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Katya Porotnikova

My internship
Katya went for an internship with the Refugee Reception Centre in Debrecen, Hungary, where she spent three months working with activity programmes for people in asylum. She found it through the student organization AIESEC, which has a database with internships.

– I lived in the camp with the refugees, all of whom were waiting for a residence permit. This was actually the best part of the whole experience of being an intern, though the environment was quite tense. The refugees were primarily from Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iran and Iraq. Living in the camp helped me to establish a close connection to the refugees. My tasks consisted of creating activities, mainly for the women and children.
Katya believes that the master programme in Development Studies offers a good entrance to the field, while the internship is essential for gaining a full understanding of what’s working and what’s not working.

– The programme has provided theoretical tools, whereas the internship has given me the possibility to see how development in practice really works. I think it’s really important for students to “get out there and face the world”, says Katya.

Katya’s next assignment? In Pakistan where she’ll be working for an NGO with people hit by floods, though her professional dream is to keep working with refugee issues.

– My focal point has shifted from regulating to understanding refugees. That is, not only to study how to do development, but also the people who are affected. Through my internship I learned the importance of being reflective and trying to understand people in a delicate situation, rather than bringing fixed solutions to the table.

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Internship profile

Katya Porotnikova did an internship in a refugee center in Hungary

Name:
Katya Porotnikova

From:
Russia

Programme:
Master of Science in Development Studies

Internship:
Refugee Reception Centre in Debrecen, Hungary

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