I am a junior majoring in the International Relations program at the University of Economics and Technology in Turkey. This program should have already “internationalized” my perspective but, no offense to the program, the internship at UFCES gave me a concrete opportunity to work in an international setting. During my four-month internship at UFCES, the first-day excitement and enthusiasm remained while the initial scare transformed into an insatiable drive to explore the land and contribute to the Turkish Studies program at CES.
The University of Florida is an amazing university where students never stop communicating with each other. Social events are held on campus throughout the week, which CES plays no small part in. Throughout my internship I had the pleasure (and privilege, really) of working with the CES team, a team that is incomparable to any other when it comes to loving the job, staying loyal to it, and smiling all the time despite the job's stresses. Their offices are designed to welcome and treat you nicely: see the CES lobby for proof. As a CES Intern, I held conversation classes with American students taking Turkish as a second language, helped prepare reading materials for Dr. Sahin’s Islam and Turkey class, organized Mediterranean Movie Nights, and attended English classes through the International Friendship Program at the local Baptist Church. I even found time to travel across the state of Florida.
My internship at UFCES was a great experience. It not only fulfilled the internship requirement at my home university but it also increased my sense of accomplishment and open-mindedness, the latter of which I will definitely use in my encounters with foreign cultures and people and in my future endeavors in the field of international relations.