After completing her apprenticeship in Germany, Frances Drose took part in a mobility programme to travel to Bristol for a one month internship. Here’s what she had to say about the experience…
“A few months ago, I applied for a project funded by the EU that enables trainees to complete an internship abroad in Europe. A large part of the cost is financed by the Erasmus + programme. I basically needed only pocket money. The registration was fast, formalities were discussed, the flights were booked and I found myself excitedly sat on 14th August on the plane to Bristol, England! Bristol is a port town in the south west of England with about 432,500 inhabitants.
On arrival, I was picked up by my hostess who lives with her daughter, a dog and a small cat in a terraced house. She was very friendly and could cook incredibly well. My bags were quickly unpacked, my room set up and so my adventure could begin.
The next morning, my first work day began. I was excited and did not know what to expect, but that quickly settled. The internship was with a small ut busy real estate company, renting out houses and rooms around the city. On my first day, my work buddy greeted me. She was just 23 and had just finished her studies. She became my friend in the next few weeks, with whom I am still in contact. The other employees of the company were also open and incredibly warm towards me.
My tasks in the next few weeks included not only accounting and organisational procedures, but also contact with customers. We conducted visits with potential tenants, took care of concerns and helped with any questions. Since Bristol is a university town, the clients were mostly students from all countries of the world. Supporting them was a pleasure for me.
For my further training as a store manager at home the customer contact was incredibly helpful. My English improved noticeably and the handling of the language was quite easy for me.
In the case of problems or questions, I was able to report to the responsible project managers at any time, either in Germany or to Anna Goddard in Bristol, Director of Bristol Intern Group (B.I.G.) who arranged the internship and my accommodation. The two were very helpful and always supported me.
In my spare time I explored the city. I often walked around the city for hours, visited sights, enjoyed the sun at the harbour, or read books in the park. I liked shopping and going to the cinema. I ate in some of the restaurants and tried Bristol's pubs. I even had a weekend in London because it’s just a 2 hour bus ride away. I met new people, including a German girl named Anna. Together we are planning to return to Bristol again next year we liked it so much.
After a month I flew home with many wonderful memories. The farewell to my host family, my colleagues and my new friends was difficult. The city and its people have grown very dear to me in this month. I have not only developed linguistically as well as professionally and gained important experiences, but also personally.
I can only recommend this project to every trainee and every instructor. It is a unique and amazing experience and to this day I am grateful for all I experienced in this month. I would do it again at any time.