The natural way to work abroad


Belgian biology student Marie Neczyporenko graduated university with a desire to gain experience abroad in a very particular field. Naturally, EURES provided the answer. In 2007, Marie Neczyporenko graduated from the Catholic University of Louvain in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. She had completed a Masters degree in Biology and was looking for an opportunity to gain experience and learn a new language. Marie was no stranger to living and working throughout Europe, having completed an ERASMUS year in Valencia, Spain and an internship in France, during which she worked in a nature reserve. She was very keen on furthering her experience abroad and set about researching opportunities.

Marie tried another organisation with no luck, before finding EURES through an Internet search. This search led her directly to the EURES portal, which provided Marie with a comprehensive listing of opportunities, as well as the contact details of EURES Advisers. At the time, her partner was located in Italy so she decided to contact an Italian EURES Adviser straight away for information on potential opportunities in the country. Italy was also of great interest to her as the country has a variety of plant and animal life that has not yet been thoroughly studied.

The largest national park in Italy is located in the province of Salerno, in south-west Italy on the Tyrrhenian Sea, so this was Marie’s first port of call. On the EURES portal, Marie found the contact details for the EURES Adviser in the region, Immacolata Carillo, and wasted no time in contacting her. Marie started by sending Immacolata an email to establish contact, after which they discussed Marie’s options further over the phone. Immacolata was invaluable in helping Marie find opportunities in the region and it wasn’t long before together they found a 3-month internship in the national park, which came with a grant for the successful candidate.

The application procedure was extremely straightforward. Immacolata helped Marie establish contact with the employers and, while on summer holidays in the region, Marie met the park manager and one of the park biologists. The meeting was obviously a success, as Marie was hired soon afterwards.

In order to prepare fully for her move, Marie enrolled in a month-long intensive Italian course. Therefore, she had a good base on which to build her knowledge of the language but found that spending time in the country allowed her to improve substantially. Marie’s internship manager also helped her secure accommodation in the village of Vallo della Lucania, located within the borders of the national park.

Marie worked on a range of projects during her internship in Vallo della Lucania, gaining a lot of valuable experience. She worked closely with two Italian researchers and this contact with senior, highly experienced professionals meant that Marie was able to expand her knowledge and understanding in a way that she hadn’t been able to previously. Marie explained enthusiastically that she also had the opportunity to carry out a project on her own, analysing the damage caused by wild boars in the park. Throughout the internship Immacolata kept in close contact with Marie, and they exchanged regular emails in which Marie updated her EURES Adviser on her progress.

At the end of the internship, Marie, her manager and Immacolata all met for a feedback meeting, in which they discussed Marie’s experience. All agreed it had been an extremely beneficial experience: ‘My work here was very interesting; I was given a lot of responsibility and feel my resume has been greatly improved because of it. I felt well integrated with my team. I’m actually still in touch with my fellow researchers’, Marie explains. ‘I believe EURES is a valuable platform for searching for work experience opportunities,’ she added.

Today, Marie is back in Belgium where she works as a Safety Analyst, studying the second-hand effects of vaccines in a pharmaceutical company. She feels she gained invaluable experience during her Italian internship and is positive her reliance on EURES at the time will help her in the future.

Copyright © 2004 - 2018 EURES Eesti|Kõik õigused reserveeritud|Information: eures at tootukassa dot ee