Just before finishing my Bachelor degree in educational science, I decided to do an internship at the European Documentation Centre in Cardiff. Even though my degree wasn’t closely related to the work I would do at the EDC, I took great pleasure in learning many new things about the European countries as well as about their relations with other countries of the world. I chose the EDC because it offers a wide range of activities for interns and it contributes a lot to the understanding of the European Union in the UK, which is becoming more and more important nowadays in light of the Brexit vote.
During my internship I had to deal with various tasks. I started by familiarising myself with the online information service European Sources Online (ESO). This service provides information about the institutions and activities of the European Union, its policies and the countries of Europe. I dealt with press releases of the European Institutions, such as the Council of the European Union or other political information sources on a daily basis and created index records for ESO. This gave me the chance to stay up to date with the current political situations around Europe and to understand how the policy making process works, always in close dialogue with the other interns working on ESO as well. As part of my internship I also had to revise information guides on specific topics, where I could further enhance my linguistic skills.
One of my main tasks during my internship was helping to organise and participate in EDC events. Therefore I had to prepare a speech for the event celebrating the 30th anniversary of the ERASMUS+ programme, where I talked about my bachelor thesis and my experience with studying and working abroad. I also talked about “What Europe means to me” and was able to meet and talk about issues with the Head of the European Commission in Wales. At every one of these events organised by the EDC there was a chance to meet and discuss with different people and exchange opinions on current political issues over drinks and food.
I had a very interesting and exciting time at the EDC. The whole working atmosphere is very friendly and I felt very welcomed by everyone right from the start of my internship. Ian Thomson, Director of the EDC, and Frederico Rocha, Assistant Director of the EDC, were always very supportive and kind. I also very much enjoyed talking with the other interns, who came from many different countries throughout and beyond Europe. This gave me the chance to understand other perspectives and gain more intercultural competence. It is safe to say that I not only found pleasant workmates, but friends, with whom I enjoyed spending time even outside of the EDC.
Furthermore, I would like to say that Cardiff is a very lively city that offers many things to young students. Your day could be spent at the beach, or hiking in the region around Cardiff. You can also go into the city centre and meet many people with different backgrounds, who can tell you much about the Welsh culture and history: something which was of strong interest to me.
I would like to conclude by saying that I’m very grateful to have been given the opportunity to do this internship and would strongly encourage everyone to do the same. Not only was I able to enhance my professional and language skills, but this experience also contributed a lot to my personal development and I can say that I made memories which will last forever!
Diolch yn fawr!