Guadalajara Partnership Fosters Internships, Global Learning Opportunities

A Walsh partnership with a premier Catholic university in Guadalajara is providing a pathway to professional opportunities for students to pursue international internships and global learning experiences abroad in Mexico. Guadalajara is the second largest city in Mexico and one of the fastest growing cities in North America, including the tech, healthcare, industry, food, and fashion sectors. 

The collaboration with Universidad del Valle de Atemajac (UNIVA) began five years ago and offers students a wide variety of academic experiences and opportunities. This semester, two students, Kaili Kashiwaeda and José Ixcoy-Lopez, are currently interning in Guadalajara while a Global Learning program focused on healthcare is scheduled for March. This will mark the third Walsh Global Learning cohort to study in Guadalajara with UNIVA.

José Ixcoy-Lopez is a junior from Dover, Ohio, and is currently completing his internship with a medical facility Red Nose Foundation (Nariz Roja), that provides support for children and their families struggling with cancer. José also participated in Walsh’s 2018 Fall I Rome program.

Kaili Kashiwaeda, a senior bio/pre PT major from Utah, has been interning with the child rehabilitation center, Teletob, in Guadalajara since early January. As a Blouin Global Scholar, this is Kaili’s second trip to Mexico and her fourth Global Learning experience at Walsh. She previously traveled with the Global Scholars to Tanzania and Rome, and spent her 2019 spring break at UNIVA studying global health. Designed to be a culturally immersive program, both students are living with host families in Guadalajara during their internship.

“I’ve been surprised at how easy the transition to living in Guadalajara has been,” said Kaili. “Throughout my time at Walsh, I have been aware of the incredible planning and preparation done on behalf of the Office of Global Learning, along with all the faculty and staff who have invested their time. I have grown so much through the different global programs I have participated in and realize how incredibly fortunate I have been.”

The spring Global Learning Program to Guadalajara will include both undergraduate and graduate students, led by Drs. Tracey Herstich and Michele Tilstra. Dr.Herstich will lead undergraduate to study general healthcare, while Dr. Tilstra will guide graduate Occupational Therapy (OT) students as they explore OT practices abroad.

“Although this Spring Break program and internships are focused on healthcare, UNIVA is comprehensive and could provide future students to study in most fields including business, communication, museum studies, science, healthcare, etc.,” said Walsh Director of Global Learning Michael Cinson. “The Global Learning Office and the Career Development and Readiness Center collaborate on finding opportunities that are a right fit for our students.”

Serving as a strategic partner, UNIVA provides support in the classroom (English-spoke class options), through internships, and daily living.  UNIVA also offers courses in Spanish for students who choose to further their knowledge in the subject.  The University boasts over 300 partnerships throughout the city and region to support its curricular and co-curricular education models. 

“For my internship, I am working at CRIT by Teleton. CRIT is a pediatric rehabilitation center that focuses on the child's whole wellbeing. They treat children, under the age of 18, with different muscular, skeletal, and neurological disabilities,” said Kaili. “I have been learning so much from the physical therapists from bed-side manners to implementing patient-specific treatments. This has also given me the perfect opportunity to continue improving my Spanish. I would encourage students to take part in one of the global experiences offered at Walsh. Be open to fully immersing yourself in the local culture.”