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You are finishing your 6th year in University, you can smell you Masters graduation and you’re never been on an internship abroad, never studied abroad, never been on Erasmus. Are these the things, that you will regret years later?

Hi, my name is Vaiva and I have recently graduated from Organisational Psychology at Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania. This summer I was an intern in the international internship programme’19 at Willingness. 

In March 2019, Matthew Bartolo came to Lithuania to do the 3 days’ workshop “Sex in Therapy”. Despite the fact, that I was studying Organisational Psychology, and Sex topic is more in family or health psychology, I went to these seminars and I was impressed by the topic, information, Willingness work and of course, Matthew Bartolo. In the last day of workshops, he mentioned that they are organizing an international internship at Willingness in Malta, there are opportunities to get a scholarship from Erasmus, and he is waiting for our applications. I talked with him after the workshop, said that I’m interested in that and he encouraged me to apply.

Approaching the day of departure to Malta, I was frightened about leaving my home for two months. But there I was, on the plane –about to spent two months away from home, shaking. Before I knew it, I was standing at the front doors of Willingness.

After the first meeting with Matthew and the Willingness Team, and after cultural evening, I was laying in my bed and thinking that I am at the right place and I need to do everything to get as much as possible from this internship.

In all two months at Willingness, we had many workshops and meetings with various types of professionals: we learnt about Cognitive Behaviour therapy, about Gestalt therapy, we met professionals who work with addicts, people who have cancer, also, with a family therapist and sex counsellors. We had the opportunity to be Chat Bar volunteers, which is a safe space for talks in festivals, where people can come if they feel overwhelmed or just want to rest from the chaos of the festival. Some of us were also Childminders – one more service offered by Willingness. And what I really liked about this internship was that we had projects where I was able to manifest as an organisational psychologist: in groups of two, we needed to do an audit in the topic we chose by ourselves. So, my colleague and I chose to investigate the Willingness Team climate, what I consider to be very important and useful not just for myself, but for Willingness Team as well. Also, we did a social experiment, which was related to the Team and members of the organisation. 

And you know what? The Internship at Willingness Team was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Not just because I love travelling and I had opportunity to see the most beautiful places in Malta, but also because I learnt really important things such as improving my English, growing as psychologist, learning to be part of the Team and getting more knowledge about how all theory works in real life. But the most important thing for me was to understand that leaving your comfort is really difficult and sometimes painful, but it is TOTALLY WORTH IT!

Don’t miss a chance if you have the opportunity to try yourself in a different environment then you usually are. It is hard, but you won’t regret it.

Vaiva Misiūnaitė is recently graduated Organizational Psychologist from Lithuania. She is also interested in Transpersonal Psychology and alternative medicine. She is participating in a summer internship programme at Willingness Hub.