International Internship 2011
International Internship 2011
Aiming to build a network for young Balkan-Americans, FEBA launched an internship program, providing an excellent opportunity for the youth to gain professional experience in top level companies in the Balkans, Turkey and the surrounding regions while visiting, residing and exploring their host cities.
This year FEBA presented their volunteers with the opportunity to participate in its first international Internship program, in an effort to offer them an experience interning at international companies / organizations, and to broaden their horizons in many ways. Our interns, besides developing further skills in their respective fields of work, made close friendships, traveled much, were able to explore different cultures, as well as participate in various activities in their host cities. In some cases they became the direct organizers and hosts of various activities meant to introduce them and bring them together with the cultures and peoples with whom they were interacting. Moreover, it left unforgettable memories and positive impressions on the host people and institutions. FEBA congratulates them in having achieved such overwhelming success.
This process was not just an internship and travel program, but it was also comprised of real training, sport activities, sightseeing, cultural immersion, and business/career development as well. There were meetings arranged with some companies, as well as CEO’s, where our interns benefited a lot by listening to their experiences and interacting with them. In addition, some of the internship companies offered a few of the interns’ fulltime positions. Most of the interns did not even know that Turkey was also a “Balkan Country”. Some had the chance to meet with their relatives living in Turkey. This brought out joyful emotions and a great sense of pride.
In fact, organizing for the first time such a massive program, it was inevitable that some inconveniences would result. In the short term, there were some unexpected problems and coordination issues; but thanks to our FEBA partners and volunteers, who tried to be accommodating and fix any issues quickly, some of the interns didn’t even notice the issues. Of course, we as FEBA tried to remain attentive and cognizant of everyone’s needs and documented every incident, so that we can take measures and not let the same situations occur again in the forthcoming years. There may have been problems that we didn’t notice, so you’re welcome to share them with us, in order to keep help with the improvement process to ensure that FEBA’s programs continue to benefit the communities it serves.
Hi, my name is Ammar Charaf and I would like to thank FEBA and Turkish Airlines for giving me the great opportunity to visit Turkey and participate in an amazing internship with Sema Hospital. It has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I was able to watch many operations including heart surgery and learn a tremendous amount from the many doctors. Many of the doctors spoke English so they were able to explain the operations, x-rays, or whatever it may be.
However, aside from the medical experience, I was able to learn about the culture of the Turkish people. Sema Hospital is a family and I was their guest. They fed me, and even after the work day and weekends, the staff offered to take me out to dinner where I would learn at least one historical fact about Turkey while eating a delicious meal, with delightful people.
I truly feel I have made very good connections and outstanding friends as we went out to dinner various nights with the other interns and when we went on an amazing cruise. It really was a memorable and delightful experience and I would do it all again if I had the chance.
I wanted to say thank you to both you and everyone at FEBA for organizing such a wonderful program and for all the hard work that was put into making it such a memorable experience. Going into it, I guess I was not quite sure what to expect, and initially there were some rough edges that needed smoothing out, but overall (and I say this without exaggeration) it was one of the best experiences of my life.
The people I met, the organizations I worked with and learned from- really impacted me. And spiritually, my experience in Turkey satiated the soul in a way that I can never thank you and FEBA enough for. I think the organization is very much acheiving its goal of setting an example, of fostering an environment where students are empowered to be agents of change in their own communities. Words of gratitude are not enough to thank FEBA for that.
"When I first heard about FEBA and the internship abroad in Turkey, I was extremely skeptical. Why would an organization simply send students to another country, pay their airfare, housing, food, find them a job and even pay them? It sounded too good to be true and I honestly thought it was a joke. After a lot of thinking, however, I decided to actually try it and see what this unheard of summer internship experience is about.
It was one of the best decisions of my life. Everything that was promised was actually true and more great surprises came along with it! We took amazing tours around Istanbul together, we had delicious cultural dinners a few nights a week, we met CEOs, NBA players and other famous people, we explored the one of a kind Turkish nightlife, we visited some of the most amazing Mosques in the world, we roamed the unbelievably cultural city, bargained with the salesmen on the streets, drank ridiculous amounts of tea and coffee, and that's only some of the experiences we had in Turkey!
All in all, I traveled to six cities around Turkey, met a number of amazing fellow students who I have become close friends with, and had the time of my life. Never did I think that I would be able to experience such a remarkable trip with so many friendly people and so many phenomenal adventures! I learned a lot, enjoyed myself and feel as if this whole experience has made me a better person. Whenever FEBA has this sort of trip again, I will pause everything I am doing, and be the first in line to sign up again! Thank you FEBA for such a life changing experience!"
First of all, thank you FEBA for organizing such an amazing program. Not only was this internship paid for but I didn’t know I would meet all these interesting people. We had a diverse group of people and the strange thing is that everybody acted like we knew each other from day one. I still keep track of couple of friends that I met in Istanbul.
My internship was with Surat Technology and I could not have asked for a better company to work for. Even though I didn’t know the language, they still gave me work to accomplish. I felt like I was part of a family at work because everybody was helping and looking out for each other. Also, I can’t forget about the tea. I never drink tea unless I was sick, but everybody at work, and Turkey, was drinking it. Now, I sometimes drink tea instead of coffee because I have gotten so much used to it and it feels normal.
I sometimes find myself thinking about Istanbul and wishing I was still there. I’ve gotten used to the city, people, and the ridiculous traffic. However, I would never have experienced that if it wasn’t for FEBA. Again, I thank you for memorable experience.