I am pleased to announce that I will be spending this summer in Nanjing, Xian, and Hong Kong! I will travel to Nanjing and Xian as part of Haverford College’s Center for Peace and Global Justice (CPGC) partnership with Amity Foundation, a Chinese Christian NGO. The four of us student interns (3 from BMC, 1 from HC) will volunteer at community centers in Nanjing for the elderly and autistic children. We will then travel to rural Xian to assist in teaching English to middle school children. After the program, I plan on visiting family in Hong Kong. I am also very excited because this will be my first time in Asia.
I chose the Haverford CPGC China program over some of my other summer offers because I would get the chance to work directly with local Chinese people. I wanted an experience volunteering abroad that met my interests in traveling, in developing relationships, and in communicating with different minded people, and contributed to my long-standing fascination in Chinese heritage and public health. I reasoned that this program could also connect to my future as a nurse. My ability to holistically treat a greater multitude of Chinese speaking people at home in the U.S. and abroad in China as a future global nurse would be strengthened if I had a better grasp of Chinese language and culture and of Chinese healthcare/education systems and NGO climate. It’s time to brush up on my Mandarin!
Haverford CPGC also offered an attractive internship package. The CPGC would take care of booking flight tickets, visas, vaccinations… you name it. In addition, the CPGC provided ethical training through a sleep over retreat to a Quaker Fellowship Farm last weekend where we discussed privilege, empire, colonialism, sexism abroad, etc. International program interns meet once a week with Chloe Tucker, Director of International programs, to facilitate group bonding and learning.
I do acknowledge that Bryn Mawr pays for the Bryn Mawr students’ internship expenses. Haverford bartered ~10 spots in their CPGC international internship programs for 10 spots in Bryn Mawr’s intensives (grant writing, finance, management, STEM, etc.). Haverford students are also allowed to participate in 360 programs totally paid for by Bryn Mawr.
This internship comes at a bittersweet moment in my Bryn Mawr career. I have been struggling to get accepted into many summer internships and Bryn Mawr sponsored positions I have applied to over the years. (Prime example: I applied to Bryn Mawr-Nanyang 3 years in a row and was only accepted this year. There are too many more rejections to list here.) I had this false perception that if I gave more to the student body, Bryn Mawr would give more back to me. But I was wrong. The real way to get things around here is to have strong faculty connections and a high GPA. So this semester I quit most of the student clubs and committees I was a part of for the past couple years, which I think has made a huge difference in my studying and sleeping habits. I have finally learned to invest in myself and keep sane in college. Now to get through two more weeks of school and finals before I can start my summer internship…