Europe work visits enhance college experience

More than 100 Nottingham College students are getting the chance to travel abroad this academic year for work experience.

The trips include visits to Italy, Spain, Cyprus and Poland for students from a wide range of subject areas across the College, from Engineering to Hair and Beauty and from Tourism to Early Years and Education.

The project is designed to provide students with valuable cultural and work experience that will help in their future careers and is funded by Erasmus+ (plus).

The first trip in November saw 12 catering students spend three weeks working in northern Italy. They were based in Forli, a town in the heart of one of Italy’s well-loved foodie regions, Emilia Romagna. The group also visited the beautiful city of Florence on one of their days off to soak up the atmosphere and explore.

Professional Chef’s Diploma student, Ashley Chamberlain, from Arnold, completed a placement at Benso, a fine dining restaurant specialising in locally sourced ingredients, which features in the Michelin Guide.

The eighteen-year-old said:

“Working at Benso showed me different ways to prepare and cook things. The language barrier was hard to start with, but I picked some Italian up and the communication got better quickly. Overall, it was an amazing experience.”

Twenty-two-year-old NVQ Professional Chef’s Diploma student Sita Kyeremeh from Clifton said:

"I liked the opportunity to visit a new place in Italy, especially to travel and work with my friends and colleagues.

"My work experience was helpful as I had a kind boss and it taught me new skills and ideas, such as healthy eating and Italian barista skills.”

The trips consist of work placements in local businesses, and for the catering students this included getting stuck in at a range of restaurants, cafes and other eateries, to learn from experienced local professionals. The first trip was such a success that some students even received job offers for after they finish their courses.

This month has seen Engineering and Sport students also heading off to Italy, with more visits planned between now and June.

Stuart Stapleton, International Project Manager at Nottingham College, said:

“We were delighted to secure Erasmus+ funding to give students the opportunity to learn how the industry they are training for works in another country. Living abroad for two to three weeks also gives them the chance to immerse themselves in another culture and make friends across borders.”


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