Penn State Lehigh Valley sends students globetrotting for research, service

March 09, 2015

With a national trend toward a global-focused education, more than 45 Penn State Lehigh Valley students have begun their spring break travels to various destinations for campus-sponsored academic and service learning.

From March 9-15, students will be studying international business and psychology in the Netherlands, building houses in West Virginia, conducting biological research and forming educational partnerships in Mexico, and visiting ancient ruins in Greece for honors and art research.

Michael Krajsa, instructor in business administration at Penn State Lehigh Valley, will be joining his students on a trip to Europe.

“Traveling to the Netherlands over spring break gives students an opportunity to bring their academic course of study to life through experiential global engagement,” Krasja stated. “More importantly, these programs take students out of their comfort zones, exposing them to different cultures, educational institutions and ways of thinking, helping them develop their global personas.”

Krajsa, who has been on eight study abroad trips with his students, stated, “It is amazing to see the students transform in front of your eyes. ... They come back more confident in their abilities and form lasting bonds with their classmates.”

The students traveling to Mexico are documenting their experiences on a blog that will be updated daily with journal reflections and VoiceThread photo posts. Visit for an interactive experience through the eyes of engaged scholars.

In addition to study abroad programs, Penn State Lehigh Valley also offers an alternative spring break trip closer to home. Seven students joined Student Life Coordinator Leyna Belinsky on a service trip to Webster Springs, West Virginia.

“I love this trip because it teaches our students to be a part of something greater than themselves,” Belinsky stated. “It brings out the best in people and allows us to change lives.”

Follow the campus on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as students and staff post pictures and updates using the hashtag #PSULVTravels.

Summer travel opportunities are also available through the CHANCE program. For more information visit

  • Students "throwing up their diamonds" in Athens, Greece

    Penn State Lehigh Valley students take a photo break in front of ancient ruins in Athens, Greece, on March 8. These students are spending their spring break abroad, focusing on honors and art research.

    IMAGE: Penn State
  • Students in the Netherlands

    Penn State Lehigh Valley students pose for a photo-op in the Netherlands, where they are studying international business and psychology during their March 2015 spring break.

    IMAGE: Penn State
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Last Updated March 12, 2015