When Crista Lee-Ann Cagney arrived in Bahrain on January 2018 to begin her six-month internship at the National Museum, she settled in right away with her new colleagues. “Making acquaintances was delightful; everyone here is so kind and warm, so I felt right at home working at the museum,” she reports. As a second year graduate student pursuing a Masters in Museum Science at Texas Tech University, Crista searched for an opportunity have a hands on practical experience in a museum environment.
The Bahrain National Museum internship program offered this opportunity and a chance to learn in an educational environment with museum professionals. Interns gain valuable experience dealing directly with a variety of collections and projects. Crista explained, “When this opportunity to do museum work in a different country came into my purview, I was immediately interested and intrigued. I had never been to the Middle East, let alone to any of the Gulf countries, so I was also attracted to the cultural uniqueness that Bahrain offered.”
Working in the Bahrain National Museum gave Crista the opportunity to make professional contacts and enhance her museum resume. “I strongly believe that this was a good choice for me. I have learned many things relating to collections care for museums in this region. In contrast to my peers interning in the states,” She said, “being here has allowed me to learn about international museum loans, and has highlighted the differences between North American museum management versus Gulf museum management.”
The Bahrain National Museum, the U.S. Embassy and the State Department Study Abroad program collaborated to make this opportunity possible.