Monthly Archives: September 2014

What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting


Fueled by my interest in international education, sustainability, and human rights, I decided to apply for the Center for Global Studies internship. I knew that I had a strong background in international studies, with my two study-abroad trips (first to Perth, Australia and second to Dublin, Ireland) and my roles as a Peer Advisor, a Conversation Partner, and the Vice President of the Penn State Global Ambassadors. I knew that this internship would be beneficial for both experience and networking.

Coming into the internship, I must admit that I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I had read on the website about some of the possible activities that interns do, but I personally did not have specific expectations. I only knew that I wanted to gain knowledge that could help me on my path to going global with my studies.

Thus, the internship commenced. I was given a role as a club teacher at the Young Scholars of Central Pennsylvania K-8 charter school. I have to admit, I was really excited about this role. I plan to go abroad to teach English in a school in France after graduation, so I knew this would be a good experience. After some configuration, I was given three clubs to run: Book Club, Arts and Crafts, and Games and Coloring.

Initially, I hadn’t planned on running a club like any of the ones above. But, I found a way to incorporate my original ideas (Mythology and Folklore and French) into the new clubs. When I first arrived at the school, I had my days all planned out—what we would read, what activities we would do, and even how responsive I thought the children would be.

Boy, I was in for a surprise.

I don’t have much experience working with children. In fact, I tend to lean towards adults when I have to work with any specific age group. I’ve babysat a few times for my mom’s friends, but for the most part I was going into this cold turkey. I probably should’ve done some reading-up on how to interact with children ages “just-learning-to-write-and-read” to “just-because-I-can-do-this-craft-doesn’t-mean-I’m-going-to”, and everything in between.

Week one has officially passed for these clubs, so I now know what I need to do to modify my plans and make these clubs more interesting for all parties involved. I must say, I’ve gained much more respect for elementary school teachers. It’s not that I didn’t have respect previously; simply, I didn’t think that children could require so much enthusiasm and patience. I’m not talking 95% enthusiasm and patience for 97% of the time, I mean 110% for 100% of the time. I know that I’ll have to work on these traits, but I’m up for the challenge!

Here we gooooooo!

By BEN MECK on September 17, 2014

In the words of my high school cross country coach, “here we go!” I’m excited to be a part of this years team of interns for CGS, being how this is the first internship I’ve ever had. My expectations for this experience are vague to say the least.

Being an Security and Risk major, this job seems like an odd fit. When I was looking for an internship, my adviser pointed this out to me and said that I qualified. I read about it and it seemed interesting so I applied, and now I’m talking to you all. If you think about it though its really not that odd of a place for someone such as myself. This is the Center for Global Studies after all and my major has to do with security and part of being secure is knowing what is going on around you.

As you all can read, my colleagues that I’ll be working with this year are involved with the after school program. I had thought about taking part in such a program but I had found that I was too busy but you may see me from time to time helping said colleagues of mine keep the children in line!

Currently I find this internship not to be that difficult, just perhaps a bit taxing when it comes to time. It is nothing that can’t be handled just that with everything I have to do, it just adds fuel to the fire. Although it may seem like a large task during some bits, Mrs. Lyall-Combs has always emphasized that she is around to help if need be. I find that to be very kind of her. I have heard from others with internships that sometimes they are just thrown into their internship and never given any guidance. I have been very appreciative of that lately.

In the future I see this job developing into something more meaningful than in its current state. I foresee some of the tasks I have been given really challenging me be on top of my game and that excites me. There’s nothing like a good puzzle or challenge to wake you up from getting caught in the common place fixtures of ones own life! As I come across these challenges I’ll make sure to keep you all informed.

One Intern’s Hopes and Expectations


I am so excited to be an intern at the Center for Global Studies this fall. This being my first internship, I don’t have anything to compare it to, and I’m not really sure what to expect. However, if the rest of the semester continues in the same way that the past few weeks have gone, it’ll be a great experience.

What initially attracted me to this internship was the opportunity to work in a teaching capacity with K-8 students at the Young Scholars of Central PA charter school. This fall, I will be running two after school clubs for first and second graders: a Nature Club and an International Food and Culture Club. In both of these clubs, I plan on applying my own knowledge, expertise, and international experiences to build lesson plans that hopefully help the kids begin to develop a global perspective.

My past experience working with kids this age is minimal, so I think this will be a great learning and growing experience for me. I think the greatest challenge that I will face over the coming weeks will be disciplining the kids. First and second graders can be wild, and while part of me will undoubtedly want to let them run loose, I will have to channel my inner elementary school teacher/disciplinarian and maintain control over the classroom in order to make it a productive learning environment.

In addition to my work at YSCP, this internship will hopefully give me a chance to cultivate professional skills that I haven’t really been exposed to up until now. The events and opportunities for networking in particular will be some of my first chances to practice interacting with faculty and professionals, both in my field of interest and outside.  Additionally, I expect to get a lot of practice doing office work, producing documents and posters, and meeting deadlines that are assigned to me.

Although I do not anticipate going into a career in international affairs specifically, I am interested in international, sustainable development. In order to be an effective force for positive change in this field, I need to have a very broad, global perspective and vast understanding of international issues. While I consider myself to be somewhat well informed in terms of global affairs and perspectives, there is obviously always room for great improvement. I plan on taking advantage of the lectures and events that CGS holds as a way to improve my own understanding of the world, and maybe even broaden my own global perspective.

Overall, I am ecstatic to be working at the Center for Global studies as an intern. If all goes as planned, this will be the first internship that primes me for work in other internships or jobs directly related to my area of study.  With any luck, by the end of this experience I will be able ready and able to step into the professional world without an ounce of hesitation.