Author Archives: mjr5439

The Beginning of the End

Dear Readers,

I have come to report only good news on all fronts! As you might know, I have recently battled a dragon. Not a real one, naturally, but rather the dragon of my internship: the event that I had to plan. Luckily, I can honestly say that all went well!

The event was entitled “Climate Change in Developing Countries: Impacts and Solutions.” A short film about water shortages in the horn of Africa opened the event, with a panel discussion following. Three panelists (Peter Buckland from the Sustainability Institute, Bryan Cwik from the Rock Ethics Institute, and Michael Jacobson from the Forestry Resources Department) led the discussion, and all brought their own research interests and expertise to the table. All-in-all, the diversified interests of the panelists allowed for a look into many aspects of the impacts of climate change in developing countries.

The dragon wasn’t so scary, after all.

The unexpected. The dragon. The journey. This, my dear readers, is the beginning of the end.
I began this internship where all internships begin—the beginning, where I found myself caught in the ups and downs of newsletters, blogs, and after-school clubs with children. What followed was the “dragon” event, which I happily reported above as a success. And now, dear readers, I find myself facing the last three weeks of my internship. Less than a month. The time has flown, that is for sure. What is not so sure, however, are my feelings about this end. Because, in reality, this end is not really “the end.” Instead, it is the beginning of a new chapter, the chance to advance the skills and to pursue my international interests, wherever they may take me. I do not know where I will be next year, but I know that at the Center for Global Studies I have gained valuable skills and knowledge that will always be with me.

Well, dear readers, it’s been a pleasure.

Until next time,

Megan Romania

The Dragon


J. R. R. Tolkien once wrote, “It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.” A month has come and gone for this internship, bringing both challenges and rewarding experiences. But, while I’ve been on the roller coaster of extension day clubs, writing newsletters, and delving into various other tasks, I’ve ignored (whether subconsciously or even partially so) the ‘dragon,’ if you will. Not a real dragon, naturally, but the dragon of my internship: planning my own event for International Education Week in November.

…Perhaps dealing with a real dragon would be less intimidating.

As a Global Ambassador, I’m used to giving frequent presentations. However, those have been pre-written and planned for me. This time, it’s my turn. I can’t say whether or not planning has ever been a strong suit of mine, because, truth be told, I’ve never had the opportunity to plan anything for such a renowned event. But, I can honestly say that delving into this project is both nerve-wracking and exciting.

The beginning stage has commenced. The planning has now begun. By writing this blog, words have been formed, the promise of the creation of an event made, and the reality of the ‘dragon’ has become a part of my (perhaps reluctant) consciousness. The more I think, the more I realize that I have a plethora of opportunities for events that I could plan. My broad interests in international travel, development, sustainability, culture, and integration have opened up many doors for me, as far as events go. It’s narrowing them down, now, that’ll be the hard part.

I don’t want to make any promises to you before I sit down and think more thoroughly about this event. In doing so, I’d be speaking before thinking, which one should never do (if you don’t recognize the allusion, I suggest reading Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland). In any case, I can assure you that, whatever ‘dragon’ event comes of this planning, it will be mine and mine alone, encompassing my passions that I expressed to you earlier. Perhaps not all of them, but enough to catch a glimpse of me as an individual, and to (hopefully) begin to comprehend, and even appreciate, the dedication and persistence that I have to continue to broaden my international experiences and to contribute to the greater cause of a global connectedness and understanding between cultures.

What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting


Fueled by my interest in international education, sustainability, and human rights, I decided to apply for the Center for Global Studies internship. I knew that I had a strong background in international studies, with my two study-abroad trips (first to Perth, Australia and second to Dublin, Ireland) and my roles as a Peer Advisor, a Conversation Partner, and the Vice President of the Penn State Global Ambassadors. I knew that this internship would be beneficial for both experience and networking.

Coming into the internship, I must admit that I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I had read on the website about some of the possible activities that interns do, but I personally did not have specific expectations. I only knew that I wanted to gain knowledge that could help me on my path to going global with my studies.

Thus, the internship commenced. I was given a role as a club teacher at the Young Scholars of Central Pennsylvania K-8 charter school. I have to admit, I was really excited about this role. I plan to go abroad to teach English in a school in France after graduation, so I knew this would be a good experience. After some configuration, I was given three clubs to run: Book Club, Arts and Crafts, and Games and Coloring.

Initially, I hadn’t planned on running a club like any of the ones above. But, I found a way to incorporate my original ideas (Mythology and Folklore and French) into the new clubs. When I first arrived at the school, I had my days all planned out—what we would read, what activities we would do, and even how responsive I thought the children would be.

Boy, I was in for a surprise.

I don’t have much experience working with children. In fact, I tend to lean towards adults when I have to work with any specific age group. I’ve babysat a few times for my mom’s friends, but for the most part I was going into this cold turkey. I probably should’ve done some reading-up on how to interact with children ages “just-learning-to-write-and-read” to “just-because-I-can-do-this-craft-doesn’t-mean-I’m-going-to”, and everything in between.

Week one has officially passed for these clubs, so I now know what I need to do to modify my plans and make these clubs more interesting for all parties involved. I must say, I’ve gained much more respect for elementary school teachers. It’s not that I didn’t have respect previously; simply, I didn’t think that children could require so much enthusiasm and patience. I’m not talking 95% enthusiasm and patience for 97% of the time, I mean 110% for 100% of the time. I know that I’ll have to work on these traits, but I’m up for the challenge!