Hello, my name is Hamza and I did my internship with the Regional office of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for EU, EEA and NATO in Brussels, Belgium. During the Internship my core tasks were to monitor and write reports on the health of migrants coming to the European region from different parts of the world. The projects that I worked on were Re-Health2 and MiG-H, which focused on components such as “Communicable and Non-communicable diseases, Gender based violence, e-health and mental health issues”. We managed to cover the European countries by conducting 3-day workshops in first-line countries focusing on groups that have a first-hand interaction with migrants (Law enforcement officer, social workers and medical professionals). Besides health, I also got an insight on how the United Nations (U.N) work in general, the bureaucratic jargon, the do’s and don’ts etc. and I got to travel within Europe to get an experience of how things work in the field. It was definitely one of the best times of my learning experience.
(IOM – Office in Brussels)
(Grand Place – Brussels)
From the very beginning, I was interested in working on migration and health issues as well as e-health. I wanted to know how the data is collected, applied and how the projects are implemented. So, when I started my search for internships, I looked for multinational/ intergovernmental organizations and their offices around the world. I also joined a European portal called European Solidarity Corps through which, I would look at different internship offers. Secondly, I would mostly focus on offices in cities that are beta + or above because in my experience language is less of a barrier and it’s easier to communicate. And last but not least, I kept my morale high after every rejection because I was sure that I will get something if I keep trying.
My supervisor Arja Erkkila was of great help and support during this process. She not only encouraged me to apply but also helped me with the documents while supervising my thesis. The UEF staff was very supportive and the program in general provided me with a basis of public health that I could apply in the practical world.
If you want to know more about the projects, here is a link to it : https://www.re-health.eea.iom.int/