Any tips for a summer of working abroad?
September 4, 2004 12:19 PM   Subscribe

I have the possibility of going abroad next summer, fully-funded through a scholarship program through my university, up to $3000 for the summer. Here's the catch -- it has to be a work or intern experience - it can't be study abroad. The only stipulation for work - over the summer i have to do at least 35 hrs/week, and 8 weeks of work - so there could be a study compoenent at the beginning too. I've never had the opportunity to go abroad in college (cause of cash restraints and b/c of transferring schools), and I've really wanted to go to South America or the Carribbean. My Spanish is pretty weak, but i'm working on it right now, until next summer. Any suggestions on programs or countries, or fellow MeFi experiences? I'm pretty much starting in the dark here.
posted by jare2003 to Work & Money (8 answers total)
do you want to work in a field related to what you're studying? if so, what is it? also, where are you? northern hemisphere, presumably (which means you'll be in s america in the winter)?
posted by andrew cooke at 12:56 PM on September 4, 2004

Thanks, i forgot some of those important details! I plan to work in public policy after graduating, though i had some work experience in it before i returned to school to finish my undergrad, so ideally, i just want an 'different' experience than what i've had (i moved about 12 times, but all domestically in the United States). So ideally something in the public policy, govt, social policy -- i mean, it could also be direct work. i'm really not too picky, it just depends what program i want to do.

I'm in Ithaca, New York, in the northeastern United States during the year, but the weather where i go isnt a huge deal.
posted by jare2003 at 1:17 PM on September 4, 2004

You might find this page useful.

As to region, unless you have a pretty strong preference for South America or whatever, I'd note that Asia (especially China) and the Middel East are likely to be the most geopolitically significant regions going forward.
posted by gd779 at 1:26 PM on September 4, 2004

I don't have a great deal of interest in the Middle East -- China, I do -- but i'm also half Chinese and i've been there in the past. So yeah, most likely South America or the Caribbean.
posted by jare2003 at 1:37 PM on September 4, 2004

a cousin works in the govt here. if you send me an email (preferably in spanish!) asking for info i can forward it to her. she's very friendly and might be able to help. i have no idea what she does - something in pr, i think.

it's a presidential system here and elections must be coming up some time, so that might make things more complicated/interesting.
posted by andrew cooke at 6:15 PM on September 4, 2004

sorry, "here" is chile.
posted by andrew cooke at 6:16 PM on September 4, 2004

I wonder if you're ruling out interning in a university due to the limit on study attached to your grant. It would be feasible to find work attached to a university department where you actually effectively work for someone, for example assisting in a research project or even carrying out a small research project of your own under the supervision of a mentor. Would this be possible within the terms of your grant?
If so, the best thing to do is to work out what area you would like to study, identify some research groups overseas that work in the area (for example by checking out up to date journal papers - institutional addresses are nearly always under the authors name) and contact the group to see whether they would consider an intern placement. Internships are much more common in some countries than others but if you emphasise that you can do 3 months work and don't need paying that could go some way to making you look far more attractive.
posted by biffa at 2:55 AM on September 5, 2004

A friend of mine this summer worked in the Dominican Republic at a policy think tank. I wish I knew more about her specific project, but haven't talked to her yet since she got back! She didn't speak Spanish, either.

I also have a couple connections around Havana with redevelopment projects, but knowing Spanish is much more helpful there.

If either of those sounds at all interesting, send me an email and I'll put you in touch...
posted by whatzit at 11:54 AM on September 5, 2004

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