Friday, December 11, 2009

The end

Well the internship was certainly more exciting at the beginning with the conferences and everything about Iran going on. But I used the last couple of weeks to start packing and shipping things home and to research for my paper. Berlin was amazing! I recommend it for anyone who likes history! Getting to see the Reichstag, the Berlin Wall, the Ishtar Gate, etc...... was amazing!!

One cool thing that happened a couple of weeks before I left was the Marine Ball! Tickets were a bit pricey, but since I had brought a dress with me anyways, and I wouldn't get to go to any other balls, I decided to pay and go! It was super fun, and had really good food!

My last weekend, my roommates and I decided to go to Prague for the weekend since it's only a 4 hour train trip from Vienna. I wish I had weeks to spend there because 1.5 days was not enough time at all! We saw Charles Bridge, the Torture Museum, and the big Cathedral inside Prague Castle. A lot of walking was involved...a lot!

My mom and little brother flew over to Europe to meet me in Paris the day after my internship ended, so we spent a little less than a week there...including Thanksgiving, which was spent in the Hard Rock Cafe!


Well this internship was a huge eye opener for me. When I got to Vienna in September I didn't even really know what the IAEA was or what exactly it was that I would be doing there. I learned a lot about nuclear issues, mostly about non-proliferation, which suits my master's degree just fine since it's about International Security. I also got to know Vienna really well. I had been there 10 years ago on a school trip but we were only in the city for a couple of days so it was nice to be able to get to know the public transportation and the city and everything I didn't get to see then.

I would encourage anyone who wants to be involved with the State Department, or the government in general, to at least apply for an internship. Even if you don't get it the first time you apply, I applied every semester and most summer from the time I graduated high school, and it finally paid off!

I had such a fun time in Vienna and everywhere I got to travel too; and I also learned a lot! Hopefully my time there will pay off (literally I hope! :) ) with whatever job that I begin in the future!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

PACT, a Reception and Berlin!

The main thing that I went to this week was a PACT event that was featuring Ambassador Nancy Brinker and Professor Peter Boyle called The Globalization of Cancer. Ambassador Brinker is currently the WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Cancer Control, and she is the one who started the Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure for her sister. Professor Boyle is the President at the International Prevention Research Institute. It was actually really interesting and opened my eyes to the reality of cancer in 3rd world countries, that around 50% of women in those countries die of breast cancer; a cancer that 97% of women in the more developed countries survive. Professor Boyle opened my eyes as well, when he was speaking mainly of tobacco related cancer and death and said that the number of tobacco related deaths will dump by the millions, if not tens or hundreds of millions in the next century.

Later that night, there was a reception held at Ambassador Davies' house (The ambassador where I work, at UNVIE) honoring both Ambassador Brinker and Professor Boyle. I was invited to that and got to meet both of Amb. Brinker and Prof. Boyle and talk with them for a little bit during the night. It was a pretty awesome reception, with good food and drinks! I also got to network a little, got some business cards, that kind of thing....which can never be a bad thing!

At the end of the week was when I left for Berlin! be continued

Amerika Haus and the Bilat (embassy)

Well, I got back from Finland on the 12th which conveniently was an American holiday (Columbus Day) and on Tuesday I went to what is called the Amerika Haus to help the Bilat intern set up and generally help out with an event which had professors and students talking about a program held between Butler University and Vienna during the summer. It was pretty interesting, they went on trips in the US that I would have liked to go on, like the Route 66 trip and the trip down the Mississippi, both by buses. Afterwards I went back to the Bilat, but didn't really do anything but look around because it was around 3-4pm and nothing really was happening.

The next day, the 14th, I was back at the Bilat and drafted some memos for my "boss" of the day which was a new experience for me. I also (tried to) update the Intellipedia article on Vienna. It's like Wikipedia, but for the intelligence community and other government employees. That did not work out since I have not really ever taken a computer class I'm kind of clueless when it comes to editing web pages, but it was an interesting little side street to what I would normally do!

Also, I got to meet Ambassador Eacho! He's a really nice, fun guy it seemed like, very down to earth. He just chatted with us ( I was with Zach, the Bilat intern) about school and if we liked it here, etc..., but then we had to leave because the boy scouts were coming in.

