Archive for Experience Abroad

Life in Community: A rewarding experience

Going to England to do an internship, or any other country , implies in most of the cases, living in the community. That means that you have to share your accommodation which may include the main installations such as kitchen, shower, living room and so on. This experience can teach you a lot of things about others but also about yourself.

An internship abroad is an opportunity to meet people from all over the world. These encounters will be beneficial for you at different levels. First, spending all day long with foreign youngsters enables you to discover new cultures and so, at the same time, broaden your horizons. This cultural exchange can be seen in the cooking but also in the behaviours and in the languages shared with others. Indeed, the others want to make you discover specialities of their country and even teach you how to cook them. Talking about the behaviours, others can explain to you their manners and what are their main traditions are. And finally, you can begin to learn new languages as you exchange with your housemates, who become your friends. This is where the comparison process begins and also your personal enrichment. At the beginning you might not realise it, but your knowledge is developing. As an explanation, we can say that being with strangers turns you into a curious person and you will always want to learn more information.

During your stay, community life will enable you to build strong links with the others since you live with them all the time. From these relationships, you will learn about life in general. Sharing experiences, whether they are professional or personal, can help you to move forward in your future. This is important as you may get advice that could enable you to avoid losing time in your plans. You might be astonished by the mutual assistance that you can develop with people that you did not know before this experience. Indeed, in the house, you will find more than good friends – real brothers and sisters. Some will become really close to you and you will put your trust in them. Speaking with them about your feelings will become a common thing even if you are not used to it because sometimes you need to externalise what you live each day. Here, a few people will become your confidants – a shoulder to cry on. These supportive people will help you to learn from your mistakes and grow up. It is a way to learn how to turn a negative thing into a positive one.

When you go to live abroad to do an internship, take the most of it and especially of the community life to gain maturity. Take all that your surroundings can bring to you and try to avoid as much as you can the negatives events. Your internship will then turn into a rewarding experience and you will leave with a different way to see life and the future.

Key Advice on Overcoming Culture Shock in the UK

If you are coming to the UK for an internship, while it is almost certain you will have a great time, it is important to be clued-up on British culture to avoid the development of culture shock. First of all, we have to address the question – what is culture shock? It is the feeling of confusion and anxiety which a person might feel if they come to a country which is not familiar to them. It can be hard to adjust to different cultural norms and values, and the stark contrast from their own country may be an initial shock for some people.

There are a few main things that confuse people when they arrive in the UK for the first time from different countries. For example, when British people meet someone for the first time, they will often greet them with a handshake, not a kiss on the cheek. Generally, the British people are more reserved with issues of contact and personal space than people from other European countries. Another thing to be aware of is that people in the UK drive on the different side of the road, which can feel quite weird if you are in a car or bus as you feel like everyone is coming towards you. Furthermore, the food is different – the traditional British fry-up for example with sausages, eggs, bacon, toast etc. which is eaten in the morning may not be like anything you are used to.

Here are some pieces of advice to avoid feelings of anxiety and unfamiliarity arising when you come to the UK:

Keep an open mind
It is important to be objective rather than judgemental when you are learning about the culture in the UK. Everyone has grown up with their own cultural norms and values just as you have in your own country and just because they are different, doesn’t mean they are wrong. If you keep an open mind it will be easier to learn and understand why things are the way they are. Having a closed mind and resisting acceptance will only make you more anxious in the long-term. Try not to compare it to your own country, just treat everything you learn as a valuable insight into the culture of the UK.

Learn the local language
People will really admire you for making the effort to speak in English as it shows your interest and willingness to learn. Do not hold back on trying because you are afraid of the mistakes you might make. Of course, no one will expect you to have perfect English, it is a learning process and your colleagues/friends will respect that. Nothing is more admirable than trying and eventually it will get easier until you do not even have to try any more. It may even become a second nature to you!

Get to know new people
There is no better way to learn about a culture than to ask a native, and if you make a friend out of it that is a great bonus! Having friends in the UK will help with your English skills and also help you settle in to your new environment better. It is always great to find people to share your experience with and improve the social aspect of your internship.

Have a sense of humour
It is likely that during your internship you will say the wrong word or do the wrong thing in a social situation and when this happens it is important not to be too hard on yourself. Just laugh at your mistake and others will laugh with you. It is a learning process and it can be fun, you will pick things up easier if you have a relaxed attitude to making mistakes and other’s will respect you for having a positive attitude.

