Two C of I students set to intern in India

The College of Idaho is a vibrant and diverse community, with students, faculty and staff who hail from more than 50 countries. The C of I also has a strong track record of sending students overseas to gain valuable experience – a tradition that continues this summer as Maryam Karim and Nisshanth Kumar fulfill internships in India.

Karim, an aspiring medical student, will work as a volunteer at an Indian medical clinic, shadowing nurses and doctors. The sophomore psychology major is from Afghanistan originally, but she’s lived in the U.S. for eight years, attending Boise High School and attaining American citizenship. Karim – who is fluent in English, Russian, Farsi and Hindi – already has some medical experience. She is a certified phlebotomist and has performed volunteer work at St. Alphonsus Hospital in Boise.

“I’m very interested to see the different types of medicine that are practiced around the world,” said Karim, whose two-week internship begins in August. “I have some experience here in the states, but I’m sure it’s going to be very different from working at the clinics in India.”

Kumar, who graduated from the C of I in May with a double-major in political economy and religious studies, is returning to his native India presently for a three-month internship with the Center for Policy Research – the government body that creates policy and recommends it to the Indian parliament. Kumar’s professors, including Dr. Kerry Hunter (political economy), Dr. Jasper LiCalzi (political economy), Dr. Greg McElwain (philosophy & religion) and Professor Anne Spencer (religion), encouraged him to look into internships that focused on conflict resolution; a natural fit for his double bachelor’s degree. Fittingly, his internship at the CPR is through the Center for Conflict Resolution branch.

“My professors definitely pointed me in the right direction,” Kumar said. “[The C of I] was an awesome learning experience for me because I had to learn so much, so fast – otherwise, you would fall off the cliff. I’m very confident my experience has prepared me for what comes next.”

Ultimately, Kumar aspires to a career in India’s government sector, preferably in the arena of foreign policy. In addition to his internship, he is studying for his Civil Services Exam. If he passes, he will enter the Indian bureaucracy and receive full financial support to pursue his master’s degree and Ph.D.

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another 12 Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit