Although it’s spring and summer in Sydney now, it’s still not sunny, says Helene Schaap. He is studying Commercial Economics (CE) at Breda but is currently doing an internship in Australia. “I didn’t expect it, I mainly brought summer clothes with me.”
Helen arranged the internship herself. It was clear to her that she wanted to do an internship abroad. And it must be an English-speaking western country. She heard about Sunnylife, a company that sells summer products like floats Pool, beach chairs and games are available. “On LinkedIn I looked up who’s who in Australia Chief Sales Officer An email was sent and two days later I got an internship.
“When can you afford to go to the other side of the world for so long?”, the CE student explains her desire for Australia. On July 27, she boarded the flight so she had more time to look for accommodation after arrival. “It’s not recommended to do this remotely, it’s better to see a room in real life. There were no other students when I arrived. That was in my favor.
He found a room in a house with 11 international students in the central Surry Hills area of Sydney. “They think differently about health, and I put it this way,” says Helene. To pay for his stay in Australia, he cleans communal areas such as bathrooms, corridors and kitchens for a fee every week.
She has to, because her full-time internship is unpaid. “I always said I wouldn’t do it, but it would have been difficult to find another training from the Netherlands.” Even if she stands behind her will, it’s stressful. “Besides cleaning, I work and serve at a pizzeria two evenings a week. My parents have said they will help me if I can’t cope. But I don’t want to ask anything, I try to arrange it myself.
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Australia is not the best country for unpaid internships. “A beer costs 11 dollars, which converts to 7 euros. Fruits and vegetables are also expensive. I pay twice as much for my room as I would in the Netherlands. Due to inflation in the Netherlands, the difference is narrowing.
Fortunately, his internship company was flexible. She can leave early if she has to work at the pizzeria and take a few days off when her sister arrives in Sydney soon. “He’s traveling in New Zealand now and will be visiting for a week and a half.” When Helen completes her internship, her parents will also come to Australia. “We’re renting a motorhome together and driving from Adelaide back to Sydney.”
Helen is positive about Australians. “They are very open. My internship supervisor feels like a second mother. She is very relaxed. I often focus when I work. My colleagues often say, ‘Take your time’ or ‘Take it easy.’ . The internship may not be paid, but Helen works in sales. She also conducts her own research. “When I’m working on my laptop with my earphones in, colleagues know I’m working on it.”
Difference in duration
During his first weeks on the other side of the world, the CE student got to know two Dutch girls with whom he went to Melbourne for a few days. “I’m also in a group app with Dutch people. It started with fifteen people and now it already has 108 people. But I don’t do anything with it, I don’t need it. I want to speak Dutch sometimes.
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It is very difficult to communicate with the home front because of the time difference, Helene observed. Sydney is 9 hours behind Netherlands. “My relationship ended because of that. How I feel varies from day to day. But I still think the internship here was worth it. It’s scary, but financially it will be good. I can look back on this for the rest of my life.
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