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Blogs, Participant Stories

Work Experience UK Story: Part 2 – The Arrival

Friday, December 10, 2010 by

Work Experience UK - The Twin Group building in Lewisham, UK

The Twin Group Building

[Pavlina is participating in the paid Work Experience UK Level 1 program]

November 28th

The first day of arrival was quite a hectic one. I arrived at 11 am at the Victoria bus station. The journey from the Czech Republic took 17 hours, but it was overnight and I slept most of the time so it wasn’t that bothering. After getting off the bus and collecting my luggage I set off to get to my accommodation – The Donald Hunter House. I bought 7-days travel card and then took the London tube from Victoria station which is basically next to the bus station. Few days in advance I planned the way from Victoria station to the Donald Hunter House on the Internet because the London transport system appeared huge and confusing and also some engineering was supposed to disrupt some lines. Luckily my planned lines weren’t influenced by that. I changed the train only once and in about an hour arrived at the Wanstead Park station. The Donald Hunter House was supposed to be in a walking distance from this station, however it took me some time to find it-partly because it was kind of hidden behind other buildings of the main street and partly because the map I bought in the Czech Republic didn’t include this part of London :-) When I get to the gate I rang the door-bell and a representative of the dormitory took care of me. He showed me to my room and explained everything about the run of the house. The dormitory was quite convenient. There were five single-rooms sharing one spacious and equipped kitchen and two bathrooms. Unfortunately there was no Internet connection unless one arranged their own which was pointless for me since staying just one week. One minus was for the heating system because you have to push a button every hour to keep it heating and the room was still a little bit chilly. Anyway the dormitory neighbours with many shops selling food, such as Tesco, which was very convenient. At the time I stayed there just two rooms in my unit were taken. There was a girl from Italy and Australia both taking an internship in London.

Work Experience UK - The Twin building in Lewisham, UK closeup

The Twin Building closeup

Work Experience UK - The Twin Group course classroom

The course took place here

Work Experience UK - The Twin Group students' IT room

The IT room

November 29th

The second day I was supposed to go to my preparatory course which took place in Lewisham in the Twin English Centre. The London tube again gave me a hard time and I was late for my first session, but on my way back home I slowly started to get on it. Anyway the Twin English Centre was quite easy to find and not far from the tube station. In the morning I was told some information about the run of the course. I was interviewed and wrote a test. I was also asked to provide my passport and two photographs of myself for a Twin identification card and one for another form which I wasn’t told in advance. Then the preparatory course started. Although I expected it was going to be focused specifically on the preparation for working, it was rather a regular language lesson with regular conversation, vocabulary and grammar tasks. There were usually students of my age or younger, but also several who were obviously much older, such as over thirty. Anyway the Twin building was very convenient, it had spaces dedicated to self-catering and relaxing while having a break and the IT room with Internet access. However, it appears too busy with so many people bugging around.

November 30th

On today’s programme was an orientation following after a regular language classes. We were told essential information about National Insurance Number and applying for it. We were also informed about our rights and obligations at work, about tax return and about ravelling to the employer. There were actually just three other students and me at the session thus there was enough time for questions of everyone which was very satisfying. We were also given some printed materials. However the official brochures were updated at that time thus we couldn’t get them. We were recommended the best way of travelling to our employer and advised to arrange our tickets in advance and inform Twin about our journey. The meeting was very good organised and informative and it made one feel kind of secure when being under the patronage of the Twin Agency. The employees of the Twin English Centre in general appeared very helpful, friendly and especially professional to me which I find a very important point. However, the Twins should buy better heaters to their building! :-) December 2nd The workshop which should prepare us for our placement was arranged for Thursday afternoon. It concerned some safety and health issues but it wasn’t in a form of a mere and boring lecture. It was whole interactive and playful, though very informative and educative. We were given some printed handouts, and we played an online game about risks and hazards in hotel. It was actually all that amusing so one even didn’t realized being trained. Surprisingly my teachers, at the morning course as well as at the afternoon workshop, were both Polish. However they had perfect English that I even wouldn’t recognize that they were actually not British.

Another thing was that the Twins contacted the employer and arranged a pick up for me at a railway station which was very helpful. [APEX note: All programs that we deal with include this service]

[Pavlina is participating in the paid Work Experience UK program.]

Questions? Ask below :-) In English, please.

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