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Monday, December 18, 2006

How to prepare for the country you are going to

In preparation for your work experience placement there are a few things to consider. Firstly, and most importantly, is the issue of language. If you are going to a country where the language is different to that of your mother tongue, you should be able to speak at a standard that will enable you to, at the very least, carry a basic conversation with those that you will be working with.
It is very important to familiarise yourself with the customs and traditions of the country and to find out about daily routine. For example, finding out whether the company you work with takes a siesta, how many hours a day will you be expected, on average, to work etc. You must search the job market and find out what the requirements are for specific roles and jobs that you might be interested in. It is also important to find out costs of living; how much food costs, how much accommodation costs and what you should expect to pay for travel and getting around.
Research on healthcare, taxes and insurance is necessary to help you to adapt to your surroundings easily. Much of the necessary information that you will need can be found on the Internet or through making phone calls direct to organisations that deal with placements or through phoning the company that you wish to work for directly.

How to establish yourself once you are out there
Once you have arrived at your placement, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the local transport and information services, which can be obtained either through the Internet or through local tourist information centres.
It is important that you make yourself as comfortable and integrated as possible in the culture that you will find yourself in, in order for you to gain the most from your placement. You will benefit greatly by reading local newspapers, making an effort with your neighbours and work colleagues and participating in local activities or local groups out of office hours. You will come to understand the culture and the local community much better and will come away with much more than just an office experience, you will have gained an insight into another way of life and way of living which any future employer will value. Above all it will be a valuable experience that you will remember for the rest of your life.


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