Intern Spotlight: Kim Weber
Tell me about all of your travels for your studies. What is your major and what are your interests?
I am studying International Tourism Management at the Karlshochschule International University in Karlsruhe, Germany. I started my studies in 2015 after visiting the United States for the first time, for a four week language course in LA, California. After LA I went to work at a restaurant in Playa del Carmen, Mexico for four weeks and then went to Argentina to learn Spanish and to volunteer on a farm for two months in total. During a semester break, after two semesters of my studies I went to Zanzibar, Africa for an internship at a Kitesurf school and a Hotel for three months. Before I started my internship at the Lightner Museum in March this year, I spent six months in Mallorca, Spain doing a semester abroad at the UIB University!
Travel is my passion and I just love to experience different countries and cultures with all the beauty, the nature and wildlife that every place has to offer. In my opinion, working abroad – no matter if it is an internship or volunteer work, is such a great way to experience a place for what it really is! Sometimes when you are a tourist you miss out on the authentic experience that you can only get when you are integrated in a culture with locals! All my travels made me stronger, wiser, more tolerant and it enhanced my intercultural skills tremendously! I am so grateful because travelling and working in all these places made me think about the world differently! Wherever I go I try to always approach the place with respect and an open mind! Travelling made me think bigger, made me think out of the box and it definitely taught me so much that it partly made me to the person I am today! One of my favorite quotes is “The world is a book! Those who don’t travel read only one page” I want to read the whole book!internship at a Kitesurf school and a Hotel for three months. Before I started my internship at the Lightner Museum in March this year, I spent six months in Mallorca, Spain doing a semester abroad at the UIB University!
How did you end up in St. Augustine and what brought you back a second time?
One of my fellow students’ parents own a house in St. Augustine and we came here together on vacation for two weeks in 2016. I remember as it was yesterday when I first saw the downtown area of St. Augustine. I fell in love with this city! It just sort of happened and I wanted to know everything about this beautiful city! We did not have a lot of time and were only able to do some of the tourist attractions. Which was not enough for me! One year later we came back and I visited St. Augustine four times!
Tell me about your hometown in Germany.
I was born in the beautiful city Heidelberg, which is home of the oldest University in Germany! Heidelberg is a very charming city, very similar to St. Augustine. The city was rebuilt in the 18th century with baroque buildings after being hit during wars. Heidelberg is known for its historic castle, the heart of the city, and also the ‘Alte Bruecke’ (old bridge) which was built in the 18th century. I love the Heidelberger Christmas market which is always a highlight for me when I am home. I also just love to walk through the old streets and sit in one of the small, charming Cafes along the Neckar (Neckar river).
What makes St. Augustine so special to you and why do you feel at home here?
I guess it is the feeling I get when I am here that makes me love St. Augustine so much and what makes me feel at home! I have travelled a lot and every place was special to me! But St. Augustine will always have an even more special place in my heart because it gives me the feeling to be home whenever I come here! I walk through the streets, or the beach or just watch people passing by and it makes me smile every time! This place has so much to offer and has so much history of which the community is very proud of and locals get excited when they talk about that, which gets me excited, too! Since my major is tourism, I enjoy the city even more because it has all these attractions and great places and tourists just love to come here for those reasons! The people in St. Augustine are very friendly and helpful, which I often miss in Germany, that it makes me just happy to be here and to spend time here, even if it’s just going grocery shopping!
What does your dream career look like and where would you be living?
I am not sure if I have a dream career, really! I guess I would want to do something that I feel passionate about and that gets me excited! I would like to do something in the field of tourism, event, history, or culture! I could see myself working and living somewhere abroad since I was aiming an international career when I chose my field of studies. Now that I have been interning in the US for a while, I could definitely imaging working here! I would love it! A dream of mine is to manage my own small, cozy Inn or Bed and breakfast since I like working in the tourism and hospitality field and I would love to be a part of visitors memories by putting a smile on their faces.
What are your favorite places in St. Augustine?
I just really enjoy walking around the streets of downtown St. Augustine! I also enjoy the beaches a lot since I am a runner and there is no better place to run than on a nice beach at sunrise or sunset! The beaches have something else that makes me want to be there every day! Dogs! I love animals, especially dogs and at the beaches of St. Augustine you can see so many dogs playing and enjoying the water which is just adorable to watch!
Furthermore, I like all the historical places in town such as the Lightner, the Castillo, the Lighthouse, Flagler College, the Fountain of Youth, the state park with all the wildlife and many more places! As I said, there is just so much to see and explore in and around St. Augustine! I love it all!
Tell me what your experience in the museum has been like. What are your favorite things to do in the museum?
I visited the Lightner Museum for the first time in 2016 and I knew that I somehow wanted to be a part of this place! I researched for days about the museum and scrolled up and down on the homepage to find possibilities of how to support the Lightner. I learned about the volunteer program which brought the idea of an internship to me. I talked with my university about internships abroad for the 5th semester which requires a mandatory internship. After that was done I started my application for an internship at the Lightner! I returned to St. Augustine in April 2017 for an Interview with Toni Franklin and I was more than thrilled when she told me that the museum wants me. That was when we decided I could start as a volunteer and so I did! I came back in July and volunteered at the Lightner for six weeks before I took off to Spain for my semester abroad! Volunteering at the museum was a great way to learn everything there is to know about the history of this building and about Otto Lightner’s collection. When I came back this year in March for the internship, I already knew the basics and some of the staff members which was really nice and helpful! I enjoy working at the museum, especially with the volunteers who give their free time to support the museum’s mission, which I think is great and very inspiring. I also like working on projects together with the communication coordinator and doing tours! This place has so much potential since it is full of history and every day I am learning something new which makes me happy I chose the Lightner Museum to do my internship with!