June 22, 2017

AMERICAN DIPLOMACY IN MADRID

By Ivan Ponieman-Ferradas in Madrid, Spain

I am a rising junior majoring in Economics and International & Global Studies.  This summer I am interning for the United States Department of State Foreign Service at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, Spain.  The Foreign Service carries out American foreign policy around the world.  Its mission is to promote peace, development, and democracy abroad for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere.

I have wanted to intern for the Foreign Service since I was a senior in high school, when I learned about the internship opportunity through the Department of State website.  When the application period opened last November, I worked closely with career counselors at Hiatt to make sure that my application reflected strong candidacy.  I applied to the internship online and was offered a position in December upon receiving security clearance.  After completing extensive paperwork and being interviewed by federal investigators, I successfully received my security clearance and a final offer during early March.

The Embassy in Madrid is divided into five different sections: management, economic, political, public affairs, and consular.  I am working at the consular and economic sections.

The consular section is divided in the Visas unit and the American Citizen Services unit (ACS). Visas is in charge of processing both immigrant and non-immigrant visas for foreign nationals who wish to travel to the United States.  ACS takes care of American citizens in Spain, from processing new passports to going on prison visits and handling abduction cases.  I am currently working in Visas assisting consuls in processing an average of 200 daily visa requests.  I work with the general public receiving cases, entering passport data, and taking fingerprints. [Read more…]

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