10 Aug From One Hemisphere to the Next: An Insatiable Wanderlust Blossoms Anew
Heading to London with Absolute Internship in just a couple weeks seems like a dream come true. The last time I was in Europe was back in 2011, and I can’t wait to head back as an intern instead of a tourist this time!
My name is Jennifer Oates and I will be a third year student at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA this coming fall 2015. I am a Latin American Studies major doubling in Global Public Health and minoring in Portuguese. I can’t wait to head to London and work on a NGO’s education team, coming up with innovative ways to teach financial management knowledge to adolescents/young adults ages 11-25. It will be another great adventure for me, considering I just returned from Brazil on June 14th! I was studying abroad with a nonprofit organization called CIEE in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, the first capital of the country. Initially when I had declared my Latin American Studies major in my first year I had planned to focus my studies more on Spanish Latin America, since I had more experience studying this region of the world and had been an avid Spanish student for several years. I am originally from Houston, Texas and had always been exposed to some degree of Hispanic-American culture throughout my schooling there, whether in the classroom or through the friends that I made, the music I heard, the dances I learned, and/or the food I ate. However, after taking courses that focused for the first time on the history of Brazil I found myself eager to travel to this country, learn the Portuguese language, and experience first-hand a culture I knew little about until I had dedicated part of my college career to studying it. And I did just that. I lived in Brazil with a host family from January 6th-June 14th, almost a full six months. I took courses at a local university (Universidade Católica do Salvador), as well as classes within my program (with Brazilian students and American ones). My Portuguese has improved exponentially, I have wonderful new Brazilian and American friends from my program, and a beautiful family that took wonderful care of me during my stay in Brazil. I travelled around the state of Bahia, where Salvador is located, as well as to the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. I have learned a lot about myself concerning where I stand in this world as an American citizen and as a foreign traveler in other countries. But I still have a lot to learn, and Absolute Internship will help me discover even more!
I knew while in Brazil (and beforehand even) that I didn’t want my adventures abroad to stop there. When I heard of the opportunity to intern with Absolute Internship in London, I knew I had to take the chance and apply. Nonprofit work is something that has intrigued me as a possible career path for the last year or so, and I want to test the waters working within nonprofit and see if that field is right for me. Aside from my love of travelling and my ambition to pursue an international career, I also am an avid reader, a salsa dancer/instructor/choreographer for the University Salsa Club at UVa, and a bassoon player for the Charlottesville Symphony Orchestra. I have an incredible passion for music and the liberal arts, mostly centering around foreign language, and I feel like Europe will be the place to explore that love more profoundly when I am not busy working away through the weeks! London, I hope you’re ready for me!