Friday, March 22, 2013

Travel, Learn, Transform: Summer Internships with FSD




Our Summer Session International Internship programs are a tremendous opportunity to spend your summer break making a lasting difference in a community. FSD interns work in ten global sites with one of our 300 partner organizations in local development issues such as education and youth development, environmental sustainability, appropriate technology, gender equity, health, human rights, and microfinance. In 2011, FSD Intern Catherine McDonald transformed her summer vacation into 10 weeks of community development work that inspired and strengthened her commitment to global health.

Catherine spent her summer internship in La Plata, Argentina, working with FSD community partner Arco Iris, a community center located in a low-income region that provides child-care and services. While working with the organization’s staff to provide art projects and educational activities for the children at Arco Iris, Catherine found that some of the children in the community were negatively impacted by a lack of mental health care and health education; being exposed to these health struggles “first hand”, she says, has inspired her to work towards being a physician who “truly makes a difference”.

Catherine chose FSD because the International Internship Program provides the “perfect balance of independence and education for interns looking to gain global development experience.” She remarks that the favorite part of her internship was building relationships with the partner organization and community members: “The teachers at Arco Iris welcomed me from day one, and incorporated me into their team.” On the last day of her internship, the children and teachers at Arco Iris threw her a farewell party, giving her gifts and performing songs. Says Catherine, “I had never felt so loved and appreciated by so many, and I will never forget that day.” Catherine is now a first year student at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, where she is an MD Candidate working to bring innovative change in health to her community.

This year, FSD opened a new site in Salta, Argentina, and we'd like to invite you to transform the communities in Salta.  Join Catherine and all of FSD’s influential alumni by being the change you wish to see this summer. The April 1 deadline to apply for Summer Session International Internships is quickly approaching. Apply today!

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