If you follow this advice and take everything in your stride as you progress through your internship, you cannot go wrong. Most importantly – just have fun!

The main benefits of an Internship

Doing an internship means making higher education and employment meet, and it is a good way to have your first work experience. According to a recent research paper, from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, students with an internship experience are more likely to find a job after university: such experience automatically makes them more marketable, as they may require less training and are assumed to be able to handle more responsibilities. Moreover, they tend to have higher starting salaries than students who have not looked for such occasions to take their first step into the working environment.

An internship provides the opportunity to gain a valuable work experience and allows you to have an edge in the job market. Moreover, employers see interns as prospective employees: many finish their internships and continue working for the company. Therefore, it is a way for employers to find new staff.
If you are not sure if a certain career is right for you, it is a great way to try it out: a work experience is a great way for students to acquaint themselves with a field they want to learn about. If you are not satisfied, do not give up: you can always try another internship in a different organisation or role, or in a completely different field and see if you like it any better. Every experience helps you to define and redirect your career path.
Internships help you to learn more about yourself. Through an internship, you can gain clarity on your strengths, weaknesses and interests by creating learning objectives and receiving feedback from your supervisor, and you can also learn what you do not enjoy doing. It also enhances your CV and allows you to meet people who might help you land a full-time-job after university and give you the contacts in the industry you are trying to break into. The more internships you complete, the fuller your CV will become and the more attractive you will look for future employers. References from people in the industry will add weight to your application: by doing great work in your internship, performing the required tasks, you can impress bosses and generate a group of people willing to endorse you to potential hiring people in the future. It has been said many times: ‘it is not about what you know; it is about who you know’. If you play your cards right and are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time then you may find yourself being asked to stay on in a more permanent position, but even if you are not, you will hopefully finish your internship with a great reference from your main mentor and a range of potential referees.
Internships can be seen as the pinnacle of your undergraduate education and give you the chance to use the skills you have learned in the classroom in a real-world setting. It is a chance to prove the worth of your qualifications and to show that you can perform in the position you have been given. This experience will not only help you to develop the skills needed to work in your industry: working on real projects for a real organisation will also give you the interpersonal skills that you need to work effectively with others, and confidence in your own abilities.
Getting experience is a great way to be more professionally confident in your chances of securing a job. By inerning, you can confront and overcome the fear of the unknown that you may have about working in a professional environment: you prove yourself in the real world, learning what it is really like to work in a company, in an industry, and in various job functions. You will develop better work habits, learning how to manage tasks and projects. You can also learn from your colleagues by observing their positive and negative work habits. Doing an internship can help you to find role-models: you will meet different managers, with diverse leadership styles, and this will give you experience on how to manage your boss.
Eventually, it can give you the opportunity to work in areas where you will not work any time in the future and you might get to know people that become lifetime friends. Having an internship can definitely be something that transforms your life and gives you new perspectives: it allows you to explore all the possibilities and come away with an experience that you will never forget!
The main benefits of an internship are related to experience, skill development, perspective, supervision, professional connections, academic credit, earnings and services provided by and to the others: in order to take advantage of all of them, applying for Internship-UK is a good choice. This programme will help you to build your CV and make you realise your potential, and students will have the chance to apply their knowledge from university in the workplace, while simultaneously acquiring new working skills in one of the departments.

Internships demonstrate initiative, proving that you are proactive about career development, and help you to sell yourself in interviews and improve your communication skills: this experience is a unique learning opportunity that you may never have again as a working adult. So, embrace the mistakes that you will make and the many things that you will not know. Ask questions, observe, take risks and avoid negativity; above all, take initiative and enjoy yourself!

Be confident: apply for an internship abroad!

