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Introducing the 2019 Class of the Cultural Vistas Fellowship

The 2019 Cultural Vistas Fellowship is funding international internship experiences in Argentina, Germany, and Hong Kong for 15 American undergraduate students this summer—marking the program’s largest class to date.

NEW YORK — Exchange experiences, such as studying or interning abroad, impact people’s lives in profound ways. Research continually suggests that well-designed educational and work-based international exchanges spur creativity, enhance critical thinking, and provide a strong foundation for academic and professional success.

Despite continued strides and the growing demand for a globally-competent workforce, less than 2% of all students enrolled at U.S. higher education institutions study or intern abroad every year, and even fewer are members of underserved populations.

Thanks to the continued support of its alumni and donor communities, Cultural Vistas is thrilled to announce it will be funding and supporting 15 fellows—its seventh and largest Cultural Vistas Fellowship class to date—for eight-week internships in Argentina, Germany, and Hong Kong.

Since its inception in 2013, Cultural Vistas has reinvested more than $275,000 directly from its own revenue into the Cultural Vistas Fellowship. To date, the program has provided over 75 American undergraduate students from over 55 different colleges and universities the opportunity to gain invaluable work experience abroad.

The 2019 cohort will send seven fellows to Berlin, five to Buenos Aires, and three to Hong Kong. For many members of the group, this will be their first time outside the United States.

“I have never left the United States. I know this experience will push me out of my comfort zone and I’m ready for that. It will help me broaden my horizon, learn new skills, diversify my work experience, and shape me into a better version of myself,” said Mahala Herron-Rutland, an Oakland native and comparative literature major at UCLA who will be interning at LOLA, a Berlin-based culture magazine this summer.

International experiences can often shape young individuals into social change leaders who find solutions to greater development challenges.

Mari Robles, an international studies major at Vassar College believes civic engagement should not be limited to borders. “A lot of social problems, including limited access to education, are not unique to one area of the world.” Robles hopes to learn more about educational challenges in Germany while interning at RAA Berlin, a nonprofit that provides school development and youth welfare services.

Increasing one’s employability was an important motivator for Daniel Wang in pursuing the Cultural Vistas Fellowship. Wang, a mechanical engineering student at Brown University who will be interning in Berlin, thinks that professional exposure, research, and public service ensures students have the potential for greater things. “Being active as a young person in any field is an invaluable move to continue honing one’s skills and turning potential into a reality.”

A month before their departure, fellows took part in virtual learning to help them prepare for their time abroad, discuss relevant issues in their host countries, and get to know each other. Prior to traveling abroad, the group convened at Cultural Vistas’ New York City headquarters on June 10 and 11 for an orientation session to prepare them for the journey.

Upon their return to the United States in August, fellows will take part in a reentry seminar to reflect on their experiences and share them with the class. Returning fellows are also required to complete service projects during the fall to document their experiences and share their learning with their campus and local communities.

Meet Our Seventh Class of Cultural Vistas Fellows

Traveling to Argentina


Joshua Flores

 

Katherine Moronta Rodriguez

 

Tyler Raub

 

Alondra Sanchez-Gonzalez

 

Nohelya Zambrano

 

Traveling to Germany

Nuh Elalaoui

 

Katy Grubb

 

Mahala Herron-Rutland

 

Stephanie Oliva

 

Mari Robles

 

Nicolas Schofield

 

Daniel Wang

 

Traveling to Hong Kong

Alexandra Guerrero

 

Sarah Rodriguez

 

Malia Simon