How the Leonardo programme challenged my life

alessandra story


A story by: Alessandra BASTASIN

Country of Origin: Italy

Country of Destination: Cyprus


A whole year from my Master Degree’s Graduation in International Relations had passed and I couldn’t find any job in my hometown. Although I gained some work experience during my studies, I was still looking for something that would really enhance my personal competences and unfortunately, the Italian job market appeared very stuck at that moment.


Thus, since I was given the opportunity to take part in a Leonardo Da Vinci Internship, I could not miss such an amazing experience.

I didn’t expect to pass the selection process, to be honest, because we were so many candidates that I thought they would have taken the younger ones. So what a surprise when I saw my name in the finalists!

Then, just a couple of weeks left to organise everything for my departure!

Why Cyprus? First of all, it was my choice, and not a destination by chance. We could choose among other destinations, like the UK, Spain or Austria…I chose Cyprus because I wanted to get to know something different than the usual destinations. I looked for the sea and the good temperature, but particularly, for a new culture that could give me the full taste of the Mediterranean.

When we arrived in Limassol the weather was rainy…absolutely not what I expected.

Among many other things I did not expect, was the fact that the workplace waiting for me was one of the biggest in Cyprus.

Working in an Investment Company, one of the best, means big clients, a lot of work to do and a lot of responsibilities.

Besides that, I had the chance to celebrate my birthday in Cyprus and it was the first time in my life that I could go to the beach in January! I’ve also made new friends, Italians as well as international.

I also improved my English and refreshed Russian, thanks to  Russian colleagues and clients.

And last, but not least, the big news: just after a few weeks my Company asked me to work full time, and soon offered me a real job contract for at least one year after the internship. On the one hand, it was a hard decision to take. Surely, I was not prepared for a long term stay and I had to re- organise my plans. I would miss my friends and family too. Yet, on the other hand, I felt this was a huge opportunity for my career, so I said yes!


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