Work experience abroad?

A big problem at Wittekind and Driessengroep in 2021 and 2022!!!

Again! The work placements had been organised, the host families and partners found, friendships had started, the tickets had been booked – and the Covid pandemic made it impossible again. Just like in January 2021 the lockdown situation (this time only in Helmond) made it impossible for the German students to spend a week of their compulsory internship project (January 10-17, 2022) in the Netherlands and for the Dutch partners to come to Lübbecke.

Due to the nationwide lockdown the Dutch students will not even be allowed to go to school after the Christmas holidays. Distance learning – again!

“It's a very frustrating situation for everybody!” says the German coordinator Silke Horst who together with her Dutch colleague Frederique Giesbrecht has put a lot of effort and hours into the project. The aim was to enable the 12 participants to gain work experience abroad and for the Dutch students to get to know the concept of so-called 'school-internships' in the first place. The students had already been looking forward to 'working' at different organisations, institutions and companies. The German students agree: "It would have been a really good change in the otherwise dull Covid-times!“

The teachers and students will at least try to still do the exchange later this school year – but it will involve a lot of extra work and finding the time and the placements for the students could be very difficult and maybe frustrating again, if it will have to be cancelled yet again.


Working abroad? -

No problem at Wittekind! Internship-project Lübbecke-Helmond in January 2020 

 

Living and working abroad within Europe is for many people a good alternative and a welcome opportunity to develop professionally. The united Europe we live in offers countless and exciting opportunities.

The Wittekind-Gymnasium as a so-called European School and coordinator of the Erasmus+ project CARE (https://www.wittekind.de/cms/index.php/international/care-cooperating-actively-for-responsibility-and-empathy), which aims at promoting the career choice orientation of the pupils, attaches great importance to imparting these European ideals to young people already during their school time and to sensitize them for the diversity the EU has to offer. 

In January 2020, two pupils of Wittekind-Gymnasium were offered a great opportunity: They were given the chance to do an internship abroad for one week and also to host a guest from the Netherlands for one week. Jana Weiß (EF) and Björn Schier (9c) accompanied by the coordinators of the CARE project Silke Horst and Jessica Stefener travelled to Helmond in the Netherlands at the end of January to get to know three interesting companies at once. They were allowed to stay in the host families of their Dutch partners and visit the companies GNT, GEA and the Driessengroup (https://www.driessengroep.nl/humancampus) with them. 

At GNT (https://exberry.com/) they learned something about "Food Colouring", where natural colouring agents are obtained from natural resources such as algae, carrots or beetroot without the use of chemicals. 

At GEA (https://www.gea.com/nl/index.jsp) they experienced a completely different sector and were able to learn about food processing and how pharmaceutical products are manufactured and meat is processed. Special cooking systems were introduced, a meat grinder was "operated" and tested by the trainees.

During their time together in Lübbecke, Jana spent the internship with her guest Alexander at the Harting Technology Group in Espelkamp (https://www.harting.com/DE/de), while Willem, Björn's exchange partner, got to know the IMA Schelling Group (https://www.ima.de) in Lübbecke.

However, all participants confirmed that the time spent was much more than just an internship exchange, as it gave the participants the opportunity to get to know new families and cultures. They also had the chance to improve their English language skills and to try out the language learned at school in real situations and the professional world. 

We are curious to see who will go on this trip next year with the help of the Erasmus+ (https://www.erasmusplus.de/) CARE programme to explore the international labour market.

 

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.