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Success-Stories

To learn about and to apply for International Internships for Summer 2015, click here.

AUSTRALIA
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Andrea-International Internship, Australia Major: Psychology

Andrea

I participated in a summer internship in the beautiful city of Sydney, Australia. My placement was with a nonprofit located in the suburb of Surry Hills. As an intern, I shadowed my site and area managers and met with a psychologist in personnel administration with human resources. I was given the opportunity to meet with jobseekers to provide face to face assessments, motivational and job searching skills, and help them establish a direction towards employment. Also, I was able to work in conjunction with employment consultants by assisting them with notes during behavior analysis sessions and ideas to resolve the clients' situations.

I worked Monday through Thursday, which allowed me to explore on the weekends as much as I wanted. I traveled twice during my summer internship. I went to Cairns and Gold Coast. I admired different suburbs in Sydney and had dinner at awesome restaurants in Circular Quay and the Rocks. I went on two cruises - one to see the light show at the harbor and the other one for whale watching. I fed Kangaroos and tasted Kangaroo meat. I went skydiving, which to me was the best adrenaline experience. It also allowed me to see Sydney and the Blue Mountains from a whole different perspective. Going to the Great Barrier Reef and scuba diving was complete relaxation and an awakening experience- I felt so well connected. Last but not least, networking and getting a feeling for other people's culture was once a fear, but now it has become my passion. It is the experience of a lifetime, and I would recommend it to anyone.

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Kim-International Internship, Australia Major: Business Management

Kim

Kim spent two months this summer interning in Sydney, Australia. For as long as she could remember, Australia was the number one country that was on her list of places to visit. When she found out about UCF's opportunity to live in Sydney for two months, she jumped at the chance.

Kim's internship was with an award-winning and industry-leading commercial and business solar installer. The office environment was not what she expected. Her colleagues came from all across the world - Argentina to Malaysia. It was truly an international experience. Being in such an environment gave Kim the opportunity to- not only learn about Australian culture- but also about the cultures of vastly different countries. As an intern, she worked mostly in project-management and assisted in writing contracts as well as creating a new system to organize the company's database. She learned new business skills she can carry with her throughout her career.

Living in Australia is an experience unlike any other. Any free time during the week and especially on the weekends was packed with activities. She attended a Sydney Roosters rugby game, a show at the famous opera house, hiked through the Blue Mountains, visited Brisbane and the Gold Coast, and saw the city light up during Vivid Sydney. You do not have to travel far from the city to experience an entirely unique environment. This is an experience she will never forget.

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Yan-International Internship, Australia Major: Management

Yan

I was placed at company located in the Pyrmont suburb for my internship. Our accommodation was located in Haymarket, right under the CBD, so I had a 20-minute walk to work, five days a week. I worked in two departments, one for recruitment and another for administration; both roles gave me tasks that contributed to the organization. For recruitment, I screened applicants, booked interviews, recruited at backpacker hostels, and did exit interviews; and for administration, I worked with the legal side by dealing with suburb councils and complying with government regulations and handled logistics with booking travel trips and finding new locations for business. I was fortunate enough to end up with some of the best staff in Sydney and was trained and mentored throughout the whole program. Through this internship, my professionalism, confidence, and intuition have all improved. Sydney has so much to offer. There is always a niche you can find, whether it be shopping, food, or drinks it's out here, you just need to explore all of it! The eight weeks I spent there were some of the best days of my life. Everyone should have the opportunity to travel or study abroad. You gain a new perspective on what it's like to be a part of this planet.

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Matt-International Internship, Australia Major: Electrical Engineering

Matt

I travelled to Sydney, Australia for the international internship program and loved every moment. I worked with a small company, which is an online baby and pregnancy journal that incorporates milestones to track baby development. This experience provided me with great insight into the business. I was responsible for analysing data and generating hypothesises to increase user retention. I learned programming language, and eventually coding and helped to write some programs that benefited the company greatly.

During my time off, I travelled and saw as much as possible. I tried to experience all that I could, including skydiving, surfing, cliff jumping, and interesting new foods. I worked close to the beach, so I would go for a sunrise surf session before work to start off the day right. After my time in Sydney, I went scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, explored all of New Zealand, and spent some time surfing in the famous Gold Coast. This was the most exciting trip of my life and I would recommend it to everyone.

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Matt-International Internship, Australia Major: Mechanical Engineering

Matt

I was fortunate to be able to spend a summer interning in one of the greatest cities in the world: Sydney, Australia. I interned with a Mechanical Engineering company based out of Blacktown, a suburb 45 minutes outside the city. My responsibilities with the company dealt with the design of conveyor systems for the food/beverage and parcel industries. I was given the task of designing a conveyor system from scratch to be used by a local food distribution company. I drew the entire conveyor system and layout on AutoCAD, along with making supplemental manufacturing drawings for the various components associated with the conveyors. I conferred with engineers about my designs and made adjustments based on observed or calculated issues. I also went to visit some of the sites where the conveyors were being setup to confer with the on-site engineers about any design issues that needed to be taken into consideration.

