Santiago Internship Spotlight: Angela Rose Leonardo

August 12, 2021

Prior to starting her Master’s degree in Social Work at the Columbia School of Social Work, Angela Rose Leonardo spent seven years travelling the world while teaching English. She is currently one of the sixteen students participating in the Santiago Virtual Internship Program during the 2021 northern hemisphere summer, for which she is working at Universidad Católica’s Vice-presidency of International Affairs. This is her story.

I grew up in Philadelphia, but after graduating from my undergraduate degree, I spent seven years teaching English in Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico. In Argentina, I taught in an after-school program for children, while in Australia and New Zealand, I taught academic English at universities for international students matriculating into bachelor's and master's degrees. Most recently, in Mexico City, I spent two years working at a company which helped students apply to undergraduate and graduate programs abroad. I'm about to enter the second year of my MSW at Columbia on the clinical track with a method area focus on International Social Welfare and Services to Immigrants and Refugees. Starting in September, I will be interning at HIAS Pennsylvania (an NGO that provides legal services to low-income immigrants and refugees).

At Universidad Católica, I am working with Maribel Flórez and Cristian Díaz Castro, as well as fellow Columbia student, Cameron Diwa. We are doing a literature review on global competencies in higher education - specifically, researching how global competencies are defined and measured. The goal is to publish a literature review using Walker and Avant's concept analysis methodology of this topic, as well as propose definitions and measurements of global competencies from a Latin American perspective, since much of the literature on the topic comes from a US-European perspective.

We have two weekly meetings, as well as occasional additional consultations with other stakeholders at the university, and we do research outside of the meeting hours. This internship has been a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the education system in Chile and to think critically about who decides what should be a global competency.