Kristen Delmonte, a senior from Monson, Mass., was recently named the runner-up in a contest sponsored by STA Travel, in which more than 2,000 students from across the country competed.
The contest required a video application. The award, valued at approximately $8,000, gives Delmonte the opportunity to intern at a public relations firm in Hong Kong this summer.
Delmonte’s video obviously convinced the judges that she deserved the internship after they viewed all of her international adventures.
The URI student once volunteered in Ecuador where she lived with a host family and built houses. “That gave me my spark and I realized I loved being abroad and experiencing new cultures,” said Delmonte.
Then, after saving her money and taking out student loans, Delmonte went to Australia to study.
“For my birthday I went to Fiji and enjoyed myself so much that I realized it wasn’t time for me to leave. So my friend and I bought backpacks and tickets to Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos and spent our time backpacking, learning what spots were interesting from the locals and other backpackers. It was truly a great experience,” Delmonte said.
“I was in awe when I heard that I had won,” the URI student said of the contest. “Pure shock. I am extremely grateful and lucky they chose me.”
During the eight-week internship, Delmonte will participate in weekend activities with other interns from around the world to familiarize them with Hong Kong.
There’s always a culture shock when studying abroad as well as feelings of apprehension but Delmonte does all she can to put aside those feelings. While visiting other countries she keeps a journal and tries to email home once a week to keep in contact with family.
“My experiences abroad have really helped me and prepared me. I have learned to communicate with people when there are language barriers and I have learned to appreciate many different cultures,” she said. “I really learned a lot about myself too, it has helped make me multi-dimensional.”
Delmonte currently works in URI’s Office of International Education where she promotes study opportunities in many locations around the world. She chose to major in public relations because she wanted something that worked on building and maintaining relationships and focused on communication skills.
“I feel like everyone finds a nitch in college and mine has been studying abroad and raising awareness about the different study opportunities,” she said.
Delmonte recently won the 2008 President’s Award for Student Excellence in Public Relations, something that no doubt will help her when she graduates and is job-seeking. “I really want to incorporate my love of world travel into a career,” she said.
URI Department of Communications & Marketing photo by Michael Salerno Photography