Hejsan! (Swedish word for hello)
Whoever you are and whatever the reason might be that you’re reading this blog – Welcome! Lovely to have you here.
My name is Ida-Maria, and the original plan was to start this blog several weeks ago. The plan was to write a couple of posts before I moved to London and some while I was settling in. But I am (unfortunately) quite the time optimist, so instead of several weeks ago, I’m writing my first blog post just now. Better late than never, right?
I guess it’s best if we take it from the top. The reason why I moved to London is because I applied for an internship about a year ago. My dream internship at the time was to work at the European Parliament in Brussels, but I had also heard a lot about an interesting internship in London. And as the Harry Potter geek that I truly am, the thought of living in London – the city of the magical Harry Potter World – did feel quite thrilling.
A few months after my application had been filed, I found out that I had not been accepted to the European Parliament. The disappointment did, however, not last very long. Because not long after, I got some superb news – I had been accepted to an internship in London!!
So, after a hectic Spring with being both a Master’s student and a candidate in the European Parliament election – and an almost-as-hectic Summer with Summer jobs – I packed my bags and flew to London.
I’m not going to lie. The first weeks felt quite rough. For a person who’s lived almost all her life in a small, Swedish-speaking municipality in Finland with only 20 000 people, and the recent few years in a town with 70 000 people, London (with its 8,5 million people) felt huge. And different. So very different from everything I was used to. I missed my friends and family, didn’t really know anyone here, and was incredibly nervous about my first day as an intern.
But, turns out, Londoners are the kindest people I’ve ever met. Even if you are a complete stranger, they’ll say hello and darling and sorry (even if you bump into them and not the other way around). Turns out, I really like the Londoners. Turns out, I really like London.
In many ways, London still feels a bit like a complete opposite of my hometown Vaasa. And even though I truly love the cosy, quiet, colourful Vaasa, where everyone knows each other, I couldn’t be happier about living in a noisy, (for a Finn almost always too) crowded, even more colourful London, where you meet new people every day.
So, what am I really doing here? I’m working as a Staff Intern at Liberal International, a liberal organisation with over 100 member parties across the world. I’ve only been in the office for three weeks, but I already feel at home. It feels incredible to get to work with politics that I personally believe in, and it feels especially cool to have the chance to work with LI’s Human Rights Committee. (I’ll write more about my work in a later post.)
In other words – No need to worry anymore, mom. I think I’ll really like it here.
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Ida-Maria Skytte is from Vaasa, Finland. She is a member of Svensk Ungdom (Swedish Youth of Finland), and is currently doing an internship at Liberal International in London.