BY Patricia Sanchez, ’19 // International Business, CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE Being in Dublin this spring semester, Champlain College and the cybersecurity firm SmartTech247 offered abroad students the unique opportunity for volunteering at ZeroDayCon 2018. This annual international tech conference takes place at the beautiful Dublin Convention Centre and draws corporations as large as Microsoft and IBM. […]Continue reading
BY Kerry Cunningham, ’19 // Professional Writing, Champlain College
If possible, studying abroad during college is something everyone should try and do. Yes, Champlain is career-oriented, and it might make you nervous when they tell you to get an internship before graduating. If that’s your reason for not planning on studying abroad, fear not! Champlain Abroad offers an international internship experience! To reiterate Champlain’s website—not only does an internship offer an invaluable opportunity to build your professional skills and advance personal growth, it also offers a unique way to immerse your self further into, as well as encourages, understanding a different culture.
But you don’t want to hear what Champlain’s website has to say. When asked about the process of applying for an internship abroad, Filmmaking major Danielle Hazelton ’19 said that there are a couple different steps you have to go through. First, you have to fill out your course schedule, including the internship course. “Once that’s on your schedule,” Danielle explained, “you’ll get an email asking you to prepare your application.
Part of that application is your resume and a cover letter. When you’re building those Irish resumes and cover letters, they’re different than the U.S. ones, so it’s highly recommended that you go to the Garden House to help get that taken care of.” Having a meeting with your career coach about interesting internships, interviewing methods, et cetera is a very important step in applying for internships or jobs anywhere. “You’ll usually hear back about a week or two before you head off to [wherever you’re studying], and they’ll let you know where you’ll be placed.” Internship placements are not guaranteed but the Dublin staff is doing their best to meet student requests.
Lots of students and people applying for internships are always worried about internships that don’t have them doing anything valuable, but Champlain does a good job at making sure your internship is worthwhile. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Danielle said. “I’m not treated like an intern or like someone who’s ‘Hey, go get me coffee.’ I’m treated like a member of the team, which is really great.”
Danielle is a production coordinator for a film and is given a lot of responsibility to help contribute ideas to the pre-production process, as well as getting to listen in on different meetings and discussing new ideas and concepts for the film itself. “During production, I’m going to be filming in Dublin, Wales, and Rome, so I’ll be going to three different places in Europe to be able to film.” Continue reading
BY KATHRYN GESSER, SECONDARY TEACHER EDUCATION’18, CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE
This semester I was one of ten Champlain Abroad students enrolled in the Community Advocacy and Inquiry class (EHS 300) provided by Champlain Dublin’s curriculum. Part of the requirements for the class was to complete a semester-long placement in a community facility. Some students volunteered at after school programs or other youth-centered organizations. As a Secondary Education major, I was placed in Mount Temple Comprehensive school in Clontarf, Dublin (where U2 went to school) to teach three classes and help facilitate a Literary Magazine editing team of students. Though it was a requirement for both the class and my major to complete these hours of student teaching, I was able to end the semester with a feeling of not only an academic gain and added experience, but a personal accomplishment as well.
After speaking with the head of the English department at Mount Temple, I was placed with the responsibility of teaching American Poetry – Robert Frost and Sylvia Plath – to Irish students. Being two of my favorite authors, I was initially excited to hear I would be teaching their work, while at the same time, intimidated by the challenge. I was sure that, being American, these students would have high expectations of me to know all about these American poets. The task came with the added notion of their knowledge being imperative to passing the English portion of their national Certificate Exams which all but dictated what colleges they’d be accepted into. The concept of these exams was brand new to me upon my joining the Mount Temple community. I must have spent an entire weekend in Starbucks going over lesson plans and analyzing poetry.
On my first day, I was introduced to many of the teachers in the English and Language Arts department. They gave me a true Irish Welcome, which I’ve learned by now includes many smiles, an offer of Tea, food or sweets of some sort, and a “You’re very welcome here!” The students, to my happy surprise, were just as warm and welcoming. They were genuinely interested in where I was from as soon as they heard my accent. I told them about myself and what we’d be doing for the next few weeks together, looking over poets, getting them ready for their exams at the end of the school year.
In the following weeks after that first day, I began to look forward to my early Wednesday mornings at Mount Temple. It was even a relief to me when the weekend came, not only because it was a small break from my own classes, but because I knew I’d once again be able to sit in one of the many amazing Dublin cafes and plan the lesson for the coming week. I thought to myself several times, ‘Can I really be having so much fun doing this? Isn’t this supposed to be my actual job someday?’ I was presented with a new perspective on what it could actually feel like to live each day in my career field of choice.
