Alyssa Jackson, IEM ’17

EUSA Academic Internship Experts

When I arrived in Madrid in September, I was a little apprehensive because I knew there would be a bit of a learning curve with both my duties at EUSA, but also with having to speak Spanish on a daily basis, both in the office and in the city. However, because I had spent 3 weeks in Madrid for a J-term class that past January, I felt fairly comfortable with the idea of coming and living in Madrid. After all, I had already had the opportunity to learn the public transportation system, and the layout of the city, so I felt considerably less anxious than I would have coming into an entirely new place. This allowed me to adapt more quickly to my new life in Madrid.

My experience working for EUSA was extremely valuable. Not only did I have the chance to use the knowledge I had gained during my classes at MIIS, but I also was exposed to the day-to-day life of an international education professional. One of the most beneficial parts of the job was gaining access to a professional network. As someone new to the field, it was great to meet people from various programs and universities. I had the chance to meet many of EUSA’s partners, which gave me insight to how the field really thrives on collaboration and communication. A great part of working for EUSA was my supervisor, Almendra. She was an amazing mentor because she continually offered me opportunities to stretch beyond my comfort zone. What was key is that I routinely took her up on these opportunities. Some of the things I was able to accomplish because of her support were sitting in on various meetings with partners, as well as co-facilitating a re-entry workshop.
Another great aspect to this position was the opportunity to use Spanish in a professional setting. I much improved my ability to communicate in Spanish, whether it was through emails to partners or facilitating a workshop.
Finally, I also was responsible for some student support. Being in my own internship while supporting undergrads while they underwent theirs gave me the unique opportunity to put myself in their shoes. I also was able to benefit from EUSA through being able to put into action what we recommended for students. One of my projects was to create a guide for students new to Madrid based on past students’ experiences. Because of this guide, I, too, was able to follow past students’ advice and see parts of Madrid I may not have visited without it.

“Getting ready to work!”

Click here to check out Sophia’s video essay, “An Immersive Learning Experience in Madrid.”

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