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Penn College Expands Study Abroad Offerings to Include Ireland

Pennsylvania College of Technology again expanded its short-term study abroad options with the offering of an eight-day trip for the college’s plastics and polymer technology students to Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland.

The goal of the program is to immerse the students in a foreign culture and provide them with technology important to the plastics industry but not available at Penn College, explained Shanin L. Dougherty, international programs specialist.

“The plastics industry, like most others, is becoming increasingly more global,” she said. “The majority of our alumni are involved with companies that regularly do business outside of the United States. As such, gaining international experience, such as traveling abroad and dealing with colleagues from other cultures, is a major benefit to our current students.”

At the Polymer Processing Research Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, students will study two important plastics technologies: rotational molding and co-extrusion. While Penn College’s plastics program covers the basics of these processes, PPRC has a nationally renowned program in rotational molding, including extensive laboratory equipment. Similarly, the PPRC facilities and curriculum for co-extrusion are broad enough to allow its faculty to regularly publish research in this area.

Rotational molding and co-extrusion comprise the bulk of the curriculum that will be provided to Penn College plastics students during their stay in Ireland.

Students will make the trip June 26-July 5 and are eligible to receive three Penn College credits for the experience.

The short-term study abroad offering was finalized following a trip by Dougherty to the campus in November to meet with staff and faculty at the PPRC. She was accompanied by James R. Dougherty, digital media production coordinator, who filmed the plastics laboratories, student-housing facilities and other aspects of the study abroad program, which enabled promotion of it to Penn College students.

While in Ireland, the pair also traveled to the Institute of Technology, Carlow, to meet with staff and faculty from the institute’s aviation technology department. The group discussed a possible relationship between the two schools.

“Work on this relationship continues, and we hope to host students from IT Carlow for a Lycoming Engines course this summer,” Shanin Dougherty said.

Penn College also offers short-term study abroad trips to Italy, Japan, Mexico and Nicaragua, as well as several full-semester exchanges.

To learn more about study abroad opportunities at Penn College, visit online or call (570) 326-3761, ext. 5257. For more information about Penn College, visit on the Web , e-mail or call toll-free (800) 367-9222.

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