My name is Artemis Koutsopoulou and I am a law student from Athens, Greece. I arrived in Cardiff for my internship in the beginning of October and stayed until the end of December 2016. Having a particular interest in European and international affairs, I was very pleased to be accepted as an intern by the Cardiff EDC. During these three months, I had the opportunity to expand my knowledge on the legislative process of the European Union and familiarize myself better with its system and policies, while working in a very friendly, multi-national environment.
My main task at the EDC was to monitor, alongside the two other full time interns, three European Union institutions: the European Council/Council of the EU, the European Commission and the European External Action Service. Every day we would check their latest updates and create relevant records on European Sources Online, the EDC’s online database. Naturally, this process not only allowed me to stay up to date with the latest developments on an EU level, but also to understand better how a piece of EU legislation is created and what is the EU’s policy on a large number of issues.
Besides that, I did some updating and translation work on some of the EDC’s information guides. Additionally, I helped index articles and studies from journals or EU Directorates, as well as proposals, reports and communications from the European Commission. I also enjoyed very much my participation in both EDC events which took place here, during my three-month stay. On the first event, the Erasmus Reception, it was great to meet other Erasmus participants from many different countries and discuss with them. For the second event, all EDC interns had to do a short presentation about the perception of Brexit in different EU countries. My assignment was Ireland and I was very glad to learn more on that topic, to present my conclusions to the participants of the event and engage in very constructive conversation afterwards.
As far as life in Cardiff is concerned, I had a wonderful experience as an Erasmus trainee here! Cardiff is a very student-friendly city. In my free time, I had a chance to explore the city centre, the arcades, Cardiff Market, the castle, Cardiff Bay, Bute Park and more. Towards the end of November, the whole city was adorned with Christmas decorations, giving a warm festive feeling! I also got to enjoy the Christmas Wonderland, as well as the Christmas Market with local products and festive treats. There are plenty of delicious traditional recipes to try, such as Welsh cakes, bara brith, lamb cawl and Welsh rarebit!
Furthermore, Cardiff’s location allows for many day-trips to explore both Wales and England. Personally, I tried to make the most of that fact by travelling to Bath, Brecon Beacons National Park, St Fagans National History Museum, Bristol, the Pembrokeshire Coast and London. Wales has a truly magnificent countryside and I would highly recommend taking the time explore it, while in Cardiff.
Overall, my time in Cardiff will definitely be a very fond memory for me. Having learnt a lot on my field of studies, having made new friends from all over the world, having had the chance to explore a beautiful place, I consider myself lucky to have had this opportunity!