All roads lead to Rome, as the old saying goes. It’s true because destiny sent me to the heart of this Eternal City for three months in the summer to embark on an experience I’ll never forget. Not knowing what to expect, my internship at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) turned out to be an interesting combination of the ancient world charms and modern diplomacy. Join me as I take you on a journey through the captivating moments of my Roman summer, where history, culture, and my professional development came together in the most amazing way.
Over two millennia of history have left Rome with an abundance of ancient wonders for visitors to discover today. On weekends, I would visit the city’s historical sites, such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Pantheon, to remind myself that I am not simply an intern, but a part of the legacy that this ancient city holds. The art and architecture of the city taught me to appreciate beauty that transcends time, revealing stories of civilizations, artists, and visionaries. The vibrant colors of the Roman city made me grateful for the opportunity to witness such magnificence. To top it all off, delicious gelato from a nearby gelateria, beautiful patisseries in small cafeterias, and freshly brewed Italian coffee that wafted down the cobblestone streets as I walked to work every day became my guilty pleasure, and I gladly indulged in different varieties every day. Aside from bakeries, Italy is a destination for delicious soul food. I loved every opportunity to experience authentic Italian cuisine and quickly found two new favorites: pasta alla-carbonara and Roman-style pizza.
My experience at FAO was an ideal balance of professionalism and a strong desire to see the world achieve food security. As an intern with the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), a forerunner in global food security negotiations, I was part of a team addressing some of the most serious issues on world food security. From attending several delegation sessions to studying new policies, each day brought new perspectives and a heightened sense of responsibility. Working with the CFS team, which focuses on a wide variety of issues in a collaborative environment, has left a long-lasting impression on me. As an intern, I had the privilege of being in a team with dedicated professionals, witnessing the dedication and effort required to make an impact on the global scale. It was amazing to see the power of diplomacy in establishing real connections and finding common ground for the greater good. Diplomacy is about more than just politics; it is about understanding, respect, and collaboration to accomplish positive change.
Rome, with its historic beauties, warm and lovely people, and modern vibrancy, captivated me in a way that only a few cities can. As the summer in Rome comes to an end, I know that my experiences in Rome and at FAO will always have a special place in my heart. The internship introduced me to the richness of cultural interchange and the joy and satisfaction of being a part of a global effort.
With a newfound interest in diplomacy in agriculture and a treasure of memories, I wave goodbye to the Eternal City, knowing that the journey was just getting started. Whether it’s through the cobblestoned streets or the hallways of international organizations, I’m more motivated and encouraged to have a positive impact on the world, inspired from my Roman summer! Would you like to have a Roman summer as well?
Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Rome, Italy | summer 2023