Alumni Spotlight: Jenna Belhaj


Jenna is a final year student studying English Literature in Surrey, UK. Coming to the end of her degree and still dithering about prospective career options, she stumbled upon an internship program overseas and decided it was an opportunity she could not pass up.

Why did you choose this program?

I stumbled across The Intern Group's website completely by accident, and I'm forever thankful that I did! I saw that they offered internships in numerous countries around the world, including Melbourne, Australia – somewhere I had always dreamed of visiting.

One thing that most appealed to me was that the fee you pay covers your housing, transport, finding you a placement, and some included activities and other features. Staying abroad for the first time seems daunting, but knowing that The Intern Group would be organizing everything for me made things a tad less stressful!

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

As mentioned, after paying the fee, The Intern Group organized my placement and set up interviews, provided accommodation, provided me with an unlimited transport card to use around Melbourne for the entirety of my trip, provided 24/7 support, and more. I had to organize my own visa and plane tickets.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Make sure you take enough weather-appropriate clothing! Also, go in with an open mind. Prepare yourself for a new experience, and although it is difficult, try not to worry too much. You won't know what it's like until you're there.

In the weeks leading up to my departure, I was constantly wondering about every element of the trip and whether this adventure was a good idea or a big mistake! It was definitely one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Typically, you will go to work 4 – 5 days a week, depending on what you and your company have agreed on. A few nights a week, there are meet-ups and exciting events that you can attend to spend time with the other interns. At the weekend, there may be an included event such as an AFL game or a Wildlife experience. Even if there are no events on, there are so many cool places to explore both inside and on the outskirts of the city.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was that I would want to come home and as a result wouldn't throw myself into everything in Melbourne and take the opportunities that were given to me. I overcame this by trying to always keep an open mind throughout my trip and embracing the people and the culture. I ended up falling in love with the city and staying in contact with lots of the people that I met. Jump in with both feet and you won't regret it!

Is there anything you would have done differently?

I wish that I hadn't booked a ticket home for the day after I finished my internship! I would've loved to have done some travelling around other parts of Australia that I didn't get to visit. Initially when booking my plane tickets, I thought I would probably be more than ready to come home after three months, but I was very wrong!