Sister city relationship opens doors for student

Doing an internship abroad is on the wish-list of many college students today. In Spring 2012, Medaille College, Buffalo, NY student Danielle Rollins too was searching for a senior-year internship related to her Business, Management, and Operations major. That is when her college professors told her about the Buffalo-Yeongcheon, South Korean Sister City Committee’s professional apprenticeship program. The program would give her a chance to stay and work in South Korea for a semester and even earn her college credits. Danielle immediately grabbed the opportunity!

So in Summer 2012, Danielle was off to South Korea to intern at the Overseas Operations Department of  Shin Young, a car manufacturing company. She worked on improving the company’s English website and also did a comparative study of work cultures in the US and South Korea. During the latter half of the summer, she got the opportunity to apprentice in various departments of Yeongcheon City Hall including the General Affairs Bureau, New Enterprise Attraction Bureau, and the Agriculture Departments. She also met with the Mayor of Yeongcheon, Young-suk Kim and his staff to discuss further plans for developing Buffalo-Yeongcheon sister city projects.

While is South Korea, Danielle stayed with a local host family. “They took care of me like I had always been a part of their family.” And through this experience, Danielle says, “I have gained an incredible appreciation for other cultures and the way people live as well as an appreciation for my own culture, city and heritage. Traveling to South Korea has opened my eyes to so many other possibilities that I can involve myself in and take part of.”

Danielle is already giving back to the sister city relationship that she has gained so much from! This summer, she will be helping Medaille College host a 20-student delegation from South Korea who will be in Buffalo for a six-week educational exchange.Given her amazing experience, Danielle encourages young people to get involved with the sister city movement. “I’ve met some amazing people and created relationships that I know will last for a lifetime. With the way the world is changing into a more global community, it is so important to learn and understand how different cultures live.”

Article first published in the Washington Examiner, February 27, 2013.