Emily is one of our Erasmus+ Students from the UK. She has come to Seville with Brighton Third Sector Training to take part in a three month internship at Cooperación Internacional. Her placement divides her time between two important roles: working at a food bank, organising and distributing food packages, and teaching English to disadvantaged children. Read our interview with Emily below to find out about the first six weeks of her internship.
How does Seville compare to your expectations of what it would be like?
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the city, I thought it would be smaller but it’s the perfect mix of not too busy but still so much to do (even with restrictions). As for the experience itself, I have found it a lot easier to settle in than I thought I would.
What did you find easiest about moving to Seville?
I’ve lived in Spain before, so I didn’t encounter much culture shock. Coming with a group of interns made the move so much easier as everyone was so lovely I felt like I had 15 friends from day 1. Also, the weather in Seville obviously helped everything, yesterday was November 2nd and it was 28 degrees!
What did you find hardest about moving to Seville?
Probably navigating the COVID-19 restrictions. Luckily, I don’t feel they have impacted our time here too much and every time something changes Reeny (one of the 3Si coordinators) sends us a simple summary of what the new rules are, which is really helpful as Spanish news outlets can be confusing.
What has been your highlight of the trip so far?
It’s hard to choose a particular highlight but I think when we spent the bank holiday weekend in the Algarve. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to get to Portugal from Seville, and how different it felt when we were there. It was a great weekend relaxing with other interns and exploring the incredible Benagil caves.
What are you most looking forward to doing whilst you’re here?
We’ve done a few day and weekend trips already and I hope that restrictions ease so we can do some more. Along with Granada and Cordoba, I hope we can make it to El Caminito del Rey, a walkway in a gorge which looks incredible.
Tell us a little bit about what you do – which work placement are you on and what is it like?
I am at the Cooperacion Internacional placement. I work at a food bank in the east of Seville and this week I will begin teaching English as part of my placement too. Each week we prepare packages of fruit and non-perishables and give them out to families who come to the food bank. My role is varied, some days it’s more manual work such as preparing boxes or loading up the van with produce, other days I am on the reception noting down what people are receiving that week. Whatever I am doing I am never bored as everyone at the food bank is so chatty and lovely, they honestly treat you like family.
Are you finding your work placement rewarding? If so, why?
Yes, definitely. Each week I meet new families who use the food bank and hear their stories from them and from the other foodbank workers. It is heartbreaking that there are so many people who need to use it, but at the same time, I feel very grateful to play a small part in helping them.
How do you think the Erasmus+ programme will benefit you in the future?
I think it will benefit me in a whole range of ways. The experience of getting out of my comfort zone by moving abroad and doing something completely new has definitely made me feel like I can take on any challenge. Furthermore, it’s definitely something that will stand out on my CV no matter which sector I decide to work in in the future. Also, I know the friendships I have made here will last far beyond the end of the internship.
Would you recommend the Erasmus+ programme to others?
Couldn’t recommend it more.
What would be your advice for future interns?
Say yes to everything, and make the most of your weekends. 3 months will fly past and I am so glad we have managed to pack so much into our time here. Hopefully, we still will get a few more trips in before we go.
In 3 words, can you sum up your time on the programme here in Seville so far?
Fun, rewarding, …am I allowed to say “cañas”?
Our interns are already half way through their Erasmus+ programmes. Before we know it, we’ll be welcoming our next cohort of students to Seville in January 2021!
Or perhaps…are you wondering what to do if you want to stay in Seville after your Erasmus+ programme? Stay tuned to our blog to find out soon!