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Embassy of Cyprus, Washington D.C.

Alexandra Constantinou

Alexandra Constantinou in front of the White House.
"At the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus, I have been privileged to intern under the Deputy Chief of Mission, Olympia Neocleous, who has also served as a diplomat in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as a detached national expert at the European Commission. Her expert knowledge in international affairs has truly afforded me an opportunity to witness diplomacy firsthand. As the Republic of Cyprus has recently assumed the six‐month rotating presidency of the EU, I have worked diligently under Olympia's supervision to assist with memo writing, event coverage, and other PR issues.

Under Olympia, I have discovered the intricacy of foreign diplomacy and how vital communication is within our international system. I have researched the American interest in solving the Cyprus problem as well as made projections of Obama and Romney's foreign policy vis‐à‐vis Europe. I have been fortunate to attend a myriad of interesting DC events, as many as six per week, ranging from CSIS events on EU/NATO Cohesion to the Egyptian uprising, a Heritage Foundation global diplomacy debate, and a full‐day conference on Turkey hosted by the Middle East Institute. I found it fascinating to learn about Turkey's rise in the international system.

Through my event attendance, I have also witnessed how European nations interact with one another, assisting the Embassy's Consul, Neophytos Constantinou, in EU delegation events.

I believe that my experience at the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus has further cultivated my interests in diplomacy and truly helped me to understand the workings of an embassy. Cyprus' first‐ever EU presidency has afforded a wonderful opportunity to interact with other EU countries and grasp the complexities the EU faces while maintaining a presence in Washington. Although I was the only intern at the Embassy this summer, I am ecstatic that I did this internship now, because I have dabbled in diplomacy and been able to represent the Embassy as a college student. Being the only intern has also offered me a more personalized internship and the ability to cultivate a relationship with Olympia.

My internship experience has instilled in me the importance of communication, diplomatic interaction, and organization. While definitely a challenge, Cyprus is poised to enact a successful EU presidency that focuses upon the current problems plaguing the EU nations and provide a framework of solution. I am thankful that I was able to live in DC and intern at the Embassy during such an opportune time, as the EU faces a bright future if its nations can act cohesively."