Dear fellow Erasmus enthusiasts,
I’m Ivelina, and in the following sentences, I will take you on a ride through my Erasmus+ traineeship experience, in which I participated this summer.
My journey began straight from day one of my departure as in addition to my flight being delayed multiple times, the plane landed in France instead of Germany. This, however, didn’t throw cold water on my eagerness to find out what was awaiting me. I think there is a great opportunity to recommend you consider taking advantage of the “travel green” option offered by the program. It is a well-known fact that there is no 100% guarantee of safety with any means of transportation, but at least you will arrive where you are supposed to (he-he) and Nature will thank you for it. It’s a win-win situation.
Now, let’s put joking to the side and talk about some serious topics, namely what living in a foreign country away from your family and friends felt like, how my work was and what I saw in the wonderful City of Kings.
I stayed for three months in Munich, Germany doing an internship in a crèche. I study Applied Linguistics with a pedagogy profile at South West University and decided to participate in an Erasmus traineeship to explore my professional options and decide what I really want to do in the future. I had an amazing time at Froebel crèche, working with great professionals, and I learned a lot there. They provided great support for my training by allowing me to consult on my work and progress with a mentor. My work consisted of helping the educators in supervising, educating and entertaining little children. I witnessed a real-time work environment, faced real work challenges, and developed useful skills like teamwork, working under stress, multitasking and, of course, the delicate manner of working with children. The highly qualified workers there navigated me through the daily routine and I succeeded in acquiring pedagogic techniques and methods with which I now feel confident enough to start practicing my profession.
Munich is a very communicative city and going to work was a nonexistent problem – buses, subways, trains, you name it, they have it. Exploring around was easy as well. I managed to see so many things: the Numphenburg Palace, the English Garden (one of the largest inner-city parks in the world), the famous city centre Marienplatz and many more. I lived with an amazing German family which welcomed me into their home and helped me so much. They immersed me completely into the German culture and we visited local events, museums, concerts, exhibitions and hidden from the tourist crowd, very stunning places together. Perhaps, they compensated for my homesickness to a certain level and I didn’t feel as lonely there.
Initiating such a journey is not an easy decision to make but it can definitely change one’s mind-set and way of thinking forever. Travelling and learning about different cultures is so enriching and broadens one’s horizons so much that it overweighs the fear of the unknown. I understand that for some it may be even unthinkable to leave everything behind and go in a foreign country to study, work or participate in a project but I can say from personal experience that this sounds way scarier than it actually is. Once this barrier of fear, self-doubt and anxiety is overcome, a whole new world of opportunities is being opened. Erasmus is a beginner friendly and very easy way to start this process of getting to know the world around us while gathering professional knowledge.
All in all, I spent three wonderful months in Munich and took valuable work experience and unforgettable moments with me, met great people and became way more confident in the undertaking of future travel adventures.