My name is Axel ROLLAND, I am 19 years old and I come from France. I came to Plymouth on June 17th 2015 by a ferry, to take part in an Erasmus Plus mobility work experience. In the the beginning, I was kind of anxious about coming to England, even if it was not my first time going abroad. I didn’t know the British culture and how you should behave with British people. Going by Ferry was fine, better than I expected. I arrived at the end of the day and as soon as I got off the ferry, I met my host mother and my internship supervisor: Janet Wonnacott. After a brief induction, I went with my host mother to her house, met her family and saw my bedroom. I felt at home as soon as I got there. British families are really friendly, nice and helpful – if you need anything they will help you to get it.
After a weekend with my host family, I went to work on Monday. My host mother brought me to the City Business Park, the place where I was going to work for 2 months. My company name was Almond Vocational Link. The first day, I met my colleagues and Janet Wonnacott who is the business director of this company. Then with a colleague, also an intern, we went to the city for a welcome tour. she showed me some parts of the city as the City Center, Barbican and the Hoe. These place where amazing and the day was sunnier than ever. I never would have thought the weather in England could be that good. Since I came here, I have not had too many rainy days, and that has cut some of the cliche that I’ve heard about the British weather.
After the welcome tour, I was left on my own, walking around and discovering Plymouth. The city is really nice and I found that it was pretty easy to move around, without getting lost. Then I took the bus. Plymouth has a large range of bus lines which bring you everywhere you want. Located in Plymouth City Centre is Royal Parade, the street where all the buses stop. On this road you can easily find your bus and go back home. If you get lost, you can ask the bus driver or even people on the street and they will be really polite with you and they will help you for sure.
On my work placement, I am a marketing assistant. Janet Wonnacott decided to create a new branch of her company, and all the interns are part of this development. In this internship, I am responsible for looking for new potential partners abroad. I have already worked with partners from France, Belgium, Germany and more. The ambiance in the company is really cool, the work has to be done but you are not under pressure. “Take your time and ask for any help if you need it”. There is a lot of interns where I work and I was quite surprised to find all these students, doing the same things as me. You can make friends easily and talk to people from all around Europe: Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France and other countries.
Working here gives me experience, and it teaches me how to work in a team. If you are not happy with the tasks that your company give you or even with your accommodation, every Thursday we have a one-to-one meeting with Janet. Before this meeting you have to fill in a report, about your work placement and the place where you live. If you have any requirements or any problems just write it on the report and you will talk to Janet during the meeting, then Janet will find a solution for you. Every Thursday after work, we also have a weekly social event called “Language Cafe”. The topic of this event changes every week, you can visit some places in Plymouth (hidden parks) or play board games for example, which gives you the opportunity to improve your English a lot and make friends.
To conclude, there are lots of things to do on the weekend too, and plenty of nightclubs and pubs . Going out is the best way to meet people. There are also some great places where you can rest and enjoy the landscape, like The Hoe. To me, Plymouth is an awesome city which is not too big, and you have plenty of things to do. I am happy to have lived and worked there and I hope I will come back soon.