International Development Research in Geneva

I’m Angelica Nahalka, a rising sophomore planning to major in Public Health, International Development, and French. I am traveling all the way to Switzerland this summer to be an intern at the International Centre for Migration, Health and Development, a non-profit dedicated to ensuring the health and wellbeing of migrants across the world. Through research, training and policy advocacy, they give governments, UN agencies and any other interested parties the tools they need to improve the welfare of those affected by migration.

I am going to be assisting with the research-based aspect of the ICMHD’s mission. While I don’t have my specific tasks planned out yet, interns at the ICMHD generally conduct research on one of the organization’s many projects all over Europe, Africa and Asia, and attend meetings with its partners. This will be an exciting and invaluable opportunity to experience the work that goes into planning development interventions and what being a development actor might entail.

I will also have the incredible, and undoubtedly instructive experience of living on my own in a foreign country. I have just gotten my living arrangements set up, and will be sharing a room with another 18-to-30 year-old woman in a youth hostel located in the Geneva’s picturesque “old-town” area. I hope to improve my French while I’m in Geneva, and am planning to spend the next few weeks learning some basic German.

In terms of how I got this internship, the message here is that it never hurts to ask. Originally, I wanted to participate in Tulane’s Geneva Summer for Development program, where students also intern for two weeks with the ICMHD. After realizing I wouldn’t be able to afford to go, I asked my Intro to International Development professor, Dr. Colin Crawford, who will be an instructor for the program, if the ICMHD would be willing to take me on as an independent intern. I am thrilled that everything worked out and am ready to develop my research, language and professional skills while I’m in Geneva.

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