Magellan Scholar Embarks on Unique Childcare Study in France

Created: January 18, 2016
Last Updated: July 9, 2020

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WASHINGTON, PA (January 18, 2015)—Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) student Kathryn Chase ’17 wanted to use her Magellan Project to prepare herself for her future, both academically and personally.

The psychology major and business administration minor from New Wilmington, Pa., spent eight days in Monaco; three in Nice, France; and nine days in Paris researching the similarities and differences in child care in France versus the United States. Chase knew she would face challenges in her research, but she also knew these obstacles would only better her.

“Overall in France, there is a stigma when it comes to psychology and therapy in general. I worried I’d have a challenge getting in contact and receiving information from some of the professionals in France,” said Chase. “Personally, I felt overwhelmed at the idea of traveling alone with such a distinct language barrier, but it was a challenge I happily accepted.”

With a willing and able attitude, Chase used the information she was learning about child care in France and compared it to what she has already learned from previous experiences. These new views of child care have given Chase a better start to her future.

“Of course, the goal of a Magellan is to learn, and I did just that,” said Chase. “Academically I’ve been able to apply the concepts and development practices I learned while abroad to my current classes and internship in a school district. As I prepare for a future in School Psychology, I’ve been able to compare and contrast American and French parenting practices, school systems, and overall child development.”

Although Chase went there to learn about France’s child care system, she found her experiences to be useful for more than just academic reasons. Being able to share what she’s learned, Chase wants others to experience the same unique opportunities she had.

“Any time I have the opportunity to share my experience and research from my Magellan Project, I’m delighted. I’ve spoken with professors and classmates about my meetings with psychologists and just daily observation,” said Chase. “My experience with the Magellan process has allowed me to encourage friends to apply for their own, and take a chance to learn more about one’s favorite subject and oneself.”

With this unforgettable journey, Chase hopes all of the skills and experiences she gained from her Magellan will help her as she pursues School Psychology.

Chase thanks Tyler Tenney, Coordinator of Co-curricular innovation at W&J, for working so diligently with Magellan scholars through the application process, as well as the advisors who helped her and other make travel plans come to life.

About the Magellan Project

Established in 2008, Washington & Jefferson College’s unique Magellan Project extends liberal arts learning outside the classroom by providing scholarship funding for students to spend the summer pursuing independent projects and internships in the United States and abroad. Learn more about the Magellan Project on the W&J website.

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.

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