For those of you following us on Facebook and Twitter, you know that in January we carried out our first Expedition, titled "Research Methods in International Development". UBELONG co-founders Cedric Hodgeman and Raul Roman were the Expedition Leaders who led a team of professionals to carry out a research project to explore the impact of international volunteers in Cusco, Peru. We didn’t open the Expedition to the public; the participants were recruited from Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where Raul is an adjunct professor, as well as the international development community in Washington, DC. Our findings will be coming soon but to give you a glimpse now:
-We started off with project visits in Lima and then flew to Cusco to conduct our research. In 10 days the team interviewed 30 international volunteers, 25 placement agencies and countless project participants.
-Our research design incorporated video, a powerful new tool in international development research. We will be releasing a full video report in the coming weeks, but for now you can watch on Youtube a teaser of the report and meet our Expedition team members.
-Besides fieldwork, the team enjoyed numerous recreational activities, including hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu on our final weekend. You can check pictures of our trip on our Facebook page.
-Since returning to the United States, the team has been working on a research paper and the video report, both of which will be disseminated widely. The team has already briefed senior officials at the US Department of State in Washington, DC and will be presenting its findings at various prestigious universities and institutions in the coming months.
We will do another Research Methods in International Development this summer. For details, click here. But why should you join us this summer?
Invest in your career
Since returning home, Expedition members have leveraged their UBELONG experience to help them obtain jobs at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), and to get admitted at SAIS. “The Expedition was essential in allowing me to get an internship with the IADB this summer in Lima”, says Melanie Lopez-Grewal, one of the Expedition team members and a student at SAIS.
Connect and become part of a team
In any of our Expeditions you are part of a close-knit team and develop lasting friendships working and traveling together. Fatiha Amar, a professional at a major multilateral development institution in DC, says about her experience: “Spending time with the team and experiencing the challenges together was one of the most rewarding aspects of the Expedition”.
Apply your skills in the field
Expeditions allow you to apply your skills in action and gain first-hand understanding about the issues. “Fieldwork is essential in international development work. You cannot do this work at a desk. The Expedition was absolutely critical to developing a deeper understanding of the issues through fieldwork and volunteering”, says Expedition team member Dave Kidney, a DC-based conflict management specialist.
Step out of your comfort zone
Most of the Expedition team members did not have previous research fieldwork experience in a developing country. The Expedition encouraged them to challenge themselves personally and professionally. “This Expedition took me out of my comfort zone. It made me stretch my personal and professional limits”, says Kafi Jo, US Government consultant.
Contact us if you have any questions or apply now if you are ready to join us.
Click on the pictures above to enlarge them. UBELONG photos.