Past students at the School in Uruguay have held internships in a variety of fields—select a field at the right to explore.
Arts and Culture
Davis Woolworth (Middlebury College)
Working as an intern with Cinemateca Uruguaya was a pleasure. Part of the pleasure is due, no doubt, to my rather conservative host mother’s perceptible displeasure for the rather countercurrent organization. For such an established and well-known cultural force, Cinemateca works hard to maintain its political edge. I enjoyed balancing my understanding of the ideological mission of the organization with my day-to-day work, which ranged from preparing and cataloguing festival DVDs to translating and sending awards to the winners of international prizes during the 32nd International Film Festival of Uruguay. The best part of the internship was observing and participating in the running of the organization. Cinemateca Uruguaya manages to promote an art form I love through the proceeds from tightly knit monthly programming and several yearly festivals.
Ezekiel Albro (Northwestern University)
My internship at Teatro El Galpón has been great! Not only are the people very open and welcoming, there is also no shortage of interesting and important work going on there. I spent a good amount of time in the archives, engaging with their fascinating history as a theater. They spent a good amount of time in exile in Mexico because of the dictatorship, and that drive and determination definitely shows up in their work today. As well as spending time in the archives, I’ve also had the opportunity to sit in on rehearsals and help with set building and props, which gave me a better sense of how the theater works today and how they’re sharing their progressive vision with contemporary Uruguay. If you’re a theater student, I’d definitely recommend this place. It’s been really interesting to see and engage in part of the world of independent theater in Montevideo.
Alexandra Lishansky (Northwestern University)
My internship at the Auditorio Nacional del SODRE, the Uruguay’s national theater, was a very worthwhile experience. I spent the first two working at “Atención al Público”: I sold tickets, greeted guests when they came to see shows, seated them in the auditorium and translated the theater’s tour guide script to English. During the next two weeks, I worked in the office of the Orquesta Juvenil del SODRE, where I translated promotional documents. I then spent a week working in the communication’s office, where I helped to update contact information for the institution’s staff members. I then spent three weeks in the technician’s office, where I assisted from backstage during shows and helped plan productions. Finally, I spent two weeks in the “taller de maquillaje,” making head ornaments for the ballerinas for the upcoming ballet. The work was very varied and by the end of the experience, I felt like I had come to know every corner of the theater, from the highly professional administrative offices to the laid-back technician’s work spaces. I got to see operas and ballets from the practice rooms, from the audience, and from the backstage. A truly unique experience.
Zena Ebrahim (Swarthmore College)
This semester I’ve had the pleasure of working with El Abrojo, an NGO in Montevideo that aims to work on transforming society through creative projects. El Abrojo divides itself into 6 projects, one of which is called Casa Abierta, the project with which I spent the semester. Casa Abierta is a community center that serves as an integration space for children, particularly those who come from difficult family backgrounds. It is a space where they can interact with their community through various recreational and educational activities after school. In order to best understand the children, Casa Abierta staff aims to work with a family perspective in mind, encouraging family involvement and trying to best understand the children and work with the issues that affect them at home. As an assistant teacher in a 4th grade classroom, this internship was very hands-on and I had the opportunity to get very close with my students. Weekly, we’d have a variety of fun activities such as yoga and swimming and go on several field trips throughout the city. Being an assistant teacher here was rewarding not only because I was able to watch the children grow over the span of a few months and see the direct impact I had on them, but I was also able to quickly learn Spanish through the constant interactions with the children and the staff. If you are someone who is passionate about child development, Casa Abierta is the right fit for you!
Rosalie Wright-Lapin (Middlebury College)
Casa Abierta is an afterschool program for kids in Paso Molino, a neighborhood north of the center of Montevideo with a diversity of social classes including a large community of lower or middle-lower class families. Casa Abierta is a project of El Abrojo, a Uruguayan NGO that has over 30 human rights social development projects. The project is open to any child between the ages of five and 14 who wants to come and is willing to commit to being part of the group on a daily basis. As a volunteer there, I worked with a team of adults doing activities, discussions and field trips with the kids (gurises). The activities are based on developing strong character, leadership and teamwork skills. My experience was extremely positive and educational. I formed strong relationships with the kids and it was hard to part with the group at the end of my four months. Everyone in the Casa is warm and welcoming, and my time spent there was beyond well worth it.
