Tanja Odobasic: My first week at Pestalozzi

Introducing Tanja Odobasic! Tanja is in the process of studying for a Master Degree in Entrepreneurship at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Osijek in Croatia. As part of her course, she has to intern to gain practical skills to apply to her degree, and she chose to help at Pestalozzi! Needless to say, we're absolutely delighted. 

Is England really that different to Croatia? Are our spiders really that scary? Read below for Tanja's first week...

Intern, Tanja Odobasic
Tanja Odobasic

  • England vs. Croatia, what is different?

The plugs! I still can’t believe that I forgot about that. Almost all of my devices are pretty much useless now. The weather is also a bit colder than in Croatia at the moment. English people use "please, thank you and sorry” so often that I frequently feel rude.

In Croatia it is not obligatory to fasten a seatbelt during a bus ride (I don’t think we have seatbelts in the buses at all) and here you have a bus drivers checking that everyone has done it; it looks like you have rules about everything! At home we drink tea but not as often as English people do it; we prefer coffee, in fact some people drink tea only when they catch a cold.

  • Why Pestalozzi?

In April 2015, I was awarded an Erasmus scholarship to do an internship in one of the EU countries. This way I had an opportunity to add some practical experience to my formal education. I knew I wanted to intern in the UK and I chose Pestalozzi because I had heard first-hand about the Pestalozzi students and the work that is getting done here.

  • My favourite job so far?

During my first week I had an introduction to each department that I would be working in, from marketing and fundraising to the estate. Attending the student house meeting had the most impact for me; that was my first time meeting the amazing group of students. It was one of those moments which are so hard to describe because of the special environment that surrounds them – happiness, excitement and so much positive energy that it makes you happy and smiling within seconds.

  • What do I like about being here?

I like the feeling that I get from the staff members that this is the job they want to do and not something they are expected or have to do; they work with so much volition that inspires me to put more effort to everything I do.

I also like the beautiful fields and woodland that surrounds Pestalozzi; I like the small village of Sedlescombe (it looks like something out of my bookworm dreams); the view over the fields from my ‘home’ and a huge plus is spending time with my friends and their sweet dog Nora.

There is only one thing that I don’t like… spiders! The spiders are really big here and it looks like they really like my house! I am struggling not to scream every time I see one.

  • What am I excited to do?
I will try to travel across the UK as much as I can in my free time. I have already visited some places (Southampton, Winchester, Bath, Bristol and London) but this time I would like to visit castles, Stonehenge, old houses and hopefully Scotland as well.

Also, I am looking forward to different events (Coffee Mornings, International evenings, Cultural Quiz Night, Pestalozzi Christmas Market) when I will have an opportunity to learn more about event management.

  • What do I want to achieve by the time I leave Pestalozzi?

I want to use every opportunity to learn from my mentors. I can’t wait to put my University education into practice and see what is completely different from the things I have learned up until now.

The fundraising department looks like the most challenging area and I am looking forward to learning more about it. It is already clear to me that I will have the most fun with the Student Programme department and with my interaction with students.

Tanja will be welcome as part of the Pestalozzi Team for the next 3 months; keep checking on our website, Facebook and Twitter for regular updates! 

Inspiring young people to make a difference in the world.