Almost one week ago I arrived in Skopje, Macedonia, and it has already been such an interesting adventure. I was nervous coming to this part of the world because I have never even thought about visiting Macedonia or any of the surrounding countries, but I am already so glad that I am staying here. So, what made me decide to visit Macedonia? It wasn’t so much the place as it was the internship opportunity that I have been given. Two semesters ago, I finally discovered that I wanted to focus on gender and sexuality research and the influence it has on public policy as a career via a wonderful class, so I immediately began to look for ways to delve deeper into this topic. By chance, someone showed me this internship, where I would be conducting research looking at the effect of discrimination on the mental health of LGBTQ+ individuals in Macedonia with the hopes of using this information to influence policy changes. It was exactly what I was looking for! I am hoping to learn so much about the status of LGBTQ+ individuals in a place I have never been before and learn the best ways to navigate this topic if I focus on it in my future. Macedonia itself is incredibly interesting and learning more about the history of this place is high on my to do list as well as maybe learning enough words to get by for two months.
I am so excited for what is to come!