UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — From the day she first became a Penn State student, Janki Patel knew she wanted to study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. A senior double-majoring in energy business and finance (EBF) and Spanish, Patel chose Ecuador for its diverse landscape, the opportunity to improve her Spanish language skills, and to learn about the country’s energy sector.
Patel studied in Ecuador during the summer 2015 semester and every day was filled with new experiences. She took several classes related to Spanish and international business at Universidad San Francisco de Quito. In one of her courses, she learned about the effects of energy generation on local tribes through a case study on a new drilling project in the region. In an international business course, she learned about public policy and the language of business in Ecuador.
Because the courses were taught in Spanish, Patel enhanced her Spanish skills by interacting with native speakers in the classroom.
“Living in a Spanish-speaking country and interacting with the community forces you to learn the language very quickly,” she said.