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2. On site - During the internship

2.1 Introduction to a new country

Upon your arrival in the country, the coordinator from the hosting organization will greet you. They will offer a brief introduction to the region where you'll be residing for the upcoming weeks and share essential information about the local culture. Also bear in mind what you have already read in the before section.

Your coordinator might tell you something about the following topics:

  • your accommodation

  • tickets for public transport

  • bus stops

  • maps of the area

  • tips for how you could spend your spare time

  • fitness clubs, swimming pools, sports activities

  • special events

  • opening hours of shops and where they are

  • where you can do your laundry

  • restaurants + pubs

  • tourist office

  • ...

Very often your coordinator will provide you with a handout summarizing all the necessary information.

2.2 The start: introduction to the company

On your first day at the company you will be introduced to a lot of new people and familiarized with your new workspace. You'll have the opportunity to meet your supervisor and colleagues. Additionally, you'll receive details about working hours, safety regulations, and other aspects relevant to your tasks. Often there is an introductory interview. Be friendly and motivated and don’t hesitate to ask questions if you haven’t understood some of the explanations.

Your supervisor might give you some information about the following topics:

  • The company, its products or services, contact persons, traditions and customs;

  • The roles and responsibilities in your team and if there are team meetings;

  • Working hours, daily tasks, times for meals and breaks;

  • House rules, procedures for reporting ill, for late arrival, rules about smoking, dress code;

  • Security and fire alarms, use of safety clothes and shoes, name badges, entry codes;

  • Risks related to your job, medical examination, things that are bad for your health;

  • Work procedures, confidential company, quality policies;

  • Equipment and responsibility for the equipment.

2.3 Learning at the workplace

Remember that the most important reason why you are on an internship is to improve your skills and your knowledge. The people in the company will help you to reach your goal.

What is expected from me?

When you are a trainee on internship in an industrial company, there are some key competences that are expected from you

  • You acquired a basic technical knowledge in your field of study.

  • You have learned certain skills to apply this knowledge: research skills, technical analysis and problem-solving skills, critical thinking, language skills, communicative skills and technical skills typical for your learning pathway.

  • You are also expected to be someone with these basic attitudes: orderly, punctual, motivated, respectful, positive, sociable, with a sense of initiative, flexible, creative.

  • Respect the work regulations;

  • Try to do nothing that could cause harm to the good name of the company;

  • Make sure you're always on time and report for being absent or late;

  • Keep your internship-logbook with you and hand in your internship reports;

  • Complete the instructions of your supervisor as well as you can;

  • Try not to damage products, tools or equipment;

  • Do your job in a safe and healthy way;

  • It’s better you go to your supervisor if you have a problem.

2.4 Writing daily/weekly reports

While you are on an internship your teachers at home want to share your experiences you have made on the workplace. But they are also interested in you spare time activities. Therefore you have to write daily or weekly reports about the things you have done.

What you have to include into your report varies from school to school. There are also different methods how you can hand in the report: e-mail, social media, logbooks, ...

Bear in mind, that the daily/weekly reports are also the basis for your final report which you have to hand in at the end of your internship. So the better you prepare them the less work you have to do in the end because you have already collected a lot of facts.

Information your teacher would like to get:

  • Which tasks did you have to perform?

  • Were there any problems in the company?

  • Did you do any interesting spare time activities?

  • Did you feel good?

2.5 Getting new experiences

Exploring a new country

While an internship may not resemble a holiday, you'll find that you have ample spare time to delve into the culture of the host country. Plan weekend trips and engage in various leisure activities. Consult with colleagues at the company, fellow students in your hosting organization, or the coordinator for suggestions on sports events, concerts, and local clubs.

Capture your experiences through photographs to share with friends and family back home. Consider documenting your adventures through a travel blog or social media to keep them informed about your life abroad.

Embrace the local cuisine by dining at restaurants, and challenge yourself by cooking your own meals, even if it seems challenging initially. Explore easy and traditional recipes for a taste of local flavors.

Connect with colleagues or students who share similar interests; inquire about joining them in their activities or socializing in the evenings. If not invited, take the initiative and extend an invitation to them.

What if... - Coping with unexpected situations

While internships typically run smoothly, unforeseen challenges may arise. Don't hesitate to seek help when needed, as there are always people willing to assist you. If you make a mistake, be prompt in offering apologies. Nobody is perfect.

In case of workplace difficulties, approach your supervisor for guidance. For issues beyond your ability to resolve independently, reach out to the coordinator in your hosting organization; make sure to have their contact information readily available.