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Trainee from France for two months at VOCO

Whether from Spain, Italy or France. More and more students and pupils are taking advantage of the Erasmus+ support programme and are completing a semester or traineeship abroad. So did the 19-year-old Mélanie Houllier, who attends a secondary school with the specialisation ‘Negotiation of customer relationships’ in Rouen, France. She came to VOCO in Germany for two months.


Rouen is located in Haute-Normandie about 100 kilometres northwest of Paris and is a city with about 110,000 inhabitants – twice as much as in Cuxhaven. Of course, there was a reason for her to look for a traineeship in Germany. “I really want to learn German. I like the language,” she explains her choice. And although Mélanie had been taking German lessons at her school in France for two years, she also prepared herself for her time in Germany: “I watched German movies and switched my smartphone menu to German.” Hence, she thought she was reasonably well prepared. But already on her first day she had to realize the following: “Everyone talks very quickly, and I don't understand so much. It is difficult to learn German. However, I learned a lot during my time at VOCO.”



Language skills expanded and cities explored


The first department Mélanie met was Customer Service. “I could listen to telephone conversations and improve my German in that way.” She then moved to the Controlling department, where she took on smaller writing tasks and was able to extend her German writing skills. Most recently she supported the Knowledge Communication department: “Here I helped to prepare events”.


In addition to her work at VOCO, Mélanie has visited surrounding cities such as Bremerhaven, Bremen and Hamburg. During her excursions to cafés and restaurants in Cuxhaven, she quickly made friends – also with VOCO employees.


Before Christmas she goes home again: “The first thing I do when I'm at home: I visit my family and friends.” And what happens next? “When I finish school, I'd like to come to Germany for a year to be able to speak the language perfectly.”

Internship in Doncaster, England

"Within the framework of Erasmus+ – a funding program of the European Union – we made an internship in Doncaster, England for three weeks. This internship is part of the commercial training at VOCO. We are deeply grateful that we had the possibility to collect these impressions and experiences.
Our journey started in Bremen. From there we flew to Frankfurt and later to Manchester. We reached our destination, which was Doncaster, by train and bus. During our internship we were three (Marle, Rieke and an apprentice from TAD Pharma GmbH) living in an apartment in the centre of the city.  On our first day of work the coordinators from UK accompanied us to show us our internship companies.”


Marle: I worked in the customer service of “Diamond Serviced Apartments”. The company rents more than 100 apartments in the UK and looks after the guests during their stay. During the internship my main task was to take care of the guests. I had my own workplace and I phoned the guests every day. I have checked whether the check-ins have gone well, that cleanings and repairs have been organized, or that check-ins and check-outs have been prepared for example. My colleagues were very kind and I became part of the team.


Rieke: I did my internship in a hotel of the hotel chain “Accor“, they also own hotels in France and Germany. In the beginning I primarily had some research tasks and listed the results in Excel lists. Later I was allowed to work at the reception of the hotel. I was responsible for the check-ins and check-outs of the guests, the reservations and “cash banking”. I felt very well and it was interesting to look behind the scenes of a hotel.


In addition to our daily work we also had free time, in which we have done a lot. We visited the theatre in Doncaster, an indoor trampoline park and spent one day in York for example. Moreover we spent our second weekend in London.
Our conclusion: We really enjoyed the time in England and had the chance to get to know the English way of working. We improved our language skills, met very kind English people and got to know the English culture.