Maria's internship in The Marshal's Office of the Voivodeship of Opole
Written by Maria
Bardzo dziękuję i do zobaczenia!
My internship in the context of the Master's program European Studies took place in the period from 01 March 2022 to 12 April 2022. I decided to do the internship in Opole because I had already spent time in Opole in order to complete the first semester of my studies. This took place in the winter semester 2020/21, which was overshadowed by the Corona pandemic.
The internship took place in the Office of the Marshal of the Opole Voivodeship which is a subsidiary body of the Opole Voivodeship Council. It carries out the decisions of the Opole Regional Assembly and the tasks of the Voivodeship established by law.
My internship took place in the Department "Foreign Affairs and Public Relations/Promotional Work", at ul. Barlickiego 17, 46-020 Opole. The main focus of this department is on the implementation of foreign cooperation projects. The aim is to develop multi-level cooperation with the partner regions of the voivodeship.
During my first days of internship, I was involved with humanitarian help of Ukrainian refugees.
Together with the representatives of the department the Marshal's Office organized several relief supplies for the first aid, so that we could set up our own and only stand at a large bus stop at the city boarders of Opole. On the evening of March 03, 2022, several refugees got off the buses. After taking a break and providing food, hygiene items, medicines and toys for young children, the refugees from Ukraine continued their road to other European countries. I could not have imagined that when I agreed to do the internship last year that this situation would ever happen.
Another experience was when I first met and got to know Vice Marshal Zuzanna Donath-Kasiura. Regarding European projects and cooperation with the European Union, she highlighted the European Master's program, calling it a "successful teaching project."
When I was taking part in official meetings, I also got to know the Austrian ambassador. This meeting was one of my personal highlights. I was able to talk informally for a long time with the Austrian ambassador and was also personally invited by him to a meeting in a wine bar with Austrian wines, where helpers for Ukraine from the Polish civil society were present.
In general, I am grateful for all experiences during the 6-week internship. For example, I got to know the procedure of diplomatic meetings better, but also the Polish way of bureaucracy and of course the networking with different institutions. The private benefit in my case refers to the experience of living, living and experiencing independently in a European country.
Considering the scope of work activities in the Marshal's Office, the duration of 6 weeks was just right. 2 months/30 days is also recommended. In addition, the lack of language skills in Polish was a daily hurdle, because many tasks could not be done in a foreign language. Nevertheless, it was interesting to get to know a different work ethic and mentality - especially the diverse impressions and the permanent hearing and grasping of a foreign language.
Looking back at my first student internship, I remember that this one started with summarizing a newspaper report about the protests in the Maidan in January 2014. Now, my last internship on my educational path will involve intensive educational work on the Ukraine war. Is it the irony of coincidence?