Going away from home to take part in the Erasmus Plus internship can be a very daunting and scary vision at first. Many of our students tell us about the mixed emotions and feelings they had in regards to working away from home for a long period of time. Here is an honest opinion from our newest intern – Karina. Karina is currently studying International Business in Austria, she has been placed with Almond Vocational Link and will be expanding her knowledge about digital marketing from our Marketing and Design coordinator – Kamila. Karina writes about managing expectations, preparing for the lengthy trip, the worries she had in regards to meeting the company’s criteria and finding her way around Plymouth. We look forward to reading some more of her blogs documenting her stay in Plymouth.
Three weeks in a foreign country. To some it might sound like a long time and scary but I was excited and could not wait to go abroad. This exchange programme is part of my education and I have done similar things before but it was my first time working abroad. We did not chose to go to Plymouth and honestly, I was a bit disappointed when we got the information we would not be going to London as said before.
My class started filling out the registration forms at the end of November to have them ready on time. I was already a bit nervous about the work placement because you had to give precise information about what areas you would like to work in and what task you are able to fulfill.
It was beginning of May when we finally received some information about where we were going to live and work. It was also the first time we started to look up information on the internet. We all checked out our future companies and since we have not booked any cultural trips we also created a list with things to do during our 3-week stay in Plymouth. Personally, I found some good information on TripAdvisor and www.visitplymouth.co.uk. We are definitely going to visit the gin distillery and go on a cruise to see the amazing landscape around this area.
We all had many questions because we were not given much information. All we knew were the addresses of our host families and our workplaces. Unfortunately, we were not able to contact our host families beforehand. A few weeks later, we received a new venue report with changed work placements and host families, which raised further questions. What tasks am I assigned to? Do I have the required knowledge and how am I going to get to work on Monday morning without knowing what time I have to be there? I was a bit scared and I have to say I began questioning the whole trip. Only a few days before our departure we were told that we do not have work on Monday and all of us were going to be accompanied to work by a staff member of Almond Vocational Link the following day. I was relieved when I heard that news and I now could not wait to go to Plymouth.
Packing was tricky. How can you fit clothing for three weeks into one suitcase? I managed to squeeze everything in but I still have to figure out how I am going to bring the stuff home I am going to buy here. Guess I have to stop myself from buying too much stuff I do not need anyways.
Our journey to Plymouth was long and exhausting. After getting up at 3 am on Sunday to go to the airport in Vienna we had to change planes in Amsterdam to fly to Bristol. We finally arrived in Plymouth after another two and a half hours on the bus. Even though we were tired, you could feel the excitement to meet our host families for the first time.I was nervous not knowing my host parents but they turned out to be amazing. Even though I live outside Plymouth in Saltash, my way into the city is definitely manageable.To get to know our way round in the city we had an orientation tour with Kamila. The welcome meeting cleared up the last remaining questions concerning our stay in Plymouth. All my worries I had before coming here are gone and I enjoy being here more and more every day.