William McNamara ’13, a political science major, had two internships while in Bhutan in fall 2011. A member of Wheaton’s men’s lacrosse team, he taught the sport at the Jigme Losel Primary School, and worked with children who have physical and mental disabilities at the Draktsho school. “Sharing the game I love with the Bhutanese children was so much fun,” he says. “And getting to know the kids at Draktsho and spending time with them really made me happy. I also got to emcee a Special Olympics event—an experience I will never forget.”
Anna Pevear ’14, a film and new media studies major, interned last fall at Bhutan Center for Media and Democracy, a nonprofit devoted to teaching Bhutanese people about the new democracy and showing them how to debate and express political views using media. She made a movie about one of the forums presented on Gross National Happiness. “I was able to study how the country views the role of media in their new democracy. It was interesting to see what they wanted to use media for and what they actually use media for—mostly social networking.”
Ludivine de Rancourt ’13, an international relations major who studied in fall 2011, taught two sixth grade classes of about 30 students for six to eight hours each week. She and a friend also started a debate club for students to practice their critical-thinking skills after school. “I loved being with the children. The headmaster gave us the opportunity to be creative, which inspired me to do all sorts of activities. We went on field trips, which they had never done before, and tried out new activities like kickball, lacrosse and capture the flag. My internship made me realize that I want to have a career in teaching.”
Atsu Ishizumi ’12, a music major, and Raphael “Raffi” Sweet ’12, a psychology major, hosted a radio show at Kuzoo-FM—one of Bhutan’s major national radio stations. Working as both show hosts and program producers, Ishizumi and Sweet had the opportunity to bring their love of music to the country. Kuzoo-FM’s primary mission is to help young people gain self-confidence. Each week, the two hosts led discussions with listeners and studio guests covering a range of topics—transitions and life changes, alcohol and drug abuse, dating and relationships, the influence of Western music, Gross National Happiness, to name a few. They also created a new jingle for the station ID.