Everyone (no one can deny it) feels a little bit afraid of going abroad for a long period for the first time. You can just imagine what is waiting for you (accommodation, people and so on) but you cannot know for sure. Maybe the food won’t be so good or perhaps even awful, and maybe people won’t be so nice and you will feel isolated and depressed. For sure, you will miss your family, your boyfriend/girlfriend (if you have one) and your friends. This is why many people forego the great opportunity of leaving alone and experiencing a new life abroad. That is a pity actually because if they knew what they are missing, they would probably regret their choice. The point is that we are what we have experienced. Every day we are not the same person we were the day before, because we go through many things which change our skills, our knowledge, our point of view and our feelings. The greater these things are, the more we improve and renew ourselves. And which better opportunity to improve ourselves is there than leaving alone and constructing a new life somewhere abroad? When you undertake an internship abroad, you will certainly improve in the foreign language spoken in the country you are going to live in. It does not matter if you already know the basics or if you don’t even know a word of that language: you will definitely get used to it and after a while you will start to understand what other people say, and in the end you will speak more fluently. You will also encounter a lot of people with whom to share positive and negative moments, and the truth is that every time we laugh or suffer with someone else we get close to them. This is exactly the reason why we will get close to someone abroad- we are not made to live alone. Sharing feelings is a deep-rooted human need. Maybe you will construct a great friendship and you will come back with a new really important person in your heart who you will continue to talk to every day on Skype, facebook, and so on. Or maybe you will just come back with many new friends and even if you won’t see or hear from them for a long time, someday you will meet them all again to remember the great times you spent together and to laugh about some funny memories. But it’s not all about human experience. You will of course also improve your professional skills: you get used to working with people of different nationalities and ages, creating good projects and achieving the prefixed goals while respecting deadlines. Experiencing an internship abroad will definitely enrich you even more than it will enrich your C.V: everyone who leaves comes back changed deep inside.

The heart of the house : The kitchen

Do you remember the commercial from the brand Schmidt where people are visiting a house with a realtor ; when they arrive in the kitchen the realtor says « And now the heart of the house, the kitchen » and the couple interrupts him: « No, the kitchen it’s me and Schmit » ? In France, at least people know this commercial for sure. Since I have arrived here I truly understand the meaning of this sentence as the kitchen is definately the heart of this house. Have you thought about the multitude of things you can do in the kitchen before ? Personally I have not but now I know. Each time, I want to have some fun and establish contact with people, I just go directly to the kitchen.
Do you see the kitchen just as a place to prepare food? This is your first wrong assumption. Here it would be more accurate to tell you that it is the place of the most interesting experimentation. Since, we all have to feed ourselves we need to cook and it is really easy to see who cooks often at home and who is a total newbie. It is really interesting that cooking a simple dinner, can become a real life experience full of doubts, uncertainty and kindness because people always propose to help when they notice your distress. The most interesting thing is the culture shock, everyone is cooking and eating different meals and trying recipes from other countries. I can assure you that sometimes there are some perplexed looks or funny faces but at the end it is always a good surprise.
Before coming to this house, I used to see the kitchen as a sharing place where people eat together and discuss, laugh sometimes and it is more or less the same here, or maybe more actually. Here we share more than food. The kitchen is synonymous with talent discovery and I am not talking only about cooking talent but more about singing and dancing. How many times have I entered this kitchen and discovered that I was actually living with some sort of “Beyonce”? And when it is not about singing or dancing, it is about acting. We all enjoy imitating each others gestures, behaviours and best sentences. With all of this put together, the kitchen quickly becomes the place for great comic theatre plays.
Finally, if the kitchen is the heart of the house it is for a few obvious reasons. It is the place where we all gather together, the moment we share food but also spirit food, we discover each other’s originality. The kitchen here is definitely the place that encapsulates the houses’ spirit : joy, difference, meeting and solidarity.

The Marketing Department

In the Marketing Department, my first mission was to create landing pages. The goal is to present a city quickly. We created those landing pages in the database of the company. The first step is to choose a country and then a city on a file saved in the supervisor’s computer. Then, we wrote our names and the dates. I always think about the title because the title has to be catchy and good. After, we start the research of the information of the city. The first paragraph is an introduction of the city. Then, we need to find information about night-life, the shopping, the sightseeing, the time zone, the climate and public transportation. Finally, we find a picture of the city in a file in the database or if we do not find it, we ask to the Media Department to find a picture of the city. Then, we put the picture on the left side of our landing page.

Then, I had to write articles. Every week, I need to write one article either for Traveltura or for Internship-UK. The topics that I chose for Traveltura were about France and UK.

