Micaela is an Ambassador who did an internship in Bosnia-Herzegovina
Major: Peace Studies
Why did you choose to intern abroad and how did you decide on this program?
The Bosnia-Herzegovina (now Balkans) Internship program was relayed to me by my advisor. As a Peace Studies major I am required to work a credited internship. I've always enjoyed traveling and learning different cultures, but never felt a Study Abroad program fit my needs. I decided to intern abroad because it seemed to be a more independent way of learning and exploring. Aside from the incredible landscape of the Balkan region, I chose BiH because I wanted full exposure to a post-conflict area that many know little about. I chose a place I knew I could be comfortably uncomfortable for a summer and be constantly learning from.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
While abroad I was granted the privilege to speak with many different people who'd spent most of their lives in BiH. Often over coffee they would share their stories and recollections of the war with me. These stories and interactions will stay with me forever. I was able to learn about how different everyone's experiences are even in the same city. It allowed me to reflect on my own relatities and privileges.
Describe your overall internship abroad experience.
Overall my experience abroad was greater than anything is hoped for. I made lasting connections and friendships across the globe, I learned more about myself and the world in a shorter amount of time than ever before, and I gained a perspective that will continuously help me in success.
Based on your experiences abroad, what are some of the benefits of doing an internship abroad? How has interning abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and professional development?
Interning abroad showed me the lens' which I unknowingly saw the world through. I was a minority, an outsider, and faced a language barrier. Through my experience I gained awesome amounts of gratitude, respect, and admiration for people of all walks of life. Interning abroad is less common than study abroad and therefore sets me apart from many others in the professional world. My abroad experience has been a completely unique one. Though not every day was easy while abroad, every day was a step in a positive direction on the path of my future.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to intern abroad?
The best advice I can give to considering students is to remember culture shock can occur. Before traveling abroad do your homework and learn as much about
your host country as you can. It's important not only for conversation, but for understanding and adjusting to your new cultural surroundings