Spencer Royston (Middlebury College)
For hands-on experience in an English classroom, there is simply no better option in Montevideo than the San Juan Bautista school. Located in Pocitos, just about a 5 minute walk from the famous Rambla ‘sidewalk’ along the beach, this private school educates children from pre-K all the way up through high school. This internship position put me directly into the English department, where I was able to select age groups that most interested me and which fit within my schedule. I worked with students in primary school (U.S. grades 1-6, ages 7-12) and some the oldest as well (U.S. grades 11 and 12, ages 16-18). After presenting myself to the students the first couple of weeks, I served as an assistant (especially for speaking activities) in the daily routine of the English classes, giving support to individual students as needed. As I got more comfortable and got to know the environment better, I began taking a more active role in the classroom, explaining concepts and even leading some lessons entirely. I was also able to help plan, practice and execute a short play in English with the 5th graders about saving the environment as part of San Juan’s Casa Común initiative. I learned valuable skills such as giving oral exams and understanding the Cambridge test structure at various levels, being able to work with children in an educational setting, and work together as part of a strong team of teachers.
I would highly recommend an internship at San Juan Bautista for anyone who is interested in education or working with children. It was a lot of fun to walk through the hallways and be greeted with cheers like a celebrity, and extremely validating to see the linguistic progress that students can make in just a short time.
Josephine Weidner (Tufts University)
Working in el Colegio San Juan Bautista was one of my favorite experiences in Uruguay. I worked as an English teaching assistant in all primary school grade levels. I planned and led activities, administered mock exams, engaged in passionate discussions about the pros and cons of Oreos vs. alfajores with 8-year-olds, and did just about any other task I could help with in the moment. As someone who is interested in education, I am grateful that I was able to gain so much experience working in the classroom. I was carrying out a research project about “21st Century” ways of teaching and learning at the same time, and supplementing what I was reading about with my experience working within classrooms allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of both experiences.
Julia Beck (Middlebury College)
As an intern at Colegio y Liceo San Juan Bautista (Saint John the Baptist Primary and Secondary School), I worked within the English department to support the teachers both in the style of assistant teacher and as an instructional tool. I had the opportunity to spend time in the classroom of every grade, splitting time evenly with students from first year in primary school to sixth year in secondary school, and worked closely with both the students and teachers. With the older students I was useful more to demonstrate speaking patterns and pronunciation and help with correcting homework and other small tasks, and with younger students I more regularly worked with the students individually to help them fill out worksheets and in class activities. As a foreign student, I also gave a presentation style story about myself and my life to many of the groups of students, which helped them practice audio comprehension and then “biography” style writing, about me. Overall, I worked between 10 and 12 hours weekly, frequently going to the same class once a week, which allowed me to form relationships with the students and teacher in that class and therefore be even more of a useful English learning tool. By the end of the internship, I also wrote a research paper about the pedagogical practices and second language teaching methodologies of the English department.
Hollie Haigh (Middlebury College)
If someone had said to me this time last year that teaching English would be something I love, I would have probably laughed at them there and then! However, having the opportunity to work as an intern at el Colegio de San Juan Bautista has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my college experience thus far.
Here at San Juan in Montevideo, I have been working as a language assistant, supply teacher, mock examiner, English display extraordinaire and everything between. Whether it be singing a song about the circus to a group of 4 year olds or having an intellectual discussion about the importance of Shakespeare’s works with people two years younger than me, I have had the opportunity to share my experiences and knowledge students of all ages at San Juan; and likewise them with me.
Through my internship, I have gained a much greater insight into the emphasis that is placed on learning a second language here in Uruguay, and indeed, the Uruguayan education system more broadly. Both of these topics have been key in informing an original research project that I am conducting into the differences between the British and Uruguayan systems of teaching foreign languages: a topic that fascinates me and is increasingly relevant to our ever changing and globalising world with its demand for a bilingual workforce.
On a more personal note, my experience with San Juan has also allowed me to form some amazing connections with not only my students but also with my colleagues. As most Uruguayans, everyone I have met at the school has been warm, open and loving. As a result, I have been welcomed into their homes, their dinner dates on bank holidays and in March next year, even a wedding! I can’t wait to see where my experience with San Juan takes me into next year and am so grateful to have had such an immersive opportunity to complement my studies.
Adela Weigel (Sarah Lawrence College)
As an intern at San Juan Bautista, I have a very involved role with the teachers and the students. I chose to work with the high school students, so I spend the mornings at San Juan. I have a schedule so that I am able to spend time in all of the English classes so that they get to practice hearing a native English speaker. Normally, I work as a teacher’s assistant, helping teachers lead the class. I also give presentations to students related to their interests, help the director of the English department, and substitute for teachers who are sick or have teacher meetings. Overall it has been an incredible experience. I work with an amazing and friendly staff, and the kindest students!
