Emma’s Internship at UN-HABITAT Part III

Emma-Liisa Hannula is completing her four months internship at the UN-HABITAT in Nairobi, Kenya. She will tell about her experiences in SGT blog during the spring term! This is her second letter from Kenya!


My internship ended 31st of May and I came back to Finland 10th of June after travelling a bit inside the country. The spring went very fast and I really enjoyed my internship, the assignments and the life in Kenya.

I completed my internship assignments including the main assignment ´Post-crisis urban planning quick guide- Guidance for practitioners´. I had a presentation about the quick guide before ending my internship and the feedback was very positive.  I will make the final changes to the publication according to the comments made by the peer review group. I really enjoyed the assignment and I am very satisfied with the internship. I think I made a good contribution to the team and that the quick guide will be beneficial for people working with post-crisis urban planning. I am also very happy that my internship took place during the pre-governing council retreat and the Governing council. I learned a lot from both of them.

The internship met my expectations. I am pleased to have learned so much during the spring from people whose work I greatly admire. My goal to finish the publication and to finish the back ground of my Master´s thesis was achieved. I am very happy that I got the chance to learn about the agency as whole, about UN-HABITAT and especially about the Disaster and Post-conflict section. The assignments I was working with required skills in urban planning on beforehand but I was happy to learn a lot about the specific context of planning in post-crisis and about cross cutting issues in post-crisis environment as well as about shelter and infrastructure in crisis and urban crisis and preparedness.

Generally, I am very satisfied and happy with my internship. I think my supervisor and other colleagues included me well in the team and supported my work. In my opinion, when the intern gets a meaningful assignment, the internship can be beneficial to both sides- to the intern and to the section.

Additionally, I enjoyed the life in Kenya very much. After a while, when getting used to Nairobi, it started to be a pleasant place to live in. I got to know a lot of people that I hope to keep in touch with in the future. Kenya as a country is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever been and great possibilities for travelling. It has a very beautiful nature: savannahs, mountains, desert, jungle and amazing beaches on the coast. The people are very friendly and positive and the chances to see a lot of wildlife are better than anywhere in the world.

The internship has supported my career plans. I am even more interested to work in the field of planning/shelter in crisis than before the internship. I hope the experience and the contacts made during the internship will help me in starting a career within crisis related work.

Emma-Liisa Hannula Blog 15.6.2011