Alumni Spotlight: Lucia Belchamber

Lucia is a second year student at the University of Queensland, studying a dual degree in Law/Arts and majoring in Psychology. Lucia is a self-confessed travel junkie and 'too pale for the Australian Summer' and, as a result, completed an internship in London through Absolute Internship's Winter program in January 2015. In her spare time, Lucia drinks too much coffee, hangs out with her friends (and dog) and attends as many music festivals as she can.

Why did you pick this program?


In high school, I did all my courses in German, a language I didn't know before I started the immersion. At the end of the program, I spent a semester-long exchange at a school in Germany and it was the best time of my life. Yes, I could probably have achieved higher grades if I did high school in my first language, but where's the fun in that?

I guess what I'm trying to get at with this anecdote is that I don't like to just stick the status quo. The same goes for my internship. Absolute's program lets me break free from the prospects of a mundane 9-5 internship during my Summer holidays. Instead, they provided me with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tick things off my bucket list, meet new people, experience a new culture, and all while building up my resume and opening up my future opportunities!

What do you tell your friends who are thinking about going abroad?

I tell them to go for it! Life is too short to spend in the same place, worrying about what could happen if you leave. The world is such an amazing place and what better way is there to gain not only work experience but also, life experience than to get out of your comfort zone?

Anyone can do an internship, and anyone can get a degree, what really makes you stand out is how you approach these things! My time with Absolute will always stand out in my mind as one of the best experiences of my life. There is nothing like going overseas to open up your perspective and to make life-long friendships.

And of course, I tell them to bring me back lots of souvenirs!

What was the hardest part about going abroad?

Group picture

The hardest part about going abroad for me was remembering that it actually is a vastly different place. I naïvely assumed that the way people and life are in Australia was typical of all Western countries, but it is not!

It's important to broaden your mind to cultural differences, however slight. If you're not willing to adapt to the way of life in another country you're going to have a hard time! For example, when people on the tube don't smile at you and avoid eye contact as you walk past them, it's not because they're unfriendly (as it would be perceived in Australia), it's because they're trying to be polite!

Once I managed to wrap my head around all these small differences I realised that the people in London are actually some of the most friendly people you could ever hope to meet; they just take a different approach to things.

The good thing about the internship length is that, at some point, without realising it, you stop being a 'tourist'. By the end of the trip I was helping strangers get on the right tube line or find the right street and I returned back to Australia with a distinctly 'British' vibe (according to my friends and family at least).

What made this trip meaningful to you, or how did this trip change your perceptions or future path?

When I originally signed up for the program, my stress levels were at an all-time high; resigned to the fact that I would never be Elle Woods, I had begun wondering if I even wanted to pursue a legal career at all. My month in London changed all of that.

I had the most amazing time working in the law firm I was assigned to; the lawyers weren't the soulless money-seeking demons that all the jokes make them out to be. Instead, they were genuine down-to-earth people that were keen to give me experience in all areas of the law. To my surprise, as the end of my internship approached, the law firm asked me to stay on with them for a little longer and I was actually upset that I wasn't able to!

As well as being an amazing excuse to go overseas and experience more of the world while hanging out with an amazing bunch of people, my experience with Absolute Internship provided the insight I needed to realise that, although I might not be Elle Woods, I had made the right decision in my degree. My CV, confidence and, indirectly, my GPA were boosted thanks to Absolute! Watch out Amal Clooney and Erin Brokovich, I'm coming for you!