Below is the story of Irene, an Italian student who partnered with InEuropa to intern with Global Action Plan UK in the summer of 2018.
“In July of 2018, I completed high school in Italy. Thanks to the GAP International member organisation InEuropa, I had the chance to go to London for a work experience abroad with Global Action Plan UK.
I left in early August with the knowledge and skills I had acquired at school. The experiences that I had done in Italy so far had helped me to improve my relational skills, but I still felt very weak in my technical skills. With the help of InEuropa I prepared my CV in English and analyzed the activities of GAP UK, identifying my areas of interest so I could be proactive and integrate more easily once I arrived at my internship.
And then, I left for London.
GAP UK is a non-governmental organisation that deals with environmental issues. It’s made up of young, active people with whom I immediately found myself at ease. I had a very wonderful welcome when I arrived! The whole experience was very interesting and educational. The team at GAP UK was kind to me, helpful, always available and good with company.
I was fully integrated into the company’s activities during my internship. I took part in meetings and was actively included in the work teams with the same tasks to fulfill and deadlines to meet. I felt significant and like I was a part of a full-fledged organisation. I carried out different activities, although sometimes with fear and difficulty. I felt the need to quickly and effectively learn the use of computer tools and technical terminology so I could understand the logistics of GAP UK — and I now feel I can command these skills with pride. Among my main activities, I conducted online research related to the Clean Air Day project, where I found some contacts and information from organisations that have taken part in this very important campaign on air quality in Great Britain. I also did some translations for the Goals for Good project and research for the imagery and graphics of the Goals for Good Workbook, especially in relation to the activities carried out by InEuropa as the project delivery partner in Italy.
Also in collaboration with InEuropa, I carried out further research on the analytics for the Water Explorer Facebook and Twitter profiles, reporting on potential changes or additions that could help receive more interactions on both profiles. My enthusiasm was through the roof when my contributions and recommendations were actually adopted! I also edited a video for Water Explorer that was later published on its social media website.
After this experience I certainly feel more confident and proud of myself for having created new relationships, and for having used English professionally. I have improved and increased my vocabulary skills, including my technical English. I learned how to use computer tools and programmes that I’d never used before. I improved my ability to organise myself and be autonomous in carrying out a task assigned to me. I was able to feel responsible and respect rules and deadlines in a way I had not confronted in school.
I want to thank GAP UK and InEuropa for this amazing experience. I’m ready now to face new experiences and start my university studies with much greater conviction and confidence!”