Before departure to the beautiful island we talked to other students who had some experience with mobility programmes and understood that it would be difficult but worth it. Three months in a place where nature is extremely beautiful, climate is hot and people are approachable, seemed to be a good way to spend our summer.
On arrival we were taken to the hotel by free transfer service. The driver told about Corfu Island. After this trip we already knew some Greek words. In the hotel we were met by hotel staff who acquainted us to the main managers and allocated us the room. The first days in Corfu we spent doing paperwork. Staff apartments and the hotel were located side by side. That was good news, because we could get enough sleep.
After paperwork was done, we were introduced to our duties, premises, and people. The relationship with our managers was excellent. They perceived us as their own people and helped us in all life situations. The first weeks we spent acquiring our duties and arranging our knowledge like a puzzle. We understood that team work was more effective if every employee was aware of its duties.
Our timetable was usually divided into two parts – breakfast and supper or eight hours in the afternoon. The adjustment period was hard- we longed for home, were tired and on tenterhooks. The families and friends were the most supportive and told us to be patient and not to give up. These words helped us to stay and forget about buying return tickets.
Once the first month passed, we were just laughing about our expressions upon arrival to the island, because we did not long for home any more. Getting used to the routine, we found the work not so hard any more. The colleagues were our new family, because we not only worked together, but also rested. The only problem, for about a month, was weak internet connection. So we had to go to a nearby tavern to contact our families, because there was available free internet connection.
Everything is the way it should be. Thanks to this exchange trip we met Latvian ladies. We were six Latvians in Corfu! And then the trip seemed even more exciting, as we had new friends both from Greece and Latvia. We began to think about the fact that summer was coming to an end, about returning home; how it will be to leave all newfound friends and places to which we had got attached so much. We thought about that more often. If in the beginning we wanted to go home, than in the end of summer we were sad to leave, but at the same time we were happy about the gained experience, met people and their culture.
During our leave-taking, everyone had tears in their eyes. Our work we perceived as student holidays. Therefore, we recommend engage in experience exchange programmes. This, for sure, will be one of the most memorable adventures we will ever have, and we are grateful to Rezekne Academy of Technologies for the provided opportunity and to our academic staff who encouraged us not to fear but take this excellent opportunity.
Lauma Circene and Beāte Valaine, RTA students