Read the full story by Emily Unger ’11, published in the November/December 2012 issue of Dartmouth Alumni Magazine.
Last April I sat on the Dartmouth Coach contemplating my next 60 days. The John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding had given me the opportunity of a lifetime: To visit and tell the stories of students living abroad on Dartmouth-sponsored international internships. “We want to capture the unique ‘learning-while-doing’ experiences students have in the field,” Dickey Acting Director Christianne Wohlforth told me. “And we want to turn the telling of those stories into a professional development opportunity in itself.” (In January, Daniel Benjamin, U.S. ambassador-at-large and coordinator for counterterrorism, will assume the directorship of the Dickey Center.)
Now in its 30th year, the Dickey Center has sent nearly 1,000 students around the world to engage in everything from working with U.S. embassies and development organizations to conducting scientific field research. Three years ago Dickey funded my own internship—in a maternity ward at St. Dominic’s Hospital in rural Ghana. The three months I spent there were some of the most grueling of my life. As I headed for the airport in Boston, I wondered if I was crazy to undertake another challenging international trip.
I also felt incredibly lucky to land the assignment. My backpack was stuffed with three cameras and 12 airline tickets that would take me on a 27,600-mile journey around the world from China to India to France to Peru.
As you’ll see, the miles were well spent.