More than 4,000 miles and a three-hour jet lag haven’t stopped fourth-year political science and international relations student Megan Gibson from interning with an organization in Costa Rica this term.
Gibson is one of the first participants in the new international experiential learning program run by STU’s Office of Experiential and Community Learning. The Office of Experiential Learning has partnered with Global Learning Costa Rica to provide international internship experiences to STUDENTS in various organizations across the country.
Fredericton Global Health Work in Costa Rica
Gibson worked as a social outreach intern at Casa Jaguar, a government organization working to address substance use disorders (SUDs) among young Costa Ricans. Gibson has spent time researching how SUD affects young people, the correlation between SUD and mental health, and Costa Rican policymaking. She then took her research and created academic reports, infographics and social media content.
Gibson’s internship culminated with a plan for a notional NGO to provide mentoring and recovery services to Costa Rican students struggling with substance use disorders.
“It was really exciting to do an international internship in my area of interest right here in Fredericton,” said Gibson.
Gibson said the experience allowed him to develop new skills such as cross-cultural communication, adapting to working in a different time zone and using new methods of communication.
Students participating in an internship through Global Learning Costa Rica also have the opportunity to take weekly Spanish classes and attend a variety of cultural and employment workshops. During the 12-week internship, students are also paired with a mentor with whom they meet regularly to discuss internship assignments and goals.
“My favorite thing was meeting my amazing mentor, Luis. We enjoyed sharing about our countries and talking about everything from politics to sports. He was so open to sharing his knowledge with me and I loved having the opportunity to learn more about substance use as a global health issue and to think about ways to address it through policy and project development,” said Gibson.
Gibson said the Office of Experiential Learning provided additional support throughout his internship, including regular check-ins and the experience was considered for Gibson’s Certificate in Experiential Learning. experience and community involvement.
Apply learning to the classroom
Gibson first heard about the International Experiential Learning Program after speaking with staff at the Experiential Learning Office and felt it was a perfect match for his interests and was directly related to his studies. In addition to majoring in political science and international relations, Gibson also has a double minor in Spanish and human rights.
“I am passionate about the study of global health and my region of interest is Latin America. I knew this internship would allow me to learn new skills and make connections in another part of the world, which really intrigued me since I’m looking to pursue this type of work in the future,” she said.
Gibson will graduate this spring and plans to either attend graduate school or work in international development and global health. She said doing an international internship reinforced her passion for international business.
“If you are considering doing an international internship, I cannot recommend it highly enough! You’ll learn so many new skills, discover your passions, and meet amazing people along the way.”
Students interested in the International Experiential Learning Program can now apply for summer internships through Global Learning Costa Rica. Learn more and apply here.
- The deadline to apply is April 15
- In-person internships begin June 6
- Virtual internships begin May 9