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:

Nicolas Early, BSILR '17

experience report / dominican republic

Nicolas Early - Dominican Republic

On May 19, 2014, I traveled to the Dominican Republic to embark on a wonderful mission. Through the assistance of Dr. David Addison and his organization, Seven Elements, I was able to explore the topic of Free Trade Zones. More specifically, I explored the connection in the Dominican government's ability to enforce labor laws within Free Trade Zones. Seven Elements, or 7e, is an organization in which individuals travel to the Dominican Republic to focus on specific research topics and projects pertaining to issues that are prevalent in the Dominican Republic.

Gabrielle Hickmon, BSILR '16

experience report / ghana

Gabrielle Hickmon with children

This summer, I was blessed to have the opportunity to travel to Ghana for two and a half weeks to participate in a service-learning and cultural exchange experience. My experience in Ghana would not have been possible without funding from an ILR Travel Grant. In addition, I would not have had any activities to take part in if not for Voices of African Mothers (VAM), a United Nations NGO, dedicated to establishing a peaceful African continent through the use of conflict resolution and diplomacy.

Rohini Jalan, MS/Ph.D. '17

experience report / Greece

Rohini Jalan

I am grateful to the ILR School and the International Travel Grant Committee for the financial support they provided for my participation in the European Group of Organizational Studies (EGOS) Colloquium 2015 in Athens, Greece (July 2-4). At the colloquium, I presented my MS Thesis to a group of esteemed scholars from top research universities (such as Harvard Business School, Yale School of Management, and Tel Aviv University).

Hannah Cashen, BSILR '16

experience report / Cambodia

Hannah Cashen

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. But thanks to generous financial support and my ILR International Travel Grant, I was able to take this incredible class myself.

Sheetal Patel, BSILR '14

experience report / south africa

Sheetal Patel

This summer I had an amazing experience living and working in Cape Town, South Africa. I spent eight weeks interning at Reciprocity, a South African based consultancy working to optimize the contribution of the private sector to social and economic development. As a part of my work, I spent time in communities at the “Base of the Pyramid” (BoP), interacting with the most inspiring and ambitious individuals I have ever met. The entire experience was phenomenal and I came away with a more directed focus on what line of work I would like to find myself in, in the future.

Nidy Hamue-Munoz, MILR '15

experience report / Colombia

Nidy Hamue-Munoz

In January 2015, I spent two weeks working with coffee producers in Colombia as part of the Cornell Student Multidisciplinary Applied Research Team (SMART). We worked with the Federación Campesina del Cauca (FCC), a not-for-profit organization that has over 700 coffee-producing associates. These coffee producers are all micro landowners whose main source of income is the production from their farms.

Rachel Maniloff, BSILR '15

experience report / warwick

Rachel Maniloff

Exchange Student at Warwick, UK, Spring 2014

What were the most useful things you packed, and what do you recommend to leave behind?
Pack rainboots and a raincoat! Also pack lots of layers--you'll be grateful when you have to spend weeks traveling on only one suitcase! Leave behind formal clothes.

Anya Gibian, BSILR '12

experience report / austria

Anya Gibian and Performers

I did not know what to expect from either the Physical Theatre Lab or the Conference “Theatre Between Tradition and Contemporaneity” when I registered, however I hoped to learn as much as I could in the short week.  I also hoped to make meaningful connections with performers from all over the globe, and to learn from their perspectives and experiences.

William Edmonds, BSILR '13

experience report / zambia

William Edmonds

With the help of an Experience Grant through ILR’s International Programs Office I was afforded the opportunity to intern at Protea Hotels in Lusaka, Zambia for four weeks during my summer break. This was a great chance to apply what I had learned in the classroom at the ILR School and it would be my first opportunity to venture to a different continent with a rich culture and an incredible history dating back to the birth of mankind. When I arrived at Lusaka International Airport I was immediately greeted by my friend who would be hosting me for the next four weeks.

