Apr 142012
 

Christine Wohlforth is the Acting Director of the Dickey Center for International Understanding


Some of the best parts of the Dartmouth experience take place away from Dartmouth. Take Victoria B. ’11, who did an internship in Hanoi, Vietnam with an organization promoting sustainable development in Vietnam two summers ago. By her own admission, she was unprepared for the experience, and struggled to work with no Vietnamese language, living in a dorm with a bunch of westerners and commuting an hour each way to her job. Upon her return, she described the experience as “challenging, exhausting, rewarding, frustrating and scary”. But her internship, supported by the Dickey Center for International Understanding, also gave her the opportunity to try out real research, some of which she incorporated into her senior honors thesis. It also gave her the desire to return to Vietnam. Better prepared to embrace the culture she had only superficially encountered previously, Victoria just completed a Lombard Public Service fellowship working with Save the Children. She took Vietnamese, and practiced this skill interviewing street youth and families living with HIV/AIDS. Victoria is now preparing for a career in public service and advancing her study of Vietnamese. As she says, “Vietnam truly changed my life, and I am grateful for every minute I got to spend in that amazing country.”

Victoria B. '11 with some of the youths she worked with on her Lombard Fellowship in Hanoi.

Oct 292011
 

After being on campus for only a couple of weeks, I am already active in Dartmouth Humanitarian Engineering and Hillel (the Jewish student organization).  Already, I’ve been able to make contributions to each of these groups.  In Dartmouth Humanitarian Engineering, I work on the Marketing & Development Team.  I am currently working on our team’s application to the Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition, which has a grand prize of around $30,000.  The projects that the group has implemented — such as water purification in rural Tanzania and hydro-power in Rwanda — have made significant impacts on communities around the globe.  Getting funding is necessary to continue to have this impact.  In Hillel, I am serving as VP of Religious Affairs and Education, which has put me in a position to give back to a community that has given so much to me–the Jewish community.  It’s been incredibly fulfilling to have become entrenched in these organizations so soon after arriving on campus.

Joining a club is a great way to pursue a passion or a hobby, but it’s also great for meeting other students.  It’s awesome to be able to meet other first-year students who you would not have otherwise met.  It’s also nice to get to know sophomores, juniors, and seniors who can give you valuable advice on life at Dartmouth.  One of my best friends here is a sophomore, and he’s definitely helped ease the transition from high school to college.

At Dartmouth, it’s easy to do what you love and meet new people at the same time; all you have to do is join some clubs!