Blog

Paris internship as a first step in diplomacy

Many students take time off from the studies to work in internships at international organizations, companies, diplomatic representations and other institutions in and around Paris. Thanks to the monthly system at Schiller International University, students can work as interns any time of the year. We recently sat down with Yago Feria Sanchez a fourth-year student in the Bachelors of Arts in International Relations and Diplomacy program at Schiller Paris who is beginning an internship this August. SIU: What are you doing for the next few months? YFS: I am currently interning for the Spanish Consulate General in Paris. SIU:Why did you apply for this internship? One of my biggest interests within the field of IR has always been diplomacy, and one of its most evident forms are countries’ Permanent Representations abroad. By this I mean Embassies, Consulates, Commercial Offices, Permanent Representations at International Institutions, etc. I still haven’t chosen what career path I want to follow after I graduate, but the option of being a Diplomat is one of the ones that thrills me the most. In my country, Spain, you need to pass a public exam to become a member of the Diplomatic Corps. It requires a huge amount of time and money invested, and nobody is guaranteed that they will pass it. Normally, young diplomats are first sent to Consulates to get some experience. They are changed from one country to another after a couple of years. If they prove themselves fit for the job, they then go into Embassies. Only a minority of highly-performing ones might, one day, be appointed as Ambassadors or Consuls after a 20 or 30 year career. Since Consulates are normally the starting point, I thought I could not consider this option seriously if I didn’t first experience the day-to-day routine of a Consulate from the inside. As you know, Consulates are much less flashier than Embassies. In short, they are in charge of helping citizens of its country who need help when they are abroad, as well as foreigners in need of visas or other types of documents. To put it another way, you can’t pretend to be a general if you have never fought in the trenches. SIU: What will be your duties? YFS: I am currently being trained at the Documentation Service, although I am expected to rotate to another Service in a week. At Documentation we are in charge of issuing Passports, Safe-Passages, Residency Certificates and Inscriptions into the Consular Census. It is a rather administrative position, but it requires a lot of discipline, organization and tons of patience! Also, one needs to be able know how to pace oneself, since the workload is always huge! SIU: How do you think your Bachelors in International Relations & Diplomacy at Schiller Paris helps you? YFS: One good thing I have learned during my 3 years at Schiller is to try and look at the world with a global perspective. We never go into too much depth, but we do get a good glimpse of differences across the world. This learning process does not only stop at the classroom, since the fact of having to spend time with people coming from different corners of the planet trains you to thrive in a multicultural environment, while you embrace differences and are aware of your own cultural specificities. SIU: What advice do you have for young people interested in getting an internship at an embassy? YFS: When speaking of jobs at Consulates or Embassies, most of the times you must go through a country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Office or its equivalent. I would say that the most straightforward way to get inside is to contact your country’s representation wherever you find yourself or to contact a foreign delegation’s representation if you are back in your home country. Your nationality there will be valued, and since most Schiller students are fluent in English and even one, two or even more other languages, you will always have an interesting profile for this type of institution. Also, remember to plan way in advance, since you must always keep within the application deadlines and there are always lots of other applicants for the same position. Thanks alot, Yago! And good luck!

Schiller Remembers Our Veterans

Today we observe Veteran’s Day in the United States of America. A nation formed “Under God, with liberty and justice for all.” The origin of this observation dates back to November 11, 1918. According to the Office of Public Affairs of the US Department of Veterans Affairs:

“In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: ‘To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations….’” http://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp  

“Armistice Day” was later renamed in June 1, 1954 to “Veterans Day” in order to honor American Veterans of all wars.

Schiller International University would like to extend its gratitude and thankfulness to every US Veteran that has served to defend this great nation.  To those of you who had the privilege to have worn the unmistakable uniform representing patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good, we say “Thank You”. We would also like to express our gratitude to all service members currently serving this great nation. Your bravery inspires us all.

Meet Sonia, a 4th Year Student in IRD

My interest in environmental sustainability all started here at Schiller when I took a course on sustainable development with Professor Regis Maubrey. As part of the course, each student was assigned a research project. In my case, environmental issues affecting the Sahel region. I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the course, and have since decided I would like to work in the field of environmental sustainability. At Schiller, you know you are learning from Professors with rich backgrounds in their domains. Prof Maubrey’s extensive experience in teaching as well as working and setting up NGOS in the African continent reassured me that I too could attain great things.

Whilst studying at Schiller I was able to attend both Cop20 and Cop21 events. This was a dream come true for me as I sat amongst great world leaders making decisions on a global scale. I am now undergoing a 1 month internship in Abuja in Nigeria as assistant to the Climate Change Specialist at the Ministry of Environment. With the flexible course structure Schiller offers, I was able to accept this amazing opportunity without disrupting my studies. I am very proud to be a product of this university.