I am sharing this blog – written by my lovely work experience student!
I am an 18 year old Italian girl and I attend the fourth class in high school near Venice. This year my school gave us the opportunity to join in a project called “Erasmus+”. The project includes work experience in a foreign country for 5 weeks.
When I first heard about this project, I didn’t even need to think about it, as I knew immediately that I wanted to take part. Because I love foreign languages, especially English and I wanted the opportunity to practice.
Last but not least I wanted to strengthen my personality, and take away the shyness that has always belonged to me. With this wish I landed at Manchester airport, and a storm was waiting for me. The rain immediately demoralized me and I thought I would not see the sunshine for a month – it’s known that all things look more beautiful in the sunshine. Fortunately, I was wrong!
After hours and hours of preparation, we finally flew from the airport of Bologna to Manchester and then by coach to North Wales on the 20th May. This was my first flight – I was very excited and also a little frightened. I enjoyed the flight and fortunately there were a clear skies so I could see the views below.
A mixture of emotions crossed me at that moment. How would my new family be? Would I be okay? When I saw my host, I immediately calmed down. She is a very nice and funny woman who has done everything to make us comfortable. And at the expense of what they say about bad British food, she is a good cook – although some of the recipes scared me. She lives in a little lodge in Llanddulas with two cute little dogs. The house is located near the railroad and close to the freeway so it was traumatic and difficult to sleep at night. But like all things, in the end you get used to it and soon I was able to sleep quietly.
We went to explore Colwyn Bay, which is about 10 minutes by bus from my house, the Sunday after we arrived. The promenade is beautiful and we have designated it as our official place to stay in the evenings. For the first five days, we attended English lessons at Conlan School, which is in Abergele. The lessons took place in the mornings until 12.30 and then we had the afternoon free. Our teacher was very good and although we did not have too much to learn, he was able to teach us knowledge that would be useful in our speech. So lesson after lesson, the afternoon was devoted to the discovery of the surrounding area. From Rhyl, to Llandudno, passing over to Conwy we discovered the marvels of North Wales. It was wonderful to see the sunset on the beach, in Colwyn Bay which filled the atmosphere with happiness and good prospects.
A week after our arrival, we visited the city of Liverpool, famous for its harbour. During the morning we explored the maritime museum, which also housed the slave museum, this touched me very much. The museum is located in the Albert Docks where there is also the Beatles museum, which I would have loved to visit. After lunch we ventured into the city centre. I really liked Liverpool, there are cheerful people everywhere (especially for beer) and music that resounded.
After three hours of shopping, we left Liverpool but the city left a mark on me, in fact, I think I will plan a vacation to find out the best of this incredible city. After the first week of school, we would have to start work on the second week, but the Monday was the “Bank Holiday.” We took advantage of this free time and spent the day at the seaside and also discovered the “Great Orme” in Llandudno.
The next day was my first day of work. My boss, Sue, is a very kind and helpful person and very chatty (but this is good because with her I was able to practice the language) and she has a good heart. Sue’s company, ByteBack Training is committed to providing Microsoft Office training to companies, private individuals and also to introduce technology to older people.
My job at this company consisted of updating and checking the website, which also helped me to improvement in my knowledge of WordPress. I also learned a lot about Microsoft Office programs, especially in Word and Excel.
My main project was to research and select software and hardware suitable for creating video and on-screen recordings, to create IT training videos. I discovered Camtasia software used for creating video tutorials by capturing screen, audio and video and in the course of the weeks I learned to use it. I also made small videos to learn its functions. The days passed away, work until late in the afternoon and then in the evening trips to the beach with friends. Come Saturday, the day of trips – we also visited Snowdonia, Liverpool, Chester and Manchester.
Snowdonia is a beautiful natural park where there is a Lake (Bala Lake) where we had a break and the highest of the Welsh mountains – Mount Snowdon, we did not climb all the way up but it was a great experience, very tiring but it was worth it. In Chester we visited the Cathedral, and the remains of the Roman amphitheatre. The cathedral really impressed me so much, not only for its art and beauty, but also for the presence of a restaurant inside – there are no things like this in Italy! Chester is a city which was founded by Romans, so it was like being at home! Chester’s atmosphere is very beautiful, the city is full of shops and we went back with empty pockets and full backpacks.
The last city we visited was Manchester. After the attack of the past week, I expected, military to be around the city, and things like that. Instead, the life proceeded quietly, as always, there was no men of security in the streets, only people distributing yellow balloons with bees on them. The Bee has been the emblem of Manchester for over 150 years (busy bee – hard workers) – but now the humble worker bee represents the amazing sense of unity and solidarity shown in the city in the wake of the recent bombing.
Manchester is HUGE, we lost more and more time! When we entered Primark – UK’s largest, we could no longer find the entrance. We also visited the Arndale Center, a three floors shopping center, and it was too much for me!! In fact we came out after seeing only the zero floor. In the morning we saw the museum of science and the library, which was beautiful!
At the beginning of my experience, I wasn’t happy at all, in fact I couldn’t wait to get home. Now at a distance of 5 weeks I wouldn’t go back anymore. I have learned to appreciate these places and it’s just as if I were at home. I thank infinitely my school for giving me the opportunity to go to these beautiful places, and to know wonderful people, like the Conlan school teachers, my host family and Sue.
Some of my photo’s taken during my Welsh Experience
The Beatles – Albert Docks, Liverpool
Star Wars in Chester
Chester – Eastgate Clock
Traditional Welsh Afternoon Tea at Marmalade, Rhos on Sea
The Great Orme, Llandudno
Sunset in Colwyn Bay