Christ Portillo

Embassy of Uruguay

I was mostly motivated by the need to enhance my employability and skills. Also, I needed an experience that would show me what the diplomatic career was like. This was a very good professional experience.

The program allowed me to meet ambassadors from different Latin American countries and discuss with them what their work was like. I was also able to explore my diplomatic career prospects with my own country's ambassador. Not only did I meet ambassadors and participated in the activities of the Uruguayan Embassy, I also made many friends in Canberra. Some of my new contacts are PAs to the Latin-American ambassadors, staff at DFAT or even the AFP. Overall, it was an excellent professional and networking experience.

Personally, I made very good friends at the embassies. Also, sharing the experience with the other interns made the trip very enjoyable, they were all very friendly. Academically, by working for the Uruguayan embassy I had the chance to apply my knowledge of International Relations to a short research program; it was an excellent opportunity to enhance research skills. Finally, regarding my professional development, thanks to the Uruguayan ambassador's good references, my country's ambassador expressed his interest in hiring me in the future.

Highlight: First, it was very good meeting ambassadors and high-ranked diplomats representing different Latin-American countries. Also, Canberra is a beautiful city, with delicious food, an interesting nightlife, and full of opportunities to learn about Australian history and politics. The War Memorial, the Royal Australian Mint and the Parliament house were beautiful places to visit.

Advice: First of all, I would advise students to take the opportunity with an open mind and seek to make the most of it. Each embassy has its own challenges, and things change all the time, so they will have to be prepared to face tasks with creativity. Second, taking a car could be a good idea, public transport is not always available. Otherwise, it's also recommendable to find accommodation within walking distance from the embassy. Third, if going during the winter, students must prepare for very cold temperatures. Finally, it's good advice to share a place with the other interns, sharing will make things much cheaper because short-term accommodation costs are high.


Master of International Relations