Exchange student grows personally and academically at Greater Allegheny

Ashley smiling and standing in front of the Greater Allegheny logo

University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez student Ashley Paramo

Credit: Penn State

MCKEESPORT, Pa. — This spring semester the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez (UPR-M) sent seven students to Penn State Greater Allegheny for a unique learning program. These students participate in on-campus courses and internships. Ashley Paramo is a junior student participating in this opportunity.

Paramo took the exchange opportunity as a chance to grow as a person and to explore her love for the communications field. Currently enrolled in seven courses between Greater Allegheny and UPR-M, she also interns at the Gruskin Learning Center located in the Kelly Library. 

On campus, Paramo has learned to be more independent. “I spent most of my time studying in my hometown,” said Paramo. “It was always going to the university and then back home.”

“It was a huge step to get on a plane and go to this place I have never been before, and survive by myself,” said Paramo. “What helped was that everybody has been really nice even though we didn’t know anybody; they took time to meet us and are constantly asking us if we needed anything.”  

Paramo, a learner at heart, desires a career in media studies. “You can work trying to analyze how the media machine works,” said Paramo. “Being here has opened that opportunity to me and has exposed me to so much information that I wouldn’t have had before.”

Paramo graduates from UPR-M in Spring 2019. She hopes to continue her education and earn a master’s degree from Penn State, and to pursue a career in academia as a college professor in the field of media studies. 

Paramo wants future and current students to know: “Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many opportunities are lost when you allow yourself to be too shy.”