From international travel to internships spanning from CNN to the U.S. State Department, Spelman students are experiencing an unforgettable summer. Preparing for future careers, they are traveling abroad, conducting groundbreaking research, and pursuing their lifelong dreams and ambitions.
Studying Abroad in Portugal and the Dominican Republic
For two weeks in May, political science major Chelsea Roberts, C’2016, and 26 other Spelman students studied abroad in Lisbon, Portugal, through the 2014 CIEE-Spelman Intercultural Engagement Program. In Lisbon, they traveled to a small village called Sintra to see gardens and private estates. In addition to visiting Lagos, a beach in the South of Portugal, students toured museums, experienced different cuisines, and met people from all over the world. They also listened to professors share stories of women’s struggles in Lisbon while sharing stories of their own.
“Lisbon was an amazing experience,” said Roberts, who also plans to visit her best friend, Sophie, in England, travel to Baltimore, Maryland, and complete a commercial banking internship with Wells Fargo Bank this summer. “I’ve been tremendously impacted by the Portuguese culture, food, architecture, and the warm people I’ve met. I’ve learned that we live in a global society, and connecting and finding similarities with foreigners as well as people in my own community makes this world feel much smaller.”
Senior English major Clarice Kimp is also spending the start of her summer participating in a cultural immersion program in Santiago, Dominican Republic. She and 24 other Spelman students are currently learning the customs, traditions and culture of those in the Dominican Republic by touring local attractions and participating in weekend excursions and conversations.
“I have learned a lot about the cultural differences between Americans and the people of the Dominican Republic in a short period of time,” said Kimp, who is preparing for a retail management internship with Ross Stores. “As Black women, we stand out not only because of the color of our skin, but also due to our nationality. I have learned a lot about the cultural divide here in the Dominican Republic between Dominicans and Haitians. This has been a humbling experience.”
Revolutionizing the Culture of Studying Abroad
Dimeji Togunde, Ph.D., associate provost for Global Education and professor of International Studies, said the CIEE-Spelman initiative is especially important because it provides opportunity and access to students who are unable to afford the cost of studying abroad for longer periods. The program enables students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines and those with internship opportunities to travel abroad without conflicting with their internship plans.
According to Dr. Togunde, the program is changing the culture of study abroad by making it accessible and affordable for all students.
“The program is not too long, which allows us to diversify the composition of students who study abroad,” Dr. Togunde said. “It’s open to students in all classes, including international students, and because it is not language-based, students who are not proficient in the language of the destination country can still participate. Overall, our primary goal is to produce global citizens who have intercultural competence, so they can work with people in different countries and cultures, and serve as global leaders.”
CNN and Public Relations Opportunities
Kamron Taylor, C’2015, will spend her summer pursuing her passion for journalism. Achieving her long-term goal of becoming a CNN Newsource intern, the English major will gather content, produce and edit news stories, and attend news meetings with news editors from around the country. She recently served as an intern with Atlanta’s WSB-TV.
Rising sophomore, English major and creative writing minor D’Shonda Brown, C’2017, will be just as busy. In addition to her travels to Lisbon, Portugal, Brown, an aspiring journalist, also plans to serve as a staff editorial writer with GeekInsider.com; assist as a junior publicist for Reinchild Public Relations; and work as a marketing/public relations intern at her brother’s consulting firm, HME Consulting Inc. During her public relations internship, Brown will be responsible for online content, social media and blog posting.
“I’m gaining a lot of experience through my summer endeavors, and I am very blessed,” said Brown. “Whether it’s learning the new Portuguese language or how to upload new media files on WordPress, I am happy and humbled to have such wonderful opportunities.”
A Galaxy Far, Far Away
Computer science major Kareema Wilson, C’2016, is excited about her eight-week summer internship opportunity. On June 2, she began working as a full-time Casual Undergraduate Technical Support Intern in the Technical Computing Infrastructure Department at Aerospace Corp. in Chantilly, Virginia.
“This amazing career opportunity allows me to use what I’ve learned in my computer information science courses and apply them to real world problems,” said Wilson. “I look forward to learning and growing as a result of this internship.”
Read more about students’ summer activities at www.spelman.edu.
Story by Alicia Lurry, senior communications specialist and editor of the Spelman Connection for the Office of Communications.