Name – Gary
Internship – Slalom Viajes (Travel Agency), 4 weeks
Location – Valladolid, Northwest Spain
To put it short and simple, the Erasmus+ experience was life-changing, it was amazing to get insight into a different culture, especially when working there. It’s a complete change from going foreign on a holiday to places that are crowded with people from your own culture and that aren’t really diverse at all.
During this experience we were thrown into the deep end; knowing very little of the Spanish language made the experience much more interesting, as a result of this we had to utilize multiple tools to our advantage such as Google Translate in which we had the ability to communicate with members of the public as well as our work colleagues, this made it much easier to learn throughout the time that we spent in Spain as we were constantly developing our language skills due to discovering new words daily.
Friends, friends were a huge aspect of this experience, when in Spain we had the opportunity to spend time with a variety of new people from all around the world, including other Erasmus students who were out there during this time, this made the experience much better as it allowed us to build rapport with others meaning we could spend time with them during non-working hours to explore the city.
The work aspect of this experience was amazing, I got to meet some of the most amazing people and pick up some pretty valuable skills along the way. During my work experience, I was working in a Travel Agency called Slalom Viajes in which I had to undertake the tasks of working alongside the manager to produce holiday destination packages for regular customers to fit their wants and needs. Not only this but I was taught how to use their computerized systems in order to fill in the appropriate data when working with a customer. In times that work was not busy, I was given the opportunity to learn some Spanish with my boss at the time.
The working experience wasn’t easy however, due to colleagues not knowing how to speak any English there was an extreme language barrier, although we did manage to overcome this as time went on and we learned more about each other.
In my opinion, the best part about this experience was the freedom we got, no one was on our back about doing anything so it gave some insight into what the adult life living alone would be like. We had to go to work on our own accord as well as prepare meals etc. Another was the nightlife, having the ability to experience the Spanish nightlife was crazy as there is a huge contrast in cultures due to siestas and other factors (which I loved).
My biggest accomplishment during my time away was to be able to complete the entire experience without any problems and to be able to build a friendship with many different people including my work colleagues as well as having been able to improve my Spanish speaking immensely.
I learned that I’m confident enough to be able to go alone to places around the world and be able to adapt to their cultures and live there, before this I was always a home bird, and never wanted to leave my city.
3 words to sum up your experience?
Three words to sum up my experience: Exhilarating, Insightful, Worth it.
Images: Gary Harkin
Are you interested in taking an Erasmus+ internship abroad this year? Get in touch at email@example.com or call 028 71 371 535