Internship Series: Study Abroad & Research in Kenya

susi neherSusi Neher
CAS’16 | International Relations
Student/Researcher in the School for Field Studies

Taking advantage of the resources at BU, Susi Neher studied abroad in Kenya during the summer of 2014. Through this experience, Susi determined that a career in research is the right path for her. 

CCD: Tell us about your experience. What were your responsibilities?

Susi: I took courses in culture, public health, and field research methods. As a researcher, I collected data in the field on community health issues to fulfill a directed research project.

CCD: How did you find your internship?

Susi: I found this opportunity through my academic advisor, Vicky Kelberer. One of my BU professors wrote me a letter of recommendation that was very helpful in getting accepted to the program. The Study Abroad office, in particular Emily Whalen, was also very helpful as a resource in finding and getting accepted to my program.

CCD: What is the best thing about the experience? What was the worst?

Susi: The best thing about my experience was getting to do directed research in the field as an undergraduate. I also enjoyed being challenged by my program, meeting a lot of amazing new people, and experiencing a different culture. The worst part was the culture shock and that my program was only for the summer. I wish I could have stayed longer!

CCD: What is one thing you’ve learned that will benefit any future internships or other hands-on experiences?

Susi: I learned that working together as a team is critical in the field of research. The task was too big to complete as an individual; I had to learn to trust my research partners and work as a team, rather than a group of people all getting different grades. This is beneficial in the long-run because it taught me that sometimes group success is more important than standing out as an individual.

CCD: How has this experience changed your future plans?

Susi: Before this summer, I did not consider research as a part of my future career plans. Now, I am thinking about doing more research or another program before I attend graduate school.

CCD: What’s next for you?

Susi: More study abroad! I am currently (spring 2015) studying and interning in Geneva, Switzerland. This is through BU Study Abroad (the IR internship program). I hope to return to East Africa this summer and travel around the world with some good friends I met in Kenya last summer.

 

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