Live from London

10.03.2022

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. Two girls are travelling to Geneva and London this year and report regularly on their experiences. 


Vanessa Lötscher - KV Plus
Vanessa Lötscher

Even before I started my apprenticeship, I heard about the KV Plus. For me, this was a super exciting project right from the start. Languages have always fascinated me. There is no better way to learn a foreign language than to be abroad and learn the language on the spot. To experience this during my apprenticeship, is a great privilege. Despite the current difficult situation, the KV Plus is being carried out this year and I am looking forward to seizing this great opportunity with Schindler and spending a year improving my language skills. During this year I would like to get to know the cultures and also develop my independence. I am sure that I will gain many great experiences and memories that will stay with me forever.

Jil Helfenstein - KV Plus
Jil Helfenstein

Gaining work experience in French and English while still learning the language during your commercial apprenticeship is exactly what KV Plus makes possible. When I heard about it for the first time, I knew it was exactly my thing. Ever since I was little, I've been enthusiastic about learning and using new languages. The chance to do this during my apprenticeship is something I definitely won't miss. I am looking forward to an exciting and educational year in Geneva and London and hope to have many positive experiences that will help me in my professional future.


March - Jil reports from London. Actually from Inwil, Lucerne

At the end of January, it was "au revoir Genève et merci beaucoup pour tout! Time raced here and half a year had already passed. But first I would like to look back on the "6 mois incroyable" (6 wonderful months in English).

After the two-week intensive course, I started with an evening course that prepared me for the DELF B2 diploma. I attended ASC Languages twice a week in the centre of Geneva. In mid-November, the big moment arrived and my diploma exam was due. Just two weeks later I received the result: I had successfully passed the exam. I celebrated my success together with my host family. Schindler also congratulated me with a huge bouquet of flowers and a card. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them once again.


Afterwards, I sat back and enjoyed my time. I explored Geneva and other places nearby and tried to make my time here unforgettable. It passed and suddenly it was the End of January. That meant it was time for me to say goodbye and the End of an unforgettable chapter. I packed my things, said goodbye to my host family and, with a heavy heart, said goodbye to Théo, the cat. He was my best friend and companion. I went to work one last time before finally saying "au revoir" to everyone and driving home to beautiful Lucerne. It was not easy to say goodbye, but I know that I will always be welcome. I look back on this incredible time with both tears and laughter, and I will always remember it. A big thank you to Schindler Geneva for this unforgettable time with you, I was able to learn a lot and gain experiences that enriched my life. I miss you already!

Working from home - KV Plus
My view from working from home. I wish I could have shown you the tower bridge ;)

"Every end is a new beginning" and so I started directly after the weekend at Schindler UK. However, I did not take the plane as planned, but only a few steps to my new place of work. Due to the situation with Covid-19, Schindler and I decided together to postpone my trip. I will now be in my home office until the end of April and will work from there until I finally take the plane to London in May. I was warmly welcomed by my team via Microsoft Teams and even got a "virtual room tour" of the office (shout out to Karl, you did a great job). My practice supervisor James worked me into my tasks and now everything is in full swing. The start was unusual, but it all worked out well.

 

I'm looking forward to physically meeting everyone as soon as possible and settling into London. Until then, I'll stay in Lucerne for a while and attend an Advanced English course on the side to prepare well for my time in England.

To make sure you don't miss anything from my trip to England, follow @schindlerberufsbildung on Instagram. There I will take you with me to England in the week of 16-20 May 2022 :)


See you hopefully soon in London,
Jil


January - Vanessa reports from London

I am looking back on a marvellous time!

My adventure with Schindler UKC is coming to an end soon. The past few months have been enormously profitable for me in many different ways. I did not just improve my English language skills, but also my independence and my openness.

Natural History Museum - KV Plus
Natural History Museum, Blue whale skeleton

 

Since October, I lived in the same house with a host sister, who attended the same language school. She was from Spain and also stayed in England until December to take the Advanced exam. Together with four other girls, we went on many adventurous excursions on our weekends. We explored every corner of London and set off to see places further afield such as Cambridge and Brighton. From the Natural History Museum to the Skygarden, Portobello Street market and much more, we visited it all! We were tourists but felt home in London after a few months. The city is huge but we always found new things to discover. We had so much to talk about, and it was really interesting to be out and about with them. We were also able to support each other with our studies and at school. I went to school two afternoons a week to prepare for my exam. In December, things got serious. My Saturday was reserved for this, and we spent the whole day in an exam centre to complete our Advanced Certificate under strict measures. The relief after this evening was very big. Now I have to "wait and see" until I receive my results in February.

