'Study Abroad' Opportunities Abound at Penn College

Published 02.13.2004


By Nichole Shanefelter College Information & Community Relations Intern

Every year, Pennsylvania College of Technology offers students Study Abroad opportunities in countries like Australia, Costa Rica, Germany, Italy, Mexico and Japan.

Through the College's International Programs Office, students also have access to many academic-year and semester-long programs not sponsored by the College, as well as a variety of short-term and summer programs.

Recently, the office sponsored its second trip to Italy, where 19 Penn College students spent their holiday break studying art history. The group, led by Mark J. Mahosky, instructor of advertising art, visited a variety of cities, including Rome, Naples and Sorrento.

Students like Kathy I. De Knecht of Linden, a pre-Radiography major who called Rome "one of the most powerful cities in Italy," were amazed at the remarkable architecture and culture. Studying classical painting, architecture and sculpture, the students toured the Vatican Museum, where they saw pieces by such renowned and innovative artists as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. Sandra D. Miller, a Radiography student from Milton, was moved by her experiences in Rome's many historical museums.

"The Sistine Chapel was magnificent," she said. "You would need months to see everything that the museum had to offer."

Other destinations during the students' weeklong stay included the Coliseum, Pompeii and Herculaneum, and with special permission the catacombs beneath the Vatican. Along with their studies, the members of the group also got a taste of Italian culture.

"While studying ancient culture, you couldn't help but notice (the Italian people's) current way of life," Miller said. "After 5 p.m., the inhabitants came out on the streets, and everyone just went for a walk. We were there over Epiphany, so it was a good chance to see their customs."

The students' only regrets were that the trip had to end so quickly, and that Italian pizza was not what they had expected.

"The pizza was a little bland," said Amanda Cropf of Danville, an Advertising Art major. "I couldn't wait to get home for a 'real American' pizza."

Of the opportunity, Miller said: "If you get the chance to go, take it. You won't regret it. I would like to visit Rome again."

The next Study Abroad trip will be to Toluca, Mexico, over spring break. From March 5-13, students will get a chance to live with host families while visiting Toluca, "the Detroit of Mexico," where manufacturing plants for several automakers are located. They will also take industrial tours and participate in activities at Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Toluca campus.

The cost, including air fare, is $995, and the College is offering three credit hours of field experience to students for International Automotive Technology and International Industrial Technology. To be eligible for the trip, students attending must have completed at least 12 credits of technical courses and have a grade-point average of 2.5 or greater.

The Study Abroad initiative presents students with an opportunity to take general-elective courses in the humanities and social sciences, or classes tailored for certain academic majors. Participating students can build unique skills and gain knowledge of different cultures during internships, volunteer projects or work experiences overseas, enhancing their resumes in the process.

For more information about the Study Abroad program, call the International Programs Office at (570) 326-3761, Ext. 5257, send e-mail or visit on the Web.