Planning anErasmus+/Turing Scheme internship abroad has never been so easy! Thanks to the Erasmus+andTuring Schemeprogramme and numerous university partnerships, you have the freedom to choose between a large number of countries and schools, meet young people from all over the world and experience an unforgettable adventure. There’s no doubt that you will remember your experience for a lifetime. Here are a few tips that will help you get the most from your stay.
1. Learn a Language with Help from Native Speakers
Many people believe that if you spend a few months in an Erasmus+ or Turing destination, you automatically learn the country’s language. However, that’s not always the case, especially if you have little or no previous knowledge of the country’s language. When that happens – you just about get by gesticulating with your hands and feet usually when you start your stay. We know, if that sounds familiar, that when you arrive, you will probably regret not paying attention to the language coursesat home but don't despair, imitating others will soon help you familiarise yourself with lots of vocabulary! Talk to the locals even if you don't speak the language well! The opportunity of exchanging ideas with people and therefore learning the language is one of the great advantages of a foreign trip. You will also probably notice relatively quickly that just a few conversations make you almost bilingual!
2. Use Local Offers
Before leaving for your Erasmus+ or Turing Scheme destination, join appropriate Facebook groups, this helps with mental preparation and you might find like-minded people doing an internship just like you. You may come across someone who’s just completed one – people in the same situation as yourself. It’s always a comfort and encouraging. Are there any Erasmus+ or Turing Scheme clubs or associations? Does the company you are going to work at organise its own events? Are there programmes to integrate new Erasmus+ or Turing Scheme learners? It also helps to talk to other students at your school who have already spent their semester abroad. They give you the best insight into what it will be like and, especially at the beginning, this could help you enormously when making new connections quickly and finding out who might be there.
3. Explore the City on Foot
Before you leave, take notes in a booklet and always have it to hand. How much does a train ticket from the airport cost? How often does the train depart? Do you need to change trains and how do you buy a ticket? These notes save time and avoid misunderstandings. While the first language barriers may have been overcome, it’s now about going on a discovery tour in a new city, but how do you successfully manage that?
4. The Longer the Better
Like it or not, staying abroad for an Erasmus+ or Turing Scheme internship has a definite end. It may seem obvious, but it doesn't feel like reality when you arrive. So, enjoy every moment, every conversation, every adventure with friends and every new friendship that you make. Be aware that it is just another experience of life, it starts as intensely as it ends. Coming home is often tough and you could easily fall into post-Erasmus+/Turing Scheme depression.
5. Better to Ask Too Much Than to Ask Too Little
Try to create your trip-abroad-plan before you leave. Be sure that you have chosen your credits well and that you have discussed everything with your tutor in advance. Find out about your weekly working time and get in touch with your superiors as soon as possible, then you can relax and enjoy your time without having to deal with possible bureaucracy. Being prepared for your Erasmus+ or Turing Scheme internship will help you along the way.
7. Discover Films, Series, Music and Culture
To fully enjoy your stay, be curious and find out everything you can that might make your life easier and help you feel like a local rather than a tourist. Remember, that everyday life you’re used to won’t be the same when you’re on your Erasmus+ or Turing Scheme trip and there will always be small everyday challenges to master.
8. Just Go Anywhere and Try Everything That You Can!
Never say never. Even the smallest of plans can end in incredibly social evenings that start with the words, "Let's go for an adventure". These are the things that you will miss the most when you go home. Don’t say no - you will likely regret it later on.