Cultural Vistas CEO Reiterates the Importance of In-Person Experiences in Global Professional Development

Cultural Vistas - Internships and professional exchange programs

Cultural Vistas CEO Reiterates the Importance of In-Person Experiences in Global Professional Development

Jennifer Clinton, CEO of Cultural Vistas which is a Gateway programs collaborator, emphasizes the benefits of face-to-face work and professional development for students, recent graduates and professionals. In a 2020 interview with the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy (, Clinton reflects on balancing the realities of temporary measures to address challenges posed by Covid with the need for thinking creatively about how to return to in-person experiences as necessary and vital aspects of individual and group professional development: “…there are some interactions and experiences that cannot be fully replicated online,” she explains.
In the nearly three years since Clinton described the challenges for global experiential programming caused by Covid, we are seeing a renewed appreciation for the direct values of organized global experience programs and growing optimism that the return to in-person work and professional collaboration presents exciting new opportunities. As Clinton explains:

“Work-based, global learning opportunities are no longer a ‘nice-to-have.’ They are a must. We believe the opportunity to participate in an international internship—particularly one that provides exposure to a
new language and culture, and strengthens skills such as adaptability, empathy and resilience, will only grow in importance as a necessary complement to one’s education and career pursuits.”

Clinton’s perspectives in 2020 are just as relevant today, perhaps even more so, as global workplaces and educational institutions design and implement experiential professional programming for the ‘post-Covid’ years ahead:
“To be effective, international exchange experiences need to be well-designed and allow individuals to reap the personal and professional benefits of the learning experience. To design and effectively evaluate these programs, we need people who understand educational theory and, in particular, fundamentals of experiential education.”
These are the types of experiential professional opportunities that the new partnership between Gateway Global Learning Network and Cultural Vistas now offers.

Biden Administration Sets New Guidelines for Promoting Internships and other Student/Early Career Programs in the Federal Government

Gateway Global Learning Network - US Internships and programs

Biden Administration Sets New Guidelines for Promoting Internships and other Student/Early Career Programs in the Federal Government

In a January 19, 2023 Memorandum for Heads of Departments and Agencies, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released detailed guidance on ‘increasing opportunities for internships, fellowships, apprenticeships, and other student and early career programs in the Federal Government, including paid internship programs.’ In the official memo, all US Government agencies are encouraged to expand their numbers of paid interns and to proactively recruit prospective interns from diverse backgrounds.

Like many employers in the for-profit and non-profit sectors, the federal government has worked to utilize recruiting and training programs that attract motivated and talented people to meet its current and future needs. The recognition of paid internships as a valid and useful way to do this has progressed in fits and starts over the last several decades, and over the last several presidential administrations. This current move reflects the Biden-Harris Administration’s intention to spur the public sector to help lead the way for other employers: ‘As the largest employer in the country, we aspire to be a model employer, and agencies can help achieve that goal by having a talent pipeline that begins with exceptional internship programs.’ This move also reflects the Biden-Harris Administration‘s recognition that expanding internships and other student-oriented career programs can be a ‘win-win’ for all parties involved:

‘Whether entering the workforce for the first time or changing professions, internships are mutually beneficial: They offer interns a chance to demonstrate their existing talents and potential, while offering agencies time to evaluate their skills and abilities, as they receive the benefits and contributions the intern makes to their teams’
Read more about the US Government’s renewed efforts with internships and other traineeships here.