Study Abroad: University of Exeter
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Sabrina Volpe

Paterno Fellow
Majors: French & International Political Economy
Minor: Geography
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this experience through the Undergraduate Fellowship Office.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This was an amazing experience. As a student of the International Relations: Security, Conflict and Peace pathway I was able to discuss pertinent aspects of international relations with people from around the world. We looked in depth at the problems facing Syria and Egypt along with Eurocentric views on the United State’s international involvement over the late 20th and 21st centuries. As an American student, it was great to be able to hear unbiased opinions on the US’s involvement in Iraq, as well as listen to multiple viewpoints on many security issues facing our world today. Exeter was a delightful town, and the people were so generous and eager to showcase southern England’s charm.  Staying in the heart of London for three days and being able to take day trips to many famous towns and landmarks throughout my stay really helped with the immersion into British culture.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Becoming fully immersed in British culture and studying at The University of Exeter offered me different perspectives on many social and global issues. It was a challenge to adapt to the rigorous amount of work that was presented, but it was necessary for the enhancement of the in-class discussions. Overall, this experience has really pushed me to want to study abroad for a full semester next year, and has given me the tools to be able to handle the unique styles of education abroad.

"The art of diplomacy cannot be learned from a textbook. It can only be refined through practice and experience."

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

This benefited my future aspirations, because I want to become an ambassador. The art of diplomacy cannot be learned from a textbook. It can only be refined through practice and experience. Studying with students from around the world really presses you to think about how you represent your own nation. Diplomacy is a constant line that must be maintained between nations. It becomes easier to uphold when we all are focusing on the same goals. Studying with international students made me realize that, at the bottom line, we are all working towards a better life. We need to stop making things so difficult on the international front.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?


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