Fall 2017

Kelly Kuehl (St. Norbert College) Consultorio Marcelo Mena, CESFAM

This semester, I was lucky enough to work in Consultorio Marcelo Mena through CESFAM, or Centro de Salud Familiar, a clinic within the public health system here in Valparaíso. My work here consisted of two parts: working with the social workers in attending and organizing public health workshops and observing the health professionals in various sectors of the clinic. While working with the social workers, I was able to learn about the various health concerns that are common in Valparaíso and how they are connected to other social issues. This really helped me put into context the health issues I was observing in my work with the other health professionals and gave me a more well-rounded view of the healthcare system as a whole. Also, as a part of my final project, I helped organize and intercultural fair at the clinic designed to help bring greater awareness to the cultural diversity found in the community and provide inmigrantes an opportunity to learn more about their health care rights.
Student stands in white medical coat, with a view of the city behind herIn my work observing the medical professionals, I was able to spend time in each sector of the clinic, including nutritionists, nurses, matronas, treatment and curation, vaccinations, and general practice with the doctors. In addition, I went on several outings in the community, both on house visits with the nurses and physical therapists and to pop up clinics with an entire team of medical workers. This gave me the incredible opportunity not only to learn more about medicine but also to be able to know people and areas of Valparaiso that I would never have had the opportunity to otherwise. I gained so much from my time at the clinic. Not only did it increase my medical knowledge and ability to communicate in Spanish, but it was fundamental in helping me develop my ideas about medicine and the healthcare system, what sort of role I want to have within it, and what sort of values I want to advocate in my practice. CESFAM has made me so excited to enter into the medical field and I could not be more grateful for my time there!

Diana McLeod (Middlebury College) IDEAfactory

This semester I had the opportunity to intern at IDEAfactory, a small marketing firm that focuses on strategic design, solving the problems of their clients through design and innovation. IDEAfactory has a diverse clientele, which means that the firm works in a variety of fields including architecture, construction, graphic design, textiles, and advertising, providing branding and coaching services. Due to this diversity and the fact that the firm is composed of less than 10 people, they often collaborate with other businesses. While I was interning, the team was working on projects such as a tourism campaign in a fishing town called Pichidangui; a map/ campaign to help promote the region of Valparaíso as a filming location; and a redesign of the offices and cafeteria at el Centro de Conferencias Técnicas Aplicadas (CCTA) in Chilquinta.
    During my time at IDEAfactory, the small size of the company was conducive to a very relaxed environment where my supervisor gave me a lot of autonomy and flexibility. Early on I expressed interest in social media and social media marketing and I ended up primarily working in this field. This was a wonderful learning opportunity for me as I was also taking a class on social media and communication at my university (la Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, aka la UAI). What I learned in class complemented my research and projects at IDEAfactory and vice versa. My first project involved creating a general social media marketing plan for businesses in Chile. This required doing a lot of research on trends in social media marketing, social media in Chile, and just social media in general. The project culminated in an infographic, which IDEAfactory will use to assist clients looking to improve their social media presence. Additionally, I worked with the company’s own social media accounts, conducting a social media audit to bring the accounts to date and to then create a social media strategy for the firm. Apart from these projects, I collaborated on a guide to the creative industry in Valparaíso. This involved sitting in on a meeting and contributing ideas to the initial formatting of the guide, as well as translating texts to English and visiting and photographing some of the featured businesses. Overall, my time at IDEAfactory not only allowed me to learn from my research, but also taught me about the functioning of a Chilean firm within the business and marketing world. This made the internship an incredibly valuable experience for me as I hope to pursue a career in marketing and don’t have the opportunity to study the subject at Middlebury College.

Sarah Padgett (Wesleyan University) Mueso de Historia Natural de Valparaíso

In the Natural History Museum of Valparaíso, I split my time between the archeological department and the educational department. In the archeology department, I helped with the classification of historical pieces by taking measurements of arrowheads, taking inventories of pottery and spears, and entering the information into excel documents. In the educational department, I helped with the children’s workshops. For the majority of the semester, I helped set up the space and observed the workshops, but at the end of the experience, I was able to create and execute my own workshop about the environment. This workshop included an activity in which the children could explore biological species (seashells, a taxidermied owl, and a taxidermied rabbit), a reading of a story that I wrote about the environment, and a time for the children to illustrate ideas of how we can help the environment.

