Guadalupe de la Rosa is a public health major from Washington, Iowa, and a recipient of the Dr. Ken Magid Scholarship intended for students who plan to complete an academic internship abroad. She recently returned from Santiago, Chile, where she interned for Good Neighbors Chile, an organization that empowers individuals through education and the promotion of human rights. She shares some of her experiences below.
1. Tell us about your internship experience in Chile. Where did you work and what was your role?
I had the privilege of working with Good Neighbors Chile in the field of communications and marketing, and had the opportunity to research content that highlighted the significance of quality education. One of my key responsibilities was collaborating with fellow interns to develop content for the organization's website. This included creating insights on the implementation of quality education principles in Chile and graphics. Through this experience, I learned and expanded on Good Neighbors' commitment to improving education standards in the country.
2. Do you feel like it gave you skills you can use in a career after graduation? If so, which skills?
Absolutely, interning abroad impacted my skillset more significantly than I expected. It enhanced my cross-cultural competence and adaptability. I am very accustomed to the fast-paced working environment of the U.S. and managing multiple tasks at once. Abroad, I was forced to slow down and put all my attention towards one project, which was unique for me. Rather than being frustrated, I used this as a learning opportunity to understand another culture's workplace environment. I learned to appreciate the value of personal relationships in the business world and that speed and directness are not universal attributes. These skills will no doubt be assets in my post-graduate career, helping me to navigate diverse and professional environments.
3. What is a favorite memory from your time in Chile?
One of my favorite memories from my time in Chile was exploring San Pedro de Atacama, a desert town located in the northeastern region amidst the Andes Mountains. I experienced so many firsts during this adventure, from swimming in the salt flats to stargazing the Milkyway to hiking a canyon. What made this experience even more memorable was sharing it with new friends. I made the most wonderful friendships while abroad with Chilean students and students from various schools in the U.S. This experience was one of the highlights of my journey in Chile.
“My advice for students considering doing an internship abroad would be: DO IT! There are so many funding opportunities that can make this experience financially feasible.”
4. Did anything surprise you about your experience? Something you weren’t expecting?
I was shocked by the newfound independence I discovered while abroad. Although I had traveled internationally before, a new challenge arose, one I didn’t realize I needed. I had complete self-sufficiency. Sure, for the past three years, I had lived away from home, but only about 40 minutes away, and my parents would visit almost every month. In Chile, over 5,000 miles away from home, I was truly on my own. The new independence was an eye-opener as I didn’t understand the importance of being self-reliant. I’ve learned so many personal aspects about myself. I’ve not only broadened my horizons by diving into a new culture but also by believing in myself. This experience helped me trust my instincts, choices, and actions as no one was there to tell me yes or no.
5. What is some advice you have for students considering doing an internship abroad?
My advice for students considering doing an internship abroad would be: DO IT! There are so many funding opportunities that can make this experience financially feasible. If I had the chance to do it all over again, I would without a doubt. I was able to put what I’ve learned in the classroom into the field and explore a southern Latin American country; a huge dream of mine. I improved my Spanish vocabulary and got to explore more of what I want my future career to look like.
6. What does the Dr. Ken Magid Scholarship mean to you?
The Ken Magid Scholarship holds significant importance to me because of the academic aid it provides. The scholarship allows me to remain focused on my studies and progress easier through my academic career, helping me continue my education and contribute to society. It has allowed me the incredible opportunity to pursue my aspirations of interning abroad.
Interested in learning more about global internships?
About the Dr. Ken Magid Scholarship
UI alumna Linda Baker (BA English '68) founded the original Dr. Ken Magid Child Advocacy Service Scholarship in 2005 after she traveled to Romania as part of the then UI Alumni Association’s first service-oriented trip. While there, she volunteered at an orphanage, which inspired her to create a scholarship to enable UI students to engage in similar experiences. The scholarship is named for her former mentor, author and child behaviorist Dr. Kenneth Magid.
In recognition of Baker’s efforts to foster cultural competency and global awareness, she was awarded the 2023 International Impact Award from UI International Programs.
International Programs (IP) at the University of Iowa (UI) is committed to enriching the global experience of UI students, faculty, staff, and the general public by leading efforts to promote internationally oriented teaching, research, creative work, and community engagement. IP provides support for international students and scholars, administers scholarships and assistance for students who study, intern, or do research abroad, and provides funding opportunities and grant-writing assistance for faculty engaged in international research. IP shares their stories through various media, and by hosting multiple public engagement activities each year.