Student Stories

As part of the experience abroad, ILR students on International Experience grants are required to give a report regarding their international experience.

Below are just a few of the nearly two hundred reports our students have generated:

Jordan Brail

Jordan Brail

experience report / Portugal

BSILR '18

In May 2016, I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel to Porto, Portugal and work as a squash coach for the ‘Escola de Squash do Porto’ (Squash School of Porto).  

Georges Batoussi

Georges Batoussi

experience report / ghana

BSILR'19

This summer I was given the wonderful opportunity to travel to Ghana for two months for my internship with Voices of African Mothers, a United Nations NGO whose mission statement is to establish a peaceful African continent by using the methods of conflict resolution and diplomacy.

Janelle Odionu

Janelle Odionu

experience report / ghana

BSILR'18

This past summer of 2016, I was granted the opportunity to intern as a volunteer instructor at John William Montessori School for the Voices of African Mothers within Kumasi, Ghana.

Gibran Khan

Gibran Khan

experience report / india

MILR'17

GoodWeave is an organization headquartered in Washington D.C. that focuses on monitoring carpet factories around the world for compliance with ethical labor standards.

Samuel Hummel

experience report / Kenya

BSILR'18

This summer I travelled to Nakuru, Kenya, along with five other Cornell students to establish a start-up, self-sustaining catering service for a local disability center in desperate need of a steady source of income.  In addition, by hiring persons with disabilities to cook low-cost, nutritious food, we hoped to help bring an end to the stigma associated with persons with disabilities in Kenya while improving the general health of some of the low-income population of the Nakuru community.

Mahrusah Zahin

Mahrusah Zahin

experience report / Bangladesh

BSILR '16

This trip taught me that to tackle any problem in the developing world requires a multi-faceted approach.

Ashley Estrada

Ashley Estrada

experience report / peru

BSILR '16

This winter break I spent 3 weeks in Cusco, Peru, participating in a care-giving project offered through UBELONG at the Centro de Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (CEDIF). CEDIF offers health and wellness programs for poor children and elderly people that live in the area of Wanchaq.

Juliana Batista

Juliana Batista

experience report / Cambodia

BSILR '16

I felt very involved with the inner workings of the small business and was able to engage with employees along the supply chain including farmers, factory workers, distributors, and managers.

Lisa Leibfried

Lisa Leibfried

experience report / cameroon

BSILR '16

To me, this experience meant more than work. I developed a sense of self-awareness in a new cultural context and found meaning in being an active citizen.

Nidy Hamue-Munoz

Nidy Hamue-Munoz

experience report / Colombia

MILR '15

I was part of a diverse and multidisciplinary team with members from Colombia, France, Tunisia, the U.S., and Mexico. Our project had four main objectives: develop a cost analysis, communicate soil quality reports, conduct experiments to identify coffee producers’ risk profiles, and develop an organizational analysis to help improve communication and quality standards.

Jenna Gimbar

Jenna Gimbar

experience report / cameroon

BSILR '16

With the help of our Cameroonian partner and Bekondo Foundation intern, Coretta, we developed a new program called Women's Initiative for Village Entrepreneurship in which we held weekly meetings for women to come learn a new skill or learn how to be more sustainable with the readily available resources in the village.

Joon Sohn

experience report / Greece

MS/Ph.D. '16

The ILR School has always been at the frontier of resolving current organizational problems through teaching, research, and outreach.

Nicolas Early

Nicolas Early - Dominican Republic

experience report / dominican republic

BSILR '17

I strongly believe that international experiences are imperative for Americans because they provide perspective, which is something that extends much deeper than academics.

Gabrielle Hickmon

Gabrielle Hickmon with children

experience report / ghana

BSILR '16

I had an amazing experience in Ghana that I know I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Rohini Jalan

Rohini Jalan

experience report / Greece

MS/Ph.D. '17

Over the course of three days, participants in our track presented research examining shifts in the nature of work and the tensions and opportunities that mark a variety of emergent work forms such as temporary and contract work, work performed remotely, increased remote-monitoring of work, and computerization of work.

Hannah Cashen

Hannah Cashen

experience report / Cambodia

BSILR '16

When my favorite government professor mentioned a future winter course in Cambodia to me last year, I listened excitedly about an opportunity I didn’t think I’d ever be able to pursue personally.

Sheetal Patel

Sheetal Patel

experience report / south africa

BSILR '14

My experience was enriching on so many levels. I learned about the positive effects that can result from bridging the gap between business and social development.

Rachel Maniloff

Rachel Maniloff

experience report / warwick

BSILR '15

I was lucky enough to see 16 cities in 9 different countries – try to travel as much as possible! Book flights early because it gets more expensive the longer you wait. My favorite cities were Paris, Prague, Florence and Rome.

Anya Gibian

Anya Gibian and Performers

experience report / austria

BSILR '12

The other wonderful part about the conference that went beyond my expectations was the people I met from all over the world, all of them brilliant artists.  I was not expecting the wide range of nationalities and people that I was able to connect with, nor was I expecting to become this close to them in a short week.  I learned about contemporary circus, improvisational techniques, juggling, modern dance, dance films, and so many other things I now find so interesting that I was not aware of before.

