture.

"The experience allowed me to deepen my knowledge of Egypt beyond what I previously learned in the classroom."

How will this experience impact your career goals?

After I graduate, I intend to work in education or public programming at a Jewish history or Holocaust museum. The ability to tour different museums and historical sites in Egypt expanded my knowledge of international museum practices and heritage management, which I can utilize in my professional career.

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.)?

I learned about the program through the Career Enrichment Network in the College of the Liberal Arts. I also received enrichment funding from the College of the Liberal Arts. Without the funding, I would not have been able to participate in this experience, which has been my most memorable experience at Penn State.

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

The Paterno Fellows Program encourages students to take advantage of as many professional and academic opportunities as possible while at Penn State. No matter what opportunity I decide to participate in, I feel supported by the program and strive to fulfill the program’s mission.

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