Intern Spotlight: Samantha MacFarlane

This is the first of two profiles of Learning Life’s fall 2015 student interns. This fall, our two bright and capable interns, Samantha MacFarlane and Ian Thomas, are drafting new quizzes, five facts and big questions for Learning Life’s website, assisting with community research, and helping in other ways for which we are grateful.  To learn more about interning with Learning Life contact us at

Samantha MacFarlaneWhere were you born and raised?

I was born in Miami and raised in South Florida, splitting weekends between the beach and Disney World.

What is your school, year and major?

I’m a senior at Georgetown University, studying Culture and Politics in Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to listen to music and walk around the neighborhood or city, especially in the fall. I’m also a big fan of Netflix and watching documentaries with friends.

What is the most beautiful place you have seen on Earth, and why is it so beautiful?

Last Christmas, I was abroad in Morocco with an American friend. We had our own makeshift Christmas Eve with hot chocolate and Christmas music on his laptop as we sat in the backyard of our hostel in a small mountain town. Miles away from major cities, I saw more stars that night than ever before and got to make lots of shooting-star wishes.

Is there a particular life experience you have had that has shaped you as a person?  If so, what was it, and how has it shaped who you are?

I studied abroad last year in Morocco and Senegal, which was the longest I’d been away from my friends and family in the United States.  Stripped of the comforts of familiarity, and even my native language, my experiences and friendships were genuine and eye-opening. I learned a lot about myself and about how things work in other parts of the world, which has also given me a new perspective on the US since I’ve gotten back. I’m still working on it, but my year abroad showed me how to slow down, spend time with friends and family, and not get so caught up in the process of working, studying, and chasing money.

Why did you choose to intern with Learning Life?

Learning Life is driven by values that resonate with my own beliefs. The importance given to empowerment through education is lacking worldwide, and this internship allows me to work for that cause while gaining valuable research and writing skills.

What are your career plans?

I would eventually like to work with NGOs (non-governmental organizations) in developing countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa addressing issues of education or human rights. For the moment I’m looking at opportunities for service abroad before starting real life.