Working Girl – My First Week As an Erasmus Intern

africa e med office

The inner sanctum of the entire operation

I have just finished my first week of my Erasmus work placement and I can honestly say that I’m absolutely loving it! For the next six months I’m going to be working at  Africa e Mediterraneo ; a non-profit organisation which aims to promote intercultural understanding in the local area and facilitate the integration of African immigrants. There is another association called  Lai-momo which collaborates with Africa e med on many projects, the only difference being that it does make profits, but both companies work from the same building.

The specific aim of my internship is to work on social media marketing but I haven’t done any of this yet because all of the staff have been extremely busy with trying to clinch a deal with a website called Consumer Classroom; a site which provides school resources relating to consumerism for teachers. So far I’ve just been doing a bit of Italian to English translation and trying to get my head around exactly what Africa e Mediterraneo stands for and what its projects are about – there are so many!  Personally my favourite project of theirs is one called Comix for equality which lead to the publication of a book of comics, drawn by artists from different backgrounds. Each comic relates to either immigration, stereotypes or racism. I really enjoyed reading them because some were provocative, some were funny but all of them were profound and made me stop to think about how I view different people in society.

View from the outside

View from the outside

Anyone for lunch?

Anyone fancy lunch?

The office where I work is located in a little town called Sasso Marconi just half an hour away from Bologna, so every morning I get the train with some of my fellow colleagues. I was actually surprised at how many other people around my own age work for Africa e med and I’m looking forward to getting to know them better. I love working at Africa e med because it really doesn’t seem like work at all. The office is in a beautiful converted farmhouse, practically in the middle of the countryside and everyday we eat lunch outside on a picnic table. Sometimes I forget I’m at work and rather feel as though I’m at a garden party or some other kind of family gathering.

The church of San Pietro

The church of Santuario della Madonna

I’ve only been into the town centre of Sasso Marconi once and that’s when I took this picture of the lovely church of Santuario della Madonna (The sanctuary of the Blessed Virigin). I had to rush to the office that day but I will definitely go back sometime and actually go inside it.

So there you have it. A brief low down on how I’m finding my internship so far. I really hope that I’ll gain some valuable work experience but no matter what I learn I know I’m going to have fun in the process 🙂

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