Fall 2014 SU Strasbourg Students at the Council of Europe

coesmallEvery semester, students can apply for internships at the Council of Europe through Syracuse University’s Strasbourg program. Selected students are able to gain valuable experience working in the Council of Europe in a variety of different positions: from video editing to research on specific issues. Below, students currently working at the Council of Europe outline their day- to-day activities of the Council and their semester-long projects.

Carly M.
Duke University

I have been placed in the Directorate of Communications, and my supervisor is Alun Drake, Council of Europe Spokesperson and Press Division. Here’s what I will be working on:

  • Helping Head of Division with quality control and editing of Web TV content
  • Helping with the production of the weekly “Journal” TV programme
  • Researching potential production partners and film schools in Europe
  • Researching video content
  •  English transcription of key video content

Mary S.
Kenyon College

I am working with Thomas Kattau in the Pompidou Group. The Pompidou Group works on illicit drug policies and harm reduction policies and rehabilitation programs, among other issues, within Europe and on the international scale. This semester, I have attended several conferences in both Strasbourg and Paris and worked on the documenting reports. I am working on designing the Pompidou Group’s presentation on cultural differences in Therapeutic Communities in Eastern and Western Europe for the 16th International Conference on Addiction in Cancún, Mexico.

Nathaniel E.
Syracuse University

I am working under Sophie Kwasny in the Data Protection Unit, Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law. My primary task includes researching the market for personal data collected by online advertising companies and data brokerage firms. I am writing a research paper on my findings and will include the privacy implications of the ad tech / data brokerage industry as well as my recommendations to the Council.

Alexa S.
Cornell University

I was placed in the Division for Private and Public Law Development with Simon Tonelli as my supervisor. The main task I have been given is to create a compilation of international rules and standards regarding the administrative detention of migrants. To do this, I have been researching such rules and standards that were mentioned in a feasibility study on the topic, and narrowing down which sources will be used in the compilation to only those documents, which relate strictly to administrative detention.

Cassie C.
Syracuse University

For my internship I am working with Lilja Gretarsdottir, in the Directorate for Human Rights. Lilja is the senior advisor for migration issues. My semester-long research topic is researching illegal smuggling and migration through the Mediterranean Sea, predominantly to Italy. It is my job to understand the history of this problem and the legislation discussing it, and to keep track and understand what is happening related to this problem throughout the semester, whether it be through the Council of Europe, other IGOs, or National Governments.

Interested in going to Strasbourg and landing an internship at the Council of Europe? Apply to the SU Strasbourg Fall 2015 program – the deadline is March 15, 2015!


SU Abroad Student Profile- Isaac Messina


What better place is there to study Renaissance art than in the place where it all began? SU Abroad alumnus, Isaac Messina, had a once in a lifetime opportunity to study art restoration while abroad in Florence under an Italian conservator. His incredible apprenticeship was inspired by a course he was able to take while studying in SU’s center in Florence, Italy. Below he describes his work at an art restoration studio,  which was his first hands-on experience with the work of art conservators.

Name: Isaac Messina

Major: Art History

Minor: Chemistry

School: Arts and Sciences

Project/Internship: Art Restoration Apprentice in the Studio of Antonio Casciani in Florence

Description: “My experience abroad in Florence in the spring of my sophomore year introduced me to art restoration, a career that I am now working to pursue. At Syracuse University in Florence, I took a course on Renaissance painting techniques led by Ezio Buzzegoli, a professional art restorer. Intrigued by the career of my professor, I toured a local painting restoration studio during my stay. Antonio Casciani, the lead restorer, worked in beautiful space next to the Boboli Gardens. Antonio specialized in structural conservation, dealing more with the frames, canvases, and the supports of paintings.

