In November 2016, 11 international education and career services staff from universities across the United States attended the IES Internships Berlin Familiarization Trip ("Fam Trip") to learn about our full-time internships in Germany. While the focus was on internships in Berlin, the Familiarization Trip was also a good opportunity for participants to see the IES Internships' program model first-hand, as it is the foundation for full-time programs in 12 other locations where we offer international and U.S. full-time internships.
While there was certainly time for delicious food, fun, and good old-fashioned tourism, the Fam Trip participants learned about and even got to observe many of the aspects of the IES Internships program:
- Center Tour and Introduction to Staff and Programs – The IES Abroad Berlin Center staff works with IES Internships students before they depart for Germany and are an integral part of the predeparture and placement processes. Here, Fam Trip attendees join Center Director Dr. Barbara Gügold (left) in the IES Abroad Berlin Center courtyard in front of one of the famous 'Buddy Bears' found throughout the city.
- Internship Leading Across Cultures Seminar - Students on IES Internships programs enroll in a 3- or 6-credit internship seminar where they learn about topics, such as communicating across cultures, working in teams, and incorporating an internship experience into a résumé. The Fam Trip participants had the opporutnity to take part in an interactive seminar session at the Center.
- Student Panel - Who better to speak on internships than the students who are actually doing them? IES Abroad Berlin Internship Coordinator Liane Wyschka moderated a student panel comprised of three current Berlin semester students who were participating in part-time internships while they are studying abroad in Germany.
- Employer Site Visits - These substantive internships would not be possible without a wonderful network of host employers. Fam Trip participants visited several employers while in Berlin, including the International Office at Humboldt University and Medienbüro am Reichstag (Reichstag Media Office).
- Fam Trip Debrief - After several days of activities and site visits, the Fam Trip participants and IES Abroad staff debriefed on the entire experience over lunch.
IES Internships' Executive Director Keith Dipple (seated, center) shared: "The Fam Trip was a great success, and the participants were extremely complimentary, about not just the Berlin Center and staff, but everything IES Abroad does to best serve students, from academics to health and safety." One of the participants described IES Internships as "the Cadillac of internship providers."