Internship: L’Osservatorio Research Center in Rome

Divya Ghosh has long been interested in Italian culture, and even before she enrolled at the University of Minnesota, she knew she would want to study abroad. “I like doing things that are outside of my comfort zone,” she says. Just weeks after finishing her freshman year, Divya set off for Rome. Now a sophomore majoring in Economics and Health Services Management, she looks back on her summer internship abroad as an experience that opened her eyes to the world.

Divya interned at L’Osservatorio, the research arm of the Italian National Association for Civilian Victims of War (ANVCG), whose work aims to bring public attention to the consequences of conflicts on civilians. ANVCG was founded to assist civilian victims of World War II in Italy and today works to document mass human rights violations and archive individual and collective memory of conflict on a global scale. Mentored by Corrado Quinto, Programs and Operations Advisor, Divya authored a series of web reviews and longer reports for publication online.

“The goal is to get out information on conflicts that are less well known, where large media organizations show less interest,” Divya notes. “L’Osservatorio had a long spreadsheet of topics and I got to pick based on my interests. It was so flexible. I did a lot of writing on Africa and learned so much.”

Divya worked alongside L’Osservatorio’s team of international researchers – both in the Rome office and virtually – learning as much from the multi-step editing and translation process as she did from research and writing. “It really helped with my writing,” she says. “I learned a lot about writing for the web and adapting my voice to the organization’s standard.”

During her internship, she researched and wrote about India, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Chad, and Mexico. Of the many topics covered, Divya took special interest in the role of child soldiers in Sierra Leone. Now back on campus in the Twin Cities, she has continued to work with Corrado and L’Osservatorio researchers on a longer article on the topic. “Before I even started my first report, Corrado let me know that there was the possibility to work on longer projects for future publication. He knows what a valuable opportunity that is for a university student.”

“It was such fulfilling work,” she told Accent. “I was the youngest person on my study abroad program and I feel like I was able to have the most impactful internship.”