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Traineeship

International Trainees

A new generation of journalists is bringing the world to DW. Ten journalism trainees have made it through our three-stage selection process and are now enhancing DW's programs.

Mu Cui, International Trainee (photo: DW).

Mu Cui

Mu Cui
I made my first foray into journalism while I was studying at university in Shanghai, which is where I come from. My major was German studies so I looked around for an opportunity to put what I was learning into practice and successfully applied for a placement at the Shanghai bureau of the German public broadcaster, ARD.

In 2008, I flew to Germany where I enrolled in translation studies in Germersheim. My passion for journalism remained unabated and so in 2010, I did an internship at one of Germany's state broadcasters, SWR in Baden Baden. There my passion for journalism continued, not in the least because they even broadcast the news items I wrote. At the end of 2010, I did another internship, this time in Deutsche Welle's Chinese department and subsequently started working for them on a freelance basis.

Since then, I have often been asked, "why journalism"? And the reply, "passion" wasn't an adequate answer. Journalists need to have conviction too and that also applies to me. So, why journalism?

The world contains an infinite number of interesting and often complex stories that we are passionate about - stories that we would like tell. And as journalists, we have to scrupulously research these stories, summarize the facts and make complicated information easy to understand. In short, we have to have good journalism skills in order for others to feel our passion. That, as well as my passion, is my answer to the question of why journalism.


Luisa Frey, Inernational Trainee (photo: DW).

Luisa Frey

Luisa Frey
I was born in the state of Bahia in the northeast of Brazil but my family moved to São Paulo when I was young. I attended an international German school and I was often asked where I was from and if I spoke Portuguese.

Whenever I am abroad, whether I am on a school exchange in the German town of Mannheim or on university exchanges in Italy and Spain, or living in Germany as I do now, people always notice my accent. But they are never able to guess where I am from because they don't think someone with blue eyes and blonde hair could come from Brazil.

Breaking down stereotypes is one of the responsibilities of journalism. That is my chosen profession. In particular, I am inspired by international and cultural journalism because I am fascinated by, and love reporting about, other people's opinions and beliefs.

Because of my German heritage and education, Deutsche Welle has always had a special resonance for me. Here at DW, it is wonderful to have the opportunity to combine my languages and my profession. I studied journalism in Brazil. And when I first came to DW, I started off doing work experience then I did an internship and then became a freelancer. Now I am doing a DW traineeship, which will be extremely useful in improving my skills and broadening my horizons because I haven't yet attained my goal.


Tarek Elias-Hasse, International Trainee (photo: DW).

Tarek Elias-Hasse

Tarek Elias-Hasse
I spent 18 years of my life in the northern Israeli city of Haifa, where I was born and grew up. So I am a northern light as they say in Germany. I am also a Palestinian Israeli, a term that I don't always find easy but that I choose to call myself. In my home country, even as children, we learned to form our own opinions. These were often political opinions, which weren't free from prejudice. Today, I know that people are entitled to their own beliefs and their lives shouldn't be made more difficult because of this. People should be allowed to think what they like.

I find the north of Germany fascinating with its flat landscape, the gorgeous summer light and the stunning beaches replete with squawking seagulls. It's sensational. The people in the north also have a very dry sense of humor which I like. There is a German saying from the coast, "Nicht lang' schnacken, Kopp in' Nacken" which roughly translates as "Don't talk so much, throw your head back." This is often used as a toast but also to express the idea of "stop procrastinating and take the bull by the horns."

It took me a while to take the bull by the horns and decide to be a journalist. I originally started studying medicine and then psychology. It was a long journey to become a journalist and arrive at DW. But now I'm here, I am extremely motivated to prove myself as a journalist. And I can only achieve this if I take the bull by the horns.


Ariana Galindo González, International Trainee (photo: DW).

Ariana Galindo González

Ariana Galindo González
If you rummage through my shelves, you'll find notebooks and exercise books in all shapes and sizes. I've always had this weakness for buying bound paper, regardless of whether I had an idea to write down at the time or not. The ideas always come, whether it's an idea for a short story, a fairy tale, an article about feminism for my blog or a complete book. Writing is the most important thing. That's how I have always been and over time, my desire to write has only become stronger.

