In order to prepare our students for their stay and work experience in Ireland, we went through several carefully planned steps. Since we did a similar project in the previous two years, we could consider the feedback that was given to us by the particpants of last year's project.
First of all, students were asked about their current work experience, their qualifications and interests so that suitable positions could be identified for them. Then they wrote their CVs in which they presented detailed information about their educational background, previous employments, hobbies and other free time activities. What is more, they filled in a form that provided our partner organisation Language Xchange Ireland with all the relevant details about their desired occupation and how their qualifications and skills will prove helpful in that position. Our project partner Language Xchange Ireland developed a databasa where all the relevant information about their future host families, work placements, suitable business attire, etc. can be accessed. The database also offers several e-learning modules that aim to evaluate students' cultural awareness and language competence. The results of these test are taken into account when allocating suitable work placements to the individual participants.
Apart from all that, the group met on two afternoons to learn more about Irish culture, traditions, the country’s economy, history and social etiquette. We did a quiz on Irish culture, read texts about the “Dos and Taboos in Ireland”, discussed which topics might be suitable for small talk, learned how to behave appropriately in formal and informal settings and even acted out role plays that helped us to anticipate what kinds of situations we might encounter and how to react accordingly. Furthermore, the students were informed about the projects they will have to work on during their stay in Ireland.