My weekends were spent surfing and seeing the various sites and parks. Sydney has many beaches just a short bus ride away that produce world class surf on a regular basis. I was able to surf a variety of beaches (Bondi, Maroubra, Cronulla) and get a feel for the local surf community in each area. I also participated in a variety of activities such as skydiving on the beach, taking a leisurely stroll on the Bondi to Coogee Walk, and cliff jumping in Watsons Bay. I got to see kangaroos and koalas at the Taronga Zoo, play pickup soccer in the parks with local Aussies, and take scenic cruises in Darling Harbor. All the while I was treated to the beauty and splendour of Sydney, with fantastic views everywhere I went. This was truly a once in a lifetime experience and I will cherish these memories for the rest of my life.

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Christa-International Internship, Australia Major: Interdisciplinary Studies

Christa

I had the amazing opportunity to intern for two months at Wairoa School right outside of Sydney, Australia. Wairoa is a school for kids from four to eighteen with moderate to severe disabilities. I worked in two classrooms—one with 5-6 year olds and the other with 13-17 year olds. Between the two classes were a wide range of disabilities and ample opportunity to learn strategies for addressing these issues. I was able to help with managing classroom behavior, transitioning students, assisting with mealtimes, and providing whatever other assistance was necessary. I was also asked to head up my own project while I was there. I designed sensory activities for my primary classroom to help the students try new things and work on concepts like color and texture.

While I was in Australia, I took full advantage of my time off. I feel like I was able to experience a lot for the short time that I was there. I explored the city in places like The Rocks, Chinatown, and Darling Harbor; and of course, I saw landmarks like the Sydney Tower, the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge. I visited Taronga Zoo, Manly Beach, and Watson's Bay. I did the Coastal Walk from Bondi to Coogee. I explored some of Australia's history in the capital city of Canberra and some of its natural wonders in the Blue Mountains. I experienced a little bit of the Outback at Tobruk Sheep Station and viewed the Daintree Rainforest from several angles while zip lining and enjoying a river cruise and a coastal drive. I was blown away by the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef where I got to do three separate dives and see animals like a white tipped reef shark, sea turtles, moray eels, clownfish, and much more. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that my summer in Sydney was an adventure that I will never forget.

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Eddie-International Internship, Sydney Australia Major: Public Administration

Eddie

Eddie interned in the vibrant city of Sydney, Australia. His placement was with a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide life-changing scholarships to students in public schools. As an intern he was able to work on various tasks, learning heaps about the non-profit sector and education in Australia. He took part in creating and managing scholarships, drafting donation letters, updating social media, and following articles relevant to education in Australia. Hoping to work in the administration of higher education, this experience was invaluable. He was able to learn about the educational system, as well as experience the rewards of impacting the lives of hundreds of students, encouraging them to pursue and continue their education.

Learning about a different culture and interning halfway across the world was an absolute phenomenal experience! Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, visiting the world's oldest rainforest, and feeding kangaroos were only several adventures he experienced in Australia.

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Amanda-International Internship, Australia Major: Interpersonal Organizational Communication

Amanda

Amanda spent the last semester of her undergraduate career in the stunning city of Sydney, Australia. It had always been a dream of hers to spend a semester abroad and when the opportunity presented itself to have work experience in another country, let alone continent, she seized the moment and couldn't wait to get there. Her placement was with a prestigious public relations firm in the heart of the city. As an intern she was involved in a variety of activities throughout her weeks. From reaching out to new business contacts, taking part in brainstorming for potential clients, writing pitches and blog posts for current ones, she really had her hands in a little bit of everything and felt like a valuable member of her work environment. It was an invaluable opportunity to be a part of another culture's work force and experiencing the differences and similarities to that of an American business. At the end of the internship she had many work samples to add to her portfolio, and it was hard to say goodbye to such an amazing opportunity.

During the weekends she wasted no time and experienced everything the city had to offer. From sunsets at the Sydney Harbor, bike rides in Centennial Park, watching the world famous Vivid Light Show on a dinner cruise, and weekend trips to different cities around Australia and, of course, the Great Barrier Reef. Sydney offered a limitless amount of culture experiences!

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Leah-International Internship, Australia Major: Communication Science & Disorders

Leah

Leah participated in an internship in the city of Sydney, Australia. She was placed at the leading early autism intervention center in Australia. Leah plans on pursuing a career as a speech pathologist, and she was given an amazing opportunity to work along side the very experienced speech pathologists at the centre. She was able to shadow the specialists and eventually work directly with the children on their therapy programs. In addition, Leah was able to work with all the different types of therapists at the center to gain an understanding of how an entire early intervention program works.

Leah took advantage of all the amazing opportunities that Australia has to offer by traveling to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree rainforest as well as attending shows at the opera house and exploring the serene beaches and lively city life of Sydney.

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Anish - International Internship, Australia Major: Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Anish

Anish was a senior at UCF when he interned abroad in Sydney, Australia. His major was Psychology with a specific concentration towards the applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology aspect. Anish was glad to hear that he would be interning with a Human Resources manager at two different locations with views that overlook the Sydney Opera House. As an intern he worked very closely behind the scenes of a luxurious five-star hotel participating in administration, employee relations, training & development, and employee recruitment. With an open-minded manager, Anish was able to go on business trips to different cities where he was able to perform the same duties but for another property. This was a great opportunity to gain a better understanding of the career potentials Industrial/Organizational Psychology can lead.

