My name is Dounia Omar and I have been an intern for the NGO Acopia. I’m a student in my last year of a Cultural Coordination Bachelor at the School of Arts and Culture in France.
I was motivated to do this internship because I want to work on cultural relationships between countries in the future, and organize events to help them understand more about each other’s culture and be more open minded to what might seem foreign. Also, I’ve always been really interested by Eastern Asia, and particularly Korea and Japan. I would want to work there in the future, and that’s why that internship seemed all my expectations.
My main activities were updating and redoing pages of the website with Photoshop, take pictures of the share house and Acopia café for the website, and looking for new partnerships for the NGO in foreign countries and especially in my country, France. My favourite activity was designing new webpages and posters (for communications purposes) on Photoshop because I like to be free to use my own creativity when I work. Also, using Photoshop was really fun and challenging because I had to learn more about the program to get what I wanted on my poster/webpage.
One of the challenges that I faced is create something new and appealing on my posters while respecting the current graphic chart of the website. In other terms, create something modern from something older. What was also challenging was finding relevant partnerships in my country for Acopia. Indeed, in France, foreigner friendly volunteer camps are mostly managed by the European Civic Service which is a public institution of the European Union, so I had to find volunteer experiences that were out of that institution which was quite hard. In fact, I couldn’t conclude a partnership within the time of my internship. However, despite those challenges, I developed a lot of skills during my time of work. I learned a lot about the Adobe Suite and especially Photoshop, I learned how to use it better and more efficiently. Also I learned about webdesigning and webmastering as I had to update the website and I was happy to add those new skills to my resume. I also learned about NGOs and their functioning in South Korea and compare them with the French NGOs and identify their differences and what they have in common. I also learned how to send e-mails to introduce a company to another one and propose a partnership in a more formal and professional way. Finally, this internship allowed to improve my Korean speaking skills.
As for my life in Korea it has been great. The accommodations were nice, the food very good and the people very kind and open minded. Of course there was a bit of a culture shock but nothing more than I was expecting. This trip was an occasion for me to learn about a culture that I didn’t know about and come back to France backed by this new knowledge. My time here was filled with experiences, either good or bad, all of it bringing me closer to my career goals.