UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Nicole Cardell, a student Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), is looking to expand her knowledge about foreign cultures and deepen her understanding of how people in other parts of the world understand America. She will have that opportunity beginning Jan. 23, when she leaves to study for a semester at Koc University in Istanbul.
Cardell, who is junior majoring in security and risk analysis (SRA) and working toward a minor in Middle Eastern studies, said she chose Istanbul as her study-abroad destination because of the city’s reputation as the crossroads between Europe and the Middle East.
"The combination of the Western and Middle Eastern cultures will be very interesting to experience,” she said.
Rooming in a dormitory with a Turkish student, Cardell will be taking courses in Middle Eastern culture, politics and history at Koc University. A native of State College, Pa., she said that she would like to work in national security or international relations after graduation. Her course of study at Koc University, she said, along with the experience of living in Turkey, will enhance her SRA curriculum.
“I think it relates to my field in security because of the globalization of business today and the importance of studying other cultures,” she said.
Understanding different cultures, Cardell said, is paramount for the U.S. in maintaining positive relations with the rest of the world.
“I’m really interested in learning about perceptions of the U.S. (abroad),” she said.