by Hannah Prestage
1984 was the first year international internships were introduced here at Juniata, although the country choices were limited to France, Germany and Great Britain. Now, in 2016, Juniata has many more opportunities across the globe, a wide range compared to the original six countries.
International internships opened up the opportunity to try something new rather than simply studying in another country; it allowed cross-cultural experiences that could be applied to future employment and couldn’t be found from an internship here in the United States.
Study abroad and internships offer a unique experience: time to develop as people and become independent, well-rounded individuals. Each option is perfectly suited to the students, as they ultimately have the freedom to choose the country, classes or type of internship. However, it seems today that it has now come to the point where society is choosing our route for us as students once again.
Nowadays more people are opting to take internships, whether they are in their home country, abroad or even just for a few months rather than a year. Globally, it is getting increasingly harder to find a job and have the right qualifications, as employers are looking for experience in the field of work, thus making an internship seem to be the better option.
What about students who don’t have a specific career path in mind? How do you compare to those with work experience?
Perhaps it could be more beneficial to do a year abroad? It would encourage you to open up and see the world outside of the US and see how other systems work, educational or otherwise. More often than not, foreign colleges and universities offer classes that aren’t available at Juniata, and this could open up the possibility of deciding your career. There is also the option to work while you study abroad, which could develop your career plans.
Doing an internship doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go abroad for the whole year; there are options for summer, or short placements, which again are ideal if you don’t know your specific area of profession. It would allow you to experiment through multiple internships until you eventually find “the one,” whereas, you can only have one study abroad year or semester, and you have to make the most of it.
A year abroad ensures that you aren’t confined to a limited area or work place. A year abroad gives you the opportunity to meet people and explore different countries. After all, getting a job sometimes comes down to who you know, not what you know.
Should we follow the rules of our society, or instead follow our own minds and decide on what is best for us? Only we can know. We shouldn’t have to conform to the ideals of a society. We must make our own rules and make the decisions we believe will better ourselves, even if mistakes are made along the way.
Ultimately the choice of a year abroad or an internship is your decision, but weigh up the pros and cons of each and what is suited to your style and how far you are willing to step out of your comfort zone. Money is often seen as a problem, but there are many scholarships available for students. In this case, all you need to do is ask and find out all the information you can before making your final decision and knowing which is the right option for you.
I guess it’s true that some things never change. From 1984 to now, Juniata offers a multitude of foreign programs that provide outstanding opportunities.
Thursday 4th October 1984
Volume XXXVI, No. 3
By Mary E. Ritchey
This week I want to give you a more in-depth look at Juniata’s foreign programs. As I mentioned last week, students interested in studying abroad have four programs and six countries from which to choose. Most of these options are for juniors only, but the international internships are still open to the current junior and senior classes.
Juniata Exchange Program
A one-for-one exchange with a student from another school in France, Germany, Great Britain and Japan. As a participant you will be totally immersed in the culture you have chosen. You and your partner trade living arrangements and family contacts and you are considered exactly as though you were a student from that country enrolled in that institution. If you want to find unparalleled opportunities to learn about others while pursuing your own field of study this is the program for you. Additional expenses are limited to transportation and personal items (presents, souvenirs, socializing, etc.)
Brethren Colleges Abroad
This program is run by a twenty-year-old consortium of Brethren colleges and operates in France, Germany, Great Britain and Spain. If your POE can’t spare a full year away from JC you can leave for only a half year on BCA. Although you will be a member of the student body there will also be courses designed for BCA students. You do not have to be Brethren to participate and you will not even have to pay for transportation.
These programs exist at two universities in England and periodically in the USSR. While the available majors are somewhat more limited this might be exactly what you want.
A new option this year, it is available for this spring term in France, Germany and Great Britain. Like the US internships you will have the opportunity to spend fifteen weeks in the real world test-driving your career plans for three units of credit. If this is for you, see Dr. Vocke immediately as schedule changes may be required If you are interested in any of these programs you can get more information from Dr. Vocke, Director of International Programs Office of International Affairs, Founders.
Categories: Volume 97 Issue 6 Campus Spin