To sum up in three words:
Challenging – finding one’s way round a foreign city, using the transport system, starting a new job, meeting new colleagues and using basic Italian language skills required determination, concentration and a willingness to try and risk making a fool of yourself! Teaching young children in a language which is not their mother tongue and in a nursery environment in which I had no experience was difficult and at times frustrating but enabled me to learn new strategies and ways of communicating and gain in confidence.
Enjoyable – meeting new people from many countries, making good friends with fellow WAES Erasmus participants was a great experience. The sunshine, the gelato, the pasta, the architecture, the beauty of the natural landscapes were wonderful. Verona, Sirmione, Malcesine, Lago d’Iseo, Bergamo, Milan and Brescia itself were stunning.
Liberating – it was good to experience something new somewhere where you don’t know anyone and no-one has any preconceptions about you. It was good to spend time away from home, to see how it feels to live in another country and to be able to think about my life and career plans away from the habits and routines of my life pre-Erasmus!
Thank you to all at Mistral for helping us to settle in and being there when we needed you!