My Experience as an Intern at FNF Greece and Cyprus Office
My name is Bilge Ece Zeyrek, a PhD student and research assistant in the International Relations Department at Middle East Technical University, Turkey. I recently completed a two-week internship at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation Greece and Cyprus Office in Athens. Despite the short duration, I had an amazing experience during my internship at the Office. I received a warm welcome and continuous support from project coordinator Alona Tatarova and project assistant Eleni Siapikoudi, and I am immensely grateful to them.
Throughout my internship, I had a unique opportunity to witness firsthand how a political foundation, dedicated to promoting liberal ideas, operates in a challenging political environment. Through attending various meetings, I felt welcomed and gained valuable insights into the foundation's processes. The team introduced me to new contacts, ensuring that I felt connected and engaged throughout my stay.
Not only did my time in Athens provide valuable insights into working within a political foundation, but it also contributed to my personal growth. I learned to be independent in a new country, embraced new experiences, and developed a greater appreciation for a different culture. Additionally, my stay allowed me to contribute to breaking down misconceptions and prejudices between Greece and Turkey. Coinciding with the second round of elections, I had the opportunity to firsthand experience the political dynamics and election atmosphere in Greece. This experience further expanded my understanding and fostered greater cultural exchange.
Overall, my internship at the FNF Greece and Cyprus Office in Athens was an incredible experience. I want to express my sincere gratitude to Alona, Eleni, and the entire team for their support. I wholeheartedly recommend my friends to pursue internships at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. Reach out to the office to apply for an internship and prepare for an enriching and inspiring experience in Athens!
Bilge Ece Zeyrek is a PhD student and research assistant in the International Relations Department at Middle East Technical University, Turkey.