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Students share global co-op experiences

Students flocked to the Curry Student Center Indoor Quad on Thursday to learn more and ask questions about their peers’ recent co-op experiences abroad.

A collection of students who recently returned from abroad set up shop at the Global Co-op Networking Fair, which was sponsored by the Global Experience Office, to share their experiences with others who are considering working internationally on co-op. The event provided an opportunity for students to learn more about co-op, the signature program in Northeastern’s experiential learning portfolio. Students have pursued experiential learning opportunities in 131 countries since 2006.

We caught up with several students at the fair, asking presenters about their global co-ops and attendees what they hoped to learn there.

Mika White, BHS’18

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Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

White worked at Iganga Hospital in Iganga, Uganda, where as part of her co-op she helped develop a malnourishment education and assistance program for the local community. “This co-op gave me the chance to see the disparities between healthcare systems in a developing nation and what we have here in the U.S.,” she said.

Ian Metivier, SSH’16

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Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

As a combined major in cultural anthropology and Spanish, Metivier recognized that these disciplines present an opportunity to pursue a career as a translator. “I realized this is what I wanted to do with my career,” he explained.

So he set off for Madrid and worked as a project manager for Mondo Agit, which provides translating services to NGOs. At the fair, Metivier advised students interested in co-op to start the planning process early and take advantage of this unique opportunity.

Shachenika Jean, S’17

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Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Jean knows exactly what she wants to do with her career: become an OBGYN. She’s currently studying pre-med, and wanted to explore other medical fields before focusing on women’s health. She worked on co-op at Mater Dei Hospital in Malta, where she interacted with patients on the pediatric oncology floor. Jean helped teach the students lessons while they were in the hospital and supported them after treatment or while their parents were speaking with doctors.

“I was there to help distract them from what they were going through,” Jean said.

Lexie Pratt, BHS’18, and Mari Cardelle, E’18

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Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

These friends, who have specific locations in mind for future co-ops, had come to the right place to learn more. Pratt hopes to work in Africa. “I’m really interested in international medicine, particularly in developing countries,” she said, adding that she wants to “steal” White’s Uganda co-op.

Cardelle wants to do a co-op in a Spanish-speaking country. “I can understand Spanish but I want to become fluent in it,” she said.