CSU Offers Study-Abroad Internships in Mexico

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Written by Sam Sachs

 

Columbus State University’s study abroad program to Cuernavaca, Mexico has been in use for 22 years. Since its founding, hundreds of students have had the chance to immerse themselves in the culture of Mexico and in the Spanish language, becoming fluent through constant exposure and use while living and studying abroad.

   After more than two decades of learning and teaching, the Mexico program is receiving a new opportunity to teach students lifelong lessons and provide real world experiences. CSU’s sister school in Mexico, the Universidad Internacional (Uninter), has partnered with our university and the Mexican government to begin providing internships to study abroad students seeking to return to Cuernavaca to continue their immersion and studies in Spanish.

   The opportunity for internships is being offered to returning students in the fields of “social work, nursing, education, business, economics, art, music, dance, exercise science, hotel and restaurant management, criminal justice and anthropology,” said study abroad student assistant Armando Fernandez, a senior Spanish major and business minor.

   “Conversations with professors and administrators had business and government offices request interns [from the program], so if a student’s proficiency with Spanish is high enough, they could qualify to go as an intern,” said program director Alyce Cook, Ph. D.

   Fernandez has been in the study abroad program before and will be returning to Cuernavaca this summer as an intern in the office of the governor, according to Cook. One of three students returning as interns, Fernandez is joined by Samantha Wooten, a senior Spanish major, and Thomas Wingate, a senior Spanish and computer science double major.

   Cook believes that this expansion is just the beginning of the program’s growth. In the future Cook hopes that “offering the Spanish classes and expanding the number of participants” could lead to a possible semester long study program. Cook would also like “to see the outreach program grow,” in Cuernavaca and “maybe have an internship associated with the community center to grow the program, with the mothers and adult education after school programs.”

   The expansion of the program comes now as part of “an effort to globalize the program,” said Fernandez, with the university “seeing the need to offer this program to the other majors” in order to expand our global impact and provide more opportunities for CSU students. Fernandez is “very excited,” to return to Mexico as part of the long-running program.

   Cook has said that the “internship program would work for Spanish minors as well,” allowing the program to be an opportunity for more than just Spanish majors. “It’s more beneficial to return as an intern,” instead of returning students simply taking other classes to allow their continuation of the study abroad program, said Cook.

   The new version of the Mexico program will begin in the summer of 2017, with a total of 15 students going counting the interns, according to Cook.