Today is Julia’s last day as the Research and Project Intern at the IARS International Institute. Here is what she had to say about her time at IARS:

In my seven weeks here at the IARS International Institute as a Research and Project Intern, I have experienced and learned more than I ever thought I could in such a short amount of time. I was instantly trusted to perform important tasks that I did not even know I was capable of doing. Because of this trust, I was pushed into doing projects that were outside my comfort zone that helped me develop and polish an assortment of skills. Ultimately, this made me a better young professional, who has confidence in any task she sets her mind to.

On top of what I have learned of my own skill set, I have learned more about the UK in these last seven weeks than I have in my whole lifetime. Being from the USA, I had very minimal exposure to the culture of the UK, specifically the social policy programmes that occur here. With IARS, I have been able to personally analyse the way that the UK handles marginalised groups in society, as well as to directly participate in the search for fairness, equality and justice for these groups through various programmes conducted at IARS.

The USA has a bad reputation for the way it handles the groups in society that require the most help. Since I study Legal Studies, Psychology and Criminal Justice at my university back in the USA, I have a particular interest in comparing what I have learned of the UK to what I know of the USA. What I have observed is that the USA is severely lacking in the area of social reform. We focus on punitive measures and suffer from an individualistic societal perspective. From what I have seen from the UK with IARS, the UK is the opposite with a focus on rehabilitation and social justice for all. The UK and the EU managed to spare many funds to allocate towards this justice and it results in charities like IARS doing good, evidence-based work for many people.

I intend to bring the UK perspective back with me to the USA and use it in any type of future work I do in the social realm, whether it be in the criminal justice system specifically, or just in any societal environment. I am extremely grateful for my time here at the IARS International Institute. The people I have met have been phenomenal, the experiences I have had have been amazing, and the things I have learned will stick with me throughout my life. I would like to give a big thank you to everyone at IARS, and I hope to see you all again someday.

We are truly grateful for Julia’s hard work and contributions at IARS, and we would like to wish her the best of luck in her future endeavours! Thank you Julia cool