EA Interviews: Jenny Baker’s Internship in South Africa

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The Education Abroad office at the University of Kentucky has five main types of education abroad programs that we use when advising students in choosing a program to study with. If I could participate in every type of program I definitely would but unfortunately my time as an undergraduate at the university is coming to a close so instead I have enlisted the help of my roommate. I’ve heard that people tend to surround themselves with others who share similar interests with yourself and this is no exception. My roommate, who shares my love for adventure and travel, has agreed to share her Education Abroad experience with us today. Without further delay I would like you to meet Jenny Baker.
Jenny is a Senior at the University of Kentucky working on a duel major of Psychology and Moderate Severe Disabilities. During the Summer 2013 term Jenny traveled to Cape Town, South Africa where she enrolled in a UK Sponsored Internship. Like many students who come into the Education Abroad Resource Center, Jenny chose this program because of the heavy course loads her dual major requires made it the most feasible option. Her internship placed her at a Women’s Clinic where she spent her workdays teaching fitness classes to women, helping with the childcare services, and leading empowerment workshops to the women visiting the clinic. She even shared with me that she was able to conduct some psychology counseling sessions and child play therapy for young children.
Of course, an abroad experience isn’t complete without a little bit of adventure! After returning from a program abroad one thing that you are constantly asked is, “what was your favorite memory?” Jenny described one of her most memorable days as “one of my best days, and the worst day all at once.” On this day, she and her fellow interns spent an afternoon away from their work sites to explore Table Mountain. This hiking excursion lead to find a reservoir and have a picnic lunch on the beach front. After lunch a wrong turn left them with a 5 hour hike before reaching the trailhead. Jenny said this was one of the most memorable experiences she had because of the flood of emotions her and her friends were able to share with one another. It’s misadventures such as this that build the foundation for the greatest memories that we take away from our abroad experiences. Jenny’s closing piece of advice for all of those students embarking on their new education abroad experiences? To not be apprehensive about the experiences you might have.
I couldn’t agree with her more on this statement. It’s the age old saying that you don’t know what you can accomplish until you reach outside of that comfort zone!  The memories you make and the stories that you get to take away will be worth the anxious moments of uncertainty, so what are you waiting for?!
Jenny was interviewed by Courtney Henning, one of the Education Abroad Peer Ambassadors (EAPAs). Courtney Henning is a senior at the University of Kentucky majoring in International Studies and Gender and Women’s Studies. She studied in the Czech Republic in the Fall of 2013 though an International Studies Abroad (ISA) program.