Alexandra Loimayr is a 19-year-old Austrian student who spent three weeks in London with ADC College and the Internship Programme. She studied English and worked as part of our Student Services Team, while living locally with one of our host families. This is what she learnt from her stay.

My name is Alexandra and I am a student from the HTL Wels, located in beautiful Austria, a German-speaking, landlocked country in the very heart of Europe.

Having visited London and the UK before, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into when I arrived here a few weeks ago. I had been part of several international projects, worked during the summers and travelled. With this behind me, I thought I would be prepared, but I never expected this experience to be SO different.

During the first week of our stay, we alternated between English classes at ADC and typical tourist activities like sightseeing, visiting museums, seeing a musical, hours of walking around and going shopping with the other girls. It was a nice first week with a lot of fun and some sunburned class mates, who hadn’t expected so much sun in what we thought was a rainy country. After that I was very curious about my work placement.

I never expected this experience to be SO different

I’m a chemistry student and I already knew that my internship wasn’t going to be chemistry related (due to British safety standards), but in an office. Unfortunately, I experienced a last minute cancellation and was placed in the Work Placement Department at ADC in Harrow. At first, I was disappointed because I didn’t need to travel to the very centre of London like before, but I soon saw the advantages. I’ve learned a lot by having the chance to take a closer look at how ADC works and the placement process of matching students, organisations and making sure each student is satisfied.

London sure is an expensive place to live and work in, but I’ve learned a lot of new things from that. In one way, it's like every other big city: huge, multicultural with nice and beautiful places as well as ones you would rather avoid. But what makes it special is the mind-set of the inhabitants which I found very different from Austrian culture. No jostling, but polite queuing, talking and plenty of awkwardness to go around.

I had the chance to see this first hand by living with a host family; a woman originally from Nigeria and her daughter, who took very great care of me and my roommate. We were able to be independent, while also interacting with the community in Harrow.

If you are a work experience student like me, prepare yourself for seeing the non-tourist side of London and what British life is really like

You don’t have to worry about your English either. The students I met had all kinds of different levels of English and none of them had considerable problems with the language. If you were able to read this and understand the content, you will be fine, trust me.

As I write this it’s my last day at ADC College and I feel somewhat sad that I have to leave. During these three weeks I have bonded with my host family as well as my colleagues at work and I have acquired a certain familiarity to the politeness and way of life in London. I feel grateful for this experience and I’m proud to say I managed it well.

If you are a work experience student like me, all you have to do is open up your mind to new impressions and ADC will do their best to help you along the way. Prepare yourself for seeing the non-tourist side of the city and what British life is really like. Make the most of your stay.

I enjoyed mine.

Alexandra visited London through our Internship Programme, a project eligible for EU funding. Don't hesitate to contact us if you would like more information about what we do and how to get funding. Call a Country Manager today on +44 2084249424 or email us at info@adc-tt.co.uk.

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