Where in the World is Miami Wednesday: MUDEC

Mary poses during a hike with mountains in background

Name: Mary Gerding

Year: Junior

Major: Psychology

Minor: Global Health

Education Abroad Program: Miami University John E. Dolibois European Center (MUDEC)

In this week's Where in the World is Miami Wednesday, we meet Mary Gerding, a junior Psychology major with a minor in Global Health. Last semester she completed an internship at Fondation Autisme Luxembourg (FAL) as part of her study abroad at the Miami University Dolibois European Center (MUDEC)

What organizations are you involved with at Miami?

Mary poses with her Best Buddies friend and the friend's husbandI am in Best Buddies, Active Minds, and the Psychology Inquiry. I love Best Buddies because it allows for students to make connections and friendships with the Oxford community. My buddy and I enjoy hanging out together on dinner dates, trips to the Cincinnati Zoo, and more! Active Minds and the Psychology Inquiry interest me because they link me to other psychology students at Miami and help me get involved in psychology-oriented activities on campus.

I also recently started a position as an undergraduate research assistant for Dr. Kiel's Behavior, Emotions, and Relationships (BEAR) Lab in the psychology department!

Why did you choose to study abroad?

Paella in Barcelona!

I chose study abroad because it has always been something that I wanted to do in college. The opportunity to live in another country and experience a different way of living is so eye-opening and was something that I could not pass up. I love learning about other cultures, work ethics, food, and life-styles—therefore, study abroad was the perfect opportunity for me!

Why did you want to intern abroad?

I wanted to intern abroad because I wanted to get hands-on experience in a work environment that differed from one in the United States. I was curious to learn about how a different country, in this case, Luxembourg, worked with teens with autism.

The MUDEC Chateau

With friends at the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Mary and friends at a train station in Italy

Mary and friends at a train station in Italy

What was your internship like?

On Tuesdays, I interned at Fondation Autisme Luxembourg in Rambrouch, Luxembourg (a very small town). It was in person at their center. I learned so much when there! Not only did I gain hands-on experience on how to lead a group of teens with autism at a day-care center, I learned how to work with a team of people from different countries that also did not speak English! 

How did this internship fit into your plans for your career?

I would love to work with children when I graduate, and this internship introduced me to working with those that have special needs. It opened my eyes to one of the many ways that I can work with children once I graduate.

What is a fun fact that most people don't know about you?

I am a twin!

Where in the World is Miami Wednesday is a news article series that features Miami students studying abroad/away and international students. Catch us next week as we continue to travel around the world to feature the amazing opportunities that Miami students are taking and the experiences our alumni have had since graduating!

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