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  • Forfatterens bildeRebekah Olson

Embassy Posts Around the World


The United States Embassy in Amman, Jordan Community Liaison Office 2013

During my internship at the embassy in Amman, Jordan I experienced a culture and people vastly different from my own. What an incredible experience to have seen how beautiful the Middle East truly is, as well as how kind its people are.


My time spent in the Community Liaison Office had me aiding the department in embassy-wide event planning, organizing and leading local excursions, as well as working with the Jordanian school system to help the children of American diplomats settle in more easily. I was trusted to work directly with esteemed dignitaries and diplomats and handle confidential material. The greatest part about this internship was the ability to assist newly posted officers and their families in their adjustment to life in-country. During my time here, I was lucky to be able to travel all over Jordan - from Jaresh, an ancient Grecian agora to the Dead Sea where you can sit upright in water, from my lively "home" city of Amman to the incredulous architecture of Petra. Jordan has it all.

 
The United States Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa The Protocol Office 2012

Back to Africa! Working in the Protocol Office of the American Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa required developing many valuable skills. While working at the embassy I was a vital part of the planning and executing of our annual Independence Day Celebration and the arrival of our Secretary of State, First Lady Hillary Clinton. To fulfill this role, I worked in close relation with the Ambassador, using a high degree of confidentiality, efficiency, and patience.


In my time as Protocol Assistant, my biggest accomplishment was the successful completion of updating the entire U.S. Embassy's Contact Database. Completion of this task required direct communication with over seven thousand diplomats located all over the world. Sometimes, I even got to practice my foreign languages!


During my time here, I got to visit Victoria Falls, Johannesburg, Cape Town, the Cape of Good Hope, Tsitsikamma National Park, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, and even learn to scuba dive.

 
The United States Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa Travel Department 2011

This was my very first internship working with an American Embassy. And boy, what a learning curve it was!


During my time three months in Pretoria, I learned the ins and outs of bureaucratic work (the good and the bad). I loved getting to see how diplomacy works from the lowest level to the highest - it truly takes a cavalry to make anything happen.


I worked in the Travel Department, where I handled the lengthy process of obtaining visas for embassy personnel, which involved going on missions to foreign embassies. Sometimes, this was chaotic (as you can imagine, there are many countries that don't particularly care for the U.S...) but other times, it was exciting to get to converse with other diplomats. One of the highlights of this internship was assisting in the arrangements for the visit of First Lady Michelle Obama. Meeting her and listening to her speak was an honor.

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