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Nadieh during her internship in London!

As we speak, Nadieh is enjoying her last days of her internship in London, before going back home to the Netherlands. Wanna know how she experienced her never-to-forget time abroad? Read along!

  • Adventure
  • Internship Abroad
  • Studying Abroad
  • Living Abroad
  • Working Abroad
  • Europe
  • United Kingdom
  • London
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Hey! Who are you and where are you from? Where do you study/live/work?

Hi, I’m Nadieh and I’m from Kampen, The Netherlands. I study at Saxion University of Applied Sciences studying applied psychology, fast track. However, currently I’m doing my internship at a mentoring charity in London and live there, too.

What was the first thing you thought when you got off the plane? (bus/train/car)

“Oh lord, I’m really doing this!!!”

What was the most shocking difference between your home country and your new country?

I guess it’s the use of public transport and the difference in foods. I know England and the Netherlands don’t seem to differ that much, however England is more like the US in its food-manners. The junkfood is ridiculously cheap (four donuts for a pound!) whereas the healthier food is sooo much more expensive.

What does your usual working day look like?

It depends on the day really. On the days I visit schools I start at 12, so I can have a nice sleep-in or go to the gym. Luckily my accommodation isn’t that far from work, so I only have to travel 20 minutes, however I like to be there a bit early. Once I’m at the office, I do my office work and leave around 5 to travel across London and have some quality time with schoolchildren, tutor them or play football. My work usually ends at 7pm, 8pm if I have to run the sports session, too.

On Wednesdays I come in at 12 and leave again around 2:30pm to visit schools, so that’s a nice hands-on day.

What's the working-atmosphere at your internship-company like?

The working atmosphere is really comfortable. The office is not too big (10 people) and everyone is always ready for a quick chat or ready whenever you need help. I’m sitting right in the middle of the office next to my supervisor, so for me it’s really easy to ask questions and get in touch with other colleagues. We have a young team so from time to time there’s a good banter.

Did you ever feel homesick? How did you cope with this?

To be honest, I visited London many times before I started my internship here so London feels like home already, especially since I’m close to the stadium of my favourite football club. Whenever I felt like I needed to talk to my family, I facetimed with them. Social media makes a lot possible nowadays.

Did you feel at home in your new country? Why (not)?

Like I said above, I certainly feel at home in my new country. Because I visited London a lot already and knew the area I live in, it made it easier for me to get around and obviously that makes it easier to feel at home as well. The people at my internship were very friendly and around the same age, so that helped massively.

Please give us tips about who to befriend when living abroad. The Russians? The Irish? The Chileans? (Honestly, we want to know some gossip about other internationals you’ve met.)

As I lived in a kind of student-hotel building, I met a lot of different nationalities. English people are friendly to talk to, as are the Americans I met. However, some Chinese people can be really quiet… Not generalising of course, as I’ve met some really nice Chinese people as well! Oh, and let them teach you how to eat with sticks!

Describe the inhabitants of the new country in three words.

Outgoing, polite (mostly), always-in-a-hurry.

What did you learn from your experience abroad? Was it the loving community you liked? The cheap cocktails? The overwhelming nature? Or was the experience less helpful than expected? Details, we want details!

It gave me a lot of experience in a comfortable setting which also allowed me to make mistakes (that’s why you’re an intern after all). I received a lot of positive feedback at the end which made me feel valued, which is a great feeling. My work was very diverse which allowed me to develop on several aspects of the professionality. This experience was really being an all-rounder, which I loved!

On a more serious aspect, I also learned that you need to be yourself’s best friend. You can be surrounded with people 60 hours a week, but you’ll have to deal with yourself most of the time and that can be quite confronting.