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Choosing & Declaring Your GL Medallion Capstone Option

The Capstone portion of your GL Medallion experience is a significant, in-depth learning experience meant to solidify your global learning experience by immersing you in one of several available high impact opportunities.

This page provides extensive information regarding the Capstone options, and how to get started with each of the potential options.  Your options include: original research; language study; study abroad; or, global internship.

Read more about each option below, and click here to submit a capstone experience for approval.

Jump to more information on the research option
Jump to more information on the language study option
Jump to more information on the study abroad option
Jump to more information on the internship option


Global Internship Option

What is the global internship option?

Completing a globally-focused internship, domestically or abroad, for at least one month, will provide you will have hands-on experience with  issues and activities that transcend cultures and borders.

Qualifying internships are ones that help you expand your awareness of interconnected global topics, develop a broader perspective, and inspire you to take action to solve problems that transcend cultural and national borders.  Your global internship could be abroad, but could also be right here in Miami if it meets these learning objectives.  Strong examples of globally-focused internships regardless of their geographic location are ones dealing with human trafficking, immigration, sustainability, and international trade, however, the list is nearly limitless.

How do I get started?

Once you are signed up for the Medallion program, you will notice that we frequently send internship opportunities via email.  Unless otherwise stated, any internship we send would fulfill your Capstone requirement if you are selected and successfully complete your internship.

We want to make sure you have the best chance for any internship of interest to you!  Please review our resume advice and keep your resume up-to-date and polished it is ready to go.  We are glad to go over your resume in person.  Email us at glmedal@fiu.edu to set up an appointment.

Other than internships that we send via email, internships that you find through a different FIU department or on your own can count, however, this determination is made on a case-by-case basis.  You can email us at glmedal@fiu.edu before applying for any internship to discuss if it would count, or you can submit any internship you did while you were an FIU student via the Medaltrack system for consideration.  Before you do this, simply consider: does it make sense that you would get a global learning award for the type of work you did in this internship?  If not, it probably is not a good fit for our program.

When searching for your own internship, a good place to start is this list of Highlighted Opportunities.  We do our best to keep it up to date, however, the best way to use this list is to get an idea of what each organization or company does and the gist of their internship programs via the summaries provided in the list is to directly visit the Web page of the organization via the provided URL to see their most current opportunities and details.

You can further your search by using one or more of the internship databases listed hereDatabases are external resources and postings within these sites do not imply approval of or affiliation with FIU.

You can also email us at glmedal@fiu.edu to request an internship consultation once you have done some of your own research and would like further assistance.

Please report any internship that you apply to as a result of these resources to glmedal@fiu.edu, even before you hear back about whether or not you are accepted.  Remember you can also schedule an appointment to discuss your application documents and career goals prior to applying.

What are the benefits to choosing the global internship option?

The benefits of internships are two-fold.  First, you’ll be more likely to get a job because of the real-life work experience and contacts you gained during the internship.  Secondly, you’ll have an opportunity to learn more about your field, and explore whether it is definitely the right path for you.



Study Abroad Option

What is the study abroad option?

Completing any for-credit FIU study abroad course, where you spend at least 20 days outside of the United States.

FIU has a variety of study abroad opportunities, including those led by FIU faculty members, exchange programs, and approved programs through third-party providers.

If you are abroad for less than 20 days, or are not receiving course credit, your experience may still count toward your Medallion, but toward the Activities category, not your Capstone.

How do I get started?

Everything you need to know can be found right here; it begins with a general information session:

http://studyabroad.fiu.edu

What are the benefits to choosing the study abroad option?

We’re glad you asked, because Michelle Obama has answers.   Read a Q&A with the First Lady on study abroad on CNN here.

We discussed in the previous section the benefits of learning a foreign language.   But Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times goes further: “It makes no sense to study Spanish on a college campus when it is so much cheaper and more exhilarating to move to Bolivia, study or get a job and fall in love with a Bolivian.”  Read his fully treatise on studying abroad here.


Research Option

What is the research project option?

The research project option is ideal if you are curious about a question – and the answer is unavailable or limited in scope in the existing literature that you can find through FIU’s library resources.  Doing a research project consists of proposing a research question, designing a method for answering the question, collecting the necessary data, and presenting your findings.  While it can certainly be based on a paper you did for a class, it is more than your standard class essay.

The requirements for this option are:

  • Original research design and findings
  • Written report, minimum of 10 pages
  • Mentored by an FIU faculty advisor
  • Presented at or published in any conference or journal
  • Topic addressing an international or intercultural issue of global significance.

How do I get started?

First, see whether there are any opportunities in your academic department to engage in undergraduate research for course credit toward your degree (examples: Engineering senior project, Honors College ARCH project).  If so, great!  If not, do not worry: engaging in research as a co-curricular pursuit is still very valuable for your future goals.

The next step in choosing an original research project as your Medallion capstone is identifying your research question and a faculty member at FIU to supervise your project.   We require that your research project address a global issue (and we’re glad to chat with you about how to look at any subject you’re interested in from a global perspective), but welcome questions from all fields – as well as interdisciplinary projects.

Exploring the research option is most efficient when you communicate regularly via email with the Global Learning Medallion coordinator.  Please email us at glmedal@fiu.edu if you’d like to propose a research project idea.  Do not submit anything via the online MedalTrack portal until the project is complete.

What are the benefits to choosing the research option?

Completing an original research project as an undergraduate student sharpens your critical academic thinking skills and makes you a more attractive candidate to graduate schools and employers.  Original research demonstrates your ability to explore a challenging phenomenon or answer a difficult question based on verifiable observation and scientific logic, and to conceptualize and execute a large scale project within a given timeframe.


 Language Study Option

What is the language study option?

Completing 4 courses in one foreign language, taken at FIU.   Demonstration of proficiency through exam and transfer credits will not count.  Courses must be language study courses, or courses taught in the language being learned.  Cultural and area studies courses will not count.  For more information on language course offerings at FIU, visit the Department of Modern Languages.

How do I get started?

Talk to your academic advisor – this will require planning to fit into your degree program’s Major Map, or signing up for a minor.  You will want to be careful not to encounter excess credits for your degree.  You can submit each of your language courses through the MedalTrack portal as you take them.

What are the benefits to choosing the language study option?

Learning an additional language has many tangible benefits toward your employ-ability in the global economy,  your ability to effectively navigate and communicate throughout multiple cultures, and your personal cognitive abilities, including general intelligence and mental longevity.