Amsterdam, Netherlands: Dutch Criminal and Social Justice
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Madison Campsey

Liberal Arts Major: Criminology
Minor: Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Hometown: Claysville, Pennsylvania
Experience Time: Summer 2022

Give us a brief summary of your experience?

Academically, my study abroad experience revolved around a diverse selection of topics and experiences that are deemed criminal and/or deviant either by American or Dutch standards. While exploring such topics daily, I was exposed to the Dutch legal and justice systems' approaches to dealing with such processes and, consequently, I was able to compare my own knowledge about the American systems and how we might have a differing approach. Socially, my study abroad experience allowed me to meet a wonderful group of students, both from Penn State and not, as well as instructors and others whom I may never have met if not for leaving the United States.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience truly allowed me to leave a space of what I thought I had known in the realm of criminology and form a completely different understanding of the study. I now have a broader set of experiences from which I can compare new information and derive different opinions from. Since my study abroad experience, how I view topics and experiences that are deviant has altered and I now make an effort to understand the "why" behind such happenings and for what reasons it may be deviant, criminal, or even not criminal. It has become clear to me that this experience has allowed my ability to learn to evolve and to not be fearful of challenging what I may have already known.

"I now have a broader set of experiences from which I can compare new information and derive different opinions from."

How will this experience impact your career goals?

I have been interested in pursuing a career in law and this experience has only deepened my interest in doing so. As I had stated previously, I found it so interesting to see what is considered deviant and not and how this factored into the legal system. Knowing that the legal system evolves, I want to be able to see these changes in how society views what is deviant and if the law will reflect public views. I think being exposed to this will allow me to understand society on a deeper level, which is something that has always intrigued me.

How has the College of the Liberal Arts helped you to find and/or succeed in this experience (e.g., adviser, faculty, staff, enrichment funds, etc.)?

The College of the Liberal Arts helped me succeed in this experience through providing access to enrichment funds. These funds helped me cover the cost of airline flights, which are very expensive at the moment.

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


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