Graphic Design student Eternity Red Starr took the plunge, traveling to Athens, Greece to gain hands-on experience on a Cultural Arts and Heritage internship. Read on to learn her motivations for interning, how she found settling into a new environment, and how her internship helped bolster her love of the arts.
Hi Eternity! Tell us what motivated you to participate in a Cultural Arts and Heritage internship with us in Greece?
I wanted to try something new and get out of my comfort zone. I’ve always wanted to get a wider perspective on art, having only experienced drawing and painting as part of my Graphic Arts major. I knew there was so much more to the field of Graphic Design, so when I saw an opportunity that would allow me to learn about sculpture, mosaics, frescoes, art preservation and conservation, I knew this was my chance! I was specifically interested in seeing if the arts was something I wanted to pursue long term. Having never been outside of the US, my exposure to the art world was quite sheltered. I wanted a whole new experience, and that’s exactly what I got.
Having never been outside of the US before, how did you find adapting to an internship abroad?
Before this internship, I had never been in an airport or on a plane, so leading up to the experience I was naturally pretty nervous! So many thoughts were running through my mind… how would I communicate if I needed help, how would I navigate the airport on my arrival, how would I get from my accommodation to my internship placement each day??
However, when I arrived I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the local team and those at my placement spoke English. During my orientation they really helped me feel settled by telling me all about Athens, what to expect over the next few days, and how to use the metro. It was incredibly informative. They were happy to help and made it clear they were there to support me!
Please describe your internship role for us - what tasks were you involved in?
During my first week of the internship, I was involved in marble sculpture. During my second week, I progressed to learning about mosaics, ceramics, and art restoration. It was such a great experience to get so much variety in the work for such a short duration! I learnt the best way to handle different tools, I learnt the history behind the different techniques from different artists, and also got the chance to cut rocks and tiles. I was also given the opportunity to visit a local church to work on an art piece there. We used different types of paints and learnt why these types were best to help with restoration and longevity.
What are some of your favorite memories from the internship?
I really enjoyed all the little things, like stopping at a local cafe in the morning before my internship, getting a Greek coffee, and enjoying a Bougatsa. I really wanted to make the most of my time abroad, and I was surrounded by like-minded interns who wanted to do the same. Together we visited museums, galleries, cool restaurants recommended to us by our supervisor, and wetried all types of new food. Athens feels like a city that never sleeps, as people are up late into the evening, eating, talking, or just enjoying the sights. I was given so many great recommendations and loved exploring them all!
How has this internship helped you decide long term career goals?
I loved getting to know other styles of art. This showed me I want to pursue art in all its forms. I want to work towards showcasing some of my own art in the future, letting people see my paintings and drawings. It’s been eye-opening to meet others in the industry, making their work their career, and showcasing it to the public.
What advice would you have for others considering an internship with us?
Experiences like this are a once in a lifetime! It may seem scary at first to take that first step, and go outside your comfort zone, but the results are so rewarding! It will widen your perspective on the world, yourself and what you want to do in the future.
It is always a good idea to learn some terms in the local language before you arrive. This way you know how to greet new people, and navigate a menu!
Give it your all! There are still so many things I didn’t get to do or try, so make the most of every day. I would love to do another internship with Intern Abroad HQ in the future, so watch this space!
Ready to plan your own internship? Here’s how to started!
Our step-by-step guide on how it works provides you with more information on how to get started. The process is user friendly - just submit your application to get the ball rolling. It doesn’t cost anything to apply and won’t take more than 5 minutes. However, your formal expression of interest provides the foundation for us to help you take the next steps.