We spoke to Callum Morris about his REYeurope Erasmus+ placement in Prague.
Name: Callum Morris
Course: Computing & IT Level 3
Placement Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Why did you apply for the placement?
I applied for the placement for a few reasons. One was just because I wanted to be able to live in Prague for a short time. I’ve always really enjoyed travelling abroad and Prague seemed like a really nice place to stay. Being able to stay there for an entire 6 weeks (which was also during college time and not holiday time) was a very attractive offer.
The work was the other main reason I wanted to do this placement. I really wanted to work with a real IT company doing programming. It was made clear to us that we might not be doing exactly what we specifically wanted to do on our placements with our companies, but I was okay with doing anything IT related really – programming was just my preference.
Describe your work placement and tasks.
I had the pleasure of being able to do exactly what I wanted to do with my company. My specific role was a back-end developer for a web application. This job was absolutely perfect for me, which is why I am very thankful that I was the one chosen to do it. My main job was to write modules that would perform various tasks on the back-end. I would be given this tasks in the form of online tickets and when completed I would mark these tickets for testing and push the modules I had developed to a remote repository using GIT. Each of the modules were written using python – this was also perfect for me as python is my best language.
What was your biggest learning experience and achievement during your placement?
It’s difficult to choose one experience during the placement that was the biggest for me overall. I would say that the placement as a whole was the biggest learning experience for me. The work that I did, places I saw and people I met all contributed to a massive learning experience for me that has taught me a lot.
As for my biggest achievement, that would definitely be being offered a job by the company that I worked with. This was a huge achievement for me as it showed that they were very impressed with my work and wanted to continue working with me.
Do you feel that your international placement will help you professionally in the future and if so, how?
Without a shadow of a doubt this placement has and will help me in my professional future. It has helped me already, in that I now have a job in IT because of it. It is also sure to help me in the future as well though and this is for many reasons: it looks great on a CV, I have learned a huge amount about my field during the placement and it gave me a great insight into how IT companies operate.
What did you like best about your destination abroad and why?
Prague is a brilliant city. The public transport is amazing – you can get where ever you need to in the city with ease thanks to the high quality public transport system. Plus you cannot get lost in Prague, because there is always a tram stop nearby and locals are almost always happy to give you directions.
The local people in Prague are super nice and the majority of the younger locals speak really good English. I was honestly quite surprised by how kind the locals are there.
Prague as a city is also absolutely beautiful. There are so many huge parks around Prague that are great fun to visit and explore. The buildings there have a very interesting style; many are very old and historic, while others were very modern. It made for a very nice contrasting appearance around the city.
What next for you and do you have any advice for future participants?
I will be continuing my work with the company from my placement shortly, which I am very much looking forward to. I am hoping that continuing to work with them part-time will evolve into a full-time position in time or perhaps lead to a job with another company in the UK. Either way it’s likely that working with this company will jumpstart my career in IT.
My advice to future participants would be the following:
• Work hard in the placement and show initiative with the company you end up with, because it could end up in a job for you.
• Don’t go in with massive expectations for your placement – while the company I had was great, others were disappointed with the companies they had to work with because they expected more. You should treat the placement as a learning experience and not a dream job in a foreign country – the best parts of the placement are made by you and your friends.
• Travel around and explore the country you visit – don’t just visit some monuments or go to the same places over and over. The most fun thing to do is just walk in one direction with friends and see what happens.
• Learn some basic phases and pronunciation in the language before starting the placement – it helps more than you expect.
Thanks to Callum for sharing his placement experience. If you would like any information about our Computing and IT courses, click here.