Since last spring I have been working in a school project that aims to develop students’ understanding of international working. During the spring semester we had several guests visiting us and telling about their experiences. We got to meet Red Cross volunteers who work in the catastrophe areas, and UN youths sharing their stories of having internships abroad, just to name few. So this is basically the background of the project. By hearing of all those stories I would say I got a quite broad look into what it is like to work in an international environment. It was overwhelming to see how many options there are to acquire international experience! Internships, volunteering, Erasmus program…
The highlight of the course was our study trip to Geneva, Switzerland on 10.-14.11.2015. We contacted non-governmental organizations and asked if it was possible to have a job-shadowing day at the office. Me and two of my friends are really interested in the work of the international Red Cross so of course immediately when we got the date of our trip confirmed, we sent a message to IFRC. They were so kind to welcome us to the office, and the day was just perfect. We got to meet so many people and hear about the actual work that is being done in Geneva. We wrote a post to our project blog as well at http://blogit.jao.fi/geneve/2015/11/18/our-visit-in-the-ifrc-oona-huttunen-ronja-honkonen-anni-aikas/ where we talk about what it meant to us to be able to visit the organization and about the day itself. Later on this year we will keep updating the website. It will be our final work as well. The trip wasn’t just about the job-shadowing day even though it was the highlight. We also visited Cern, the Red Cross Museum and UN headquarters.
From the blog:
“It was delightful to realize that we can use what we learned in the daily basis, and that’s probably one of the most important things to be learned.”
“We left the organization cheerful, with warm hearts and more aware of the organization and its work. We could see ourselves working in the international organization like IFRC in the future.”
Personally I love museums and the Red Cross museum was definitely one of the best museums I’ve ever visited. Its execution is terrific, you can spend hours there without getting tired. With the little spare time we had I took the change and visited the museum of art and history as well the archeological site of St. Pierre’s Cathedral.
Everything we saw and heard during our trip made a huge impact to us, but the most important were the people. I just want to finish this post by saying huge thanks to our project team, teachers, employees of the NGOs and local people who were so nice and helpful during our visit. Thank you all.