GESI – Undergraduate Research Summer Program

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Are you passionate about global change, committed to learning by doing, and ready to engage in hands-on global development?

 The Global Engagement Studies Institute (GESI) at Northwestern University will equip you to:

  • Work directly with local communities and community organizations in Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, India, South Africa, or Uganda
  • Earn two Northwestern course credits (equivalent to six semester hours)
  • Live with a host family and immerse yourself in another culture for eight weeks
  • Work in teams of undergraduates to design and implement a development project in microfinance, social enterprise, education, environmental sustainability, global health, and more

GESI brings together a diverse team of bright, motivated undergraduates from across the country and across academic disciples who share a passion for global change and a desire to develop their leadership and intercultural skills.

You are eligible for GESI if:

  • You are a current undergraduate or recent graduate.
  • Your cumulative GPA is 2.0 to 2.5 or higher (exceptions made for students who provide written plan for raising their GPA).
  • For applicants to sites in Bolivia, Dominican Republic, or Nicaragua, you have taken at least one year of college-level Spanish language courses, or the equivalent during high school. There is no language requirements for the other sites.
  • You are open-minded, flexible, and humble.

Engage directly with local communities:

 GESI 2013 – Dominican Republic:

The team worked with local community leaders to research and address issues of access to and affordability of clean water.  GESI participants found local producers of filter components, and redesigned expensive water filters, making them 55% less costly, and 70% more efficient in filtration.  They worked with area leaders to market the new filters, and to set up payment plans for purchasers.

GESI 2013 – Uganda:

GESI participants worked with community members and health workers to increase access to information about common, local diseases.  They assembled a group of volunteers to learn about these diseases, how to tell them apart, and where to seek treatment.  The volunteers continued to spread information, and used manuals equipped with this information to present to their communities.

Ready to take the next step?

To learn more about GESI, and how to apply, go to www.gesi.northwestern.edu.  Be sure to fill out our survey here to receive more information.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.  Early deadlines are December 15, 2013 and January 15, 2014, for guaranteed first choice placement if accepted into the program.  Final deadline is March 1, 2014, but please apply early, as spaces will fill.

If you have questions and want to speak to a member of the GESI staff, please contact us at gesi@northwestern.edu or 847.491.5932.