Athens, Ga. – Matthew Nahrstedt, a graduate student in the Environmental Planning and Design program at the University of Georgia’s College of Environment and Design, has been accepted into the Virtual Student Foreign Service eInternship program. He will be working with the U.S. Department of State’s Overseas Buildings Operations Bureau, which directs worldwide overseas diplomatic building programs.
The internship, while virtual, will be in the Master Planning Division, researching foreign cities. The division manages the master planning of diplomatic facilities throughout their lifecycles. Its activities include site acquisition planning, expansion of existing compounds, redevelopment and relocation planning.
Nahrstedt grew up in St. Peters, Missouri, and attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, where he studied architecture and environmental studies. He spent three years in Peru as an environmental management volunteer with the Peace Corps before coming to UGA.
He found information about the internship in a UGA Career Center newsletter over the summer. Intrigued when he read the title “Virtual Student Foreign Service,” he wondered if his interests fit into those of an office within the U.S. State Department.
“I am very excited to have this internship,” Nahrstedt said. “The office I am working for has the kind of people I want to be working with … architects, planners and engineers. The international work experience is exciting.”
His hopes after graduation are to begin designing for Hispanic and Latino communities in the U.S. and Latin America. He said his time as a federal employee with the Peace Corps was one of the best experiences of his life and he knows that whichever sector he ends up in-public or private-he will be happy if he is helping design better places for people to live, work and play, he explained.
For more information about the master’s degree in environmental planning and design, visit ced.uga.edu. For more on the internship program and the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, visit http://www.state.gov/vsfs/ and http://overseasbuildings.state.gov/about/.