Positive Impact: Travelling Internships

Berlin is a favoured destination for students seeking a budget-friendly getaway, with an infamous clubbing scene, trendy bars and street food galore. Add into the mix a little culture, history and the advantage of a quick flight and you have the recipe for a perfect short break.

This summer, I visited Berlin myself with slightly different intentions. Having secured myself a place on a travel journalism internship, I spent four weeks living in the city, alongside a group of other students, with the brief of compiling a travel guide to be used by other students.

“This one was about as close to a holiday as it could get”

As internships go, this one was about as close to a holiday as it could get. We visited everything from the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag to rooftops bars, flea-markets, karaoke and, of course, a few interesting night-life spots. With four weeks to explore and as many places to review as possible, we had the luxury of also venturing further afield to the old Olympic Stadium and the beautiful lakes outside of Berlin. Lazing on the banks of the lakes in the afternoon sun made us start to feel almost like locals. By ‘local’, I mean that I managed to learn how to navigate the web of trams, trains and buses that connect the city, and went to the same street-food market enough times to call it ‘tradition’.

Berlin has an infinite amount to offer and I left after a month knowing that I could have easily stayed for another and still not have exhausted everything on my doorstep. Enough reminiscing for now though; back to the actual internship.

I had the chance to practice my writing skills and follow briefs, work to deadlines and get first-hand advice and feedback from experienced journalists who led our workshops. We even had German lessons to help us get by in the city and immerse ourselves in the culture a little more. What’s more, I was living with twenty people I had never met before in a country I had never been to, and managed to find a sense of self confidence and independence that I’d never had to look for before.

“I left with new friends”

At the end of the month, I left with a published online travel guide, references for future employers and something valuable to add to my CV. Perhaps more importantly than any of that, I left with new friends, great memories and the confirmation that journalism was something I definitely wanted to pursue.

In all of this, my message is that taking the time to seek out and apply for work experiences, internships or placements can be so worthwhile and rewarding. If you’re interested in travel and want to see the world, why not get the best of both worlds and embark on a career you love in a place you might end up falling for too?

Danielle Preedy

Header Image courtesy of Jörg Schubert via Flickr, license here
Body Image courtesy of Yukiko Matsuoka  via Flickr, license here

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