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“I lost my heart in Heidelberg”

Leonardo da Vinci internship 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.”


Published: Tue, 17/06/2014 - 14:43

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