I began my junior fall frazzled at the thought of not having plans for the winter. I didn’t have a solid idea of what I wanted to do, but knew that I wanted it to be geared towards working with a nonprofit in a foreign nation. After speaking with a couple of friends and mentors, I was recommended to visit the Dickey Center to check out potential internships.
The John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding collaborates with the college in work that aims to address global challenges. As a student on financial aid, the Dickey Center was one of my three main sources on campus to receive funding for internships or special projects that I was interest in (which I’ll speak later about). Just in 2013-14 alone they funded over 95 projects in 35 countries all over the world. Upon entering the Dickey Center, I was reassured I would find an internship for my junior winter. More importantly, I would be able to find an internship that I would be psyched about doing, without worrying how I was going to cover the cost of my ticket, rent, meals, and transportation while there.
Through the Dickey Center I was able to go to Quetzaltenango, Guatemala and work with a nonprofit that collaborated with indigenous communities in surrounding areas. This nonprofit and my specific role as an intern was to approach the issue of healthier ways of living. I was granted the opportunity to visit several communities, and develop a health curriculum based on the suggestions and curiosity of the communities.
The opportunity to engage with a different culture than mine was life altering. Outside of work, I was able to travel and visit amazing sites I wouldn’t have otherwise. I explored underwater caves, visited limestone water parks, went ziplining and chilled on a lake on top of a volcano. I was able to fully submerge myself into the experience without worrying about the cost of living because the Dickey Center funded all of it.
I know you’re thinking there was to be a catch, but really, there isn’t! One of the greatest characteristics about Dartmouth for me is the accessibility. If there is something you want to do but don’t have the economic means to do it, there are multiple financial sources to pull from. The main three are the Dickey Center, the Rockefeller Center, and the Tucker Foundation. The Rockefeller Center funds more political/government based work while the Tucker Foundation has funds available to do service work. I do want to stress that these centers are more than just the money they offer, but just know that if you have an idea or a job opportunity, these centers are available to help you out.
Besides these centers, there are research grants for potential research projects, and other mini sources you can ask to fund you. Aside from the money, there are also professors and staff members who are willing to help you with anything! Working with the Dickey Center was one of my greatest experiences in that they provided me with the living cost of my internship, but also working with the members of the Dickey Center was an invaluable due to their endless help and support. At Dartmouth I’ve come to realize that everyone wants to help you reach your goals as a student and furthermore, as a global citizen.