Cultural Vistas

Cultural Vistas

About

Founded in 1963, Cultural Vistas is a nonprofit exchange organization promoting global understanding and collaboration among individuals and institutions. We develop international professional experiences that create more informed, skilled, and engaged citizens. Our programs empower people to drive positive change in themselves, their organizations, and society.

Every year our 30-plus unique exchange programs reach thousands of individuals and organizations in the United States and more than 135 countries around the world. We invite you to join us as we work together to reach thousands more.

Founded
1963
Headquarters

440 Park Ave South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10016
United States

Reviews

Muhammad Ahmed
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

In my opinion about the cultural vistas is the very smart thing because it is the best opportunity for know lots of cultural around the world so I can enjoy in this internship. I will recommended lots of people for this program its a very best thing and understand lots of community cultures in world how the people living i n the world so my best internship program is the cultural vistas. And I will improve myself from this.

What would you improve about this program?
I think take the worldwide cultural people in this program.
Nataliya
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Dear seekers of professional adventure,
I dedicate this message to those curious, brave and self-confident guys, who has already made one step forward to your journey for internship abroad.
I am Nataliya, from Ukraine, a 3rd year NanoFar PhD student in France and Spain. I had an opportunity to make my professional internship in other country and gain more experience. I knew I want to try German lab and life experience as well.
My PhD project is related to the development of a new complex approach for Rheumatoid arthritis treatment, so I continued to discover more about autoimmune diseases, I had fantastic time at the German lab, handling mice: work in vitro, in vivo and ex vivo testing anti-inflammatory drugs of the new generation.
Go and check what Berlin is preparing for you!

What would you improve about this program?
No complains, just continue to grow up working more on the development and covering of new fields of Natural Sciences, etc.
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Alison
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I participated in the Cultural Vistas Internship Program in Germany during the summer of 2015. To improve my German I took one month of classes at a language school in Berlin. I then spent the next to months in a very exciting internship with Fields GmbH. My internship experience was everything I expected and more. Not only didn't I improve my German proficiency and increase my work experience, but I also made so many German friends and professional connections. I was very nervous before going on the program, but the support staff at Cultural Vistas helped me through the entire process. They also made sure to create events for networking and connecting with other participants. Throughout my experience I truly felt the support of Cultural Vistas and I am happy to say my life has changed dramatically since my time abroad.

What would you improve about this program?
The one thing I would change is more days of orientation. The orientation was informational but seemed a little short for my liking. I would have liked to have more time with the staff and other participants in Berlin in the beginning.
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Roman
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I went to Buenos Aires in 2013 through the cultural vistas fellowship. There countless opportunities to make friends throughout the program. I became good friends with my roommate and fellow cultural vistas fellow. I was welcomed into the friend group of my "host mom's" son. My coworkers at my internship were unbelievably friendly and welcoming. And I found friends with a common interest in Buenos Aires's ultimate frisbee community. I'll never forget the relationships that the fellowship helped me develop.

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Ross
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I was fortunate enough to travel abroad to Germany with the help of Cultural Vistas. They provided accommodations, insurance providers, and a language course when I first arrived in Berlin. They also arranged an internship with a world renowned research institution that I would otherwise not have the opportunity to work with. Overall the experience is a huge step forward in my academic experience and I would suggest it to everyone.

What would you improve about this program?
An introduction upon arrival of new students or participants in your program would be useful. This is not a huge remark.
Response from Cultural Vistas

Thanks so much for your note, Ross.

We're so glad to hear you had an enjoyable experience!

Programs

Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Jillian Reilly

Jillian Reilly is a senior, completing her B.S. in environmental science at the University of Minnesota. The twenty year old Long Island native had the opportunity to intern in Singapore last summer from May until July through the Cultural Vistas Fellowship program.
Jillian at Bukit Timah National Park

Why did you decide to intern abroad with Cultural Vistas?

The Cultural Vistas Fellowship program operates with the mission of affording the opportunity of international professional development for traditionally underrepresented students, particularly those who have not traveled outside the United States before. I am a first generation college student and a women in a STEM major, environmental science. Sustainability was the theme for the 2013 Cultural Vistas Fellowship. The program seemed like a great fit for me, especially because of the the financial assistance it offered. Although I had scholarships through my university and have always worked at least part time, it really wasn't feasible for me to do any of the abroad programs through my school without taking out loans to do so. Thus when I was offered the fellowship to intern with an environmental awareness organization in Singapore for the summer through Cultural Vistas, I felt incredibly grateful.

What did Cultural Vistas do for you and what did you need to do on your own?

The Cultural Vistas program set up a great support network for the fellows. We were placing in housing, courtesy the program, individually matched with internships in our host companies, and we're given in country contacts in case any help was ever needed. It was a very reassuring system for me, as this was my first time abroad and I was headed to literally the opposite side of the globe--from Minneapolis to Singapore.

