study abroad, Argentina

Seven students travel to Argentina for Cronkite’s first internship abroad program

Friday, Nov. 4, 2022


Cronkite students who traveled to Argentina last summer returned with new ideas about the world and uncovered different perspectives they couldn’t see from home in the U.S.

The students visited the South American country as the first cohort of a study abroad internship program implemented by the Cronkite Global Initiatives and the Career and Professional Development teams at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU. The program allowed the students to spend almost three months in the country working a global internship. 

The students stayed in the country from May 16 to Aug. 1. 

Dr. Juan Mundel, associate professor and director of Cronkite Global Initiatives, and Karen Bordeleau, Cronkite’s director of Career and Professional Development, co-created the program. Bordeleau said this was the first Cronkite internship abroad opportunity.

“We wanted students to be immersed in a country. We didn’t want them to just walk around and do the touristy things – we wanted them to actually live with families, to learn the languages, to understand and appreciate the culture, and – just as importantly – to work in the environment,” she said.

Bordeleau traveled to Europe as a high school student – a trip that was life changing. “It opened my eyes to the world and I’ve been visiting and immersing in other countries ever since,” she said. “Cultural exposure is important for all students, for all humans.”

Mundel, an Argentina native, has previously led study abroad programs and has taken more than 200 American students abroad prior to his tenure at the Cronkite School. 

He also studied abroad as a student. Mundel traveled to Ohio as a visiting student and taught Spanish while taking classes for a year. Now, he plans to use his love of global exposure to make Cronkite a school of worldwide magnitude. 

“Doing an international internship allows the students to gain intercultural and international skills that you wouldn’t otherwise get while being here in Phoenix,” Mundel said. 

Students who attended the Argentina program studied at the Universidad Blas Pascal, which is where Mundel attended college in Argentina. 

“I think it’s greatly improved my views as a person. I think that being culturally appropriate, and having a global perspective really adds layers to a person,” said Nick Elsner, a sports journalism student who went on the trip as a sophomore.

Elsner worked as a business marketing and communication intern for Croppers, a healthy snack company in Córdoba. He lived with a host family in Argentina. This year, he plans to fly back to the country to spend New Year’s Eve with them. Then they will all vacation together next year as a family to start a tradition of taking turns flying between the U.S. and Argentina each year.

“My host family was amazing. My boss and his wife ended up becoming like a second host family. I was over at their house every Sunday, grilling out and eating asado with their entire family inside. ‘Asado’ is like their barbecue,” he said.

Nicole Rossi, a senior studying journalism, went to Argentina as her second study abroad experience. 

“Studying abroad has always been a goal of mine. It’s very different to meet people who are from a different country in your own country than it is to go to another country and be the foreigner,” said Rossi, who also works in the Cronkite Global Initiatives office.

Rossi said Argentina expanded her worldview as she learned more Spanish and immersed herself in the culture. Travel is important to her because everything she studies as a journalism student is impacted by global standards or it will be impactful in that way. 

She said it’s really helpful for students who are interested in studying abroad to talk to Mundel, Bordeleau, the CGI office or past study abroad students about these opportunities. “Just do your research,” she said.

Bordeleau agrees. “You really, really have to understand as much as you can about another culture before you immerse yourself in it,” she said.

Learning language basics and reading up on the country’s currency, politics, local news and geography are just a few ways students should become accustomed to their new home abroad.

“It is going to be uncomfortable for the first two or three weeks. Then it becomes an incredible joy. That’s why I say do your research first. It mitigates some of that initial discomfort,” she said.

Elsner believes this level of exposure is invaluable because it produces professionals who understand other cultures. He said it’s not only necessary, it should be required.

“I would 100% argue that it should be mandatory for people to study abroad. To have a global perspective is invaluable,” he said.

This internship satisfied the JMC484 credit required for graduation. Bordeleau said she and Mundel are already planning several other study abroad internship opportunities for Cronkite students. 

“Now the plan is to expand to different parts of the world,” she said. 

Many countries will be available next year through the main ASU study abroad office.  

“It’s just really cool for me to be able to understand others because we’re all people. We all breathe the same air, we all bleed the same blood. It’s just the only thing that’s different is that they live in a different part of the world,” Elsner said.

To learn more about Cronkite Global Initiatives, contact Juan Mundel at or visit

By ChristyAnn Hanzuk