From the US to Sri Lanka and Everything In-Between
I bet I know what you’re thinking… “SLV.Global sounds great, but is it really going to benefit me in the long run?”. Although everyone’s time on placement is completely unique to themselves, I’d say, “yes, it will.” To help explain why, I’d like to share with you a bit about my experience on the Mental Health Placement and how it helped me get to where I am today.
When I was a senior in college I was that all-American ‘go-getter’. I was going to school full-time, in the throes of researching and writing my thesis, working part-time at a cafe, part-time as a research assistant, and part-time as an intern at a mental health clinic. It was completely exhausting and it left me no time to consider what I wanted to do once I actually graduated.
As spring semester quickly approached its end, I was unsure what I wanted to pursue in graduate school or if I even wanted to go. What I did know is that I wanted to use what I just spent gobs of money on learning, and make sense of where I fit in this magnificent, complicated world. I found myself doing what I imagine you have been recently - Googling psychology internships abroad - which landed me on SLV.Global’s website.
Although I was apprehensive traveling to a part of the world that was so foreign to me, the placements SLV.Global offer were exactly what I was looking for. I wanted time away from the States to slow my life back down, focus on my career-path without distractions, and to get out of my comfort zone. SLV.Global not only allowed me to do this, but also gave me the opportunity to travel and experience a very different culture at the same time.
The skills that I gained on placement in Sri Lanka aren’t comparable to the skills that I gained during my US psychology internships. With SLV.Global, I was able to work hands-on with service users instead of quietly listening to a group of therapists speak about their patients. I became a critical player in planning and implementing group therapeutic activities. This collaborative environment was especially beneficial, as our session planning consisted not only of brainstorming ideas, but also of discussing why the activities are being done and how the planned sessions would be psychologically beneficial for the service users in the long run.
Being able to take what I had learned in the last four years completing my BA in psychology and then implementing that into a real-life experience was exhilarating. It made all the countless hours of studying so incredibly worth it to be a part of a preventive mental health scheme that is dedicated to promoting positive mental health around the world.
While the placement I completed with SLV.Global provided me with an opportunity to utilize my academic knowledge, it also really helped with my personal development by increasing my self-awareness. I was a young, twenty-something-year-old and I thought that I was much more knowledgeable about life in general than maybe I actually was. However, when you are living with other volunteers from all over the world, working with vulnerable individuals, and in a new (very hot and sweaty) environment you quickly realize how much more open and humble you could be.
I now work for SLV.Global in London HQ as their US University Liaison working with universities and speaking to students to share how they can access these opportunities for themselves. I’d love to speak with you too, so if you have any questions at all, please feel free to email directly at [email protected].
Fancy joining the team and having the experience of a lifetime like Clara? Fill in the form below to apply!