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Keeping up with Altmans: Keeping up with Charlotte Ehlers

December 16, 2020 10:30 PM

Charlotte Ehlers of the ’22 cohort had big plans this semester, and they took her all the way to Vienna, Austria! 

Charlotte was originally accepted as an intern at the United States Embassy in Vienna. Though she was unable to participate in the program, Charlotte still felt the call to live in Vienna. In addition to being a major international hub for various organizations, she says, “Its unique position in Europe - because of the Hapsburg empire, which spanned across both east and western Europe, the city today acts as a bridge between both sides of Europe - drew me to the city.” She was also intrigued by Vienna’s rich culture: “Operas, theaters, museums, parks, castles - Vienna has it all!”

Charlotte's view of Vienna
Charlotte's view of Vienna 

Charlotte’s Altman target language is German, so she enrolled in an intensive German language course through the University of Vienna. Participants in the course aim to achieve the advanced C1 level language fluency. Charlotte will take the EPD exam in January to confirm her nearly-native German fluency.

In addition to the language course, Charlotte also took on two remote internships. She joined the Content Team for The Borgen Project, an advocacy organization that focuses on ending world poverty through congressional relations, mobilization, education, and messaging. As a writer for The Borgen Project Blog, Charlotte is tasked with writing one article each week related to the progress made in fighting poverty and raising funds to support the organization. Her blogs are centered around how poverty relates to markets and the global economy. Charlotte says she prefers to focus on “the good news” when writing her blogs. You can read Charlotte’s blog about initiatives to eliminate period poverty in Sri Lanka here: https://borgenproject.org/period-poverty-in-sri-lanka/

Charlotte and her snowman!
Charlotte finds time for fun!

Charlotte also took on a Virtual Student Federal Service internship with the Young African Leaders Initiative, or YALI, the United States’ signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders. The YALI Network provides its members with opportunities to connect with community leaders and to learn from experts in their fields. For her internship, Charlotte interviews members of the YALI Network and writes blog posts about their activities. You can read an example of her work here: https://yali.state.gov/from-student-to-teacher-how-lillian-moremi-shows-youth-the-way/

As if these projects were not enough, Charlotte also joined a rugby club! Charlotte is playing with the Blue Ladies at The Vienna Celtic Rugby Football Club, Vienna’s oldest rugby club. Though the team put their practices on hold when Vienna went on lockdown last month due to COVID-19, Charlotte still participated in online workout sessions. Now that restrictions have been lifted, she is looking forward to getting back on the field. After waiting for a month and half for coronavirus restrictions to be lifted, she was also able to visit the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna for the first time last weekend! She is looking forward to visiting more museums and fully experiencing the culture of Vienna. 

Charlotte looking at exhibits in the Kunsthistorisches Museum
A visit to the Kunsthistorisches Museum

The language course, two internships, and extracurricular activities keep her very busy, but Charlotte is up for the challenge. She says, “Though the semester has been quite challenging, I haven't regretted coming here, even for a second.”