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Internship in Embassy, Diplomat Style

International Relations (HI) is often synonymous with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Foreign Ministry) , diplomats, politics, and travelling abroad. Because the scope of knowledge is relatively wide, a number of HI students often become journalists, entrepreneurs, members of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and others. However, their most common dream is to become an ambassador or a diplomat. Two students of HI from Parahyangan Catholic University (Unpar) had the opportunity to work as interns at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesian Romania.

Farizi Fatwa and Erlangga Prawibowo left for Bucharest in mid-December 2016. Both students of the class of 2013 spent their internship for a full month until January 19, 2017.

Farizi (who is familiarly called Wawa) said, the internship plan at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia (KBRI) had been a spontaneous reaction. He and Angga, (Erlangga’s nickname), wanted to use their college times with something different, useful, and that can be shared stories to friends and children and grandchildren in the future.

Seeing the action of their friends who managed to go overseas through various prestigious events, they did not want to be left behind. Both Tried to apply for internships to dozens of embassies in Asia and Europe. “Initially, we applied to 15 countries because we were too excited and  there were five countries that replied , India, Laos, Romania, Myanmar, and Vietnam. But, Vietnam, was a no-go. The majority (of my friends) applied to Europe, such as Portugal, Romania, Czech, and Bulgaria, “said Angga excitedly.

Both parents also supported the choice for internships abroad. In fact, they pushed Angga and Wawa to take the most far-flung country among the four countries. So, both chose the Embassy of Romania.

The Embassy of Romania placed Angga in the information, social, and cultural section (pensosbud). One of the tasks carried out by Angga is to create scholarship materials for Romanian citizens who are interested in studying in Indonesia and vice versa. Meanwhile, the Embassy routinely calls Indonesian citizens (WNI) in Romania to gather and carry out activities every turn of the year. “(I) really became a committee member to carry out the activity, from preparation to the schedule of the event.. For the first time ever, the knowledge/experience from the committee campus can be used , such as decoration, logistics , and events, “said Angga proudly.

According to Angga, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is preparing new features for citizens planning to travel abroad, such as travel guides. Angga incorporates Romanian tourist spots, including their descriptions and safety levels.

It was different with Wawa, as he was placed in the economic section that the Embassy calls the most vital organ because President Jokowi is actively investing overseas and looking for foreign investors for Indonesia. Wawa said the Indonesian Embassy in Romania also covers Moldova hence, the task he carried out was looking for potential investment data of both countries.

Based on the results of his research, Romanian machinery is the country’s strong suit. Meanwhile, Moldova, a less developed country, is rich in sunflower seeds. Thus, Wawa made a blueprint for Kemenlu/Foreign Ministry in Jakarta about the possibility of Indonesia investing in Romania and Moldova.

Wawa mentioned the tasks assigned to him and Angga are quite varied. One of the additional assigned jobs was to assist the membership arrangement and preparation of AIESEC due to scope of the project which was spread across cities, such as Cluj-Napoca, Braşov, and Piteşti.

According to Angga, having workied at the embassy faced him with more than just the theories studied. Many other things that can be obtained if tried. In agreement, Wawa added, working at the Embassy requires you to be multi-tasking and possess a spirit to serve. Therefore, diplomats are servants of Indonesian society (masindo).

 

Becoming a Diplomat?

Wawa and Angga’s expectation about the work of diplomats is contrary to the reality on the ground. Due to the immensity of the responsibility, a diplomat, , must have a a spirit to serve and dedication to the country, or so Wawa claimed.

For example, in case of emergency cases against Indonesian citizens, the Embassy should be the first agency to know and where possible, even before news in the media. So, every citizen who will travel abroad must report to the embassy of the destination country so that their existence is easily trackable. Seeing the fact, Angga revealed, “We cannot only work from morning until afternoon, but work 24-hour to serve the community.”

Angga added that the statement made by a diplomat will always carry the name of Indonesia because a diplomat represent the country. “So, if we misinform , the whole country will face  the consequences,” he said. Thus, diplomacy skills are required in this realm.

Although a diplomat is a civil servant (PNS), life is more colorful as a diplomat according to Wawa,. Because, ia diplomat has the opportunity to travel the world and meet with a variety of people from diverse backgrounds.