Anastasia Korolj Reflects on Her Summer Internship
Looking back on the two wonderful months I spent doing an internship in Sweden, I am overwhelmed that so much could be—and truly was—done, learned, and made memorable in such a short amount of time. The valuable insight and experience I have gained from working, from Swedish culture, and from the talented people I have met, has made a lasting impact on my life and on who I am as a person.
The work experience presented by my internship was interesting and appropriate for my skill level. I was working on a project about wastewater treatment which is relevant to my engineering degree. I was pleased to be able to use the various skills and knowledge I had been practicing and studying for so long in school. Not only does the application of the things I study make them come alive, but it has allowed me to see how skills and knowledge are all interconnected, and how their combined use is what leads to the best results. Being immersed in the learning and working environment at the university was also new and gratifying. I was welcomed into a team of professionals of a wide variety of skill levels, areas of expertise, ages and backgrounds. Being treated with respect and trust by colleagues has given me that initial confidence which will help to motivate and inspire me in the time to come.
Another new environment I was exposed to was that of the country I was in for the first time: Sweden. There is something unique to find in each country with its own rich history. I was really fortunate to have spent two months in beautiful Sweden. I felt welcome and noticed kindness and sincerity in people, who were happy to include me in their traditions— from “Midsummer” on the summer solstice where we danced around a flowery midsummer pole and ate traditional foods like herring, potatoes and strawberries, to “fika,” the coffee breaks which were an important part of every day.
While I saw much in a new country to do with architecture, culture, and lifestyle, it’s also the people one meets that can make a lasting impact. They are the ones who offer support, reach out to help in times of need, who are there to laugh when there is something funny, and who want to make memories.
Overall, doing research abroad has opened my mind to many new and wonderful things. I have learned more about my topic than I thought could be possible in two months, picked up new skills and fine-tuned existing ones, saw and enjoyed a new land and with it its culture, and learned so much more about myself and others. My internship abroad has given many lessons and lasting memories that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I am glad to know that I am returning home a wiser person.
I give many thanks to my coordinators who made this experience possible and who enlightened me when everything seemed overwhelming; my professor who showed trust and patience in me and my work and guided me towards the right conclusions; colleagues and other students and faculty who made me feel welcome and included in the working environment and who were always eager to show me more; and the people I met and friends I made who were always happy to share time and memories with me.
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CIE Welcome Reception
On Friday, September 7th the Centre for International Experience welcomed new international and exchange students with a free BBQ. Students enjoyed their cupcakes and BBQ inside and on the lawn of the Cumberland House. City of Toronto and U of T representatives were on hand to welcome the students with speeches.
It was a beautiful day and a great way to cap off orientation activities at CIE!
Science without Borders students at the CIE Welcome Reception.