For Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) student Laura George, travelling internationally has always been a favourite activity. But travelling across the world alone will be a first.
Having been recently awarded an intern position with the National Council of Rural Institutes (NCRI) in Hyderabad, India, George will be making the trip solo this September.
“I am a little nervous about living alone in India for three months,” says the 25 year old.
She won’t have to worry about finding things to do, however, as the plan is to both conduct research as a NCRI intern, and at the same time complete an independent study project that will count towards her MLIS degree.
“I will be learning about the inequalities and barriers rural populations of India face based on their socio-economic standing,” says George. “Although the internship focuses on health and food security issues, these larger socio-economic issues also affect people’s ability to access information or visit educational institutions, such as schools or libraries.”
Her accompanying independent study will focus on the effects of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) on women in rural Indian communities. In the field, she will be gathering information about the livelihood patterns of a particular community.
George says she was attracted to the opportunity because it will allow her to gain knowledge about international development issues, as well as give her the chance to experience new cultures and customs.
“I have been travelling in India before, but I feel it will be a very different experience to live and work with members of the local population,” says George. She hopes to expand her global perspective and knowledge of India, sharpen her research skills and gain valuable experience working overseas – something she can see herself doing more of in the future.
“I would like to work in the area of international development. It would be amazing to eventually attain a position with the Canadian International Development Agency,” she says.
George began the MLIS program in September 2010, and expects to conclude her studies in December 2011. She also has a BA in Cultural Anthropology from York University and a post-graduate diploma in Museum Management and Curatorship from Sir Sanford Fleming College. The internship will take place between September and November.