April 10, 2013, by Yvonne Teoh

Life of an Intern – Research in Malaysian Orphanages

It was definitely a great experience to be able to work for an internship research project under the supervision of Dr. Marc Archer during the summer. The project aimed to understand the situation of child abandonment and alternative care in Malaysian context.

Personally, I have always had the passion and curiosity for understanding, and helping vulnerable groups, especially children placed out of family. During the internship, I had the opportunity not only to discuss my interests, and ideas for the project, but I also had the chance to carry out the research by interviewing the administrators of the children’s homes in Malaysia.

This experience had enabled me to meet various people that I would not have the chance to meet prior this research. Over the summer, I visited more than 20 homes all over Malaysia, and it was a valuable experience to be able to speak to the dedicated individuals who have worked in the field for many years. It was truly an eye-opener when I got to learn more about the current issues faced by most of the homes, which had never occurred to me before. Not only that, the hands-on experience had taught me a lot in various aspects such as managing my time and schedule, learning to communicate with people of different backgrounds, and getting a clearer picture of the available alternative care that Malaysia has for displaced children.

In a nutshell, I have no regrets spending my summer break here in UNMC  to engage in a research field that I am very much interested in. Most importantly, this summer internship has given me the inspiration and motivation to work on my final year project, and I hope that what I learned throughout the summer can be applied in my project.

Elynn Foo
(Year 3 Student in BSc (Hons.) Psychology, UNMC)

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