Study Abroad Program: Temple Rome, Italy
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Meghan  Loder

Meghan Loder

Major: English and Broadcast Journalism
Minor: N/A
Hometown: Middletown NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I attended the Penn State education abroad fair and took flyers for too many programs. Then I had many conversations with advisors in the Education Abroad office. Kate Fox, my advisor for the Temple Rome program was very kind and helpful during the whole application process and orientation events.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Going abroad was the scariest and greatest thing that I have ever done. It is such a cliche but it really was a life changing experience. I had the time of my life. Stepping out of my comfort zone was hard but in the end it was totally worth it. I went to 10 different countries, met incredible people, and developed friendships I know will last a lifetime. I thought I was a flexible person but going abroad definitely made me more flexible and resourceful in everything I do. I have never been so sad for a semester to end. Leaving Italy and all of my friends was really the hardest part of going abroad.

"This experience taught me more about myself, which will help me in my career because I am more self aware and able to understand my goals and aspirations."

How did this experience impact you academically?

Classes through Temple Rome were very different compared to Penn State. My professors all challenged me to have experiences outside of the classroom and to explore Italy. From extra credit opportunities earned by going to museums or having a meal in a different section of town, it certainly was a different atmosphere. The most challenging part abroad was balancing school work and traveling. But it made me become more productive with my time and to really focus when I needed to. This opportunity also gave me the ability to develop a different perspective about the world, which I know will change the way in which I analyze and write. This experienced challenged me to become more creative in all of my work which will help me academically.

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

This experience gave me a better understanding of the world and allowed me to see the world in a different light. This experience helped to expand my confidence, which will help me to excel in my career. My goal is to work in broadcast journalism, and during my time in Rome I became a more confident and decisive person. This experience taught me more about myself, which will help me in my career because I am more self aware and able to understand my goals and aspirations.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

YES! Everyone should have the opportunity to study abroad. It is the best thing that I have ever done during my time at Penn State. There is no other time in your life when you can go book a flight to Ireland on a whim and then have an incredible time two days later. It is truly a time where the possibilities are endless. Also there is no other time in your life when you can be challenged in the very best ways possible. Not speaking the language or being afraid to leave your friends at school are all real fears, but once you get there all of those things don't seem to matter too much. Living in a foreign country is so much different than visiting for the week. Truly absorbing the culture and figuring out how to go about your daily life is an amazing feat to accomplish.

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