European Studies and NLCares put students back to work after COVID-19 cancellations

COVID-19 has had a massive impact on THUAS students, and not just because they’ve had to switch to online learning. For many students, the different types of lockdowns in different countries have threatened to disrupt one of the most important parts of their studies: their internship. Luckily for some European Studies (ES) students, alternative arrangements could be made.

NL Cares Meeting Some students have been able to continue their internships, often working remotely, but others were let go due to the limitations placed on their employers. At ES, Work Placement Coordinator Bart Kuijpers went into overdrive to make an inventory of all ES interns, and got to work trying to find solutions. For Susana, Alejandra, Jill and Dilan, the solution came in the form of a new assignment, working for NL Cares, a Dutch NGO that organises flexible volunteer activities. According to a blog they’re writing about their work, “Our main task in the upcoming eight weeks will be to research and implement how we can get expats to volunteer more in the Netherlands and, in the end, present our findings in an online conference.” 

Raising awareness

Susana, Alejandra, Jill and Dilan have also been reaching out to the ES community, encouraging them to participate in volunteer activities because “especially, in these chaotic times there are always people who need someone to talk to, or need extra support.” They are presently raising awareness of the need for volunteers, and the flexibility with which people can volunteer through NL Cares, by organising an online pub quiz.

Still exciting

It has been an adjustment for these students, but they are happy to be working for an NGO with goals that are in line with the ES and THUAS vision for global citizenship and pleased that ES was able to help them stay on track to complete their studies. “All in all, we are saddened by how our internships came to an end,” they write, “but we are very excited and grateful for NL Cares and THUAS for giving us the internship to graduate. It may be in a different setting but it’s definitely still an exciting challenge.”