Internship report: Lisa Kleiber5 August 2015
My name is Lisa Kleiber and I’m a student from Germany. Currently I’m studying European Administrative Management at the Harz University of Applied Science in Halberstadt, Germany. An internship abroad is part of my course of study and I decided to apply for an internship in an English speaking country to improve my language skills. The reason I chose the Cardiff EDC for my internship was that it was related to my course of studies, which contains lots of courses about European policy, law, economics and the structure and fields of activities of the European institutions.
My first days at the Cardiff EDC were basically an introduction to the structure and the functioning of the Cardiff EDC. The Cardiff EDC is part of the Europe Direct Network, an initiative of the European Commission. The Cardiff EDC is part of Cardiff University and is based in the Guest Building, a small building at the edge of the campus, close to the much bigger Aberconway Building, which houses the Cardiff Business School and a large library.
Basically the work of the interns is divided into two parts – work at the enquiry desk, which is in the public part of the library, and work in an office with three workplaces. The interns switch their workplace once a day, to support one of the staff members at the enquiry desk. So interns work at the enquiry desk for four hours and in the office for another four hours. I really liked the work at the enquiry desk. The main task there is to reply to the enquiries of people who visit the EDC and/or use the library. This work is very helpful to gain better language skills and to get used to the use of another language. Furthermore the interns at the enquiry desk have to occasionally answer the phone.
Moreover, the Cardiff EDC provides people who are interested in the European Union and Europe in general, with information, including the very latest information. News articles published by European Institutions and newspapers are uploaded to European Sources Online, which is a database created to collect and collate important information about the European Union and the countries and regions of Europe. The key task of the full time interns is to create records from Press Releases, Statements or Speeches, published daily by the European Commission and the Council of the European Union and upload these records into ESO. We also create index records for more specialised information sources and help the Cardiff EDC Director update and revise various ESO Information Guides and presentations. Finally, we also help to take part in and operate a number of Cardiff EDC events.
The Cardiff EDC consists of three staff members. Ian the director of the EDC, Ceri and Fred were very friendly and helpful from the very beginning. Furthermore many full-time and part-time interns from different countries work at the EDC. Thus EDC staff are already very used to working with interns from many different countries. That is the reason why they are very relaxed and help wherever they can. Everyone has an appreciation, for example, for language problems during the first days. Especially when you work abroad for the first time, it is very helpful to work in a smaller environment with people who are already used to working with people from different countries. When I started working at the EDC I really appreciated the work environment, because it was very helpful to overcome my doubts about the proper use of the English language and it was easy to get used to the different way of working.
I arrived in Cardiff in April and it was very easy to settle here. During the first weeks I worked with two other interns from Italy, Roberta and Elisa. They were very friendly, helpful and invited me immediately to spend time with them. That is the reason why I felt very welcome from the very beginning. Also the weather was very nice during the first months and so we visited several places and spent a lot of time together.
Wales has plenty to offer. On the one hand you can find cities like Cardiff with shopping centres, cultural sights, restaurants and pubs and on the other hand you can find incredibly stunning landscapes, which invite you to go for tranquil walks. What I really liked about Cardiff is that it still seems very small and quiet despite it actually is a pretty big city, with more than 350,000 inhabitants. I can highly recommend to visit Rhossili, one of the most beautiful places I have seen during my stay here. Also the public transport in Great Britain is comparatively cheap. For that reason I had the opportunity to visit lots of big cities in England as well, like Bath, Oxford and London.
During my internship I lived in a shared a house with seven other people from Great Britain. This was a great opportunity to get to know people from another country and their way of living. It was very interesting to see that there are so many differences compared to the way of living and the behaviour of German people. Everyone I met here in Wales was very friendly and helpful and I had the feeling that people here really make an effort to get along well with everyone. Moreover I was able to improve my language skills because I had to speak English all the time.
After four months in Wales I can say that I have a very positive image of the people who live here and I can highly recommend Wales. In the end I can say that I am very happy that I have chosen Wales for my internship abroad.