Recently in Global Programs Category

Lily Jundi n students (1).jpg
Brandywine alumna Lily Jundi (center) is all smiles surrounded by her former students in Kuwait.

Lily Jundi '03 IST not only speaks the language of computers--thanks to her Penn State education--but also is fluent in Spanish, Hebrew and several Arabic dialects, not to mention a good knowledge of Portuguese, Turkish and Italian. She adroitly switches between languages like a commuter switches trains. With her Penn State education, natural knack for languages and incurable travel bug, she's had no trouble finding work in far off lands from Delaware County.

Jundi, originally from Drexel Hill, Pa., currently teaches foreign languages at Fatih University and a school system in Ankara, Turkey. She also teaches English and information technology (IT) classes--offered in English--at a technical firm in the capital city. Prior to living in Turkey she spent several years teaching languages and IT studies at colleges in Kuwait.
 
Jundi attributes her love for cultures and languages to her mixed Middle Eastern heritage. She pursued that love at Penn State Brandywine, where she minored in international studies and traveled to Turkey, Spain, Greece, Italy and Egypt to complete several academic projects. She was a language tutor in the Learning Center, held student government leadership positions, helped shape the diversity initiative on campus and interned in the Information Technology Services department alongside the much-liked Gordon Crompton, who recently retired from the campus.

"Education-wise we were well prepped; the curriculum was great. As for my internship with computer services, I cannot thank them enough ... by the time I graduated, I had learned so much from them. My training was perfect. I'm very confident as to what comes my way ... whether it's a computer course or language course I'm asked to teach. It's like concrete ground I'm standing on," said Jundi.

"Working at the Learning Center gave me the opportunity to discover myself. Before that I wasn't even thinking of education or being a teacher," she added. "I wanted to be in computer systems and databases, since that was my major. I thought that was it; my future was set. But then working at the Learning Center I discovered something else in me. I wasn't limited to what I graduated with ... I have a lot more to offer."

Another international attribute of Jundi's is her nickname, "the peacemaker," a name Crompton gave to her during her internship days. Jundi explained, "Whenever there was a conflict, I would try to find the midpoint for people to meet in order to resolve the issue. I don't like problems. I don't like conflicts. I like people to work together. I like to work with people in peace. I don't like war--we talked about politics a lot especially the politics of the Middle East--which was one of the reasons I got that name ... besides just wanting to work and interact peacefully with colleagues in the department."

Perhaps diplomacy is in the bright future of this talented, multilingual Brandywine alumna.  According to Crompton, "if there's going to be peace in the world, Lily will be part of it."

-by Nancy McCann, freelance writer

by Danielle DePaul, Junior

dancing hillen catedral 500.jpg{Students and faculty join hands for a traditional Spanish dance outside Catedral de la Seu.}

It's Sunday in Barcelona, and the only place to be is Catedral de la Seu. There is nothing like a tourist attraction with music, dancing, locals, and vendors. It is an incredible church located in Barcelona's Gothic district. I am awed by its beauty and architecture. I am of the Catholic faith, but never have I seen such energy and excitement at a Sunday mass service.

dancing barb rostick2.jpg{Sophomore Redion Xhoxhi and senior Nicole Scaramuzza join the fun.}

Many of the students and faculty in our study abroad program joined the people of Barcelona for a celebration on that beautiful Sunday afternoon. Our assignment was to explore the Old Town, which was where the cathedral was located. We were able to see the beauty and learn about the Spanish culture for our American Studies class (with Senior Instructor in English Patricia Hillen). We took pictures and watched the people of Barcelona partake in a traditional Spanish dance. The most exciting part of the day was when we were taught the dance and joined in on the fun. Even though we weren't exactly good, the laughs made up for the stumbles!

group photo Ana.jpg{Students rest along a way during an excursion to Montserrat.}

On our first scheduled tour we were introduced to the artists of Barcelona. We captured Antoni Gaudí's unique architecture that truly could never be replicated. We witnessed the excitement of the Basílica de la Segrada Família -- the basilica that Gaudí designed but was unable to complete before his death.

sagrada familia hillen.jpg{Danielle DePaul (left) joins Instructor Patricia Hillen and junior Hannah Kleponis for a visit to the Basílica de la Segrada Família.}
 
We explored the curves and angles of Gaudí's Casa Batlló, too. My English class (with Instructor in English Patricia O'Brien) required us to write creative poems about the art we saw in Barcelona, and Gaudí provided me with various ideas.

IMG_8928.jpg
{Casa Batlló, restored by Antoni Gaudí}

Salvador Dalí was a unique and slightly mental artist. However, his art is incredible. For our American Studies class we went to see his museum outside of Barcelona in Figueres. I truly enjoyed our time at his museum. Although some of his art is a little extreme for my tastes, the majority of it drew me in. 

After we left Figueres we traveled to Girona, the most beautiful city I've ever seen. The picture (below) speaks for itself.

Girona.jpg{Girona}

We finally made our way to the end of our trip, and to the top of Barcelona at the Miró Museum. The beauty visible from the roof of the Miró Museum is incomparable. 

