Take Your Education Global with International Internships | Vancouver Island University


Gabrielle Hayashi Santos has been interested in the subject of internationalization of education since she was in high school.

It was an interest that led the Brazilian graduate to apply for – and receive – a 12-week internship at Vancouver Island University in 2019, through the Mitacs Globalink Research Internship program.

Since then, his academic career has led him to complete internships at UNESCO and the OAS, among others, and to complete a master’s degree in development and governance at the University of Duisburg Essen, with the support of the DAAD Helmut program Schmidt, which provides fellowships to future leaders of developing countries who strive to promote democracy and social justice. She is currently exploring options for her PhD.

We caught up with Gabrielle to find out more about her time at VIU, how it helped her do what she does now, and what’s next for her.

Why did you choose VIU?

I chose VIU because of the opportunity to work with recreation and tourism professor, Dr. Garrett Stone, as part of the Mitacs Globalink research internship, on the project “Welcome Home: Developing, Implementing, and Evaluating a Study Abroad Re-entry Program”. During my 12-week internship, I was able to collaborate with the amazing faculty at VIU, learn about research in my chosen area of ​​interest, and take several courses offered by Mitacs.

Tell us about the research project you worked on at VIU and its impact on your career trajectory.

I believe my experience at VIU with Dr. Garret Stone taught me a lot about how to do quality research work in this area of ​​study and helped me expand my network with other researchers and professionals. who work in this field. During this experience, I supported Dr. Stone in areas such as internationalization, study abroad and re-entry, as well as international program development, marketing and evaluation. The summer of 2019 was the first time I had a more in-depth experience of researching internationalization, and it really enlightened me on the subject. Thanks to this experience, I was able to approach international education from a different angle, a learning that is now reflected in my work. I would say that this experience was crucial for my decision to pursue a master’s degree and to apply for doctoral programs in the field of education.

What have you been doing since VIU?

Currently, I am studying PhD programs in education, with a focus on international education, in Canada and the United States. I plan to apply this year and start next year in the fall. Since VIU, I had the opportunity to do an internship at the United Nations and in two different departments of the Organization of American States: The Young Americas Business Trust, where I worked with the Eco-Challenge program and the ICT Americas competition, and the Department of Human Development, Education and Employment. At UNESCO, I worked on innovation in higher education. I was also a research assistant at the University of Pennsylvania think tank.

Why did he push you to pursue this type of career?

International education has been a part of my life since high school, and because of that, I always applied for scholarships and other international opportunities that matched my career goals and general interests. When I entered my undergraduate program, it changed from a passion to a field of work and research, as I began to focus even more on my international education consulting company and to lead projects research that focus on different areas of international education, such as culture diplomacy, brain drain, brain circulation, development through study abroad programs and evaluation of scholarship programs. Being from a southern country, this field has not only interested me, but it has also become a part of my life, as there are many scholarship programs related to this field. As I was still applying for different things, I began to wonder about the why and how of these opportunities, especially how these scholarships affect, positively or negatively, the development of the national countries of the applicants.

What advice would you give to a student who wants to follow in the footsteps similar to yours?

I know my answer may be a bit cliché, but my advice would be: network. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people. I believe a lot of my professional and personal growth has come from connecting with people through Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. By talking to people, I understood different fields of work, I received incredible application advice and was even offered different opportunities. In combination with this advice, I would also add that, when you can, offer your help. Try to help others the way you would like to be helped and explore where your expertise could add value to the lives of others.

Would you like to add anything?

I am available in case anyone would like to have a conversation about areas of interest that may be in my area of ​​expertise, as I know many people apply to Mitacs and would like to have a conversation with an alumnus to better understand the application process.


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