by Kelsey Power
For the last few weeks, I have been interning at a child psychology clinic associated with the University of Bremen. It is run by one of the main child psych professors at the University, Frau Prof. Dr. Petermann. Many of her students do internships with her before they graduate; this is Pflicht, or a requirement, of German students.
Anyhow, I had sent out a resume and information about myself thinking “oh, this is a long shot” because I knew there was something else that I wanted to do with Psych outside of taking classes. A month went by, and I heard no reply, so I assumed that my application had been denied; however, three days later, I received a call from Dr. Petermann’s secretary to come in for an interview. Part of me wanted to pretend I never received the call because it meant that I had to actually put myself out there and use my German in a scary, real-life job-like atmosphere. Instead, I faced my fears and went in for the interview. At the interview table sat Dr. Petermann and her three Psychologists in the clinic. THREE NATIVE GERMAN SPEAKERS who were going to interview me…. I almost peed in my pants. Instead, I said to myself “well, Kels. Here goes nothing”. They kept smiles on their faces, even though I knew my German wasn’t perfect. And, everything worked out.
On Mondays and Thursdays, I get to watch therapy sessions and diagnostic sessions for children throughout the city; they are from 3-10 normally and have social issues or cognitive impairments. The other students/ interns are very welcoming, and they let me shadow them on serious assignments. It has been a great experience to see 1) a real life setting in which Psychology is used and 2) to put my German in a job context. I am really quite glad I didn’t run away from this opportunity, but I think after this year abroad, one gets used to being outside of their comfort zone. And sometimes, it is a great place to be.