My name is Michaela Mejdrová and I come from the heart of Europe, from the Czech Republic. I recently graduated from the Faculty of Law at the Masaryk University in Brno and because I wished to prolong my studies, as well as to enhance my professional portfolio, I decided to do the Erasmus+ traineeship. During my studies I really enjoyed subjects dealing with the European Union and its external relations and they were also part of my final state examination. So when I found the advertisement from the European Documentation Centre at the Erasmusintern .org website, I felt like it had been tailored exactly for me.
I was an intern at the EDC from July until September 2016. The main task was to keep track of the press releases by selected European Union institutions on a daily basis. In my case I was monitoring the websites of the European Commission, the European Council / Council of the European Union and the European External Action Service. I was saving this information to the EDC’s information service, European Sources Online, and writing a small introduction to them and if possible also connecting them with previous related records, to add value. I felt really honoured to be given this kind of job, as it enabled me to see how the Union Law works in practice and how complex the whole system is.
Secondly, I was in charge of indexing some journals and articles from websites of different organisations or think-tanks, which came in handy too, because I discovered interesting sources of information and I am pretty sure they will be useful while completing my Master degree. Furthermore, I was checking, and if necessary also correcting, some broken hyperlinks in ESO. Last but not least, I did some editorial and translation work too, for example Czech and Slovak translations of ESO Information Guides for certain countries. Finally, after a couple of weeks of settling in, I took my turn with the other interns to staff the enquiry desk with a permanent member of staff to answer the questions received by phone or personally.
Not just the internship, but also my spare time in Cardiff was really pleasant and literally flawless. Although Cardiff is a small city, the options how to spend the time here are almost endless. I really enjoyed walking and running around Cardiff Bay, discovering the hidden arcades in the city centre, reading and sipping coffee in the parks (for that I highly recommend Bute Park, Alexandra Gardens and Penarth Pier). When it is raining, various libraries are open, some of them also during the weekend such as the Central library, and offering a nice and cosy environment for studying.
A good way how to find out more about the history of the city is to visit the Cardiff Story museum, but I also liked the National Museum of Wales, because of its collections of paintings. The highlight landmark of Cardiff to see is definitely Cardiff Castle and if you wish to eat something local, like the amazing Welsh Cakes, the Cardiff market should not be skipped. The city is in a good location, so I was also able to do some trips beyond its boundaries too. My first journey was to Swansea, which has a nice sandy beach to walk. My second trip was to London that has a really good bus connection from Cardiff.
Looking back, I think the reality overreached my expectation. I improved my language skills in daily life but also in my academic field, I enriched my knowledge about the European Union, I got to know another beautiful part of the United Kingdom and I believe that this experience will help me to reach my dream job. The time flew and I enjoyed every minute there. At this point, I would like to thank Ian for giving me this chance and all the advice and his time during my internship. Big thanks belong also to Frederico and Ceri for their readiness and willingness to help and to my “alma mater” for choosing to fund my application.