When Nicole Hawke arrived in Bahrain in August 2019 to begin her six-month internship at the National Museum, she immediately felt comfortable with her new colleagues. She stated, “There are many things that made the internship unlike any that could be had in the U.S. I got to work with an archaeology collection for the first time, discovering a new personal area of interest.”
The Bahrain National Museum internship program gave Nicole the opportunity to learn from museum professionals and she gained valuable experience dealing directly with a variety of collections and projects. Nicole explained, “The experience of working with delicate objects thousands of years old was new to me–it helped me develop confidence in my capability to care for objects, whose fragility initially intimidated me. The internship was also a great introduction to the Middle East for me. I found Bahrain’s history fascinating and Bahrainis friendly and welcoming, and I especially enjoyed going to events put on by the Bahrain Authority for Culture & Antiquities.”
Working at the Bahrain National Museum provided Nicole the opportunity to enhance her skillset and build her capacity. She remarked, “Because the museum is relatively new and excavation in Bahrain is ongoing, there is a unique opportunity to gain a holistic view of museum processes. You get to see archaeological objects throughout all stages of their acquisition by the museum, in some cases straight from excavation and still submerged in dirt, and then again once the conservator has cleaned them or pieced them together.” She further noted, “Packing objects for an outgoing loan gave me the chance to put theory into practice–I hadn’t previously packed objects to be shipped internationally.”
The Bahrain National Museum, the U.S. Embassy, and the State Department Study Abroad program collaborated to make this opportunity possible.