By further integration we break down societal divides

A Story by: Brendan Montgomery

Country of origin: Northern Ireland (UK). Destination: Germany


I took part in the mobility experience to see what it is like to live and work in another culture and environment.  I also left school with the regret of not developing a second language, and have since challenged myself to learn German.

I knew that this placement would not be a long-term solution, but would give me great insight into myself and my ability to adapt.  I now work for Nestlé in the UK as a Safety, Health & Environmental Graduate, and I strongly think that my experiences in this placement helped me to be a stronger person and ultimately sign for such a large company.  I will leave it open to a return to Germany, and will be touring many cities come this August.  A return may come, hopefully with Nestlé, and enable me to progress my career into an international one.

The placement taught me more German in thirteen weeks than I learnt Irish in five years.  This made me realise that experiencing the language first-hand is essential for development.  I also signed up to a German class in Belfast upon my return.  As previously stated, I wish to progress my German further and will heavily encourage anyone to learn a second language, as I think it is weak within UK and Irish residents, with our European Counterparts speaking a minimum of three languages, sometimes five or six.

Sometimes, the UK/Ireland feels slightly detached in my opinion, especially with calls for withdrawal in the UK.  My opinion of the importance of the EU strengthened as a result of my time in Germany.  I realised that there are many similarities between our countries and that there are many fantastic foods, sights and atmospheres that I never had experienced.  I think by further integration we break down societal divides, especially as someone from Northern Ireland.  I mean more than for peace purposes, but for sharing learnings, cultures, experiences, etc. that make us more aware.

I absolutely would recommend a placement abroad to everyone, whether paid or voluntary.  Fortunately, this mobility was heavily subsidised by the EU and enabled me to get on without the worry of financial issues.  I made a few friends and will try to keep in touch in the future- so I definitely would recommend it.


Vielen Dank!

Brendan Montgomery



Take a break!

Take a break!

Madeline Blackburn - Intern Europe

Having taught all over the world, Madeline is passionate helping young people to find work opportunities overseas. She is a co-director of Intern Europe and ESPA which are dedicated to helping young adults find great work experience and internships across Europe.

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