This article is part of the series, where we share the stories of our brave volunteers and interns, who have moved to Liverpool from other countries. Carmen came to Liverpool in February and describes internship abroad being a good way to get out of the comfort zone to grow as a person.
Carmen, 26, Italy
What is your qualification degree and what encouraged you to candidate to MEH? Why did you choose MEH?
My academic history is pretty wide. I have a bachelor’s degree in Communication for Culture and the Arts while, for the Master’s, I decided to move to the International relation and Human Rights field.
My first contact with MEH was suggested by a Sicilian NGO, Per Esempio Onlus, with whom I had several collaborations in the past. They are also a long-time partner of MEH.
Why have you decided to do an internship abroad?
I’ve always believed that there is nothing more formative than spending some time abroad. First and most obvious, it is the greatest way possible to learn and improve a foreign language. In fact, different environments and situations as well as the necessity to interact with others create a continuous learning effort, while being surrounded by locals allows a full immersion in the foreign culture and lifestyle.
But the most important aspect is getting out of the comfort zone. Leaving alone and dealing with different, unexpected things make us face our weaknesses and helps to recognize unknown aspects of our personality.
I love to travel, explore, and challenge myself. My head is always filled with questions and I found that shifting is the best way to give these questions an answer.
MEH works in an international context with different employees around the world, how do you find yourself in this context?
I felt comfortable since the beginning. The work environment is really cosy and friendly. Having the possibility to talk and share with lots of people from different backgrounds has been an incomparable opportunity. I would define MEH’s environment familiar and stimulating at the same time.
Which are the differences that you noticed most between English culture and your home country?
First of all, I think Liverpool’s citizens put a different focus on the local production. I really miss the Italian local markets that are a good way to support the community as well as eat healthier and more sustainable food.
Secondly, I think that here the people are more stress-free and cares way less about what the others think about themselves and their behaviour. I‘ve found it very inspiring.
What do you miss most about your home country?
What I miss most is the Sun, both in a physical and metaphorical prospective.
The more I travel the more I fall in love with my island, its inhabitants and its joie de vivre, in contempt of its own several faults. I miss the way in which we put human relationships at the heart of our day-to-day experience.
What is the thing you like most and the thing you would like to change about Liverpool?
The inhabitants are extremely friendly and lovely, the food is delicious and there is always something to do, but I think Liverpool has lots of work to do with waste management.
Describe MEH in 3 words
I would describe MEH as flexible, eager, and homey.
Do you think that your experience in MEH has changed something in your being?
I think so. The full experience has been very significant for me, both in a personal and professional way. I am honest when I say that I don’t feel like I’m the same person who arrived here some months ago. I grew up and I built relations that I think will be relevant for my future.
I have more clear image than before about what I like to do and what I don’t, which are my objectives and my must-to inside and outside the office.
Do you think that your experience in MEH will be useful in a future?
Yes, I do. As I just said I built very good professional and informal relations and I discovered a lot about my attitude and my personality also thanks to MEH that continually putted me in stimulating situations.