UNC Greensboro’s International Programs Center (IPC) has teamed up with ISA/WorldStrides to offer global remote internships to undergraduate students.
The new program, which launched at UNCG in January, provides students the opportunity to gain hands-on, international work experience, earn academic credit, and develop key intercultural competencies in a fully online environment.
The program currently offers virtual placements in Australia, Peru, Spain, and Vietnam. Students can complete internships in a variety of fields – business, education, computer science, social work, etc.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for students to broaden their future career opportunities,” said Logan Stanfield, study abroad coordinator for IPC. “We want students to realize that there are opportunities beyond North Carolina, and beyond the United States. It’s becoming much easier and more realistic for folks to take on global remote work in their careers. The best part to me is how programs like this break through all sorts of barriers that otherwise might keep a student from having a transformative global experience.”
Senior Olivia Ellis is one of three students to take advantage of the program this spring. An international and global studies major, Ellis was awarded a prestigious Gilman scholarship and planned to study abroad in South Korea. However, due to the pandemic, her program was cancelled.
After working with the IPC team, she decided to use her scholarship to participate in a global remote internship. Since January, she has been teaching English at the Will to Live Center in Hanoi, Vietnam. The experience has been incredibly impactful for Ellis, who hopes to become an English as a second language instructor after graduation.
“This program has allowed me to learn time management skills and creativity skills – how to create fun and engaging lessons for students,” Ellis said. “My main goal was to learn how to get students to participate, and how to help students feel encouraged to learn. This experience has really prepared me for my future in teaching.”
The program includes cultural exchange meetings twice a month in which students learn more about Vietnamese culture. What’s been the biggest surprise for Ellis?
“The work culture is very laid back,” Ellis said. “Here in the U.S., we’re really fast-paced, and everything has to be done immediately. In Vietnam, they want you to get your work done in a timely manner, but they understand that life happens. Supervisors value close relationships with their employees. I have my supervisor’s phone number, Facebook, and WhatsApp. I think that’s really cool. I’m not used to having a supervisor want to get to know me on a personal level.”
IPC is currently accepting applications for summer and fall internships. To learn more and to apply, visit go.uncg.edu/global.internship.
Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Communications
Graphic by Jiyoung Park, University Communications