1-30-2011By Sian McGee
General Programs Intern
While sitting in my university’s Study Abroad office in Brisbane, Australia, looking at a map of the world and considering my study abroad options, I didn’t know what to expect from a semester somewhere in the United States.
Washington, D.C. wasn’t my original choice but I am very content with this location for many reasons. One reason is that I was fortunate enough to land an internship with Human Rights First, a great NGO dedicated to human rights education and reform in the United States and abroad. Human Rights First’s D.C. has three main program areas: Refugee Protection Program, Law and Security, Crimes Against Humanity. As a General Programs intern, I am working on tasks for the Refugee Protection and Law and Security programs. The organization treats its interns with great appreciation and respect, and the staff is intent on making sure we get the most out of our experiences by assigning tasks that are specifically aligned to the interns’ backgrounds and interests. For example, I have an interest in immigration law and was given a legislative amendment bill comparison task, which required me to rely on my legal interpretation skills and enhanced my understanding of common issues in Refugee Protection, like conditions of immigration detention facilities.
There are other perks to the job too! The office is situated in Capitol Hill, an amazing location right next to the Supreme Court—which makes for great views and a vibrant atmosphere. The endless variety of food choices available at the Senate Cafeteria is a great nearby attraction as well!
Voila! A snapshot of my first couple of weeks finding my feet studying abroad and interning with Human Rights First.