Besides, we also needed to create posts on Twitter. Every week, there is a rota with the name of the interns. Those posts are related to internships which mean tips for writing a CV or for writing cover letters. In this case, we have to log in on the account of Internship-UK on Twitter. On the other hand, when we are writing about travelling in Europe or in UK, we need to log in on the account of Traveltura. Concerning the topic of my posts, I am usually going to different websites like the Guardian, the Daily Mail, BBC News or the Huffington Post. Once I found an interesting article, I need to shorten the article on a bit to and just copy and paste the link.
Once I found my topic, I am writing a draft of a post with a sentence followed by the link and then I must send it to the Media Department. It is essential to have a good and well-written post on Twitter to get the attention of the Twitter users. Once it is corrected, I can put my post on Twitter, a website where you can write your tweets and publish them. So, this is the last step. I am writing my post and choosing the date and hour. We can work alone or in pairs. For Traveltura, we need to post 4 tweets and 2 retweets per day and for Internship-UK, 2 tweets and 2 retweets. We also have to write 4 posts per day for Facebook on the account of Traveltura or Internship-UK.

We also have some workshops during working hours. The first one I had was the Sims Introduction. Basically, this workshop explains to us how to use the internal system of the company.
The second one was how to write articles and this presentation just gave us some advice on writing articles either for Traveltura or for Internship-UK. The third one was about the online dictionaries and the aim of this workshop was to give us the “good” dictionaries and how to use them properly.
The fourth one was the social media. Then there was a workshop about Linkedin. Those workshops were describing the main characteristics of these topics. The last workshop was about the keywords project. The goal was to explain to us the importance of finding and having good keywords when we are writing articles.

Twitter: Internship-Uk (with Chloé; introduce guidelines)

Finding an Internship

In September 2013, when my friend and I were looking for an internship, we found that it wasn’t very easy to find one. Because internships are mandatory in our education system and we wanted to do it abroad, we spent many hours and sent many emails while trying to find a place to do one. The fact that our school didn’t have any overseas connections that interested us made finding an internship even harder. So we decided to start searching through the internet for good options to do our last internship before our graduation.

We are both very interested in the travel and tourism industry, and we both want to improve our language skills, so the decision that we definitely wanted to go abroad was very easy to make. Because of our mutual interest in travel and tourism and the fact that we both wanted to be provided with accommodation, we decided to start to sending emails to different hotel chains and hotels around the world. In total, we sent nearly one hundred emails. At some points, it felt as if we wouldn’t find any placement abroad and we feared that we would have to stay in our home country. But instead of giving it up, we continued searching for new places and continued sending many more emails to hotels around the world.

When it started to seem unlikely that we would acquire an internship in the hotel industry, we decided to extend the range of fields that we would like to work for, and so we stopped focusing on just hotels. Instead, we started to look for other possibilities like marketing and international business. Still, even though we were no longer focusing on merely hotels, it was very hard to find an internship opportunity. We spent hours and hours trying to find a suitable place for us.

Finally, after weeks of searching and sending emails, we found a place where we both thought we could apply. After applying, we received individual emails concerning interviews for the internship. Before our interviews, we both felt very nervous about what to expect, but once it was over we were very relieved. On the day that we got our acceptance letters we were very excited about it, and after that we were able to start the preparation for the internship. Luckily, we didn’t have to take care of accommodation or food because the company provides them. The only responsibility of ours was to book the flights, get all the paper work done and pack our stuff, and we would finally be ready to leave.

After we had booked the flight tickets and got all the paperwork done, we were very pleased with ourselves. The fact that we finally had an internship was a really calming feeling, for we didn’t have to worry about it any more. Everything was now ready for us to complete our last internship before our graduation.

Finding an internship took some time but it was worth it. The experience you get by carrying out your internship abroad is indispensable. It’s so different compared to doing an internship in your home country. But after all, how you spend your time and what kind of attitude you take towards your internship is all up to you.

Your First Work Experience Abroad

Am I ready? Am I good enough? Will I be happy? Will I enjoy it? These are the questions I asked myself before going abroad for my first internship. I felt many different emotions while packing my belongings: I was scared, excited, happy and overwhelmed at the same time. When it comes to your first internship, you may go through different emotions, but your first day will have an impact throughout the length of your internship. I will give you some tips that I hope will be useful.

Be organised
You may not be organised during your first days as you adapt to your new environment and workplace. Nevertheless, you have to keep in mind that it is important to keep a tidy work space. Make sure that your desk is always organised so that you can easily find what you are looking for. Time spent on tidying is never a waste of time!

Accept your mistakes
We are taught at school, at home and through the media how to be perfect. So, in the end, we believe that we have to be perfect all the time. However, mistakes will happen! These can be your true learning experiences, embrace them and know that these can help you to learn more about yourself and you will not repeat those mistakes again.

