This week, we are introducing one of our interns in the German Information Center, the Public Diplomacy department of the German Embassy. Our Q&A with Sophie sheds light on her experience as a German in the US – and the Embassy!
Name: Sophie Hölscher
Where you’re from: Essen, Germany
Where and what you’re studying: I study a Bachelor’s degree of Political and Economic Sciences in the cute little student town of Münster, Germany.
Why did you apply to intern at the German Embassy?
I am very much interested in different aspects of international relations and one of my big goals is to help reduce conflict and hardship in the world. Diplomatic relations are among the most important tools to peace and well being, which is why I wanted to gain an insight in how everyday diplomacy works. Maybe, becoming a diplomat will prove to be an option for my future…?
What is your favorite project or experience at the German Embassy so far?
My favorite experience is the general feeling that my opinions and expertise are being valued and taken seriously. I’m “only” an intern, but I never get the impression that people look down on me. Instead, despite having fewer experiences than everybody else, my colleagues let me contribute a fair share to the German Information Center’s projects and discussions based on what I’ve learned in University.
Also, I really enjoy being able to learn about many different realms of diplomacy: I have done press work, public diplomacy projects, foreign and domestic political and cultural work. The tasks here are very diverse!
What are some impressions you have of the United States?
Everything here is bigger than back home – especially houses, cars and grocery packages. Maybe that’s because Germany is only half the size of Texas but has a quarter of the population of the entire United States – we simply have less space! But despite that: smaller, more energy efficient cars wouldn’t hurt anyone, would they?
What is your favorite part about living in the United States?
I love the diversity of Washington, DC! On every corner I get to eat delicious foods from all parts of the world and hear the stories of people from all kinds of different places – those that are on a visit and those that are here to stay. To me, this is one of the great advantages of living in an immigrant country.
What do you miss about Germany?
That’s easy: I miss a good, wholegrain rye bread with aged cheese from the Alps! Otherwise: not much to complain!
Where do you plan to go after your internship?
I will go back to Münster to work a little bit and stock up on savings. After that, I hope to be able to intern at one of Europe’s major international policy research centers before starting a Master’s degree in the field in September.