Cougs Abroad

By Maya Wahl, CAHNRS Academic Programs

Summer looks different for students across WSU: some head home, some stay on campus to take classes, some work on internships locally, and some travel across the globe to explore the world.

This summer two viticulture and enology students, Madeline Nichols and Jessica Marston, have travelled across the world to dive into the wine industry. Madeline is in Dominio de la Vega, a winery in Valencia, Spain. Jessica works at Villa Maria, a family winery located in New Zealand.

In a room of oak wine casks, Madeline Nichols pulls out a sample of wine from one barrel using a long tube.
Madeline Nichols tests wine at Deominio de la Vega, a winery in Valencia, Spain where she is spending her summer as an intern.

Aside from the fact that they are getting the opportunity to travel across the globe for the summer, these future winemakers are beginning to explore the vast industry that they will soon be a part of.

“I hope to gain a unique perspective on the Spanish wine industry and broaden my knowledge about winemaking – particularly in Old World wine country,” Madeline said before she left. “Immersing myself in another culture will hopefully expand my understanding of international business.”

“I hope that I will come out with well-rounded knowledge and experience of both the growing side and winemaking side of wine,” Jessica said before her departure. “I’m hoping that doing this internship will help me narrow down a more specific area of either winemaking or growing that I want to eventually end up doing.”

Internships provide opportunities for students to expand their knowledge of their future careers. It’s a time to try new things and test the waters of an industry that students hope to enter post-graduation, ultimately, finding their niche to pursue later on. Some students find these experiences close to home, but many choose to travel. Along with the benefits of working in the industry before receiving a degree, students make connections. These connections will pave the way for their careers.

Madeline Nichols

Both Madeline and Jessica were excited about their internships abroad for months before they left. They encourage their fellow CAHNRS Cougs to look into internships as well.

“Cougs should know that there are opportunities domestically and internationally that can radically change the way they think – in a great way,” Madeline said. “It never hurts to apply for internships or international programs. If you don’t get accepted to a program right away, just keep applying! There’s thousands of opportunities out there.”

Have you ever been interested in traveling abroad? Would you like to gain professional experience while you’re at it? Check out International Studies Abroad at and WSU Global Studies. Wave the flag across the globe and build the Coug network!