Ålands fredsinstitut
The Åland Islands Peace Institute

Hamngatan 4
AX-22100 Mariehamn, Åland, Finland
Tel. +358 18 15570
For more contact information click here.

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Publication about
the Åland Example


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Lauren StevensLauren Stevens will be a communications intern at the Åland Islands Peace Institute from the end of September to the end of November 2018. She is originally from Britain, and currently studies the Master’s programme in Peace, Mediation and Conflict Research at the University of Tampere. For her Master’s thesis, she is researching the impact of Britain leaving the EU (Brexit) on the peace process in Northern Ireland. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Development Studies and Spanish language from the University of Chester in Britain. The third year of her Bachelor’s degree (2013-14) consisted of a Year Abroad Placement through the Erasmus Programme, a European Union (EU) student exchange programme. During this time, she lived in Melilla, a Spanish autonomous city located on the north coast of the African continent that shares a border with Morocco. There, she worked for the British Council as an English Language Assistant in a secondary school. She speaks English at a native level and has prior studies in Spanish and Finnish at intermediate levels. She is participating in a beginners’ Swedish course at evening classes alongside her internship at the institute.

Lauren has written a text about her internship. Read it unde read more below.

"I applied for an internship at the Åland Islands Peace Institute (ÅIPI) because I’m interested in issues concerning peace, security, minorities, and autonomy. I’m particularly interested in minorities related to sexual orientation, gender, and disability, and I wanted to learn more about national and linguistic minorities. I also like going to different places and trying to learn languages. Before I started my internship at ÅIPI, I’d visited Åland once before during last summer. I didn’t know any Swedish at all, I didn’t know much about the Swedish-speaking population in Finland, nor did I know much about the history and politics of Åland.

During my internship at ÅIPI, I learnt a lot about these, especially as I had the opportunity to participate in the e-course ‘Territorial Autonomy as a Tool for Diversity Management: Lessons from the Åland Example’. I now consider it important for people in Finland and beyond to know about Åland's status as an autonomous, demilitarised, and neutralised territory, as well as Åland as an example of a successful solution to a minority conflict.

Being an Information Intern at ÅIPI also involved participating in meetings and seminars and helping with practical arrangements, research assisting tasks, proofreading, updating social media, and taking photos. I especially enjoyed helping to design ÅIPI’s newsletter and learning how to publish articles on ÅIPI’s website.

I really valued the opportunity to give two presentations and get feedback from the staff at ÅIPI. My first presentation was about Melilla, a Spanish autonomous city located on the north coast of Africa that shares a border with Morocco, where I lived in 2014. My second presentation was about the impact of Brexit on the peace process in Northern Ireland, which is the topic of my Master’s thesis.

The staff were really friendly and it was fun to have conversations and visit local places with them. The internship was even better than I imagined because I was given much more trust and responsibility than I expected. I would definitely recommend it!"