The Internship Programme is all about broadening your view of the world. ADC College organises work experience projects in both London and Dublin that are funded by Erasmus+, where vocational students are given the opportunity to do work experience in their area of study and gain wider knowledge of their industry.
Another aspect of the Internship Programme is the accommodation and day-to-day interaction with locals. During the stay, students will live together with a local host and thereby learn more about the Irish or British and Irish culture and what life is like in their particular corner of the world. We have previously written about our hosts, who they are and the rules you must follow, but little has been said on the topic of how to best get to know your host and make use of their knowledge. Here are five things you should take into account when you are getting to know your host.
1. Be polite and friendly
We have brought up the topic of politeness many times and for good reason, too. Being polite and welcoming are big parts of the Irish and British culture and if you - for example - don’t give your host or the people around you the time of day, you will have a hard time adapting to the Dublin and London lifestyle. Being polite entails saying hello to your host and asking how their day was. Or interacting during dinner and taking an interest in what the host is saying. If you are friendly, you will contribute to a good and open atmosphere, which will make your stay much more fun and interesting. As a student of the Internship Programme, you are new to everything around you. Some of you might have visited London or Dublin before, but you have probably never stayed in the home of an Irish or British family. Take the opportunity to talk to your host and be curious about them and their daily life. Some hosts will be more open and willing to talk than others, but all are sure to appreciate your openness and willingness to communicate.
2. Don’t be afraid to speak English
You learn by doing. Don’t be scared of speaking English to your host - it is the only way you will start to feel comfortable with the language. Rather than fretting about how to say a sentence in a grammatically correct manner, try to just speak or use the few words you know as well as body language. Also remember that the hosts are used to different accents and levels of English. They have probably hosted more international students than you and moreover, both London and Dublin are international cities with inhabitants from different cultural backgrounds. They understand that you are new to the city and the language and if there is something you fail to understand, don’t hesitate to ask! Remember: there is more to communication than just words: a smile and open facial expression will take you a long way.
3. Ask questions
Your host has probably called London or Dublin their home for many years, if not their whole life. It would be a waste of opportunity if you didn’t make use of their local and cultural knowledge. Ask about their favourite spots in the city, what pubs prepare the best Sunday lunch and where they would go on a day trip. Or perhaps you are unsure about a certain English expression you have heard at work and want to make sure you get it right or want to know what bus route is the quickest into town. Obviously you can always contact ADC College if you are unsure of anything, but don’t forget about your host as they are, more often than not, happy to help.
4. Gratefulness and respect
Your host has let you into their home and it is important that you are respectful towards their property and appreciative of their efforts to make you feel welcome. For example, don’t be afraid to try new types of food and always be grateful towards your host - even if they have cooked something that is not to your taste. Remember, this is not a hotel or bed and breakfast. You are a guest in someone’s home and in order to make your stay as pleasant as possible, you need to keep an open mind and see new types of food, conversation topics and social codes as part of the experience.
5. Let your guard down
The thought of living with strangers is both exhilarating and a little scary. As with most things though, the thought of it scarier than the actual experience. If you let your guard down and stay open-minded, you will most likely have a great time. You might even learn something new about life.
ADC College organises Internship Programmes in London and Dublin, eligible for funding from Erasmus+. 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 send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.