Catch up with our Erasmus+ participants: Meet our interns from the creative sector!
The current participants are from the UK and arrived in Sicily in May, 2021. They are already more than halfway through their three-month placements. Today we catch up with a few of the students to find out how they are getting on in their placements and how they are enjoying Sicily.
Ellie is 23, and is from Sheffield in the UK. She is working at Andrea Guardo Studio as an Architectural assistant in Catania. We are pleased to hear she is enjoying her placement!
“I am loving my Erasmus+ placement so far! I could not have wished for a better company to work with over the next couple of months. Everyone at the studio is welcoming and friendly.”, she told us.
Ellie has been assisting the studio with residential projects. She has been drawing floor plans and 3D modelling the spaces in SketchUp that go on to be presented to the client. She has also created concept renders using photoshop to depict the context of the buildings.
We asked what she wishes to gain from the placement. She told us, “I wish to gain a better understanding of the inner workings of an architectural practice and hone my software skills further. Hopefully, this experience will lead on to permanent opportunities, elsewhere. I would definitely recommend this placement to future Erasmus+ students!”. Ellie has also been enjoying the Italian language lessons, “It is also great to be able to learn the language and put it into practice every day”.
There are five students from the UK currently living and working in Catania. “The locals are really accommodating, and the city has a really relaxed atmosphere”, Ellie says. “My favourite experience has been paddle boarding around La Riviera Dei Ciclopi and eating Pane Cunzato on Vulcano!”. She is happy with her experience and excited to see more of beautiful Sicily in the coming weeks.
Mari-Ann is 24 years old. She is an illustrator from Derbyshire in the UK, currently doing an internship in Graphic Design with the company Nicoceliadv, in Barcellona P.G. She is enjoying learning new design and advertising skills, and wishes to gain some more experience in this area. She’s currently working on a website design and helping with a calendar campaign.
“My favourite thing about living in Sicily is being close to the sea, and having amazing food every day.” Her favourite food has been arancini and pizza. “My favourite experience so far has been travelling around Sicily. I enjoyed our trip to Cefalu. It had a beautiful cathedral and a lovely atmosphere.”
She has noticed how different the lifestyle in Sicily is compared to the UK. “It is more chilled out and relaxed here”, she said, comparing it to the UK which is a lot more fast paced.
“I would recommend this placement to anyone who wants to travel and experience life in another country” she told us. She would recommend this to anyone who would like to gain work experience. “It will boost your CV, and help towards finding a job in the area you are interested in.”
Mari-Ann at work.
Nikola, 25, is from Poland, but has lived in the UK most of her life. She lives in London. She is working in EprojectConsult as a Graphic Designer, in Barcellona P.G. “I have been enjoying my stay in Sicily immensely!”. She is happy with her internship and is enjoying learning plenty of new things. “I have been making logos, leaflets and graphics for a website. I have also been helping with other tasks such as writing, spellchecking and translating English and Polish.”
“I have been enjoying sunsets on the beach, travelling as much as possible, trying to extract the most out of this experience. My favourite trip so far has been travelling to the Aeolian Islands, taking a boat tour around Panarea and Stromboli, and covering myself with clay in a bubbling, hot, volcanic mud bath, in Volcano! I also loved Cefalu and Taormina.”
Nikola has also noticed the cultural difference between Sicily and the UK, and has been enjoying the “siesta time”. She has also been enjoying the sunny wether in Sicily, which the UK doesn’t get a lot of.
She has also found the “Creative Industries Course in Entrepreneurship” very useful. “It is quite a lot to be working, studying Italian and doing a course on the side at the same time as exploring the island, but I’m so glad I get to do this. It has been so useful, and an amazing experience! The course is teaching me things I wish I had learned at University.”
She is grateful for this experience, and feels lucky to be in this placement. She believes it will help her find a good job in the future. “Employers in London are always looking for people with experience. Internships are unpaid or very low-paid, and rent and living costs are high! I was struggling to find a job in this industry, despite having a degree in design. I think having this on my CV will help me with that, and the Course in Entrepreneurship is preparing me for trying to go freelance in the future.”
Ivy is 24. She is a ceramic artist from the UK, but now lives in Scotland. She works in two places in Barcellona P.G. Progetto Dopo Di Noi, a centre for adults with autism, helping in their ceramics department as well as assisting a ceramic artist in their studio in Barcellona Pozzo Di Gotto.
“At the centre I have been helping with their mosaics, all themed around A KISS. This has been interesting as I have not done mosaics before and enjoy the craft time and collaborative nature of these pieces. I have also been making clay moulds of bottles and plates that the adults at the centre decorate to sell.”
“With Anna, the ceramic raku artist, I am helping her with firings, painting her pottery and making clay objects that will later be sold. I enjoy seeing how her studio runs and the raku process she uses with her homemade kiln (the oven the ceramics are cooked/fired in). The Raku process involves putting the hot ceramics, straight from the kiln, into sawdust, which gives the ceramics a particular black crackled finish.”
Ivy is enjoying her placement and the language course, “Overall it’s been wonderful to see how both studios work and what ceramics they make. I have really enjoyed learning some basic Italian, as well as some more specialist ceramic vocabulary on the job.”
“I had not been to Sicily before this placement, so trying the food here has been a highlight, the arancini, the gelato, the pasta and pizza to name just a few. I love swimming, so swimming in the Mediterranean sea is a joy, I had never seen waters so clear with so many fish and so much coral before. Sicily is beautiful and I would love to return one day for more cycling, swimming, eating and ceramics!”