The museum gives visitors an adventure-like interactive learning experience and is very well organized. It also hosted many events that taught me so much about the history of the region and the different species that live there. Moreover, the friendliness and enthusiasm of everyone who works at the museum made it a very positive work environment. Overall, I had a great experience.

Helene Sudac (Bates College) SERPAJ Chile, PIE Pablo Neruda

During my semester in Valparaíso, I had the opportunity to have an internship at PIE Pablo Neruda, one of the many organizations that are part of Servicios de Paz y Justicia (SERPAJ). The organization is dedicated to protecting the rights of children and youth, especially those living in a high-risk family situation. At my internship, I worked with kids in homework help, assisted some of the school and home visits with my colleagues, made analyses of drawings, attended weekly meetings, and helped participate in a workshop. Most of my work was focused on the analyses and the workshop. From the drawings done by kids who come to the center, I was able to use books of reference to “dissect” the drawings and analyze them. For example, depending on where the figure was placed in the sheet of paper, the size, or even the level of pressure of shading could alter the meaning and significance. I used many books in Spanish about psychology and drawings as references to help me.
    The other main part of my work consisted in participating and helping out in a workshop created by 4 of the tutors in the center. We planned six sessions that consisted of ice breakers, an activity, and games. The activity tended to help the participants think toward their future, for example one week we made “un árbol de deseos” (a tree of desires or wishes) where the participants wrote down their hopes and goals for the future. On some days, I also visited schools and homes with some of my colleagues or I would assist in homework help for some of the students who came to the center. Every Wednesday we had our weekly meeting, which helped provide context for the new youth who were joining the center. Apart from all of this, I was able to know the wonderful and dedicated people who work in the center through our weekly meetings and lunches together.

Claire Tattersfield (University of Vermont) CORMUVAL

The focus of my internship was environmental studies programs and environmentally-friendly initiative in Valparaíso’s public schools. My internship had two parts in which I worked every week: one being in Cormuval, the administrative office of public schools; and the other part in la Escuela Hernán Olguín, a public primary school here in the city.

At Cormuval I was able to attend meetings concerning environmental certification, and I worked throughout the semester to create a spreadsheet documenting all environmental initiatives in all 52 schools in the city. By “environmental initiatives” I mean recycling campaigns, gardens, workshops for healthy living, etc.

In the school in which I worked, every week at the beginning of the semester (since it was winter) I taught a lesson indoors on environmental themes, like pollution, geology, and climate change. Once the weather started to turn and spring arrived I helped the kids School children make planters out of plastic bottles in the schoolyard.plant seeds and flowers in the school’s garden, or clean the gardens of litter or weeds.

At the end of the semester I did two final projects for each part of my internship. I was able to finalize my document for Cormuval that incorporated a similar study from a few years ago. The office will be able to reference it and see how environmental programs have grown over the past few years. In my school on my last day my students made flower pots out of recycled bottles that they hung around the school as a vertical garden. The school is in the city and so they have very limited green space. In laying the groundwork for a vertical garden, they’ll be able to expand upon it in the coming years and provide more resources and green space to grow herbs and flowers on the school grounds.

Spring 2017

Julia Lejeune (Wesleyan University) SERPAJ Chile, PIE Pablo Neruda

This semester I had the privilege to complete an internship at the organization Servicios de Paz y Justicia (Services for Peace and Justice) specifically at a sub-sector of the organization called PIE Pablo Neruda, which is a center for integrated family intervention focused on protecting the rights of children and adolescents living in vulnerable and high-risk family situations. The team is made up of psychologists, social workers and tutors who work together to conduct individual and family interventions, home and school visits, and psycho-educational workshops. At PIE, my routine involved a lot of learning, specifically through sitting in on weekly team meetings, occasionally assisting with home and shelter visits, and designing my own series of workshops for the adolescents at the center.

My supervisor gave me the opportunity to independently propose, design and lead a weekly series of workshops on themes of gender and sexism. Along with another student intern, I designed dynamic activities and discussion questions to tackle these difficult topics. Each week had a distinct theme, for example: the social construction of gender, sexism in school and in the workplace, healthy relationships, and gender-related violence. Running these groups was a great opportunity for me to enhance my language and leadership skills, and to learn about the common conceptualizations of gender and sexism that exist among Chilean adolescents. It was also very interesting to conduct these groups within the context of PIE, as many of the interventions conducted there are directly related to instances of gender-related abuse and violence within a family. For this reason, the theme of the workshops felt especially important, as I was engaging the adolescents in critical discussions about discrimination and violence, hopefully helping them to find their voices and recognize their rights to equal treatment and care.

