Student Experiences

Danielle Koehler in Madagascar.

Danielle Koehler '18

Madagascar and Costa Rica

"I had two study abroad experiences, one to Madagascar and the other to Costa Rica. They were some of the best experiences I could’ve hoped for. Madagascar offered not only a complete cultural change but allowed me to see different ecosystems that I had never been introduced to before. As a conservation ecology major, the knowledge of these ecosystems has broadened my horizons to different areas of study that I could pursue. The research that I did with Dr. Arrigo-Nelson has given me an applicable skill that puts me ahead of others when applying for internships and jobs. My experience in Costa Rica did much of the same for me, furthering my interest in conservation and showing me areas that have adopted the idea of eco-tourism successfully. I am currently doing an internship in Costa Rica working with The Sloth Institute to release, rehab, and monitor sloth behavior. Both of my study abroad adventures helped me to have these opportunities and formed stronger relationships with the professors who have offered guidance, support, and their very valuable letters of recommendation."


Julia Darminio in Czech Republic

Julia Darminio '19

Czech Republic

"I studied abroad in Prague, Czech Republic through AIFS during the summer of 2018. It was an amazing opportunity that allowed me to immerse myself in a new and different culture. Through this program, I was able to travel to six Central European countries and nine cities in just five weeks. I met other American students from throughout the United States, as well as from around the world. Plus, the food was unique and exceptional. This was an amazing educational opportunity that I would recommend to any PennWest California student."


McKenzie Wilson '19

McKenzie Wilson '19

Czech Republic

"I went through AIFS for the summer, it was a seven-week study abroad program in Prague, Czech Republic. For me, I found the experience very rewarding. It was a chance to study at one of the oldest universities in the world, Charles University. I was able to immerse myself into the Czech culture and language added a whole new aspect to my higher education. During the program, we explored all sides of the Czech Republic including castles, wineries, concentration camps, hot springs, caves, national parks and many more. We also had the chance to travel around Berlin for a weekend. Of all, the Czech Republic was a fantastic study abroad experience and I would recommend all PennWest California students give it a go. The Czech craft beer wasn’t bad either!"


Alex Worgo in Costa Rica.

Alex Worgo '19

Costa Rica

"My name is Alex Worgo, I am a senior here at PennWest California majoring in Biology and I travelled to Costa Rica the summer after my sophomore year for a two-week study abroad experience. I chose to study abroad because I really liked the opportunity to be able to go to a remote country and study it from a biological perspective. The two-week trip took us to many different parts of the country including a cloud forest, volcano, beaches and much more. That trip allowed me to experience a different perspective on how people live and care so much about the environment in their everyday lives and its something I will always remember and try to incorporate into my own life after I returned. If I could, I would study abroad again, it was a tremendous experience and a wonderful part of my time at PennWest California."


Reily McGlumphy in Italy.

Reilly McGlumphy '20


"I was fortunate enough to study abroad in Florence, Italy in the summer of 2018. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made! I was able to study abroad with my best friend, who goes to a different university. It was amazing being immersed in the city and learning so many new things about the Italian culture, especially the food and wine. My study abroad experienced opened my eyes to show me a new culture that I never would have been able to learn about otherwise. This experience has made me want to travel all over the world!"


Michael Pellgerini in Germany and Switzerland

Michael Pellegrini '19

Germany and Switzerland

"My study abroad experience to Germany and Switzerland over the spring break of 2019 was unforgettable. From the landmarks we saw, to the people we met, everything was so perfect. We were guided by an excellent tour guide who knew everything was to know about the area and was more than happy to answer any questions we had. Plus, all the students from PennWest California were all so friendly and everybody got along so well. Overall, I believe that a study abroad experience, even if it's just a week-long spring break trip, is something that everybody should experience at least once in their life. "


Elizabeth Grassi in Germany and Switzerland.

Elizabeth Grassi '21

Germany and Switzerland

"This spring break trip went better than anticipated. I left the US hardly knowing the Professor running the trip and only truly knowing my friend Maria. However as the trip progressed, we formed a unique bond and still meet to share stories of our trip because everyone on this trip made it special. Throughout the days in Germany, we grew closer and learned so much more regarding WW2. We entered this trip with our own preconceived notions about the German culture. During the trip, these perceptions were changed and we saw the reality. I could not have asked for a better trip."


Cynthia Obiekezie in Paris.

Cynthia Obiekezie '20

England and France

"I loved going to London and Paris with PennWest California, during spring break of 2019. this experience opened up a wide range of possibilities for me in terms of study abroad particular to grad schools! Although my undergrad is almost done, listening to tour guides and other people who may not have originated in the countries talk about their life adjusting to an integrating the culture really opened my eyes to how life can be outside of the United States. I would like to further explore the multicultural relations amongst people of the African Diaspora."


Shelby Smail in Spain.

Shelby Smail '19


"I had a wonderful time in Salamanca, Spain! This historical city is so gorgeous and rich with culture. Not only did I improve my Spanish language and speaking abilities, I also saw many sights, enjoyed the delicious cuisine, chatted with the locals, and participated in many cultural events! Studying abroad gives you a more worldly view and I highly encourage everyone to do it."