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2015 Longwoods Fellows

Christopher Anderson, BA International Studies; minor, Economics ‘17
BabeliUM, language school of the Universidade do Minho

Braga, Portugal

I lived in Braga for 10 weeks, teaching English and working for BabeliUM, the language school of the Universidade do Minho. My students were mainly adults, over the age of 30 years, which challenged me to envision where I would like to be a decade or two down the road. I took an intensive class in Portuguese for three weeks while I taught. My immersion and daily interactions helped me gain a new understanding of the way education inspires intellectual growth and gave me a window into daily lives, values, and faiths of the local families I met. Personally, I grew a lot from this experience and learned so much about myself. Now, I am confident about my plan to apply for a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English in Japan, China, or Korea after graduation. This was an incredible opportunity, thanks to the support.

Alexander Goggins, BS International Studies; minor, Portuguese ‘17
Research at Hospital do Rim e Hipertensão (HRIM)
São Paulo, Brazil

During my time in the Hospital do Rim e Hipertensão (HRIM) in São Paulo, I had the opportunity to gain valuable insight into a different health care system, in addition to conducting a small research project in a foreign country. For the internship portion of my stay, I was attached to different groups of doctors and residents each week. First, I worked with the procurement team, a group of doctors tasked with finding potential donors (both living and deceased). For the second week, I stayed in the postoperative wing of the hospital. The third week, I was attached to the long-term outpatient clinic, and for the fourth week, I was attached to the infectious disease specialist, who handles any post-transplant infections that may threaten the immunosuppressed patient or the graft. The internship portion of the stay was a fantastic opportunity to highlight the differences between the American and the Brazilian health care systems. In Brazil, everyone is granted free universal health care. Being a public hospital, the vast majority of patients treated at HRIM had this public healthcare, with the private healthcare recipients going to the private hospitals in the city. This research was an incredible experience that helped me to gain a sense of how to write and conduct a retrospective clinical study. But of course, none of this work could have been possible if it were not for the funding. The incredible help and support I received was essential, allowing me to push my boundaries and to experience living and working in a foreign country on my own.

Trevor Grayeb, BA International Studies; BA Political Science; Honors ‘16
Langley Esquire

Tokyo, Japan

Thanks to the Longwoods Fellowship, I was able to spend three months in Tokyo, Japan, where I interned at Langley Esquire, a public affairs consulting firm specializing in business, legal, and political advising for foreigners and foreign corporations in Japan. The educational value of my work was augmented by the sheer diversity of cases. I assisted with everything from arranging basic legal documents for foreign residents to advising major American Fortune-500 companies to assisting Japanese venture groups with expansion into overseas markets. By the end of my stay, I had been placed in charge of developing potential topics for the weekly office podcast on Japanese politics and compiling research and show runners for each new episode. I feel I have acquired a depth of knowledge about Japanese politics, business, and law that cannot be obtained through a college classroom, and my immersion contributed to the rapid improvement of my ability to speak and to read Japanese. Overall, my experience was career-orienting, and perhaps life-orienting—fueling a desire to pursue further, long-term professional experiences in Japan.

Katherine Mercieca, BA International Studies; BA English ‘16
James Watters & Co. Law Firm

Dublin, Ireland

I spent eight weeks in Dublin, Ireland, completing an internship with the Irish law firm James Watters & Co., which specializes in immigration and asylum law. As an International Studies and a pre-law student, this experience was beyond invaluable. I assisted the solicitors and trainees with important cases and projects, primarily involving country of origin information research. I had prior research experience, but the work I was involved with during my internship significantly improved my abilities and exposed me to a variety of useful resources. Through my research, I gained a better understanding of current events focusing on the human rights crisis. After completing this internship, I can say with absolute certainty that I want to pursue a career in law. It was an essential factor in determining my career, and my PICS grant was an important monetary contribution to my experiences.