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Eve-International Internship, Australia Major: Elementary Education

Eve

"Don't let your dreams be dreams." Australia has always been a dream but now, it has become a reality. After arriving in Sydney and meeting the most wonderful roommates, I was ready to start my internship. Chiefly Public School is unlike any other school I have ever worked in. This very small school is made up of two hundred students with a strong Aboriginal presence, nine classes, with grades ranging from kindie to year six. Each day at school brought new learning opportunities through which I was able to observe and assist the teachers from each class. I was even able to make bulletin boards and work at the athletics carnival while at Chiefly Public School.

But all this work did not leave me without time to play as well! During my stay in Sydney, I was able to take advantage of the weekends and school holidays to take excursions out of the city. Some of my favorite moments include: seeing the Magna Carta in the New Parliament House in Australia's capitol city of Canberra, wine tasting in Hunter Valley, dinner cruising in the harbor, learning how to throw a boomerang on Tobruk Sheep Station, surfing on Bondi Beach, diving the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns, hopping with kangaroos and feeding wallabies at Featherdale Wildlife Park, cliff walking the beach from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach, visiting the Toranga Zoo, hiking the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains, river cruising in the Daintree River, zip lining at Cape Tribulation, watching a show at the Sydney Opera House, seeing where the torch was placed for the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, cuddling a koala bear at the Wildlife Habitat at Port Douglas, going to a live rugby game, biking on Manly Beach, and climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge. This dream has- most definitely- become the greatest adventure of my life!

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Elizabeth International Internship, Australia Major: General Business

Elizabeth

Elizabeth interned in the city of Sydney, Australia and her placement was with a high fashion brand company located in the suburb of Surry Hills. As an intern she worked closely under the guidance of the distribution manager participating in various tasks relating to the management of inventory of existing and upcoming lines, learning the supply chain software, and quality control of new shipments of garments. Elizabeth was also exposed to the production aspects of the seasonal lines while working alongside the production and management team. Working for such a successful, large brand in Australia, she expanded her understanding of international business management and issues specific to the fashion industry.

Along with interning at an amazing company, Elizabeth used her time in Sydney wisely. She got to experience the night life, go on city tours, visit the Blue Mountains, taste the local cuisine, and even play with some rascally kangaroos in Melbourne!

SOUTH AFRICA
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Jahi - International Internship, South Africa Major: History Minors: African Studies & Criminal Justice

Jahi

Touch down in Cape Town and a few days later I found myself within Pollsmoor Penitentiary. My South African mentors taught me well and I was on my way to becoming a great intern at Young in Prison, a non-governmental organization that is in the business of giving the young of South Africa the tools to fight the oppressions of society. We did this through life-skills, creative arts, and sports classes inside prisons where light shines through inmate's eyes and not skylines, as well as outside the prison when past offenders were released. While interning I taught my own workshops on debate and creative arts and, needless to say, these workshops brought a closeness about us that we became brothers and sisters in the struggle. My Cape Townians shared with me a knowledge that cannot be received within a college classroom setting and to me that was invaluable. As much education as I thought I might have had, it took little effort to realize that they too had much to teach me, so together we took control of our own lives in Cape Town.

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Sara International Internship, South Africa Major: Health Sciences Minors: Sociology

Sara

Sara spent two months shadowing Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists at a School for the Blind in Cape Town, South Africa. During her internship, she gained valuable hands on experience working with children who have visual impairments, mental disorders, and come from low socio- economic backgrounds. With great empathy, Sara aided in the adolescent work prep program and in individual therapy sessions. During her stay in Africa, she was also able to participate in HIV counseling in one of the local townships, and spent some time in the public clinic in the township. This experience allowed Sara the opportunity to gain hands on clinical experience and to learn about South African culture.

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Mariana International Internship, South Africa Major: Business Administration Minor: Sociology

Mariana

Caught a ride with a truck driver Going North on the N7. Sang along to country songs... in SA or ZA. Until the tar met the gravel... . The farm. The wine farm... Grape! Watched as it turned into wine... Whined at the farmer who doesn't drink wine. Brandy it is then! Lying on a bed of wine... Farm land. Beautiful land. Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Semillon. From the farm. From the land! Farm land, dry land, wet land, fruitful land. Wine land. Jetty land. Oh land! Free owl staring at me... . Bird Island, this island. Oh skipper, Diamond? What diamond? Precious land... not stones. Precious land made of stones. Make a knot! Monkey fist! To keep the stone. Keep the land! Whale chasing... Whale jawbone? I laid on one... once. Fed the unemployed... their lucky day... or mine? Made new friends... Who gave me new hope. Looked out from the window... Land, what land? Sea I see. One, Two. One, two... seven. Light house lights. Saw the ocean's fury... watched it as it calmed. Touched the ocean... but it felt like snow. Boots on the beach... Steel pan, open fire. Ox tail, springbuck, butternut soup, home made bread... Wine land? What land? Coffee drinking, fire making, wine sipping... Cliff labyrinth... Sitting on the edge of the earth... Watched the sun rise. Kissed the sunset. Poison Mountain... Table Mountain... Cliff hanging... Holding on by a thread... and the gravel meets the tar... again on the paved road.

