Kiril during his internship in Frankfurt
"Frankfurt is very international and has a lot to offer. I feel completely at home there!"
- Internship Abroad
- Studying Abroad
- Living Abroad
- Working Abroad
Hey! Who are you and where are you from? Where do you study/live/work?
Where I come from? Originally from Bulgaria but I have spent a large part of my life in the Netherlands. I did the European Studies program but this internship has nothing to do with the study. Why this internship then? I did a Life Coaching course and wanted to find a possibility to explore this further. In addition, I really wanted to have a reason to be back in Frankfurt. So 1 + 1 makes 2: D
What was the first thing you thought when you arrived in Frankfurt?
First I was curious how my new home would look like. Would it be easy to travel back and forth (I stayed in a little village outside of Frankfurt)?
What was the most shocking difference between the Netherlands and Germany?
There is nothing that can shock me in both countries. But what is certainly noticeable is that the Germans are not so good at maintaining the infrastructure. In addition, Frankfurt is a huge city and has always had problems with safety in and around the central station, you see all kinds of weird types walking around: drug addicts, smelly homeless people and other "strange" looking people. A less visible difference is that the taxes in Germany are a lot higher than in the Netherlands and it was quite a shock when I made a calculation about this. So be aware, use those special websites for gross and net amounts.
What does your daily work day look like?
Every day looks different. I usually arrive 1 hour before the boss and I perform certain tasks that every trainee has to perform. Every Monday there is a meeting where everyone takes turns to explain what he or she is doing and so can receive feedback from the others. It is a small team, but of course I have a mentor who supports and guides me daily. In addition to the small things like making coffee etc. I got the freedom to work on a research that I find interesting. In my case, I did an investigation on automation and the consequences for the labor market. There is, of course, much more because you can support your colleagues with their tasks and assignments.
How is the working atmosphere at your internship company?
The working atmosphere is pleasant and relaxing, but that does not mean that people do not work hard and that they do not talk. The boss made a funny remark that it is just a sanatorium (so quiet).
Have you ever been homesick? How did you handle this?
No, I have not been homesick for a second.
Do you feel at home in Frankfurt? Why not)?
Frankfurt is very international and has a lot to offer. I feel completely at home there. The first Hema was opened 1 month after I moved to Frankfurt. So I did not miss anything :D
Is there a typical local dish that you REALLY can not eat (or really like)?
I find many of the typical German dishes super tasty. Especially the meat is much better prepared. I find the local apple wine a must.
Give us tips on who to become friends with abroad. The Russians? The Irish? The Chilean?
This is very different per person. So I can not give a general tip. I have 2 good friends who come from Russia but it is not necessarily the culture that has brought us closer, it is also the personality that is naturally formed in a much more complicated way. Think of age, experience, education, family etc.
Describe the people of Frankfurt in three words.
Divers, open-minded, international
What did you learn from your experience abroad? Was it the beloved community that you liked? The cheap cocktails? The beautiful nature? Or was your experience less than expected? Details, we want details!
It is difficult to answer these questions correctly without writing an essay about it. In the first instance, I learned that I do not want to work in the big corporate world. The people I met were super intelligent and I had great conversations with them etc. I am not a "business person" and I do not want 9 to 5 jobs where I have to appear with a suit and serve customers. In addition, I meet very interesting people that I still have contact with. I have also been to Frankfurt before so I already had some friends there and I will definitely be back. The experience was certainly valuable and if I could travel back in time, I would have done this internship again, sometimes you have to go through certain things to get more clarity about who you are and want. Improving my language level and improving certain competencies are certainly not unimportant, but I am much more grateful for answering certain career questions.