International student travels to Malvern for GMAT exam preparation course

MALVERN, Pa. — After studying independently, Erica del Gallego was not happy with her GMAT practice test scores. She looked at preparatory courses to improve her results, but found that online options were expensive and included very few instruction hours. That’s when she discovered the Penn State Great Valley course via an online search. Excited to see a program that met face-to-face twice a week for two months, she quickly reached out to an academic program manager for more information.

Shortly thereafter, she applied for a student visa, booked an Airbnb rental, flew to Philadelphia, and found herself on Penn State Great Valley’s campus.

Originally from Colombia, del Gallego attended University of Wisconsin–Superior where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business with a concentration in marketing. She currently lives in Bogata and works in search engine optimization.

Penn State Great Valley’s GMAT preparation course helps prospective graduate students review the math, verbal, and integrated reasoning sections of the exam in addition to test-taking shortcuts, skills, and strategies. Del Gallego benefited from the class size, expertise of the instructors and the opportunity to ask questions.

“I loved the small class size,” she said. “The instructors encouraged us to participate and ask questions. Even if I understood a topic, it was helpful for me to hear questions from classmates. We all learned from one another.”

As an international student, she found the instructors and students to be welcoming. “The instructors were very supportive and made themselves available via email for questions,” she added. “I enjoyed getting to know the other students as well. I even watched several Penn State football games in Philadelphia with a classmate.”

Del Gallego feels confident and ready to take on the GMAT exam in early 2017. Now back in Colombia, she hopes to receive a scholarship to attend graduate school in the United States. As the daughter of two Penn Staters, she is considering MBA programs at Penn State Great Valley and University Park.