Abigail McCeney (Middlebury College) CORMUVAL (Corporación Municipal de Valaparaíso area Educación)

This semester I had the opportunity of working with Corporación Municipal de Valparaíso (Cormuval) in their environmental education sector. My internship was divided into two parts. The first consisted of more comprehensive office work where I read through evaluations completed by teachers from each environmental education program in the public schools of Valparaíso, overseen by Cormuval. With the information I collected I created a diagnostic synthesis report for the organization evaluating the programs that currently exist and providing suggestions for the future.

The second part of my internship took place in an environmental workshop at a public high school in Valparaíso. Once a week I went and shadowed the teacher in charge of the workshop, helping Newly planted plants rest in pine board planters and colorfully painted tires mounted against the blue wall of a school building.facilitate projects such as maintaining an herbal garden in the patio of the school, building benches with tree planters, painting and planting recycled tires, etc. Towards the end of the semester I prepared my own lesson and project, using a Middlebury Sustainability School’s Abroad Grant, to teach and build vertical herb gardens from recycled bottles. Spending time with both the municipality and students in a school setting provided me with insight from two different lens into the environmental education system in Chile.

Jonah Watt (Bowdoin College) EXPLORA CONICYT Valparaíso 

This semester, I completed an internship with Explora Valparaíso, an organization that works to bring science and technology education and programming to the Valparaíso region. Explora organizes programing for students, such as the national week of science, science fairs, and different exhibits that the program brings to classrooms, and also organizes talks, exhibits, and other programming through the region for people of all ages. For the first half of my internship, I worked on the communications side of the organization, writing Tweets, helping to coordinate meetings, and I even emceeing the inauguration of an exhibition at a local museum on my second day with the organization. Student stands at podium speaking into a microphone

The bulk of my internship was spent designing and executing a survey on the social perception of science and technology in Hijuelas and Nogales, two neighboring comunas an hour to the interior of Valparaíso. I adapted a survey that was conducted on the national level to these two comunas, and I conducted over 300 surveys over three separate days with a team of nine students from la Católica. Afterwards, I worked with a statistician from la Católica to analyze the data, which I ultimately shared with the office in order to find ways better engage with the people of Hijuelas and Nogales. This survey opportunity not only provided me with a great level of independence and professional development, but it also exposed me to a different side of Chile and allowed me to listen and learn from the people who live there.

Spring 2016

Rebecca Freeman (Middlebury College) Museum of Natural History

During my internship at the Museum of Natural History, I spent time familiarizing myself with the museum- the space, the employees, and the different types of work conducted there. The museum is small but very well designed and dynamic, and the employees are all passionate about the privilege of conserving and showing the V region’s biodiversity and culture.
Half of the internship consists of getting to know the museum and interacting with the public, and half realizing a specific project related to your interests that will benefit the museum. The public aspect included assisting guiding tours of the museum for groups of elementary school children. I also attended several interesting museum guest lectures and workshops. For my project, I collaborated with the science department to develop a proposal and procedure for creating a DNA bank of the museum’s organisms, if they achieve this it will be the first of its kind in South America!

Julia Shumlin (Middlebury College) SERPAJ

This semester I completed an internship at the Servicio de Paz y Justicia (SERPAJ) in a sub-section of their organization called PIE Pablo Neruda. PIE Pablo Neruda assembles teams of psychologists, social workers and tutors to offer support to youth in high-risk situations such as familial violence or substance abuse.  The support teams carry out their work with the participants by way of individual and family sessions in the office, home visits, and occasional informative workshops. All of the participants received a court mandate to participate in the program.
    My job within the organization was to run weekly workshops on gender studies and sexism.  My supervisor gave me a lot of autonomy with the project, so I was able to plan and execute the workshops independently. The workshops took place over the course of six sessions, each focusing on a particular theme related to sexism.  Some of those themes were: the learned elements of gender identity; sexism in education, in work environments, and in relationships.  Because many of the participants were not able to attend every workshop, the participants changed every week. Even so, I was able to establish continuity with some of the participants who came several times to the workshops, and these participants especially showed huge growth in the ways that they conceptualize gender and sexism. Although it was a challenge at times to make the workshops both engaging to and relevant for the participants, I ended up not only learning a lot about sexism in Chile, but also feeling that the workshops were enacting positive change in the lives and education of the participants.