After looking back at my time in Clontarf, I am now also able to look forward on my future with less wincing and churning in my stomach at the sheer inevitability and closeness of next year’s graduation date. I have a better idea, thanks to my experience at Mount Temple, of what I’d like to do as a next step: continue my schooling and work with students who wish to be writers, in a college setting. This was a conclusion I may not have come to as easily, or at least not have had so much fun coming to it, had I not decided to study abroad in Dublin this semester. It made the trip over the ocean worthwhile, and I would recommend the class to any future study abroad students who are looking for a way to get fully immersed in the surrounding community of Dublin.
BY KATHRYN GESSER, SECONDARY TEACHER EDUCATION’18, CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE
News of traveling abroad can elicit amusing responses from friends and family. When first hearing a student’s plans to travel, loved ones often summon a common image in their minds of constant hopping on and off planes and gallivanting from one happening party to the next. While this is definitely the case at times, especially during the recent spring break, Champlain Abroad students have learned there are more ways to become involved in the community of Dublin.
Two students currently studying abroad in Dublin have discovered ways to do become engaged in Irish culture and hope their experiences inspire future students to get to know the city just as fondly as they have.
Meghan Neely, a Professional Writing major, is currently studying for her second semester in Dublin. She wasn’t ready to let go of the city when the previous semester came to a close, and it is obvious that the city was not quite ready to let go of her either. Neely has been very active in the Repeal the 8th Movement, a motion to end the illegality of abortion laws in Ireland as well as advocate for other women’s rights as well. Since her arrival in Dublin in August 2016, she has taken part in marches and protests throughout the city in support of the Repeal the 8th movement.
“In Ireland, abortion is illegal under the 8th amendment of the country’s constitution. This means women seeking abortions within Ireland, regardless of the circumstances, can face up to 14 years in jail (even for something as simple as taking a plan B pill). A lot of women have had their lives destroyed because of this, and some have even died. As a result, a lot of Irish women are looking to repeal the 8th amendment from Ireland’s constitution, and the movement has gained a lot of momentum recently.” said Neely.
This news can be very shocking to hear, especially when coming from a country such as the United States where the opposite is true. It was this shock that initially ignited her interest in the campaign.
“I first found out about the movement online before I even left the States. I was trying to do some research on Dublin when I stumbled across it, but I never thought it would be as prevalent as when I actually got here.”
Neely says one of the most memorable moments of her time spent studying abroad was joining the Coalition to Repeal the 8th which was part of the Women’s March that took place in Dublin as well as various other cities throughout the world.
“It was so awesome to see people coming together the way that we did, and I really do think we’re making a difference. In a few days, I’ll be joining the March for Repeal as well, and I’m really looking forward to it.”
As far as advice to future study abroad students, Neely has one piece of advice: get involved.
“It’s so important to realize that people from all over the world share similar passions, and I’m not just talking about activism either. I know activism isn’t everybody’s thing, but the action of going out, doing something, and sharing ideas with people from backgrounds completely different from your own is an amazing opportunity. It helps you to grow and definitely creates memories to last a lifetime.”
Alan Barlow is another Champlain College student spending his spring semester in Dublin who has found his own way to get involved with the culture through Common Purpose and their Frontrunner Programme. This is an organization designed specifically for third year college students which offers leadership courses. The entire program was made with the intent of promoting leadership roles in students in schools wherever these courses are offered. Champlain College offered to sponsor the enrollment cost for 3 students and Alan was successful in securing his place on the program.
“The entire four day program was an unforgettable experience. One highlight included meeting other students who are currently studying in Dublin, some Irish while others were international students. This gave me a personal perspective into Ireland as well as many countries around the world,” said Barlow.
The program itself, which Barlow dedicated an entire weekend to attending, was packed full of interesting and noteworthy contributors, most of whom he was able to interact with on a one-on-one basis.
“I was able to interact with some business and community leaders that I would never have been able to meet if I had not participated in Frontrunner,” recalled Barlow. “The perspectives that the contributors gave will stick with me for the rest of my life. Overall, I was rejuvenated as a leader and more able than ever to work with diverse groups of people with varying perspectives.”
Barlow said he would recommend any student takes part in the Frontrunner Programme or any similar organization they are able to find in the Dublin area.
“Attending Frontrunner or a similar leadership program while abroad allows for a great platform to not only grow intercultural intelligence as a leader, but to also meet other students in Ireland.
