How my NGO Support internship reaffirmed my career aspirations, Intern Abroad HQ

NGO Support internships in Valencia, Spain provide a unique opportunity to collaborate alongside passionate NGO and non profit groups in the defense, promotion and protection of human rights. Fourth year Social Science student Zara Wood traveled abroad to do just that, enhancing her adaptability, cultural awareness and passion for helping others. Read on to learn more about how her experience instilled a renewed sense of motivation, openness and determination to succeed in her chosen field.

Hi Zara! What were your first impressions when you arrived in Valencia?

I was pleasantly surprised by the number of other interns participating alongside me. It was so nice meeting new people from all over the world. The diversity of these relationships enriched my experience, offering different perspectives and new friendships. The first day at my placement was really memorable as I received such a warm welcome from everyone in the office which made a lasting impression. The atmosphere was incredibly friendly right from the beginning, and I was thrilled by the exciting projects and the level of freedom I had in my work. The environment went on to foster my creativity and independence, and made me eager to dive into tasks!

How my NGO Support internship reaffirmed my career aspirations, Intern Abroad HQ

How has this internship helped progress your career goals?

This internship has reaffirmed my desire to work in an NGO, providing me with a sense of direction and purpose. In the long term, I aim to become a versatile and collaborative team player, capable of thriving in any workspace. My internship was instrumental in helping me achieve this goal, as it has shown me the importance of teamwork and collaboration in achieving common objectives, particularly during problem-solving exercises. Additionally, I have developed adaptability and learned to embrace flexibility in a new work environment, adjusting to different workflows and communicating my desire to learn. These skills will be invaluable in my future endeavors.

What were some aspects of the experience that surprised you?

The NGO I collaborated with had a wonderfully diverse team, including employees from various countries such as Ukraine, Romania, and beyond. This rich tapestry of cultural backgrounds created a dynamic and inclusive environment where different perspectives were not only welcomed but celebrated. The diverse workforce I experienced fostered an atmosphere of mutual learning and respect. The language barrier, while at times challenging, encouraged me to develop better communication skills and patience, further enhancing my collaborative efforts. It was truly inspiring to see how our varied backgrounds came together to drive the NGO’s mission forward.

How my NGO Support internship reaffirmed my career aspirations, Intern Abroad HQ

Why would you recommend an internship experience abroad?

My internship experience in Spain has left me with a clearer sense of direction and purpose. By immersing myself in the industry and witnessing firsthand the impact of the work being done, I’ve gained a deeper understanding of how my skills and passions can make a meaningful contribution. This reassurance of my career path has instilled in me a renewed sense of motivation and determination to succeed in my chosen field. This internship has been a transformative experience that has not only expanded my professional capabilities but has also bolstered my confidence and self-belief. I am now better prepared to navigate the complexities of my industry and pursue my aspirations with a renewed sense of purpose and determination.

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What were some of your biggest takeaways from the internship?

Witnessing the Spanish people’s zest for life, their ability to savor the moment and the importance they place on social gatherings, shared meals, and enjoying life’s simple pleasures has inspired me to reevaluate my own priorities and approach to work-life balance. Similarly, living and working in a country with a rich, complex history like Spain has opened my eyes to the nuances and complexities of cultural identity. Interacting with colleagues and locals from various backgrounds has challenged me to reflect on my own cultural assumptions and biases. It has encouraged me to be more open-minded, curious, and respectful when encountering different cultural practices and perspectives.

What advice would you give to others considering an internship abroad?

I tried to not come into my internship with too many expectations to allow myself to fully embrace whatever was thrown at me. My advice would be to come with an open mind and to experience things openly. Be open to new experiences, customs, and perspectives. Embrace the unfamiliar with curiosity and enthusiasm. Embrace the opportunity to grow and develop new skills. Clarify doubts and seek guidance when needed. Show your willingness to learn and understand. Be prepared for unexpected situations and changes. Remain flexible and adapt to new circumstances. Most importantly, take on every opportunity available to make the most of the experience.

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290+ internship programs across 26 countries

290+ internship programs across 26 countries

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Exclusive experiential learning curriculum

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Most affordable & flexible

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