Finn’s Summer Experience
So, I was asked if I’d like to write a blog and here I am - staring at a keyboard (with Y- and Z-keys at the wrong place!) and no clue how to start.
I guess I should introduce myself first: I am Finn from Berlin, 16 years old and did an internship at the TTPL office. I really enjoyed my four weeks here in Torbay and wanted to tell you a bit more about my stay and experiences.
Logically, I will start at the beginning: My journey started at 4am in Berlin and turned out to be the first and only crucial situation during my stay. For me, it was a real struggle due to some miscalculations, ending up at the Heathrow central bus station without a valid ticket in my hands and no real trust in my English. After waiting for another coach to approach, I finally arrived in Torquay and met my lovely host, who picked me up and showed me the area immediately. Afterwards, I had my first English dinner, which was really great considering my fear of English food (what was I thinking?).
The next morning, all the other new students and I had a welcome meeting to collect some useful information about our stay and work. As I was working with TTPL, I met my first colleague and was really looking forward to meeting the rest of the team on the next day.
On Tuesday, I finally got introduced to my workplace and met my new colleagues, who all were very nice and kind to me. The atmosphere was nice all the time, although it was the busiest time of the year. I could always have a chat with them and never felt pressurised with my tasks. On the one hand, I had to do repetitive tasks every week, such as creating a welcome pack for each new student (quite a lot in June/ July), managing files of students or creating final certificates for students leaving. On the other hand, there also were different tasks, like searching for activities students can do in their free time, writing letters and other documents or doing researches about specific things. All in all I really enjoyed my time at the office and would like to spend more time here. The team is very lovely, always there for a chat or joke and well organised. I also enjoyed drinking tea with them multiple times a day, an attitude I couldn’t imagine in my dreams before!
During my stay, my host family helped me enjoying my time even more! I felt like a family member from the beginning ongoing, because they took me with them wherever they went. For instance, we had a nice picknick at Dartmoor National Park with friends of them, watching a beautiful sunset on the first sunny day since my arrival (the weather got better everyday since). Also, we spent a nice evening having a birthday dinner at Pier Point and went for walks all around Torquay or went kayaking, which was nice to discover the area and have relaxed chats. The food was great, too, as was my room and the house in general. Summed up, my host family was very supportive and helped me with my problems, gave me tips and rides to places and was nice to me all the time. I am really thankful for their help and support and I don’t know if I could enjoy my stay that much without them.
Another helpful offer were the social meetings on every Tuesday and Thursday, organised by TTPL. During my time we went to the cinema, zoo, waterpark and had a sporty day on the Thursdays, which was great to get in contact with other students from different countries. After those meetings we often did something else on our own, like going to the beach. We mostly spent the Tuesdays in a local Bar or Pub where you could have chats with different people, which was really interesting. On weekends I normally met with people I knew from the social meetings and did fun stuff, such as visiting the lovely city Exeter or just going to the beach.
As you may already noticed, I went quite often to the beach – in England! For me, that was one of the biggest surprises of my whole time: the weather. We had sun all the time, some people even considered the weather as too hot. Hence, going to the beach was possible every day and a nice activity. I always had to remember myself that I was in England – it never felt like it, more like the Mediterranean. Palm trees and other exotic plants everywhere, this part of England feels like an oasis, not at the typical rainy weather you would probably think of. Additionally, the nature and scenery is incredible beautiful and worth a visit.
In a nutshell (if that’s possible), I had an utterly amazing time in Torbay and I am stunned how quickly those four weeks passed. Although I had holidays back in Berlin, I never regretted my choice of coming here and enjoyed every day of working with my lovely colleagues. I improved in many fields, mainly in self-confidence and language skills. Now, I know what I am capable of and what I can reach with my English. I am really thankful to all the persons who made my experience possible, especially my host family and the team of TTPL. THANK YOU.
If you consider making the step and think about staying in England, I can just give you one advice: DO IT!!!