For four weeks in May, the office of Citizens’ was filled with joy and heat of the Berlin summer! A new season brings a new face to our Berlin headquarters and we welcomed Elisa Kaurala, from Finland, to our international team as she completed her internship with us. We sat down and talked to this youthful intern of ours as she shared her experience.
>> Can you tell us a bit about yourself? And why you did you come to Berlin and Citizens of Europe?
I am a full-time student from Finland and studying to become a teacher in an Intercultural teacher-programme. I visited Berlin last year and liked the city so much that I wanted to come back for a longer time.
I wanted to come to Citizens of Europe to do my internship because I was interested in the themes and projects the organisation works on; they are closely related to my studies at my university.
>> What projects have you been involved in, in the past month, and how do you feel about it/them?
Unfortunately my internship lasted for only 4 weeks so I was not able to participate in or commit to any particular project but I did some contributions to the Beyond the Crisis-project and to EVS-marketing. I also worked on my own research question on European identities and I felt that this was definitely a great environment to explore the topic.
> What’s your impression of Berlin?
Simply just love it, and I will definitely come back in a while. What I especially like about Berlin is the relaxed and open-minded atmosphere here. I met some awesome people with whom I will definitely keep in touch in the future.
Europe for me is… a sense of open-mindedness, democracy and human rights.
>> What do you think will be the most valuable experience you can bring from Citizens of Europe back to your country/hometown?
I think it is certainly a broader view and understanding of the whole of Europe. Throughout my internship I asked myself the question: what does active citizenship really mean and nevertheless it is very subjective and may mean different things to different people. As for me, I think it is mostly about being brave, curious and actively pursuing towards a common good.
>> What does Europe mean to you?
For me, Europe means borderless co-operation, exchange of ideas and a sense of mutual respect and understanding towards each other. I do identify myself as a European but in addition to that, I also identify myself as Finnish and Northern Scandinavian. Above all, Europe for me is also a sense of open-mindedness, democracy and human rights. It is all of those values that also make the foundation for my personal worldview.
Lastly, I want to thank all the Citizens here that made my internship a wonderful learning experience and I wish you all the best for your future!