I have spent the last six months in New Romney, a small town located on the English south coast, doing an internship. The purpose to do it was to improve my English. And this was the only thing I expected from the internship and the people around me. But I got a lot more…
Before coming here, I have always been a very busy person. I have been studying, I had a second job and three honorary posts where I had a lot of responsibilities and people were relying on me. Last summer I just quit everything and went to England. I felt like putting my whole life into boxes, tidying up very thoroughly and stopping my life. And I felt good to be here, not having any really important responsibilities and no one expecting anything from me. I just had to be here and do what I have been told to. And after the first three weeks, another intern who already had been here a bit longer said,“I really don’t understand why you are not the supervisor of the translation department.” And I answered, “Oh, it’s fine with me. I don’t need to always be in charge!” But it turned out that she saw something that I had not seen yet. Two months later, I became the supervisor. I took more and more tasks like introducing the new interns, I was the events manager for a few days and finally the house manager of the house where I lived in. I had become a person that is asked for advice, an opinion or just for help. And someone who had not been here very long said when I told him that I was the house manager now: “Finally!” Another person who had seen something that I had not… So I think that quitting my life and starting something new was just a way of proving to myself that I am the kind of person who always needs to be in charge of something. It seems that from time to time we need a little reminder of who we are!
Another example: before Internship-UK I always said that I was not able to cook (I mean: real cooking!) but then here I had to be the cooking leader and to arrange the lunch for 30 people… And guess what? The others liked what I cooked. I was surprised by myself and so were my parents when I told them, that I actually know how to cook. But I just do not like it!
I started going to the gym here again and did some sports that I had not done for a long time (like Zumba and boxing exercises), or sports that I always wanted to try but never had the time for (like Yoga). It showed me how much I had missed the last years and I already checked if there was a possibility in my town to continue all those things.
And there is something else that I learned about myself: I can share my living space with 15 other people! I was a bit spoiled by living alone for a few years before I moved into a flat-share with three other students a year ago. But here, you share a house with at least 15 others and not only this. You live with the same people you work with, and these are the people you also spend your free-time with. Sometimes I was really annoyed by this, especially as you have not chosen those people and there are some you might not like so much. But other times I really enjoyed having those people around me and never being alone in the house. And I saw a lot of people coming and leaving during the past six months, amongst them some really amazing people that I admire and that I learned from. I got used to sharing my living space and it is because of them that it is now so difficult for me to leave, but I have to.
To sum up my internship experience here, I can say that I learned a lot of things about work, about leadership, about communication, about life, about people and finally about myself. It reminded me of some things that I had just forgotten because I had been too busy the last few years to really recognise myself.
I now know again what I expect from life, what kind of people I would like to spend my time with, which things I like to do and what place I belong to… As hard as it is: this place is not here and I really need to go home, where my people are, and where some new tasks are waiting for me!