June 29, 2012

Correspondent Spotlight: Ioana Pescaru

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Internships are a cornerstone of the European higher education system and since its beginning, InteRDom Internships in the Dominican Republic has hosted a number of European students in the program.  For this reason, the program is excited to introduce the newest Correspondent for 2012 summer programs, Ioana Pescaru, a third-year undergraduate student in languages (Spanish and French) and Media and Communication from Newcastle University in Great Britain.

Ioana brings great diversity to the program.  A native of Romania, she attends college in Great Britain and is completing a study abroad semester in Spain.

Ioana brings great diversity to the program.  A native of Romania, she attends college in Great Britain and is completing a study abroad semester in Spain.  As part of the InteRDom program’s commitment to tailoring the program to the needs of each individual student, she will participate in a flexible Caribbean Summer program, as the academic calendar of European universities prohibits her from adhering to the normal start dates of the program.  She will be performing an internship in the British Chamber of Commerce in the Dominican Republic.

As an InteRDom Correspondent, Ioana will recount her unique European perspective through a series of regular blogs and multimedia contributions to be published on the InteRDom blog.  Upon her return to Newcastle University, she will serve as an ambassador of the country and the program for other students who are required to perform an internship in order to graduate, but who may have never considered the Dominican Republic as an ideal destination to do so.  While her contribution to increasing the program’s presence will be crucial, the Correspondent Program will also greatly contribute to enhancing her resume, especially for her focus in Communications.

Though she grew up in Romania, Ioana has always had a strong interest in Latin America, especially in Latin American music!  She hopes to continue on with her studies and to obtain a degree in International Relations to continue to work on building relationships between Latin American and European countries.

Q: Where did you grow up?  What is unique about that place?
A: I grew up in a small village, near Bucharest, Romania. As an East European country, everything is unique and different in comparison to West Europe. A special thing about my home place is that the ancients’ influence on food, people’s way of living and thinking is still present and very important. Another thing that might seem meaningless, but is of huge interest to me is the way Romanians celebrate a marriage, totally different to any another country’s wedding traditions beginning with the music, party, food and presents.

Q: What is your family like?
A: My family has the profile of a very traditional one.  My sister, who is five years younger and me, have had the luck to have the parents together for almost 25 years and mean everything to them.

Q: What sparked your interest in traveling?
A: The opportunity to meet new people, to discover a new world and civilization, different from the European one I am used to. Every time I am travelling to new places I feel I become wiser and learn lots of things.

Q: Why did you decide to participate in the Correspondent Program?
A: I wanted to be part of this program because I would like Dominican Republic to be more known in Europe, not only as a holiday destination, but as a country that should be appreciated for its culture and civilization, very curious for European citizens.

Q: How do you think the program will contribute to your academic and/or career goals?
A: Being part of this program will help me gain more experience in order to easily find a job after graduating, improve my Spanish skills and test my abilities, level of adaptation, socialization and interaction in a new unknown environment.

Q: What are your career goals?
A: I am planning to do a master degree in International Relations between Europe and Latin America and then find a job that would let me have closely contact with Latin America.

Q: Why did you becoming interested in this field?
A:  As we are not provided too much information about Latin America I am interested in the relations between it and Europe, because to me, the two continents are completely different, starting with history, politics and way of living.

Q: What is your point of reference for knowledge about the Dominican Republic? 
A: I have heard lots of things from my European friends that travelled there, but also from my acquaintances in Latin America. Some say that is the most amazing place to go, thanks to the beaches, background and weather, but others say it could be shocking and dangerous, because of the poor parts of the country. One thing I surely know is that I love the music coming from that part, which is one of the main reasons for choosing this destination.

Q: Are you a member of any clubs or student organizations at your university?  Which ones and what is your position?
A: I used to be part of different student societies like, Salsa society, Eramus and International students Club, Combined Honours Society (my degree’s students club). We were all meeting once in a fortnight in order to socialize and change opinions about different subjects or area of interest.

Q: If you could only use three words to describe yourself, what would they be?
A: Friendly, Funny and Responsible.

Q: How do you think that these qualities will contribute to helping you adjust to life in the Dominican Republic? 
A: I think these qualities will help me integrate, socialize, make friends easily and do a great job at my workplace, so I could fulfill my objectives.

Q: What is one fun or little-known fact about yourself?
A: I am cheese addicted.

Q: Do you participate in any community or cultural activities outside of the university?  Which ones? 
A: For about 1 year I was working for a learning community center, dedicated to helping children to increase their confidence, motivation and independent learning, but also to raise achievement and motivation to study.

Q: List any additional hobbies or interests that you have. 

A: I love sports, in particular tennis and snowboarding. Latin music, especially reggaeton and bachata, is one of the fewest things I couldn’t live without. I like reading, in particular psychological books, fantastic histories, novels based on real facts or guidebooks to life. These genres help me relax, thing positive and see “life in pink”. I also love travelling, the experience of living in different countries so I could discover myself better and various faces of the world from different perspectives.

You can follow Ioana’s and other InteRDom Correspondents’ experiences in the Dominican Republic on the InteRDom blog.  Check back frequently to learn of all of the rich learning and professional development opportunities that the Dominican Republic has to offer.

The internship program, 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.