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Students abroad: Jana at OECD in Paris

31. 10. 2023

Where did you learn about such opportunity? 

I knew that as part of my Master’s studies, I would like to go abroad for an internship. I looked at the websites of various organisations and institutions where I would like to work, but I found out about this internship on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic (MFA CR).

Was the application process (paper wise and interview…) difficult? 

I wouldn’t say so. I was invited for an interview on the basis of my CV and cover letter. The interview itself was more about what area I would like to focus on at the Permanent Delegation of the Czech Republic to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and why this area is important to me. There was more paperwork when I had to have the internship approved by the MFA CR. But it certainly wasn’t anything that couldn’t be handled.

Was your internship supported by the Erasmus grant? If so, how long in advance did you have to apply? Was the amount enough to support your internship?

Yes, my internship was supported by an Erasmus grant, which I applied for about 3 months before I left. Since Paris is a very expensive city, the grant money covered about half of my costs. However, I saw it all as an investment in my future and an amazing opportunity that would be a shame to lose. So, I financed the rest of the costs from my savings.

Can you name three best moments of your mobility?

Well, there’s a lot to choose from. But I would certainly highlight the opportunity to attend regular meetings of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC). The OECD is the centre for development aid. And it is by attending these meetings that I have been able to observe how the various rules are made, what the issues are in the developing world and what views individual members take on them. At the same time, through my work on other agendas (namely External Relations), I have been able to see how these issues are interlinked. 

Another is probably the opportunity to participate in high level meetings such as the Global Forum on Technology or the SME and Entrepreneurship Ministerial Meeting. These meetings had a different format than the meetings we attended on a daily basis. And, thanks to the different topics, I had the opportunity to gain insight into other agendas that the OECD is working on. Which I see as very beneficial in today’s globalised world where almost everything is somehow connected to everything else.

The OECD is an organisation that brings together experts on a wide range of issues from both the private and public sectors. The last highlight is therefore probably the opportunity to meet and network with many interesting and inspiring people, from statesmen to professors from prestigious universities to people from practice.

Would you recommend this internship to other students? 

Absolutely! It was an amazing experience that gave me an insight into the world of diplomacy and the workings of a major international organisation. At the same time, living in a foreign country allows you to get to know yourself in new and unconventional situations, which can be very rewarding in the future.