Jennifer Loughnane, '11

Internships 2010: Job with WorldTeach an opportunity to explore life abroad

August 18, 2010

Hometown: Richboro, Pa.
Academics: Double major in leadership studies and history. Minor in secondary education.
Internship: WorldTeach Namibia
Career aspirations: Teach
On-campus activities: Bonner Scholar

What drew you to WorldTeach Namibia?

I decided to intern with WorldTeach because it was one of the few organizations I found that would enable me to accomplish my goals for the summer. I knew I wanted to intern abroad because I had already completed an internship in the U.S. and I wanted to experience something different. I also wanted to try to find an internship that would enable me to gain practical classroom teaching experience. And I wanted to go somewhere that I knew that I would be able to apply the skills and knowledge that I have acquired through Jepson in my role as a leader and role model.

Are there any other reasons you decided to intern abroad?

I have always wanted to go to Africa, and to do so during college seemed like the perfect time. I am still not sure what I want to do after graduation, so I thought that completing my internship abroad would help me figure out if a long-term service project, such as with the Peace Corps or other comparable organizations, was a viable option for me.

What is your role there?

My primary role at my school, Ruacana High School, is that of computer teacher. Additionally, I teach one art class and one life skills class. I am also frequently approached to assist with special projects such as chaperoning the debate team and researching biodiversity and conservation issues for a national exhibition competition.

Are you finding connections between courses you have taken and what you’re learning on the job?

My internship relates to several classes that I have taken. Obviously, I have utilized a lot of what I have learned in my education classes. Less obviously, though, my leadership studies classes have been very helpful to me, especially in understanding some of the differences between here and home. The two classes that I have found myself reflecting on are Justice and Civil Society and Leadership in International Contexts. These two classes have definitely helped me to gain a better perspective on my role as an international volunteer and as a teacher. I am not in a position to immediately improve the lives of all of the people, with whom I come in contact; however, I am an integral part of a process of change that will hopefully lead to improvement in the future.

How do you think your internship will benefit you?

I think that this internship will be very influential in helping me make decisions about my post-college plans. The practical classroom experience has helped me to develop as a teacher. The internship has also widened my worldview and, I hope, helped me to be a more socially conscious individual.