Vancouver, BC (PRWEB) March 27, 2014
Ask any student what qualification holds the most weight when applying to post-secondary institutions, and the answer will undoubtedly be 'experience'. When competition is high and space is limited, good grades aren't always enough. The addition of field-related experience to a resume or application is critical to its consideration, and ultimately, the applicant's success. American volunteers Sam Driggers and Jessica Friedman recently went to Africa through CrossContinental.org to participate in a dental internship abroad.
Honing related skills and gaining knowledge can be an arduous process, especially when volunteer positions and internships are scarce. Friedman and Driggers plan to pursue careers in the challenging and rewarding field of dentistry. As students, they know first-hand how important volunteer placements can be in order to secure that coveted spot in a dental program. When the two discovered an opportunity to gain valuable work experience, coupled with the adventure of travelling to another continent, they jumped at the chance. The international volunteer and internship organization Cross-Continental Solutions provided them with the chance to experience dentistry in Ghana, West Africa, first hand and participate in a work placement most students could only dream of.
As with any overseas travel, one might expect many challenges when working in a foreign environment. Language barriers and cultural differences are often difficult to overcome, especially when expectations are high. Friedman and Driggers, however, were very positive about their overseas experience, including living with a host family.
Driggers explains, “I had a great time in Ghana and everyone involved was very nice. The host family was great and I made true friends with the family members.”
While some may have trepidation about living with strangers, the hosts provided by Cross-Continental are well prepared for their visitors, and according to Friedman, “the host family was fantastic!" "The parents were very kind," she continues, "and always made sure we were having a good time and felt safe. They shared a lot about life in Ghana, and we became close!”
Her enthusiasm continued when asked about the benefits of the program. “The work placement, Dr. Willben dental clinic, was also great. The two dentists working there shared much of their knowledge on dental procedures and what dentistry was like in Ghana. I learned so much from them.”
Both Driggers and Friedman were very positive about their experience in Africa, from the organization and planning by Cross-Continental's staff to the amount of knowledge gained through their internship. “The most rewarding experience was being able to learn what I'm passionate about in an entirely new environment, all while immersing myself as much as possible in the Ghana way of life,” explains Friedman. “I felt very comfortable the entire time there.”
The availability of international internships is increasing, with organizations like Cross-Continental working to place volunteers with work opportunities that best serve the needs of both the traveler and the overseas community. Potential interns may well be surprised by the many work placement options available, and with CrossContinental’s unique program personalization, finding an option that best suits a specific need is almost always possible.
In today's competition-driven society, finding an option to improve one's skills in a chosen field, paired with the additional benefits of fresh new perspectives, is invaluable. The impact of internships abroad affects all areas of a volunteer's life, from career and educational benefits to positive changes in their social and personal dynamics. Even the unexpected environment of an African dental clinic can leave a lasting positive impression.
Driggers sums it up best by stating, “I had the experience of a lifetime by volunteering in Ghana, and Cross-Continental made it possible.”
Access free resources or plan a life-changing trip at http://www.CrossContinental.org.
About Cross-Continental Solutions:
Cross-Continental Solutions provides affordable yet flexible volunteer abroad, intern abroad, cultural immersion, language study, and gap year programs. A large variety of work placement options are available such as: Teaching, Healthcare, Community Development, Business Coaching, HIV work, Care-giving, Orphanage Work, Journalism, Photography, Wildlife, Agriculture, Environmental Protection, Microfinance, Tourism, Marketing, and more. Programs are available at many locations around the world, including Africa, Asia, and Latin America. By living and working side by side with locals, participants gain an exceptional cross-cultural experience and the opportunity to truly make a difference. For more details, visit CrossContinental.org.