All Global Studies students are required to participate in at least two Connecting Experiences as part of their BDP work. Students are strongly encouraged to pursue at least one Connecting Experience abroad. Take a look at what some International Studies students have done recently for their BDP Connecting Experiences, then read on for additional information and resources.
Connecting Experiences Spotlight
Majors: History, Government
Type of Experience: Research, Global Youth Connect
Mentor: Sheldon Eckland-Olson, Sociology
How did you find out about this opportunity?
I found out about Global Youth Connect (GYC) through a newsletter.
Describe the work you did with Global Youth Connect.
Both the Rwanda and Bosnia programs emphasized social justice, activism, and reconciliation specifically catering to youth within the context of human rights and development. Each program combined educational workshops, volunteering, and homestays in order to provide experiential and hands-on learning. Some specific activities we did were a 3-day conflict transformation workshop with local youth in Bosnia, grant-writing for a local NGO, interviewing detainees and advocating on behalf of their rights in western Rwanda, and assisting with the annual report for a Rwandan NGO.
How did this experience connect to your BDP?
My BDP is Global Studies (International Conflict strand). My experience connected directly with my BDP because I worked in two post-conflict areas and engaged directly with the history and subsequent progress made in light of those countries’ genocidal pasts. My hands-on experience in post-conflict societies directly influenced the ways in which I wrote about the material, engaged current events, evaluated academic works, and spoke about them in both formal and informal contexts. I did not travel to Bosnia or Rwanda in order to do research in the sense of working in archives or conducting formalized interviews. Instead, I approached each opportunity as if the very society within which I was operating functioned as my template for research.
In what ways has this CE shaped your plans for the future?
My experiences in Bosnia and Rwanda have fundamentally transformed my outlook on life, my belief systems, the way I treat others and maintain relationships, and the way I engage in work, and they have equipped me with a stronger capacity of being able to live in the moment. To me, this is invaluable in and of itself even if it doesn’t lead to a career in development work or humanitarianism. I currently work as an admissions counselor for UT-Austin, and my story has served as an inspiration to others, most notably when I was featured in President Powers’ commencement speech at graduation. I love engaging passionate students, especially about something that I am passionate about: the innumerable and invaluable opportunities provided through higher education and the University of Texas at Austin.
Past Global Studies Connecting Experiences
There is no “list” of possible Connecting Experiences to choose from — because Connecting Experiences are designed to fit your own personal interests and goals, the “list” is as long as your imagination and creativity allow. With that in mind, here are some of the internship and research experiences International Studies students have had in the past. They might help you get started brainstorming what you might want to do for your Connecting Experiences.
Past Internship Placements
- Amnesty International
- The Brookings Institution
- The Freedom Association
- Food for the Hungry
- India Grameen Services
- Intellect UK
- Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas
- Orphanage Outreach
- Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice
- Teresa Lozano Long Institute for Latin American Studies
- Texas Governor’s Fellowship Program
- United Nations Information Center in Washington, D.C.
- United Nations Intensive Summer Study Program, Seton Hall University
- U.S. Department of State Summer Internships
- UT in DC Program at the Archer Center
- Uyghur Human Rights Project, Washington, D.C.
- Vinson and Elkins LLP, Shanghai, China
- Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Past Research Projects
In the past, students have conducted research on
- American companies moving business to China
- Argentina’s energy policy, in Argentina
- China’s involvement and investment in Africa
- Comparative China-India affairs
- Democracy promotion efforts in China, Cambodia, and Mongolia
- Iraqi and Iranian efforts to limit commerce in the Persian Gulf during the Iran-Iraq War
- Marketing in Arab countries
- Panama’s increasing economic dependency on tourism
- Secular and religious laws as they pertain to women in Turkey, in Istanbul, Turkey
- The economic implications of the growing female labor force in Latin America
- The factors surrounding the election of women and minorities to legislatures in democratic countries around the world
- French public and political reaction to the 2008 Summer Olympics
- The history of the British Empire
- The motivations behind terrorism
- The political and economic development in Argentina as told from the native perspective
- The role of the Catholic Church in international affairs
- The Rwandan genocide of the 1990s
- United Nations and African Union peacekeeping in Darfur
- UNP, USAID, and UNICEF
- War and violence at The Hague
- Water management in Pakistan