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Kayla- International Internship, South Africa Major: International and Global Studies

Kayla

During my time in Cape Town, I had the chance to intern at a human rights NGO in the Cape Flats. The organization's mission was preventing domestic violence against women, children, and the elderly. I helped the organization find possible funders to increase their capabilities of reaching more people within the townships. Domestic violence is a societal norm in the Cape Flats and this organization works to eradicate the practice from the townships. There are several outreach programs that include schools, and I was fortunate to go with one of the outreach mentors to visit primary schools. We taught the students about domestic abuse and the rights they have as children to live in a safe and healthy environment.

Cape Town is a beautiful city that has so much to offer. The food, people, and scenery are fantastic. I had the opportunity to go on two road trips to Cederberg and on the Garden Route; both were amazing. I saw quite a bit of the beautiful South African country side. We filled our weekends from Friday morning to Sunday night with hiking, wine tasting, surfing, rugby matches, shark cage diving, and so much more. It was hard saying goodbye to such a wonderful place, but I am so fortunate I had the opportunity to intern in the Mother City

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Max- International Internship, South Africa Major: Criminal Justice

Max

The opportunity to climb a mountain on almost a daily basis for an internship helps me realize that this work doesn't come easy. It proves that law enforcement, not only here in Cape Town but back in the states as well, does not have it easy based on the different terrains that they have to face everyday.

My first day in Cape Town involved a Friday activity up Chapman's Peak near Table Mountain. I was glad that I got to experience some time with some of the interns that were already here. The activity allowed me to bond with them, create friendships, and network. The hike seemed to be a bit difficult due to the jet lag that some of us had, but the motivation was high because our view of some of the cities was impeccable. We even got to see a double rainbow over the peak. Had to strike a pose over the lovely view!

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Justine- International Internship, South Africa Major: Communications

Justine

While living in Cape Town, I had an awesome internship, the coolest pals (and roommates), saw some amazing sights, and met some very unforgettable people. Not only did the people and places stick in my mind forever, but the life-changing lessons and new expectations I set to keep me moving forward every day of my life. As the summer passed, I cherished where I was more and more, and each moment I dreaded the day I had to leave that beautiful country. Homesick? What's that? Of course I missed my family and the 'conveniences' of the States, but if I had a choice, I would have stayed even longer.

Justine worked with a nonprofit agency as a marketing intern.

IRELAND
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Greg-International Internship, Ireland Major: Psychology

Greg

Greg interned in the windy city of Dublin, Ireland. He was placed with a small games development company, which was recently formed to develop games for Facebook and mobile devices. Greg was recruited to the team of artists and coders to be the lead games developer. He quickly became comfortable with his coworkers and was ready to contribute and soak up all the valuable skills they had to teach him. As an intern he was able to learn much of the process of games development - from market research, to creating games design documents that convey how the game should look, feel and play, to working with the team of artist and coders to arrive at the desired product. Greg plans to pursue a second major in Computer Science with intent to create his own games development company in the future.

Greg had the opportunity to be working in an environment surrounded by like-minded individuals. In addition to learning about the game development process, he also learned a lot about networking and the value of immersing oneself in their desired field. Greg experienced much of Dublin's culture through his coworkers and had the opportunity to travel to other European countries as well as travel within Ireland

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Faye- International Internship, Ireland Major: Journalism

Faye

Faye served her internship on the Emerald Isle, in the bustling city center of Dublin. She worked at Ireland's first and only multicultural newspaper, Metro Eireann, under the guidance of the newspaper's Nigerian-Irish editor. Faye spent her days researching both in and out of the office, meeting and interviewing important immigrant figures of Dublin, and reporting on the social and cultural issues and interests of the city. She had at least two, but often three or four of her own articles published in each print of the newspaper throughout her internship. Faye had the pleasure of working with a diverse group of individuals with much insight to offer, both on integration in Dublin and new perspectives about the world.

On the weekends, Faye traveled all over the country visiting the sights. She managed to spend time in Wicklow National Park, Cong, Ashford Castle, Newgrange, Galway, the Cliffs of Moher, Glendalough, Howth, Malahide, Ennis, and even took a weekend trip to Amsterdam. She immensely enjoyed her time in the rolling green hills of Ireland, and is grateful for the opportunity to explore a new world.

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Ashleigh- International Internship, Ireland Major: Economics

Ashleigh

Ashleigh spent two months interning in Dublin. She interned at a small tax and accountancy company. The company welcomed her with open arms. Since the United States and Ireland have very different tax systems, she had to learn Ireland's tax system quite fast. Ashleigh worked in a fast paced business environment. She always had to be ready for the next task. She built up quite the clientele for performing with the company for only two months and dealt directly with clients. After gathering information from the clients, she would create and analyze spreadsheets. On top of that, she processed payroll for four small companies. The office kept her busy, which made for a good office environment.

