Our communicator Matilda met Evelyn Stark to hear about her time and experiences as a nanny at a preschool in Palermo, Italy. Evelyn is one of our participants in our mobility project within Erasmus+, who through our collaboration with Eslövs Folkhögskola, got the opportunity to use her skills in the profession in another country for a month. Read the interview below to find out what they talked about!
What motivated you to go to Italy for an internship?
First of all, I don't have much experience with preschools in general, so I wanted to get a little more perspective and learn how it works there. It is a great opportunity to go there and have an internship - both for the cultural and for the language.
Tell us a little about yourself; what have you studied and what were your expectations for the internship in Italy?
I have studied to become a nan at Eslövs Folkhögskola. I didn't have a lot of expectations, I had been told that they didn't speak much English there so I thought I will mostly be there to observe. I thought I might get to plan and implement some activities and games. My expectations were completely exceeded! I was given a lot of responsibility and time where I held lessons and activities.
Was it difficult to communicate with your colleagues because of the language?
I had two colleagues who spoke English, so it worked out great. I actually even used Google Translate sometimes. The others welcomed me and tried to communicate with me by trying to speak English, but also through body language. It actually worked great!
Did you manage to learn any of their language?
Well, some words and phrases!
What is your best memory from your internship?
When the children felt safe and trusted me and came to me when there was something. Then they could come and sit with me and hug me - it was so nice even if we didn't understand each other. They wanted to teach me Italian! There was also a girl from Ukraine who also didn't know Italian, but it worked very well - both with the children and with me. It was so much fun to watch.
How did you find the internship? Was it what you expected? Any surprises?
When I was accepted to Eslövs Folkhögskola and I heard about this opportunity, I was immediately interested. I made a declaration of interest when Rebecka, who works at Sandson, was at the school and informed about this. Then I received additional information a few weeks before I left, and then some accompanied me down to the preschool in Italy. It went great!
How was your stay in Italy?
The accommodation was great! I lived in an apartment in the harbor, and the owner lived one floor up. It was great, spacious and everything was there. They were very welcoming to me.
Did you feel adequately prepared before going to Italy? Something you wish was different?
Maybe that I had received more information about what was expected, and a little more information about the preschool itself. Otherwise everything was great!
Was there something that didn't live up to your expectations?
No, it wasn't.
Would you recommend this experience to other students?
Any last words?
Something I think is great is that I have gained experience and perspective in how it works in other countries and can actually compare it with how it is in Sweden. In Sweden we are not allowed to leave the children alone, but in Italy the children were given more space and they learned very well that way too. This is one of the nicest things I've done! My internship said I was always welcome back to them!