By Michael Lindgren
Getting the opportunity to do an internship abroad was one of the greatest experiences of my college career. For eight weeks I interned at a parliament electorate office in Sydney, Australia. This internship fit perfectly for my since my major was political science and I was looking for some international work experience. One of the coolest parts about my internship were the people I got to work with and meet through my office. I met city officials, federal representatives, and even spent time in the parliament building where I met past and present Attorney General’s, Speaker of the House equivalents, and many other members of parliament. My internship placement put me right into the action where I was treated like a professional and did work on the same level as my coworkers. This will be especially helpful in the future because it helped me gain work experience in a professional office and it taught me how to work in a completely different environment than what I was used to back home.
Outside of my internship was an extraordinary experience as well. For eight weeks I explored Australia and created memories that will last a lifetime. I snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef, went skydiving over the rain forest, and spotted wild koalas and kangaroos. Living in downtown Sydney was also an incredible experience. It was fascinating to be at the center of the culture the entire time I was there. Each day we spent exploring the city we learned about new restaurants, local pubs, and great little gems that most tourists miss. It was a very interesting experience to go from being a tourist the first week to becoming a local for the remainder of the time. Each time I travel I always try to learn what it’s like to live wherever I am and to see the less “touristy” sides of the area. Living in Sydney for eight weeks I was easily able to feel like a local. I woke up, caught the bus to the train station, knew exactly when my train came, rode the train to my office, worked, stopped by the store, and went home for dinner. Though it may seem mundane, I was enthralled by the cultural routines of the locals and felt that I fit right in.
I couldn’t possibly think of a better internship experience. The friends I made and the places I explored will be cherished by me forever. I took trips to the Great Barrier Reef, the federal parliament in Canberra, Melbourne, and all around New Zealand with my family after the internship. I worked with the politicians that I saw on television in the evenings, met with the committees that make real change in Australia, and worked on projects that I saw being implemented around the city. Everything about my experience there was unbelievable and I would recommend it to everyone who is even considering an abroad study or internship.
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