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My two weeks in Paignton with TTPL

For the last two weeks, we’ve had the pleasure of welcoming a group of 18 German students who have been working in various workplaces across Torbay. Chiara, one of the participating students, has kindly shared her experiences living and working in Paignton...

When I heard at school that there would be an opportunity to go to England for my internship I instantly knew that I wanted to take that opportunity. I love the United Kingdom and the english language and I'm always looking for ways to improve my skills.

I had really high expectations for my work placement which I originally wanted to do in the media or journalism field. My dreams were quickly crushed as I heard that there wouldn't be any place for me to do that. Instead I received the messages that I would be placed in a surf shop. I was very disappointed to say the least and went into this whole experience with a bit of negativity.

The first day we went to a welcome meeting at the TTPL office which made a lot of insecurities and negative thoughts vanish. Two hours later we were introduced to our supervisors. I was relieved as soon as I noticed that everyone was unbelievably friendly and supportive at my work place and at my friends' workplaces as well. So working in a surf shop didn't feel so bad anymore.

Me and 5 other students from my school were living in one host family in Paignton only 100 meters distance to the beach. While the host family seemed more like the owners of a Bed and Breakfast than a family us six quickly befriended each other and became a little family. We went out together, took long walks along the beach and went to the student meetings together.

The student meeting organized by TTPL were a great way to exchange our thoughts about our work placement, our host family, our new experiences and our upcoming plans. The student meetings also made it possible for us to experience a bit of Devon culture. We had cream tea at the Grand Hotel one sunny Thursday and went bowling on a more rainy one.

Slowly but surely everything started to feel like a routine, but in a good way. Everything seemed familiar while exciting and fun at the same time. There wasn't a day that was boring or on which there was nothing to do.

On the weekend we went to Exeter and went to see the cathedral. After that we were able to stroll around the city and explore it a bit. We went to cute, little vintage shops, to Waterstones to all buy an English book and then went to eat in a restaurant.

Since I am quite interested in Photography and filmmaking I tried to capture every moment of this wonderful trip and the sceneries in Paignton, Torquay and Exeter were just great for that. The sunsets, the sea, the harbour in Torquay and the beautiful, old houses and little cafés were great motives for the camera and for the eyes.

I would advise everyone who has the opportunity to do this work placement with TTPL to do it because I couldn't think of any other way to get work experience and to bond with so many people while going on an adventure that surely none of us will every forget.