Teresa Lyn, Operations Assistant at the Center for International Programs, said that the College tries to guide students into programs that reflect their interests. “The more information we get from students, the better their placement is going to be,” she said.
For some students, like Reischl, the ICRP provides an experience that affects future career goals. “I realized while working there that the outlet I want to work out of is economic independence, so I’m going to work with a microfinance empowerment group for women this summer in Quito,” she said.
For others, like junior Liz Lewandowski, it offers an opportunity to enhance an academic major while interacting with the community. “Mine didn’t really have a connection to, like, any career path; it was just kind of an opportunity,” she said. She worked with gypsies at an education center in Caceres, where she said she got to know a specific subculture of the region.
Sophomores have reached different stages of the ICRP process. Julia Smucker, who will be studying in Claremont, France, said, “I don’t know, like, specifics really, but I’d hopefully like to do something with one of my majors.” She has also entertained the idea of working in a bakery.
Sophomore Monika Egerer, who will be studying in Chiang Mai, Thailand, has already started her application. “It’s really hard because I don’t really know what my options are,” she said. “I know I want to work directly with people in the community,” she said, noting that she is also interested in working in sustainability.
Both students said that, while the opportunity to participate in an ICRP did not drive their program decision, they appreciate the opportunity to further involve themselves in their countries of study.