William Edmonds

William Edmonds

experience report / zambia

BSILR '13

Before I even applied for the experience grant I had created a list of goals and expectations that evolved as my trip approached. While searching for an opportunity I knew I wanted to complete my first international trip. I also wanted to make sure I utilized the skills I had learned at the ILR School.

Chyanne Eyde

Chyanne Eyde

experience report / europe

BSILR '13

I embarked on my independent research project hoping to better understand how the American charter school movement influenced public education in the UK, and how the unions in the UK are responding. I spent my first two weeks in Brussels, speaking to staff at Education International and at the European Trade Union Institute. Through these organizations I was given a crash course in the structure and issues of education across Eastern Europe. Starting at this broad level gave me context before I focused on the UK.

Sahil Jain

Sahil Jain

experience report / india

BSILR '14

I am indebted towards the International Programs Committee as this experience would not have been possible without their help. Exploring New Delhi and being involved in a relevant and dynamic project was a rare break and great application of my studies at Cornell. I was a part of a project much bigger than myself, and one I that I previously knew nothing about.

Xavier O'Brien Douglas

Xavier O'Brien Douglas

experience report / dominican republic

BSILR '15

When I reflect on the experience that was made possible for me by the International Travel Grant, I now understand how it was more than just an opportunity; it was a life transforming cultural immersion that has motivated me to travel, explore, and volunteer both internationally and locally on a regular basis.

Hannah Kim

Hannah Kim

experience report / tanzania

BSILR '14

After the four weeks of intensive case study writing, I began my internship at Building a Caring Community (BCC), a non-governmental organization. BCC began with an incredibly confident woman who, after seeing a child with disabilities chained outside of his house, decided to take concrete action to help children with intellectual disabilities by creating this organization. BCC has 11 day-care centers for children with developmental problems.

Jennifer Kay

Jennifer Kay

experience report / mexico

BSILR '14

Thus, all of my experiences this past summer allowed me to marvel at the beauty of the motivations that all humans share and to realize how the study of ILR brings those intentions to light. ILR is, at its heart, a program about how we can translate the often oppressive idea of “work” to the empowering idea that our practices are labors of love. ILR is about forging bonds between ostensibly-competing parties by emphasizing our common motivations and realizing that we co-create the world as we communicate and act. The skills that we’ve acquired in ILR will not only serve us when dealing with formal cases of arbitration, but will allow us to walk into all relationships and interactions with compassion and humility and to view every potential obstacle as an opportunity for introspection, cooperation, and mutual benefit through compassionate communication.

Danny Qiao

Beijing Shops

experience report / China

BSILR '15

Sanlitun! It’s a major chic and modern shopping hub for Beijing. By day, you can find the most famous brands of America and Europe along with some amazing restaurants. By night, it turns into the center of nightlife for Beijing, with all its bars, clubs, and KTVs. Many expats could be found in the area, generally.

Michelle Kizer

Michelle Kizer

experience report / australia

BSILR '13

It's easy to get to a variety of places from Sydney. I visited Gold Coast, Nimbin, Byron Bay, several places on an adventure tour in Tasmania, Melbourne and Brisbane. I loved Cairns the most, since it is very tropical with dozens of adventure and natural sites to explore. The Great Barrier Reef, Port Douglas, Kuranda, and other attractions are just a shuttle bus or cruise away.

Lina Cheng

Lina Cheng

experience report / australia

BSILR '14

I went on an incredible 10-day mid-semester break trip that took me up along the eastern coast of Australia. The trip is called One Fish Two Fish and I booked it through World Backpackers Travel Agency. If you do one thing in Australia this should definitely be it. You get to visit all the major Aussie tourist-y locations with other study abroad kids (there were 80 on my trip); I snorkeled/scuba dove the Great Barrier Reef, bungee jumped, saw kangaroos and koalas and other Aussie critters, went whitewater rafting, and explored some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. I can say without hesitation that it was among the best 10 days of my life.

Cameron Nickels

Cogee Beach

experience report / australia

BSILR '13

I spent mid-semester break in New Zealand. Most students studying in Sydney spent spring break in N.Z. or traveled there at some point during the semester. It is easy to get to (3 hr flight from Sydney) and has unbelievable scenery. A must do. Additionally, I spent a weekend in Melbourne (1 hr flight from Sydney) and 2 weeks in Japan. Japan is a long flight (8 hrs) but if you can make it to Asia I would highly recommend it. Many of my friends took trips to Bali and Thailand. All very feasible.

Charles Clausner

Charles Clausner

experience report / australia

BSILR '13

I wanted to see Australia so I went to Adelaide, Perth, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Melbourne, Blue mountains, and then to Auckland & Wellington in New Zealand. I’d have to say New Zealand was the most incredible most beautiful place on Earth ( I hiked volcanoes, backpacked in nature parks, rock climbed in Wellington, it’s an amazing place I highly recommend!