An MIT Alumni Association Publication

“What did you do this summer?” Among the MIT students settling into the fall term, hundreds have new stamps in their passports to answer that question, thanks to MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI). Behind each of those stamps is an internship, teaching, or research experience designed to increase their ability to understand and address real-world problems.

Founded in 1983 by MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (MIT SHASS) faculty and based in the MIT Center for International Studies, MISTI gives students the tools to solve problems that address global challenges by matching them with tailored, hands-on projects around the world. To prepare for their experiences abroad, MISTI students complete coursework in the language, history, and culture of their host country, as well as completing location-specific training sessions.

Every year, in total, the program connects nearly 1,000 students with upward of 450 international hosts and partners in more than 25 countries. A new series of videos tells 17 of these MISTI stories. Several feature recently graduated alumni who are now bringing MISTI’s combination of cross-cultural knowledge and practical international experience to the next chapter of their studies and careers.

Among the alumni featured in the series:

  • While a research affiliate of MIT Sea Grant, Stephen Rodan ’16 worked with five MIT students through MIT-Australia/New Zealand on solutions for reviving the Great Barrier Reef. Rodan is now leading the Beyond Coral Foundation, a US-based nonprofit dedicated to coral restoration, artificial reefs, community education, and small-scale research laboratories around the world.
  • Virginia Adams ’18 followed her passion for human and machine languages to a MISTI internship with Chinese tech giant Tencent. She is now in her second year as a machine learning engineer in Washington, DC, for the MITRE Corporation, a nonprofit that manages federally funded research and development centers supporting several US government agencies.
  • Erik-Logan Hughes MCP ’18, currently holding the role of technology development program manager at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, worked through MIT-Germany with think tank and public policy consultancy Adelphi on a green certification program that incentivizes EU companies to become more environmentally friendly.

Explore the full playlist, above, to learn more about their experiences and to see MISTI stories featuring other alumni and current students.