Eight representatives from United States colleges, universities and educational foundations traveled to the Dominican Republic from October 20-24, 2010 to participate in InteRDom’s first annual InteRDom PRO: Professional Externship for Professors and Administrators.
During the four-day conference, the representatives took part in a number of activities designed to introduce them to the city of Santo Domingo, the InteRDom program and the facilities and projects of InteRDom’s sponsoring institutions, Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) and Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE). They learned about the services and programs offered to international students and researchers through InteRDom, as well as why the Dominican Republic is an important destination for students interested in developing their professional and academic capacities.
The participants were a diverse group of professors, researchers, international programs coordinators and career services advisors representing a wide variety of public and private institutions of higher learning, as well as the Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) of North Carolina, with which InteRDom has recently formed a special partnership. The universities and organizations represented were: University of Rochester, City College of New York, Elizabeth City State University, CUNY Graduate Center, George Washington University, Livingstone College, University of Oregon and the IERC Education Foundation. The CUNY Dominican Studies Institute was also an important collaborator and contributor for the event.
InteRDom PRO served as an important networking opportunity for these representatives. They were able to foster relations with a high-profile, highly-specialized program in the region in InteRDom, increasing both the global and professional dimensions of their programs. Additionally, participants were able to cultivate partnerships and connections with one another across departmental lines in order to increase the visibility of their programs. The experience also served to introduce representatives to the InteRDom student experience. Participants were exposed to the daily operations of the InteRDom program. They were familiarized with new and different career possibilities for their students, and provided with an extensive network of new contacts. Furthermore, InteRDom PRO established new bridges for recruitment possibilities between the InteRDom program and the students that PRO participants serve.
The agenda of events for InteRDom PRO participants included: tours of FUNGLODE, the student residences and InteRDom’s partner university, Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE); presentations by partner organizations during the “Business Day” on the projects and internships available for international and domestic interns; workshops on InteRDom’s admissions process, Fellows program and student life services; and a professionally guided tour of Santo Domingo’s historic Colonial Zone.
InteRDom PRO was combined with the InteRDom Annual Review, which took place on Thursday evening, October 21 and saw the participation of over 80 representatives from the public, private, non-profit and educational sectors of the Dominican Republic, including the Minister of Education, Doña Ligia Amada Melo. The speaker at the annual review was Javier Rodriguez Cuba, a researcher from the Carolina Foundation (Fundación Carolina) in Peru, who spoke to the topic of the evening: Internationalization, Employability and the Contribution of Universities to the Sustainable Development of Nations. The Review also included the remote participation of Leo Hanjen, the regional representative of the International Institute of Education (IIE) headquartered in New York City.
The internship program, InteRDom 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.