Since summer of 2016, commercial apprentices may apply for two international semesters. During six months, they strengthen their knowledge of foreign languages in English and French. Furthermore, at the end of their internship, they may pass higher language certificates directly in the foreign countries.
Already acquired knowledge is applied and expanded during their internship. The daily business will also expand intercultural experiences and boost self-confidence. This year Janine Bumann will experience this adventure and reports every two months from London.
To live and work abroad has been a big desire of me for a long time. To be able to experience this already during the apprenticeship within Schindler is a unique opportunity to me. During this year, I would like to learn more about the life and cultures in England and western Switzerland (Romandie) and, of course I will progress linguistically. By the way I will certainly become more independent. These are my motives and motivation, which led me to the KV Plus. I’m sure that I will remember all the valuable experiences and impressions from this exclusive year forever.
Every adventure unfortunately comes to an end, but luckily a new one starts soon.
I celebrated the wonderful Christmas time at home, without snow, but with the whole family and my friends. I was very happy to see everyone again after this five month. At the beginning I stared at everyone around me strangely when they spoke Swiss German. I was no longer used being able to understand the surroundings without concentration.
Back in Addlestone the daily routine caught up with me again. Because of the year-end closing everyone is a little bit stressed. My work has changed a lot as my main job, preparing invoices, was given to someone else in the department. But of course, I received new tasks. I feel very comfortable in the team and I will be really sad when I have to say them goodbye.
In December I did the First and Advanced Cambridge English exams. I am relieved that it is over and also grateful that I was able to have such an experience. During the preparation I was very nervous, but I was able to focus well on the exam day. Now I am waiting for the results.
Before Christmas I had to say goodbye for the first time. All my colleagues from the language school went back home.
In January, Wimbledon was very quiet and strange for me at the beginning, without my friends. Fortunately, I always meet new students and can therefore experience a lot with them.
I am very happy that everything is organized for the next semester in Geneva, so I can enjoy my last days here in London.
After 6 months I can confirm that I have seen a lot of London, partly very hidden corners far away from all the tourists. I will certainly miss the city and definitely miss my host mother. So, I am already thinking about visiting my "second home" again soon.
I've been living here in England for three months now. The calendar and my feeling towards time do not coincide, the weeks just disappear.
My work field at Schindler UK is very varied now. The main task is the creation of customer invoices. I also send invoices that have already been created to customers. The processing of different mailboxes is also a part of my job. In addition, there are many other small tasks that I have to do during the day.
The language, especially “business English” is not quite easy, the completion of these tasks was initially complex and complicated. Fortunately, I could count on good instructions and the support of my team. By the time I improved my language comprehension and joy came into these tasks.
By mid-November, Silvio Napoli visited us here at Schindler UK. He told us some information about the current year which was very interesting.
With my host mother I am still totally happy, she is caring and entertaining. Since my last report we have had many changes of students, so the everyday life is very varied. I get to know a lot of people from different cultures which is a real enrichment.
On weekends I often go to London and visit many beautiful places. Finally, I was able to visit the famous "change of the guards" at Buckingham Palace. A pure spectacle, it took a whole hour and the place was crowded with visitors.
At the beginning of November, I went to Oxford with school friends. We reached the city by train in about 2 hours from London. This university city is wonderful with its historical, impressive buildings. I was lucky that the welcoming ceremony of the new students took place this weekend. Everywhere you could see the students wearing the well-known school uniform.
The pre-Christmas period also begins in London. Since middle of November the Christmas lights are on. A warm welcome to UK.
My KV Plus project started on July 28th. I flew from Zurich to London Heathrow. In London I live together with my host mother and other students from different countries in a typical English terraced house in the centre of Wimbledon.
My host mother is already a grandmother and her daughter often comes to visit with her granddaughter. I feel very comfortable in my home. Sometimes I feel like in a hotel, my host mother cooks very delicious, washes my clothes and cleans my room, which is not self-evident. What I like most is that she spends a lot of time with us. This allows me to improve my English at home.
The first two weeks I had an intensive course at the School of English in Wimbledon. The school was not as strict as in Switzerland, as my timetable was from 09.00 - 16.00 o'clock.
After the two weeks I started working at Schindler UK. The office is located in Addlestone, 25 minutes by train from Wimbledon, in a very new business park. Everything is very classy and modern. I support the finance department there. The first week I was introduced by Timo and since then I have been on my own. If I have any questions, I can ask my team and get the right answer. But I have to catch the right moment because they are a lot in meetings. In the beginning I didn't understand a word at work because business vocabulary is very different from private vocabulary. But I notice that every week I understand more and more, which gives me a lot of pleasure.
I spend the weekends with my colleagues from school, which I met during my first two weeks of full-time school. It’s very exciting to get to know the different cultures at work as well as in my free time. I have visited many beautiful places in Wimbledon, London and I also visited Cambridge.
One of my most special experiences here in England up to now was the carnival in the middle of summer. On August 26th England has a bank holiday, because the Notting Hill Carnival in London takes place every year. All people dress up colorfully, partly with feathers and they dance joyfully to music in the streets. It was a very impressive carnival.
With the underground I reach the city centre of London in 20 minutes, that's great! I have already seen a lot of London and I make it my goal to visit as many English cities as possible. In the meantime, two months have already passed, and I am looking forward to the next challenges. I will be happy to tell you about it in two months' time. See you soon!