I developed relationships with many of the participants in the program that I know will last beyond my time in Ireland.”
Other Champlain Abroad students connected with their study abroad city through the Creative Minds Hackathon events. In this blog post you can read all about how Kelsey Hanneman’18 (Criminal Justice), Michael Roberts’18 (Digital Forensics) and Tyler Bedard’18 (Graphic Design and Digital Media) got on when they studied abroad in Dublin.
On November 16th the Global IT & Ethics class (CSI 320) class went to visit Amazon Web Services (AWS) on the canal at Grand Parade in Dublin. We were hosted by Matthew Pye, Operations Manager and two of his colleague engineers one specialising in security and the other in game development in the cloud. Matthew’s talk began by explaining the history, background and current structure of Amazon. The founder – Jeff Bezos -despite starting by selling books from his garage, always saw the company as a technology supplier and not a bookseller. Matt then gave an overview of the type of Services provided by Amazon and how they allow companies such as Netflix to operate from the cloud and dynamically utilise extra capacity when needed. The list of services now is vast and also includes a specialised game development engine, secure authentication servers and dedicated platforms for the Internet of Things.
They also provide free experimental use of AWS for student projects. He also described the Amazon approach to graduate recruitment and more generally the types of background research that applicants should do before attending any interview. Amazon currently employs 1700 people in Dublin and Cork and has released plans to hire 500 more over the coming years. Finally after discussions about ways to prevent Distributed Denial of Service attacks the afternoon concluded with a question and answer session. It was fantastic to be allocated so much time and it was much appreciated. All this and free pizza too! As an aside the meeting took place on the 7th floor of the old Nationwide Building Society offices which was the previous home of their CEO Michael Fingleton and now contains pool tables and fantastic views across the City – changing times indeed.
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BY ZACH PAULSEN, PROFESSIONAL WRITING’17, CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE
There are many reasons to study abroad. At almost every turn it’s hard to find a downside. One of the most engaging opportunities offered to Champlain Abroad students is the range of international internship experiences.
8 Dublin students took advantage of this chance during the Spring 2016 semester, and the application process is part of your regular study abroad application. You need to work together with Champlain Abroad staff and be able to provide them with an updated resume as well as taking part in pre-interviews with the Dublin staff. Some students may even need to meet a potential host over Skype pre-arrival. Champlain staff will seek out suitable host organisations and companies on your behalf.
Take it from me, though, you need to be fairly proactive and focused when it comes to helping the Burlington and Dublin staff. I would have had an internship as well, had I not failed to see a few crucial emails over the summer. As long as you pay attention and make regular check-ins, the process will go smoothly.
Having said that, I am going to highlight the particular internships of some of my Champlain Dublin compatriots, Bianca Roa and Laura Anderson. Continue reading
BY MEGHAn Neely, PROFESSIONAL WRITING’17, CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE
When I signed up for an internship through Champlain Abroad Dublin, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. All I knew was that with whatever placement I was given, I would have a lot to learn. My experience interning abroad in a foreign city was guaranteed to be unlike any other position I had held in the States, and that prospect alone was about as exciting as it was terrifying. Still, I wanted to try.
Two weeks before my arrival in August, I learned that my placement would be with the Irish Council for International Students (ICOS). It seemed like an odd fit at first, placing a Professional Writing major in a nonprofit setting that didn’t exactly seem to do a lot of writing; but I wasn’t about to back out of the opportunity. After all, ICOS is there to help people, and if they were going to teach me how help other international students like myself through my writing, who was I to say no?
It’s been four months now, and I can’t even begin to express what working for ICOS has done for me. A seeming mismatch at first, I now realize that this organization was the best possible fit my writing and for myself. We needed each other, and as the semester is drawing to a close I feel happy to say that I’ve grown in ways I hadn’t previously imagined possible. I was right when I said that I would have a lot to learn, but I never could have imagined just what it was that that notion implied.
I feel as though I have done absolutely everything an intern could hope for. Coffee-and-copy-runs? Absolutely out of the question. ICOS had me involved from day one. I prepared orientation packets and met Irish Aid Fellowship students from countries like Vietnam, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. I designed brochures, infographics, and website content. I sat in on board meetings and helped to plan functions. The most important jobs of all, though? Those were the communication based one. Continue reading
9 students of Champlain College‘s Computer & Digital Forensics and Computer Networking & Cyber security programs volunteered at the Cyber Threat Summit early in September. The conference was a sell out and was held in the Mansion House in the Dublin city centre. The organizers are now also offering an “Omnibus Virtual Event” where the broadcast will be free to attend. If you are interested, you can find more details on the Cyber Threat Summit’s website.
