Julia is from Seattle, Washington and went to London, England to complete a Social Work internship. Learn more about the impact this experience had on her life in her own words here:
My name is Julia, and I recently graduated as a student athlete from Florida International University. During my last semester, I wanted to pursue an internship that would help enrich my resume and give me real world experience. Since all of my college experience was spent as an athlete, it was hard to find time to gain experience. I found out about World Endeavors and could not have been more excited by the idea of pursuing an internship in Social Work overseas. I decided to go to London, England for my internship and work for a non-profit organization. I originally was meant to embark on my journey in May of 2020 but then COVID-19 hit. My program was pushed back a few months and I ended up going in July of 2020, thanks to great help and assistance from World Endeavors.
As I briefly mentioned, I did my placement at a non-profit organization in London, England. This organization helps aid rough sleepers in the greater London area and link them in with substance and mental health resources. My time at the organization truly fueled my passion to further understand how mental health studies can help better the world we live in. The overall highlight of my experience was seeing the growth of the clients I personally worked with and how much you can impact other people just by showing up. Although it is quite daunting to go somewhere new and experience a different culture, you will grow so much as a human and gain skills that will last a lifetime.
A day in the life at my placement included many personal visits to clients as well as meeting and checking in with other community services that helped aid our clients. On an average day I would have 1-3 clients that I was personally visiting, the visit could just be for a well-being check or could be to help assist them in a certain task. I personally enjoyed the visits where I was able to check in with the client and have a nice chat or buy them some coffee or groceries. There were a multitude of tasks that I was assisting clients with, some of them included setting up an account for Universal Credit, helping them buy necessities, linking them in with community outreach teams, and making sure their general health was being looked after. I specifically worked with 6 clients all of whom I shared with a lead worker who was there to overlook and assist me if necessary. I was able to work with NHS and other outreach services which broadened my understanding of the health care system within the United Kingdom.
I could not list every lesson I learned, as there were too many to name. One of the biggest lessons I learned was that in order to grow you have to be pushed outside of your comfort zone. While it is nice to have routine and comfort, you learn the most about who you are when you are doing things that push you. My internship truly pushed me to put myself out there and be open to experiences that I wasn’t necessarily familiar with. I personally loved being immersed in a different culture and pushed myself to learn things about England and make the most of my time even though COVID limited what I was able to do. Through my internship, I realized that I loved London so much I wanted to make the move here and pursue a career in Social Work/Psychology. I applied for a Master’s program in Psychology and after acceptance, made the move to London in January of 2021, just a month after my internship ended. I would not have been able to make this decision without my time interning in London and I feel it truly changed the trajectory of my life and made me realize what it was I am truly passionate about. I hope to eventually pursue a PhD in Clinical or Social Psychology and be able to work with vulnerable individuals in NHS.
I had so many amazing memories and stories during my time in London. One of the most meaningful ones was on my last day of my placement. I was meeting with a client who I regularly met with and had formed a great relationship with. He was very upset I was leaving and asked if when I came back to London, I could just come have a coffee with him because he truly valued the meetings that we had. This nearly brought me to tears because I realized that just by showing up I had made an impact on this person’s life. I hope to volunteer for my internship organization during my studies in London, so I am able to see the clients that I formed meaningful relationships with.
As for funny memories, I had many instances where I had to translate words to myself while others were talking as I had absolutely no idea what they were saying. Although we speak the same language, many people looked at me like I had two heads when I made the mistake of saying I played soccer instead of football. Funnily enough, one of my favorite things about London was learning all of the slang words they use and comparing it to words or phrases used back home.
WHY WORLD ENDEAVORS?
I actually found World Endeavors through an online search for international internships. I am so pleased I did because they provided so much support during the process before, during and after my internship. They are truly professional and care about the people they work with, it is a seamless transition and they provide so many resources to you that help make your internship experience truly amazing. They not only aid you in the visa process, which can be daunting, but they don’t stop contact once everything is sorted and you are on your placement. They are consistently reaching out and checking in making sure that everything is going well and are there to support you every step of the way. I would recommend World Endeavors to anyone who wants to pursue an internship.
WHERE ARE YOU NOW?
I am currently in London doing a Master’s program in Psychology at University of East London. Funnily enough, I am working as a representative for the flat complex I lived in while I was in my internship. I am helping them with move in and move outs, so hopefully more World Endeavors interns will come! I am hoping to continue work in the mental health sector and be able to truly impact the lives of people who are vulnerable. I could not have done this without World Endeavors and my experience has changed me for the better. Thank you!