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Sayd Peñaranda

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Sayd Peñaranda

Sayd Peñaranda


Sayd is a Colombian student in the Roads to Democracy M.A. programme at the University of Siegen, Germany. After his internship, he moved to Italy to take part in an Erasmus+ academic exchange at the University of Bologna.

Time flies. I applied to Democracy International for an internship back in October 2020. By that time, I was in Barranquilla, Colombia -my beautiful hometown- starting my Roads to Democracy M.A. programme’s first semester, at the University of Siegen (which commenced virtually due to the pandemic). In a nutshell, I would say the application process was quite organic. I simply googled ‘’Democracy-related internships in Germany” and DI’s website popped up on top of the options. I checked out the testimonials from previous interns (even contacted them via LinkedIn) and right away I knew the DI internships were tailor-made for me. Then, the team held an e-meeting to get to know me better and the good news came a couple of days after that: I was in!

After 7 months, the day finally arrived. It all went well from the very beginning. On my first day, during the team meeting, I truly felt a warm welcome, and I also felt part of something huge. As days passed by, I started to be given more responsibilities. I helped the team out with several tasks and projects, albeit I would like to bring to the fore the European Citizens’ Initiative, the WeThePeoples campaign, and the European Public Sphere. As for these projects, I collaborated in writing articles, conducting interviews, co-hosting/co-organising webinars, researching about direct democracy related initiatives across the world, proofreading, managing social media, etc. I can say I learned a lot from this and I cannot recall a single task I didn’t enjoy.

One remarkable experience was the trip to Warsaw, Poland. This happened within the context of the aforementioned European Public Sphere project, specifically through its Remember Tour. We brought the famous Dome Talks to Warsaw and it was a marvellous experience that I won’t ever forget. Being entrusted to the point of supporting the team in something that important is amazing.

Caroline, Daniela, Anne, Andreas, Ben, Klaus, Kim, Darragh, Daniel, ASA team: thank you for everything. You all are inspiring. And to whoever reads these words: you will have a great time!


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