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From Montenegro to Kyrgyzstan, ASU students devote their summers abroad

ASU World Innovator Study Abroad Program gives students life-changing experiences

Two people smiling and pointing to a sign on a wall that reads "Lix|Cap Advisory Capital."

Rory Wilson (right), a public service, public policy and sociology student, interned in Morocco this summer. Photo courtesy Rory Wilson

August 24, 2023

Summer can be a time for leisure, but participants of the ASU World Innovators (AWI) Study Abroad Program decided to utilize the time to gain valuable internship experience. Ten students interned at institutions remotely and around the world — from Jordan to Morocco, Montenegro, Kyrgyzstan and India. 

The AWI program, hosted by Arizona State University's Leadership, Diplomacy and National Security Lab, gives students the opportunity to hone in on their professional interests and engage directly with top foreign policy and national security experts. 

Rory Wilson, a public service, public policy and sociology student, spent her summer in Morocco interning with consulting firm Lixia Capsia Gestonis, or LixCap

Wilson’s primary focus was making the company’s “website more accessible and informative for current and potential clients and investors/funders (and) helping develop additional ways to build engagement through marketing, such as creating a central pitch deck and social media posts.”

Wilson’s favorite part of the experience? 

“Learning about each person’s journey, how they have overcome adversity, their passions and (how) their impact on their community has opened the opportunity for me to share the same with them as well,” she said. 

She’s looking to apply the lessons learned during her time abroad back at home and within the ASU community.

“If I can have such profound yet civil conversations with people I barely know, even though we disagree on things, then I can do the same in my own community. Problems only have the potential of being solved when every person is willing to share, listen and work together to address a collective issue," Wilson said. 

Global studies senior Isabel Haas, who interned in Montenegro over the summer, said her experience gave her a better understanding of her role “representing the U.S. abroad.” Haas’ work was focused on “analyzing the impact Russian and Ukrainian refugees have had on Montenegrin society and economy.” 

“My favorite part of this internship so far has been interacting with the locals,” she said. “They find my efforts to speak their language endearing, and I have had a great many conversations with them — in English; my Montenegrin is abysmal.” 

She said she hopes to continue on that path post graduation, maybe working in Montenegro, for the foreign service or an NGO. 

"(The opportunity) taught me that despite being a country smaller than Connecticut, Montenegro holds abundant beauty, history and importance for the future of Europe and democracy,” she said. “I would love to continue researching these populations' impact on Montenegro, proposing solutions and working with the Montenegrin government to help their integration and/or return following the war.”

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