Yashu Zhang (Middlebury College)
This semester I did an education internship in a private high school in Montevideo, Instituto Juan XXIII. The major part of the internship was facilitating a class called Human and Economic Geography in the Modern World. In each of the four chapters of the course—Globalization, Political Conflict, Population and Immigration—I supported the class by participating in the discussion and giving presentations about examples in China, often illustrating them with short videos. For instance, we talked about internal and international political conflicts happening in China, and the One Child Policy, its pros and cons and the resultant population ageing. The class was also a space for cultural exchange. At the students’ request, I introduced them to traditional Chinese festivals, some contemporary history and political system, school life in China, etc. In addition to this course, I took part in an English class and two photography workshops every week. Likewise, I would assist the instructors in the classes while transmitting a different culture through language learning or art sharing.
(NEW!) Plan Ceibal
The School in Uruguay is offering an exciting new internship opportunity with Plan Ceibal, an organization that provides English lessons remotely to students in Uruguay.
Entrepreneurship and Economics
Julián Wise (Colby College)
CEFIR is an NGO in Montevideo that specializes in regional integration within Mercosur. As an intern, I was very involved in the projects that they were working on. I conducted research, translated, and brought ideas to the table for the analysts of CEFIR. I was very rewarding to see that my work did not go unnoticed and that I was valued like another analyst. If you are at all interested in regional politics in South America, the internship at CEFIR is the right choice. I worked alongside Gerardo Caetano, a famous Uruguayan historian.
Karlo Skarica (Middlebury College)
I worked with the Centro Latinoamericano de Economia Humana (CLAEH), one of the most prominent Uruguayan think tanks and a private university offering studies in medicine, law and cultural management. CLAEH is a secular, independent organization, focusing especially on a holistic approach to the notion of development. They are mostly active within Uruguay, although they have cooperated internationally before. University of Pennsylvania has continuously included CLAEH as one of the top 20 most influential think tanks in Latin America.The organization is known for combining multidisciplinary research with direct intervention and policy implementation. My duties included researching and writing a financial report; assisting with daily administrative duties, and translation. I worked in a professional office environment, which was very dynamic, but also very helpful and sociable. Highly recommended for Politics/IPE/Economics majors.
Megan Loosigian (Colby College)
I worked in the CLAEH (Centro Latinoamericano de Economía Humana), specifically la Red Mercosur (Mercosur Network) for half the month of October and the month of November. The main purpose of my internship was to be able to attend a large, important conference the seventeenth and eighteenth of November in the Mercosur building. The work I did for them, especially at the beginning, was organizing papers and putting together packers of information to send people involved in the Mercosur. I did a lot of passing information from paper onto the computer and translating things from Spanish to English. During the time of the conference I went as an official member of the organization and I handed out the information that I had earlier put together in folders and ran the slideshows on PowerPoint for the speakers. I learned a lot about the issues facing the Mercosur countries and about the topics of the FTAA. Although I wasn’t working with the organization very long because I started at a different internship that didn’t work out for me for the month of September and half of October, I really enjoyed my time there and I felt very comfortable with the people with whom I worked. I would recommend this internship to future students, especially those who have an interest in economics and the issues facing and affecting Latin America right now, or at the time of their study abroad.
Kiara Vazquez (Middlebury College)
(Remote internship) This semester I worked with Marcelo Ventos in Uruguay’s Instituto de Promoción Económico Social (IPRU). IPRU is an organization that works to promote social and economic development in Uruguay. I focused on investigating the microfinance area within IPRU. My work involved researching and understanding the differences between microfinance organizations in the United States and IPRU. While studying at Middlebury, I met remotely every week with Marcelo to discuss my findings and to plan what work I will be focusing on for the following week. For my final project, I researched IPRU’s financial education programs they offered for children. I found the work I did, and the experience, to be very insightful and useful in my continued studies in economics and Spanish at Middlebury. This remote internship was driven by what I wanted to do based on what I wanted to achieve. The individuals at IPRU were very nice and easy to get along with, I enjoyed meeting and working with them! Although I was unable to go to Uruguay due to COVID-19, I believe I was able to gain just as much experience being online due to the great instruction and attentiveness I received from Marcelo, Sylvia, and Claudio throughout the semester.
Benjamin Chase (Northwestern University)
I worked as an intern with IPRU, el instituto de promoción económico social del Uruguay. While I was there, I got to explore a variety of different projects, from huertas (small farms) and kid’s clubs in neighboring provinces to programs teaching young people how to be entrepreneurs. In the end, I ended up working helping older entrepreneurs through a complicated grant process called VIN, which is a process to help set up entrepreneurs validate their business ideas. I edited video scripts and gave feedback on presented materials.
At times, I felt a lack of guidance and like I didn’t have anything meaningful to accomplish. This was partly my doing, and partly theirs. IPRU has the capacity to be an amazing internship, but it requires a student really willing to take the initiative and force the issue. Make sure you get work on a project you feel genuinely passionate about.
