I am a third year student at Ipag Business School, enrolled in a program called “Grandes Ecoles”. As part of my course, I had the opportunity of either doing a humanitarian mission or an internship abroad. I chose to undertake an internship.
For this semester abroad, my expectations were to enrich my professional English vocabulary, but also to gain in autonomy and maturity. This internship was my first work experience abroad and also the first time I was living on my own. It was another step toward adulthood.
I work for EF Education First. EF Education first is a global education company, its mission is “to open the world thougheducation”. Created by Bertil Hult in Sweden, 1965, EF now counts 539 schools and offices aroundthe world and is present in 116 countries. EF has 8 core values, which are Entrepreneurial Spirit,Quality, Passion, Nothing is impossible, Attention to details, Innovation, Cost-consciousness. EF London opened in 2014 first in Russell Square and then moved to Roupell Street, a street known for its famous Georgian style houses. Many movies and TV shows such as Doctor Who have been
filmed in this street, which is located near Waterloo; the school is therefore located in the centre of London.
My role was “Homestay Support”; therefore, I was under the supervision of the Homestay ManagerNoemi Alavrez Pedrosa and part of the homestay team (which include a manager, two coordinators,two supports, and one recruiter). My missions included:
• Clerical duties such as basic database entry and filing:
As I said we work with a system called Elektra. On it we have the profiles of every hosts and we need to make sure that everything is up to date and make the changes if necessary. We have to update any information regarding students moving, going home, etc. And finally we have to upload the new
documents collected during the re-visits.
• Helping with student enquiries & take telephone messages.
Every day we received phone calls form students and host family. It's our duty to respond and help in any way possible. An enquiry can be a student wanting to change host family (for any reason: distance from school, not getting along), a host with questions about her future bookings or her/his
• Prepare recruitment/revisit material such as leaflets/posters
Whether I was going to visit a new or a current host I needed the folder to be ready. I had to prepare those folders, which meant printing all the documents necessary and organising them.
• Contact homestay providers about student arrival times.
We have students arriving every Sunday. Therefore, every week we need to call the hosts and informthem of the exact arrival times of the students. For that, we work closely with the sales offices, as they are the one giving us the fight details of the students.
• Visit new host families to check suitability.
One of my main tasks from October to December was to re-visit our current host families. Our hosts have to be revisited once a year in order to resign the contracts and the children act (which are yearly documents). I also needed to conduct a Fire Risk Assessment, and verify that everyinformation we have regarding the hosts and their house is accurate.
This internship was my first professional experience abroad. In the future I intend on pursuing an international career and having already an experience abroad is a plus that I am sure will help me achieve that goal. Working for EF London made me grow, because I would talk with students, hosts, and sales offices every day, I developed my communication skills and improved my English. I was not treated as an intern, but as member like any other, it means that I had missions with high responsibility and nobody checking after me. All this made me gain some confidence andmaturity.
I fulfilled all my expectations, living and working in London helped me improve my English skills and especially enrich my professional vocabulary.
This internship confirmed my will to work and live abroad in the future, perhaps in London since I fell in Love with the city.