Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

International Development in Peru


As part of Team Peru, Nadine Custis (MPA '13) worked with children in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

November 29, 2012

For as long as I can remember, my professional goal was to do “something international”, which I gradually narrowed down to “helping people” internationally, which I eventually specified as “international development.” This more specific goal was something that I carried with me from the end of high school and on, but by the time I reached college graduation last year I was ready to give up on it. 

Among other reasons, I didn’t think my dream was realistic.  I didn’t see how I could do what I wanted to do and still have it be sustainable for myself in the long run.  So, pursuing a graduate degree in the field of international development at the Monterey Institute was me taking one last chance on this dream—in a way that I felt was more realistic and sustainable, both for myself and the individuals I would be working alongside should the goal pan out.

I am happy to report that my time at MIIS has helped me realize I can make my dream a reality. I spent the summer working on development projects with Team Peru in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, which helped reaffirm the soundness of my decision.  Working with the local community members helped me rediscover the reasons I wanted to work in development in the first place, and working with the Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development team helped me see how those with similar dreams have been able to make them a reality.

I don’t know where else (literally and figuratively) my decision to study international development will take me, but what I do know is that this is no longer an amorphous, unattainable dream—this is my new reality, and that’s pretty awesome.

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