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Education students enhance College’s international presence through summer internships

Five University of South Carolina College of Education graduate students expanded their professional and academic experience this past summer through overseas internships.

These five students, all in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program, interned at partner universities worldwide. These internships provided our students with hands-on experience in student affairs, and strengthened our university’s connection with partner institutions abroad.

Jessa Knust served as an intern at the Fundação Getulio Vargas Escola Brasileira de Administração Pública e de Empresas, a private higher education institution in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Knust worked primarily with the International Office at the university. In an early blog post while in Brazil, Knust reflected on the differences and similarities between US and Brazilian student affairs, stating, “The International Office in Brazil is charged with developing creative marketing strategies to communicate to students the potential benefits–academic, professional, and personal–of studying abroad. These struggles are identical to those faced by student affairs professionals at American universities. You can have the greatest leadership conference, educational program, or support service, but until a student internalizes the need to take advantage of it, all of the praises you sing will fall on deaf ears and fail to inspire action on the part of the student.” Knust documented her internship abroad in her blog 7 Weeks in Rio de Jeneiro.

Ashley Jaramillo worked as an intern for Ming Chuan University at the Tauyoan campus just outside Taipei, Taiwan. Jaramillo hosted presentations on American culture and the higher education system, as well as comparative presentations on western and eastern education systems. Jaramillo used her free time to study Chinese and the culture of Taiwan.

Maura Smith completed her internship in the International Office at the National University of Ireland in Maynooth.  While abroad, Smith worked on pre-departure orientation for outgoing Maynooth students, campus visits for American visitors, and a buddy network program for incoming international students. Smith said the opportunity abroad expanded her abilities in the international education field. She hopes to pursue a career related to study abroad. Smith wrote about her experience on her personal blog “Momo’s Irish Adventures.”  

Rebecca Karlin was an intern at the University of Newcastle in Newcastle, Australia. Karlin stated the experience was important to her to because it would gave her a true appreciation of different cultures, allowing her to better relate to a truly diverse student body. At Newcastle, she interacted with students from different backgrounds and nationalities. Karlin mentored and advised students while during her stay there.

Joy Mondalto was an international intern at the University of Limerick in Limerick, Ireland. She worked primarily with the Erasmus and international exchange programs. Mondalto used this experience to learn about Irish culture and higher education, along with the culture of the incoming international students at her campus. In her free time, Mondalto explored Blarney Castle, Cork City and Limerick. “I am incredibly grateful to both the USC Study Abroad Office and the International Education Department at the University of Limerick for this amazing opportunity,” said Mondalto.

We applaud all our College of Education students for their global engagement and the positive impact their work has had on education worldwide!