Haruna Takeda (Middlebury College)
During my semester in Montevideo, I had the privilege to work with Instituto de Promoción Económico Social del Uruguay (IPRU), an NGO founded to promote socioeconomic development in Uruguay. The organization is involved in education, job training, microcredit, child care services, etc. and works with families in socioeconomically vulnerable situations. The team was friendly and the environment was welcoming. I was involved in two projects that helped microentrepreneurs. Since the projects took places in the area outside of Montevideo, I spent several hours each week in places I would never have had chances to get to know if it was not for IPRU. I accompanied their interviews, assisted job training, conducted surveys and evaluated their projects from the outsider’s perspective. There were times I felt a little lost because it was their first time receiving an intern but in the end, I learned a lot about the socio-economic issues in Uruguay, not only as a knowledge but also as an experience.
Alexandra Morris (Middlebury College)
Red Mercosur is a network of academic research institutions with a regional economic focus. It promotes, coordinates and develops research projects intending to identify responses to development challenges and how to understand global dynamics. In this internship you will help with communication strategies, including contacting members of the press and working with social media. Interns with translate documents between Spanish and English in order to reach audiences outside the region. Finally, interns provide a hand in complying research for various projects and reports produced by Red Mercosur.
Environment and Sustainability
Marlene Ríos (Middlebury College)
Redalco is a non-profit Civil Association, which operates in the form of a network where it recovers fruit and vegetables in Mercado Modelo. They recover those that are not suitable for sale, but are still consumable, and distributes them to social organizations in Montevideo. There is the option to do that hands on out in the field work or administrative work at the office. The administrative work consists of allocating data of surveys, sales, other information into excel sheets. Then there is a lot of communicating with beneficiary organizations to notify them of imperative information through email and phone. From time to time, there is creative projects to work on such as flyers, brochures, and monthly reports.
Marc Reeder (Tulane University)
Redalco is an NGO that recycles food. We go to the main market in Montevideo where all the imports are processed, and we ask vendors to give us the fruits and vegetables that they normally put in the trash. We take our huge crates of food to a little patch of concrete where we sort through all the food, classifying it into varying levels of edibility. After the classification, we distribute the food to different social organizations around the city. Redalco is a great place to talk and meet people, because everyone that works there is a volunteer. They are only doing the work because they want to help, and this is reflected in their personalities. My closest friends from Uruguay were people that I met through my internship. This is a perfect job for people that are interested in food security, environmental sustainability, or social work.
Ellie Carr (Middlebury College)
This semester, as part of my study abroad experience in Uruguay, I had the privilege to intern with RedAlCo, a Montevideo-based, non-profit organization that benefits both environment and people. RedAlCo collects fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be wasted from the “Mercado Modelo”, a gigantic market that nearly all the fresh produce of Montevideo pass through before being distributed to grocery stores and other venders in the city, and the distributes them at a very low cost to other non-profit organizations working with vulnerable populations. For my internship with RedAlCo, I spent one day in the office helping with administrative work and developing a cookbook to provide the receiving organizations with ideas for the fruits and vegetables, which are at times present difficulties due to their type or their sheer quantity. I also spent one day per week helping with the classification process, which consists of separating the products in good condition from those in bad condition, and the distribution process. The work RedAlCo is doing is vital as both climate change and overpopulation continue to threaten the health of our planet and her people. I was genuinely impressed with RedAlCo and the very real impact they are making on the city. As I move forward in both my personal and professional life, I am confident that RedAlCo will serve as an inspiration for me.
Melissa Segil (Middlebury College)
During my semester in Montevideo, I had the opportunity to work with an environmental-social NGO called REDES, a part of Amigos de la Tierra. My work consisted mostly of independent research because my bosses were quite busy getting ready for Copenhagen. I researched the Clean Development Mechanism, most specifically the REDD program, and also organized a 350 day of action using Sustainable Study Abroad Grant funding. I highly recommend doing an internship while abroad— it’s a great way to get to know a city outside of the university circle, and the people can be great!
Ethan Gorman (Middlebury College)
For my internship in Uruguay I worked with the office of the National System of Protected Areas (SNAP) on a study using camera trap data to gauge biodiversity in one of the system’s nature preserves. My work involved using software to analyze the 100,000 or so photos produced by 20 camera traps over a three-month period. The goal was to produce a data set showing the frequency of the appearance of various species of mammals at each of the camera sites, then use that data to answer a research question. The research question I chose was an examination of whether populations of feral goats, an invasive species in the area, had a negative impact on the observed numbers of other species, especially native and endangered ones. I also had the opportunity to spend two days in the Cabo Polonio coastal nature preserve retrieving cameras used in a related biodiversity study.
