“I lost my heart in Heidelberg”
Durante il mese di giugno dell’anno scorso, la Scuola Cantonale di Commercio di Bellinzona, con l’aiuto del professor Walter Benedetti, e collaborando con Lingue e stage all’estero, ha dato la possibilità ad alcuni studenti di terza, appartenenti a classi bilingue, di svolgere un tirocinio della durata di un mese in una città tedesca o francese; i soggiorni erano parte del programma Leonardo da Vinci, progetto “Esperienze Amministrative in Europa”.
In June last year, the ‘Scuola Cantonale di Commercio’ business school in Bellinzona gave a number of third-year students in bilingual classes an opportunity to do a month’s work experience in a French or German city. The project entitled “Esperienze Amministrative in Europa (Administrative Experience in Europe)”, part of the Leonardo da Vinci programme, was supported by Professor Walter Benedetti and Lingue e stage all’estero, the Canton of Ticino’s office for foreign language and work placements.
Four classmates and I travelled to Heidelberg, a beautiful city on the River Neckar in Baden-Württemberg. We spent the first week attending an intensive German course to help us build up our language skills. Then it was time to get to work. I was taken on, together with two colleagues, by the secretariat of the F + U language school. The other two joined an environmental conservation charity. We were given accommodation by various families, all of whom were very helpful. I had a great relationship with the lady of the house, who took me under her wing. I still keep in touch with her.
As regards my personal development, I am proud of everything I achieved that month. I survived four weeks in an unfamiliar city where people speak a language other than Italian, something I would never have believed myself capable of given my introverted nature. Despite my lack of confidence, however, I succeeded in taking a positive approach to a reality that was very different from what I was used to. I took on a big responsibility without really knowing if I was up to the job. Above all, I learned what it means to stand on your own two feet, although I stayed in contact with my colleagues. Some of the experiences I had were mine alone, and I could not count on anyone else, but I dealt with everything that came my way.
Besides the progress I made in terms of language skills and work, Heidelberg taught me to have more faith in my abilities. That is how I fell in love with the place. The adventure my friends and I had there made us extremely fond of that little city on the Neckar. As the song goes, “Ich habe mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren.”