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Partnership for International Research and Education (PIRE) Program in Granada, Spain and Study Abroad in Todi, Italy (Italian Language, Art History, and Visual Arts Program)
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Lauren Perrotti

Paterno Fellow
Majors: Spanish, Italian, and Global & International Studies
Minor: Linguistics
Hometown: Springbrook, PA
Twitter: @LaurenPerrotti

How did you learn about these opportunities?

I learned about these opportunities through different professors I had in class.

Tell us a little bit about your experiences.

In Granada, Spain, I worked in the lab of Dr. Teresa Bajo with the graduate psychology and linguistics program to execute my unique experiment using eye-tracking equipment and the visual world paradigm. Participants heard a sentence in Spanish and chose the corresponding image on a computer screen while a camera reflected light off the cornea to record eye movement. I collected data from 60 participants and presented my research at the university. I attended weekly lab meetings and listened to a variety of presentations in Spanish. Since this was an independent research project supported by a National Science Foundation grant, it was complete immersion into the Spanish language, culture, and education and research system. I continued this research at Penn State where I executed my experiment with English-Spanish bilinguals and continued to analyze data. Throughout this process, I was advised by Dr. Giuli Dussias. This research culminated in an honors thesis for the Schreyer Honors College.

“I recommend that every Liberal Arts student has some kind of international experience during their time at Penn State. It will build your knowledge base and strengthen your character.”

During my study abroad program in Todi, Italy, I took classes in Italian grammar and literature, art history, and visual art. I compiled a sketch book and presented on ancient art in Perugia. Every four days or so, I traveled to a new city within the country to explore and learn about the art, culture and language. My favorite sites include Rome, Florence, Siena, Venice, and Naples.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did these experiences impact them?

I will be pursuing graduate studies in Spanish and Language Sciences at Penn State as a part of the MA/PhD program. The above experiences have helped me to become a well-rounded individual and gave me insight into the world of research and international collaboration.

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