Spotlight: Spring 2021 Learning Life Interns

Learning Life’s student interns this spring 2021 are, among other things, helping to recruit Family Diplomats and Family Diplomacy Ambassadors for our Family Diplomacy Initiative (FDI), conducting research and planning for grant applications and our fall fundraising event, building the invitation list for our Democracy Dinners, developing a guide to intercultural communication, and more.  We are very grateful for our spring interns’ vital and dedicated work.  

TENILLE ARCHIE

Year, major, and school: I am a final year Master’s student at The Centre for Cultural Diplomacy Studies that works in collaboration with the Hochschule Furtwangen University in Germany, where I study International Relations and Cultural Diplomacy.

Hobbies: I enjoy learning, listening, observing, interacting, and reading about people from diverse ethnicities, cultures, geographical backgrounds, and exceptionalities. My other hobbies include writing short stories and storytelling.

Career aspirations: I consider myself a student of the world, but I would feel most accomplished to make a significant contribution in academia in the study of social change.

Why Learning Life? Family is the first institution and yet it is not given the attention and priority it deserves given the power and influence it holds. Whilst most countries do have some initiative focused on the family, oftentimes, some families are not given adequate attention. Learning Life’s heartbeat is lower to middle-class families; it gives these families a platform and an opportunity to use their voice to share their stories, experiences, culture, and concerns. What makes this initiative even more fascinating is the cultural collaboration which to me always makes me look forward to our meetings.

ARISA OSHIRO

Year, major and school: I’m currently a senior at the University of California-Davis majoring in International Relations with a concentration in peace and security, and minoring in Human Rights.

Hobbies: I love outdoor activities. I often go hiking with my friends to enjoy nature and take pictures. During the pandemic, I especially enjoy going on long walks and stargazing. Recently, I started exchanging languages with a fellow intern, Rossella, by teaching her Japanese and learning Italian in return.

Career aspirations: My experience working abroad has led me to pursue work in nonprofit international organizations. I’m particularly interested in helping refugees and immigrants. In the long run, I hope to create films that will amplify the voices of vulnerable and underrepresented communities.

Why Learning Life? I interned with Learning Life because I resonated with its focus to create a more interconnected world. I wanted to be a part of the Family Diplomacy Initiative to engage in conversations that highlight prominent issues and encourage a deeper understanding of others, especially given our divided world.

ESTRELLA PALLIS-BONADURER

Year, major and school: I will be a freshman in the fall, attending Georgetown University in Washington D.C. I plan on majoring in international politics with a minor in Spanish.

Hobbies: I love hiking, swimming, biking, canoeing, camping- pretty much anything outside! I also love to read. A favorite book of mine is ‘Interpreter of Maladies’ by Jhumpa Lahiri. My mom and I bake a lot together (we make amazing lemon-ginger scones) so that’s something else I really enjoy.

Career aspirations: As of right now, my career aspirations are pretty vague. Being a Foreign Service Officer would be incredible, or perhaps working with an NGO (non-governmental organization) that provides some type of humanitarian aid. Anything under the international relations umbrella would appeal to me!

Why Learning Life? I was drawn to Learning Life because of its innovative approach to intercultural understanding and lifelong learning. As a student, enjoyable and engaging learning is extremely important to me. Learning Life’s format is accessible to people of all demographics, which diversifies the pool of participants and creates an enriching experience for all involved. Learning Life recognizes that progress towards a more peaceful and connected world begins with the individual, and works to empower each participant to become a better global citizen.

ROSSELLA VULCANO

Year, major, and school: I have a Bachelor’s degree in Languages, Culture, and Translation. Now I am completing the last semester of a Master of Arts in International Relations and Cultural Diplomacy at the The Centre for Cultural Diplomacy Studies affiliated with Hochschule Furtwangen University in Germany.

Hobbies: I like to go out jogging or walk in the big park next to my home; read novels in different languages such as English, German and Dutch; learn new languages; listen to rock music; and play most kinds of sport.

Career aspirations: I am interested in working as a professional diplomat or in the diplomatic field.

Why Learning Life? I wanted to participate in Learning Life’s initiatives because I share its values. I believe in educating civil society to a more tolerant and democratic vision of the world, and fostering long-term peace and mutual respect. I also like that I am getting first-hand experience organizing citizen diplomacy projects, and I get to know people from all over the world.