Fall 2015

Mikaela Gillman (University of Michigan) La Escuela Municipal de Bellas Artes

This semester I had the opportunity to do my internship at La Escuela Munipal de Bellas Artes.  La Escuela is a municipal art school in Valparaiso located on Calle Camila in Cerro La Loma. Students at La Escuela work toward a degree in fine arts. The students must complete eight semesters to complete their degree in Sculpture, printmaking or painting. Additionally, the school offers classes in drawing, sculpture, print making, art history, esthetic, composition, cultural management and technology of materials, all of which are required of the students so that they have a background in studies outside of there area of focus. La Escuela is small and lacks sufficient funding as all funding for the school comes from the municipality. Therefore, as an intern, I had a lot of autonomy and was able to play a very active role in the school.
    As is expected when working in the arts, my role as an intern was not extremely structured. I had three projects as an intern at La Escuela Munipal de Bellas Artes. My first was to connect the school to the world, the second was to connect the school to the community and the third was to lead English classes for the students. As is evident, the first two projects were very broad and I had a lot of input on how I would go about carrying out the projects. For me that was how I learned the most. I could choose how to go about completing my projects and when I was finished with them. I ended up setting up an art therapy workshop at a local hospital lead by one of the students. Additionally I set up an exchange with the San Francisco Art Institute and 10 students from California will be arriving in January to visit. As someone who is interested in the arts, I loved getting to work with such creative people. I also really felt that my work had value and that I was needed as an intern at La Escuela.

Spring 2015

Anna Mei Gubbins (Davidson College) Escuela República Argentina

This semester, I had the privilege of working at the Escuela República Argentina in Valparaíso, Chile.  I was a teacher’s aid for two separate workshops about environmental studies (5-8th grade and 2-4th grade).  The students were avid learners and it was a joy to work with them.

I helped plant seeds, built a large planter box made from donated wooden palettes, and wrote and designed the set for a play about saving the environment that the 2-4th graders preformed.  I also attended both of the weekly workshops where we would have a section of reading-based work and then break into smaller groups to put the new information into action.  For example, one day we read about recycling, and that day the students washed out the plastic bottles in the waste bins and properly sorted them into the recycling bins.

Claudio von Nostitz (Wesleyan University) Manos Verdes/Escuela Pacífico

My name is Claudia von Nostitz and I am currently studying at the University of Valparaíso in Chile through the C.V. Starr-Middlebury College School Abroad in Chile Program.  I’ve had the privilege of interning with the Middlebury-founded organization, Manos Verdes, for the last few weeks, working with fourth graders from Escuela Pacífico, a local community elementary school, in an after school sustainability and environmental program.  We are working to teach the students the foundations of sustainable living, recycling, and green conscientiousness. I have worked extensively on studying the pedagogical methodology of lesson plan construction, resulting in the implementation of a field trip with Escuela Pacífico to a local cost so that the students could contextualize the theoretical lessons learned inside the classroom in an outdoor, hands-on, exploratory experience.  This lesson consisted of exploratory observation and a written and artistic based activity, incorporating themes of sustainability.  Through the investigation of ways to incorporate tactile styles of learning into through artistic expression, I have learned that environmental studies can be conducted with much more efficacy and leave long lasting impressions on the students when integrated with artistic teaching styles and strategies.  In terms of tactile or plastic artistic expression, there arises a very real way of reinforcing the themes of sustainability lessons through the execution of tactile, hands-on learning.  Through artistic education, students will have a way to contextualize and directly relate to themes of recycling, constructing, maintaining, and interacting with nature and the environment.

