My name is Thomas Mernoe and I had the opportunity to do an internship anywhere in the world, so of course I chose to go as far away as possible.
In July 2019 I compressed my life into just 1 suitcase and moved from comfy little Denmark to sunny Sydney, Australia. When I had to choose where to go, I had many countries in mind, but I knew I wanted to go to an English speaking country. England wasn’t far enough away and America isn’t happy about immigrants since they elected an orange president, so Australia was the obvious choice. I knew I wanted to be challenged and get out of my comfort zone, so picking a country that I’ve never been to and that is literally on the other side of the planet seemed sufficient. After having lived in central Sydney for 4 months, I can safely say that I am more than happy with my choice.
Sydney is a city where no one is special. That might sound like a bad thing, but it is really not. When you live in a city that has almost the same population size as your entire country, on ¼ of the space, and with such a diverse crowd, it is hard to feel out of place. The Australian people are so nice and friendly, that i felt like i belonged since the moment I landed here. In fact, it only took me a couple of days to make friends. In Sydney, no one is special, because everyone is.
For the internship I ended up in a small marketing company called TickYes in East Sydney, near the famous Bondi beach. I didn’t have much in terms of expectations for the work, but over the last couple of months that I’ve been here, I have done nothing but enjoy myself and the work. The office I work in gives the interns a great deal of influence over their own time and gives everyone the opportunity to work in the direction they want. That plus the low power distance and high creative freedom, makes it a great place to work for any intern and employee.
If you are worried about the prices in Sydney, they really aren’t as bad as you might expect from such a massive city. You can get a pizza or burger for 5 dollars and most living expenses are about the same as in Denmark. The only thing that really affected me, was that the price for alcohol and cigarettes are 4-5 times what they are in DK, but that has really just been a good excuse for me to be healthier. Win-win for my wallet and body.
There are several ways to get funds to do an internship abroad. For a starter, since I am a Danish student, I continued getting SU during my stay here. On top of that, the school provides a helping hand with a small grant and they work with another grant that provides funds for interns that want to work abroad.
All in all, this internship and living abroad has been one of the best and most unforgettable experiences of my life and something I can recommend to anyone.