New Zealand Embassy Berlin, Germany
My ‘summer break’ in a German winter: New Zealander Miriam Chew relates her experience as an Intern at the Hamburg Senate Chancellery.
There and Back Again: My German Experience.
Guten Tag! My German experience dates back to a High School Exchange in the same year I sat NCEA level 3 German. A few years later with an additional University German language exchange under my belt, I found myself again in Germany. This time I was back in Deutschland for an internship at the Hamburg Senate Chancellery over my “summer” break.
During my internship, I undertook several duties: translating official correspondence into English, preparing presentations for visiting Foreign Diplomats, research, and much more. Having a connection with New Zealand (known as the “Traumland” or Dream Country at the other end of World) also helped in settling into the work environment. In my first week I met a colleague who completed a master’s degree in Wellington as well as another whose daughter was on exchange in New Zealand. I was also able to spend some time in the International Relations Department in relation to Hamburg’s partnership with Auckland.
Over the course of my time here, I gained an insider perspective into German and European Public Law. Working in a German Language speaking Environment was also a new experience - especially getting used to switching between the “Sie” and “Du” forms. Fortunately, the work atmosphere was very welcoming and supportive for international interns and there were various opportunities to catch up with the other interns, trainees and staff at the Senate Chancellery.
Alongside the work experience, I made the most out of the weekends, travelling to Berlin for International Green Week as well as to Cologne for Carnival – so dubbed the fifth season of the year. Another special highlight was spending Waitangi Day in Hamburg with other New Zealand delegates in Germany and visiting the Maori Meeting House “Rauru” at the Hamburg Museum of Ethnology.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Germany and will be bringing back fond memories back home to Aotearoa. Finally, I would like to thank the staff at the Hamburg Senate Chancellery for this valuable learning experience.