Claudia with Manos Verdes at the ocean

Fall 2014

Estefania, Hecht-Toltl (Haverford College) Mueseo de la Memoria de Derechos Humanos

The Museum of Memory and Human Rights (Museo de la Memoria y Derechos Humanos -- MMDH) is a museum dedicated to the history and memory of human rights violations that were committed in Chile during the Pinochet dictatorship between 1973 and 1991.  The Museum of Memory and Human Rights deviates from the typical museum, by providing the public with the necessary information to understand the various aspects of human rights and the space to reflect about Chile’s past. The museum seeks to create a space of solidarity, learning, and commemoration of the lives violated during the Pinochet dictatorship, through the use of historical archives, a center of education, and their exhibitions.
    The internship with the Center of Documentation (el Centro de Documentación -- CEDOC) provides interns with the opportunity to work with a collection of archives related in some way to the human rights violations committed by the Chilean state between 1973 and 1991. During the fall semester of 2014, I worked with a collection of archives from the provincial police of Buenos Aires, Argentina (el Servicio de Informaciones de la Policía de Provincia de Buenos Aires -- el SIPBA), to continue the register of names and information in an Excel sheet started by a previous intern. The majority of the information previously recorded focused on exiles and refugees who had arrive in Argentina from Chile, following the military coup of 1973. I focused heavily on the clippings from local and international newspapers saved by the SIPBA.
    Internship projects will vary based on the needs of museums. Other interns develop research papers based on topics of interest to the museum. Projects will most likely coincide with the focus of the upcoming exhibits that will appear at the museum. It is not required that interns know about the history of Chile, but it would be helpful for internships to read the museum website beforehand. The website provides a good summary of what it offers and what its aims.

 Reta Gasser (Wesleyan University) EXPLORA

This semester I did an internship with Explora in Valparaiso. Explora is a government program under the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Investigation (CONICYT) that seeks to promote science and technology education for kids and the general public through events, talks, exhibits, meetings. It also acts as a multi-institutional coordinating body between the local schools, universities, museums and various science and technology foundations.
    Every fall they have a weeklong themed celebration of science and technology where they coordinate a bunch of events, talks, movie screenings, science competitions etc throughout the Valparaíso region. The event culminates in a celebration at the Botanical Gardens in Viña del Mar. One of my main tasks during the semester was creating a aesthetically-pleasing master document of ALL the events that were going to occur the entire week—each event with a short description. At the celebration in the Botanical Gardens I took photos and videos and compiled a short promotional video to show to those involved in Explora’s work. I also created other flyers for a variety Explora’s other events, maintained a physical file and excel document of mentions of Explora events in the press, input events into the calendar on Explora’s website and contributed to Explora’s twitter account. The work was diverse and changed with the changing needs of the team.

 Leila Schochet (Middlebury College) PPF Gandhi (Servicios de Paz y Justicia - SERPAJ)

    This semester, I worked with a social work organization called PPF Gandhi, a sub-organization of SERPAJ Chile (Servicios de Paz y Justicia en Chile). PPF Gandhi works to protect the rights of children living in medium risk situations who experience physical abuse, psychological abuse, familiar dysfunction, neglect, and substance abuse. About half of these families have court mandates to participate in the program, and the other half are usually recommended for the program by their schools, social workers or extended family members. PPF Gandhi uses a multifaceted approach to aid the children in their program; they provide psychoanalytical therapy for the children and for their families, make home visits to observe and improve their living situations, and put on themed workshops that are both informative and recreational for the children and their parents.
    My role as an intern was both active and passive. I helped to prepare and facilitate the workshops, by creating and setting up the necessary materials, and helped out during the bi-weekly events. I was able to really get to know the children that I worked with, as we would see each other several times per week. I also had the opportunity to accompany the social workers on home and school visits, where I was able to observe interviews, therapy sessions and home evaluations, and then later discuss and reflect on them with the psychologists and social workers. As a psychology major, this was a very enriching and interesting internship, where I was able to learn about a possible psychology career path, while familiarizing myself with the social work system in Chile.

 Annalise Carrington (Middlebury College) Corporación Languna Verde

This semester I worked with a local non-profit called Corporación Laguna Verde (CLV) based in Valparaíso, Chile. CLV works to connect children, their families, and the greater community of Valparaíso with the unique flora and fauna of Chile’s central region. By providing opportunities for the people of Valparaíso to engage with their local environment, CLV hopes to promote an appreciation for, and ultimately a desire to protect, this ecologically important region.
     This is an incredibly dynamic internship. Carlos and Paulina (the co-heads of CLV) are often involved in several projects at once, and it seems that each semester brings something new. The main projects this semester included: processing the Biodiversity Risk and Opportunity Assessment (BROA) in conjunction with Biodiversity International in selected tobacco plantations managed by British-American Tabaco in Chile and planning and organizing el Primer Encuentro de la Red de Pequeños Ornitólogos, an educational seminar for schoolchildren in the Valparaíso region focused on the native and endemic birds of Chile. Other long-term projects include work in a native plant nursery managed by Paulina’s father, and organizing and leading outings with la Red de Pequeños Ornitólogos, a bird watching group catered to local kids and their families. If nothing else, I would recommend this internship to learn from Carlos and Paulina, two incredibly inspiring and passionate people in the environmental sector in Valparaíso.