Liilia Namsing (Middlebury College)
I did my internship with a governmental organisation called El sistema nacional de áreas protegidas (SNAP). I mostly worked with my supervisor, who in SNAP is in charge of personnel training and organising various courses. For example, during my internship, they were in the process of training new park guards for their national parks. My job with her was quite administrative—sending emails, organising course information, creating leaflets/brochures, and also analysing the results of the training. The latter involved a lot of Excel work. In addition, I worked with a woman who is in charge of SNAP’s information system, some of which is online, available for everyone, and some only for their internal use. This involved organising/uploading some of their biological data about the flora and fauna in Uruguay. However, I think the best part of this internship was really just spending time with the people who work there. They are an incredibly funny and close group of people, who made me feel like I had been working there for years.
Human Rights and Social Services
Elijah Willig (Middlebury College)
I have worked at a non-profit organization called El Abrojo during my semester abroad in Montevideo, Uruguay. El Abrojo seeks help the disadvantaged people of Uruguay through implementing various programs involving education, research, and training. The word “abrojo” actually comes from the latin phrase “apere oculum,” which means “open the eye.” In my time at El Abrojo, I came to learn that their work is indeed dedicated to opening the eyes of society and others. My work at El Abrojo was varied but largely revolved around translating a document, from Spanish to English, on the work El Abrojo is doing with transmedia storytelling and education. Transmedia storytelling is using various forms of media to tell a story. For example, an entertainment franchise might have various movies, books, and comics etc. People need to watch or read all of them in order to get the full story. El Abrojo has been doing work to figure out how to incorporate modern technology in classrooms and it seems that incorporating transmedia storytelling is a great way to create an innovative and engaging education for students. While there were challenges, my time at El Abrojo has helped me solidify my career goals and better my Spanish.
Jillian Duncan (Middlebury College)
I was given the opportunity to intern at Amnesty International’s Uruguay chapter, where I developed a monograph about the role of Uruguay in the United Nation’s Security Council, focusing specifically on the protection of civilians during cases of armed conflict. Although this was a difficult project, it was very useful in giving me insight to today’s human rights and security issues, and how international organizations such as Amnesty and the UN Security Council have attempted to combat them.
Jiya Pandya (Middlebury College)
I worked at a non-profit organization called Center for the Promotion of Human Dignity (CEPRODIH) which works with families in situations of social and economic vulnerability, with a special focus on women. The organization’s work comprises of activities ranging from job training, entrepreneurship courses and childcare services to overnight shelters, emergency assistant in cases of domestic violence, and trauma support. As their intern this semester, I attended meetings with prospective donors, participated in and photographed events and conferences, helped set up their computer laboratory, and spent a large part of my time translating their website to English and providing social media support to their team.
Kevin Gabriel Mata (Middlebury College)
(Remote internship) To put it simply, it has been an absolute gift having the opportunity to work as a remote intern for Cotidiano Mujer, an organization with a commendable feminist mission that envisions justice for those of all marginalized gender identities. Although the idea of remote work in a foreign language appeared daunting at first, I was immediately welcomed by Cotidiano Mujer and was able to have one-on-one weekly meetings with a team member where I could discuss my work while practicing my conversational Spanish. Regarding such work, I mostly transcribed and translated sections from videos of, for example, Cotidano Mujer’s annual Jornadas de Debate Feminista where members of Cotidiano Mujer facilitate a conversation between academics and activists to discuss the most pressing issues facing feminism in Latin America. I even had the opportunity to write a monograph on the topic of my choice under the guidance of Cotidiano Mujer. In the process of writing about critical legislation regarding trans rights in Uruguay, a team member from Cotidiano Mujer was able to offer personalized feedback to improve upon my writing in Spanish as well as provide an ample amount of the organization’s resources on transfeminism and its role in Uruguay. Overall, I am incredibly grateful to have been able to develop such an important virtual connection with Cotidiano Mujer and to contribute to their ongoing conversations on the pursuit of equality and justice.
Hannah Patterson (Middlebury College)
I worked at Cotidiano Mujer, a feminist NGO, which seeks to promote political and cultural change within Uruguay and Latin America. The collective has organized countless marches, campaigns, debates and conferences, and works to create space for a plurality of voices and experiences within public debate addressing, among others, issues of abortion, political representation and participation of women, sexual and reproductive rights, and the right to liberty and autonomy of all women. For my internship, I helped organize the “Jornadas de Debate Feminista,” a three-day conference that explores different concerns from feminist movements in the region, and “Tenemos que ver,” an international film and human rights festival. Both events seek to promote the accessibility of the feminist movement as well as the production of different forms of knowledge. The time I spent at Cotidiano Mujer was a fundamental part of my study abroad experience; the working environment was incredibly vibrant, with a diverse array of coworkers who were warm, passionate, and dedicated to social justice and a truly intersectional form of feminism. I will carry the skills and experiences that I have gained from working within such an organized collective into my future work, and highly recommend the experience to future study abroad students.
