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Foundation Sends 2 Korean Interns to Germany

Mr. Kim Kibeom

The May 18 Memorial Foundation selected two students, Ms. Park Bomi and Mr. Kim Kibeom, for the International Intern Dispatch program.

International Intern Dispatch and International Intern Recruitment are two types of international internship programs offered by the Foundation as a part of the May 18 Human Resource Development. Under the International Intern Dispatch, the organization generally selects prominent Korean students and dispatch them to overseas organizations in Nepal, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines, among others.

Under the International Intern Recruitment, the Foundation recruits human rights defenders and civil society activists from its network organizations around the globe.

Bomi and Kibeom are studying at Chonnam National University in Gwangju. Bomi, who is majoring in Forestry, and Kibeom, in Economics, recently flew to Germany. Their four-month internship began this November and will end in March 2019.

The newly-recruited interns are expected to promote the May 18 Democratization Movement in the countries of their placement alongside Korean history, culture, and human rights. The Foundation supports them with a round-trip airfare and monthly stipend for their daily expenses in their respective internship placements.

Prior to their departure, we spoke to Bomi and Kibeom about their internship. Here is the excerpt:

First of all, we congratulate you on your overseas internship. Could you please tell us where you will be interning at?

Kibeom and Bomi: We will be working at Korea Verband, a non-profit organization based in Berlin, Germany. Korea Verband publishes contents about Korean culture and history to the German-speaking public. It also supports human rights and civil movements that occurred in Korean history, including the Gwangju Uprising.

What motivated you to apply for the internship?

Kibeom: After visiting the US with my family, I found a strong motivation to work at international workplaces such as this. I also did volunteer work at the Foundation before. I believe I would promote the May 18 Spirit in Germany through the organization I will be interning with.

Bomi: Since I volunteered for the May 18 Memorial Foundation, I started becoming more concerned with human rights and social issues. So, I want to continue this work through various experiences home and abroad. I believe this internship will provide me an ample opportunity to develop my interest and concerns for social issues as a whole.

Ms. Park Bomi

What are your expectations from this internship?

Kibeom: I expect to explore different views and overcome new challenges, and further strengthen my career.

Bomi: I look forward to doing meaningful activities for human rights and the community and I want to experience unforgettable things [during my internship].

Do you know your possible work duties as an intern?

Kibeom: I will be assisting Korea Verband in its cultural activities and programs. I want to inform and educate Germans about the history of the May 18 Democratization Movement and other social movements in Korea. I will prepare the May 18 Uprising Daedongje in Germany and inform Germany of May 18 Uprising.

Bomi: As an intern, I will engage in Korea Verband’s community organizing efforts to promote Korean culture and research in Germany. I will also help plan, coordinate, and facilitate the organization in its programs. Lastly, I will take part in educating Germans about the May 18 Uprising and other social movements in Korea’s history.

Aside from the internship, what are your other plans in Germany?

Kibeom: I plan to visit one European country per month, brush up my English, and learn German during my internship.

Bomi: If I have time during my internship, I would like to visit several German tourist spots like the Cologne Cathedral and Berlin Wall. I also plan to attend German language classes and meet new friends.

What are your plans after the internship?

Kibeom: I look forward to volunteering for the Gwangju Asia Forum and the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights. I will do my job well and I will return to Korea in good health.

Bomi: After the internship, I will participate in preparing for the events of the May 18 Memorial Foundation. Also, I will come back to the university to finish my master’s degree.