During Alyssa's time in Dublin, she travelled seven out of eight weekends. She wanted to see as many Irish cities as possible and she took advantage of the easy public transportation system there. By the end of her trip, she was able to visit Killarney, Cork, Galway, Belfast, Giants Causeway, Newgrange, Connemara, Kylemore Abbey, Howth, Ennis, The Cliffs of Moore, Blarney, Enfield, and Tallaght. She even made it to London for a weekend as well.

During her time off, on the weekends Ashleigh travelled to different parts of Ireland and even outside of Ireland. Only working four days a week made it easy to travel and see all what Ireland had to offer. She really immersed herself in the culture by learning a traditional Irish dance. She also learned how to play the Irish sport Hurling. Ashleigh could not have asked for a better experience.

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Alyssa- International Internship, Ireland Major: Advertising & Public Relations

Alyssa

Alyssa had the privilege to intern for the marketing team at a major hotel in Cardiff. Her job duties included creating promotional materials, launching advertising campaigns, and shadowing the general manager of the hotel in his daily duties. She was very interested in discovering the similarities and differences in work cultures between the United States and Ireland. Some of those included value of employee breaks and vacations, professional conduct and communication, and general workplace respect. The internship was an invaluable networking experience, and she was told by the manager that if she ever found herself an Irish resident, a job would be open for her.

During Alyssa's time in Dublin, she travelled seven out of eight weekends. She wanted to see as many Irish cities as possible and she took advantage of the easy public transportation system there. By the end of her trip, she was able to visit Killarney, Cork, Galway, Belfast, Giants Causeway, Newgrange, Connemara, Kylemore Abbey, Howth, Ennis, The Cliffs of Moore, Blarney, Enfield, and Tallaght. She even made it to London for a weekend as well.

She would recommend this amazing journey to anyone who wants their life to be permanently changed for the better. Any student traveling to Ireland should prepare to meet the kindest people they've ever encountered. Also, expect low consumerism--all adventures will be outdoors with nature the main focus. Lastly, stay safe but say no to nothing. Opportunity awaits you! Sláinte!

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Elanna- International Internship, Ireland Major: English, Technical Communication

Elanna

Elanna interned in Dublin, Ireland. Her work held her responsible for creating a document and presentation of a new project idea involving the adaptation of military grade vehicles into amphibious emergency response units. The project had many complex features that required her to research for several weeks about the Irish governments (North and the Republic of) and their policies in regards to emergency management. During her internship she was able to travel to Belfast and view the work of the engineering team in designing the new vehicles, as well as to London to attend a national flood conference.

Elanna was able to learn how to work independently in a culturally different work environment and hone her research and critical thinking skills. With very little background in business or emergency management, she persevered and applied her writing skills to suit the intended audience and purpose. The experience expanded Elanna's exposure to writing within different mediums, fields, and purposes.

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Meghan- International Internship, Ireland Major: Interdisciplinary Studies & Environmental Studies

Meghan

Interning with Coastwatch Europe allowed Meghan to apply her understanding of the environment for a not-for-profit organization in Dublin, Ireland. She conducted fieldwork surveys on beaches, worked with elementary kids, and attended internationally recognized conferences related to the environment. She worked directly with the CEO and co-founder of Coastwatch and learned firsthand the science and politics behind running a successful NGO.

Evaluating and surveying beaches for fieldwork exposed Meghan to the biodiversity and unique species of Ireland, as well as allowing her to see every coast of the country. These surveys provided vital information about biodiversity, biomass, pollution, and erosion for ongoing research. She furthered her own understanding of Ireland's coast by teaching school children about the importance of keeping their beaches clean and developing an understanding of the diverse marine life. Meghan also attended conferences on water management and climate change held at places such as Dublin Castle and Trinity College. These large events provided an opportunity to meet and network with some of the most influential people in the environmental sector.

Being centrally located in Dublin, Ireland, also afforded Meghan to travel to all parts of the country as well as other parts of Europe; she visited everywhere from Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland to Mizen's Head in the south of Ireland.

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Stacey International Internship, Ireland Major: Advertising/ Public Relations

Stacey

As an intern, Stacey was placed at one of Dublin's leading communication companies and was positioned in a team where she assisted with research, drafting press releases, and helping to organize and attend photo calls. Being a public relations major, Stacey learned the corporate aspect of an international communication business and how a team interacts with their clients and with the public. The company is located in the downtown city centre, which is the ideal setting for any city lover.

Having Europe as a next door neighbor, Stacey took complete advantage of traveling on the weekends and holidays. She journeyed with fellow university mates to London, England and various destinations in Italy, including Florence. Living in a rather small country also allowed Stacey to journey to Belfast, the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands.

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Lauren- International Internship, Ireland Major: Interdisciplinary Studies, Film

Lauren

Lauren interned learning the business of distribution and advertising involved in the marketing of films in Dublin, Ireland. She spent several months working on research involved in the decision process of where the films should be shown and the target audience for the films. In researching for the films, Lauren gathered information regarding horror and science fiction related material. Once this was done she narrowed down the search to Dublin horror/science fiction enthused subjects. Together with her manager she went on a location scout for the warehouse in which the psychological horror film would take place.

