First student, then intern


Vanessa's story

I think that Prague is great place for foreigners to live in. It is full of opportunities to meet people; there are a lot of events of different kinds.  

So you have already been in Czech Republic, in Prague for your study. How come that you decided to come back?
I came back because I wanted to improve my Czech language, I have studied Czech at University but I wanted to learn more and more. I like Czech as a language, also the culture, so I wanted to do this experience. I have already been here in Prague and České Budějovice, and in summer school of Czech language in Brno, for all that I have been here almost a year. I was really satisfied with the life here so I wanted to come back one more time after my studies.

Czech language is very different from Italian. What was your motivation to start to study Czech language?
I wanted to try Slavic languages; it seemed kind of challenging for me. They are similar so I just wanted to start with one. I have been to the presentation at University. I really liked it, so I decided to apply for it and I didn't regret it. I like the sound of Czech, and also I like culture and literature. After my Bachelor's degree I decided also to continue to study Czech on my Master. I decided to do Erasmus in Czech Republic; and for me, that was, and still is the best way to get my language knowledge to higher level. I wanted to learn as much as possible and back home in Italy, I didn't have that much opportunity to do it, and here I am dealing with the language every day.

You are teacher here, for Italian and English languages. Does your knowledge of Czech helping you in teaching? How much do you use Czech while you are teaching?

Yes, because most of my students are beginners; and for me it is really helpful because they can understand the whole lesson. The one that I am teaching English I am trying to use English as much as it is possible, but sometimes I need to explain something more difficult in Czech to make them understand better.. So it is really good that I know Czech language.

Is it hard for you to switch the languages?

It is not really because now I am doing it in my daily basis, and when I was studying here in Prague, and České Budějovice I had classes in Czech and also some in English, and I had to switch from one to another, so I am really used to it. Sometimes in the evening when I am tired from whole day it is a bit confusing, because I don't even know which language I am talking. But I think that it also happens to others.

Do you see some differences between studying in Prague, and doing internship?

Yes, of course it is different. Especially I would say that I see the difference in meeting people. For example in University, you are meeting so many people, maybe more foreigners, and when you are working you are meeting your students, and colleges. It is a kind of different, and also you cannot do whatever you want because you need to be focus on what you do, your work, preparing the lessons. You do have time for having fun, but I would say that you must be much more responsible.  

Talking about the internship.

Where did you find out about the internship in Educa-languages?
I found the internship on Erasmus Intern website. I also had some other options, but I decided for this one because I was more interested in teaching than other things. I studied didactic at University, so I wanted to try not only theoretical part, but also practical one.

What was your first impression?
For me it wasn't that hard, I already have some experiences at this kind of things. I didn't work in language school but I used to go very often to language tandem exchange events. I used to teach some Czech people Italian language when I was here in Prague, so I already did it in some kind, but still it isn't the same. Now I have to prepare lessons, and when I did tandem I did it just for fun, it was easier. Doing the internship is a different, but I like it.

Living in Prague

How do you like it, what do you do beside internships
I think that Prague is great place for foreigners to live in. It is full of opportunities to meet people; there are a lot of events of different kinds. I am more interested in attending events such as "language exchanges" because it is my field. There are so many here in Prague, three or four per week, and although if you don't know anyone it isn't difficult to meet new people. Back home in Italy there are not so many events like this. I would say that Prague is more international, so I feel the difference. 
The city is open for everyone. Maybe, for me it isn't that difficult because I know the language, and in a lot of situations that helps me a lot, but as it is really multicultural city, also with English it isn't difficult to manage things.
Also I want to add that for me it was also really nice that from the beginning I didn't feel alone in Prague, not just because of the people I know from my previous staying in Prague, but also because of the other interns. We work well as a group, hanging out together.

Favourite place in Prague
I really like Naplavka. Maybe because the river seems like the sea with imaginations. Because in my hometown there is a sea and I really like to walk along the sea, and watch it. It is really peaceful and calm; and here walking along the Vltava I have the feeling as if I am there, next to the sea.

Sara N