Get a GRIP

J. Michael DeAngelis, Digital Resources Manager

Looking for a summer internship or research placement?  Interested in going abroad during your time at Penn?  Find out how you can do both through Penn Abroad’s Global Research & Internship Program (GRIP)!  We have 200 internship and research opportunities available in a variety of career fields and locations.  All placements come with guaranteed funding!

The deadline to apply is January 6th, but all students must attend an advising session held by Penn Abroad before the end of the semester.  You can read more about GRIP and available Summer 2019 placements, as well as sign up for your advising session, on the website or by emailing  Deadlines are approaching, so act soon!

The Gambia

This is the next in a series of posts by recipients of the 2018 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they’ve been spending their summer. You can read the entire series here.

This entry is by Raisa Rauf, COL ’19

Even now when I look at a world map, it astonishes me that I lived The Gambia. Sitting in class and learning about global health was one thing; it was a completely different platform experiencing it first hand.

From the moment I landed up until the minute I got on the return flight, I learned new things, ate different foods, delved into Gambian culture, made new friends and formulated memories that would last a lifetime.  I wore African dresses and learned to cook Gambian dishes (Benechin is my favorite!). I had the opportunity to learn about a culture that I might have never learned about. This experience opened my eyes to another world, a world that, although is different from mine, is also very similar. I feel so lucky to have this experience; it truly has shaped my identity and increased my cultural awareness. The world is becoming smaller with the aid of technology, and I believe it is the duty of a global citizen to learn about the cultures that make it up. This experience is a step forward toward fulfilling that duty.

Aside from the cultural experiences I had, this opportunity shaped my academic goals. Prior to going to The Gambia, I knew that I wanted to do something in global health, but I was unsure. What is it like? What are the challenges? What are those on the ground experiencing? How do clinicians in developing nations cope with limited resources? These are questions that I asked myself constantly, but regardless of the readings I would do, I always felt that I was missing something. But my time in Bwiam General Hospital answered my burning questions, and I finally knew, absolutely, what I wanted to do with my life: pursue medicine and provide medical care for those in need in developing nations. I knew this because I fell in love with the work. I marveled at the way procedures were conducted, awed by the doctor’s commitment to caring for patients 24/7, and inspired by watching how clinicians gave the best care with limited resources.

This opportunity has broadened my worldly experience, made me better equipped in engaging with global health scholars, exposed me to the challenges that third world nations face in regards to health care and strengthened my belief that the same solution cannot be applied everywhere (rather, it is extremely important to tailor solutions to the environment and society). And none of this would have been possible if I had not received funding. I have always believed that money should not hinder one from achieving their dreams, but I accepted this as a sad reality for myself; I certainly could not afford a plane ticket, and all the other costs of living. Hence, the funding I received was a game changer for me. It opened doors for me that would have otherwise remained shut for the rest of my life, and I cannot appreciate it enough. Thank you for blessing me with this opportunity.

Exploring the Foreign Service Abroad

This is the next in a series of posts by recipients of the 2018 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they’ve been spending their summer. You can read the entire series here.

This entry is by Jorge Pendao, COL ’19

As I waited for my early departure in May, I nervously anticipated what the following 10 weeks would look like. After my two previous summers consisted of volunteering positions in a variety of fields, I knew that I wanted to explore a field directly related to a career I’m interested in. After applying seven months beforehand in October 2017, I was finally embarking on my internship in the International Narcotics & Law Enforcement section at the US Embassy in Lima.

For the internship, I was excited to learn more about work at an American embassy and the duties of a foreign service officer. Working under the INL Program Officer, who manages INL’s justice programs, seemed like a perfect opportunity to learn first-hand the work being done in this field I am interested in. It was also additionally exciting to be able to spend my summer in Peru where I could learn that much more about South America and the regional geopolitics.

