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Study Abroad: University of Leeds
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Kelsey Tamborrino

Hometown: Easton, PA
Major: English
Minor: International Studies

How did you learn about this opportunity?

Very early on I started looking into study abroad programs through the Global Studies website. At the time, I thought I wanted to study abroad in London, but after searching the possible destinations, reading different GeoBlogs from various locations and weighing my options, I decided on Leeds, England.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Arriving in Leeds was a whirlwind experience. Leeds is a small city in Northern England, where the accent is thick and the people are genuinely nice. Classes in Leeds consist of lectures and seminars every week. The seminars provide us the chance to discuss topics in smaller groups. All in all, it was intensive work, but a lot of the reading and research occurred outside of the classroom as well. Outside of schoolwork, the nightlife and atmosphere in Leeds is flourishing. I have made plenty of British and exchange student friends, and it's hard to find a night when there is nothing to do. Leeds also presented me with the opportunity to travel for the entire month of April, for the Easter holidays. Because of this, I have the chance to travel wherever I want in the world before returning back to Leeds for exams. As I write this, I am in Vienna. I travelled to Geneva and Munich and next week I'll be in Budapest, Barcelona, Italy and Amsterdam. If that's not incredible enough, I've already travelled to other counties and areas of England on weekends throughout the semester. Travelling from country to country is so much more affordable and easy when abroad. But mostly, my experience has provided me with so many interesting stories and I've learned so much. Whether it is the people I meet or the classes I take, every day I feel myself changing and growing.

"My career goals revolve around the realm of storytelling. Whether in books, or through newspapers, I want to help publish the written word."

How did this experience impact you academically?

While I am only taking three classes in Leeds, each provides intensive work. Being in the classroom with students from England has certainly changed my perspective. For example, I'm taking a class on reporting on British politics and it is filled with native English students. Their perspective on their nation and how it relates to their perspective of America is enlightening. The classroom environment in Leeds allows me to step outside of myself and see subject matter with new eyes. In my English class, I am exposed to new authors and I get to participate in discussions on poems and books with people who have grown up on a different side of the world. It's interesting to see how literature affects people, no matter where they are born. Essentially, academics while abroad have forced me to manage my time better, especially if I want to travel on weekends, but they also open by eyes to a new way of learning. A new culture is a wonderful thing and it certainly opens the door to new ways of thinking.

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

After I graduate from Penn State, I hope to get a job in the publishing industry. Books have always been a passion of mine and the industry is a way to blend that love, with my love of journalism and editing. In such a field, I get to help an author tell a story. In simple terms, my career goals revolve around the realm of storytelling. Whether in books, or through newspapers, I want to help publish the written word. Being abroad, I have met so many interesting people and have experienced a great deal of new things. Studying abroad has helped me to open my eyes and create my own story, so to speak. Any advance in creativity is an advance in my career path. As I grow as a person, I grow as a writer and a thinker, all of which will help my future endeavors.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students?

Yes

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