Although Lauren worked for a film distribution company she also had the opportunity to work on a film set. While on set Lauren was a Production Assistant and had several job experiences during the film process. As an extra actor in the film she transformed herself into the Irish "Hipster". Other days she shadowed the producer, location manager and director of the film. Everyone took her in and made sure she stayed with the crew (even on days she was technically an actor) in order to further enhance her learning experience on

CHINA
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Hayley- International Internship, China Major: Management

Hayley

I spent two months in Shanghai, China for an internship in Human Resources. Not only was it my first time living in a big city, but it was my first time living outside of the United States. It was definitely the experience of a lifetime. I lived in downtown Shanghai, which positioned me perfectly to explore as much of the city as I could! The culture in Shanghai is just so different; there is so much to experience. We bartered with shopkeepers in "fake markets" during the day and went to rooftop bars in the Bund at night. Everything from eating a bag of cucumber flavored chips to taking a weekend trip to Beijing was an adventure. The highlight of my travels was absolutely the Great Wall, which was worth the trip all on its own. While the internship did help my professional development, this experience really changed me on a personal level. I'll never look at the world or myself the same way again and I can't wait for my next overseas adventure.

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Janeeka- International Internship, China Major: Finance

Janeeka

Ni Hao! I spent two months in Shanghai, China where I interned for a non-governmental organization (NGO) called The Library Project. As an intern, I shadowed the Fundraising Director and learned firsthand the work that went into running an efficient NGO in China. I got the opportunity to develop their volunteer organization and documentations regarding their financial reports. My co-workers were extremely friendly and helped me along the way whenever I needed them. They welcomed me instantly as their own, and I will forever appreciate them for this experience.

I spent my weekends exploring Shanghai and other cities in China such as Beijing, Hangzhou, and Zhujiajiao. I got see and ride along "water towns," which- as the name describes- is a town built on water. I got the chance to visit a green tea plantation which was absolutely beautiful. While in Beijing, I took a tour of the Forbidden City, the Summer's Palace, Tiananmen Square, and of course the Great Wall of China. The Great Wall was absolutely breath taking and made you feel as though you were on top of the world. I experienced China's culture shock very early on in my trip but that did not hinder my travels from being full of adventures and change. I enjoyed my summer and would recommend anyone to study abroad at least once in their life time!

GERMANY
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Henrique- International Internship, Germany Major: Electrical Engineering

Henrique

The opportunity to live in Germany was a life changing experience. I learned a great deal at Siemens during my internship where my research centered around the use of ash forming fuels in gas turbine engines, especially in regions using raw crude. I analyzed thermal corrosion and erosion and the impacts of chemical reaction on material. I also learned many things outside of my work.

Moving to a new country was not a new thing to me. I moved from Brazil to the USA when I was 14; however, this time I was alone. I didn't know anyone in the country where I was moving, and there were no parents to hold my hand. I had no problem with that, though. I met new people and made some good friends. I took advantage of my time in Germany to travel and to explore different cultures.

I love traveling and the ease of traveling within Europe excited me. I ended up traveling every weekend but one. During my time in Germany, I learned about the daily life of Germans and how they socialize; I watched some of the biggest soccer games in the world; I learned some of the local history of North Rhine-Westphalia; I experienced one of the biggest events in Germany, the Cologne Carnival; and I observed and participated in many of the day-to-day customs, habits, and traditions of the people amongst whom I lived. In this paper, I share the main experiences I had in Germany.

Cooperative Education

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Brian Major: Mechanical Engineering

One of the reasons I transferred to UCF from Louisiana State University was because of the opportunities available for experience in the Orlando area. I registered with the Office of Experiential Learning my first week here and got a co-op with a manufacturing company in Sanford. Six months later I applied for an internship with United Space Alliance and was accepted for two back to back terms. I can honestly say this was an awesome experience.

I have done everything from manufacturing, design, modeling, drafting, stress/strain analysis, simulation, researching parts to see if they are compatible with one another, progress reports, and coordinated projects. Education is half of the college experience; experience in your field is the other half. That's where you really learn to use problem solving skills, communication, networking, and critical thinking.

I worked in the entertainment industry with Walt Disney Engineering working on rides to make them more reliable and assist the technicians. I worked in the manufacturing industry producing precision glass mold machines and constantly working to improve the machines. I worked in the Aerospace industry with USA supporting the Orion space project, which was "out of this world!" ...pun intended! I now work in the design and simulation department for Rockwell Collins creating flight simulators for the military and commercial customers. Experiential Learning will give you the knowledge and experience the classroom doesn't to help you determine what you want to do when you graduate.

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Amber Major: Legal Studies

Amber did her co-op experience in a local law firm for three semesters and continued as a full-time employee after graduation. Here are some of her comments:

This past semester has been the best and rewarding work experience. I have been able to secure a position that will help better my future and move me closer towards law school. Having legal skills under my belt will only aid me in tackling the intense law school classes. In addition to professional development, I have grown and matured as a person. I am confident in my abilities to deal with people during high stress situations and meet deadlines under pressure. I even received my notary license, which ultimately has expanded my usefulness in the office. I was able to experience a first-hand view of my future career. This past year has just reinsured my dream and goal to become a lawyer.

