22 February 2023 France and Nepal for Padnos Scholars By Finley Hetherington Aherne

Two students awarded Padnos Family Endowed Internship and Travel Awards to investigate careers in France and Nepal.

During winter break, Thomas Perich ’23 conducted research on the representation of historical figures in Aix-en-Provence, France while Tenzin Yonten ’23 gained experience in the legal industry during his time studying in Nepal, preparing them for the next steps in their careers. Both opportunities were made possible with funding from the Padnos Family Endowed Internship and Travel Award, which supports HWS students interested in conducting research or completing an internship abroad. The award covers lodging, air travel and a stipend.

In France in the spring of 2022, Perich worked as a university intern at the Musée Granet, as well as at the Institute of American Universities where he created a museum booklet providing analysis on the ways painters actively remember and portray the legacies of famed historical figures. The booklet eventually became an hour-long tour and helped him improve his French.

When he returned to Aix-en-Provence, Perich took his tour concept a step further - telling the city’s history through the names of significant individuals the city has chosen to preserve. Perich chose this topic during his early exploration of the city as he noticed “roads, buildings, cafes, stores, hospitals, squares and schools all named after historical figures. This was one of the first ways I started to learn the history of the city.” In his final project, Perich explored how names of places have changed to reflect changing values of the city, and why the city has chosen to represent certain historical figures.

Perich hopes to pursue a career in the museum field and to continue to improve his French language proficiency. “This internship allowed me to work toward both of those goals,” he says.

Yonten spent the winter break assisting a senior legal practitioner during an internship at Haatemalo Legal Consultancy, a law firm that works with non-governmental organizations and religious monasteries in Kathmandu, Nepal. This work included visiting courts and government offices to submit documents in addition to familiarizing himself with the country’s legal system.

Most notably, throughout his time in Nepal, Yonten worked with a monastery to make its school legally certified and up to code.

This work built on prior pre-law experience Yonten had during a fellowship with Harvard Law School in the summer of 2022. 

Yonten’s early itinerary involved an orientation week as well as an exploration of Kathmandu’s local attractions, including the Swayambhu Temple. Yonten continued exploring the city’s history throughout his time abroad.  

His decision to work in Nepal was inspired by his desire to cultivate a global appreciation of law by immersing himself in a foreign country and working at a non-profit helping non-governmental organizations and Buddhist monasteries.  Previously, Yonten was an intern for The Bridge Fund, which provides help for disadvantaged people in the Tibetan Plateau. He intends to become a legal advocate. “I believe this program has been life-changing for me, allowing me the opportunity to work one step closer to my goal of becoming a global advocate.”