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Maria Vittoria in Portobello, Edinburgh
Maria Vittoria in Portobello, Edinburgh

Learning to set and achieve new goals

Maria, 17 years old and from Italy, has just come back from an internship abroad and here is what she said: “Never fear what life offers you. Try it, experience it! It can be scary, but it will make you grow."

Article submitted by Maria Vittoria Zambon, who found a work placement through Eurodesk UK Partner Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council.

 

Hi everyone! I am Maria Vittoria, I am 17 years old and I am Italian. I was in Edinburgh for a one-month internship in June 2017. An experience in another country is an “adventure” that anyone should do at least once in their life, because it’s so unique and it makes you grow a lot.


It’s a challenge for yourself, because you set new goals that in the end, no matter how the experience went, you will reach. For me it has always been difficult to leave all of my things, my habits and people I love the most behind to go away. But by doing this experience I understood that I can do it. And at the end I figured out that one month is not such a long time. So it has been very useful because I went beyond my limits and now I know that I can do something that I would have never done before. It is very important for my future as well, because I already know how to leave abroad alone and how to manage every situation in a different country.


You need curiosity, responsibility and a great deal of initiative because you can only count on your own knowledge. You can't rely on someone else, you must have control of what you are doing and if you are wrong, even in the smallest situations (taking the bus in the wrong direction, for example), you have to rely on yourself to find the solution. So, you become more independent, free and you get to know your own abilities better. It is very satisfying when in you are able to find your way out from a difficult situation or whenyou have learned something new. For instance, I was doing my internship in an English school for foreigners. Sometimes, while I was working, my colleagues asked for something they did not know, for example where a particular folder was or how many students were coming the following day. When I realised I was the one who could answer those questions, I felt quite useful.


When you meet people from different cultures and learn about their traditions, you can discover new lifestyles and attitudes: in Scotland for example you have to get used to have dinner very early. Even rules and laws are different, but you need to be flexible and keep an open mind. I would recommend this experience to anyone, because it really gives you the chance to learn a lot about others and about yourself and never be scared of new opportunities.

 

Maria Vittoria could take part in an internship abroad thanks to a Key Action 1 Mobility Project for Vocational Education and Training under the Erasmus + Programme.