On my last day in Barcelona, I traveled on the metro to La Platja de la Barceloneta. I just had to put my feet in the Mediterranean Sea. It was another beautiful day in Spain, warm and sunny. We took our sandals off, rolled our jeans up and walked along the beach. It was nothing short of amazing. The New Jersey beaches cannot compare to the Spanish ones. The view was incredible, and we had a blast.

DePaul and friends.jpg{(from left) Sophomores Amy Reimer and Marybel Di Scala join junior Danielle DePaul, and sophomore Theresa Huynh for a stroll along the shore break during a visit to the beach.}

Barcelona is an incredible city. It has something for everyone. I am so glad that I went on this program, and I'll never forget the city and the friends that I made!

IMG_8910.jpg
{Students at the Park Güell garden complex}

Barcelona view from above.jpg{Barcelona, Spain}

We're headed to Vienna, Austria and Prague, Czech Republic this May to study philosophy, art, and psychology. With our well-traveled, knowledgable faculty as your guide, you'll explore Hofburg Palace, Prague Castle, Mozart House, Charles Bridge, and so much more. Sign up today or click here to learn more about Penn State Brandywine Global Programs.

{Photo Credits: Ana Elmasllari; Danielle DePaul; Francoise Cornu; Kiara Gant; Hannah Kleponis, and Instructor in Kinesiology Barbara Rostick}

by Tran Do, Sophomore, Biology

London2.jpg
{(from left): Junior Maria Miceli; sophomore Kaitlyn Rigney; sophomore Tran Do; freshman Gabrielle Dambro; and sophomore Jen Monh standing next to one of the ancient Roman Baths in England}

During my study abroad trip to London over Thanksgiving break, I took an Urban Sociology class (SOC 015) taught by Penn State Brandywine Instructor Vippy Yee. She assigned us a multi-media comparative project and I chose to compare Chinatown in London to the one in San Francisco, where I lived until I was 15. In order to get a better understanding of the similarities of the levels of diversity and the different issues both towns face, I conducted interviews on the streets of London's Chinatown. I found that every person I interviewed had one thing in common: no matter if they were tourists or students, they all came to Chinatown for its food.

I spoke with one worker who said a variety of people come and go every day. Although Chinatown in London is smaller than those in Philadelphia and San Francisco, it still plays its role in attracting a diverse population of visitors. 

Throughout my trip to London, it amazed me how much there was to do within the city. Every day we had a full agenda, from visits to Windsor Castle to trips to the markets; there was simply not enough time in a day. I felt like a true Londoner when we went out for high tea--you get your choice of a variety of finger sandwiches and desserts with your tea! We also went tea shopping at Fortnum and Mason, where the queen herself shops. Royalty truly runs in London, with the palace so centrally located and everything about its heritage still reflecting the historic events that led to the growth of one of the largest cities in Europe.

A Sociological Look at London

London was everything I had expected, and then some. While walking around the city, I noticed people were more dressed up than people in our area. And they were extremely polite. When we were lost, people openly stepped up to help us find our way back. Even the elevators had manners. Our favorite phrase from taking the Tube was "Mind the Gap, Please." 

In Philadelphia, cars are our main form of transportation, but in London, most people walked and took the Tube. London was an extremely clean and tidy city, and there were specific rules when it came to commuting: stay to the right when riding the escalator, stay to the left when walking the streets. 

One thing I didn't expect was the diversity. Every place we went to consisted of people from a range of nationalities. 

Before traveling to London, we were required to read articles and books and watch a number of short videos that compared London to Philadelphia. We were then tested on what we learned prior to leaving the States and again upon our return. While exploring the city, I witnessed firsthand many of the things talked about in the readings and videos. For example, we learned about the rural nature of England compared to the Philadelphia suburbs. When we went to Windsor Palace, Stonehenge, and Bath, about an hour outside of London, we saw proof of this, finding mostly open areas, while the suburbs of Philadelphia had more homes and buildings. 

One tip that Philadelphia should take from London is to preserve its open space versus trying to use all the land. The buildings in London varied from medieval to high-tech modern structures like those found in New York. Going to Windsor Palace, Stonehenge, and Bath introduced me to the world of royalty and how advanced the Romans were in constructing their baths. 

Going on this abroad program forced me to step outside of my comfort zone, from interviewing strangers for my project to finding my way around London with only a map and a Tube pass. Without a doubt, this trip was remarkable and it opened my eyes to what life is like in Europe.

(For information about Penn State Brandywine's upcoming study abroad programs in Barcelona in March and Vienna/Prague in May, visit http://bit.ly/globalprograms.

Stonehenge.jpg
{The beautiful site of the mysterious stones at Stonehendge}

Windsor Palace.jpg
{A gorgeous garden outside Windsor Palace}

London1.jpg
{Our first day in London at Convent Garden, enjoying an English breakfast outside while people watching with (from left): junior Maria Miceli; Instructor VippyYee; freshman Gabrielle Dambro; sophomore Olga Efkarpides; freshman Umer Ansari and sophomore Jen Monh}

Search