One of the most valuable aspects about working at a law firm did not come from the interesting cases or the drafting of legal documents; it came in the form of advice. My boss essentially became my mentor throughout this whole process. I also have had the privilege to apply what I have learned at the firm into real life situations.

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Margaret Major: Business Administration-MBA

Margaret was assisting in the UCF Marketing Department and just beginning her MBA at the university when she first visited the Office of Experiential Learning (OEL). Through OEL she was able to obtain a position in Communications and Human Resources at NASA Kennedy Space Center.

One of Margaret's most interesting experiences was representing NASA in Austria for the International Space University Space Studies Program. At this nine week experience, the student served as Program Manager. Some of her most compelling responsibilities included: 1) getting to know international astronauts, 2) utilizing her multi-lingual skills, and 3) handling a room full of international journalists

Margaret also helped coordinate an international panel of astronauts. The panel, held annually on July 20, is to commemorate the first manned moon landing of Neil Armstrong's first footsteps on the moon. Margaret stated that representing NASA KSC in Austria was a "wonderful honor" and that her Co-op position has been "a great learning experience".

Internship

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Manuela Major: Radio & Television

My understanding of what an internship consisted of was working alongside the employer. Little did I know that the UCF Experiential Learning Program would be as helpful and interactive as they were even when I was interning in another city.

There are many mediums through where you can seek an internship. However, holistically considering my experience, I've never felt such stability and well-roundness and that's due to the care and follow-up of the Experiential Learning team.

Experiential Learning is the best thing that happened to me since coming to the university. My faculty coordinator helped me in ways other department advisors and professors never have. I feel someone is genuinely concerned for me. Honestly, this experiential learning program is the most I'll take way from the University of Central Florida.

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Malvina Major: Business and Political Science/International Relations

Malvina pursued a double major at UCF with a goal of using both academic areas to gain relevant experience. She obtained an extended experiential learning opportunity as an International Relations Intern at Enterprise Florida, which is a governmental agency involved with international trade and development for Florida's Business and Industry leaders.

Upon graduation, Malvina was offered a full-time position with Enterprise Florida as Coordinator for International Business Development in Miami. Her position included coordinating economic development missions led by the governor of the state of Florida to promote Florida's economy abroad where she accompanied officials to the United Kingdom, France and Madrid for global marketing purposes. Later, she moved on to become the Regional Manager of Business Development for Enterprise Florida.

As you can see, Malvina's experience through the Office of Experiential Learning has led to very impressive positions. She has since had the distinction of serving as a Business Development Liaison with Florida's Congress and Washington. Currently, she is employed in Government Relations with Boeing, the world's largest aerospace company. Malvina has what she considers "opportunities of a life time" and credits the Office of Experiential Learning with making this possible.

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Emily Major: Psychology

Over the past year at UCF, I have completed two internships in the field of wildlife management and law enforcement. The Office of Experiential Learning has enabled me to complete these, and truly guided my career during these experiences. In fact, I changed my academic focus from research to becoming a game warden.

My first internship was for fall semester in King George, Virginia, where I worked at Caledon State Park as an Interpreter/Naturalist intern. There I enjoyed giving kayaking tours on the bluffs of the Potomac while educating guests about the Bald Eagles that lived there. I also created and implemented educational classes for guests of all ages, and attended numerous public outreach events as a voice for the park. My most recent internship was with Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, where I interned under the Law Enforcement officers and shadowed them on patrol.

Although my interest in wildlife management and law enforcement is uncommon among psychology majors, I have been able to implement numerous lessons I have learned in the field. I look forward to graduating and using my amazing experiences to jumpstart my career.

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Elena Major: Interdisciplinary Studies Minor: Humanities

The Experiential Learning Internship program was just the experience I was looking for this summer. It provided me the freedom I needed to learn on my own, but also the instruction to get me oriented. I believe that with the knowledge I have already gained within a traditional classroom setting, I was able to go even further with my learning this summer. I would absolutely recommend this experience to any student!

Service-Learning

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Alice and Todd Alice-Major: Political Science Todd-Major: Event Management

Alice and Todd are both LEAD Scholars, so they got involved with service-learning through completing program requirements. Originally started through volunteer UCF for Todd's Hunger and Homeless committee, these two students took the initiative to their service-learning classes in order to further their dedication to the project.

Basically, our project is a food share for the homeless downtown. Every Sunday, a group of us go downtown and provide about 175 meals a week. The number of people can vary, but based on the number of people that come back for seconds it's like 175 meals to the homeless downtown. We feed right behind Lake Eola, in the parking lot of St. George's Greek Orthodox Church. We've been doing it since November of 2012. We feed every Sunday at 5 o'clock. We have 6 main volunteers, and we are also blessed to have about 15 volunteers that come out to help us every week as well. We have a set schedule of meals now that we do every week. We have hotdog Sunday, yellow rice and sausage Sunday, Shepard's pie Sunday, and spaghetti and meatballs Sunday. We rotate those every month. Other than that, we get bread from Panera Bread, which is awesome. It's just a lot of contributions from our own community people: from actually cooking the food, or just providing ingredients. It's been a really great experience.

