IES Barcelona: Business and Liberal Art
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Farren Landes

Major: Psychology
Minor: N/A
Hometown: Ivyland, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I receive newsletters from the College of Liberal Arts and this opportunity was heavily promoted, so I looked into it and thought I was something I could really take advantage of. Studying abroad is very costly, so I wanted to apply to a number of scholarships to help with the expenses.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience so far has been amazing. It’s been a month since I arrived and I am finally feeling like I am getting into the swing of things. It’s a tough adjustment, but you have to make the most of experiences like this one because they are a once in a lifetime opportunities. Classes are very different than those at Penn State. They’re 20-30 people at most and are very much discussion based to keep you engaged. In many of the classes, there are excursions during class to go to local sites that are linked to class material. I’ve already grown to love Barcelona and call it home. So far I have traveled to Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Rome, and Florence, and my experiences have all been amazing. It’s incredible to think that one month has already gone by and we have three to go, but I know they will go by just as fast as the first.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, all of the classes I am taking have a European spin on the topics. I am taking Media and Politics in Europe, Crime, Disorder, Policing and Justice: Spanish and European Perspectives, and Organizational Behavior: Psychological Approaches in a European Perspective. To learn about these topics with a European Perspective has made my classes more interesting and academically it’s always beneficial  to look at things from perspectives other than my own. I have also enjoyed how classes are more discussion based and applying the topics covered to the real world and connecting it to our lives.

Being abroad makes you realize that there is so much more out there and so many things that are bigger than just you in the world.

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

After I complete my undergrad, I would like to go to graduate school and eventually get my Ph.D. in Psychology. My preferred discipline of psychology was always clinical, but taking an organizational psychology course here has opened my eyes to what a career in that field would be like, and it is something I'd like to pursue. I was unable to take a class on organizational psychology before I left to go abroad, so it is really nice to be able to take it here and really enjoy it. This experience has already brought a lot of clarity to me in terms of what I want to do and where I want to go in life.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would 100% recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. You can take a lot of courses that pertain to Liberal Arts majors, and although academics are important, it's the experience of being here that is the most amazing thing. This is a once in a lifetime chance to study abroad and go places that you've dreamed of going. Being abroad makes you realize that there is so much more out there and so many things that are bigger than just you in the world.

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