Reflecting on my unique international internship experience

Publish by : Emily Panciuk
As my internship experience has just reached the end, I find myself shocked that the time has gone by so quickly. Although I am very pleased with the things I have had the opportunity to accomplish and learn over the course of the last three months, I definitely wish this experience did not have to come to an end. However, now I am going to push myself to get involved in more opportunities where I can be an advocate for gender inequality, environmental sustainability, and inclusion issues, where I will use the amazing skills I have developed during my internship experience. As I take this time to reflect on my time as an academic E- Volunteer with the Center for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI) and their partnering organization Prerana, I am extremely grateful that I had this opportunity to work with such amazing organizations, even at a distance. At the beginning of my mandate I was very worried about conducting an internship remotely. I remember feeling quite nervous about everything that could go wrong virtually, such as not being able to connect and make relationships with the people that I work with, not being able to communicate much with potential internet issues and a time difference barrier, and not being able to understand and show respect towards the Nepali culture. All of these worries quickly vanished as I met the team and could instantly tell how kind and supportive everyone was. It has been an amazing learning experience, very different from anything I have been involved in before. There were a couple instances where I felt stressed, confused, and a bit stuck, but the CECI team was always providing support and assistance along the way. I have learned how to adapt to unique situations and circumstances, which will prepare me for any future endeavours where I have to remain open minded and flexible while working. Aside from receiving good professional experience and skills, I also feel as though I have grown personally as a result of the internship. I feel more confident in my skills and am a lot more resilient in stressful situations because I finally understand how to adapt, be accepting, and adjust in adverse situations that arise in the workplace. I hope that I have helped Prerana during my time as a volunteer, because that was my main goal. I would like to believe that the small tasks I helped out with allow the team to continue their amazing projects easily.  All in all, my internship has been fulfilling, positive, and a great opportunity to grow. I urge anyone who is interested in doing an international internship at a distance while the pandemic keeps us from physically being in the field, to seriously consider it. My advice that I would give someone who is going to take part in this experience would be to make the most of your time because it will be over before you know it!

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