Learning Inside Out Network
Learning Inside Out. An International Experience in Global Development and Security Studies
The LION (Learning Inside Out Network) program is an intensive international internship and research opportunity for students interested in the theory and practice of global security. The program builds on courses in security studies, conflict analysis and resolution, global crime, international criminal justice, human security, and international development through a semester-long international internship experience with an NGO, think tank or media organization in Armenia or Serbia.
Stonehill’s Learning Inside Out Network (LION) is a life-changing opportunity created to cohesively enhance students’ academic and professional skills. The one-of-a-kind program, developed and run by Stonehill faculty, spans two semesters, combining traditional classroom education, overseas internships, and a world-renowned international security conference to develop students into experts capable of presenting in-depth research on the world stage.
Typically, LION starts with a Political Science, Criminology or Economics class in the fall. There is also a newly minted summer option, which is currently open for application.
Once accepted, the program’s three advisors, Prof. Anna Ohanyan (Political Science and International Studies), Prof. Anamika Twyman-Ghoshal (Sociology and Criminology), and Prof. Piyush Chandra (Economics) work with accepted students to identify an internship opportunity from the LION program networks of providers in either Armenia or Serbia that connects with student coursework.
Why Create LION?
Professor Peter Ubertaccio, director of the Martin Institute for Law & Society, first recognized that while traditional international programs provide invaluable cultural and academic experiences for students, those opportunities are often designed around the expertise and subject matter of host programs rather than the work being done in classes on campus.
Ubertaccio reached out to Professor Ohanyan, who did a substantial amount of fieldwork and research in Western Balkans and South Caucasus, working with NGOs and international organizations. She speaks passionately about the need for students to learn from practitioners, asking if there was a better way to marry classroom theory and real-world practice. Along with Prof. Twyman-Ghoshal, they decided it was both possible and indeed, critical for the College to offer a program that thoughtfully connects coursework with an overseas internship opportunity, ensuring the two experiences build off each other to better educate students.
Together, Ohanyan and Twyman-Ghoshal successfully executed on that vision, building relationships with organizations in Armenia and Serbia and creating internships at those sites, finding student housing, and identifying opportunities in fall semester coursework that could connect directly to future internships. While planning out these core elements of LION, they focused on developing a program that would directly benefit students’ long-term outcomes and encourage them to enter graduate-level programs or careers correlated to their College work.
“One of the ways for students to get into competitive graduate schools is to have firsthand developing country experience and research experience,” said Prof. Ohanyan. “Very often, students are unaware that these are outcomes they can get from their study abroad experience, so we designed a program that gives students those experiences while putting them next to a practitioner.”
LION and Eurasia International University
In Armenia students are hosted by Eurasia International University. According to signed agreements Eurasia International University provides LION students with accommodation. Students live at Eurasia hostel, which is located on the 3rd floor at the University building. Students have opportunity to take part in University’s life, use Library, Computer room, take part in organized conferences and trainings. Eurasia International University also offers a range of classes provided in English for International students and LION students who are welcome to join them. Before starting their internship LION students get into Armenian culture during 5 orientation days.
By the end of the LION program partners organize International Conference where LION students present their researches. Conference is held in June at Eurasia International University. Besides LION students upper level undergraduate and graduate students can also participate.
Information from partner’s website: