Renee was an intern at SYC in 2015, this was her reflection part way through her 5 months with us.

“I have been in the United Kingdom working with Fusion YAC for a little over three months. These months have been exciting and a new experience for me. This is my third time in the UK, but the longest amount of time spent here. Going from being a short visitor to a long stay has taken some adjustment in terms of culture and change of pace as far as work goes.

A highlight for me work wise comes down to two things. The first being the school’s work that I have been apart of. Learn4life goes into two Whitley schools once a week and I have partnered with them and I have enjoyed myself each week. Not only does it get me out of the office and getting interactive, but also I get to know and pour into the lives of young people. The group of girls has been vastly consistent and it’s been a joy to connect with them in a public school setting. The second highlight for me has to be launching and running the People of Whitley Facebook page. The chance to interview locals and hearing what inspires them has inspired me in knowing that no matter where you are, people have dreams, hopes, fears and even failures. We are all human and that is something we all have at least in common with each other.

The hardest part for me work wise has to be the schedule of everything. I traditionally have always worked with a very consistent schedule in that nothing really changes day to day. I show up, I complete a task and then I go home. Where with Fusion, things change from week to week sometimes, and it was hard for me to keep up at first. Not to say that this is horrible, because I have enjoyed it, but I have had to keep a record of what is coming up and what’s happening.

A highlight of living in the UK is definitely everything. I seriously do love it in England. I am at the point of my internship that I forget that I am in another country and things feel so normal to me now. At first I would look at everything and think “oh, that’s so English!” Now it’s more like a “oh.” I have fully loved biking and relying on public transportation. While I cannot drive or afford a car during my time here, there has been so much freedom in knowing that I can figure out the bus system or figure out which train to catch into London without anyone’s help. Coming from a culture where public transportation is not as widely used, it has been fun to trust the system and rely heavily on it.

The only downfall I can think of living in the UK is the exchange rate. But on a serious note, I find shops close rather early on this side of the pond. This makes for a nice working environment for employees, but if it’s a Wednesday night and I want to pop into town for something or I’m bored, I’ll find the exciting shops closed which is strange when everything is open late in America.

With that being said, my time so far has been excellent. I’ve enjoyed myself so much and the work I am doing, that I am inquiring about coming back long term! This internship has taught me so much and I have really learned how to press into a more intentional prayer life. I have also seen what it really means to live in community and to help equip believers and non-believers to reach their full potential as God created it to be. I came here with the prayer that God would confirm that this is what God would have me do, as I move home and find a job, I’ll be preparing to make my way back to the side of the world in hopes to serve long-term.”
Until next time,
Renee