This September, Caitlyn D’Agati ’15 will begin an internship with the U.S. Department of State as a liaison in developing educational and cultural exchange program.
In 2013, President Barack Obama announced the 100,000 Strong in the Americas program to increase educational exchanges in the Western Hemisphere and strengthen U.S. relations with the countries of the Americas. By 2020, the 100,000 Strong in the Americas seeks to place 100,000 Latin American students in study abroad programs in the U.S. and 100,000 U.S. students in study abroad programs in Latin America.
“The goal is coming together, but more students are necessary to achieve this goal,” says D’Agati, who will be responsible for virtually connecting with students in Latin America and providing them with a view of college life in the U.S.
Through the State Department’s Virtual Student Foreign Service, D’Agati will spend the next seven months developing social media strategies “to connect with students to show how great college in America can be,” she says. “If students need help or advice about studying in the U.S. they can come to me and I will be there to help them. It’s basically all to make the process of studying abroad here less grueling and complex and to show students why it would be a great experience for them.”
When Sarah Evans ’04, regional coordination officer at the State Department, alerted the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education of the internship opportunity, D’Agati knew her academic interests and experience as a writer for the HWS Office of Communications could distinguish her in the applicant pool.
“Last year in my class American Foreign Policy with Professor Kevin Dunn we were always discussing the Department of State, and now I get to learn even more, but on my own terms and with firsthand experience,” says D’Agati, a public policy major with a concentration in health care, minoring in political science. “I’m very excited to connect with students from Latin America. I will be in communication with people from Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, and more.”
Ever since she studied abroad in Wales during the fall of 2013, D’Agati has “loved the idea of connecting with people from other countries,” she says. “I can’t wait to share with them what college life is like in the U.S. because I’ve had an amazing experience at HWS that is certainly worth sharing.”