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Summer Internships: Andy Tendilla '23

July 26, 2022
andy tendilla

Name: Andy Tendilla
Class Year: 2023
Major: Psychology
Minor: Child and Family Studies
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Internship Organization: IES Abroad Internship
Job Title: Psychology Intern and TA at Escuela Amor De Dios
Location: Santiago, Chile

As a summer intern at IES Abroad, I have had the pleasure of providing behavioral and emotional support for two eighth graders from Tuesday through Friday. Because it transitioned from fall to winter in Chile during the months of June and July, school was still in session at Escuela Amor de Dios: a Catholic elementary and middle school that has a mission to develop students’ cognitive, spiritual, and emotional well-being based on the image of father Jerónimo Usera. Many of the children are children of immigrants or immigrants themselves, which is a reflection of the community that the school is in, Cerillos. I chose to work with IES Abroad before I had my personal role provided by the program. I did this because I found that IES Abroad really valued my personal goals in the same way they valued my career ambitions. I felt supported throughout the process by the program in a similar way by Jennifer Prudencio from the Career and Civic Engagement Center.

Andy Tendilla School

One of my personal goals was to travel throughout Chile and meet different people from those regions. This way I could understand Chilean culture from a broader perspective rather than just the cultures existing in Santiago. Thanks to the consideration of IES in providing three-day weekends and the company of the other 22 interns I befriended, that goal was fulfilled. In the 8 weeks I spent in Chile, I traveled to Atacama, San Pedro, Pucón, Viña Del Mar, and Valparaiso where I met all sorts of people. I met tourists, travelers, locals, youth, elders, Indigenous peoples, and immigrants. I was blessed enough to receive a warm welcome from each of those groups. The best part is that IES Abroad encouraged these trips, as part of the program was to immerse myself into Chilean culture. Furthermore, while I had my personal role in the school I interned at, the eighth-grade course I worked in ended up teaching me more about Chilean culture than I would have expected.

Since I arrived, I noticed differences between the children in Chile and the children of the United States. First, students here practice more phrases and idioms to teach respect to adults: for example, they use "usted, tía/o, y professor." In my country students use "teacher" which becomes teacher in Spanish, but they still use “tú” or “you” when talking to adults. Second, the students there are much more expressive with their bodies. They hug, kiss on the cheeks or forehead, dance, pull, and hit. In my experience, children in the United States also do these things, but not as often as the children in this school. Perhaps it is because Chilean culture is very affectionate. Even though it is a school with many students, children from different grades know each other very well. It's like the school is a big family. Teachers still know a lot about students in different grades; in this case the students are known for bad behavior or simply because they have had the children as students. In the end, I have learned that it is important to talk about the importance of each student if this dynamic exists: teach that each student has the same importance even if some receive more attention. In any case, students can get ahead but with love, patience, and discipline.

Andy Tendilla

Visit the Summer Internship Stories page to read more about student internship experiences.


Child and Family Studies