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Pennsylvania Ag News Headlines
Ag Sciences Global Gear Closet Now Accepting Donations
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 02/03/2023

Studying abroad can be a great opportunity to enrich education, but packing to travel to or live in another country even for a few weeks can be a financial strain for some students.

To help ease costs related to preparing for education abroad, Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences has established the Ag Sciences Global Gear Closet — a resource for students that provides donated items that might be helpful while studying abroad.

Ketja Lingenfelter, assistant director for student global engagement in Ag Sciences Global, said the closet is part of the Sustainable and Accessible Study Abroad (SASA) office’s effort to increase the quality and opportunity of education abroad for students.

“Although the University and college work to help students with costs related to study abroad through scholarships and awards, specific packing needs often can be overwhelming for students who have put all they can into their travel costs,” Lingenfelter said. “A little added support in the form of the right travel gear can help students feel prepared and confident to travel abroad.”

Donations currently are being accepted, and once the closet is fully stocked, it will be opened at timely intervals throughout the year for students preparing to travel. When they come back from their trips, students are encouraged to return reusable items so they can benefit other students in the future. Organizers also appreciate and accept monetary donations.

According to Lingenfelter, the goals of SASA are to encourage students to incorporate sustainable practices into their study abroad experiences; to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; to provide more resources and alternative global programming; and to make global learning more accessible to students.

For most students, studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, she added, and SASA is eager to help facilitate their experiences.

“Studying abroad is an important aspect of students’ undergraduate education,” Lingenfelter said. “Not only does an international experience allow students to learn about their chosen career field on a global scale, but they also develop a global understanding and important skills like intercultural communication, problem solving, adaptability, flexibility and independence.”

Donated items could include, but are not limited to, clothing such as quick-dry pants and tops, packable rain coats, and walking or hiking shoes; toiletries such as travel-sized toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner; luggage such as small suitcases, toiletry bags and packing cubes; and travel accessories such as sunglasses, water bottles, and electricity adapters and converters.

The closet is located in the Study Abroad Lounge at 122 Ag Administration Building, and donations are being accepted at 106, 135 and 122 Ag Administration Building or by contacting Lingenfelter at ketja@psu.edu.


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