West Malling, 3rd May 2019. After these three weeks I can only say that I would never have thought how much this work placement would enrich me.” With these accompanying words Erik sends us his vivid report on his work placement at a primary school in an English village south east of London. During his work placement Erik took over the role of an assistant teacher and among other things he helped in the subjects of maths, history and art. Apart from the admirable digital facilities of this school a lot of further differences to German primary schools positively caught his eye: the huge football ground, the vegetable garden, the elaborate security system of the school etc. In everyday village life he also got to know and appreciate cultural characteristics like the remarkable courtesy of the English. He also found it very interesting to live with a host family in an Oast house, a tower-like building formerly used for drying hops.
Agen, 23rd March 2019: With the help of the town twinning association Dinslaken/Agen, Janis, too, found a work placement in a hotel restaurant as well as an accommodation. As Janis wanted to give his work placement a language focus, he was mainly employed as a waiter during buffet breakfast and lunch. Already in the morning he could talk with the cook and the other employees in the kitchen, later during the shared lunch also to the director and of course with the numerous restaurant guests when he took the meals to the tables and served coffee. In his report on his work placement Janis emphasises, “For working in the restaurant a high social competence, which means friendliness, command of words etc, is primarily necessary as you talk a lot with people. Furthermore, concentration and coordination are important in order not to muddle up your tasks. For this you need a trained view of the jobs to be taken over.” Even though now he knows that for him a future job in a hotel is out of the question, Janis is definitely sure in one point, “I would recommend a work placement abroad and also repeat it myself as the cultural and verbal exchange is something completely new and exciting.”
Agen, 22nd March 2019. Thanks to the well-functioning twinning agreement between Dinslaken and Agen, it was not difficult for Jonathan to find a suitable work placement and an accommodation. In the Collège Joseph Chaumié he could get to know the different jobs there are at a school apart from the teacher’s job. Thus in the morning he regularly helped in the secretary’s office and in the afternoon he could work in other school sectors, as for example the CDI or the loge, a kind of entrance control. In his report he comes to the following personal conclusion, “I have learned how the working world functions. By this stay abroad I could prove my autonomy and this has also encouraged me. (…) You collect experiences in another country about another country. You improve a lot in understanding and speaking the foreign language. Moreover, a work placement abroad pays well in your curriculum vitae. It was great and I would do it again any time.”
Roost-Warendin, 16th March 2019. With this card the pupils of the Collège Dr Schaffner in Roost-Warendin (Belgium) thank the Elena Bless Foundation for taking over the expenses for a tour to Belgium. There the class met a group of pupils of the Alexander-Lebenstein Secondary Modern School from the twin town Haltern am See. An exciting and interesting experience for the about 20 pupils per group.