Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers

My Work Placement Abroad

My Work Placement Abroad

Hi everyone! Today is a very, very exciting blog for me as I’ll be talking about one of the best life experiences I’ve ever had! I’ve written this blog as lockdown has given me time to reminisce on sunny weather and time with friends!

In my 2nd and final year of college at University College Birmingham, I applied to take part in the Erasmus work placement abroad. I was lucky enough to spend 3 weeks in the sunny south of France, in the gorgeous Marseille! 3 whole weeks of great food, sunshine… oh, and hard work!

It all started when someone came into a lesson to tell us about this amazing opportunity that was up for grabs and instantly I had decided I wanted to apply. Then I was hit by waves of:

‘Should I?’

‘Am I confident enough?’

‘Am I even good enough at what I do?’

And finally, ‘can I even speak more than 5 words in French?’

But in the end, I put my brave girl pants on and applied for the work placement, at this point not knowing exactly when it would be, where I’d be working or who I’d be living with!! I think I will always remember the day I received the email telling me I had been accepted – I was out at the time with my best friend and we both freaked out!!

We had French lessons before we left for Marseille, and University College Birmingham did all they could for us to make sure we were prepared for this experience. The French lessons were great for us all because obviously, we all learned a bit of French, but for many, this was the first time we all met each other.

Soon, the day came and we all met up in the airport in the early hours of the morning to commence this exciting adventure together.

Now, I was one of the two bakers chosen to go to Marseille, while the rest of the group was made up of chefs from the University – I didn’t know a single person from this group, but I’m over the moon to say that some of these people are now my family, who I love so much as we’ve all shared such amazing experiences together!

I was placed with the other baker in the group and we shared the same work placement – Patisserie Torres, which can be found on Instagram if you’re feeling particularly hungry and want to see some amazing baked goods!! To get to my placement, it took about one hour, including a lot of walking, a bus journey and a quick ride on the subway. Although did I mention I was in the gorgeous south of France? Which meant that when we finished work around lunchtime (working 5am-2pm), that meant we could take a boat back to the hotel or have ice cream on the beach for lunch.

I say that so very casually haha! There was a port pretty much opposite our work placement so it was a very short walk and then a lovely boat trip back to the port down the road from the hotel – it was moments like this that made the 4am wake up call so very worth it!

I learned so much from this work placement trip to Marseille. If you’re reading this and you’re currently studying at University College Birmingham and the opportunity arises, I am urging you to jump at this opportunity – I promise you, you will not regret it!

If you want to hear more about my work placement trip to Marseille, use the comments to let me know, because I could talk about it for days!!

Thanks for reading!

Amelia 🙂



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