Why did you decide to go abroad with your provider?
Vincent: For a long time I have had the will to practice English in a professional context. I have a good level of English at school which I thought deserved to be dared at work. In fact, I wanted to speak English on a steady daily basis. Besides, I like the anglo-saxon culture and wanted to better know this country and this folk.
So, I made my internship with Twin Institute, which is based in London. They provide internships and other kind of experiences such as Gap Year, or Volunteering assignments all over the world. I decided to go abroad with this provider because I thought at the very beginning they were a serious team, they did a great job for me. Otherwise, I wanted to discover the corporate culture of England which is very useful to know at times of globalization.
What did your provider do for you and what did you need to do on your own?
Vincent: My provider Twin had to find me a company for my internship in a department I wanted to work in I had mentioned at the beginning (it was Human Resources). Furthermore, they had to find me an accommodation. They have a directory of companies and families who are used to welcoming foreigner students. Of course, I had to provide a certain amount of money for them to organize this experience.
Moreover, before getting to the UK, I had to choose which meals to be provided to me during my internship by my host family. I chose breakfasts to be fed. Lunches and dinner were at my own expenses. Also, I had to back the transportation (Oyster Card for the Tube), to commute to work from home. At last, Twin ensured a replacement in another company if mine I was interning in did not suit to my expectations.
What made this experience unique and special?
Vincent: The thing that made this experience so unique and special is that you are learning each day to talk with people in another language. You are immersed in a different culture, a different world which has another point of view of life and work from yours. You are speaking English every day to communicate with people, both on a leisure or on a professional context.
It is a very rewarding experience that deserves to be lived because you learn many words and you can discover the aspects of the culture. You collaborate with foreigners to deal with work issues you have in your office to finally succeed together.
Furthermore, you discover the mentality and the habits of people bit by bit, the way they work, eat and have hobbies. Besides, what is funny is to see how foreigners imagine us, the stereotypes and the ideas they have on us. It is interesting to interact with them about our own differences to better know others.
How has this experience impacted your future?
Vincent: Through this experience, I learnt to be more comfortable with English by talking with others every day in English, I familiarized with usual phrases people are used to saying. Professionally, I could learn new words bonding with corporate culture of England and IT tools.
It unraveled one of my future wishes which is to have a professional experience in an English-speaking country of 1 or 2 years. I think it is a great way to socialize with foreigners and to realize you are capable to treat things you would not even have thought before. Finally, academically, it all the more improved my English level during courses. As I learnt many phrases I can now reuse them anytime I want to look more alike professional!
What is one piece of advice you'd give future students traveling with your program?
Vincent: The piece of advice I would give future students is to talk the more possible you can with people to improve your skills in language. The more you will talk, the better English level you will have. Then, you have to try to speak even if you are missing out of words.
At the beginning, speaking in another language is very difficult and daring but it will loosen up at one moment of your experience and you will see that you are becoming more and more accustomed to English. Some days, it can be more difficult to understand clearly people (i.e: phone calls) and it can be despairing but you have to stick on it. Tiredness is one of the most common reason of not understanding. When you are getting back home in your country, you will concretely see the progress you made during your stay!