It is always with some trepidation that I respond when a student tells me that they will indulge in a ‘gap-year’ after Year 12. I have visions of students lolling on couches, playing video-games and generally failing to contribute to their personal growth or their community. Thus, when one of my students, whom I have had the pleasure of teaching in both History Revolutions and Australian Politics via Distance Education, told me that she was taking a ‘gap-year’ I was mildly alarmed.
This was clearly not the appropriate response in the case of Emma Muscatello (Year 12 2018). Emma has been offered an internship in the Office of the Secretary General of the European Union in Brussels for 2019. This is an extremely prestigious offer that will allow Emma to become exposed to the mechanics of high-level international relations, to shadow high-level policy makers and government officials and also to undergo expenses paid travel around member-states and potentially further afield.
Emma’s achievement is a fine example of the benefits of undertaking language study and engaging broadly with the world. Emma has studied German whilst at Vermont and previously won the Sagse Scholarship (2017) which allowed her to travel to Germany on a cultural exchange, an experience which included delivering a speech at the New Zealand Embassy in Berlin entirely in German.
Whilst in Brussels, Emma will also undertake studies in French so she can further expand her knowledge base and better prepare herself for a future career in Law or Diplomacy. Emma is a fine example to all of us of the benefits of engaging fully with the opportunities that are presented, to working incredibly hard in pursuit of our goals and seeking to engage broadly with the world as an international citizen. All the best in the future Emma.
Aidan Message (History & Politics Teacher/ Head of Learning and Teaching)