Photo of Erasmus Trainee from Germany Jessica Johannemann
  My name is Jessica and I completed an Erasmus Traineeship at Training Matchmaker in Belfast, Northern Ireland for 3 weeks. On Monday 19th August I met my trainer Chartered Marketer Christine Watson. We spoke about my time in Belfast, what different tasks I would have to do in this time and what I would like to do in the three training weeks. In the following log you can read about all that I accomplished during my time at TrainingMatchmaker.com.
 Today at AppleOn my first day I went to the Apple Store in Victoria Square, Belfast. They offer a course that was called “Taking Portraits on Location”. For me it sounded very interesting because I have an IPhone and therefore could apply the tips directly. I was the only participant and so it was a very intensive course for me. I was shown how to quickly edit photos and how to best deal with sunlight. I found these were very good tips that will benefit my future photo creation. 
 CanvaCanva is a graphic-design tool which uses a drag-and-drop format and provides access to over a million photographs and graphics. I did an online workshop and after I worked a lot with it. For example for my Instagram Stories.
WordPressAt the start of my traineeship I was shown how to add a blog to this website using the wordpress platform.
InstagramMy Erasmus company host – Trainer Christine Watson is a digital marketer – I did the Instagram course by Instagram (via facebook blueprint) I also learned a few tips for instagram stories and I did an instagram story takeover of the business instagram account.
LanguageSpending three weeks in Belfast has helped my English – I now find it easier to talk with people in English, my writing has improved too and I know many more words. At times I used the Deepl app on my mobile phone – this is a free app to help you find the right German word in English. Writing blogs which were published also helped my language skills and confidence. I feel my conversation speed has quickened.
Google Maps – Local GuideI had hoped to contribute to Google Maps using the Local Guide platform and learned more about this but I had set up my Local Guide in Germany and was not able to access my account during my time in Belfast. However when in Belfast I used google maps a lot to get around, unfortunately one day I got lost and walked 23 km. To avoid this for the rest of my stay Christine advised me to download Google Maps area offline so that it would work when no WIFI was freely available –  I plan to use this in my future travels too and will pass this tip onto my mother as well. My confidence travelling independently has grown.
CultureI have found the people in Northern Ireland to be very different to Germany and the work too, I found the work life balance to be better in Belfast. I also learned a little about politics, knowing not to refer to Northern Ireland as Ireland and Dublin! When I arrived I learned that Belfast currency is not Euro like in Dublin but I used a local bank to change my Euro into Sterling.
Belfast sightsDuring my traineeship in Belfast, I visited several sights and places. My trainer and Erasmus Host:Chartered Marketer Christine Watson advised me of many different places where I could experience and also take pictures. I explored:
 St. Georges MarketHome to many food and craft stalls. It opened every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
        
Belfast City HallYou can take guided tours for free. The tour guide explains several facts about Belfast and it’s history.        
 Parliament Buildings, StormontVisitors can take free tours around the building and then explore the surrounding Stormont Estate. The Estate is a great location to take nice pictures.       
 NewcastleOn Monday 2rd September Christine and I visited Newcastle. She wanted to show me the town and the nearby area where she grew up. The weather was terrible but we went anyway.Our trip included locations like :
  1. Castlewellan Forest Park peace maze
  2. Coffee Stop in Caffé Nero in Newcastle main street
  3. Lunch of Northern Ireland wheaten bread in the Cookie Jar
  4. Newcastle Promenade
  5. Slieve Donard mountain in the mournes
  6. Tollymore Forest Park
  7. Murlough nature reserve
It was for me a very nice trip with a lots of new experiences.
Giant´s Causeway TourOn my first weekend I booked a ticket for a 7 hour Giant´s Causeway coach tour. The tour started from Belfast City Hall at 9:45 am and the weather was a dream with sunshine all day, over 20 degrees! We stopped after 1,5 hours at Carrick-a-rede-Rope Bridge.The next and last big stop for two hours was at the Giant´s Causeway. The area is a result of a Volcanic fissure eruption. It was very nice there and I took lots of pictures.            
I would have liked my family to have visited Belfast and I do hope to return to holiday, I am especially interested to mountain bike in the Mournes.
About Me: My name is Jessica Johannemann. I come from Germany and I am 22 years old. I’m completing an apprenticeship as an industrial clerk by the company SCHEMBERG in Germany. I started in August 2017 and I will complete it next year in May. In my free time I work in a greek restaurant as a waitress. I enjoy meeting friends, going to the gym and I like to go out and socialise.   About Erasmus: Erasmus is a European Union programme that funds a traineeship outside of your home country. “The Erasmus Programme (EuRopean Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) is a European Union (EU) student exchange programme established in 1987.” A German organisation iZag arranged the exchange – I simply had to specify the time period, advise the European country where I would prefer to spend my time and write a motivation letter alongside a form where I completed general information about myself.
About two weeks before departure I visited an information day in Magdeburg city in Germany – this is when I was informed of where I would be located, who my host family would be and where I would be working. If you have a problem or you need help you can call your Erasmus facilitator and they fix the problem – this made me feel more comfortable and confident embarking on an overseas venture.
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