Global learning opportunities abound

By: news@Northeastern

Students learned about international co-op opportunities from past co-op participants during the International Co-Op Fair in the Curry Student Center. Photo by Brooks Canaday.

The indoor quad at the Curry Stu­dent Center had an inter­na­tional feel on Thursday night as stu­dents who have recently returned from over­seas co-​​ops con­vened to share their experiences.

Northeastern’s inau­gural Inter­na­tional Co-​​op Fair gave about 30 co-​​op stu­dents the chance to tell their sto­ries to peers con­sid­ering expe­ri­en­tial learning in a for­eign country.

As part of its mis­sion to pre­pare stu­dents for future suc­cess, North­eastern com­bines class­room learning with real-​​world expe­ri­ence in some 93 coun­tries world­wide. About 300 stu­dents are cur­rently on inter­na­tional co-​​op, a figure that inter­na­tional co-​​op director Ketty Rosen­feld expects to grow.

Co-​​op stu­dents who attend the fair rep­re­sented dozens of coun­tries from around the world, including Bel­gium, Ire­land, Argentina, India, Switzer­land, and Peru.

Nadia Aamoum, a fourth-​​year marine biology major, did her inter­na­tional co-​​op in a loca­tion many people have prob­ably never heard: Sey­chelles, an island country north of Mada­gascar. While there, she con­ducted survey dives to mon­itor fish and coral pop­u­la­tions and worked in a dive shop.

“It was awe­some,” Aamoum said. “I got a lot of diving expe­ri­ence and it helped me figure out what I want to do in the future.”

The experiential-​​learning oppor­tu­nity is paying off for Aamoum, who is cur­rently enrolled in Northeastern’s Three Seas Pro­gram, which gives stu­dents the oppor­tu­nity to spend a year studying marine biology in three dif­ferent ecosystems.

Neelam Gop­wani praised her inter­na­tional co-​​op with IUR Cap­ital, an invest­ment man­age­ment house in London, where she learned about stocks and option trading from a hands-​​on perspective.

“It is an amazing co-​​op,” said Gop­wani, a fourth-​​year finance and mar­keting major. “It was an overview of every­thing: mar­keting, com­mu­ni­ca­tions, and finance. And that is going to ben­efit me in the future.”

Abhi Nangia grad­u­ated from North­eastern in the spring with a com­bined major in inter­na­tional affairs and anthro­pology and a minor in social entre­pre­neur­ship. He attended the fair to high­light co-​​op oppor­tu­ni­ties for cur­rent stu­dents at Reweave, his newly founded non­profit social impact net­work that con­nects pas­sionate people with social enter­prises. The stu­dents, he said, will travel to Ghana next year in order to teach local busi­nesses about media, oper­a­tion, and busi­ness impact management.

“We are trying to create a move­ment,” Nangia said of Reweave. “People are always talking about being the change they want to see in the world, so let’s create an oppor­tu­nity for people to do that.”

For stu­dents con­sid­ering an inter­na­tional co-​​op, Thursday’s fair was about gath­ering information.

“We are trying to pre­pare now because as nursing majors we are going to be busier later on,” said first-​​year nursing major Phoebe Finneran, who spoke with stu­dents who did an inter­na­tional co-​​op at med­ical clinics in Peru.

Second-​​year mechan­ical engi­neering major Philip Zeng was looking for a co-​​op with an engi­neering firm and dis­cov­ered an oppor­tu­nity to work with Gen­eral Elec­tric in France.

“My ideal plan is to do my first co-​​op in Boston or the local area,” Zeng said, “but even­tu­ally I want to do an inter­na­tional co-​​op to take advan­tage of that global experience.”