Christmas decorations - KV Plus
Christmas feelings in the office

I was always in good hands at work. My team integrated me into tasks where I could take on personal responsibility, and thus integrate myself well. However, it was a shame that I have never been able to get to know my team personally in the office because of the situation. It was basically not possible. Nevertheless, I gradually got to know more colleagues in the office and I built up a very good relationship with some of them. With good colleagues, work is twice as much fun. Together we have had lot of fun and also decorated the office for Christmas.

 

The weeks flew by. In November, you could see more and more Christmas lights all in London and the streets got very imposingly decorated. This cannot be compared to the Christmas decorations in Switzerland. Every street, every alley and every boutique were decorated with twinkling lights. This is definitely something you have to see once in your live, just wonderful! Soon it was time to say goodbye. But before that, Corona wanted to throw a spanner in the works. In England, the first case of the new virus variant had been confirmed very soon after it appeared, and Switzerland immediately tightened its measures. For me, it meant quarantine as soon as I arrived back in Switzerland. Spending Christmas in quarantine was definitely not my plan to be honest. Fortunately, after another week, these measures changed and only a PCR test was required to enter Switzerland. Relieved about this relaxation, I enjoyed my last week in London.

With one laughing and one crying eye, I made my way home before Christmas. Saying goodbye is not one of my favourite tasks, but it is part of life. For me it wasn't goodbye, for me it was more like see you soon, but nevertheless there were some tears. I met many lovely people in England with whom I want to stay in touch. The only thing I brought home, was a suitcase filled with memories. At the same time, I was looking forward to seeing my family again soon after a long time.

 

I spent Christmas holidays with my family and settling back in at home. Initially, it felt unusual to suddenly sleep in my own bed again, but I quickly got back into my daily routine.

For my remaining time in January, I will work with UKC from home and support them for a few more weeks. After that, I am off to Geneva and I am looking forward to the adventure that awaits me in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.

 

I would like to thank Schindler Berufsbildung, KV Luzern and LinguaService very much for enabling me to take part in this amazing project.

 

Speak to you soon,
Vanessa


September - Vanessa reports from London

My first month in England 

Two months have already passed, since I arrived here in England. On the 1st of August 2021 my big adventure started. After my arrival, I met my host mother. She is a very friendly and warm-hearted person. Together we talk a lot about everything going on now, we watch British television shows and drink tea. Unfortunately, I had to quarantine after my arrival. For entertainment I brought many things from home. Although I have done a Corona test before I took my flight to UK, I was forced to do another three PCR-tests during my quarantine, to be able to go after five days. During my self-isolation I was able to join an online class from the School I signed in. It was an intense course for two weeks and after my quarantine I was able to take part in it physically. Compared to Switzerland the lessons at school are quite short. The classes were usually from 9:15 am to 3:45 pm. My school is the Wimbledon School of English.

Since the 16th of August, I have been working at Schindler LTD in Addlestone. Luckily, I can work in the office every day and meet all the people personally. Nowadays there are just around 10% of all the employees in the office. That means, instead of 100 people only about 8-12 employees per day. I support the finance department with various activities. My main tasks are to prepare various reports and invoices which are then required by the finance team.

London Eye - KV Plus
London Eye

Beside work, I go to school two afternoons per week as preparation for the Cambridge exam which I will do later this year. Even if we are not that many students at school, I made some friends there. As a group we explore the City of London and the surrounding areas on weekends. There are so many different places to discover, and the city is very diverse. Being surrounded by English speakers all the time, makes it much easier for me to communicate. Although I haven't lived in England for a long time, I have already seen a lot and got to know British culture. Personally, I think I am living in one of the most beautiful places in the world, and I am so thankful to be able to experience this here!
I am looking forward to all the further adventures and narrating from them soon!

We are here for you.