By Raahil Krishna Amarshi, Lehigh Internship Program participant
My name is Raahil Amarshi. I am a Tanzanian student at Lehigh University, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. I just completed my first year of university in the USA pursuing industrial and systems engineering alongside computer science. My university consists of an Iacocca International Internship Program (IIIP) which sends students abroad on summer internships to several different countries. Due to my interest in international travel, I applied to participate in this program and was selected to come to Macedonia whereby I worked with the American Councils on their Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program.
The goal of this program was to build skills of adapting to different cultures and lifestyles alongside working in the office. This meant that certain challenges included living with a host family, reaching out to people and making new friends, etc. However, alongside those challenges, I had the pleasure of exploring the beautiful country on my own, eating Macedonian delicacies and most of all, making memories with people that I would never have imagined coming across.
In the office, I was assigned numerous administrative duties which often involved working with documentation of events, statistics, etc. In addition, I was also in charge of updating social media when the students participated in events that would prepare them for this exchange program. My favorite aspect of this job was that it involved interacting with plenty of new people and that helped me adopt at a quicker pace since I was welcomed by all those I met.
When it came to socializing and making new friends in a stranger country, I was very grateful that the size of this city was comparatively small and so, the ease of commuting made it easy to make plans to meet friends. Time flew by and I never realized how I had managed to find my comfort zone in a stranger country that in the beginning would be classified as “outside my comfort zone”. My habit of not denying any new experience has led me to making ever-lasting memories and unbreakable bonds of friendship. All in all, this program has not only developed in me a desire to have a unique view of every place I visit, but also has it made me want to re-visit Macedonia at a future stage.