Hi! My name is Sofia Adame, and I am a rising senior here at the University of Pittsburgh in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. I am majoring in Psychology and Anthropology, minoring in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies and getting a certificate in Global Studies. It sounds like a lot, but honestly my studies overlap pretty nicely. When I first arrived at Pitt, I was pretty indecisive with what I wanted to do so I just decided to study Psychology, but as I started to take classes that I didn’t even think existed, I started to discover my passion for anything related to social equity. I should be on track to graduate by the end of next semester, which I am rather nervous and surprised about. Other than my studies, this past semester I was involved in Pitt’s Global Brigades as the Events Coordinator along with being Secretary for the Latinx Student Association. I also volunteer at the Birmingham Free Clinic with a program named SALUD as a Spanish interpreter.
Outside of my academics, work life and extracurriculars, I particularly enjoy painting. In high school I used to paint all the time and I actually got to showcase my artwork. Although I haven’t been able to take any art classes here at Pitt, I still try to paint every once in a while. I also really enjoy spending time with friends and family, working out and honestly even taking time for myself. My current hometown is Doylestown, which is a bit outside Philly, but I am originally a Mexican immigrant and moved here from Costa Rica. This July will be my sixth year living in the United States. I think my life as an immigrant and being so used to constantly traveling is what initially made me interested in participating in a study abroad program. I find that being able to live in another country is necessary to not only understand the worldview of others, but also to understand yourself. I love the process of learning to be culturally aware and gaining a new perspective on life, especially since I think the skills learned by living abroad are applicable in a multitude of ways.
This brings me to the reason I write this post. Rather than studying abroad, I decided to participate in the International Internship program because I thought it would provide a unique opportunity in not only living in a different country, but even simply getting professional work experience. This summer I will be participating in the International Internship Program in Madrid, where I hope to be working at an organization that focuses on the success of refugees. I am beyond excited to be able to participate in this program, especially in knowing that I may have a lasting impact on my organization. I specifically chose to come to Madrid because it aligns with my professional, academic and personal goals as I finish my undergraduate studies. I was beyond excited to be able to speak my native language, Spanish, not only constantly, but also in a professional environment. Ever since my move to the United States, I have largely been unable to constantly speak Spanish, especially in a professional setting, so I am excited to continuously speak my language.
By interning in Madrid, I will become accustomed to workplace culture and expand my network, especially as I am interested in pursuing my graduate degree or working in Spain. This internship will essentially prepare me for the future I hope to have. I am looking forward to applying everything I have learned thus far in my experiences in Madrid, along with continually developing these skills. The internship program was also especially appealing as I will work in an industry that is pertinent to my academic and professional goals, therefore gaining the experience I need to be successful in this field.
Although I am used to moving around a lot and being in another country, I must admit I’m rather anxious about leaving. As I finish packing for my flight tomorrow, I worry about whether or not I will be a good employee, make friends, and thrive in Spain. However, I remind myself that this is the opportunity of a lifetime and there is no need to be stressed when you know everything will work out in the end. This is another part I hope to gain during my time in Spain. I hope to be able to gain a sense of independence and confidence, especially since this is my first time living in a new country without the immediate support of my family. In this way, by interning abroad I will be able to navigate the world as my own person.
As I reflect on the opportunity that lies ahead, my anxiousness is eased, in which it is replaced by the excitement I feel at being able to participate in this program. I am so grateful to be participating, and I can’t wait for what’s to come.
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