I recently completed an internship at a language school in Dublin. As a soon-to-be English teacher myself, this was exactly the kind of internship I was looking for. My job at the school could broadly be described as a general office administrator. However, I also had ample opportunity to create teaching material or to take part in the actual lessons. I hope to benefit from these experiences when teaching my own classes later this year.
My responsibilities at the school included answering phone calls and helping students with various problems. Moreover, I created and handed out certificates for departing students. I also took the temperatures of everyone entering the building as part of comprehensive safety guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, I tallied the petty cash and processed Excel financial files.
Usually, I walked to school with my roommate who also did an internship at the same school. To start the day, I met with one of the school directors to discuss my tasks. Both directors were super nice and a pleasure to work with. I worked in an office with one or two other people for the most part. In the later stages of my internship, I worked alone more often. Students approached me regularly with questions about their visa, attendance, or other issues. Furthermore, my workday included a one-hour lunch break. The school consists of three buildings and is located right in the centre of Dublin. This gave me lots of things to do during my break. I often went for walks through the many beautiful parks of the city and made use of the surprisingly sunny autumn.
“The most important aspect to me was the continuous use of the English language among native speakers”
As I am also studying computer science, I am well-versed in the typical IT tasks around the office. I was able to help teachers and staff with numerous problems. Also, I set up and installed new devices like printers or laptops. The most time-consuming task was the creation of a large Excel file in order to record the attendance of every single student. While it was nice to apply these skills, the most important aspect to me was the continuous use of the English language among native speakers. While I was quite satisfied with the way I was able to communicate right from the start, I noticed how much more fluent I became after a few weeks. Both the school and my host family confirmed this improvement. This is perhaps the aspect I am most happy about.
In the end, I had a brilliant time in Dublin. Although we had to switch to online lessons because of the pandemic for a few weeks, the school always kept in contact and gave me things to do. We even shot a Halloween video for the school’s social media channels during that time. Generally, the interactions with students and teachers were one of the best things about my internship. They were always friendly and helpful. On my first day back home, I participated in a quiz the school had organized for their staff via Zoom. This was a fitting conclusion to an internship that provided me with a lot of valuable experience for the future.