“I took two years of Russian to fulfill the language requirements for my bachelor
of arts degree, and after my sophomore year I had the opportunity to continue my
education by studying the Russian language at St. Petersburg State University. I
lived with a host family for two months and had opportunities to travel to Moscow
and Novgorod while abroad. Russia is a very unique country: St. Petersburg has a
more modern, European feel, while Moscow still has more obvious Soviet characteristics. The culture in Russia is also quite different from the U.S. People on the
street aren’t nearly as friendly, but once you get to know the Russians, they are
actually extremely hospitable.
This experience was fundamental to my time at Penn State because it allowed
me to go somewhere that not many Americans go. Studying abroad in England,
France, Spain, and Italy is fairly common, but not many students, or Americans in
general, travel to Russia. Especially now that Russia has become a hot topic in the
news, my experience has really given me a unique perspective on current events. There is also something to be
said for traveling to a country where very few people speak English. It was definitely challenging, but a challenge
that I enjoyed. By the end of the trip, speaking certain phrases and attempting to communicate were second
nature. It made me confident that, in the future, I could travel to any country, no matter the language barrier.
I would study abroad again in a heartbeat and I think it’s something that every student should try at least
once. Education abroad is a more immersive learning experience than classrooms and textbooks, and it chang-
es the way you view the world.”
Meet Brenna who studied in Russia
If a global experience outside of the U.S. is really what you dream of, Global Programs’ Education
Abroad department is your first stop. Last year, over 2,500 Penn State students took part in Education Abroad programs in 58 countries. Education abroad opportunities can be a part of most Penn State
majors, but early planning is key. Education Abroad advisers can help you identify courses and program options at your dream destination. Penn State offers over 250 programs, ranging from a week
up to a full academic year abroad. It’s very possible to still participate in events on campus like THON,
Penn State football season, and all the extra-curricular possibilities in between, and still study abroad!
Start planning and preparing personally, academically, and financially. The possibilities are limitless!
Some of our most popular destinations are:
Italy – 510 students, or 20%
Spain – 260 students, or 10%
China – 218 students, or 8%
United Kingdom – 206 students, or 5%
Germany – 135 students, or 5%
Think outside the boot (the Italian boot that is!). Education Abroad opportunities are available anywhere from
Brazil, Costa Rica, Tanzania, Morocco, Cambodia, and Thailand. Additional scholarship opportunities exist for
students studying at non-traditional destinations.
In a study by IES Abroad, nearly 85% of students surveyed felt that studying abroad helped them build job
skills and almost 80% indicated that studying abroad was either “effective” or “very effective” in helping them
develop confidence and new skills required for their first job. It truly does pay to study abroad!
Take Your Education...Anywhere!