Eurasia Partnership Foundation launches internship hosting and coordination program

Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPF) launches internship hosting and coordination program in cooperation with academic institutions. Internships are connected to academic programs and meant to enrich various academic study directions with field experiences.

EPF hosted the first group of students in partnership with Stonehill College as part of the Learning Inside Out Network (LION) internship program. The US students had three week internships in Armenia from June 7 - June 30. The internships were followed by Local Roots of Global Peace: International Student Conference on Global Development and Security Studies as the students have prepared extensive papers and presentations on various topics within global development and security. 

The LION program was an intensive international internship that offered research opportunities for students interested in the theory and practice of global security. The program was developed on courses in security studies, conflict analysis and resolution, economics, environmental studies, human security, and international development through an international internship experience with a non-governmental organization (NGO) think tank or media organization in Armenia. 

The international internships link classes from different disciplines or perspectives that are designed to foster students’ ability to integrate learning across courses over time and between campus and community life. As for LION program, students in Learning Communities (LC) address real-world problems that are unscripted and broad requiring multiple modes of inquiry and perspective. This was the first time that this program was taught in a three week time-span, as there is a semester version of this class. This class was called Swords, Saviors, and Saints: Global Security and Humanitarianism in Practice and is taught by professors Anna Ohanyan and Todd Gernes. The international internship program was enriched by a number of cultural trips across Armenia for exploring the local culture and traditions.

Many students come to Armenia with different expectations about the country and their internships. Here are some perspectives from students in the program: 

Hillary, an intern at EPF, perspective: “I chose to do the LION program to gain a new cultural perspective and be able to have the chance to intern somewhere that I would never have the opportunity to do otherwise. My expectations were scattered; I did not know what to expect as I have not traveled much outside of the United States. I am so happy that I chose to come to Armenia as I love being able to experience the Armenian culture, and can’t wait to come back. In terms of my internship, I absolutely love working at EPF. Everyone at EPF is extremely kind and does an amazing job at making the interns feel welcomed. The staff goes out of their way to make sure the interns are enjoying the work they are doing and involving us with the interworking of the organization. I love being able to have had the experience of doing an internship abroad, as it has allowed me to gain a different perspective of working internationally that will be helpful for a future career.”

Leo, another EPF intern, perspective: “I first heard about the LION program from a fellow student who had participated in the full-length program. I wanted to experience a new culture and part of the world. I applied for the program through the Learning Community selection for the Spring Semester. Yerevan is a beautiful city, there is food here from across the world, and the people are polite and try to accommodate tourists as best they can. The weekend trips outside of Yerevan have been fun as well. On our first weekend, we went to Geghard, Garni, Saint Gayane Church, and Khor Virap. The program pushes us to involve ourselves deeply with this ancient culture in ways we would never have. The conference was a unique experience. We were surrounded by people from different countries and, at times, debated with them on various issues.”

To read more about the student’s experience in Armenia and what they have learned, please click the link: Armenia & America: A Shared History.

*The article was developed by Hillary Ferreira and Leo Field, and edited by Kyra Jenkins-Hunter.