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Reggio Calabria, Italy: Language and Culture (Summer)
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Aaron Semach

Liberal Arts Major(s): History, Italian
Hometown: Pottstown, Pennsylvania

What was the best part of your experience?

The best part of my experience was making new friendships and applying the lessons I learned at Penn State. After taking Italian for only two semesters, I was nervous about talking to Italians, but I overcame that fear and made some of my best friends while in Italy. I should also mention the great bonds I made with my fellow Penn State students while in Italy as we learned and had fun together. Travelling and seeing Italy is beautiful, especially with friends who you can share the experience with.

My understanding of the Italian language and culture improved in ways that are simply not possible in a classroom

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, my understanding of the Italian language and culture improved in ways that are simply not possible in a classroom. Speaking with an Italian is very different than speaking with a classmate who can only speak at a basic level. In trying to learn Italian, studying abroad was the best decision I could make.

How will this experience impact your career goals?

The progress I have made with learning Italian in a short time has made me commit to continue to learn the language. Knowing Italian could provide an opportunity for a career in education or even in business. My international and language experience will supplement any career I pursue.

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

The Paterno Fellows Program helped encourage me to go above and beyond by studying abroad and making the most out of my experience. I was motivated to challenge myself both academically and socially in this amazing opportunity. The Career Enrichment Network Enrichment Funds helped make all this possible; studying abroad, like school, can be expensive, so the financial support made studying abroad more feasible for myself and my family.

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