Areas of Study

Panel On International Internships

Back row, from left: Maegan Shanks, G-’15, IDMA program assistant; Audrey Cooper, IDMA professor and director; George Schinarakis, G-’01; Yair Davidowitz; Christine Marshall, ’18; and Dayamarali Espinosa, ’18./em>

Front row, from left:Damir Tuzmukhamedov,’18; Angela Rogers; Paul Kozak, ’18; and Kirsten Fargas.

A panel focusing on international internships and shared experiences was held on February 27. Graduate students in the M.A. Program in International Development (IDMA) discussed the nuances of traveling and interning abroad, including relationships between learning and leadership, negotiating diverse identities in the field, safety and evacuations, and transformations within deaf communities.

The panel discussion was co-sponsored by the Career Center and Education Abroad Office.

Emceed by Yair Davidowitz and Dayamarali Espinosa, ’18, the panel began with opening remarks by Beth Keller, ’91, Career Center consultant, and Becca Aburakia-Einhorn, Education Abroad coordinator, who explained details about the internship program and how it worked.

Panel members included George Schinarakis, G-’01, Kirsten Fargas, Christine Marshall, ”;18, Damir Tuzmukhamedov, ’18, Paul Kozak, ’18, and Angela Rogers, Student Body Government vice president.

When discussing the nuances of safety and evacuations, Marshall explained a learning experience in Thailand.

“I did not check the weather, and did not bring my passport with me before going motor-biking into the mountains,” said Marshall. “Because the weather was rainy and slippery, I ended up falling and hurting myself pretty badly, breaking my eyeglasses. I was taken to the hospital and had to pay a 2,000 baht (equivalent to $63 USD) bill right there because I didn’t have my passport on me. Lesson learned-always check the weather and carry your passport on your person at all times. Trust your instincts as well.”

Davidowitz also emphasized the importance of knowing local laws and regulations.

“When I traveled to three countries, it was more complicated than I thought, with differing policies and different levels of deaf organizational support,” said Davidowitz. “I recommend always examining local laws to make sure you understand what you’re getting into.”

What it means to be a Global Citizen was a common thread across each of the panel’s four topic areas. Each of the panelists reflected on and recommended ways that international travelers and interns can prepare to enter into new countries and situations-most importantly, the students urged-by understanding “our own cultural assumptions and biases.”

>During the Q & A section of the presentation, audience members asked a range of questions regarding the panelists’ preparation for internships and professional aspirations. One audience member asked a key question: “When you visit deaf communities in other countries, what do you do to help them?” Kozak replied, “I talk with them. If they discuss concerns, I ask them what they have done in the past and what they would like to do. They know their country and their community, so they are the best people to work on their situation.”

The panel-organized as part of graduate coursework (IDP-779 Professional Seminar I)-was a useful outlet of information for the campus community, serving as a way to give tips and advice on traveling abroad and obtaining internship experiences.

All photos by Zhee Chatmon.

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