A Crown-Wise research grant from the university honors program allowed me to return to Florence in the summer of 2013 to apprentice in Antonio’s private studio. He challenged me to work hands-on with paintings and frames, assuring me that the best learning experience in restoration comes through one’s hands. He often gave me vague instructions, encouraging me to fail, reflect, and then improve. For each project, I documented and assessed the damage the work had suffered over the centuries. I then assisted by filling holes in canvases, reconstructing splintered gilded frames, and treating the surface of paintings. Antonio did not speak a word of English, so this experience challenged me to expand my language skills from table talk with my Italian host family each night to a vocabulary better suited for the specialized field of art conservation. This apprenticeship was an experience I will never forget, as it gave me my first taste of the work of a real conservator.”


SU Abroad Student Profile- Wilson Ho


A major component of studying abroad is getting to know a new culture on more than just the surface level you might experience when visiting a country for a week or two on a vacation. Syracuse University Abroad alumnus Wilson Ho chose to deepen his understanding of the French culture in Strausbourg by taking an internship at a domestic violence shelter. Below he details what he did in his internship and how it strengthened his connection with the local community.

Name: Wilson Ho

Major: International Relations & French

School: Maxwell School/ Arts & Sciences

Project/Internship: Intern with a domestic violence shelter for battered women (Spring and Summer 2013)

Description: “I did two internships while I was abroad in Strasbourg during spring ’13 and summer ’13. My more memorable internship experience was at a domestic violence shelter for battered women. Originally I wanted to learn more about social work in France and engage myself more with the local community, which was why I thought this internship would be suitable for me. The internship turned out to be a little bit from what I had expected. I thought I was going to be exposed and assigned to complete a lot of social and legal work related tasks, but because of my limited proficiency in French, I was only able to learn about how the system works – how each victim gets admitted and how each profile is created etc. In the later phase of my internship, I started planning weekly activities for women and their children to participate in. I discovered that most of the women admitted into the shelter were some sort of immigrants, meaning that their level of education and communication skills (French) were somewhat limited. I took the women and their children out to parks and swimming pools and even libraries to keep them entertained. I believe one of my greatest and most memorable projects that I completed during my internship was painting a wall in the backyard of the center. My supervisor and I decided to add some characteristics to the current center. We did some planning and research and decided to paint a picture of a woman’s face that consists of flying birds. The significance behind the birds is that it shows mobility, liberty, and independence – which are the characteristics that we wish women not only in this center, but everywhere would posses. We proposed this idea and got approved and had a number of women involved in it. It turned out to be a successful project which everyone enjoyed! I thought this was a pretty rare and unforgettable experience for me because what I study at school (International Relations & French – double major) doesn’t really have a direct link to the content of my work, yet I was able to apply what I learned at school to different situations during my internship. This experience was rare in the sense that I don’t think I would have been able to communicate and help such diverse group of people. I met women from the Philippines, Turkey, Cameroon, and Burkina Faso! Interacting with such diverse groups of people made me become a better listener, as well as sharpened my intercultural awareness. I learned more than just different cultures but also different ways of interacting with people.”


SU Abroad Student Profile- Camila Perez


Syracuse University Abroad encourages its students to make the most of their study abroad program by engaging in activities they would never be able to have in their home country. Students like Camila Perez, who interned for an international Public Relations firm while studying abroad in Hong Kong, show how students can tailor their abroad experience to take full advantage of the programs and resources offered to them. Below, Camila shares her experience interning abroad in Hong Kong last spring and how it impacted her study abroad experience.

Name: Camila Perez

Major: Marketing Management

School: Whitman School of Management

Project/Internship: Intern at Edelman Hong Kong (Spring 2014)

Description: Participated in a 5-week long internship at Edelman Hong Kong, a global office of the American Public Relations company called Edelman. She was assigned to the Digital Team at Edelman HK to learn the ins and outs of digital strategy and social media marketing. Her main role was to manage the Facebook and Twitter pages of a Chinese smartphone manufacturing company. This included thinking of creative and engaging social media posts, communicating and collaborating with the company’s graphic designer about the posts, and then scheduling these posts twice a day. What made this experience different was the opportunity to interact with locals outside of a school environment, and practice a full time job, hours 9 AM – 6 PM, in a different country. She emphasizes, “It was, without a doubt, one of the most shaping experiences of my time abroad in Hong Kong.”

For more information about Camila’s internship with Edelman, visit her blog!