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Volunteer blog: My first week as a Pestalozzi intern

Faten on her first day at Pestalozzi
Faten Aguel, getting familiar with the Pestalozzi surroundings.
Faten with Student Programme team members
Faten with Student Programme team members 
Faten and Big Ben
Faten experienced London for the first time.
Faten and Student Programme Officer, Fay
Faten, working with Student Programme Officer, Fay.
A selfie with Student Programme Assistant Estefania

A selfie with Estefania, Student Programme Assistant.

11th March 2015

Faten Aguel is a french volunteer, who was placed at Pestalozzi by an organisation called Breakaway. She has come to the UK to complete an internship with us which will last for 12 weeks. Below she shares her experiences from her initial week working with the Pestalozzi team...

  • My First Day:

Two days after my arrival in England, I was going to start an internship as a volunteer at Pestalozzi, for three months. I have to confess that I was quite excited but also a bit nervous about what was expected of me! I had to take the bus 349 to go from Hastings - where I am based - to the Pestalozzi village, in Sedlescombe. To be sure, I went out pretty early from my flat to make sure I didn’t miss the bus. You can never be too careful!

After a ride of thirty minutes, I arrived in Sedlescombe but I still had to find the right way to go to the Pestalozzi village. After having climbed the hill (which is quite tough the first time!), all that was left for me to do was to introduce myself at the reception. I met a big part of the Pestalozzi team. All of them were so welcoming and friendly! They completely put me at ease.

All the day long, I discovered the premises and the estate at Pestalozzi. I was really impressed by the greatness of the estate. I talked to different members of staff who either explained to me their role in the charity or planned with me the tasks that I will have to do throughout the three months I will spend with them.

First of all, I talked with the Marketing and Fundraising team about the work I will realise during my volunteer experience. Abi, Darren, Emilie and Stacey planned different tasks and activities with me and I learnt that I was going to start working on marketing tasks in order to develop some skills, especially in the social media field which I am not very familiar with. I am going to share my weeks between this department and the student program department. This is great because it will enable me to have a general idea of the jobs undertaken by the Pestalozzi staff. Also, working with two departments will help me to develop different skills.

The rest of the day, I had discussions with many different members of staff and soon I realised that it was already the time for me to go. This first day went so quickly! Even though I was a little nervous for this first day, it went very well and the whole team were very nice.   

  • The Rest of the Week:

On Wednesday, I worked on my first marketing projects and later in the day, two alumni of Pestalozzi paid a visit to the whole team, at the office. It was a way for me to get to know them and also to learn about their experiences. I really enjoyed this moment.

On Thursday, I discovered the Student Programme Department and spent the day with its different members, but especially with Estefania, the Student Programme Assistant. I saw how she worked and how she prepared her Spanish classes for the students.  As I also studied Spanish, we thought that I could help her for her Spanish classes, as much as I can, for my period at Pestalozzi. I also met with Ed, the Head of Student Education, and Fay, the Student Programme Officer, about the work and the projects in which they wanted me to get involved in during my experience at Pestalozzi. They said to me that I was going to work on different projects and that they wanted me to think about activities that I could do with the students.

I thought to organise a French atelier (a French working group), for the students interested in learning basic things in French. Then, I started to do some research about the “courses” that I could plan for them. After these few days spent at Pestalozzi, I realised that the first week was already finished!

I think my time at Pestalozzi will be a nice experience for thirteen weeks (which promise to be quite busy!) within an international organisation. I will work with almost the whole team and I will discover and develop skills in different areas. My internship will enable me to meet new people from different parts of the world, to interact with them and to share our respective experiences. I can also add that with Pestalozzi and its multicultural atmosphere I think that at the end of these three months, this experience will be one of the most enriching that I will have never lived and I will keep you informed about my volunteer experience throughout these three months!

So, let’s start the Pestalozzi adventure…


You can read more volunteer blogs here.


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