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What Students Say

“After doing all the reading for the class, the authors’ descriptions of the Cape were sometimes alien to me. I had never explored the salt marshes, nor the kettle holes; I never surveyed the landscape atop the Cape’s highest point; I never felt the unmistakable Cape Cod chill; I never looked up and saw so many stars; and I never opened up all my senses before. But now I have. Had I not spent this past week on the Cape, these writers’ descriptions would have still been alien to me.” – Eric Hanselman, Political Science and English

“I enjoyed visiting the areas Thoreau, Beston, and Finch described more than I had expected to. It was very rewarding and interesting to parallel the readings we had done with the actual places they were based on.”
Jordan Graves, Political Science and English

“I still cannot believe that I am receiving 4.5 credits through Penn State for participating in this incredible journey. I learned so much, especially because of the hands-on learning, but I never thought that I would leave the Cape feeling in tune with nature. I hope to return someday soon and spend more time in that majesty and wonder of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.” – Amanda J. Syzmanski, Broadcast Journalism

“The classroom experience and subsequent weeklong excursion to the Cape had me thinking a lot about the limitations of language. This is the value of an experiential course; it makes one consider abstract concepts that — though they may not be answerable — just can’t be grappled with in a traditional classroom. I write a lot about nature as a cure. The Cape Cod trip was certainly the cure I needed. In the midst of an excruciatingly taxing semester and at the tail-end of a 54-credit year, this trip was exactly what I needed to prepare for the end. I lugged my laptop and books to the Cape, expecting to spend free time writing papers and preparing for finals. The first night saw me sitting up late with Dracula farming Stoker’s novel for information that I could use to write a paper. However, I did less and less work night by night to the point that I wasn’t doing anything school-related (journal entries included) the last few nights. My experience on the Cape not only rejuvenated me, but made me temporarily forget all of the modern-world stressors that characterized (and characterize) my ‘off-cape’ life — the therapeutic benefits [of nature] that I had written so much about were finally instilled in me. “Chris Malloy, English

“This course has been a complete eye-opening experience for me personally.” – Ari Sitaras,DUS

“The overall lesson that I learned from visiting Cape Cod was the value of having a diverse and interesting environment, as well as the great things that can come out of such a place. I enjoyed the balance of cultural and natural lessons, always taking note of how they were connected and impacting one another throughout history. The combination of this experiential knowledge with perspectives we gained from the many books was very complementary. I ended the trip understanding how the writings we had read all occurred in Cape Cod, understanding the context and the place behind all pieces.” – Erin Carroll

“Overall this semester, I highly enjoyed our trip to Cape Cod and this entire class even more than I was expecting. The trip was a great experience itself. I highly enjoyed the hikes and visiting places that we read about. My favorite part of the trip was definitely the night hike, though. The view of the stars was amazing. I think that was the clearest I have ever seen them before.” – Allison Ruth, Marketing

“Reflecting upon my experience in Cape Cod, I feel as though there is much to take out of the trip and many lessons taught by the Cape. I feel as though I was able to connect to the material in a greater way than ever before, due in large part to the interactive environment at the Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary. I was definitely shown a culture that I could imagine through reading, but only truly experience by visiting as we did. By spending a week on the Cape, I have come to appreciate different cultures for their differences, and truly understood the way humans can relate to their surroundings.” – Jeff Schaeffer, Marketing

“The food was great — that’s about the most I’ve ever eaten in a week; I’m usually not a huge eater but I made an exception here — don’t change that at all.” – Tony Poerio, English