Hello everyone, my name is Francesco Boschetti, I am 18 years old and I attend the technical institute Piovene in Vicenza, a technical high school where I mainly study economics and commerce with the addition of three foreign languages; I chose English, Spanish and French. At the beginning of this year, I did an exchange with Lyon which did not go very well :(. Despite this partly negative experience, our French teacher encouraged us to enroll in the Erasmus+ program offered by our school Despite some doubts, I registered for a month-long internship in Nantes. A few months after my registration, the results came in to find out if I had indeed won a scholarship, and I discovered to my surprise that I had won together with one of my classmates. After a long series of extra-curricular meetings during which the rules and the culture shock that this experience could represent were described, the day of departure arrived. as well as on May 24, 2023, we headed to Venice airport using public transport in order to be as sustainable as possible.In addition to me and my classmate, there were six other people from our high school that we only knew by sight, but a few hours later, we had already started to get to know each other better, discovering that we had different study paths even though we were in the same school. After a train and a bus, we arrived in Venice where we saw another group of girls who were going to be part of our group, but we didn’t know it yet. After a few hours of waiting, we left for Nantes, where we arrived towards evening. Once we arrived, accompanied by the French teacher, we realized that the group we had seen earlier was indeed part of our own project. As soon as we left Nantes airport, we met for the first time the tutors whom we had only met virtually, but with whom we were in contact via a Whatsapp group. They also gave us our tickets for the last days of May and the subscription card for the month of June. I had requested to be in the same host family as my partner, and the request was approved, so we met the host parents who were going to accommodate us. At first we were a little scared because they only knew French, but as soon as we got home we realized we had arrived at a wonderful host family. The house is laid out in such a way as to give us a good level of independence since we have a floor to ourselves with a small bathroom, and they gave us the two keys to the house so that we were not disturbed at our feedback. The day after our arrival, members of the International Horizons agency showed us around the whole city of Nantes so that we could get to know it. The tour lasted about seven hours during which we discovered the most famous places in the city. At the end of this visit, we took the opportunity to eat ice cream with our new companions, and we then decided to go to the beach the next day. Back home, although exhausted, we organized ourselves for Friday. The next morning we took a very cheap train to La Baule, where there is a beautiful beach overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. After a long day in the sun and wind, we came home realizing we had sunburned. In fact, the next day we rested because we had sunstroke. But in the evening, we went for a drink with everyone because a second school from Cuneo in Piedmont had arrived. This group also included a German student who had already been in Nantes for some time and who had become the roommate of a student from Piedmont. This new group of students, unlike us, did not study French at school and only took an intensive English course before coming here. We were also amazed that they made a school very different from ours, which made us realize that this experience is really suitable for everyone. The next day we held a game day in a park where the students were divided into different teams to determine an eventual winner. In addition to these games, another has been added where you have to make other people do difficult things which will be eliminated if they do not see the joke, whoever eliminates the most people wins a voucher to go to a restaurant. On Tuesday we started to work and I was a little scared of the tasks ahead of me. My internship took place in a DIY store that sells gardening, maintenance and DIY products. When I arrived at work, I immediately felt uncomfortable because no one knew I was coming and the employees, although friendly, did not know what I could or could not TO DO. When the department manager arrived, I understood that he was the one who would follow me, but soon after, he forgot about me, leaving me to wander around the store. The next day he took me to make a delivery to a fairly large private client, and seeing he wasn’t answering the intercom, I suggested I honk my horn to try and get him noticed, but he scoffed. from me and started banging his hand on the glass for 20 minutes while swearing at the customer. Then I asked again to honk and this time he said yes and the customer arrived in 30 seconds, apologizing for not having heard because he was on the phone. Upon my return, seeing that I was not working in the store, I asked him if there were also office positions in the company and he replied that yes and that I would go there after -noon, but that didn’t happen and the next day some employees also asked why I was there and not in the office, but they didn’t get an answer, so I asked to change the internship. I think that this not very positive experience was still useful to me. At the weekend, my partner and I decided to go to Le Mans to attend the qualifications for the famous endurance race which was to take place shortly after. I really enjoyed this experience, because I’m a big fan of cars and I always dream of attending the race. The Monday after the race, I went back to the same job waiting for them to find me another one, but the same department manager who told me I had to go to the office to work fired me from a impolitely telling me that I couldn’t stay there anymore because he had misunderstood. So I went to the nearby support agency and started working there. I immediately liked the workplace, because even when you work, there is calm and serenity between everyone, and the tasks accomplished from the first day made me realize that change was the best choices I could make, although I hated having to give up, but for my own good, I felt that in this case, changing would be very helpful. I am currently finishing my internship at this agency (International Horizons), alongside a fantastic team that always puts you at ease. The company mainly deals with internships abroad for students from all over the world. Here, on my small scale, I feel valued and, above all, the tasks I perform have an objective utility, which helps me both in terms of skills and on a personal level, because the studies here, in recent years seem to make real sense. These days, for example, I have sent emails to companies asking them to accept female students and one of them has accepted, which makes me proud of my work. In addition, I’m beginning to understand how a company works that works a lot with foreign countries and that corresponds perfectly to my curriculum (which I’m still studying). In addition, I find Nantes to be a perfect city for a foreign student because I almost never had difficulty getting in touch with people, who I found much more open than in Italy, and I don’t I’ve never had difficulty getting around the city even though it’s three times bigger than the city where I live. I therefore recommend to all those who have the opportunity to take advantage of an experience abroad, because I think it teaches me and will teach me a lot more. Do not hesitate to contact us for information on our agency which will certainly find the internship that suits you.