By Amanda Garris Ph.D.’04
An agricultural development agency in Tanzania, a marketing firm in Thailand, and a finance and banking firm in Australia: These are just a few of the workplaces that will host students this summer through the new CALS Global Fellows Program. This competitive internship program, funded by Andy Paul ’78, will give up to 20 students the opportunity for an international work experience. The program is unique in its support of students, both personally and professionally, through curated placements that begin with an eight-week pre-departure program during spring semester.
“The skills that students will need in a workplace abroad might surprise them,” said Christine Potter, associate director for academic exchange and international engagement. “In general, adaptability, openness and knowing how to deal with uncertainty are important. We’ll help them prepare through role play, case studies and emergency planning, as well as providing tools for navigating cultural aspects of the workplace in their destination country, including awareness of globalization and its controversies.”
While students are working—the program requires a six-week minimum—they will utilize ePortfolios for weekly reflections and have regularly scheduled check-ins with program staff in Ithaca. The program continues when students return to campus for the fall semester, with a one-credit module to help students reflect on their experience and incorporate it into their resume and life.
“Ongoing reflection is the key to transformation,” Potter said. “Students often talk about a time abroad as being ‘the best’ experience but are usually not able to articulate how it transformed them. We see this as an investment in the student’s future.”