Internship in Asia
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Internship in New Dehli, India

Name: Florian van Vugt
Study: International Business Administration
University: University of Twente
Destination: New Delhi, India
Duration: 3 months
Description: marketing- and finance internship at quarry owning and natural stone exporting firm

Why did you go?
In the BSc International Business Administration, an internship to gain practical experience is mandatory. I obliged myself to go abroad and expand my view, as I felt that this would profoundly contribute to my personal development. I ended up in New Delhi, at a large quarry owning and natural stone exporting firm.

What did you expect?
Based on heavily stereotyped stories of friends and the Internet, one expects chaos, unbearable weather and hazard. So, blunt as I was, this is more or less what I expected…

What stood out?
Undoubtedly the people; I experienced most of them as extremely friendly and helpful. Although I barely met people that tried to take advantage of me, one has to be cautious around very touristic places (e.g. Taj Mahal in Agra, Chandni Chowk and Red Fort in Delhi), as ’they’ try to overwhelm one by sounding very assured. Use common sense and don’t be bewildered!

What turned out better than expected?
Clearly the safety; again, Internet stories extricate extremes. Although it might have to do with the fact that a tall European guy impresses the rather short Indians, I hardly ever felt unsafe.

What disappointed?
Definitely punctuality! 

Internship in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Name: Anne van Drunen Littel
Study: University College Maastricht
University: Maastricht University
Destination: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Duration: 6 months
Description: Intern, Political Affairs at the Netherlands Embassy  

Why did you go?
Following the completion of my Bachelor, I felt that to better define my future career options and subsequently the most suitable Master program, I needed to gain practical experiences. I have always had a broad interest in international affairs and development, and thus an internship at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs seemed to align well with my interests. In Bangladesh the diplomatic community, international organisations, and civil society work closely together, and thus as an intern at the Dutch Embassy in Bangladesh I would be likely to get a lot of exposure and thus learn a lot.

What did you expect?
Bangladesh is categorised as a ´hardship country´, and in particular Dhaka where I would be working is claimed to be one of the worst cities in the world. Thus I managed my expectations accordingly: a lot of people, traffic, pollution, poor infrastructure, poor amenities. However, this is not to say I wasn't excited about going. Rather, I believed that the conditions in Dhaka and Bangladesh would make my experience more interesting.

What stood out?
The resourcefulness of the people. Bangladesh is a very difficult place to live and to survive, yet people manage to, despite great odds. I think this is reflected in the high economic growth the country has been experience, and the development of the international garments sector (with some hiccoughs obviously, considering the factory disasters last year). 

What turned out better than expected?
The internship. I had a lot of responsibility and was able to work with a lot of interesting organisations and people, both local and international. I think particularly if you are interested in international affairs a country like Bangladesh is the best place to learn. You get thrown into the deep end in terms of political, social, economic and cultural problems, but that makes the experience eventually more worthwhile. 

What disappointed?
The safety. As a young woman in Bangladesh, my freedom was very restricted. Which at times could be incredibly frustrating.