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A Step Beyond 2015
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

According to the curriculum for our type of school, students must participate in an internship for 12 weeks. Furthermore, this 12 week internship is required for students to enter their fourth year of study and to take the preliminary examination (Vorprüfung) needed for the matriculation examination (Reifeprüfung). In previous years, our school has organised the obligatory internship for our third year students in a restaurant or hotel abroad with the help of the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) Leonardo da Vinci and Erasmus+. This LLP provides our interns with financial support to help lower the overall cost for their families. The objectives of the project are that the students can acquire the skills and abilities expected by the economy. In dealing with him/herself: self-esteem, self-confidence, a sense of basic trust, appreciation, self-efficacy, introspection, self-responsibility, and self-discipline. In dealing with others: attention, appreciation, empathy, ability to comprise, insight into human nature, ability to take criticism, awareness, tolerance, respect, language competence (especially in the foreign language), and intercultural competence. In regards to teamwork: ability to work in a team, cooperation, motivation, ability to confront conflicts, communication skills, and also general skills and abilities such as responsibility, diligence, flexibility and commitment. This year we will be dispatching 24 students to partner companies in England, France, Italy and Spain. Students will not only get their first professional experiences in an international environment, but also be able to apply their specialized practical knowledge along with their specialized theoretical knowledge. Third year students know that they will not only be learning how businesses operate in other countries. As interns, they must also learn other aspects of the work environment including managing to communicate with coworkers and superiors in a foreign language as well as taking care of guests in a multilingual environment. The practical, linguistic, and social skills acquired by our students are very important for school but more so for their future professional careers. To ensure the preparedness and quality of the internship, there is a monitoring system during the entire preparatory phase and also during the time abroad through E-mail and/or telephone. The supervisors are also very important during the internship. Through personal contact with the tutors and guest organisations, we can improve the quality of the job positions provided to our students. At our school, we support our interns through monthly meetings. The team of teachers in charge also meet with students in their free time. During the holidays, teachers stay in touch with our interns and are accessible through E-mail and cellphones. The interns will be prepared together by the HBLW Saalfelden’s trained team of teachers, which the program coordinator, Birgit Tatzreiter, is accountable for. In addition to information sessions at the school, participants will also gather useful knowledge for their internships in school subjects such as “International Communication in Business” and “Cooking;” furthermore, students have the opportunity to attend a seminar titled “Content and Language Integrated Learning.” The results we expect from these internships are not limited to good grades on the preliminary exam for matriculation (Vorprüfung), but also include a significant improvement in our students’ language skills. Additionally, we hope our students gain flexibility, independence, and other advantages to separate them from their competition in the job market. Impact on the career development of our students includes further time spent abroad and possibly a professional career with a foreign orientation. This internship also sparks an interest in many of our students to learn and understand foreign languages. Some even go on to study foreign languages in higher education.
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