"I went to Seville, Spain for 3 weeks in March 2017 as a Business Admin student. I had completed my Level 2 and just started my Level 3.
For this, I was working in an office with a company called Incoma. Incoma is a training agency so they deliver Erasmus+ programmes including: vocational training, employment, entrepreneurship and language projects. I completed tasks using Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel. I produced leaflets, flyers and spreadsheets. I also met with European students who were going on mobility and I helped a group of Spanish participants with coming to the UK.
The sending organisation was Gecko, the company that I work for. I was supported with information prior to the mobility and I met the group that I was travelling with.
Firstly, I had a Skype meeting with our receiving organisation. The purpose was to meet our contact over in Seville and let them find out about us and what work placement we wanted. I was asked a variety of questions regarding my current role, what I enjoy doing, and what I would like to do whilst on my mobility. This was done to allow time to find an appropriate work placement for us, before heading to Seville. It was helpful as it cleared up any questions that I had. I was a little nervous beforehand as I didn’t know what to expect but the interview re-assured me and gave me all the appropriate information I needed. It was also useful to meet the contact who I would be working with over in Seville (so I knew who I would be meeting and working with over there) and to introduce ourselves via a video call had more of a value rather than emails with no real face to face engagement. Overall, the meeting was very helpful and re-assuring.
Secondly, I attended a group meeting / preparation session at my workplace where I met 5 others who were also going on the mobility. Each participant was from a different college (covering Birmingham, Wolverhampton and The Black Country). We were all of different creative sectors of study / work and we were of different ages between 17-25. The majority of the meeting was conducted by a PowerPoint presentation. It consisted of an icebreaker where we got to know about each other and we then get to know about Seville, where we would be staying. This included tourist attractions, things to do and see, getting around/ transport. We looked at each other’s work placements and accommodations and how to travel between each. This was helpful to have an idea prior to arriving. We also learnt basic Spanish language to help with my stay in Seville. At the end, we were given handouts and information sheets to refer to at a later time. We also created a group chat in order to keep in contact with each other prior to and whilst out in Seville, which was very helpful.
TGecko supported me with subsistence allowance which was like pocket money - to pay for everyday things such as transport, food, etc. The accommodation was all organised and paid for and we had all important contact details in case of emergency. We also met with our contact at Incoma regularly throughout the mobility for a tutorial where we discussed what we had been up to and how we had got on. This was a chance to discuss any issues and share feedback.
Whilst I was there, I also received training on entrepreneurship and employability. This included CV writing, cover letter writing, business skills, etc. We also recorded our day to day activities in a log book to show what we had been up to, what we had learnt and where we had been. It was great to reflect on.
In my spare time I was able to explore, try out new foods, meet new people and socialise. I travelled to the Beach, I sunbathed and I visited attractions much as Museums, Castles and Gardens.
Overall, my mobility experience was brilliant. I gained confidence and became more independent. It made me spontaneous and I want to travel more now. It has had a massive impact on my development and also looks great on my CV to say that I have worked abroad. It has opened so many more opportunities for me.
After the mobility, the group I went with met back up at Gecko (sending organisation) a few weeks later. We shared our experiences and left both verbal and written feedback through an online questionnaire and a written report. This gave us the chance to reflect on our mobility and also to give any suggestions of what we would maybe improve.
To ensure that we attended the final reflection meeting, we were asked to pay a deposit of £35 at the start which was then returned upon completion of the mobility and attendance of the final meeting. The importance of the final meeting was to gain a report from each of us participants, as without this, funding is not claimable. It worked out successfully as the whole group attended, completed their reports, gave feedback and received deposits back.
Since completing my mobility, I have a lot more confidence and I am more spontaneous to go out and do more. I have booked multiple holidays at different destinations and I intend to continue travelling. At work, I was able to receive a promotion into a higher role. I have also been able to share my experiences with friends, family and other associates which has encouraged a few referrals to go ahead and complete the programme for their selves.
I now have the responsibility of promoting Erasmus+ through presentations, event and social media post in the hope to motivate others to participate in the same way that I did and gain similar skills, experience and achievements."