CIEE Global Interns Building a Sustainable Future

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Summer Sustainability + The Environment

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College Study Abroad

Global Internships are an important part of the work we do at CIEE to help individuals build bridges across culture and contribute positively to the world. 

Working abroad is the chance for students to step outside of their environment to listen, learn and respond to the needs of others. It is a way to share American culture and values with new communities of people and learn of theirs in exchange.

The work that Global Interns do may seem small, but it is far from insignificant.

Over time, the contribution of global interns in the communities where they work creates a cascading positive effect that spans the globe. CIEE changes lives, our alumni change the world.

In that spirit, we are excited to share stories of alumni who used their Global Internship projects to make a positive difference in their host communities. 

Global Interns Working for a Better Tomorrow

Working abroad provides a unique opportunity for students to blend passion, innovation, and social enterprise in service of a larger goal.

Students can apply what they have learned in the classroom to the field – literally.  

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Jack Mahr from Pacific Lutheran University chose to do his Sustainable Agriculture and Development internship on a small, rural farm in Monteverde, Costa Rica. While there, he helped to design and implement a waste management system capable of transforming manure into organic fertilizer able to be reused, significantly reducing the amount of pollution produced by the farm’s livestock.

“Black Soldier Fly larvae will eat almost any organic material, and 3,000 fly larvae can eat up to 2 kilograms of manure a day,” he says.

Jack worked with professional builders and local farmhands to design and construct a small, sealed off building to house the bugs. “To have an idea become a working and sustainable ecosystem, covered in squirming bugs, has been one of the best accomplishments of my life!”

Photo for blog post CIEE Global Interns Building a Sustainable Future

Anna Coomans from Temple University also interned in Monteverde, choosing to focus on horticulture and environmental education at the Huerta Communitaria Monteverde (Monteverde Community Garden).

Photo for blog post CIEE Global Interns Building a Sustainable Future

The environmental science major selected her internship based on a desire to gain hands-on experience working with collective community gardening. “I deeply desired to learn about horticulture to apply it to both urban and non-urban areas. I believe gardening is a powerful tool that can help people live more sustainably and locally,” she shares.

“At the Garden, we combined PVC pipe and rope to grow plants on a vertical plane. This project was done to improve the outside of the garden and to demonstrate to the local people how to garden in low space environments. I am happy I got the opportunity to learn and share this experience with the community."

Photo for blog post CIEE Global Interns Building a Sustainable Future
Anna drilling holes in PVC pipe for use in a vertical garden. 

Global Interns Make a Difference

The CIEE Global Internship Conference is your chance to discuss the impact of global internships and more with leaders in global work exchange and international education. It is a space totally dedicated to global internships, where knowledge is shared, ideas are born, connections are made, and dialogue is elevated to advance student success, public diplomacy, and economic development.

Join us in Berlin at the 11th Annual CIEE GIC: Global Experiential Learning in a Borderless World on June 21-23, 2023. Register here