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Summer Internship at Free State of Saxony in Dresden, Germany

My name is Malcolm Jackson and I am an MSI student specializing in Information Policy and Information Economics for Management. This summer, I was able to travel to Dresden, Germany and perform and internship with the government of Saxony, one of Germany’s federal states. Specifically, I was asked to support the Office of the Saxon Commissioner for Foreigners and Migrants. The commissioner is a member of the state parliament assigned the special task of working for and with immigrants, visitors, refugees, and other foreigners visiting the region for various reasons.


I was asked to design and carry out an interview study investigating what the immigration, visa, or naturalization process was like for PhD and post-doc researchers and technicians coming to Germany for work. My organization helped locate volunteers, and then I designed an interview questionnaire, conducted sixteen interviews with the volunteers and analyzed the results. Following my analysis, I drafted a report providing a quantitative categorization of responses, as well as an extended qualitative assessment of the results and recommendations for improving the situation. My report has since been released as a publication by the commissioner’s office, for distribution to all their partners and the media.

This was a great opportunity for practical experience, and also for having a good time learning about other cultures and working in a challenging and novel environment. The results turned out really
well, my organization was pleased, and I enjoyed it, so one couldn’t ask for anything better. This internship opportunity came as part of the EMGIP fellowship with Cultural Vistas Inc., a non-profit
organization that promotes intercultural exchange and professional development around the world. After reading about this fellowship in a CDO email, I decided to apply. After I was accepted, they helped match my skills with a German state parliament that might need me.

Although Cultural Vistas has professional programs that do not require German language competence, this particular program does and my background of studying German was a key factor in getting these opportunities.

Traveling and living overseas can be expensive and I was lucky enough to obtain sufficient funding that the overall cost out of pocket was very small for me. The internship itself was paid, and I
received money from the parliament itself. Let’s say that was enough overall to cover my airfare. I also received a stipend from Cultural Vistas as part of the professional fellowship, and that covered most
living expenses. I also applied for and received funding from SI, which paid for my rent. These funding sources were an important part of my summer.

Overall this was a great experience, and I certainly got a lot of practice that will help my career. Sometimes I’m tired of getting a dozen emails a day from the Career Development Office, but then I
think one of these emails might have the perfect opportunity for another student, like one of them last year did for me.

Posted by kkowatch at November 27, 2012 08:57 PM

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