InteRDom Internships in the Dominican Republic is excited to introduce Carlos Gonzalez, an undergraduate student at St. Peter’s University in New Jersey, majoring in political science with a minor in communications and an InteRDom Correspondent for the summer 2013.
Carlos is participating in the Caribbean Summer program and will be performing an internship in the role of Assistant Researcher for an ongoing projects through INTEC University on the social and ecological causes and impacts of the growth of Lake Enriquillo, in the border region of the Dominican Republic.
Carlos grew up for a portion of his childhood in Puerto Rico, then moved to California with his family before starting his undergraduate studies in New Jersey. He loves the internet and reads the news every day, though he balances his time online with a daily meditation practice. Though he has traveled extensively throughout the US and abroad,
his participation in the InteRDom program constitutes
his first international internship experience.
Q: What do you like about the places you grew up?
A: Puerto Rico is a lot like the Dominican Republic comparatively speaking because it is more advanced and first-world than the Dominican Republic, but it still has a lot of culture and professionalism which I really enjoy. There are also a lot of good governmental policies in place. I liked growing up there because it was a lot of fun and I enjoy the heat. Once we moved to California it was completely different from Puerto Rico. It is definitely a different culture and I identify with the culture of California more than Puerto Rico just because it is very liberal, environmental and immigrant friendly. Everyone in the community helps each other out.
Q: You have an interest in Environmental studies, can you talk more about that?
A: Through peace studies courses and as well as development courses there is always going to be an implementation of environmental policy in issues which is big part of my political science courses. My interest is in thinking what can the local government do? And also in terms of international relations how can other countries help each other out with natural disasters and what can the government do to help people with natural disasters. Also, deforestation is a big issue that I think about, like when a country is urbanizing an area and how they handle deforestation.
Q: What is your family like?
A: My parents try to keep their sons close. I have three other brothers; an older brother and two younger brothers. We are a pretty close family though there are a lot of culture clashes between my parents and my brothers, but there is mutual respect for the different cultures and generations.
Q: What sparked your interest in traveling?
A: I traveled as a kid with my parents. They took me to the Grand Canyon, Florida, Italy, United Kingdom and always did road trips when I was a kid. Exploring these places as a kid piqued my interest in travel. I want to see as much of the world as I can.
Q: Why did you decide to participate in the Correspondent Program?
A: Since I have a minor in communications and I like reporting and journalism, I thought this would be a really be a good experience for me. I always want to improve my writing so this is a great exercise for keeping my writing up.
Q: How do you think the program will contribute to your academic and/or career goals?
A: Academically I like to focus in development studies so being in a developing country is really beneficial. I also want to improve my Spanish fluency and this experience will help me build my fluency.
Q: What are your career goals?
A: I would like to get a master’s in global development. I also have an interest in digital communication. I would like to be in the work force more than academia. I think I can make more of an impact in the work force.
Q: Are you a member of any clubs or student organizations at your university?
A: I am part of the school newspaper as an assistant news editor, I am a senator for a sitting government association and I am also the vice president for the club called UN Student Alliance, so anything that the UN does for students we help them out.
Q: What is one fun or little-known fact about you?
A: I think the one thing that might clash with the culture here is that I am gay. It is not really a big deal to me coming from New York and California, but it is one human right that I think is important for every country to have in the world.
Q: What are you most looking forward to during your experience in the Dominican Republic?
A: I am really looking forward to the environmental aspect of my internship, doing research in the surrounding communities of Lake Enriquillo, and how my knowledge and research can help the people living in these communities, even on a small scale.
Through the Correspondent Program Carlos will post bi-monthly blogs, not only about his internship and research experience, but about cultural activities and excursions, his impressions of the Dominican culture and the daily life of an international student in the Dominican Republic.
Upon his return to St. Peter’s University, he will serve as an ambassador of the country and the program for undergraduate students interested in traveling to the Dominican Republic for academic and professional experiences and will help provide an important connection to the students on campus. Read more about how the Correspondent Program helps students boost their resumes in the areas of Communications, Marketing and Public Relations, here.
InteRDom, an initiative of Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) and Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE), is the premier internship, research and academic study program in the Dominican Republic. It offers international students the opportunity to research important topics at the forefront of the United Nations agenda, obtain professional experience by interning with Dominican organizations and businesses related to their fields of study and/or earn academic credits by taking courses and seminars at a local university.