CORONAVIRUS UPDATES: Select the "more info" link for coronavirus-related resources and updates for Liberal Arts students, faculty, and staff. More info >
Study Abroad: IES Barcelona, Spain
Up one level
Geraldine Pena

Major: Psychology

Hometown: Nutley, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I talked to my psych adviser about this opportunity. I was worried about being able to afford this experience but everything worked out!

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I had waited to study abroad for so long and I could not have been more excited to receive enrichment funding from the College of the Liberal Arts. I used the money to go to different places in Spain and experience as much of the culture as I could. The funds helped me worry less about money and enjoy my experience as much as possible. I stayed in touch with my donors throughout my experience and got to know them very well. This was definitely a great experience and made me extremely grateful of all the opportunities I have received at Penn State.

How did the experience impact you academically?

This experience helped me get ahead in my classes and allowed me to graduate early which was very nice. Not only did I learn from the classes I took abroad, but I was able to focus on my core classes once I got back to Penn State. I learned Spanish the way the Spaniards speak it and learned about sports in Spain which are so different from sports in America. I was already a fluent Spanish speaker but learning the language in Spain gave me a new perspective, which is an asset when looking for a job.

Not only did I learn from the classes I took abroad, but I was able to focus on my core classes once I got back to Penn State. I learned Spanish the way the Spaniards speak it.

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

I want to go to graduate school and study child psychology. I think this experience helped me with that goal because it allowed me to demonstrate that I am adventurous.  Most students do not study abroad because they are afraid of getting behind in classes, worried about fitting in with another culture, or worried about being able to afford it. However, I took the chance and grew as a person due to all the different things I learned and was able to see.

Return to Top