Home

 

Getting Experience

- # of # Filtered -

Getting In Sync In Nairobi

Q&A with Elisabeth: Interned in Kenya
Share this
Print this
Elisabeth
Interned in Kenya
University of Waterloo
Her thoughts on Motivation
As someone who loves to learn new languages, immerse myself in different cultures, and engage in unique travel experiences, I had a desire to go out and explore the world around me.
Her thoughts on Language Learning
Whether I was at work, volunteering, or just walking in the markets, locals would take the time to teach me a few words in Kiswalhili.
Her thoughts on Language Learning
In the workplace, everyone spoke in English, but my supervisors and co-workers taught me a few words in the local language, and when I would go out on weekends to the market, I would try to apply what I’d learned.

Where did you intern abroad? What was your position?

I was an intern at Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi. My internship was working as a project officer in the nursing services department, so I had the opportunity to collaborate with a variety of people, which was a great exposure to the international workplace. I learned from physicians, nurses, pharmacists and even patients.

What made you want to intern abroad?

As someone who loves to learn new languages, immerse myself in different cultures and engage in unique travel experiences, I had a desire to go out and explore more of the world around me. After traveling to Brazil with Global Youth Network in the summer after my first year of undergraduate studies, I decided that I wanted to complete at least one of my work terms abroad.

How did you conduct your search? What made you select your program/company?

I was part of the co-op program at the University of Waterloo. As a result, we had access to a database of jobs and internships, one of which was a posting by Aga Khan University. I’ve always especially wanted to work in a developing country, so I decided to apply for the posting.

How did you deal with the cultural divide during your internship?

People were amazing and warm, and because of that I was able to learn a lot more about the local culture than I might have otherwise. I had amazing supervisors and co-workers who patiently introduced me to the culture in Kenya while I was doing my internship there. I also made local friends, some of whom taught me to cook traditional dishes. There were certain foods that I had in Nairobi that I never had in Canada – for instance I learned to make chapatis, githeri, mukimo, pulao, sukuma wiki and ugali from my friends and co-workers. My favorite dish is pulao rice.

Whether I was at work, volunteering, or just walking in the markets, locals would take the time to teach me a few words in Kiswalhili. I am so grateful and blessed to have encountered such phenomenal people full of kindness and care while I was in Kenya.

What was the most important thing you learned about communicating in a foreign culture?

In the workplace, everyone spoke in English, but my supervisors and co-workers taught me a few words in the local language, and when I would go out on weekends to the market, I would try to apply what I’d learned. My sentence structure and pronunciation might not have been perfect, but the locals were really helpful, and everything becomes easier with practice!

What is your number one tip for anyone hoping to follow in your footsteps?

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone!

What are your future plans for going abroad and for your career?

I definitely want to spend some more time exploring different parts of the world because there is still so much to learn and experience. In the future, I hope to be able to find a career that would enable me to make a positive impact especially in impoverished areas of the world.

Advice from MyWorldAbroad
Jean-Marc Hachey, Publisher

As is the case with many people, Elisabeth's first experience abroad has ignited an intense curiosity about the world, and a desire to work internationally assisting those in need. If you are interested in starting out on a career in international development, try and spend as much time as possible overseas before graduation. If you choose to pursue a master’s after your undergrad degree, consider extending your term of study to incorporate an internship or research project abroad. The more experience you have working in developing nations or with international development non-profits, the more hirable you’ll be after graduation. The links below will be useful to anyone setting out on a career in international development.