Within the first week, I knew that the following weeks would be much more than I anticipated. Though I was quite nervous this first week because of all the security measures and the weight of working in a government position, I was immediately intrigued with the work I was doing. Though the name gives the impression of focusing on narcotics affairs, I quickly realized there was so much more everyone worked on. Whether it was the growing issue of illegal gold mining in the Madre de Dios region or the public corruption scandals in the Ministry of Justice, the office was always busy which meant I was as well. I had the fortune of sitting in on meetings with high-level Peruvian officials and writing a report on national issues that would be sent to Washington. In addition to working with my supervisor who explained the content of his work and the dynamics of the embassy, I believe all of the experiences, all of the work and all of the people have deeply helped me secure my interest in this field.

With regards to how the Career Service grant impacted my summer experience, I believe that the funding most definitely improved the overall experience. From a logistical perspective, the funding lifted a significant financial burden that I would have had otherwise. Because the internship was unpaid and in a different country, I would have had to pay for my flight, housing and all of my food which would have significantly challenged my ability to participate. However, with help from the funding, I didn’t have to worry about this, and I was able to focus on the actual experience without stressing about financial concerns.

After finishing the internship and having some time to reflect, I realize how helpful the funding was in easing the process and allowing me to participate in this amazing opportunity and confidently determine my interest in this career path. This summer experience was one I will definitely remember and take into consideration in my future career path.

WASH Program in Ghana

This is the next in a series of posts by recipients of the 2018 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they’ve been spending their summer. You can read the entire series here.

This entry is by AnnaClaire Osei-Akoto, COL ’19

This summer I spent a month in Accra, Ghana executing a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) program in a local school.  The program was aimed in teaching children about issues pertaining to WASH whiles allowing the children to develop a project that they felt could help with some of the issues they discussed. The teaching style was done in a project based manner. Hence, the students did multiple mini projects to learn about the issues that surround water, sanitation, and hygiene.

The program was executed at Saint Martin de Porres school for four weeks. We had 30 students from 6th grade up to 9th grade participate in the program. Initially, it was intended to have high school students for the program. However, due certain circumstances, many of the high school students were unavailable. Thus, the age range was adjusted and we decided to include middle school students.

During the first week, the main focus was on water related issues. We started off by having a general discussion on the importance of water as well as general facts of what water is. This was followed up with a discussion on the importance of safe drinking water, how to distinguish between safe and unsafe drinking water, and how to purify water. After each topic discussion, we had the students write new things that they had learned. Most of the discussion involved proposing questions to the students and having them discuss with their peers. This allowed for them to think critically about the issues and share out the information to each other. This depicted that the students had some knowledge on the issues and by coupling the discussions with interactive presentations we were also able to provide more information. Additionally, we showed them a movie that discussed the importance of water and how lack of it and safe drinking water affected communities around the world. This forced the students to think of their home communities and how they may be affected and what change could be done in the slightest manner.

During the second and third week, we discussed sanitation and hygiene related issues. We had the students break up into six different groups. Each group was given a topic to educate the rest of the students on. For instance, one group was given the topic of good hygiene practices. Hence this group came up with a skit performance on what constituted good hygiene practices. The students were able to use what they had learned from the discussions and presentations to put together informative skits in which they performed for the school during an assembly meeting.

The last week was devoted to executing a project of the students choosing that would aid in solving WASH issues. The students decided that they wanted to create posters to put up around their school and in some of their neighborhoods that discussed these issues as a tool for educating their communities. This allowed the students to feel empowered with knowledge and give them a sense that they can be change makers.

CS Radio – Episode 44: “Global Week”

Today marks the start of Global Week at The University of Pennsylvania. The aim is to enlighten the Penn community about how they can engage with the world here on campus and by going abroad. As part of the festivities, Career Services will host our annual Global Career Fair on Thursday, featuring employers hiring for full time and summer internship positions around the world! In this episode of CS Radio, Michael and Mylène look at the various other resources Career Services offers to students and alumni looking to work abroad, as well as reviewing some general tips for an international job search. Enjoy!

Show Resources

International Job Search Resources
Goin’ Global & Uniworld (Part of our digital career resources)
Career Resources: International Opportunities
Study and Work Abroad Database from Penn Abroad
Penn Internship Network

Global Week Events
Global Week Homepage
Global Career Fair
Career Fair Prep Workshop
International Job & Internship Search Strategies Workshop