Spring 2013

Student selected for prestigious international internship

By Nick Boehm

Through hard work, persistence and a passion to embrace other cultures a UW-Stevens Point student was selected for a prestigious internship at the U.S. Embassy in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Megan Van Sambeek, a native of Darboy majoring in international studies and Spanish, is currently representing UW-Stevens Point through a 10-week internship offered by the U.S. State Department, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.

 “My experience in Montevideo has been more than I could ever imagine,” Van Sambeek said.  “Montevideo is a really great city where something is always happening, and since Montevideo is in the southern hemisphere the weather is great right now.”

Van Sambeek’s internship supports Public Diplomacy, the office responsible for disseminating information to the Uruguayan public, organizing cultural events and acting as the official liaison between the Uruguayan press and the U.S. government. They create news releases, hold news conferences and are involved in programs taking place off embassy grounds, such as the U.S.-Uruguayan Fulbright Program, the U.S.-Uruguayan Alianza English immersion program for Uruguayan schools and a series of prominent speakers at universities throughout the city.

“I have been very happy with my internship in the Embassy,” Van Sambeek said. “I have been learning a lot about the newly reformed education system and U.S./Uruguayan relations, and have been involved with the Fulbright program and Education USA that sends Uruguayan scholars to study in the United States. Overall I would say the best part about this internship is that I have gotten a sneak peek into what my future might possibly look like as a Foreign Service officer. “

Her travels, including Xalapa, Mexico, with the Rotary Youth Exchange Program as well as study abroad experiences in Valladolid, Spain and Cuba through UW-Stevens Point, has prepared her for this once in a lifetime internship experience.  But perhaps the most rewarding accomplishment is yet to come for Van Sambeek. The internship for the U.S. Embassy in Uruguay gives Van Sambeek a peek into what her future will look like upon graduation at UW-Stevens Point and pursuing a career as a Foreign Service Officer.

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