2015 WDI Interns Blog About Summer Abroad

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The monsoon season in Bangladesh. An alphabet soup of acronymns in South Africa. The stillness of the night in Rwanda. Being a “professional foreign person” in Brazil.

Villasenor with Rwandan friends

These are some of the dispatches written by some of WDI’s 13 summer interns on a blog they are contributing to during the duration of their 12 or so weeks abroad.

You can follow all of the interns, their work and play here.

The 13 interns, all graduate students at the University of Michigan, come from six U-M schools and colleges – the Ross School of Business, the Ford School of Public Policy, the School of Public Health, the School of Natural Resources and Environment, the Department of Economics, and the School of Nursing.

They are working in 12 countries around the world – India, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Zambia, Bangladesh, Mexico and China.

The students are working with private sector companies, global NGOs, social enterprises, and start-ups on a number of different tasks, including developing business and marketing strategies, implementing impact assessments, and improving vaccine and medical care supply-chain challenges in emerging market countries.

Here are a few notable excerpts from the early blog posts:

It has been a smooth re-entry into the familiar airs of my beautiful subcontinent. Although remote, there is a purity here that is lost in the city. The air is fresh so I am breathing deeper but holding my breath through the fish market.

– Surabhi Rajaram, Bangladesh

When I visited Cape Town several years ago with my family I remember thinking to myself that I would love to live in or, at the very least, revisit the city. Who knew that I would get another opportunity to visit 13 years later… Cape Town’s rugged mountains, dramatic ocean-facing mountain roadways, beautiful blue skies, and rolling vineyards got the last word – they’re going to force me to go back a third time.

– Puneet Goenka, South Africa

As we drove out of Kigali I was struck by how dark and still the night was. Even though there were a couple of other cars on the road the night seemed to have a peacefulness to it that I found surprising. In retrospect this might have been my mind starting to relax after hours of airplanes and airports but nonetheless, in my mind my first impression of Rwanda will always have a magical quality to it.

– Julio Villasenor, Rwanda
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