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I have always imagined myself living in a foreign country where I could open myself up to new cultures and opportunities. I finally reached a time in my academic career where endless international internships and study abroad opportunities were available through my university. Then a global pandemic hit. When much of the world was on pause and thought that there were limited experiences possible, I used it as an opportunity to do something unique. I did an international remote internship.

I signed up to be an international remote intern through an organization, but I did not know where I was going to be located or what I would be doing. I had my doubts, and I was worried that it was be too hard to communicate globally from my home. All of my doubts disappeared when I got paired with IARS and had my first day as an intern. Although I was not in London physically, I was able to learn about their culture and experiences through zoom meetings virtually. Maija and Sophia were always accessible, welcoming, and in high spirits. I felt comfortable expressing my interests and they ensured that I was going to get the most out of my time at IARS.

As a communications and policy intern, I had the opportunity to learn about many social issues that are present in the UK and work on projects and campaigns. I assisted in research for numerous topics, but one of my favorite achievements was helping compile a written response to the UK government about the Women’s Health Strategy. I also wrote an article for the 99% campaign, which is a very unique opportunity. Not only did the internship help me feel like I was making an impact in society, but it also grew many skills that will assist me in my academic and working future. I met a variety of people online and communicated with people from all over the globe. My knowledge of international policy was expanded, which was the one thing I hoped for most.

The opportunity to intern at IARS was unbelievable and I know that the organization can help continue to better society. I am excited to see what else they continue to pursue in the future.

By Lauren Kirchhoff