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Lena’s two amazing weeks in the English Riviera

This weekend we say goodbye to German student Lena, who has been a fantastic addition to the team, working in the office with us for the last two weeks. All the very best Lena, you'll be missed! 

Lena has kindly shared her experience below...

In the 10th grade in school we were told that we have to do a work placement in 11th grade. We’ve already did one in grade 9, I was in an advertisement agency and I liked it a lot. But I wanted to try something new and wondered about where I could spend my 2 weeks long work placement.  Then, one day I got an Email from a teacher of my school. “Who is interested in spending his placement in Torquay, England?”, well I was. What a unique chance to improve my English skills, collect great experiences and explore a different country. So I applied to a placement in Torquay. It was in March 2017 and it seemed to be so far away but suddenly one year and a few months were gone and we got the last information before our flight.

I already knew where I was going to work and who I would be sharing accommodation with. My work placement was going to be the Training Partnership. I found it kind of funny working for the company which got the placements for me and the other students I was traveling with and I had no idea what the work was going to be like but I was looking forward to the 2 weeks.

Finally the day had arrived. On the 16th of June early in the morning me, 10 other students and a teacher of our school met at the airport in Hamburg. It was going to be a long journey:  a one and a half hour flight to London, a two hour stay at the airport and a five and a half hour bus journey to Torquay. Round about 4pm we finally arrived at the bus station where our host families were waiting for us. A worker from TTPL assigned us to them so we could come with them. At the beginning I was a little bit nervous and kind of afraid of living in a foreign family and speaking English with them but they were very nice and open-minded to me and my friend so the anxiety left really fast.

My group and I were really lucky we arrived on Saturday so we had one day left to explore the surroundings and to recover from the long journey the day before. On Monday our placement was about to start but first of all we met at the Training Partnership at 10am for a Welcome Meeting. Me and my friend were a little late because we missed the bus not knowing that we had to wave at the bus driver to stop, it was kind of confusing and it took us a bit to get used to that.

At the Welcome Meeting two workers of TTPL introduced us into our stay here. We got told about the best way to act in the host family and at work and how to handle the different culture and stuff like that.  After that everyone got driven to their work placements apart from me because I was already there. Gemma (a worker from TTPL) showed me the building and the office and introduced me to the staff. After getting my own desk with a computer in the office, I could start work.

For the two weeks I got very diverse tasks. I enjoyed the work a lot, because I could do the most tasks after a short instruction. They were about creating students files, welcome packages for arriving students, certificates for leaving students and much more. My colleagues were very nice. They were open-minded to me, gave me a lot of work so I was never bored at work and praised my results. I was looking forward to going to work every day.

On Tuesday evenings and Thursday afternoons we had meetings with all the students being here with TTPL. One Thursday we met in a Waterpark in Paignton. The weather was really nice, so I enjoyed it a lot.

 

Torbay was a really nice place to stay. The houses, the shops and the beach are really beautiful, and we enjoyed especially the English pubs watching the Football World Cup there. Germany losing so badly was sad for us but our stay in England made it not as bad as it actually was. It was just another reason for watching England playing and celebrating with the inhabitants here.

All in all I loved the two weeks here. I’m going to miss Torquay and the people here. I would recommend making a work placement abroad everyone wanting to improve their English skills, confidence, expand work experiences, get to know a different culture or just to have an amazing time.