  • Whatever your major, consider reading the section NGOs & International Development. An essential factor in becoming successful in this field is to develop managerial skills in addition to your specialized skills.
Elisabeth's Next Steps
Advice from MyWorldAbroad
by the founder of MyWorldAbroad
Jean-Marc Hachey
Want to Have the Same Experience?
Sample Application Documents: See How Others Did It!
Get inspired by actual documents that real students used to apply for internships, volunteer positions and other go abroad experiences.
In a Rush? Read These Articles First
These carefully chosen articles will lead you to our most important go abroad strategies!
Discover the Career Value of Going Abroad
Get the facts! See surveys and stats linking your experiences abroad to future career success.
Quick Guides! Our Most Popular Go Abroad Topics
View, print or share our easy-to-use guides available in English, French and Spanish.
The World Online
Want to stay in touch with the world? Check out these top (and sometime quirky) links!
Do You Have Enough International Experience?
Have you maximized your international experience? Are you ready for the international job search? Find out!
What's Your International IQ?
How much do you really know about living and working abroad? Take this quiz to find out!
Are You Prepared for the International Job Search?
How much do you know about international jobs in your field? Get ready for a targeted job search!
Quizzes: Your Master Scorecard
Check your scores for all quiz categories: international skills, experience & the job search.
Self-Evaluations: Think Analytically About Going Abroad
Keep track of your evolving international skill set before, during and after your international experience. Be ready to apply for jobs in the global economy.
Career-Boosting Strategies for International Students Studying in North America
What does it take for an international student to succeed in North America? We’ve got tips to help you thrive!
Earn $50 Gift Card & Submit Your Story From Abroad
Been abroad? Want to share your story? Submit your Q&A today to see your experience online!
Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to all your questions about MyWorldAbroad by diving into our Frequently Asked Questions section.
Top Tips on Going Abroad & Your Career
Scan our top tips in 40 go abroad subject areas: international skills, getting experience, finding work, and the professions.
Your International Resume & LinkedIn
Write your international resume first, and then create that all-important LinkedIn profile.
International Skills: Be More Than Just a Tourist!
International people have a unique skill set. Learn the terminology and get professional about describing your time abroad.
100+ Career-boosting Strategies While Abroad
Discover enterprising, innovative ideas for how to demonstrate your international skills to future employers.
9760
- # of # Filtered -
  • 90
90
9773
Independent In India
1
9765
Simpatico In Florence
2
9767
Beyond The Call Of Duty In Africa
3
9776
Soaking Up Japanese Culture
4
9742
Take-Charge Travel: Germany And Beyond!
5
10230
Getting Caffeinated In Bolivia
6
11467
Stepping Outside the Box in Sweden!
7
10204
Across Europe In A Caravan!
8
11468
Learning While Teaching in Beijing
9
10145
Real Stories And Real People In Mexico
10
9787
A Spring Semester In London
11
9771
Learning To Love London
12
11645
A Love Affair with Shanghai
13
11845
Hospitality and Hosting in the DCR
14
9781
A Hospital Helper In Costa Rica
15
11996
Daring to Go Solo in Ireland
16
9762
American Freshman In London
17
12058
Architectural Adventures in Australia
18
9766
Short-Term Trips For Long-Term Gain
19
15327
An Open Mind & Open Arms in Spain
20
15387
Bliss on a Budget in Brazil
21
9803
Ten Years Teaching In Seoul
22
9769
Getting Sporty In Switzerland!
23
9791
Making Contacts Count In The UK
24
10851
Tips From Tasmania
25
15405
From Daydream to Reality: Teaching Abroad
26
15401
From Korea to Oman: Teaching English Around the World!
27
15383
Hustle and Bustle in Vietnam
28
15347
12 Months, 12 Countries!
29
15333
A Literary Education in the UK
30
14594
Growing Abroad: Hong Kong & South Korea
31
9770
Contributing To Change In Ghana
32
9760
Getting In Sync In Nairobi
33
9799
Getting Settled In Seoul
