In this entry we would like to show you a text capturing Christina's special passion for traveling and adventures as well as her constant positive approach to life. This is an original blog post she wrote about her six weeks internship in London from January to February 2016.
In diesem Beitrag möchten wir euch einen Text zeigen, der Christinas besondere Leidenschaft für Reisen und Abenteuer und ihre große Lebensfreude einfängt. Bei dem Text handelt es sich um einen ursprünglichen Blogeintrag, den sie über ihr sechswöchiges Praktikum von Januar bis Februar 2016 in London geschrieben hat.
About planks, marketing and an utterly multicultural time
Insight in an intern’s life in London and a declaration of love to an amazing city
Six weeks in London, creative media work together with great colleagues – doesn’t sound too bad, does it?
I thought the same, so I packed my things and flew to London, just a few weeks after returning home from a semester abroad in Dublin.
Of course, as European women who loves to travel, I have been to London before, but always just for a few days unfortunately. Since I’ve done already a few longer stays abroad, I know that you get to know a place way better and also discover and experience completely different things if you stay there for a longer time than just a short trip – it’s even better if you work there. Therefore, I was quite curious what six weeks in London would teach me about the city besides it has red buses, you can eat fish and chips and watch funny red dressed men with weird black hats hanging around Buckingham palace.
When I arrived in London on 17th January 2016, I realized once again how HUGE London is. I didn’t even remember that it has like a hundred airports and that it can still take a loooong time to get from one of these airports to my accommodation. Eventually I finally arrived at my destination, where my lovely hostmother gave me a warm welcome and offered me a tea (ok, how cliché is that?).
Stroll around Southbank
After an exciting first tube ride and some help of gentle Londoners, I arrived at the office of Language in Group in Islington. I have never worked at a Language School before, although I did some language trips a few years ago. I was surprised how much organizational and administrative things there are to do and never thought about how many agents a Language School needs to have in order to get in touch with students from all over the world. There is a lot of traveling, market research, fairs visiting, presentations and inserting endlessness information in agents’ platform involved.
Besides from organizing databases, helping my colleagues planning their promotion trips and other diligence work I had a few quite interesting tasks. For example, I created an animated video about the work experience programme. I also helped creating creative content for the social media pages and wrote blog posts. I actually worked a lot for the Digital Marketing department and helped improving the usability of the website. Another fun thing I did, was designing a little quiz for interested students to find out about the English programme that would fit best to them.
My most interesting task though was an interview with three students from Taiwan, including a blog post and promotional video for the next promo tour to Taiwan. I could do this completely on my own and the way I wanted to. Although the technical devices I could use, the amount of time and the engagement of my protagonists were, let’s say improvable, I enjoyed this a lot. I love getting to know people and learn about their life and stories. They told me about their host family, their difficulties, the differences to Taiwan and showed me their favourite restaurant in London (no, not Taiwanese, it was actually a Korean one!).
To keep us energized during the day we eventually did little workouts like planks at the office, which was a quite nice little competition in between the work.
Of course, I had the evenings and weekends off to explore London, and as you might guessed already: London is an AMAZING city!
Believe me when I say this. I already lived in beautiful Vancouver in Canada that has incredibly people, beaches and beautiful mountains and nature around. In Banff, which is a lovely small Christmassy town in the heart of the Rockies with tons of Snowboarder and Skiers. And lately crazy Dublin, with great pubs with live music and the chatty funny Irish people.
However, London still impressed me a lot. It is just amazing how many cultures are living here - somehow everyone is a foreigner. And every single culture is practised. For example, I could experience the impressive Chinese New Year’s Celebration during my stay, which is the biggest one outside Asia. You can have delicious and authentically food from all over the world and – speaking about food – I have never seen that many markets in one city. I LOVE markets.
I once worked on Vancouver Island on a Farmers Market and was an official busker at the Granville Island Public Market in Vancouver City. I love the various stalls and stores, the different traders, crafts and products. I love the atmosphere, the music and little events that are eventually going on (I popped into a Pancake Race at Greenwich Market!).
If you can slightly understand my enthusiasm for markets, you should definitely come to London and visit the great markets in Bricklane, Shoreditch, Spitalfield, Borough, Greenwich, Brixton or Covent Garden… (and yes, I could go on like this forever).
Camden Market from above
Of course, London has a thousand other things to offer beside markets: there are always great concerts every night going on somewhere in London, sometimes even for free or just for a bargain price. You can go to a Quiz or Comedy night at a pub, go shopping, have a stroll around beautiful Southbank and admire the lights of the skyscrapers and bridges, go to a theatre or cinema or treat yourself to an amazing dinner in a one of the 1.000.000.000 great restaurants.
In addition, you can join an amazing amount of free tours around London like Harry Potter, Jack the Ripper, Street Art, Royal London, Soho ….just to mention a few. There are also some crazy once, like the loo-tour I’ve joined on my last Sunday in London, where the guide tells you something about the London toilets, shows you some special ones and gives you an advice where to use great ones for free.
Street Art Tour
There are also great fairs and exhibitions going on every week somewhere in London. I went to a huge travel fair with many inspiring speakers and a photo exhibition called “lost in music”.
One day I got up very early and joined a Yoga session in the St. Stephens church. Such an unique experience. The sunrise came through the windows during the session and afterwards we got tea and coffee. One of my best mornings here – just possible in London.
Yoga Session at St. Stephen's Church
London also has this thing to attract very special and alternative people - let’s put it this way. One day after a stroll around Brick Lane Market (surprise), I ended up at the “Nomadic Community garden” in Shoreditch. This is the most inspiring place I have ever seen in my life. It is totally built by volunteers. Sprayers, Artists and similar kind of people are coming together here to indulge their hobby or passion.
Who wants to plant and grow their own flowers and vegetables, does it. Who wants to play piano, does it. Who wants to open a shop for sweets and candies does it. Who wants to spray the wall with a huge dragon – you can guess by now – DOES IT.
I actually ended up, painting a table and a little birdhouse – and believe me, I am not talented at all in painting. At the evening I joined a little bonfire with a quite interesting mix of hippies, hipsters and homeless people I think. One started playing surprisingly good jazz on the piano. Great experience – only possible in London!
My visit of the Nomadic Community Garden in Shoreditch
So the quote by Samuel Johnson is actually right: “If you are tired of London, you are tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford”.
It is just amazing how many things you can do here – this helps you little bit accepting the expensive rents and costs of living in London.
I am thankful for having this experience during my internship at Language in Group and wish the School and all my colleagues all the best for the future. I will certainly miss you and lovely London!