As part of the Erasmus+ scheme, our Health & Social Care students recently went to Sweden where they were able to gain work experience in their subject area. The Erasmus+ scheme meant that all their expenses were paid including accommodation, hotel and travel costs.
Not only were they able to gain industry experience but they also had the opportunity to sample the culture, cuisine and the Swedish lifestyle. There are many benefits of taking part in the Erasmus+ scheme; you are increasing employability chances, gaining cultural awareness and making new friends.
Some of our students have shared their experience:
Madeline Bartlett said:
“I attended a placement in a school with Grade 5 which is their equivalent to English Year 6. During my placement I was able to support the children during their English lessons and found it exciting to see how they learnt our language. It was interesting to see the differences between the school systems as well as the different behaviours of the children compared to schools in England.
“As I attended this trip last year, I knew what to expect when it came to new surroundings and being able to manage money correctly. However, this year we made some changes by budgeting our costs more effectively by cooking at home and exploring the sights that Ystad had to offer.
“The Erasmus+ scheme is amazing and provides us with a great opportunity to improve our learning within our course and helps us gain new knowledge. It was also amazing to be able to live with friends for a week as it made the trip incredibly enjoyable and exciting.”
Hannah Freeman said:
“I went to Bellabacken for my placement which is a respite care provider for children with disabilities.
“I got the opportunity to carry out different procedures; such as peg feeds and inhalations. I found it was a much more hands on experience compared to here in the UK. I got the chance to learn about a variety of conditions in a more personal manner, including an extremely rare condition, known as Cornelia de Lange.
“Whilst there, I got to taste all the traditional Swedish meals where the children would be able to learn how to sit as a group and how to become more independent by cooking and eating their meals themselves.
“There was also the opportunity to explore different towns such as Malmo. This allowed us to get a more general sense of Sweden as a country, rather than being limited to the smaller, yet pretty town of Ystad. Managing our money was a fairly simple task, as we would plan meals ahead so that we didn't get carried away or lead astray from the essentials. Saying this, we still treated ourselves every once in a while, to the odd dessert or snack. We also left plenty of money to allow for purchasing souvenirs and gifts for loved ones back at home. Making friends is also no challenge as the group grow to become more of a family and you tend to share your shifts with each other. This way, you can plan walks to and from placement with each other and trips to the beach or town centre on your days off.
“I think the Erasmus scheme is an opportunity of a lifetime; it costs nothing yet provides many benefits. It’s a no-brainer. I'd jump at the opportunity to do it again as it has helped me in the process of applying to university and has given me something to boast about on my CV. Not only has it helped me academically but it has helped me grow in terms of my social confidence, getting to know new people and explore a new country. You are treated as the adult you are going on to become during university and outside world life. There were many laughs to be had with friends as well as plenty to learn from everyday experiences.”
Rebecca East said:
“I did my placement at the hospital in Ystad on ward 7 which is the neurology ward. I found that the healthcare in Sweden was very different compared to England as they were more organised and had a better level of respect between staff members. The doctors would often consult with other members of staff - such as the nurses and undersköterskas (assistant nurses in Sweden) for their opinion on the patients. All the staff would get to know their patients very well even though the majority were only in hospital for a couple of days. The patients had access to a small kitchen where they could make their own coffee and tea and there were fridges for food to be stored in when they wanted it. There was also a common area for the patients to sit and watch TV or read magazines if they didn't want to sit in their rooms. I found this to be good as the patients would be able to socialise with one another making the environment more comfortable and enjoyable for them.
“One of my patients died and I found the whole process of preparing the body to be very peaceful and respectful and it made me feel comfortable with helping in the tasks of preparing the body. The staff all spoke moderate English but made me feel very welcome by including me in all of the daily tasks.
“I had a few days off work so I was able to explore the town and the beach with new friends that I made during my time there. We were also able to visit Malmo which is a larger town and was different to the small town we stayed in, Ystad. I enjoyed having the independence and the responsibilities of living by myself, especially cooking. I was able to plan and budget my costs collectively with my roommates and we took it in turn to cook as we all had different shift times. Even though food was more expensive in Sweden I was able to manage my money well and even had spare for some treats.
“The Erasmus+ scheme is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am so glad I did it! In the beginning I found it difficult as I was in a different country with a different language. However, as the weeks went on I found myself adapting to the Swedish lifestyle and picking up traits of the other staff I was working with. I was able to gain work experience within my field and it was a great opportunity to see how different healthcare is in other countries which will help when applying for university.”
This is one of the many exciting trips that our students have been able to partake in. Past trips have included Malta, Valencia and Tenerife.
If you also want to be in with a chance of enjoying an all-expenses paid two-week trip abroad, contact Grantham College on 01476 400200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, please visit: http://www.grantham.ac.uk/student-life/erasmusplus-scheme/