Over the summer, Trinity students had the opportunity to spend time abroad in countries such as China, Spain and Costa Rica.
Ingrid Harb, a junior marketing major, spent seven weeks in Shanghai, China. During her time in the program, Harb took Mandarin classes and interned five days a week. Harb was placed with a consulting company based in London.
“Everyone at work was so nice. The difference between here and China is that they really depend on each other there,” Harb said. “There’s no hierarchy; it’s more like a family. They all play sports after work and go to lunch together.”
According to Harb, she found the research aspect of her internship difficult due to the challenges of Chinese media, but she really enjoyed the unique experience of presenting her research to the company’s CEO near the program’s end. When Harb wasn’t working, she was able to travel with her program on weekends.
“One of my favorite moments was seeing the Great Wall on our trip to Beijing. It was such an empowering experience, thinking about how much effort was put into it and how high up you were,” Harb said.
Harb would highly recommend the program to anyone interested in experiencing a culture completely different from their own.
Bryony Harris, a junior international business major, spent her summer studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. Like Harb, Harris also had an internship in addition to classes.
“We had class two nights a week, activities two or three days a week and worked Monday through Friday, so we were kept pretty busy,” Harris said.
International business majors are required to have an internship, so that aspect of the program appealed to Harris. She became even more interested in the program when she learned that it was in the heart of the city.
“I stayed with a host family and it was good. They only spoke Spanish and I’m not fluent, so it was a bit of a language barrier,” Harris said.
Though her housing situation was challenging, Harris loved living in Madrid and getting to see various other cities in Spain with students from her program.
“We traveled a lot with our program and had a free weekend that we spent in Barcelona,” Harris said. “It was an amazing program. I would definitely recommend it. It’s such a great way to get credit.”
Santa Ana, Costa Rica
Hanna Niner, a sophomore political science major with a focus in international law, studied abroad in Santa Ana, Costa Rica, this summer. Unlike Harb and Harris, Niner participated in a program that focused primarily on learning the language.
“We studied at a small local college there, specifically for American students. There were college students, but there was also a mom with her two kids and some other adults, so all different ages,” Niner said.
Niner studied Spanish five days a week with different activities all afternoon. On the weekends, she hiked through a forest with sloths and toucans, zip-lined through the cloud forest, toured the river bordering Nicaragua and even went horseback riding through the jungle. Though Niner loved exploring Costa Rica, she has bigger plans for the next time she visits Latin America.
“Next summer I want to try to get an internship with local lawyers who work specifically with women’s rights. I would also want to volunteer with women for part of the time, to get experience with both sides,” Niner said.
After spending her summer in Costa Rica, Niner has decided to add a Spanish minor.
“I’m already minoring in women and gender studies, and I want to eventually work with women in Latin America. To connect with them, you really need to know the language,” Niner said.
Niner recommends studying abroad over the summer and hopes to return to Latin America either next summer or in fall 2015.