The Final Internship (Stage de fin d’études)
In 2019 when I took the risk of coming to France where I knew no one around and did not speak the language. I comforted myself thinking of all the people who had travelled or immigrated before google maps and google translate. But never did I expect a pandemic and whole lot of other crises I faced. So this is about one such challenge.
Amidst the chaos of Covid-19, where many lives turned upside down, most of the people who started their masters just before the pandemic were also a facing another challenge — to do their research thesis and/or to find an internship/ job.
For an international student who doesn’t speak French trying to find job in France itself is a huge challenge. Add to that a pandemic which brought along an economic crisis which heavily impacted businesses. The overwhelming anxiety levels I felt while doing the final coursework projects and trying my best to find an internship was something I have never felt before. I was drained out. I received replies but then there were times which they ghosted me and never came for the interview they promised. I knew ones who got offered the job — again being notified that they cannot proceed due to the company freezing all of its hiring processes. The anxiety was numbing and I was feeling negative. The landlord notified us to leave by August as new students were arriving. I had no way of going back either because of lockdowns. It was thanks to one of my colleagues that I had a roof over my head for two months.
However, among these interviews, there was one which went smoothly and really pleasantly, where I was comfortable enough that I wondered if I spoke too much. I got offered for the same internship based in the Netherlands. Yet, because I am not from the region and due to hiring processes taking a long time and me having a crisis whether to stay or go back to Sri Lanka, they rescheduled my starting dates. At this point with all the other interviews I faced and what was happening around me, I did not know what to expect. Then I also received another which was related to health in an amazing research lab which was also interesting. However, after thinking what was best for me at the time I went with the initial offer not entirely sure what is to happen but I took the risk and trusted my guts. I was totally depending on this internship as it is a requirement for my masters and my finances were going low as well…