Marième Diop (Swarthmore College)
I did my internship at Cotidiano Mujer, a feminist NGO in Montevideo. I primarily helped them organize events, and sometimes translated parts of their website to French and English. During my time there, I specifically worked with one of my colleagues and helped her organize the “Jornadas de Debate Feminista”, a three-day conference about feminism. There were many reasons why I enjoyed the internship. First, the work environment was amazing, as all of the women working there were brilliant and kind. Second, they regularly organized interesting events such as the conference I helped organize, workshops about domestic violence, conferences about the political representation of women, etc. I did my “monografia” about the development of feminism across generations in Uruguay. My tutor was very helpful and available, and Cotidiano Mujer had a physical library from which I was allowed to borrow all the books I needed. Working there was a great experience, and I would definitely recommend it to future exchange students.
Amanda Spiller (Bowdoin College)
Working with Cotidiano Mujer was easily one of the best aspects of my study abroad experience. My feminist spirit felt at home and I felt like I was actively helping an important cause. I worked with Helena Suárez to organize the Jornadas de Debate Feminista, which are three days of feminist presentations in early July. If you are able to help out in this area the timing works out perfectly as you see the event through to its completion, which is really rewarding. While Helena won’t be there next year, all the supervisors at Cotidiano are amazing—super intelligent, vibrant and friendly. The office is an intellectual hub of hard-workers. While my job mostly consisted of answering emails and working spreadsheets on the computer it was really cool to be a part of the process of one of the biggest and most organized feminist consortiums I’ve ever seen; people came from all over Latin America to present and take part in the Jornadas. This internship also opened up some doors socially as I started hanging out with the people I met. All in all a highly recommended internship.
Melisa Topic (Middlebury College)
My time at the NGO Idas y Vueltas in Montevideo, Uruguay was very impactful and eye opening to the current immigration situation in Uruguay. Each week I had the opportunity to assist in various tasks such as helping the immigrants with their paperwork, translating from English to Spanish for non-Spanish speaking immigrants and helping serve food from the kitchen. Additionally, there were various events arranged with the Museum of Migrations that allowed me to view the situation from more of an institutional and even artistic view with the art expositions and public events organized regarding immigration. My favorite event was the “Libros en Vivo” event, where various immigrants volunteered to be “books” and passerby’s had the opportunity to sit and talk to them about their experiences and learn more about immigration from a very personal level. Just seeing the turnout for this incredibly important event was so inspiring. Moreover, all of these tasks allowed me to interact with a diverse array of people and learn more about their countries of background, history and their goals for this new phase of their lives in Uruguay. The journeys these individuals have had are quite remarkable. Overall, it was a very enjoyable experience that definitely helped shape my time abroad and exposed me to a side of Montevideo that is often unavailable to many exchange students.
Journalism and Publishing
Will Freeman (Tufts University)
My internship at the Montevideo daily, El Observador, was one of the most enriching parts of my abroad experience. Working at the paper’s world news desk, initiative was rewarded with opportunity. I regularly pitched ideas and received the opportunity to research and write stories independently. By the end of my semester, I was completing interviews in Spanish and had published over a dozen articles. The internship greatly improved my abilities to write and read in a second language and provided me with experience that will prove valuable in seeking out other journalism opportunities in the future.
Benjamin Yamron (Middlebury College)
I did my internship at Brecha, a well-known, left-leaning weekly newspaper in Montevideo. It contains sections on politics, world, society, culture, and more. It is a small personal office, and everyone is very friendly (though also very busy). I was given a great deal of independence, although guidance was available when I needed it, and I was able to spend most of my time doing research and writing on topics of my choosing. While Brecha could provide me with connections when I asked, I was mostly responsible for determining what I wrote and where I got my information. I did interviews, internet research, and wrote multiple articles over the course of the semester. I felt that my writing in Spanish improved, and my supervisor taught me journalistic strategies to help make my writing effective for Brecha’s audience (I did not have previous journalism experience). At times I had to deal with delays in getting my stories published due to a lot going on in the office, but overall it was a great way to practice writing, learn about the most pressing news issues in Uruguay while I was there, and be surrounded by passionate people engaging with those issues. If you are motivated, outgoing, and like to take initiative, you will find a rewarding journalism experience at Brecha.
Viviana Altamirano (Middlebury College)
With Uruguay as one of the few countries with complete open press, as calculated by Freedom House, I could not pass up interning at a historical weekly newspaper. Though my semester was a bit difficult with complications over not all editors being available, I found a friend in a journalist and worked on a great investigative story. Great Spanish writing skills is an absolute must for this internship.
