What I Did This Summer: Interned at the International Crane Foundation (ICF)

“I liked the cranes and plants on site.
I took a lot of pictures of them so that
I can share my wonderful time at the ICF
with other people. I hope I will have the
chance to go back to the ICF again.”

– Xiaohua Yi

The International Crane Foundation (ICF) commits to a future where all crane species are secure – a future where people cooperate to protect and restore wild populations and their ecosystems. These efforts sustain the places where cranes live, to the benefit of countless other species.* The ICF, located in Baraboo, Wisconsin, is the only place in the world where you can see all fifteen crane species. Below, environmental studies, environmental education student and Ford fellow from China, Xiaohua Yi, shares her thoughts on her summer internship at the ICF.

I had heard of the ICF when I worked for an environmental protection NGO in China. I was so excited that I could have a chance to do my internship there and learn how to do environmental education. I was also very interested in ICF’s history and its work.

As a Chinese person, the biggest challenge was the language boundary, which has existed since I arrived in America last July (2008). I went from understanding some of the visitors’ sentences at the beginning to giving part of the tour to visitors. I learned a lot with people’s kind help during this long process. I still work to improve my English; this very important conversation and learning tool.

My education knowledge went from theory to practice. I shadowed a lot of different people and saw their different personal ways to educate visitors. They also gave me helpful suggestions from their experience. I am happy to communicate with people directly.

The ICF will be a remarkable memory in my life. At the foundation, I learned not only about crane protection and environmental education, but also about how people can influence other people to make our world better.

*Source: The International Crane Foundation.

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