Every day, I am happy I decided to study journalism. It is exactly the right profession for me because I can't sit still for five minutes at a time. I like that journalists have to deal with a flood of news and different topics on a daily basis. It's guaranteed to bring variety. I'm positive the DW traineeship will bring me a step closer to realizing my goal of being a journalist.


Carolina Machhaus, International Trainee (photo: DW).

Carolina Machhaus

Carolina Machhaus
Having a Chilean mother and a German father, I grew up with two cultures and with two languages, Spanish and German. This is a gift that I greatly value and it has meant learning other languages and experiencing other cultures has always been important to me. I went from the German town of Boppard by way of the Easter Islands to Lisbon and then onto Berlin, where I studied journalism and politics (and learned to love the German capital at the same time).

I first encountered the Deutsche Welle on a trip to Chile when I was about four years old. Back then, I wasn't as fluent in German as in Spanish. I remember listening to Deutsche Welle. I was fascinated and tried to work out which language it was and where I knew the language from. After a while, I realized that it was German. So, in an interesting way, both of my home countries became entwined.

As the years went by, I realized I wanted to be able to use both of my languages equally and my career choice became more clear. DW is the perfect solution because here I can combine journalism with my language skills and my cultural competence. At the moment, I am very happy to be part of Deutsche Welle and to have to opportunity to gain more experience so that I can work as a professional journalist within different cultures.


Sella Oneko, International Trainee (photo: DW).

Sella Oneko

Sella Oneko
When I was a child, I wanted to be a storyteller. My German-Kenyan background meant my childhood and later adult life were marked by a back and forth between Europe and Africa - as a storyteller, I could certainly combine these diverse experiences.

Later on, I studied ethnology and politics in Frankfurt and during this time, I became interested in development policy. I subsequently spent a year working on a HIV/AIDS project in Malawi for the German Development service (DED). But then I realized that I would like to have some practical skills beyond my academic qualifications.

In the meantime, I had gained my first journalism experience at the magazine "Entwicklung + Zusammenarbeit" (Development + Cooperation). And so I decided to got to London to study journalism. As well as traveling, drinking coffee and mountain climbing, food is still one of my favorite pastimes. To escape from the bustle of London, I spent many weekends strolling through markets and interviewing people about agriculture for my final-year thesis.

My childhood dream of becoming a storyteller has, of course, changed over the years. My interests now include topics such as politics and economics. But perhaps my traineeship at the Deutsche Welle has brought me a bit closer to my childhood ambition.


Iryna Shpakouskaya, International Trainee (photo: DW).

Iryna Shpakouskaya

Iryna Shpakouskaya
Journalists are used to staying in the background, which is why it is difficult for me to write about myself. I became a journalist because I like writing and I am good at it. Of course, journalistic writing is strictly factual. But even if we can't make up the story ourselves, who cares? Journalism is about telling stories based on experiences from real life and such stories are better anyway.

I studied international journalism in Minsk. The students were divided up into four specialties: print, radio, TV and public relations. Even back then, we talked a lot about the concept of the universal journalist, someone who had a specialty but who could work in every medium. We all thought this was important but in reality I hardly had anything to do with the radio or TV group because they didn't have anything to do with my specialty.

But, in reality, I wanted to be a multimedia journalist, to be able to shoot a video, then record a radio report and then pen an online article. I realized that I needed additional training in order to close the gaps in my knowledge. Initially I started working at a privately-owned newspaper in Minsk. Three years later, I ended up gaining a place in the "Journalism International" program at the Free University of Berlin. Later on, I won an international parliamentary scholarship and spent five months working in the German parliament.

I view myself as incredibly lucky to have received a place in the Deutsche Welle trainee program because it offers everything I have always wanted - to work as a multimedia journalist in diverse areas of an international broadcaster. As trainees, we can experiment in both theory and practice. I couldn't be happier.


Elizabeth Shoo, International Trainee (photo: DW).

Elizabeth Shoo

Elizabeth Shoo
"In my country, I am the German." This sentence, together with the photo of a Tanzanian who worked at DW, was pasted on buses all over Bonn as part of an advertising campaign.

As a child and teenager in Tanzania, I was also often called "the German". I was born in 1988 in the German town of Bergisch Gladbach and lived there until I was six when my family decided to move back to Tanzania.