Eloy Bleifuss (Vassar College)
Semanario Brecha is a weekly magazine dealing with politics and culture and a leading institution in the Uruguayan Left. Prospective interns should know that they would be given a great degree of independence at Brecha. The staff, while unfailingly friendly, is often too absorbed with all of their own work to give you their constant attention. No one will be watching you to ensure that you come in during all the hours you say you will and one will give you work unless you ask for it. It falls to you to decide what projects you wish to pursue and what you want to make out of your time there. Working at Brecha also demands probably more and a greater proficiency in Spanish than other internships. During my time at the magazine I conducted interviews, researched, and wrote several articles all in Spanish. A challenging yet rewarding internship opportunity for committed students interested in journalism.
Law and Legal Services
Seton Talty (Middlebury College)
I began interning at Hughes & Hughes with minimal law background. All of the lawyers and associates welcomed me and gave me general tasks to get accustomed to the new vocabulary and the legal process in Uruguay. I started off writing summaries of cases, translating documents, and background research on new clients. As I got more comfortable with the terminology and got to know my way around the office, I worked more independently and was given more responsibilities such as writing requests for documents, delivering casework to judges and finding case precedent for trial. Overall, it was a great introductory internship given the supportive and professional environment at Hughes & Hughes.
Caroline McGee (George Washington University)
Hughes y Hughes is one of the most powerful and important law firms in Montevideo and in Uruguay as a whole. The twelve lawyers specialize in everything from Family law to Employment law. Because the size of the laws firm is one of the largest in Uruguay, they not only have secretaries for each lawyer, but they also have runners and “procuradores”. The procuradores are usually, but not always, in law school or preparing to becomes a lawyer, and go to the courts and ask for information regarding the cases and how they are coming along. For my internship, I went to the courts with the chief procurador three times a week for three hours each day and learned about his job and how the courts and the legal system in Uruguay functions. Towards the end of my internship I began asking for the information myself to practice my Spanish and advance my knowledge of the court system. Altogether my internship was a very enjoyable experience, not only due to its interesting objective, but also due to the friendliness and the helpfulness of the staff and lawyers at Hughes y Hughes.
Jackson Paul (Middlebury College)
My experience as an intern at el Palacio Legislativo (the Legislative Palace) in Montevideo provided me with ample opportunity to learn about and experience firsthand the day-to-day functions of the Uruguayan federal government, and to gather an understanding of how the Uruguayan political system works. Over the course of the internship I was able to visit a multitude of government offices relevant to my area of academic interest and was granted the opportunity to sit in on a number of government ‘comisiones’, with topics ranging from federal budget policymaking to foreign policy, among others. I wasn’t given physical work to complete for the purposes of the internship itself; yet, my time spent at the Legislative Palace allowed me to cultivate my Spanish listening and speaking skills in an invaluable context. Ultimately, I was able to cap off my internship experience at the Legislative Palace by interviewing several influential government figures so as to enhance my understanding of the Uruguayan electoral system.
Day Robbins (Middlebury College)
I learned a lot about Uruguay’s political system throughout my internship at the Palacio Legislativo (Legislative Palace). Since I worked in the House of Representatives in the United States last summer, I was able to use what I learned in that job in my research in the Palacio and compare and contrast the two experiences. At first the language barrier made it difficult for me to understand the technical discussion in committee meetings, but after the first month I was able to better understand the discussions and conduct interviews with Senators. I would have welcomed a more fixed schedule and more responsibility, but the freedom I was given to attend the sessions and committee meetings that interested me also had its benefits. When a bill that interested me came before the House or the Senate, for example, I attended the session. The experience was especially rewarding because the Senate happened to be in the process of creating a new commission specifically dedicated to the campaign financing of political parties, my area of interest. I was not given many responsibilities, and thus spent most of my time researching bills and taking notes at committee meetings.
Medicine and Public Health
Hanna McCuistion (Harvard University)
When I made the decision to study abroad in Montevideo, Uruguay, I had no way of knowing that was in store for me over the long, but somehow still too short, five-month semester. A significant facet of that adventure was wrapped up in an internship I had the opportunity to take part in at Clemente Estable, a biological laboratory close by the Universidad Católica where I took most of my classes. The laboratory is occupied by many different fields of study, but I was working in the department of neurophysiology with some pretty incredible leaders to help me on my way. This department constantly has multiple experiments and research projects taking place simultaneously, and I had the privilege to work on a team starting a completely new experiment studying Gymnotus omarorum, a weakly electric and highly aggressive fish found only in a few South American countries. My tasks related to the experiment itself were very hands-on, as I got to take a day-long fishing trip to collect specimens, weigh and measure the fish, calculate and inject doses of hormone blocking substance, and observe and analyze the effects on the fish. Never before had I been trusted with so much responsibility in a lab and treated like a real member of a research team. Apart from the work directly related to the experiment, I also had regular discussions on topics relating to the work we were doing and I read many research articles and chapters to further inform myself, many of which were written by members of the neurophysiology department itself. Close to the end of the semester, I was loving the work so much I almost got a tattoo of G. omarorum to commemorate my time abroad and in the lab! In the end, I learned so much about how biological laboratories actually function on the inside, and about the realities, challenges, and rewards of experimental research. I would highly recommend an internship with Clemente Estable for anyone who loves biology and wants to get some incredible hands on experience in a laboratory setting. If this sounds like you, I promise you won’t regret it!
