Stories from the field

month April 2017

Luc Nadeau -1: Intro Podcast

My name is Luc, this is a super casual introduction about myself and some of my aspirations about my upcoming placement with MSRI in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

Marlin Beswetherick – Blog 1: Introduction Interview

My name is Marlin Beswetherick and this is my first Podcast! Rasheedah White is interviewing me abbout my upcoming internship with MSRI in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, what I’ll be doing there and what I am looking forward to most!


Seema Prasad – Blog 1: Introduction

This is my first podcast. Will Howling is interviewing me about my upcoming placement with MSRI in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We chat about the organization I will be working with, the work I will be doing, and what I am looking forward to most. 

Rasheedah White – Blog 1: Introduction

Hello, my name is Rasheedah White and I will be interning at CITYNET in Yokohama. In this podcast my fellow intern Marlin Beswetherick interviewed me about my background and the work I will be doing in my placement. 

Will Howling – Blog 1: About me and my upcoming placement

Welcome to my very first blog entry and podcast. I’m Will, and very shortly I will begin a 6.5 month internship in New Delhi, India with the Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA). Have a listen; this is a short introduction to me and a little bit about what I’ll be doing while I’m there.

Duncan Chalmers – Blog 1: Reflections, Thoughts, and Pre-departure Dialogue

CAPI predepature interview, facilitated by Loreen Regnander. Introductory thoughts and reflections regarding my upcoming internship placement at the Karenni Social Development Centre, located along the Thai-Myanmar border. 

As the beginning of the Advanced Course at the KSDC draws near, the excitement grows. Last week, Matt, the current volunteer coordinator at the Centre, sent me the entire curriculum for the course, which looks both incredibly engaing and, overall, a ton of fun. I greatly look forward to my time spent with the students, teachers, and all the other members of the KSDC community.



Sasha Mosky – Blog 1: Introductions

My name is Sasha and I am a fourth year student at the University of Victoria. I am recording this podcast with Luc Nadeau, a fellow intern in preperation from my internship with PRIA in India. 

Loreen Regnander – Blog 1: Pre-departure Introduction, here’s to new beginnings!

Hello, and welcome to my blog! In this podcast, I describe my personal and academic background and interests, and ultimately what has led me to the CAPI internship program. I offer a broad overview of what my work and new journey with PRIA (Society for Participatory Research in India) will consist of, and what I am hoping to take away from this experience. Specifically, for my internship I will be going to Raipur and Sarguja, which are both located in the mid India region of Chhattisgarh. I will be working and researching the occupational health and safety issues among frontline health and sanitation workers in the Chhattisgarh region. My work will also include completing podcasts (like these) and keeping a blog, while also working on a final capstone project, which I am currently planning on producing a film, however have not narrowed down on a specific topic or research question as of yet. Please join me in this journey, and enjoy my personal insights along the way.

Alex Lloyd- Blog 1: Oh, the Places You’ll Go.

Hello fellow globetrotters!

My name is Alex Lloyd. I figure I will kick off my blog for CAPI and QES while I sit here in the Los Angeles Airport for the next couple of hours, before my final flight to Melbourne. 

I am a graduate student in the first year of my master’s in Anthropology. Currently, my thesis title is Overseas Female Indonesian Students & Sexuality: An Exploratory Case Study. I am looking to explore the ways sexual subjectivities are produced, maintained, and negotiated in the transnational context of overseas education in Australia. In particular, I am considering the impacts and negotiations of campus sexual culture, transnational cultural expectations, and the role of cross-border communications and social networks. 

I am using a feminist theoretical approach to look at female sexuality in a transnational context, considering the ways this overseas education may impact female sexuality, as conservative expectations from home (may) be disrupted by the migratory experience. I am also considering the myriad ways women explore and express their sexualities and how women’s agency manifests itself in these contexts. For example, veiling, in many contexts, can be a stunning example of women reclaiming the right to choose for their own bodies and express their faith and personhood. 

As a result, my research is taking me to Melbourne, Australia for the next three and a half months. While my research itself is meant to take place May-July, I am heading out early to participate in a conference called Multimedia, Mobility & the Digital Souteast Asian Family, where I will be presenting my work thus far. Yay!

Sitting in this airport now, I am overwhelmed by a mix of emotions from excitement to anxiety and everything in between. Though it is a whirlwind, I am looking forward to this incredible opportunity to be back in a city I love, integrating myself in the community and getting to know and celebrate an amazing group of women. 

Here’s to the next step in this wonderful, empowering, stressful, surprising, and perpetually entertaining journey of graduate school.


Nicola Craig Hora – Blog 8: Post-internship Reflections

With help from the Asia Pacific Foundation and the University of Victoria’s Centre for Asia Pacific Initiatives, I spent 8 months working for an organization called CITYNET in their project office located in Yokohama, Japan.

