My experience with ProfIntern

My program included:

Program: Individual internships
Destination: Russian Federation
Extras: 2-way airport transfer, Accommodation search, Issuing the invitation for visa, Information site-set, Excursion package
Destination: Russian Federation

June 20, 2018
Romain Chuffart

- What was your internship connected with (field, tasks, industry of a company)?

I worked for a private non-profit organization and research center whose main goals focus on engaging and educating about the technical and technological history and development of the Russian Arctic through the creation of museums and exhibition centers across Russia and in the Arctic.

- What is your general experience about the internship part of the program (team, attitude, results, level of professionalism, immersion etc.)?

Overall, I was very pleased with this internship. I was quickly integrated to the team and we were able to produce and deliver good results. My colleagues showed a high level of professionalism throughout the internship. My supervisor trusted me from day one and gave me plenty of freedom to work toward achieving the tasks he had given me.

- List the tasks you were responsible for during the internship and departments where you internerning in?

Several tasks were assigned to me during the internship but the main ones were translating material and documents from Russian to English, proofreading English material for publication, preparing grant applications, looking for new partners and promoting the company abroad, and researching.

- What were your stereotypes about Russia before the program? were they broken?

I did not really have any stereotypes before going to Russia. The only “big” stereotype” I can think of is that I thought the working culture was very formal and hierarchy was a big thing in Russia, but it was not quite the case where I worked. Also, from a Western European perspective, Russia seems very traditional and to some extent it is, but Russia sometimes surprised me in how progressive and outward-looking it was (sometimes!)

- What is your general impression of Russia as a country, it's people and mentality?

Russian people seem quite cold from the outside, but once you get to know them they open up and they are as friendly as could be. Also, the people I have met all seemed to be result-oriented and driven. They all enjoyed working hard and a lot of emphasis is put on trying to be perfect.

- Did you fully immerse in Russian culture? what did you like most?

Unfortunately, I did not immerse as well as I would have liked to. My spoken Russian was not good enough to have a full-fleshed conversation with Russian speakers, therefore it was harder to get around and to talk to people (which, I think, is a basic necessity to be fully immersed in one particular culture). However, I tried my best to discover and enjoy Russian culture as much as I could. I loved tasting new Russian dishes and to also discover Caucasian and Eastern European cuisine. Being in St. Petersburg, I also love the cultural aspect of city. I enjoyed walking down the streets and seeing culture happening right there, all the museums, all the historical sites. But most of all, I enjoyed meeting people. To me, it’s always interesting to meet new people from a different cultural background and to see that, at the end of the day, although we do not share the same culture, the same traditions, or the same language, we are all uniquely different but also all the same.  

- Why did you choose ProfIntern and how they helped you during the program? How can you evaluate their services? Can you recommend them?

ProfIntern went above and beyond what was required of them to ensure my internship went as smoothly as possible. Although it was not an easy task, they found the perfect internship for me. Maria and Anna took care of everything from day one and were always there along the way when I needed help or advice. I would highly recommend them to anyone interested in doing an internship in St. Petersburg and/or to experience Russia like a Russian. With them on board, you are not just a tourist cruising the streets the St. Petersburg, you are a local.

Romain Chuffart (Belgium)
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