After finishing high school, I started a three-month internship at a local radio station that broadcast Deutsche Welle's Kiswahili program. At the same time, I won a place in Cologne to study online editing. My application for an internship at the Deutsche Welle in nearby Bonn worked out seamlessly and so I came closer to reaching my goal of eventually working for DW.

When I told my fellow students about my plans, they were incredibly enthusiastic. "DW has the best canteen in the whole of Bonn," a friend said. During my internship at DW, it very quickly became clear that DW had more to offer than just an excellent canteen. I was impressed by the diversity of languages and cultures, the professional environment and the friendliness of my colleagues.

After my internship, I was fortunate to be able to continue working for DW on a freelance basis. Now, I have begun a traineeship and I am excited about the projects and experiences that await me and the other trainees. I think the traineeship is a unique opportunity to work together with people from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.


Jan Philip Verminnen, International Trainee (photo: DW).

Jan Philip Verminnen

Philip Verminnen
When the bell used to ring at the Swiss international school I attended in São Paulo, the other students ran as fast as they could to the canteen or to the playground. I had another mission, however; it was time to do some serious work! I would squat by myself at the edge of the sports field and with great concentration, try to imitate my radio idols by commentating on the soccer games being played in front of me.

Radio has always fascinated me. I used to listen to all of the sport shows on Radio Jovem Pan ever Sunday from 11 o'clock in the morning to late at night. I am no different from every other Brazilian sports enthusiast. We all view soccer commentary - the magic of being able to create a crystal clear picture for the listeners from thousands of rapidly spoken, creative and emotional words - as an art form.

When I finished school, I originally decided to study law. Arguing, debating and taking a critical look at things have always been a part of my character. In the end, these turned out also to be the characteristics of a journalist. And then there was this small boy, who had always wanted to be a radio host.

That is why, in the middle of 2003, I changed to the Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie in São Paulo and began to study media communication and social science. Of course, radio had the major role in my studies but I also discovered my love for features. Because I was bilingual in Portuguese and German and had a bi-cultural education, I always had strong ties to Europe. So when I finished studying the end of 2007, I simply packed two suitcases and my German adventure began.

After many detours and some hiccups, I now have a traineeshipsat Deutsche Welle. Thanks to this unique training program, I can finally not only work in my selected profession, but also speak my mother tongue and realize my dream of living in Germany. And most importantly, I will definitely enjoy my time here!


Yalda Zarbakhch, International Trainee (photo: DW).

Yalda Zarbakhch

Yalda Zarbakhch
Where do I come from? Where do I belong? Where do I want to live when I grow up? These questions are a recurring theme in my life. They are a kind of background refrain whose answers need to be continually recomposed. There is only one theme that has remained the same and it developed very early - the desire to become a journalist.

I was born in Iran and was only four months old when my family had to flee. Germany has been my new home since then, but somehow Iran is still a part of my life. In the past, I spent a lot of time thinking about who I was and where I was from. Today, I have reached the conclusion that I am both German and Iranian. I am also Cologne local and I am at home in several cultures and languages. This is the perspective that I bring to journalism.

"News" was one of my first words in Persian. Even when I was two, I already understood the importance of the news because it caught the attention of my whole family and distracted them from what I was doing. I just had to say "the news" when I wanted to put off going to bed.

When I was 16, I would up in the USA. During my time at high school there, my favorite subject quickly became obvious - TV production. I ended up spending my year in Phoenix presenting the so-called "School Announcements". During my school years, I gained further journalism experience at the BBC World Service in London. And international broadcasters have fascinated me ever since.

I followed this with a Media Studies degree in Cologne and Rome with diverse stops at radio and television stations in Germany and elsewhere. My Master's thesis then took me back to my roots in Iran. I was there during the unrest surrounding the 2009 presidential elections in 2009. Ever since then, I have immersed myself even more in Iranian politics, culture and society.

As such, the news continues to be important for me; fortunately, it's not just a means to an end. I have now arrived where I always wanted to be, experiencing quality journalism, cultural diversity and multilingualism all at the same time. And last but not least, I now have another home, DW.

DW recommends

Ramon Garcia-Ziemsen DW Akademie

Ramón García-Ziemsen

Head, Journalism Training

T: +49.228.429-2242
E: volontariat@dw.com