Aashna Sethi - 2015 Program Participant

What inspired you to go abroad?

What inspired me the most was the fact that I wanted to explore more, learn more, meet new people, and get out of the mundane life zone. I knew this experience would teach me so much about life; that's what inspired me to get out of my shell and go abroad.

Girls attending the Melbourne Cup
Melbourne Cup Day

Why did you choose to intern abroad with The Intern Group?

I chose The Intern Group and I chose Australia specifically because it was traveling with a work experience; it was the best combination. One of the best experiences of my life, this program allowed me to grow so much as a person because I worked and traveled at the same time.

What was your favorite part about living in Australia?

Australia, aah, what a beautiful place! I was in Melbourne and I can't describe this city and my experience in words. This is such a fun place to be, because it is an amazing cultural hub. There is so much to see, the street art, the bars, the coffee shops, and the people are extremely nice. It was all beautiful! You travel around, and it's just gorgeous.

What surprised you most about Melbourne?

Melbourne is magnificent to say the least. I think I was amazed by the lifestyle there; it's genuinely easy going. The tramway system is also so surprising because it is the fourth largest in the world, but it is so so easy to get anywhere. It's such a beautiful city. My favorite part would be the coffee shops, the markets, and the stadiums. It was so amazing to see such a vibrant city.

What made your experience interning abroad unique?

I guess meeting some of the best people and learning so much about myself by being in different situations; that's what made my experience so unique.

How did local staff support you throughout your internship?

All the local people were so friendly and the people at my workplace were so nice! Everyone was ready to help with directions, instructions, or information.

Girl standing by a kangaroo in Australia
Halls Gap, Victoria

What is one thing every aspiring intern should know before interning in Melbourne?

Just know that it's going to be such an amazing journey! Be excited for this great learning experience; it's a once in a lifetime experience.

Describe a typical day in the life of your internship.

There were like 10 of us working together, so we all became close. We would get up at 8 a.m. because we had to reach work by 9 a.m. and stay until 5 p.m. Then all of us would usually meet up to go to the pub for a quiz night or pizza night or go to explore something new.

What did you enjoy doing in your free time?

In my free time I always loved exploring the city, going to hidden alleys, to the beautiful parks, some coffee shops, or a restaurant that would offer me a great avocado brunch meal! There is a lot to see in Melbourne, and you don't need people with you all the time. There is always something or other happening. At 2 p.m., you could be in a coffee shop or at a bar located in the most hidden area.

What's one thing you wish you would have done differently? 

I wish I stayed longer and traveled more around Australia, because there is so much to see!

What was your accommodation like? What did you like best about it?

I am a bit critical about my accommodation; it was a hotel, but our rooms were so small! Yep, wasn't pleased with the accommodation, but the fact that I was living with some of the funniest, most entertaining people made it so much better. There was a pool, which was fun in summer, and that would be what I liked most about it.

What was the hardest part about interning abroad?

The hardest part about interning abroad would probably be saving money, you tend to spend loads of money, so I think people should be very careful and make a proper plan on how to save more money whilst interning abroad.

My internship was lovely. I think settling in initially, getting to know the surroundings, and adjusting was a bit hard, but people were so lovely there.

Hiking at Grampians National Park in Victoria, Australia

What is one thing you wish you would have known before interning abroad in Australia?

Aah, the one thing I should have known is that it can get really cold in Australia, so initially I had one jacket but I had to buy more because it was quite cold and I didn't expect that. Definitely if you're going around September and August take some winter clothes, it tends to get cold!

What do you feel the biggest benefit of interning abroad is?

The learning experience, because you personally grow as a person. Meeting so many people and going to such beautiful places definitely helps you realize the importance of traveling. When you don't know anyone it can be hard initially, but at the end it's so worth it.

Now that you're home, how has your time abroad impacted your life?

I think I realized the value and importance of traveling and seeing places. Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef with sharks around me (baby sharks) was so surreal and taught me that there is so much to see in life. I have definitely decided to travel till I am 50 and beyond.

Would you recommend your internship to others? Why?

I would definitely recommend it to others, 100 percent! It's something that will help you grow as a person and, however cringe this may sound, make you realize the beauty of life. There is so much in this world we would never see or know about without travel! This is an opportunity which allows YOU to go out of your comfort zone and EXPLORE!

If you could intern abroad again, where would you go?

I think I would love to go back to Melbourne, but I am also a keen believer in trying something new, so somewhere like Spain would be fun!