Wanderlust with a Purpose

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Whilst interning in Edinburgh in 2012 with BUNAC's Intern in Britain programme, Jessica McKamey kept a blog.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Gearing Up...
It has been a long process, full of waiting, but the wait is almost over. In 3 days, I board a plane to start my journey to Edinburgh, Scotland. The idea for this experience started about a year ago, in June 2011. I knew I had to do an internship to complete my Master's of Library Science degree, and decided that if I had to take time off of work to do an internship anyhow, I might as well go big. I made contact with Panrimo, LLC and the process of finding an internship in Scotland began.

In October, my application for an internship through Panrimo was submitted and I communicated extensively with Tony, Panrimo's Lead Explorer, to determine the kind of internship experience I was looking for. Then the first round of waiting began... could Tony and Panrimo find an internship for me in Scotland? The answer arrived in January. Tony had found me the perfect internship with the National Library of Scotland. I interviewed with Olive, my supervisor, on January 10, 2012 and was accepted by the 17th. Then the paperwork began. Visa sponsorship, Visa applications, Biometric appointment...

Saturday, June 16, 2012
I Made It!

So, it is 12:10am on Sunday June 17, 2012 (Edinburgh time – its only 7:10pm at home). I have been here in Edinburgh for 13 hours. My first impressions of Edinburgh as we approached on the plane were mixed. All I could see outside my window as we descended was white… The clouds were thick and impenetrable. I couldn’t see the ground until we were about 100 feet till landing and then, “POOF”, there was a building, and cars, and green grass once we got under the cloud cover. And yet, I. Am. Here. That countered any negative feelings I had about the weather

Friday, July 13, 2012
Settled in and Half-way thru…

Well, I have just completed week 4 of my internship and my stay in Edinburgh. That means I have 4 weeks to go. I can neither believe that 4 weeks has gone by so fast nor imagine how quickly the next 4 weeks will go. So far, I have seen the Dali Lama on his visit to the National Library of Scotland, seen Prince William, the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, and Kate at St. Giles Cathedral...

Tonight, I did a new walking tour in Edinburgh, its so new it was free, just to get word out about it. It was the “Potter Trail”. Yes, a Harry Potter tour, exploring places where Rowling found inspiration for the Harry Potter Series as well as the places she actually wrote. Did you know there is actually a Tom Riddle (Thomas Riddell actually both Sr and Jr) Gravestone in Greyfriar’s Kirkyard? Or that the Elephant House is not actually the Birthplace of Harry Potter? …Well now you do.

Monday, August 6, 2012
One week to go...

So, I have lived in Edinburgh Scotland for seven weeks, and have just one more week here. With the start of the Fringe Festival, the city has kind of gone crazy. The ability to get down the Royal Mile in any sense of a straight line or timely manner are gone, as is the abiilty to walk without being approached by someone with a flier. The introvert in my cringes at the very thought, and I have been trying to figure out alternate routes home from the NLS... there really is not one that would be any better.

I think it is really funny how torn I am about leaving Edinburgh. I miss my family, friends, house, and dog amoung other things, and can not wait to get home for them, but I really love this country and the people - the ones that live here, not the tourists that just got here - those I could completely do without...

Want to follow in Jessica's footsteps? To start your own Intern in Britain adventure or find out more email info@bunacusa.org.

Want to share your own Intern in Britain experience? Email promo@bunac.org.uk .