I am Bruno, an Italian law student at the University of Catania. I arrived in Cardiff for my two-month internship in August and the Welsh capital welcomed me with an unforgettable rain shower. By the way, the weather was nice – according to the British standards – for the whole summer.
I received a much warmer welcome by the Cardiff EDC staff. Ian, Ceri and Fred have been of great help to me. I have to say thanks to them for what they have taught me and also for the interesting and constructive conversations on European issues – and much more. With the other interns – Kuan from China, Michaela from Czech Republic and Inma from Spain – we formed a lovely multicultural team.
I carried out different tasks during my stay at the Cardiff EDC. In addition to creating new information guides for the European Sources Online (ESO) database and updating the already existing ones, one of the main tasks was to index academic articles from several European law journals for ESO. More particularly, as a law student, I have found it very stimulating to create an abstract and to select carefully the most useful keywords to be inserted into the record, in order to let the user more easily find the text he is looking for. Moreover, I dealt with public relations duties as I have sat at the Enquiry desk of the library, answering questions from students and in general taking care of the building. Of course, being updated on a daily basis with what is going on in Europe is necessary to work efficiently at the Cardiff EDC.
Talking about Cardiff, it is a nice city to live in. It is suitable for an Erasmus or any other internship experience because it is neither too big nor too small, and living costs are not as high as other British cities. Although the main attraction is the huge and dominant Cardiff Castle, maybe Cardiff’s most distinguishing characteristic is the number of charming shopping arcades located in the city centre. I really loved them. In cloudless days going to drink or eat something in Cardiff Bay is extremely recommended, while having a relaxed walk in Bute Park is the best therapy against the noise of the city centre.
In regard of the accommodation, for August I booked a room at Cartwright Court, a residence that Cardiff University makes available for summer students. Even if a bit pricy it was a good option, since finding accommodation for a short-term period in Cardiff could be very challenging especially during the summer, when landlords are more willing to rent a room for those students who can stay for at least six months or, even better, for a whole academic year. I spent also few weeks in a house with local people, and I suggest this kind of solution if you aim to get more familiar with the English language.
In conclusion, I had a very good time here at the Cardiff EDC and in Cardiff. I suggest this experience not only to those who consider themselves ‘Europeans’, but also to those students who simply for any reason display an interest in European matters, and intend to satisfy such a hunger of knowledge in a working and multicultural environment.