Join Forces: UC Chile and Duke Students Unite for Conservation Projects in Huilo Huilo
In a collaboration established in 2021, four students from College UC Program and nine participants from the DukeEngage Program journeyed to the Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve to conduct the study titled 'Huilo Huilo Foundation - DukeEngage Household Survey.'
Since 2021, students from both universities have seized a valuable opportunity for collaborative work and cultural exchange through a global virtual partnership. Together, they have been developing multiple projects in the Huilo Huilo Foundation—an organization dedicated to integrating surrounding communities and enhancing their quality of life through sustainable development.
This included creating a musical centered around Darwin's Frog and conducting a psychometric study for children in the village of Neltume. This year's project involved the implementation of the "2023 Huilo Huilo Foundation - DukeEngage Household Survey," which employed a methodology that included conducting household surveys in Neltume, Puerto Fuy, and the communities surrounding Lake Neltume.
This meeting is integral to developing co-curricular and volunteer training experiences that College UC Program has actively fostered. The primary aim is to approach work or research projects practically. "These experiences, where there is an exchange of knowledge among peers in a challenging research environment, are relevant to the academic and professional training of the students who are educated in our undergraduate programs," said Romy Hecht, College UC Program Director. "We hope that these types of initiatives reinforce the need to generate global connections and strengthen the internationalization of our academic offerings."
"We hope that these types of initiatives reinforce the need to generate global connections and strengthen the internationalization of our academic offerings" - Romy Hecht, College UC Director.
The Internationalization at Home program, led by the Office of the Vice President of International Affairs, aims to integrate global competencies into the daily activities of the UC community, enriching the curriculum and university life to benefit local and international societies. "Once again, we emphasize the significance of cultivating intercultural and global competencies for the UC community and the future of the country and the region. These initiatives highlight our dedication to strengthening internationalization and incorporating a global dimension into our collaborative projects," said Vice President of International Affairs, Lilian Ferrer.
"These initiatives highlight our dedication to strengthening internationalization and incorporating a global dimension into our collaborative projects" - Lilian Ferrer, UC Vice President of International Affairs.
For Felipe Herrera, coordinator of the Internationalization at Home program, these College UC experiences are of great value: "It broadens their perspective. Interacting with individuals from different backgrounds, regardless of their origin, exposes you to different realities. This aligns with the skills we encourage at the university, sustainable development goals, and global citizenship."
The meeting between College UC and the DukeEngage program used a hybrid format, integrating virtual collaboration and internal mobility. The collaboration with international students occurred both online and in person.
The study entailed collecting data on local unemployment and documenting the various training programs the Huilo Huilo Foundation provided for local residents. The 14 students teamed up in pairs for four days to help with survey taking and encouraging language exchange among them.
Gabriel Astudillo is an Arts and Humanities College student pursuing a double major in Anthropology and Philosophy. The experience has been formative, highly dynamic, and enjoyable for him. "It stays with you for the rest of your life. Meeting people from another country and culture, collaborating with them to understand a different reality for both groups, is an incredibly enriching exercise."
According to Andrea Martínez, a Social Sciences College student majoring in Sociology and double minoring in World History and Economics, they had to make methodological decisions to address field-specific challenges not typically encountered in a classroom setting. "Having a little more responsibility and hands-on experience has been extremely valuable for me. Moreover, José Miguel Sandoval, the program's supervising professor, invited us to present the survey results, providing us with a practical opportunity to take a step into the professional world," she said.
"We supported each other. When someone struggled to articulate an idea or had difficulty understanding, we would exchange looks and assist one another. The Duke students would help us understand things. We consistently sought a consensus, as our shared goal was to learn, and we worked together to achieve that," added Elisa Huber, Social Sciences College graduate and UC Psychology student.
María Jesús Villalón, a student of the College of Social Sciences and a Master's in Sociology, found it intriguing to engage in dialogue after immersing herself in the communities of Neltume, Puerto Fuy, and Lake Neltume. Exploring this new rural reality and addressing the challenges of working with these territories from a social sciences perspective was captivating. "During lunch, we would discuss our impressions of schooling and working in the sawmills," she said.
The students are working on the final report, analyzing the data collected remotely. They will also participate in the presentation by Duke University students to the Huilo Huilo.
Foundation, showcasing the study's results. This academic and life experience has brought together different perspectives and realities through international collaboration.