Summer Internships: Anna Lowrance '24
Name: Anna Lowrance
Class Year: 2024
Major: Political Science
Hometown: Johns Creek, Georgia
Internship Organization: Moabit Hilft, e.V.
Job Title: Summer Intern
Location: Berlin, Germany
What's happening at your internship? We would love to hear what kind of work you are doing!
I’m interning at Moabit Hilft this summer, which is essentially an active citizens’ initiative working for the protection of persecuted people and refugees in adherence with the Geneva Refugee Convention. Moabit Hilft assists with navigating the integration process in Berlin by providing a variety of essential resources: access to a soup kitchen and clothing drive, as well as other counseling services related to contacting authorities and other institutions to clarify legal matters, preparing for hearings at the BAMF (Federal Office for Migration and Refugees), support in finding housing accommodations, and language mediation. My daily tasks are wide-ranging, as our team is responsible for addressing unpredictable issues raised in numerous languages in service of the clientele. With this, I’m getting to know people from different backgrounds and learning about various refugee crises in the German context.
Why did you apply for this internship?
I applied for an internship with Moabit Hilft this summer because I’m extremely passionate about contributing to the effort to improve the lives of immensely vulnerable people: there were 35.3 million refugees forced to flee their homes in 2022 alone from violent conflict, human rights violations, and the implications of the climate crisis. I’ve engaged with the issues fueling the global displacement of people in an academic setting as a political science major, but interning with Moabit Hilft has allowed me to contribute to helping people on the ground in a practical way.
Was there anything special about how you found this internship?
I applied for the IES Summer Internship Abroad Program in Berlin, Germany, through the Career and Civic Engagement Center. Living and working in Berlin for two months has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life so far: a dream come true. And as I'm already in Europe this summer, this program has enabled me to travel beyond Germany with a month-long backpacking trip planned for after the program ends in August through Italy, Switzerland, Greece, and Turkey. I'm traveling with a good friend during the first week, then going on a solo adventure for the rest of the month!
What has been your favorite part of this internship?
I absolutely love the sense of community among the people working at Moabit Hilft this summer. Despite the disheartening nature of the issues at hand, the organization is sustained by endless laughter and friendship.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced at your internship?
Effectively communicating in an environment with numerous languages spoken at any given time has been challenging this summer, as most conversations involve revolving translations between English and Arabic and Russian and Ukrainian and German, and so on. But this challenge has enabled me to seek out alternative methods of communication in order to successfully carry out work-related tasks and forge friendships with co-workers from all over the world: speaking the same language is important, but there are so many other universal ways to communicate too.
What is most rewarding about your internship?
Making a tangible difference in building a kinder world for those affected by unspeakable tragedy is an immensely rewarding pursuit. Having the opportunity to work directly with people affected by the refugee crisis and alongside other people who share my passion for this kind of community work in service of a greater cause this summer will continue to inform my worldview for the rest of my life: die würde des menschen ist unantastbar.
Visit the Summer Internship Stories page to read more about student internship experiences.