Student Spotlight

COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 Response: Learn how the European Studies Center is working under the current operational posture at

Interview by Maxime Bey-Rozet

"Coming from a small-town in rural Pennsylvania, one of my missions upon arriving at Pitt was to gain a worldly view through my studies. My Spanish minor eventually led me to the opportunities of the European Studies Center where I was welcomed with open arms.

"The center’s personalized advising helped assess my interests and create a unique curriculum around them. For my interest in humanities, I pursued a certificate in Western European studies with requirements fulfilled by a diverse array of courses. Through this certificate, I studied the formation of ancient European empires from the early days of city-states to the development of complex modern civilizations and took courses to examine the western foundations of art, music, philosophy, and literature.

"To feed my interest in medicine, I pursued a certificate in Transatlantic Studies to assess the differences in healthcare among nations. Through my coursework, I began by examining the sociological and philosophical foundations of medical practices. I gained hands on experience by becoming an EMT and this past semester, I was even able to take a course focused on health policy through Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health. To supplement this certificate, I continue to work as an EMT and am a healthcare volunteer with Pittsburgh’s Operation Safety Net and Global Medical Brigades in Honduras.

"Perhaps the highlight of my collegiate career is the opportunity I had to study abroad in Alcalá de Henares, Spain. This amazing summer study abroad experience, which the European Studies Center helped fund, allowed me to take courses in not only Spanish culture and medicine, but also spend time shadowing in a regional hospital. I can proudly say throughout my time at Pitt the European Studies Center has helped me accomplish my mission of gaining a more worldly view and enabled me to greatly expand my perspectives while enjoying every second of the journey."

Luke Persin graduated with a degree in Biological Sciences, minors in Spanish and Chemistry, and certificates in Western European studies (with a concentration on humanities), Transatlantic studies (with a concentration on transitive medicine), and Conceptual Foundations of Medicine. Luke is currently working full time as an EMT and hopes to further his medical career through attending medical school and work in the US Air Force as an Emergency Medicine physician.