Nicole

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Ateneo De Manila University

I’m Rissa Nicole Lumba, a Diplomacy and International Relations major from the Philippines. I decided to try out the ACOPIA internship program here in Seoul in order to experience NGO-related work and learn more about Korean culture. Aside from this, I also saw in ACOPIA an avenue for me to further hone the skills I have and share what I could offer.

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Speaking of exposure, I was also able to contact student organizations in my university and ask if they are willing to share ACOPIA Facebook page posts about internship programs Two out of the three organizations I negotiated with agreed to promote the said programs. In the next few days, I will be messaging their point persons again for the actualization of our agreement.

Perhaps the most fulfilling work I did the past month was the creation of the ACOPIA Friends International website as well as the translation of its content. Even though we were not tasked to finish the entire website completely, the skills I picked up while making it (and translating) are worth keeping to be applied in the future.

Aside from the usual desk work, I was also able to go out and hand flyers in Chung-ang University with my co-interns. It was great to have been able to interact with other university students and invite them to the cafe. Truth be told, promoting ACOPIA and its activities has been interesting because not only am I able to work and use my skills but also learn valuable skills and new things from both my fellow-interns and other people I cross paths with as I try to accomplish my tasks.

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Over the past month, I have been working on creating publication materials and flyers for ACOPIA’s internship programs - both in Seoul and in Japan - as well as our Workcamps. I particularly like this task because creating posters and graphical content is something I enjoy doing. With this task, I am also able to use the skill set I have on Adobe Photoshop as well as challenge myself by trying out new designs and layouts. In addition to this, I am also working on the promotion of ACOPIA’s programs on Facebook - both on the official Facebook page and on public intern groups. In order to make the posts more inviting and interesting, I use the publication materials that I made coupled with brief but catchy captions.

Instagram is another social media platform I am currently handling, along with my co-intern, Margarett. We decided to revamp the account by making posts that follow a specific theme in terms of editing; this comes with new and standard hashtags (#YouCanSitWithUs #ACOPIACafe), which we believe would establish ACOPIA Cafe’s brand identity. We continuously update this handle everyday in order to increase the exposure of the cafe.

Another good thing about ACOPIA is that the internship experience they provide goes beyond the corners of the office. A few weeks ago, we went on a tour to DMZ and was able to see North Korea from afar. It was a surreal experience especially given the historical context of the location. Personally, I found that the entire trip broadened both my knowledge and understanding of the relations between the two countries. I know that whatever I learned and got from our DMZ tour would be of use to me in my field of interest - International Relations.

ACOPIA also paved the way for me to meet people from a diverse cultural background. This helped me further appreciate cultures and values different from my own but special in their own ways. This was further encouraged by the ACOPIA-organized Korean language classes I took. Apart from learning more about Korean culture through my food and travel experiences, sitting down with a teacher who taught me basic Korean values as well as expressions fostered a deeper appreciation of the country and culture within which I am currently situated in.

Overall, my ACOPIA internship experience has encouraged my growth - both as a person and as a continuous learner. I am looking forward to everything I am yet to experience in the rest of my stay.