Amazing summer internships: 7 students tell what they did, what they learned, and what they’ll never forget

Each summer, hundreds of UW–Madison students spread out across the globe for internships. They gain vital job skills — that’s a given. They also explore new cities, discover foreign cultures, and have a lot of fun. We caught up with seven students to learn a little more about their experiences.

Paul Jackson II

Hometown: Miami Gardens, Florida

Major: Political Science and Business

Internship: Aston Future English Educational Schools, Dalian, China

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Senior Paul Jackson II, a mentor and tutor on campus, wanted to boost his teaching skills and give them a try in another country. During his internship, he spent a month in China teaching English to children ages 3 to 15.

One of his biggest cultural takeaways came from creating lesson plans to help students with their speaking and comprehension skills.

“I witnessed how devoted Chinese parents are when it comes to their children’s educations,” he says. “They follow up not just with their children but with the teachers.”

He also devised advertising and marketing materials to recruit new students to the school. Often those recruitment efforts involved art and athletic activities. Jackson knows a lot about the latter: he’s a linebacker for the UW football team. (Upon returning to Madison, he went straight from his overseas flight to Camp Randall for strength training.)

The trip was Jackson’s first abroad. It was a mind-expanding experience for both him and his students, he says. “They rarely see any black people where I taught, and for some children, I was the first American they’d interacted with.”

Bonus perk: Standing on the Great Wall of China.

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