"I spent the summer at the US Embassy in Manama, Bahrain, a tiny island nation in the Arabian Gulf. I was an intern for the Political/Economic section, focusing on domestic politics, upcoming elections, human rights trials, and economic development. As the only intern, I was lucky to experience multiple facets of embassy work, including research in Arabic, meeting with members of Parliament, NGOs, and various government officials, writing cables, and participating in the festivities of the holy month of Ramadan. My favorite part of the internship was the people - both the Americans and the Bahrainis. Everyone was warm, welcoming, and real. People went out of their way to introduce me to Bahrain, teach me about its customs and cultures, and also grow in the workplace. The most challenging part of the job was dealing with the variety and breadth of issues, familiarizing myself with the in-country situation, and responding quickly to requests. At times, my colleagues asked me to translate five-page documents from Arabic to English ASAP - forcing me to learn quickly how to balance my time, familiarize myself with the priorities of the embassy, and respond quickly during time sensitive periods.
Throughout my internship, I learned about the day-to-day operations of an embassy and governmental processes. More than that, I learned how to understand and embody two cultures daily, upholding American values while respecting, absorbing, and living the Bahraini values. The Embassy provided me with stimulating work, often times extremely challenging work, which taught me to jump in and give it 100%. Be flexible, learn as you go, ask questions, and go the extra mile. I wouldn't trade my internship in Bahrain for anything."
For more information about the Summer Student Development Fund, please visit the program page by clicking here.