Amity Institute – building international friendship and cultural understanding through worldwide exchange.

Amity Institute, an international exchange organization with headquarters in San Diego

Was founded in 1962
Is a non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status
Has been designated by the U.S. Department of State as a J-1 visa sponsor
Has strong ties to Germany

International Tools for easier communication

Internship at a Care Facility

Andrea needed an internship for her social worker Masters program. She was able to arrange with her university to get credit for her time in Germany. Since she spoke German she was accepted in a care facility.

“I was excited to find out that I could do my second internship abroad. I chose a facility that cared for the disabled. When I arrived, I went through a thorough orientation and training. I was assigned to a ward with 10 residents aged 15 to 30. Some were recovering from a car accident, other suffered from cerebral palsy. After the training period, I shadowed a social worker and watched closely how he interacted with the residents. I was impressed with his demeanor toward them.

For him they were individuals and not just charts he had to work off. Later I was given specific support tasks. I was never in charge of treatments which I thought was very good because I have no certification, yet.

My day began at 8am and ended at 5pm with a one-hour lunch break. In the morning, I logged in and went to the nurse’s station to find out my schedule for the day. Sometimes I had to take residents to physical therapy or the doctor.

The facility had a beautiful garden and residents who were able to be outside enjoyed when I took them for a walk in their wheelchair. At other times I played board games with a group that could sit at a table. And sometimes I just sat with them and listened.  Over the course of time, I got to know several residents quite well but in the end, I had to learn not to become too personally attached to them but to treat them as patients.

One highlight of my time abroad was a back-packing trip at the end of my term. Together with three other interns we bought a Euro-Rail ticket and saw as many places as we could squeeze in.  My six month went by very fast. I learned so much and left with many new impressions. I will never forget this time!