Julie Merchant (Middlebury College)
I did my internship at the research institute el Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente Estable (IIBCE) in the Cellular and Molecular Neurophysiology lab (NFCM). I was the first student from the Middlebury Abroad program to have an internship here, but since I had prior years of laboratory and research experience, I was able to adjust and settle in quite easily. The NFCM studies neural stem cells, adult neurogenesis, and regeneration in the spinal cord in turtles and mice. I spent most of my time in the lab working with one of the doctorate students and alongside another college student from Colombia who happened to be doing a semester-long internship as well. We specifically studied cellular proliferation in the spinal cord following a traumatic lesion in mice and GABA’s role in this process, mostly performing immunohistochemistry experiments and collecting/analyzing data using confocal microscopy. We also observed some electrophysiology experiments, and every few weeks everyone would meet for a paper discussion led by one of the lab members. Especially at the beginning of the internship, I spent a lot of time, outside of the times I was actually in the lab, reading relevant papers that my supervisor sent me, so as to familiarize myself with this field of research and the specific works of the NFCM that have contributed to it. I am extremely grateful to have had this opportunity while studying abroad, and this internship was a hugely positive part of my experience here. I met some wonderful people and became a part of a close lab community with which I will remain in contact upon returning to the States.
Emma Ernst (Tulane University)
Over the course of my semester in Uruguay I worked at the Policlínica Crottogini, a public primary care clinic operated by the Intendencia of Montevideo. As a primary care center the clinic offers services in general adult medicine, pediatrics, gynecology, obstetrics, psychology, dentistry and nutrition. I spent the majority of my time in the policlínica working with a pediatrician and a standard primary care doctor. I would observe their appointments, help to fill out prescriptions and referral documents and, from time to time, take blood pressure. Furthermore, I had the opportunity to attend a variety of special events and activities outside of the clinic. First level health attention (primary care) has an important role in education and because of this, the doctors and nurses in the policlínica organize and participate in a wide variety of special events. For example, over the course of my internship I attended workshops on alcohol use and suicide prevention, a walk for the “Semana del Corazón”, school presentations on sexual health and drug use and a youth health fair. As someone who wants to study medicine and has an interest in primary care, this internship was especially interesting and engaging. I gained a better understanding and appreciation for the health care system in Uruguay and for the work that is done in the primary care field in general. What’s more, I had the pleasure to meet and work with an amazing group of people and become a part of the Policlínica Crottogini familia.
Lindsay Grigg (Middlebury College)
I had a great experience as an intern at SaludArte. At first it was a fair amount of administrative work; there was a lot of translating to be done, but there were also lots of opportunities to attend events and take pictures or participate as well as write articles and do research for the foundation. In addition, the work they do is very unique and interesting and seems to really have an impact. I most enjoyed the opportunity to meet a lot of wonderful people and engage with the community in ways I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. Overall it was a very positive experience.
Ioana Literat (Middlebury College)
During my spring 2008 semester abroad, I worked as an intern at SaludArte, a grassroots Uruguayan foundation that promotes health – understood as both mental and physical health – and social values by means of art and humor. My internship here was an absolutely wonderful experience, incredibly rewarding and very enriching. My responsibilities were rather diverse, and included filming and photographing events organized by the foundation, doing translations, participating in their activities in hospitals and recovery centers, writing newsletter articles and updating their website. As part of my involvement with the foundation, I was also trained in various of the artistic techniques they employ in their therapeutic interventions: Theatre of the Oppressed, spontaneous dance, spontaneous theatre, psychodrama, puppetry and creative writing, and I got to participate in the activities they organized at hospitals, schools and social awareness events. After closely observing and taking part in SaludArte’s weekly program at the Hospital de las Clinicas, I wrote an extensive evaluation of the project, and researched at length about the therapeutic effects of art and humor, the current developments in art therapy and the palette of technique available to artists and social workers alike. My internship was highly rewarding because I was always working with people, which helped my immersion in the national culture immensely and provided me with the opportunity to meet some amazing young people who became some of my closest friends. Indeed, the staff of SaludArte—beginning with the wonderful Mrs. Rasia Friedler, the founder and director of the foundation—is what really made this internship an invaluable and extremely enjoyable experience. I was deeply impressed at how open and caring and interesting they all were, and how similar our passions and worldviews proved to be.