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Well-rounded global experience

By Cayla Erisman, April 18, 2019

My initial global experience through Penn College affected my life in many positive ways. This was my first opportunity to travel to another country, and I never expected or planned to travel abroad until my college education was complete. As an architecture student, I have been studying buildings and cities across the globe for many years. When I heard about the European Sustainable Building, Historical Architecture and Art (ACH270) course that included a trip to London and Paris in May of 2018, I was immediately interested in the opportunity to study abroad. My interest transformed to reality when we landed in London and instantly started our educational journey. As we navigated our way through London and Paris, I started to recognize buildings and various structures like the Tower Bridge, the Gherkin, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Eiffel Tower, to name a few, all of which I learned about either in high school or at Penn College.

It was truly an amazing feeling seeing such extraordinary architecture and learning more about the history of the structures by physically being there.

In addition to bringing my textbooks to life, being in another country for almost two weeks taught me about the lifestyles and cultures of the cities we visited. We went to a lookout on the 72nd floor of The Shard, in London. The views were breathtaking, and standing that high above the ground was absolutely thrilling! I feel that appreciating diversity is one of the most beneficial aspects from my global experience.

My newfound awareness of culture is going to help me both personally and professionally.

After my experience in London and Paris, I’m confident in my ability to visit any city and successfully navigate my way, since I had the opportunity to lead a small group to various attractions in London. We all had locations that we wanted to visit during our free time, like Abbey Road where the Beatles’ famous crosswalk image was captured. I personally wanted to see the house where part of “The Parent Trap” was filmed, so I found the address and led a small group to these locations. During another free time excursion, I led a group downtown to see some of the architecture like the Gherkin, and then back to our hotel. It was so much fun learning how to navigate this foreign city throughout the week with our tour guide and then using that knowledge to guide a small group on my own.

When I returned from London and Paris, I knew that I wanted to visit more countries as a student. To that end, I am planning to participate in the global experience course, Global Cities: Architecture Ideals, Urban Forms, and Artistic Aspirations (ACH271), that will include travel to Italy in May 2019. I am already excited for the memories and experiences that are to come from my next global experience.

For more information on Penn College global experiences, contact the International Programs Office at international@pct.edu.

Education, Global Experience, People