Helping pedi­atric burn vic­tims in China, adding to an eco-village’s infra­struc­ture in Costa Rica, working on a Hol­ly­wood movie in South Africa. These were just some of the unique expe­ri­ences stu­dents who recently returned from working in far-​​flung coun­tries shared with their peers at the Inter­na­tional Co-​​op Fair on Thursday evening in the Curry Stu­dent Center Indoor Quad.

About 35 vet­erans of inter­na­tional co-​​op shared their sto­ries with some 500 stu­dents who were inter­ested in learning more about the ben­e­fits of co-​​op in another country. The crop of stu­dents who pre­sented at the fair had worked all over the world—from Aus­tralia and Bel­gium to Sin­ga­pore, Antarc­tica, and Greece.

North­eastern is the rec­og­nized leader in expe­ri­en­tial learning, anchored in the world’s most inno­v­a­tive cooperative-​​education pro­gram. The uni­ver­sity offers stu­dents oppor­tu­ni­ties for pro­fes­sional work, research, ser­vice, and global learning across 92 countries.

I wouldn’t trade it for any­thing in the world. I was 22-​​years-​​old and working on a Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges movie in Cape Town,” said Ryan Kenney, AMD’14. “It was amazing.”

Kenney, a dual major in com­mu­ni­ca­tion studies and cinema studies, worked on data man­aging and color grade on the pro­duc­tion of “The Giver,” a film based on the pop­ular young adult novel by Lois Lowry. Before starting co-​​op, Kenney com­pleted almost every pro­duc­tion class offered at Northeastern—a strategy that pre­pared him to work on the movie as well as a music doc­u­men­tary and sev­eral tele­vi­sion pilots.

I did a little bit of every­thing,” Kenney noted.

Nursing stu­dents Heidi Yiu, BHS’14, and Tara Bar­tilucci, BHS’15, also uti­lized skills they learned in class while on co-​​op at a pedi­atric burn unit in Bei­jing. The pair said they had the oppor­tu­nity to observe all facets of care for the chil­dren, from surgery to phys­ical therapy.

It gave us a good view of every aspect of nursing in China, as well as the values,” said Yiu.

One of their most mean­ingful jobs was doing play therapy ses­sions for the chil­dren. In once case, they helped a girl who lost both her arms create a painting with her feet.

I really liked it a lot,” Bar­tilucci said of the expe­ri­ence. “We really made some strong con­nec­tions with the kids and we got to play with them all the time.”

Catherine Aust, S’16, trav­eled to Lanas de Puriscal, Costa Rica, and worked in an inten­tional per­ma­cul­ture com­mu­nity com­mitted to holistic sus­tain­able living. While there, the envi­ron­mental studies stu­dent had the chance to work in eco-​​village con­struc­tion with sup­plies such as local teak wood and recy­cled tires.

It was great because I was able to wake up every day and know exactly what needed to be done,” Aust explained. “I lived in the jungle and it had a very nice com­mu­nity feel.”

That “com­mu­nity feel,” she said, was very strong one day when everyone on the farm came together to cel­e­brate the second birthday of a Dutch boy who was staying there with his family. Aust said she heard “Happy Birthday” sung in Spanish, Eng­lish, Hebrew, Dutch, and Finnish.