My internship at the Office of the Refugee Commissioner in Malta
After Public Administration studies at Kaunas University of Technology I went for an internship in Malta. My workplace was the Office of the Refugee Commissioner.
The Office’s main responsibly is to receive, process and determine applications for international protection in Malta. The challenges related with asylum are relevant in last period not just for Malta but for all European Union countries.
Malta is located in the heart of the Mediterranean so has become a frontline state for irregular migration from the African continent, thus the issue has become one of the countries top priorities. The country has experienced one of the largest influxes of undocumented immigrants among EU countries over the last ten years.
During the three very intense months that I have passed in the Office I have grasped a real empirical, practical and holistic knowledge of all the workings of the Office, whether on the Administrative side (Reception, Customer Care, Records, Registry, Scanning of Files, Filing, Giving of appointments and others) as well as the technical side of the Asylum Determination itself. I had the opportunity of having first hand experience of the Documents’ Analysis, where the veracity of passport and Identity cards is established, through state of the art forensic equipment. I also experienced the process needed to issue the Protection cards that are given to all applicants whose case has a positive conclusion.
Experience gained during the international practice is useful and important not only for my future career, but also in shaping my personality – it gave me more self confidence, changed attitude to the world. For anyone who has doubts and fears to decide, I want to say do not be afraid to try, definitely it is worth.
By Gintarė Sodonienė (KTU graduate)