Students gain valuable Global Citizenship and Career Readiness Skills through the CIIS Global Virtual Internship Program | St. Lawrence University Patti McGill Peterson Center for International and Intercultural Studies

Students gain valuable Global Citizenship and Career Readiness Skills through the CIIS Global Virtual Internship Program

In November 2020, the Patti McGill Peterson Center for International and Intercultural Studies (CIIS) initiated the CIIS Global Virtual Internship program with the support of its financial donors. These generous donors have funded vital intercultural and intercultural internship opportunities for students whose off-campus study plans for fall 2020, spring and summer 2021 were interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CIIS partnered with three remote internship providers: CAPA Global Internships, Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA) and CET to provide students with internship opportunities in over 20 fields across the USA, Asia, Europe and Pacific Islands during spring and summer 2021. An internship course covering remote internship skills and technology was also offered to students as part of the program.

Students are matched with internship companies and NGOs who best fit their academic interests and skills such as such as Believe Advertising, a Sydney, Australia based PR and advertising agency; Parvati Swayamvikas, India - a cooperative formed to alleviate poverty in Pune’s urban slums via micro-financing and provision of health care, financial literacy skills and vocational training and King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, one of London’s largest and busiest teaching hospitals.

CIIS is delighted that the CIIS Global Virtual Internship program has benefited both our students and their internship partners. Our students’ experiences align with IIE’s ‘Global Education Research Report: The Rise of Remote Global Internships’ of March 2021 which found that participants in remote global internships experienced the same or better gains in skill development as their peers who participated in in-person international internships.

Joel Farella ’22, worked with Changeahead, a UK-based NGO building a Digital Hub to connect vulnerable people with opportunities to get help and be empowered. Joel described his ‘engaging’ experience as ‘being a part of team group chats and weekly meetings has made me feel involved in Changeahead and I’ve gotten to see more than just the side of the business that I actively work on”.

Smiltenė Jankunaite ‘22, interned with Examfly, a firm located in Dublin, Ireland, which designs interactive study tools for professional exams. She received very positive feedback from the company. "Smiltene has been a pleasure to work with and has brought real value to the company through her work and commitment. The projects she has been working on are genuine issues for our business and her involvement has genuinely helped us progress in numerous areas. Her attitude, pro-activeness, punctuality, organization etc. are all excellent. If she were based in Ireland, we would try to hire her!” 

Virtual Global internships are high-impact educational activities that benefit our students' personal, academic, and professional growth (Kuh, 2008). CIIS is very grateful to our donor partners who have given our students opportunities to gain valuable global citizenship and career readiness skills during this pandemic.