It is difficult describing a typical workday because my day to day varied greatly. CITYNET is the largest network of urban stakeholders in the Asia Pacific Region and the Yokohama Project Office works with CITYNET members to implement sustainable development projects. Through the office, urban best practices and resources are shared. The main focus for the office is sharing best practices from Japan, in particular those from Yokohama. Some of the ongoing projects that I helped with included a 5-year disaster resiliency project funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency project in the Philippines, an engineer and architect training program in Nepal, and two sustainable resource management projects in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. My biggest task was putting together a 52-page final report that was distributed to the office’s funding agencies and various members. To create the final report I had to go through 5 years worth of project documents and coordinate with project stakeholders in the Philippines in order to organize all the information needed for the publication. Another role that I had was conducting both qualitative and quantitative research and analyzing data. This data was used to create proposals and in applications for project funding. Day to day I was an extra set of hands and eyes for the office, a typical day didn’t really exist and occasionally I would expect a day to go one way and it would change completely by noon.

I am passionate about creating sustainable urban spaces, in particular facilitating community participation in urban planning processes. My work with CITYNET has shown me the strength of community-based planning and the diverse possibilities of projects. Interning with CITYNET has encouraged me to consider a career in urban planning.

Before I started working in the office I did not have any experience in city-to-city cooperation. I had little understanding of how city-to-city cooperation could work on a local and international level but now I see that it plays an integral role in sustainable development. There is a lot that Japanese cities can share with other cities across the world and I was provided with incredible hands-on experiences with this at CITYNET. I got to visit disaster risk reduction projects and activities in Yokohama and Tokyo including their annual disaster drills, disaster prevention centers, and a volunteer fire station. I also got to see how a large city like Yokohama manages waste. Though many of these activities require large monetary investments, through my internship I learned how they could be adapted inexpensively to different cities across the Asia Pacific Region. My experience as an intern has broadened my worldview and allowed me to see that there are always different approaches that can be taken to tackle similar issues and that we need to go into projects with open minds. Cities across the world are facing similar challenges as they continue to grow. True cooperation is a two-way relationship, and moving forward cities need to work together.

The most challenging thing that I found while working and living in Japan was dealing with the language difference on a daily basis.  Tasks that would be rather simple back home ended up being a lot more difficult because of communication difficulties. Though the majority of office work was conducted in English, I was the only native English speaker so in the office everyone communicated in Japanese. I had studied a little Japanese before going on the internship however it was two years prior and I am nowhere near fluent. Though this was challenging at times it pushed me to continue studying Japanese. Instead of returning home after my internship I will be staying in Japan to study Japanese intensively for 12 months. I hope that I can incorporate my experiences in Japan in my future career. The best advice that I can give to someone considering an internship abroad in a non-English speaking country is to learn as much of the language before your internship starts as timely possible. Even if it is just standard greetings, you will adapt to life in that country much quicker.  

Two realisations from my internship that will stick with me for the rest of my life are the power of communication and the importance of learning different languages. Knowing languages open doors even if all you know are the basics. The world is not full of English speakers and taking the time to learn a language will not only provide you with more opportunities but also give you a better understanding of life in that country. I look forward to continuing my Japanese language studies this year and hopefully I can continue using it in years to come.

Patience and adaptability are two very important qualities to have going into new experiences. Moving to a foreign country will always be challenging and things will always be different. What I’ve learned during my internship is that resisting change will not help you and in the end you will be unhappy. One of the biggest things that I’ve found while living and working outside of Canada is the importance of how you approach differences. Our gut can be to think that things that are different from what we are used toare “weird” but I’ve learned to avoid that word all together.

Participating in this internship has been an integral part of my undergraduate degree. Whether it is a co-op or an internship, I think that every student should strive to participate in some sort of work experience program before they graduate. Internships provide students with invaluable professional and life experiences. They can allow students to consider new career paths and also allow students to realize that certain dream career paths are not for them. Before I interned at CITYNET I was passionate about urban studies but I had very little experience in the field. Through my internship I was exposed to a wide range of urban issues that cities across the Asia Pacific Region are tackling and I was touched by CITYNET member cities’ dedication to creating sustainable urban spaces. To enhance my internship experience I organized a directed studies course on disaster management with a professor at the University of Victoria. This independent research project allowed me to take knowledge from my work at CITYNET and apply it to an academic context. This provided me with a unique perspective of disaster issues and exposed me to the gap between theory and practice.

Funding for internship programs is extremely important because they help foster students’ personal, academic, and professional development. Through internships, students are able to gain skills that help smoothen their transition into the workforce and they gain more confidence as well as a sense of purpose. It’s important for students to be provided with opportunities that push them outside of their comfort zone within a university campus.  I am extremely thankful for the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, the University of Victoria, and CITYNET for giving me the chance to gain work experience in a field that I am passionate about. Thank you very much, it was an honour receiving the Asia Connect Award and I hope that in the future many more students can benefit from similar experiences.



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