Chyanne Eyde, BSILR '13

experience report / europe

Chyanne Eyde

Inspired by an admissions brochure’s feature on Randi Weingarten, ’80, President of the American Federation of Teachers, I applied to the ILR School three years ago with the intent of merging my strong interest in education with the school’s focus on organizational behavior and unionism. The independent research project that I was able to conduct, thanks partially to my International Travel Grant, allowed me to closely analyze issues of privatization and unionism in public education.

Sahil Jain BSILR '14

experience report / india

Sahil Jain

During the 2011-12 Winter Intersession I was able to travel to New Delhi, India on an International Travel Grant from the ILR School. I spent my month in New Delhi working with the Centre for Development and Human Rights (CDHR), a not-for-profit research organization that focuses on promoting the Right to Development in India and across the world. Along with conducting research for CDHR, I was able to attend seminars, meet some of the leading activists of India, and explore the city of New Delhi.

Xavier O'Brien Douglas, BSILR '15

experience report / dominican republic

Xavier O'Brien Douglas' students

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.  In the Dominican Republic, I was bombarded by everything except what was fed to me by American mediums about the beautiful Island.

Hannah Kim BSILR '14

experience report / tanzania

Hannah Kim

From becoming comfortable riding in a minivan with 30 people standing, eating beans and rice cooked by mama, watching a chicken being slaughtered and cooked, seeing herds of zebras and giraffes from only ten feet away, and forming intimate relationships with the people I've met, I can safely say that Moshi, Tanzania, or specifically KCMC Road, feels like my second home.

Jennifer Kay BSILR '14

experience report / mexico

Jennifer Kay

When you walk up and down the hallways of Ives Hall you will inevitably encounter the ILR adage, “advancing the world of work” emblazoned on a wall. This cri de coeur connects the most liberal ILRies with their most conservative classmates, as all of us want to advance the world of work, and ultimately will do so, because our connotations of “advancing” will all be manifested in different ways.

Melanie Berdecia BSILR '12

experience report / dominican republic

With the ILR International Travel Grant, I traveled to Santiago in the Dominican Republic. The purpose of my trip was to learn more about labor rights in the Dominican Republic and if these rights have developed since the passage of the Dominican Republic Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). This topic is the concentration of my honors thesis. In 10 days, I learned about the Dominican Labor Court system and the procedures that workers and employers must undergo when they have conflicts that they want to resolve.

Michelle Kizer

experience report / australia

Michelle Kizer

BSILR 2013

Exchange Student at UNSW, Sydney, Australia, Fall 2012


What were the most useful things you packed, and what do you recommend to leave behind?

You should bring a camera, laptop, and the clothes you really need. It's commonplace to shop in Sydney, but to buy necessities there can be pretty expensive. Also, make sure to have dress clothes for going dancing, as there are many exchange parties at places like Ivy and the Marquis which require more than jeans and sneakers.

Lina Cheng

experience report / australia

Lina Cheng

BSILR 2014

Exchange Student at UNSW, Sydney, Australia, Fall 2012


What were the most useful things you packed, and what do you recommend to leave behind?

Even though it was winter in July, the coldest temperatures were only 65 degrees Fahrenheit, so I didn't need anything more than a fleece and a rain jacket. Make sure to bring several bathing suits!

Danny Qiao

experience report / China

Beijing Shops

RUC Exchange Program Experience - Summer 2013


On a scale of 1-5, 5 being highest, please rate the following items:

Cameron Nickels

experience report / australia

Cogee Beach

BSILR 2013

Exchange Student at UNSW, Sydney, Australia, Spring 2012


What were the most useful things you packed, and what do you recommend to leave behind?

Pack a rain jacket! Sunglasses and bathing suits are a must. I brought my own sheets and towels which was helpful. Bring some beach towels if you can. I also brought some toiletries (i.e. shampoo and soap) which saved money and effort when I arrived. Bring a small duffel bag or backpack for day trips and other excursions.

Charles Clausner

experience report / australia

Charles Clausner

BSILR 2013

Exchange Student at UNSW, Sydney, Australia, Spring 2012


What were the most useful things you packed, and what do you recommend to leave behind?