34
10258
Encountering Cultures Across Europe
35
9772
Learning To Go With The Flow In France
36
10218
Adaptation And Appreciation In Japan
37
9785
Motivated In Madagascar
38
9786
Kids And Culture In Korea
39
9748
Adventure In The Alps
40
9788
Business And Pleasure In Australia
41
9744
Food, Fun And Festivals In Germany
42
9747
Fun And Friends In The Netherlands
43
9750
Host Hospitality In Morocco
44
9754
Building Memories In India
45
9752
Giving In Guatemala
46
9775
A Year Of Feeling French
47
9777
Into The Wild In Alaska
48
9759
From Cold Feet To Confidence In Germany
49
9779
One Summer, Two Internships!
50
9753
A Season In Sweden
51
10923
Insight And Education In Korea
52
11557
Un stage au Cambodge (Français)
53
9812
Caring And Career Skills In Belize
54
10157
Changing Course In China
55
9740
Sports, Study And Fun In France
56
9778
Study And Adventure In New Zealand
57
9755
People, Places And Passionate Volunteering In Peru
58
9738
Living For The Moment In Valencia
59
11850
The Warmest Welcome in Guatemala
60
9783
Off The Beaten Path In Africa
61
9757
Teaching And Learning In Tanzania
62
9741
Adapting To Work In Peru
63
9746
A Cross-Cultural Co-Op In West Africa
64
9789
Loving Life In Lyon
65
9784
Skill-Building In Bonn
66
9774
Gaga For Ghana!
67
9745
An Unforgettable Adventure In Nanjing
68
9792
Rolling With The Punches In Seoul
69
10188
Now Or Never In Colombia
70
11904
Enthusiasm, Education and Experience in Greece
71
9807
Fast Friendship In Korea
72
9790
Design And Dining In Korea
73
9758
Learning The Local Ways Of Addis Ababa
74
10163
English Teaching In Eastern Europe
75
9768
Going Solo In Spain!
76
14483
Finding Home, By Teaching Abroad
77
9743
Hooked On Volunteering!
78
10153
China, South Africa And Beyond!
79
14088
An Eye-Opening Experience Teaching in South Korea
80
9751
A Canadian Globe-Trotter Visits The US
81
9737
Passionate About Panama
82
10192
Out And About In Paris
83
9780
A Year In Marvelous Mexico!
84
9763
A Professional Visit To Vietnam
85
9764
Do It Yourself! A Proactive Intern In Rome
86
10143
A Warm Welcome In Mexico
87
9756
Springtime In Spain
88
9782
Making The Most Of Milano
89
9761
Communicating Creatively In Spain
90
9760
All Job Boards
462
All NGOs
1433
Au Pair Resources
39
Awards And Grants Resources
54
Business Directories
17
Canadian Federal, Provincial And Territorial Government Profiles
60
Canadian Government Resources
28
Children And Families Abroad
16
Consulting, Economic And Finance Job Boards
63
Country Guides
71
Cross-cultural Skills
80
Engineering Job Boards
59
Engineering Resources
81
Expatriate Networking Sites
32
Foreign Students Working in the US
9
Freelancing Abroad
27
General Job Search Books
15
Global Education And Social Action
44
Health And Medicine Job Boards
48
Health Career Resources
67
International Associations With Clubs on Campus
45
International Development Career Resources
75
International Internship Organizations
295
International Internships And Student Programs With Canadian Governments
31
International Internships With The US Government
37
International Job Hunting Resources
13
International Law Careers Resources
113
International Law Job Boards
26
International Student Exchanges [under construction until 2020/07/15]
2
International Studies In The US And Canada
13
International Trade Resources
25
International Volunteer Organizations
487
Internship Directories And Advice
37
Internships With The UN And Other IGOs
156
Language Careers
30
Learn A Language
106
Licensed Teacher Abroad Job Boards
29
Licensed Teacher Abroad Resources
31
Loans for Studying Abroad
18
Low-cost Travel
63
NGO Directories
33
NGO Job Boards
47
Re-entry
12
Regional Job Boards
102
Relocating Abroad
27
Resources For International Students Studying In The US Or Canada
48
Stories From Abroad
90
Study Abroad Resources
187
Teach English Abroad Job Boards
99
Teach English Abroad Resources
64
Tools for Travelers
73
Top International Blogs & Podcasts
84
Travel Health And Safety
39
UN and Other IGOs
266
UN And Other IGOs Job Boards
26
UN And Other IGOs Resources
73
US Government Profiles
76
US Government Resources
36
Virtual International Internship Organizations
62
Visas and Passports
25
Volunteer Directories And Advice
50
Women Living And Working Overseas
18
Working Holiday Resources
73