Spring 2014

Evan Smith (Middlebury College) EXPLORA CONICYT

During my semester abroad, I did an internship with the EXPLORA program, which is part of Chile’s National Commission of Scientific Research and Technology. With this program, I served as an ambassador between the central office in Valparaiso and the various high schools in the region with whom we worked. Our mission was to provide these high schools with the resources they needed to develop and carry out a project that would contribute significant knowledge to the scientific community or a new technology. I began my internship researching the high schools and creating a comprehensive summary of each of the projects they would be doing for the following year. Once I had a solid understanding of their goals, I began my visits to these schools. I traveled to many towns and cities where I would meet and converse with the teachers and students of these schools. My mission was to ensure that they had the tools and support necessary to carry out their projects or experiments. At the end of each of my visits, I would write a summary of what I had encountered so that the central office could document the progress of these schools and provide them with any necessary materials or advisers. Not only was I able to support these high schools and strengthen the Chilean school system, but I also had the opportunity to note some of the differences between the school systems of Chile and the United States.

Emily Hochman (Bowdoin College) Obsnatura

I spent my semester in Chile conducting a for-credit internship with
Obsnatura, a holistic health center in Viña del Mar, Chile. While Obsnatura offers a variety of treatments and services to their patients, the center primarily provides maternity care. As an aspiring nurse-midwife, my internship with Obsnatura allowed me to participate in prenatal educational classes, yoga for mothers-to-be, mother-baby yoga, as well as to familiarize myself with the work schedule and lifestyle of an Obsnatura midwife. The midwives I worked with at Obsnatura showed me it takes full dedication to do meaningful work as a midwife. Their openness with me and excitement about their professions reaffirmed my interest in the field.
     Another important component of my internship was a self-guided series of interviews I realized at Obsnatura. I conducted informal interviews with ten patients of Obsnatura and prompted them to share with me their conceptions of natural birth (vaginal birth with limited to no medical intervention) in Chile and its reception by Chilean society. Speaking with these patients confirmed, but also complicated what I had learned about natural birth in Chile through my internship and my independent research. Many patients who opted for a natural birth intimated to me a feeling of alienation from their relatives and “others” that did not share their birthing ideals. As a midwife, I will need to maintain great sensitivity and empathy for couples that believe in natural birth but feel unsupported by those around them. My work with Obsnatura gave me the opportunity to learn closely from professional midwives and furthered my studies of natural birth in its Chilean context.

Rose Pozos-Brewer (Swarthmore College) EXPLORA CONICYT

I interned with EXPLORA CONICYT, an organization dedicated to non-formal science and technology education. The mission of EXPLORA is to increase and strengthen scientific culture in Chile by developing scientific abilities through community participation in informal science and technology learning activities. Among the many activities that EXPLORA organizes, the one I worked on was a series of weekly talks, Viernes de Cultura+Ciencia. The talks are given by local experts every week in the Museo Francisco Fonck in Viña del Mar, are free and open to the public, and are about topics that range for the cultivation of certain species of fish to architecture to the culture of Easter Island.

 Ezera Miller-Walfish (Middlebury College) Southern Nature/Manos Verdes

During my semester abroad in Valparaíso, Chile, I worked with Southern Nature/Manos Verdes. Southern Nature is a non-profit organization that provides field trips and educational activities for elementary and middle schools in the region with the mission of increasing environmental awareness and providing students with the tools to work towards creating a more sustainable future. Manos Verdes is a branch of the organization, originally established by a Middlebury study abroad student, which offers the same opportunities and activities free of charge to under-funded public schools in Valparaíso. Throughout the semester, I assisted in the execution of the field trips (modifying educational materials, leading student groups, making lunch for the activities) as well as completed office-related tasks of the organization. I also worked with a school in the neighborhood where I lived to plant a garden in the school patio, a project which consisted of working to get trees and other plants donated, designing the garden with the students and a few days of planting. Overall, I highly recommend this internship; it is a very hands-on experience given that the team at this organization is small and the intern is given responsibility and the opportunity to participate directly in rewarding activities with the students.

