IES: Business and International Affairs
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Kathleen Crane

Major: Political Science
Minor: Communications and International Studies
Hometown: Annapolis, MD

"Through my own international experience, I have been able to transcend beyond the theoretical to compare and contrast the practical strengths and weaknesses of both forms of government."

How did this experience impact you academically?

As a political science major I am fascinated by the various systems of government that exist in the world today. While my political science courses at Penn State have done a fantastic job in teaching me to analyze and understand other governments, I felt I was missing the knowledge that is acquired through firsthand experience. This semester abroad in Paris has built and strengthened my understanding of other governments as well as the United States government. Through my own international experience, I have been able to transcend beyond the theoretical to compare and contrast the practical strengths and weaknesses of both forms of government. I have expanded my knowledge of foreign governments and culture. This in-depth knowledge of foreign governments, I am currently learning abroad, will provide a useful frame of reference as I continue to grow my in political science major. This will help me academically in the future.

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

My dream career goal is to work for the US government. I believe this experience of living and studying abroad has helped make me a more well-rounded and qualified candidate. It has built my knowledge of foreign governments and media. It has exposed me to various cultures that are very different from US culture. This firsthand experience will help me standout to future employers. Also in the distant future I hope to be a diplomat or ambassador - this semester abroad will be the perfect stepping stone for this career goal. Allowing me to be able to relate to foreign governments and share my personal experiences. This program has not only been very beneficial for my short term goals but I know will also help with my long-term goals. This program has helped me grow personally as an individual.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes!!! I think it is a great way to get financial aid and get the financial help you may need. The process is not too difficult. Also it requires you create a budget sheet, which I felt was beneficial to me. It made me really think about all the extra sending costs and helped me better prepare.

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

Without the Paterno Fellows Program, I would of struggled financially more during my time abroad. This money allowed me to stress a little less about going abroad. It especially helped me when I first arrived in Paris. I was already nervous and stressed about living in a foreign country for 4 months, where I don't even speak the language! This money let me have one less thing to stress about. I cannot say thank you enough to everyone that is a part of the Paterno Fellows program. You are the reason I am able to have this life changing experience. Living in France has been an incredible opportunity that I am so fortunate to be able to be a part of. This money has given me the opportunity to be emerged in this amazing culture firsthand. Thank you to everyone again!

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