Going to an Erasmus internship for the first time could be scary, especially in a foreign country like Turkey. However, here are four tips to help you to prepare for your first day of internship.
1. Arrive early
In Turkish culture, it is not uncommon for someone being late for a meet-up. Even so; however, it is important to respect your internship work hours to get a good impression of others. Whether this is the first time you visit the workplace or not, you should arrive early on the first day of your internship. Just by arriving 10 or 15 minutes early, you can avoid the embarrassment of being late if you get stuck in the traffic. Other than that, being early can let you be comfortable in the new surrounding area. You can even visit a local coffee shop to start your morning on the first day of work!
First impressions are always important; therefore, it is always nice to put on a smile to greet your colleague. I know it could be very exciting but make sure you make it friendly yet professional. After all, it is important to be mindful of workplace boundaries, particularly the unfamiliar ones that are based on their cultural context. It is always better to do some research ahead of time to understand what is considered as normal or appropriate in terms of work culture in a foreign country. That is because each culture has its own unique standard and unwritten rules. However, you do not need to worry too much because employers tend to be more understanding with students who are on the Erasmus internship. The formality should not be as much compared to other workplaces. If you want to read more about the business culture in Turkey, click here.
3. Bring a notebook and pen
Going to a new workplace for the first time, you can expect to get lots of information all at once. For beginners, it is always helpful to bring a notebook and pen to write down important information during your Erasmus internship so that you can remember it later on without needing to ask your supervisor or colleague. Moreover, it gives out the impression that you are ready to learn new information and be ahead of the game!
4. Self reflection
Self-reflection is particularly helpful to track the process of your growth and improvement. After a whole long day of work, you are probably tired of the amount of information and new experience from the first day of the internship. However, before you lay down like a “couch potato”, take a few minutes to reflect on your experience during the day to know how you can prepare for the next day of work. Reflecting on your experience can help you to know your role better, which can potentially help you in the long run.