I am a sophomore from Boynton Beach, Florida studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics with a concentration in Globalization and East Asian Languages and Civilizations with a concentration in Korean Studies. ISP provided me a great opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary seminars which later informed my path of study; I was originally a history major but Professor Detlefsen's ISP course on Philosophy motivated me to switch to PPE! The structure of ISP (weekly lectures with a smaller seminar) also helped facilitate close relationships with the professors in the program, which I found was unique for a freshman just starting at Penn. Now as a sophomore, I have felt a lot more prepared for my later classes after going through the rigor and structure of ISP. The program has also given me the mindset to more easily make connections between my classes, making the concentration of my majors more clear to me and giving purpose to what I study.
Additionally, since I plan to attend law school, the ISP upperclassmen and alumni network have provided a resource for mentor-ship and guidance for post-college plans. However, the best feature of ISP is the freshman living community. Living in Riepe with other ISP students helped combat any isolation I might have felt during my first year at Penn and started friendships that have continued to the present.
ISP is a great gateway into BFS, and I emphatically recommend it to anyone who wants to branch out academically! For example, I never thought I would take a religious studies course, but it has been one of my favorite BFS seminars and overall Penn classes so far. If you want a unique freshman and college experience, ISP/BFS is the way to go.