Sometimes a simple question such as “what are you doing this summer” may seem like just one of those typical questions you throw around just as small talk, however for international students that often means a lot more. For us, home might be a couple thousand miles away, so “what are you doing this summer” becomes a long elaborate response or explanation over housing, internships, splitting time between home and here, etc.
At Santa Clara there are so many different opportunities available to students over the summer, from on campus jobs, to summer courses to fellowships, internships and immersions. Last summer I got to intern in Bolivia for six weeks with an organic architectural firm with two other SCU students. It was through a program called the Global Fellows and it is sponsored and hosted through Leavey School of Business. The program provides a stipend for students to complete this internships with different companies and organizations around the world. Through Global Fellows SCU sent students to China, to India, to The Gambia, Bolivia and many other places around the world for professional internship experiences as well as a chance to immerse and learn about a completely new culture. There are many other programs that are similar to this one, with different focus —some more focused on immersion, some more focused on community service, some more focused on language, and some more focused on research.
This summer I received a grant from the Art department as part of the CIVA fellowship to intern with a gallery in downtown San Jose. This curatorial internship otherwise would have been an unpaid position, but since I applied through the Art and Art History department’s CIVA program, I will be receiving a stipend enough to cover rent and other personal spendings the duration that I will be interning with the gallery. Besides MACLA, the gallery I am interning with, our department also places students in galleries and art centers like Montevallo or in Palo Alto.
There are so many opportunities and so many different fun and cool things you can choose from to do at SCU, instead of asking “what are you doing this summer,” people should really be asking “what do you WANT to do this summer?” Don’t be afraid to apply and reach out and fight for different opportunities presented to you and I promise you will have the best summers ever.