My name is Sara, I'm 19 years old and I come from a little town in northern Italy. Today I would like to tell you something about my experience in the UK.
I have always been an undecided person and when I finished my high school in Italy in summer 2019 earning a diploma in "tourist reception" I didn't know what to do in my life. I have always wanted to go to study at the University but also to improve my English as it is very important in today's world of work. This is why I decided to take a gap year before going to University.
At the beginning of September 2019, I started looking for Italian agencies providing study and work programs in the UK as soon as possible and I found one which was working together with Student Works.
I can say that it has definitely been the best choice as after a video call with Jenny I could organise my stay in one week. In fact, on the 21st of September, I came to Bournemouth to start my new experience!
As established I went to live in a very nice host family and I went to general English courses for four weeks where I learned a lot of new things. During my school time, I met a lot of new friends from all around the world: Germany, Spain, France, Austria, Brazil... I discovered new cultures and habits that added value to my cultural background. All this gives you the opportunity to know people who are in the same situation as you and the only way to understand each other is by speaking English.
The main feature that makes me love England the most is its different and unique lifestyle: the houses, the roads, the food. Bournemouth is a very livable city, full of nice places to go to spend time with friends. It is a city on the sea so you can find a lot of activities to do.
From the second week, I had already started bringing my cv to some work placements that Jenny suggested to me and I had three trial shifts in the third week. As they went all very well and all of them wanted me to work in their restaurant, I had the opportunity to choose the job I preferred.
I decided to work as a waitress in a very good restaurant on the beach in Christchurch, just 45 minutes by bus from Bournemouth, getting a paid position with an undetermined time contract that allows me to have breaks and holidays if I want to.
I had already worked as a waitress when I was in Italy so it has not been that difficult for me to learn and I like it. English customers are all really nice and I also have kind coworkers. The proceeding way to start to work in England took a few time and it has not been as complicated as I thought: Student Works can help you with everything you need for free. This is why it is very important to find a good agency when planning to go abroad: they are experts in this field, can help and support you, answer any question you may have and ensure that the work you do is what you want. You can also have great discounts in schools.
To be closer to the restaurant I moved to a new host family after the 4-weeks English Course. Living in a host family is like staying at home far from home because you will live with new people who will try to make you feel as more comfortable as they can, helping you deal with everyday issues. You will stay in a British family, try traditional dishes and also know other students as I did.
As I was only working part-time in the restaurant I thought that I could have also done something closer to what I studied in my high school, which could be useful for my next studies at the University... an experience that could have been relevant to my cv. This is why I started my part-time internship at Student Works. During my placement I'm responsible for responding to emails and calls, using social media to increase activity and reaching new customers, maintaining contacts, communicating with customers, editing photos and creating new posts, advertising on different websites and lots of other tasks.
I can definitely say that this experience is one of the best in my life because I have to manage to organise and support myself with all my expenses by working but also doing what I like. I'm sure it will be beneficial for my future as it makes me growing and developing new skills every day.
Thanks, Student Works!