That was about it that week, pretty quiet because of the holiday at the beginning.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Finland October 10th-12th!

The weekend of the 10th, I went up to Finland to visit a friend I hadn't seen in over 5 years! It was a short, but sweet trip up there, and pretty interesting since I have never been to Finland before. I flew into Helsinki- not the best flight, but not the worst, I'm a bad judge since I think all flights are terrible though... and stayed there for 1 night and then we went to Turku, where my friend lives, and stayed at his house the next night and then I went back to Vienna the next day!

This is the Olympic tower, where the flame was kept burning during the 1952 summer Olympics. It was 11 stories high, I think, and had amazing views. (No worries, I did not die trying to walk up all those stairs...there was an elevator! In fact, you could not even use the stairs at all)
These two pictures are views from the top of the Olympic spiral flame holder at the Olympic stadium where the 1952 Olympics were held. Once again I lucked out and it was beautiful (but freezing) out!

This is the National History Museum. It was a lot bigger inside than I thought it would be, we spent probably 3 hours in there. But it was very very interesting, probably because I had never been in a museum that had really anything about Finland before, so I learned a lot about Finnish history and culture. It had exhibits from the prehistoric times all the way up until present time, including a room on Lapland! (where the reindeer are and Santa supposedly lives)
This is really the only thing I got to see in Turku because we got there around 9pm and so we just walked around the river once and then went back to sleep and I left around 10 the next morning so there wasn't time to do anything, but it is a very pretty city from what I saw and I recommend seeing it because next year it will be a culture capital in Europe!

Belvedere and work

Well the next week on October 4th, I decided to visit Belvedere, home of The Kiss by Gustav Klimt.

Picture by: Wikipedia

Belvedere was amazing! It's such a beautiful building!
These two pictures show the back of the building as well as the view of the gardens. Thankfully I lucked out and it was an amazing day out!
This was just a funny sign that was pointing to a souvenir shop across the street where Sharon Stone apparently bought something.
During work, I began my new project for Heather, the NRC attache, which was writing a draft on conference conclusions for a conference being held in South Africa in December. Yes I know it was the conclusions....apparently they will just add the specifics after the meetings, but would like everything else added before...
I also got to have my courtesy call with our ambassador (not the main Ambassador to Vienna, the ambassador to US Missions). We just sat and chatted about a lot of things for about 30min, what I'm doing, how I like it here, where do I go to school, etc... I also got to know a little more about him, and it's pretty to realize that an ambassador is just a regular guy with a family, not some scary way high up important government man!
On Thursday and Friday, the only thing that really happened was that I helped to set up for some talks that were being held in our office with the Indian delegation, and I got to be their escort up to the office! They were all very nice, and polite.

Klosterneuburg and the NRC

The week of September 27th- October 3rd started off with a trip to the Klosterneuberg Monastery with a friend. It's a very interesting 900 year old monastery/palace/church! We took a tour, which was actually very nice because there was only a British couple with us, so it was like paying for a big general tour but getting a private tour!
The altar piece on the left is called the Verdun Altar and is 900 years old and the little box on top holds the bones of St. Leopold. It is is the second largest gold and enamel alter piece in existence, and there are three rows, one from the Old Testament before Moses, one from the Old Testament after Moses and one is the New Testament.

This is a picture of the front of the church.

Picture by: Chtamina

At the start of the week I went to some meetings with the NRC attache Heather. They were really just organizational meetings about the big meetings coming up in December and in 2011, but they were still pretty interesting. I took notes for them and wrote up summaries at the end of each day. The first meeting was the First Extraordinary Meeting and dealt with some changes that had been made to some resolution drafts and the discussion of a hand over meeting for the new officers and when that would take place. The second was called the Fifth Organizational Meeting which basically dealt with the dividing up of the member states into country groups. There was also a time set up for opinions on the review process which went into along drawn out discussion because some countries did not understand what was being said and done for some of the issues discussed. That was September 28th and 29th and on the 30th I finished up my part of the General Plenary cable, which had been to look through every statement in search of what each state had said about Syria and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. (DPRK)

That was about all that happened that week