"I spent my year abroad doing various internships in international organisations. For three months I was working at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France, which gave me a very good insight into the functioning of a European organisation. I also had the opportunity to follow the sessions of the European Parliament and to work with two MEPs.
The next five months I spent in Turin, Italy, working for the UN. It was a fascinating experience to work for one of the biggest international organisations in the world. Since my unit was very small, I was given a lot of responsibility and was treated like a full member of the team.
The last four months of the year abroad I spent in Rome doing an internship at the German Embassy which gave me the opportunity to get to know the diplomatic service.
All three experiences were extremely enriching. They gave me the opportunity to get to know three different cities in two different countries, three different international organisations and people from many different cultural backgrounds. This helped me to determine if I wanted to work in international organisations in the future. Besides learning a lot content-wise by dealing with topics that I had never touched before, I also learned a lot about me, my culture, my ability to adapt.
Especially the latter served me in my further career path. Instead of returning to my home country, I decided to apply for a PhD position at the University of Siena in Italy. During the interview, the year abroad experiences were highly valued. The same was true for the job interview preceding my current job as researcher at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial. In both cases employers were impressed by the qualifications and language skills gained during the year abroad. Besides having been a wonderful experience, the year abroad has certainly enhanced my subsequent life considerably."