Although the framework for success was given to us by Cultural Vistas, experiencing the culture of the host country to its fullest was really the responsibility of the individual fellow. I am an introvert at heart, but I new that this was the time to push my comfort zone; Cultural Vistas could not do that for me. I really can look back and be proud of how engaged I was with the culture because I let go of my inhibitions.

Tell us about any interesting cultural tidbits you noticed about your country.

Singapore is a mixing pot, brimming with people of different ethnic backgrounds. It has four official languages: English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil. Often, when school children visited with the environmental organization that I worked with, Waterways Watch Society, I would find that they could speak each of these languages with fluency! Singaporeans have a unique was of speaking English which is coined as "Singlish". You may find that slang like "la", "le", "ma", or "meh" punctuate each sentence. Other slang is derived from the different languages which Singaporeans speak; my personal is "bochio!" which means "you never invited me!". Likewise because of the diversity in people, Singapore is home to a diverse cuisine. I have eaten things which would seem "strange" to the average American, including pig tail, chicken feet, sting ray, mouse deer, durian, and Tulong--which is goat bone marrow. Singaporeans take a lot of pride in their foods and I was often teased about having to go back to the boring cuisine of the U.S..

One last interesting cultural tidbits is how you address people that are your senior: calling strangers "Uncle" or "Auntie" took some time to get used to, but was necessary as it is somewhat rude to do otherwise.

Describe your most meaningful souvenir and why you love it?

My most meaningful souvenir is a letter I received from one of my coworkers before I boarded my plane home. It was really an emotional experience to see how close you can become with someone of a different culture. Despite any differences in age, religion, language or race it is entirely possible to share so much in common. There are very few barriers to making relationships with different types if people. I hold that the friendships that I maintain with my coworkers and the other fellows in my cohort are my most precious "souvenirs" from this experience.

Do you think your program changed you as a person?

I gained an enormous amount of confidence as a result of the Cultural Vistas Fellowship. Before I had a lot of self doubt in my competence as a student and professional; it is extremely difficult for first generation college students to perform in an institution when there is little to no support from home. After being awarded this experience and succeeding in my internship, I have applied for and recieved many different opportunities that I would not have previously thought that I was "good enough" for. I am finding that I can excel because I am no longer held back by insecurities in my abilities.

I also find that I am much more sensitive to international students at my university; I want them to find a home away from home in the United States in the same way that I found one in Singapore. I realize how important it can be to offer to take a visitor out for lunch or coffee in order to make them feel welcome; this is something that I had no awareness of before.

More Interviews

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Matthias Neureither

Job Title
Program Manager
Matthias is the Program Manager of our European Office in Berlin, Germany, where he is responsible for our Intern in Germany Program, the Berlin Startup Program, and some other programs to Germany. Matthias holds a Master’s Degree in Art History from the University of Heidelberg, and even though he has worked in the art sector, he is happy that his career path introduced him to international exchange when he worked at the New York office of Cultural Vistas.
A young man posing for a picture.

Did you study or intern abroad?! If so, where and what inspired you to go?

I had my first longer international experience rather late. I had completed my entire studies in my home country, Germany, and only a few years after my graduation, I made the effort to go abroad – and I can honestly say that that was the best decision I ever made!

What does the future hold for Cultural Vistas - any exciting new programs to share?

The Berlin office where I am working now is still very new, founded in 2013, and just in 2015, we launched our Intern in Germany and Berlin Startup Programs. A lot of new applicants opt for the Berlin Startup Program, maybe because it has the “sexier” name, but then again, Berlin has become Europe’s hub for startups and entrepreneurial spirit, with literally Hundreds of cool new companies!

Both programs offer great internship opportunities in Germany - and Cultural Vistas facilitates the placements. That means, we find the host companies in Berlin or other parts of Germany, which match the background and interests of our applicants, and we issue the required work papers.

What about the future of the industry? How do you think study or intern abroad and international education will change over the next 10 years?

Let me quote Jack Welsh, the former CEO of General Electrics: “The next CEO of GE will not be like me. I spent my entire career in the U.S. The next head of GE will be somebody who spent time in Bombay, in Hong Kong, in Buenos Aires.”

He knows what he’s talking about: International experience and a broader and less linear skill set will become ever more important in the future. An engineer, whose only expertise is in the very field of engineering, might not be as successful, as one, who had a broader exposure and a more experiential development.

Why is language learning and cultural immersion important to you?

Some newer studies suggest that cultural exchange can result in greater patriotism or even nationalism. I, too got a sharpened sense for the differences of my home country to my host country, but I saw at least as many of these differences as a positive, rather than a negative thing.

From a personal standpoint, my international experience has made me more tolerant and it has definitely broadened my mind!

Describe a time when you felt especially proud to be part of the Cultural Vistas team.

I feel proud every time I read a final report or evaluation of one of our participants. Hundreds of alumni, whether in programs to the U.S., or in programs to Germany or other parts of the world, have stated that their exchange was the best experience they ever had in their life. So I can say that I feel proud pretty often.

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