The Global Experience: The Hull Fellowship Abroad

Support from the Cordell W. Hull International Fellows Fund has helped UD Honors students reach academic, career and personal goals across the globe. Trips to Liberia aimed at understanding the important role of women in international peacekeeping efforts, language immersion trips in Spain, and service learning trips to Africa and other developing regions meant to understand, address, and become involved in a variety of issues facing the world.

Below are some recent experiences students have had and their thoughts about them.

Laura Huber, Liberia

Major: International Studies, Political Science and Spanish

“While I have always had an interest in the humanitarian field, I feel that it was vitally important for me to observe it in the field.”

Laura spent four weeks in Liberia conducting research related to her thesis on the impact of UN peacekeeping missions. With a focus on all-female peacekeeping units and women’s empowerment efforts in the local society, Laura’s time in Liberia afforded her the opportunity to interview 40 women with various degrees of involvement with the Liberian women’s empowerment movement. This challenging and rewarding experience confirmed Laura’s desire to pursue human rights in her career and continue her intent to be an advocate for women’s rights.

Michael Ising, Nicaragua

Major: Mechanical Engineering

“I found myself learning more than helping the majority of the time.”

Michael took part in a 10-week service learning immersion trip through UD’s ETHOS program in Nicaragua during the summer of 2013. The group of engineering students from UD was tasked with refining solar technology used to power homes in Nicaragua. Michael learned many skills that he feels will pay off both in his work career and in his general ability to communicate with others and display leadership. Michael’s service learning experience made him realize the importance of trust, communication, and listening when it comes to effective leadership.

Alexandra Hill, Guatemala

Major: Early Childhood Education

“By the end of the trip, I was able to carry on conversations without having to stop and translate back and forth. I simply answered: my mind and mouth knew what to do.”

During her time in Guatemala, Alexandra completed 100 hours of formal Spanish instruction while living with a Spanish-speaking host family, working in an orphanage, and taking classes at a weaving school for women. Alexandra’s goal during the language immersion trip was to become a fluent Spanish-speaker; the variety of people she was able to interact with helped her move towards this goal. In addition to the heavy language-focus, Alexandra felt that her time spent in an orphanage was the most eye-opening part of her trip as she observed the women become mothers to abandoned children.

Jack Raisch, Zambia

Major: Psychology

“My experience of Zambia was very service-oriented, but it did not necessarily include building a house or a water tank. Instead, it was filled with relational service.”

During his six weeks in Zambia, Jack says that he listened a lot. For Jack, learning is service. He felt that listening is the best way possible to learn from, and in turn serve, the people he met. Jack worked in a hospital and heard about the inconsistent and slow funding process on which grants are hinged. Often subject to corruption in Zambia, Jack observed firsthand the hardships that the hospitals face. Jack also instructed a course that taught young children the difference between the U.S. government and the Zambian government. Jack said that these experiences helped him see how some things, like children, are universal. He believes that this international experience will help him as he pursues a career as a community or organizational psychologist.

Mariah Douglas, Spain

Major:  English and Journalism

“By being immersed into such a calming and welcoming community, I have been able to translate this calmness and pure enjoyment into my American lifestyle.”

Mariah spent one month in Segovia, Spain, with 18 other UD students during a summer Spanish immersion trip. Mariah enjoyed the transformation that occurred in the quiet town of Segovia each weekend when the town hosted a different festival. By the time Mariah left Spain, she felt that she had a second home, 18 close friends, and experiences that will influence the remainder of her education and her future career. Mariah took part in a Spanish Literary Texts class and an Art and Architecture class. Both enabled her to explore various parts of Spain and enjoy the country’s rich history, welcoming citizens and vibrant culture.