Students come to the University of Montana from around the world to earn an education, and many programs that sponsor international students require them to complete internships as part of their course of study. The internships can be anywhere in the United States as long as they have a strong relation to a student’s academic major and meet certain requirements. This summer, three of UM’s international students are interning in Washington, D.C.
The summer heat in D.C. feels familiar to Ana Monteiro, a Brazilian student who studied at UM last year through the Science Mobility Program.
“I love it,” Monteiro said. “It feels like home.”
Monteiro is working at Innovations in Civic Participation as a project intern. ICP is a nonprofit organization that supports the development of youth civic engagement policies and programs worldwide. Monteiro, a geography major, is working to administer a U.S. Department of State exchange program with Pakistan. After graduation she hopes to represent her country on the world stage and says her internship at ICP is a great fit with her future career objectives.
Volodymyr Shemayev of the Ukraine attended UM last year as part of the U.S. Department of State Muskie Program. This summer he’s also working in D.C. as summer consul in the Information and Communication Technologies division of the World Bank. His work there focuses on poverty eradication and economic appraisals of proposals from countries to use more information technology in their governance.
UM student Olivia Orthof of Brazil is interning at a dance studio in Washington, D.C., where she takes classes, assists instructors and learns business skills related to running a studio, such as the use of social media for advertising and how to host workshops. The studio specializes in a type of dance that is highly acrobatic.
“It’s scary sometimes,” Orthof said, “but you just need to go for it.”
Student services and academic units across the University, including the Office of International Programs, Foreign Student and Scholar Services and others, collaborate to help international students land internships. Career Services helped Shemayev revise his cover letter and resume. Professors in the Department of Political Science introduced Monteiro to the Washington Center Program, which helped her secured the internship at ICP. The modern dance classes Orthof took through the School of Theatre & Dance helped her earn the confidence to attempt the new and challenging things.
While the work of those offices is important, Monteiro said that it’s most important for students to take the initiative and seek out opportunities themselves.
“Talk to people and they’ll tell you about many different opportunities,” she said.