The Champlain students helped out with general tasks during the conference in exchange of sitting in on talks and presentations as well as joining networking events with conference attendees.
Check out more photos from the Summit in this photo album:
BY Zach Paulsen, PROFESSIONAL WRITING’17
Kelsey Hannemann (Criminal Justice’18) , Michael Roberts (Digital Forensics’18), and Tyler Bedard (Graphic Design’18) all study abroad students from Champlain College were taking part in the Creative Minds Hackathon, hosted jointly by the DCU Ryan Academy and the U.S. Embassy in Ireland. The goal of the 72-hour creative boot camp was to put hundreds of students’ and professionals’ brains together to help work towards a solution for refugee inclusion, integration and self reliance.
“It was a pretty big draw because it is a major issue in Ireland,” Roberts says of the role that this years theme played in attracting participants. “We’re all working towards projects to help refugees, and helping asylum seekers find who they are in Ireland, and maybe find housing; find ways they can participate in the community.”
The theme itself certainly wasn’t the sole draw to this event however.
“I thought it would be a good opportunity to reach out to more people and network and that kind of thing,” Hannemann stated, in regards to her personal reason for taking part.
Bedard echoed with a similar sentiment: “we can always go to Northern Ireland again, but that’s a one-time thing.”
The event itself took place on 14th through the 16th of October, and was structured in a way that facilitated teamwork and networking the entire way. The first day of the Hackathon was spent acquainting with team members and fleshing out ideas for projects going forward.
“It was pretty much getting to meet your team and seeing where everybody’s previous skills, majors, careers, whatever, would be able to help, so you could be able to do a multiple-week project over a weekend,” Hannemann said of the workflow of Friday night. Continue reading
By: Amanda Hollywood, ’17 // Public Relations
Since Champlain College opened its abroad campus in Dublin, in 2008, over 700 students have studied with Champlain Abroad in Ireland for a semester. We decided to track some of them down for interviews about their experience in Dublin, and the impact that study abroad has had on their lives.
David J. D’Angelo is a Champlain College alumni from the graduating class of 2012 who has been involved in entrepreneurial projects with companies including Somu Energy, Nanosynth Materials & Sensors, Data Mural, Intellectual Asset Partners, International Rescue Committee, United Nations, US State Department, US Homeland Security, Social Enterprise Greenhouse and Catholic Charities Migration & Refugee Services. Currently he resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is the founder of Somu Energy as well as the Entrepreneur in Residence at Intellectual Asset Partners. However, six years ago in the fall of 2010, he was just a third year Criminal Justice major from Ludlow, Massachusetts, arriving in Dublin for his first true abroad experience. I had the pleasure of interviewing David to get some insight on how studying abroad launched him into the successful life he leads today.
Q: What made you decide to go to Dublin? Did the trip live up to that expectation?
A: Early on in my undergraduate years, I felt challenged by the identity discovery process. I was pursuing a major that didn’t feel like the right fit. I was still figuring out who I was and who I aspired to be. And, at the time, I felt like a major change, like studying abroad, might propel me into discovering more about myself and the direction I wanted to take my academics and career. This was a chance to connect the dots. It was a chance to throw myself against the vulnerability of being in a new place, in order to understand more about myself. It was an opportunity to adventure and explore and find my purpose.
A few close friends had already decided to commit to a semester abroad in Dublin. They were the ones who motivated me to seek out the experience in the first place. Without their push, I doubt I would have ever stepped foot into Ireland. And, thank god I did.
Going to Dublin was the best decision I ever made. It helped me feel comfortable when faced with the unfamiliar which later gave me the confidence to do things such as study in Thailand and launch a social venture in Nepal. Dublin was the first step of international exposure that I took, and it has since fueled my desire to see more of the world.
Q: What were some of your apprehensions or ‘Big Unknowns’ before you came abroad?
A: Looking back, I certainly had my apprehensions. I questioned whether I would be ready for the change. I questioned if the change was worth leaving my comfortable routine. There were people in my life that questioned the value of the experience I would have in Dublin. They would confront me and say “but why can’t you do that here in the United States?”. At the time, I couldn’t confidently convey the value, because I had never experienced it for myself. I trusted my intuition, and trusting my intuition ended up paying off in meaningful ways. You never know what it is going to be like until you get there. Now, I make sure that I always go into a new experience with optimism and trust that things are going to work out. And, usually they do. Continue reading