Working in a foreign language got me ahead!
"It was taking the plunge to go and work in French-speaking Switzerland but, looking back, it was a unique experience."
In May 2013 Maria, a trainee in the retail sector, spent four weeks living and working in Montreux. "I didn't have any choice but to speak French. It was difficult at first. It was all new, and I was homesick," she remembers. But she didn't give up, and was rewarded for it: "my colleagues corrected my language, and I soon made progress."
This gave Maria the courage to speak more, and her pleasure in the French language grew. She also benefited both professionally and personally. Her work in the host business introduced her to new products and processes, and having to navigate her way around a strange environment has made her more independent. "I wouldn't hesitate to recommend an exchange to other trainees – though it helps to enjoy languages!"
Text: Tibor Bauder