UVA is partnering with the University College of Ghent (known as HoGent, in Dutch) and their Faculty of Education, Health, and Social Work to offer research-based internships for students with diverse interests. While primarily a teaching-oriented institution of professional studies and the arts, HoGent also promotes applied research aimed towards the realization of positive outcomes for Belgian, European, and global society.
This academic internship program will pair experiential learning about the realities of cross-cultural work with the practice of research in internships supervised by HoGent faculty members, all within the rich socio-cultural context of Belgium. In their placements, students will have the chance to develop first-hand comparative understandings of Belgian approaches to the provision of social services and education. Potential research projects to involve UVA interns may relate to: inclusive education, community-based healthcare, preventative care, urban education, human rights, professional ethics, quality of life, decolonization, diversity in all its forms, and more.
UVA students with wide-ranging academic/professional interests are likely to trace connections between their coursework and the ongoing research projects led by HoGent faculty. These students may include (but are not limited to) those majoring in: Global Public Health, Psychology, Youth and Social Innovation, Sociology, Politics, Anthropology, Special Education, Political and Social Thought, Global Security and Justice, and Philosophy. Because internships at HoGent will be writing- and research-intensive (dealing with both primary and secondary sources), students in the social sciences and humanities may find this program to be an especially welcome opportunity to explore the value of their academic skills/knowledge in an applied context.
Belgium is a country characterized by its own unique cultural richness and complexity while also serving as the de facto capital of the European Union. The program will be based in the beautiful, pleasant, and ancient city of Ghent, which is located in the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders. The city is only an hour away from the French-speaking capital of Brussels and makes for an easy exploration base. HoGent is the largest university college in Flanders, and Ghent serves as home to more than 70,000 students pursuing higher studies each year.
Program participants will be enrolled in the 1-credit GSGS 3540 "Working With/Across Cultures in International Internships" seminar while abroad. This course will be conducted primarily online, with several opportunities for real-time group reflections with peers and program instructors.
The GSGS 3540 course has been designed to highlight many of the key principles that inform our approach to experiential education abroad and to offer a flexible educational structure to accommodate students’ individualized internship arrangements. We aim to guide students in:
- Demonstrating awareness of the essential role of culture in shaping human experiences, formations, and activities, especially in work settings
- Developing familiarity with fundamental principles of experiential learning theory and reflexively applying them to their own processes of learning in the course of their time abroad
- Drawing connections between their particular experiences of working abroad to realities of globalizing work conditions and other facets of globalization.
The assignments have been crafted to enhance students’ abilities to develop relationships at work and the readings have been chosen to connect students' individual experiences abroad to broader theories and phenomena. Participants in this course are challenged to direct their own learning through their experiences, using the framework of the course and support from the instructor to grow as much as possible while abroad.
Potential internship activities may include
There are no prerequisites for this program. Foreign language skills may prove useful but are not required. Accepted students will be offered the opportunity to begin self-study of Dutch in the Spring semester, with the assistance of the Language Commons.
Please click on the links below to read details about the research internship positions which are available in summer 2020 with HoGent faculty members. Make sure to specify which position(s) you would like to be considered for in your application materials.
: literature reviews; research team meetings; interviews with community members/professionals; field visits to relevant sites; conference attendance; report development; presentation drafting; initial data analysis.
Ingrid Hakala | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ingrid Hakala is the director of UVA Global Internships and will serve as the UVA director of the program and instructor of the GSGS 3540 course. She will be on-site in Ghent for a portion of the program. She holds a doctoral degree in the anthropology of education from UVA.
David Van Bunder | David.email@example.com
David Van Bunder is Lecturer in HoGent’s Faculty of Education, Health, and Social Work and the lead coordinator of the UVA in Ghent Global Internship program. Dr. Van Bunder works across multiple disciplines, including psychology, sociology, and philosophy, and he teaches key courses in diverse undergraduate programs. His latest research has focused on the professional socialization of healthcare and social workers.
Accommodation and Meals
Students will occupy shared rooms in a modern hostel with kitchen facilities near the heart of the picturesque old city, with daily breakfast provided. Restaurants, cafes, markets, and public transportation will be easily accessible from students’ lodging. HoGent will provide vouchers for a hot lunch during the weekdays at the Schoonmeersen campus cafeteria and students may avail of coffee and tea in HoGent faculty lounges.