I am in Minsk, Belarus for an Internship right now. The Problem is, I am quite upset about my situation: I barely get to know people, I don't speak Russian, I don't like my room, the work I do all by myself and I don't think someone cares at all what I am doing. All in all I feel like am sitting here wasting my time and money.

I was thinking about aborting this to fly back home, but I already booked my flight for the mid of september.

My question now is: Do you have some tips for me to make the best out of my situation? What can I do in Minsk, should I stay? How to get in touch with people? Is it the right choice to travel around aimlessly? I dont know.

  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's not about travel. – JonathanReez Aug 14 '16 at 18:04
  • 1
    Alright, fewer matters of opinon, I get that (edited). @jonathanreez I do not understand what the problem is here: I am travelling, and I may be travelling further. I still believe there may be people here that are willing to help and do not "vote for close". Thanks – suffi Aug 14 '16 at 18:25
  • 2
    You might also want to look on Workplace as they've had several similar questions specifically about internships. (search on [internship] unhappy) – mkennedy Aug 14 '16 at 19:22

First, it does not appear that "stranded" really describes the situation. You are doing an internship, are unhappy with several aspects of your situation, and you have plans to return home in roughly a month. As I see it, you have three options:

  • Go home now. This would involve paying the airline's change fee and applicable difference in fare (or purchasing a new ticket if that's cheaper). I can't tell you how much this will cost, but it is something you can research for yourself: contact the airline to determine what they would charge you to change your ticket, and research the cost of a new ticket on a ticket-search website. You would need to give notice to your employer that you are leaving, and quitting early would likely impact your ability to use the internship experience for college credit, your resume, a reference, future job opportunities, etc...

  • Stay and make the best of it. Maybe there are things you can do to try to improve the situation. Are there other interns you can hang out with, either at your company or other companies in the area/industry? Are there bars or places where expats or foreign tourists hang out that you might be able to speak to? (This article has some tips, or try a google search for "Minsk expat bar.") If you are unhappy with your work, can you respectfully share your concerns with management? Perhaps there are other projects at the office you'd like to learn more about and they can arrange to include you more. Have you already explored the Minsk area? If not, hit up the tourist sites and ask your co-workers (to the extent the language barrier allows) to recommend you places to see. Are there local events or festivals you could visit? Concerts or cultural events? Even just sitting in a bar with a book (or your cell phone) is a change of scenery, and you never know who you might meet.

    If you're tired of Minsk, maybe you can take some day or weekend trips? This costs money of course, but if you're able to do it, it might bring you some happiness. If you can find reasonably cheap airfares (or trains to some destinations), much of Europe is at your feet. Leave on a Friday afternoon if you can and come back Sunday night and cities like Prague, Vilnius, St. Petersburg, Warsaw, and Vienna aren't far. Grab a tourist guidebook and hit up the sights; a solo walk around Prague Castle followed by a good Czech beer is a fine way to spend an afternoon, and it's only a 1:45 direct flight away.

  • Tough it out. You have roughly a month to go, and while you aren't enjoying yourself, it doesn't sound like you're in a dangerous or harmful situation (if you are being harassed, abused, your room is unsafe, etc... and the problem is not being corrected, then staying is certainly not recommended). It is possible that the experience of sticking it out and the future benefits for your education and/or employment of having completed the internship will be worth putting up with some unhappiness now.

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.