TYO Intern Alumni: Where are They Now?
It is an intense and demanding experience, but there is real satisfaction to be found in devoting your time to others for a while.
A Liverpool, UK native, Mathilda taught women’s fitness, photography and community English as an intern in the Spring of 2011. She then moved on to become the Triple Exposure Coordinator until September 2011.
What was your favorite moment/story from your time with TYO?
There were so many. Bonding with my translators who I worked with on a daily basis. Gradually being able to buy groceries in Arabic. Starting every sentence with ‘yaa3ni…’ Saying goodbye to my fellow interns: Leila, Colin and Adam, felt like the end of an era.
What do you miss most about TYO or Nablus?
I miss the people, my friends and colleagues. I loved living in the West Bank, and ended up staying for 8 months, but Nablus will always be special to me. It has it’s own distinct character, so welcoming and real.
What have you been up to after leaving Nablus and what are your plans for the future?
I recently moved to Sydney to work for a Japanese CEO to help him expand his business globally. One of his businesses is ESL schools in Australia (and abroad), so I’m half involved with education management, and my other work involves the fashion industries in China and Japan. This builds upon my experience up till now, and I get to use my Japanese everyday in an international environment so it’s a satisfying job. I may be here for a few years if all goes to plan.
How do you think TYO affected you personally and professionally?
From a professional standpoint, I really enjoyed teaching, watching children grow individually and gain confidence, and managing a project. I picked up many transferrable skills. I had been interested in Palestine for a very long time before I came to TYO. The intern orientation and educational trips helped paint a reality alongside what had essentially been an academic political understanding of the situation till then. My love for the people I met there will stay with me forever.
Do you have any advice for anyone considering applying for a TYO internship?
Go for it. If you’re successful, immerse yourself. Put in 110% and you will get it back both from your students, and in terms of your own enjoyment. It is an intense and demanding experience, but there is real satisfaction to be found in devoting your time to others for a while.
Be sure to check out TYO's 'Triple Exposure Program' video narrated by Mathilda.