Spring 2013

Brian Brown (Haverford College) EXPLORA CONICYT, Coordinación Regional de Valparaíso

During my semester in Valparaíso, I worked with EXPLORA CONICYT, an organization responsible for making scientific education more accessible on a national level.  My internship required me to assist during weekly talks the organization presents at the Museo Fonck in Viña del Mar.  These talks, which are free and open to the public and bring in a variety of local experts, involve a variety of topics ranging from the history of tsunamis and earthquakes in central Chile to repression, rebellion and social change on Easter Island during the twentieth century.  My job was to pass on informational materials about other EXPLORA activities, assist in the organization’s Livestream broadcast of the talks, and produce notes and rough drafts for articles on EXPLORA’s website.  I also acted as a support to the EXPLORA and museum staff by helping prepare the space for talks and using the Museo Fonck’s social media accounts to publicize each event.

Fiona Rodgerson (Middlebury College) University of Santo Tomas Veterinary Clinic

The internship at the Veterinary Clinic of the University Santo Tomas is an excellent opportunity for a student studying abroad with interests or future plans in veterinary medicine. As its main function is a veterinary university, Santo Tomas provides an environment that welcomes interns and encourages learning. With its large, small, and exotic animal clinics, an intern is able to experience diverse cases, from small animal diagnostic and surgery, to Chilean racehorses, to the occasional penguin, sea lion, or even tiger. The internship involves assisting veterinarians, technicians, and other students in consultation rooms, surgery, and hospitals, and tasks vary from day to day. Not only does an internship at the University Santo Tomas Veterinary Clinic provides a learning opportunity in veterinary medicine in Spanish, but also an excellent window into Chilean culture and a way to meet Chilean students with similar interests. Interns should have some sort of foundation and knowledge about animals and veterinary medicine, but a long history of veterinary-related experience is not necessarily important as much learning can be done through observation, and tasks will become more hands on as the intern continues to learn.

Elizabeth Foody (Middlebury College) Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes

During my semester abroad I worked at the Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes (National Council of Culture and the Arts) in Valparaíso.  The Council is a government organization that seeks to promote cultural programs at the local and national level in Chile. The Council has evolved from being a sector of the Ministry of Education to gaining the approval in May 2013 to become a ministry of its own. The council has a number of programs and grant opportunities around the country. They work on the local, regional and national level with the support of other government and independent organizations.
During my internship I was exposed to the public service atmosphere in Chile. I had the opportunity to attend various meetings in different departments and I was able to see the first hand reaction to the decision to transition the Council into a ministry. At the Council, I conducted analyses for the Internal Management Unit concerning delays in implementing the Council’s projects, additionally, I summarized and translated communication material into English and French and developed and presented communication material on the Council’s history, national and regional programs, budgets and goals for a best practices seminars with members from other public institutions.

Cliff Bueno de Mesquita (Middlebury College) Corporación Laguna Verde

During my semester abroad in Valparaíso, Chile, I had an internship with a local environmental organization called la Corporación Laguna Verde. I worked on three projects with this organization. One was working in a nursery, planting, transplanting, and caring for endemic species as part of a larger reforestation project. Secondly, we went on field trips with kids to teach them about ecosystems and species, with a focus on observing birds. Lastly, I worked on an atlas of endemic species that are found in the Valparaíso Region. Future interns will probably work on all if these projects too. If you like working outside and are interested in learning about the biodiversity of Chile, this internship is great. The team at this organization is small and has its hands full, but they are great people and I enjoyed working with them.

Lizzie Gooding (Middlebury College) Laboratory of Geomatics

This internship with the University of Valparaiso is a great opportunity to work with a profession cutting edge team of geographers from the area, practice GIS and other special technology skills and interact in an academic setting with graduate students and professors from the area. The principle task of the intern is to act as a teacher’s assistant to graduate students for the Laboratory’s class “Diplomado en Geomática”. This class is designed to teach not only geography students, but also students and professional from a variety of backgrounds, including biology, economics, and the environmental sciences. Depending on the semester, work may also include involvement with the university’s sociology department in their project Empleo360, which looks to start an online spatial based employment service in conjunction with the department of geomatics. Solid GIS skills (particularly in the latest version of ArcGIS are a must and previous courses or professional work recommended; additional skills that would be useful include experience with remote sensing, photogrammetry, GPS, geodesy, GoogleEarth, and MapSource.