Befriend your supervisor
The person who will see your progress throughout your internship is your supervisor. He/she will be your mentor from the first day to the last day of your internship. He/she will teach you new skills and coach you. Once you are at ease with your supervisor, you will gain more from your internship and be confident about asking for advice and guidance.

During your internship, you will meet people from different places, countries and cultures. Remembering names and introducing yourself to others will seem like a repetitive action but is so important. Workshops and lunch break can be great opportunities for you to get to know your work colleagues, supervisors and make friends. You do not need to be loud or extroverted; all you need to do is to speak with everybody and try to find some common points of interest in order to build a conversation.

Do not hesitate to ask questions
You may feel intimidated during the first days of your internship and feel that you cannot ask questions. Remember, they say in France “there are no stupid questions”. Asking questions is the best way for you to learn and understand the department that you are working in. Your internship is not only a professional experience where you will acquire skills and knowledge, you will also grow personally, make new friends and develop a better understanding of the world around you.

Your first internship could be one of the greatest experiences in your life. You will share it with other interns and will learn a lot about them and about yourself.

Tips to find the Best Internship abroad

Whether for your school, a project, to practice a new language or to prepare yourself for an international career. An internship abroad can be an important step in your life. But, to orgainse this internship is not so easy… In fact, another language, a new culture, the fear of the unknown and the complexity of administrative procedures are all events that can appear insurmountable. It is for this reason that you have to prepare efficiently for your internship in order to avoid disaster.

Start your research in advance

Your stay abroad cannot be planned at the last minute. The research for an internship needs time and perfect organisation. It would be ideal to start your planning at least 6 months before your departure. It will be easier to find the internship your really want, and without the stress of having to search at the last minute.

Choose the country you wish to work in

First of all, what languages do you speak? Evaluate your level! A lot of students choose an internship abroad to improve their ability in another language, but don’t forget that the internship takes place in a professional environment.
During your stay, you will have to talk, participate in meetings, write e-mails and reports in the language of the country, check with the company about their expectations and consider how confident you feel at working at the level they require.
Secondly, estimate your budget, it is possible that your internship will be not paid! Don’t hesitate to ask for some help and grant.

Choose the right company

It is up to you to target the company of your choice. For this, you have to ask yourself the questions : What do you expect from an internship? What can it do for you? How will the company benefit from offering you a position?

Use your network

A great way of finding an internship is by using your own network of contacts, which can include; friends, teachers, professional relations, … Let everyone know of your ambitions and ask questions of those professionals you meet. Increase your chances of sourcing an internship through “Word of Mouth”.
Your school or university is also a good place to find opportunities : you can find some good deals with the international office of your faculty and alumni network.

Also spend time researching on the internet and collect information, names of the companies, contact details, don’t forget when you send out your CV address it to the right person.

CV and cover letter

The recruitment process can be different in each country and with each host company. So double check what is required when you complete an application or send your CV.

Finally….. Good luck with your search and applications, and remember an Internship abroad will give you untold opportunities, lifelong memories, new skills and new friends

An internship abroad

Each year, many students choose to do an internship in a foreign country, since it is not only an added value to the labour market, but also invaluable personal and professional experience. Nowadays, more and more companies are hiring students who have already had experience abroad. Indeed, students who have experience abroad are perceived as independent and ambitious. Furthermore, they are expected to be fluent in the language of the country where the internship took place.

Moreover, going abroad is enriching. In fact, an internship is a unique experience that students tend to remember for the rest of their lives. Being alone allows students to gain independence and, in particular, to learn to live alone. That is to say, to cook and to manage their personal daily tasks.

Generally, based on training and level of study, the duration of an internship is at least 3 months and up to 1 year. During this period, students can travel, discover a new country, learn another culture, develop language skills and, perhaps most importantly, meet other people. Mixing with other people is the aspect of an internship that many students enjoy the most, for it allows them to gain friends in different countries and to expand their professional network.

However, it is very important that students do practice the local language and do participate in mixing with their fellow interns, for by affection or security. Students can have a tendency to stay merely with people from their own country. By doing this, interns will not benefit from the opportunity to improve their abilities in the local language and will thus not make the most of their internship.

During an internship, money is a frequent problem that arises for students. However, much financial support exists such as the Scholarship of International Mobility, or the Leonardo Da Vinci Scholarship. Moreover, it is very rare that interns meet security issues because internships are usually completed in a developed country like the US, England, Australia, Germany or France.

In conclusion, an internship abroad is an adventure and an amazing experience that, if possible, all students should experience at least once in their lives.