HAPS Student Experiences

By Susan Gettlin | March 5, 2015

Exploring the Globe

Of the 59 department undergraduate majors graduating in the class of 2014, 95% have earned credits abroad in a total of 35 countries on six continents. 69% have studied abroad for at least one full semester—17 as part of our First-Year Study Abroad Experience in London or Stirling, Scotland and dozens more at Arcadia’s The College of Global Studies sites all over the world. In addition, a significant majority of our majors participate in global field study courses—experiences that blend classroom learning in Glenside with week-long trips to the nations being studied.

More than half of our first-year students do this as part of our distinctive Preview program with travel over spring break every March, and many more advanced undergraduates take part in global field study courses led by department faculty on subjects such as ethnic conflict in Ukraine, sustainable development in Costa Rica, divided cities in Cyprus, and post-conflict development in Sierra Leone. Others join our international Model U.N. team.

Internships, Near and Far

Students in the Department of Historical and Political Studies take advantage of internship opportunities that enrich their academic development around the Philadelphia area and in international settings. Recently completed internships include those at the National Constitution Center, the Nationalities Services Center, the World Affairs Council, and the Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia, at the Montgomery County Courthouse, and on the campaigns and at the offices of numerous elected local officials including a Pennsylvania U.S. Senate campaign, to mention just a few. In Washington, D.C. students have recently completed internships at the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Secret Service. While studying abroad department students have participated in parliamentary internships in Dublin, Ireland and London, England; another worked at the Paraguayan embassy in Geneva, Switzerland last summer. And another recently returned from a semester abroad in India where she interned at a non-governmental organization working with and advocating for the rights of exploited sex workers.

Research Opportunities with Faculty

All Historical and Political Studies undergraduate majors complete a year-long senior thesis in which they hone their research, writing, and analytic skills by delving deeply into a topic of their choosing – receiving intensive one-on-one mentoring from department faculty throughout the process. In addition, each year about a dozen final-year undergraduates serve as Senior Research Assistants in which they collaborate with department faculty on faculty members’ scholarly and administrative projects. And every year a number of students present their own research at undergraduate scholarly conferences.