An international experience without leaving the city
The UIC Office of Global Engagement and Office of International Affairs have made it possible for UIC students to gain international experiences without leaving Chicago.
Both offices have opened channels and made connections with international consulates in Chicago to provide students with internships opportunities there.
Partner consulates currently include Pakistan, Mexico, Australia, and the list keeps growing.
Internships are available for students across a variety of majors — not just those studying international affairs, said Nora Bonnin, senior director of the Office of International Affairs.
“Internships build résumés and open a world of opportunities to more career paths than what we usually think. The case is that international internships are not only for students planning to be diplomats, we also need students in business, engineering, in food security or human right issues,” she said.
Katherine Taylor, a senior in political science, says she has benefitted tremendously by interning this semester in the Office of the Consul General at the Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago.
“My position as a political analyst allows me to prepare reports on United States policies affecting Mexican-Americans in the Midwest,” she said. “I’m very excited to spend the spring semester interning at the Consulate. While I’m the only intern in my department, my team has been very welcoming and always helpful.”
Neal McCrillis, UIC’s vice provost for global engagement, hopes international learning is a part of every UIC student’s experience.
“From my perspective, in terms of global engagement, I want every UIC student to have the opportunity to directly experience the world,” he said. “Whether it’s going abroad, connecting with an international student on campus, or working with a foreign consulate. The same end can be achieved.”
The internships with the consulates are just one step in a larger vision McCrillis has for the university.
“We need to feel, and every student should feel like, ‘Oh, we’re actually connected to the whole world, I can see it.’ How can we make UIC everything it is and more, and demonstrate to people that is the case,” he said. “They have to see it and feel it. That’s really what we’re trying to do in terms of internationalization.”
For more information on internships and international experiences, contact the Office of International Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-996-5455 to set up an appointment.