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Our international intern, Vasiliki shares her experience of being an intern at JET

JET Education Services annually facilitates an internship programme with the University of Pennsylvania, United States, and this year we hosted Vasiliki Samara, also known as Vicky. Vicky is originally from Thessaloniki, Greece, and studied for a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and a Master’s in International Educational Development. In competition with her fellow students at the University of Pennsylvania, she was awarded the opportunity to join JET for a short-term internship.  

Vicky’s internship provided her with real-world experience with a South African twist. Splitting her time between JET’s Johannesburg and Cape Town offices, without hesitation, Vicky dived right into her work from the day she joined us. She shares her experience below:

My internship at JET has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life! I can’t even put into words how much I have learned during the past 2.5 months! I was primarily involved in the evaluation of the “Jobs Fund”, where I assisted with the qualitative analysis as well as some of the write-up for the final report. The work I did made me much more confident in my data analysis skills and allowed me to get a better understanding of how M&E is done in a professional setting. I was so fortunate to work with Eleanor [JET’s M&E manager] and I learned so much from her, as she has years of experience in this field and was always willing to provide guidance when I needed it. One of the highlights of my experience was when I joined school visits to eMalahleni, Mpumalanga, where I assisted with the administration of assessment instruments to Grade 3, 6, and 9 learners as well as with focus group discussions with testers. It was incredible to be able to travel to Mpumalanga and interact with teachers and learners, hear their concerns and witness some of the work that JET has been doing.

All work and no play? Not a chance. Outside the office, I was busy exploring Cape Town, where I spent most of my time. Some of my favourite memories include hiking up Table Mountain on a foggy day, driving down to Cape Point (thanks to Eleanor!) and seeing the sunset in Camps Bay, coming second on a quiz night after weeks of trying, and randomly getting a VIP ticket to a youth music festival. I wish I could have spent more time in Johannesburg, as I feel like there is a lot more to discover and I haven’t seen everything that the city has to offer. I also wish I had more time to master my isiXhosa clicks. My advice to future interns is to come prepared to work hard in this internship, but also not forget that they will be staying in one of the most beautiful countries on Earth! So go out, meet people, ask questions and try some good food. Oh, and definitely ride a mini bus taxi during rush hour.

 “JET is grateful to have had Vicky join the team - her contributions will go a long way. We wish Vicky all the best in her next adventure, and we hope to see her again soon. “Once a JETSetter, always a JETSetter.”

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