In anticipation of our incoming applications for the Edinburgh Study Centre Internship we’re catching up with all of our previous interns to see how they felt about their time in London and Edinburgh. Check out this brilliant follow up with our first ever Edinburgh Intern Autumn Monteforte!
Hi there, I’m Autumn and I was the first ever Edinburgh Study Centre Intern! I held the internship from August 2014 through July 2015. I’m also a UC Irvine graduate (Zot zot!) who spent my 3rd year studying abroad with UCEAP in beautiful Galway, Ireland.
During my year in Ireland, the travel bug bit me hard and I knew I wanted to incorporate more international experiences into my personal and professional life. 2 weeks before graduation, I got an email highlighting the new Edinburgh Study Centre Internship position and it sounded like the perfect opportunity for someone like me who was looking to continue developing Marketing skills whilst also gaining experience within the field of International Education.
Coming into the internship, I somewhat naively expected many aspects of my time in Edinburgh to mirror my experiences in Galway. When I studied abroad, I took for granted how easy it was to make friends. With so many new international students all starting at once, I had a social circle of people in my same situation almost immediately upon arriving in Ireland. In Edinburgh, it was more challenging to meet people. I found myself doing things alone a lot more often-travelling alone, eating out alone, etc. Initially, I felt lonely because of this but over time I grew to enjoy my own company and found new ways to meet people around the city. I considered myself a fairly independent person before the internship, but my time in Edinburgh definitely accentuated this trait.
The ESC staff and the bond I shared with Hilary and Fraser during my time as ESC Intern truly made Edinburgh feel like home. I also loved learning about the various functional areas of an International Education organisation and felt very engaged in the projects I worked on given how personally I connected to many of them as a UCEAP alum myself. Hearing student experiences and stories was another super rewarding part of the internship, as I was able to see the truly life-changing opportunities study abroad creates for so many young people!
What was the transition home like after your job here?
My transition back to life in the States didn’t happen immediately after the internship. After leaving Edinburgh, I moved back to Ireland and spent a year in Dublin working in the International Office at University College Dublin. Readjusting to living and working in a new foreign city definitely did not come without its challenges, but I felt confident and prepared for the new adventure given the experiences and growth I had acquired during the ESC internship.
Visas expired, suitcases worn and bank account empty-I found myself back home in San Diego in summer of 2016. The transition to life back in the US was a roller coaster of emotions. Trying to fully capture how influential my year in Edinburgh was to friends and family was a challenge and I often felt myself yearning to go back and continue living the independent, adventurous life I created for myself in Scotland. Still now, over a year after moving back to the US, I find myself missing the little things about life in Edinburgh-my daily walks to the supermarket, the Irish pub I frequented way too often, my morning bus route into the office, the Edinburgh gloom, and the shop near the ESC office with the best beans and cheese chips. However, I have also noticed my appreciation for the things that make California so special has definitely increased as I’ve reacquainted myself here at home and I try to create little local adventures as often as I can!
In addition, my time abroad post-graduation definitely left an impact on me professionally. I hope to continue developing my skills within International Education here at home and make a career out of encouraging young people to explore our world and discover new things about themselves and others!
What are you doing now?
Currently I am working in a Marketing role in San Diego and saving up for my next adventure! I will be moving to New Zealand in early 2018 on a working holiday visa!
Do you have any words of advice for future applicants?
I encourage anyone to apply who has an interest in International Education and is eager to challenge themselves as they enter the chaos and confusion that is post-grad life. Apply for this internship if you are passionate about study abroad and are interested in working on projects that illustrate the various aspects of an International Ed organisation. Edinburgh is a magical city and the ESC staff are awesome-this experience is truly an incredibly unique and rewarding post-grad opportunity!
“Eat well. Travel often.” 🙂