UCS expands international programs

UCS Director Jeanine Dames said the organization will offer 170 international opportunities this year.
UCS Director Jeanine Dames said the organization will offer 170 international opportunities this year. Photo by Allie Krause.

Undergraduate Career Services will ramp up the number of international internship programs it offers this summer, providing students with work opportunities in new fields and geographic areas.

UCS, which currently offers the World Fellows International Experience and International Bulldogs programs as structured, Yale-sponsored summer work opportunities, will expand both programs to include more locations and also debut a number of new positions to students in fields such as engineering and global health, said Jeanine Dames, director of UCS and associate dean of Yale College. Dames said UCS’s increased offerings this year reflect the student body’s growing interest in international experiences.

“If we offer a strong program in international internships, students will take advantage of it,” Dames said. “I think our peer schools who’ve had the resources to offer similar programs have found much success with it.”

Dames said there will be a total of 170 international opportunities offered this year through UCS.

UCS is increasing the number of positions offered to students participating in International Bulldogs by 47 percent. Additionally, UCS will offer 18 positions in its World Fellows program this year, compared to the six offered last summer. Dames said many of the opportunities — such as international projects with Lawyers Without Borders and three positions with an alumni-chartered group in Lusaka, Zambia — were built out of long-standing relationships with employers.

UCS hopes to increase the number of students participating in the most rapidly growing areas of interest, which Dames said include the arts, global health and the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. She added that UCS plans to increase student participation in these areas by 66 percent, 35 percent and 24 percent, respectively.

Daniel Obst, deputy vice president of international partnerships in higher education at the Institute for International Education, said he thinks increasing access to international opportunities will be beneficial for students.

“Going abroad for internships is definitely a resume-builder,” Obst said. “It sets you apart from the rest and it also shows that you can deal with intercultural issues on a global basis. This is what employers want — especially in a globalized world.”

Because many science-oriented students are unable to go abroad during term, Obst said many students flock to summer internships — and as the number of science-oriented students increases at a university, the more competition there will be for limited spots.

Student interest in international summer programs at Yale, in both the educational and career fields, has made those programs competitive in recent years. International Bulldogs summer programs received roughly 1,200 student applications in both 2011 and 2012 and accepted around 120 participants each year.

Students interviewed who had traveled internationally through Yale said spending time in a foreign country increased their interest in that country’s culture and politics. After spending the summer in China on a Richard U. Light Fellowship, Christian Rhally ’15 said he will seriously consider pursuing a career in China after graduation.

Rhally added that he thinks there has been a rise in interest in both educational and professional international opportunities because they are growing increasingly accessible.

“I guess the education market is getting more global — students just have more opportunities to go abroad,” he said. “I think it’s also that the job market is getting more and more competitive in America.”

The application deadline for most International Bulldogs and World Fellows programs is Feb. 1.

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