This week we are focusing on psychology internships offered by Leave UR Mark.
We we dug through our blog archives and found some articles on psychology internships that we will be republishing to highlight our alum’s work in psychology, counseling and therapy internships.
We are proud of the mark they left while in India and what they were able to get out of the interning abroad experiences.
This article about one of our American psychology interns was originally published on March 25, 2014.
Name: Alex K.
Placement: :Psychology Internship
Leaving his mark at: An organization dedicated to therapy for children with autism
How did he find out about our psychology internships?
While researching summer possibilities with psychology internships outside the US, Alex looked up the keywords ‘psychology’ and ‘therapy’ and found an opportunity which perfectly matched his interests via the Leave UR Mark website. Alex is spending six weeks in Bangalore, South India interning for a non-profit public health organization, working at their integrated school where he assists with the special education of autistic children.
What did he get out of his psychology internship?
As a psychology student who enjoys working with young children, this was an opportunity to learn new skills while making a difference to children’s lives and gaining valuable experience along the way. “I’m happy to be working with an organization which is in line with my core values: humanitarianism and finding worth in every human being. The children I work with are not sick, but challenged. We help them to help themselves. They are normal despite what society thinks of them. The experience is extremely rewarding.”
What are the workdays like in our psychology internships?
In the mornings Alex works at the school assisting with a class of middle-functioning children. In his psychology internship, he works with the children mostly on a one-on-one level, teaching a student specific skills under his supervisor’s supervision. In the afternoons he spends time at the organization’s rehabilitation center project where he observes and assists with occupational therapy, along with a special education therapist. This was one of the best psychology internships, because he got to work with autistic spectrum disorder kids, as well as those with moyamoya, cerebral palsy and mental retardation.
Alex has found the experience rewarding because he can actively use his skills and see the result of his efforts. “This is my first experience working hands-on with children with special challenges. I have learned a lot in terms of how to approach them and speak to them, and I’ve learned things from the therapists. For one child, I developed exercises to help her improve coordination. This involved fingerprinting activities which were slightly challenging. She loved it and my supervisor was impressed with the results. I also often observe classes and take notes because I write a journal for one of my psychology classes. I try to write every day and send it off and also post it on Facebook because my friends are interested in what I’m doing here.”
Alex has already traveled independently and studied in Mexico City as part of a study abroad program. His experience in Mexico helped him prepare for his first trip to India because he knew that curiosity and an open mind is the best approach to have. “India was what I was expecting. I knew it would be totally different and I came with an open mind. I see a commonality among people, I like to interact with different people, and get along well with locals.”
When he was not working in his psychology internship , he enjoyed exploring Bangalore’s many different neighborhoods and local markets. “I like to do a lot of personal exploring and take the time to go off on my own adventure. I’ve been to Shivajinagar, Russell Market, the silk shops in Commercial Street, ISKCON temple, Bangalore Palace and Bannerghatta Park.”
Alex felt that the time he’s spent in India as a psychology intern has provided him with valuable hands-on experience which complements his field of study and interests. He has South America or Central Asia on his radar next, where he would like to do more NGO work and have the chance to travel simultaneously.
His advice for newcomers to India? “Don’t be a dumb American. Come with humility and respect. You’re a visitor here. I subscribe to the acculturation view: I want to do the best I can to assimilate with local culture. Leave your mark and have it leave its mark on you. While traveling you learn a lot about yourself. You’re away from what you’re used to, so you’re a blank slate and your mental fortitude is tested. It’s like an emotional boot camp.”
To apply for this internship, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Check out our article about a recent psychology intern also working with autistic children, and how she was able to use her creativity to succeed on the job.