Mary studied in Amsterdam on the Amsterdam, Netherlands: Dutch Criminal Justice (Summer) Program in Summer 2016.
If you could give only one reason, why would you suggest other students study abroad?
Studying abroad provides students with the opportunity to learn more about the country or city they are staying in than if they had just been traveling. Being immersed in a different country with people of a similar age is a unique experience for college students to gain a global perspective along with their peers.
If you could go abroad again, what would you do differently?
I would definitely try to make more of the weekends. I traveled to visit a friend in another country while abroad, and I wish had expanded my experience further by visiting as many countries as possible.
What specific factors influenced your decision to go abroad?
I really liked that this trip was faculty led. I was hesitant to study in a country where I did not know anyone from Penn State, so it was important to find a program that both suited my academic interests and personal preferences.
What was it about your program specifically that fit your personal goals over other programs?
Studying criminal justice in the Netherlands showed my peers and me the effects of prison reform, and encouraged us to look at policies from a different perspective. At the end of the trip I realized not all of my peers shared the same opinion on the Dutch criminal justice system, however diversity of opinion helped us grow as students.