My name is Bastien Beauducel, I am a French Student who is studying Politics in Rennes, France. I did an internship at Cardiff EDC from the beginning of October 2016 to the end of March 2017. As a student of SciencesPo Rennes I could choose either doing one year in a university abroad or doing a six month internship. I choose an internship in a public institution of an English-speaking country in my third year in order to improve my English skills and discover what a foreign public function was like.
I am interested in the European Union and the actuality of the European Union in the United Kingdom. For this reason I applied to representations of the European Union in the United Kingdom. The Representation of London recommended Cardiff EDC to me. I checked their blog and in particular their internships page and I then applied because it looked like it would be a lovely place to do a six month internship. Sometime later I was really pleased to receive news that Cardiff EDC had accepted my application.
My main task was to monitor, with the help of two other full time interns, three main European institutions: the European Council/the Council of the European Union, the European Commission and the European External Action Service. Every day, we would check their latest updates and create relevant records of these updates on the electronic information service European Sources Online. This work allowed me to better understand the EU legislative procedure and the current issues of the European Union.
Besides creating records, during these six months I did a lot of other tasks which included:
– I checked and updated two guides: Firstly the guide Europe on the Internet – French version and secondly a guide about French institutions in both English and French. In doing this task I learnt how to add and amend broken hyperlinks.
– Secondly, as I mentioned above, I was shown the ESO database by Cardiff EDC Deputy Director Frederico Rocha who explained to me how to create a record. He also showed me how to index press releases and fact sheets of the European Institutions. I also created records on ESO for publications of the European Commission such as the ESPN Flash Report or publications of the DG Employment.
– Thirdly, I created ESO records of journal articles such as Elcano Real Institution, the Journal of Common Market Studies and South European Politics and Society. This work was really interesting because I could take time reading articles that I was interested in after work. For instance, I read articles about the European Economic Governance.
– In addition, with the agreement of Cardiff EDC Director Ian Thomson and Frederico, I checked and updated all the ESO Information Guides relating to Policies and Institutions. Furthermore, I continued Ian’s work which was creating new templates for these guides. In these templates, I focused on relevant and useful hyperlinks of the European Institutions, international organisations, think tanks and blogs in order to help students in their research.
– From January to March 2017 I also amended numerous records on ESO about Southern and Central America. Indeed, many records were created before 2010. After this date we changed the template on ESO. Therefore, I harmonised the old records with the new ones.
I also took part in four events during my internship. Firstly I took part in two Erasmus receptions, one was in mid-October and the other was in the beginning of February. Secondly, I participated in an event called What Europe Means to Me in November. During this event, we had to deliver a brief speech in English about the reaction to Brexit in other Member States. In March, I participated in a second What Europe Means to Me event: in this one, we spoke for about 3-4 minutes about our feelings concerning the European Union.
Last but not least, I was fortunate to be an intern during the French Presidential Election campaign. Thanks to the agreement of Frederico and Ian, I organised an event about the French Presidential Election. For this event I collaborated with six French interns and one English intern to speak on particular topics related to the 2017 French Presidential Election. To prepare for this event and to inform ESO users, I also created two guides: one about the French Presidential Election and another one about the French Legislative Election.
My internship has boosted my English skills and has dusted off my knowledge about European Union Law. It has also allowed me to feel engaged with what is going on in the European Union and in its Member States.
Outside my internship, I took advantage of the lovely international and multicultural atmosphere which is embedded both in Cardiff and in the EDC. For me, Cardiff in contrast to London, is a human-sized city where most places are within walking distance. The Welsh are extremely welcoming and friendly. Cardiff has two main parks (Roath Park and Bute Park) both are extremely beautiful and refreshing, and the city market is both charming and well-stocked with lots of local produce such as cakes, pastries and sweets.
Cardiff is also a relatively flat city, so it is really suitable for a passionate cyclist such as myself. I went on Bike Trips with the other interns almost every Sunday. We visited Cardiff Bay, Penarth, Llandaff Cathedral and St Fagans National History Museum. Also being in Cardiff allowed me to visit remarkable nearby tourist attractions such as the English cities of Bristol and Bath.
To finish, I want to thank again Ian, Frederico and Ceri for having taken me as an intern and being so nice during these six months of internship. It has been a marvellous and fruitful experience. Cardiff EDC is a really lovely place to work and enhance English skills. I have learnt a lot of things with are relevant to my field of studies and have made new friends.
I would also like to particularly thank Ian for taking time to discuss with me almost every day about current economic, political and social issues in the European Union. These discussions have allowed me to enhance my view on numerous topics. I definitely will miss them and I will also miss Cardiff EDC and its wonderful atmosphere.