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Meet Arthur in New York!

Meet Arthur in New York!

“My dream is to travel and create digital content. A few days ago I realized I am already doing that right now.” - Arthur has just finished his 4 month internship in New York, he arranged his J-1 visa through Stage-USA.

Why did you choose to go abroad?
Going abroad for a longer time by yourself is one of those things that you can’t “talk” your way through. Being alone, figuring out how to adapt to a different environment, leaving home, are very uncomfortable things to deal with sometimes, but it lets you grow in a way that you can’t find in your own environment.  

How did you find your internship?
In short: Google.
I was hired for an amazing internship in Amsterdam (a sonic advertising company with clients like the Olympics and Nike) however, right before signing the documents I couldn’t accept the fact that I gave up on my New York dream. So without having a back-up plan, I declined the internship at the last second. After that, it took me more than half a year to find the right internship. I caused a major delay in obtaining my bachelor, but it’s been completely worth it so far!

How do you feel about your internship so far?
I’m interning for an ad agency in Brooklyn. My co-workers are the best. We have a lot of fun at the office and it totally doesn’t feel as if I have to go to work in the morning. It’s hard work and it can get pretty rough here sometimes, but it has a rock ‘n roll feel to it. I love that.

How does the American culture differ from your culture and what has impressed you the most?
A lot of people are very scared of saying things that are politically incorrect or frowned upon. In the Netherlands, we are very (sometimes too) direct. However, it may be because of the fact that this city is gigantic, but I like how everybody just let’s the other be. I feel that since the Netherlands is so small, everybody is paying attention to what someone else is doing.
Also, I’m impressed by the dynamics of this city. One time on the subway, there was this lady playing very loud music on her phone. So you’d think people would get angry about it. But when she asked someone what stop she had to get out, that whole section of the car went to figure it out for her.

Could you take us through a day? What is your routine?
I wake up around 7, prepare myself for the day. I’ll get a coffee around to blocks from my apartment in Greenpoint and hop on the bus to my internship in Williamsburg. I’m always an hour early because, well, that’s how you should intern. (They took chance on me which I should be grateful for.) I prepare coffee, clean the curb and get the office running. During lunch, I go to the corner deli for a sandwich or salad or I’ll walk to one of the many other places in Williamsburg. I get home around 7/8pm and go to the gym, edit some video, eat dinner. If I’m not staying in, I try to visit places I haven’t been to yet. There’s so much to see here, it’s ridiculous. As a “temporary New Yorker” I should hate going to Times Square, but it’s actually a guilty pleasure of mine. Being there at night… it doesn’t get old.

What is your housing situation? Do you live in an apartment? Roommates? Housemates?
I live in a new apartment with three roommates. Two girls, one other guy. I’ve got really lucky with these people. We respect each other's boundaries and privacy. We hang out together and support each other. They’re awesome. We also have an enormous rooftop with Manhattan view, so rooftop parties!

Have you made any trips so far? (Or have you trips planned/in mind?)
I might visit Philly sometime but I’ll have to figure that out. There’s so much to do here. Even in four months, it’s too much.

What are your future plans?
My dream is to travel and create digital content. A few days ago I realized I am already doing that right now. I have a YouTube channel about anything that I find interesting. My future plan is to do this and be able to support myself financially at the same time. I’m learning a lot about advertising, which gives me a better understanding of how brands are working with content creators.

How has this experience abroad helped you grow both professionally and personally?
I’m almost halfway in my internship, but I can say that it has been one of the best experiences ever. Living in New York among so many other driven people really brings out the best in me. I’m fired up every morning to start my day. I notice that the place where I’m from (Hilversum) is such a small town and that I shouldn’t worry about my social status. There’s so much more to do in the world than to spend all of my time in one place.

Why would you recommend others to do their internship/traineeship abroad?
Because it kills all the noise around you for a while. Being on the plane to New York was the first moment I realized “I made this happen”. It really gives you more self-esteem. And perhaps the most important reason: you get out of your comfort zone. I feel like I can do anything since I’ve been here.

If you could express your internship experience in three words, what would these be?