David says his English may not be the best, but what he didn’t know until he spent a few weeks living and working abroad, is that in real Life it isn’t just about what grades you can get at school but more importantly about your attitude towards the New and Different as well as the confidence to simply go for it. Listening, talking, making mistakes or not, just conversing will get you used to it in no time. Enjoy David’s full interview below:
Tell me a little about yourself and your background.
I am a 17 year old student from Germany and currently trying to get my A-level at a vocational college in Ennepetal, near Cologne and Düsseldorf. I live with my parents and my 3 siblings. I would not consider reading as a real hobby, but I enjoy it nonetheless and it really helped me to improve my English.
What sparked your interest for the Business Academy?
Nothing really. A friend asked me if I wanted to go to a business administration school with him and because I did not know what else to do, I agreed. In the end I do not regret this, because I enjoy what I am learning there.
What was the best moment of your trip?
My best moment was going to the Phoenix Park and enjoying the time and scenery there with some friends. Its environment is just beautiful and it was really cool to see and feed the deer there.
What was your work placement like at IBAT College Dublin?
My work placement was great! The people there were really nice and made me feel welcome. Everyone was helpful and considerate that my English is not the best.
What were your tasks?
I converted feedback into pie charts in Excel, made some phone calls and helped a lot in the library. The last week I helped to prepare for the upcoming graduation ceremony by making booklets and sorting the certifications in the order they would be given out later.
You were nominated by your supervisor who thought you did an amazing job. What drives you forward?
The satisfaction of finishing something drove me forward. I do not like to not finish things, if it is possible to do so on the same day.
How would you compare your work placement to your work or school back home?
My work placement was a lot more relaxed than school at home. The people in Dublin were generally more laid back and did not urge me, ore anyone else, to finish things quickly. They seemed to be more concerned about others’ well being and asked a lot if we were ok. I really liked that I always had something to do.
How has this experience inspired you?
My time in Dublin was great and I developed the desire to try something similar again. Now I am thinking about living in another country for some time to gain more experience.
What have you learned from this trip?
I learned to have an open mind and to not expect things to be the same as they are at home. Different cultures have different habits and you have to adjust to them. It also helped me to gain more confidence in general.
What have you found most exciting about working and living in a foreign country?
I liked to be so independent and to have more responsibilities. To be alone far away from home without my parents for so long was a new thing for me, as well. It was also really nice that I had to speak English in order to communicate with others and I think that my English has improved because of that.
What are your plans for the future?
So far I do not have any plans, but most likely I will go to university studying business administration in the future.
What would your advice be for students who are about to go on the Internship Programme?
My advice is to not be afraid of asking people for help or saying you did not understand them. People there are really kind and helpful. Try to enjoy your free time to the fullest.
David visited Dublin with our Internship Programme, a project eligible for funding from Erasmus+. We also arrange work experience projects in London. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.