We learn about all of this in class, but being able to go out there and physically do it is the strong connection that ties everything together. You actually see how the service-learning component comes in and connects to the class. Being able to implement all of that, you build relationships with the people you're serving and it just grows your passion even more. There's only so much you can learn in the classroom and when you go out there and can actually see the impact you're making, it's very inspiring to keep you doing the service you're passionate about.

I think what makes the Sunday night food share unique is that it's easy to lose sight of who, what, and why you're helping people. So, I think that being able to directly serve people by providing them meals and getting to talk to them every Sunday helps us keep that focus. It's something that this organization allows us remember: why we're doing what we're doing. It allows us to build up that passion and remember why we serve people.

Todd had been volunteering with feeding at the location various times before he was approached by a lead volunteer coordinator asking him if he could take on Sunday feedings. Initially feeling uneasy and unsure of the route to take, the support and mentoring advice from other organizations already involved with feedings helped get him and his committee going strong.

Alice: Every Sunday, we have to take risks, and we have to overcome challenges. Whether it's something small like 'do we have drinks for that week?' or 'do we need and extra tray of food?' or something a little bit more serious. I think those obstacles really just help me see that you can make a difference if you just persevere and just take the challenge.

Todd: My favorite part would be this past Sunday when we got to use some benches in a storage area that we hadn't been able to use. On Sundays, they try to sell the parking lot spaces. But we finally got to use them with permission due to my early arrival and having good volunteers. We were able to put the benches out and have people sit down when they ate. The biggest thing about that wasn't the physical act of putting down the benches. It was more symbolic.

We definitely want this project to continue on and grow over all. We hope to not only provide meals but also serve them in other ways. We could help them maybe get jobs in the future. If we could get to that point, that would be fantastic. I think it's great the way it is now but any organization that isn't focused on growing might not last that long. We want to focus on growing, reaching out, and seeing what else we could offer and where we can go.

It's also just awareness: self-awareness and community awareness. Being pushed to do something beyond your own self. It takes you outside of something you normally do, outside your comfort zone, and can be a major learning experience, maybe a changing experience for someone.

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Gabe- Major: Biology and Environmental Studies

Gabe came to UCF following time in the military. After nearly a ten year journey to get him here, he enrolled in a service-learning marine biology course. As the class divided into issue groups, Gabe chose to work with issues concerning the interactions of waiting birds on restored oyster reefs. He and his group members shared their classroom work with another classroom by communicating their research to 5th graders at a local elementary school. He and his group not only shared research from their course, but also engaged the class by having everyone make oyster mats for oyster reef restoration.

Gabe notes, "The service-learning classes are a good way of giving and getting a little bit of insight. It gives a great push to a person's leadership skills, brings so much awareness to the table, and is a very positive factor for the community. I think the more effort you have from the citizens of the community, the better the overall community gets. So regardless of the nature of the course, whether it is in the sciences, or the humanities, I think that interaction with any community to bring a positive educational experience to either side is good. A lot of people don't get to see that direct positive impact that you can have on the community. Service-learning lets you see that first hand."

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Tamara- Major: Creative Writing Minor: Magazine Journalism

Tamara has a lot of experience with service-learning at UCF. While taking Poetry Writing Workshop she worked with a group of classmates at the Life Care Center of Orlando where elderly residents are offered a wide range of living arrangements and amenities. Over the semester groups of students read poetry to elders and spoke with them about their life experiences. Though hesitant at first, many of the residents who appeared to be not receptive to the interaction quickly came around.

During her second semester, Tamara enrolled in Advanced Nonfiction Workshop and continued to work with the residents at Life Care of Orlando. By this time, she did not feel the need to work with a group as she was familiar with the organization and its clients. Now Tamara collected oral narratives from the residents by prompting them with questions and taking copious notes. After redrafting the text, she shared these with the residents so that they could pass the narrative along to friends and loved ones making memories for generations to come. Tamara remembers, "Whenever I walked through the doors at Life Care, the saying about listening/learning from your elders came to mind. It's amazing the things I learned while listening to the residents tell their life stories. It was like living the memory with them."

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Erika- International student from Lithuania Major: Marketing

Erika is definitely a student who is engaged with the community. In her sophomore year, she enrolled in the Cornerstone Course in the College of Business Administration, which requires all students to complete a service-learning project. Erika's team collected pantry donations for the Emmanuel Christian Health Center of Central Florida and she found the experience beneficial in many ways. Her language and communication skills improved, she overcame the fear of public speaking, helped to provide needed pantry foods for the nonprofit, and the team got together to study or just kick back and relax. Erika noted, "The service-learning component in the course really prepared me for my internship experience and gave me the opportunity to work with fellow students toward a common goal that benefited both the nonprofit and my professional skills."

Continuing on her experiential learning journey, Erika went on to complete an internship in marketing and because of her talents, was hired by the Orlando Marine Institute (OMI), a nonprofit organization where kids 14 to 18 years old work with dedicated staff, certified teachers, and mental health counselors to instill the desire to thrive and acquire skill sets necessary to succeed. Erika believes,:"The smartest decision I ever made was to sign up for an internship".