At Fundació Catalunya Voluntària, we are currently in the final phase of this year’s TLN Mobilicat program, which has given 25 young people the opportunity to do an internship abroad.

The participants were divided in three groups to travel to three different destinations: England, Portugal and Italy. Having had a real work experience on their sector of choice, and having gotten to discover a different culture, the three groups are back in Catalonia. We are now ready to evaluate the success of the program.

My role in this project has been to tutor 10 of the participants, who travelled to the Italian city of Pesaro. How was my experience?

Firstly, sharing my experiences in previous mobility programs with other people is always a pleasure. Not only was it one of the stages that I have enjoyed most in my life, but I am also convinced of the many benefits it has brought me, both at personal and professional levels. I would recommend the experience to everyone.

Working directly with participants has been one of the most gratifying parts of my job. I have been able to do so in the preparation phase, the mobility phase and even in the return phase, through individual and group tutoring sessions. Furthermore, it was a diverse group of individuals, who provided very different points of view.

I have had the chance to contribute to the design of the participants’ professional itineraries by accompanying them, while letting each of them be the protagonist of their own process. I have often found myself reflected in the participants, as I myself have been in labor orientation programs, and experienced moments of uncertainty after finishing my studies.

This program included my trip to accompany the participants at the time of departure to the destination city and their return. Thus, I have witnessed their reaction to discovering a new culture. There has been times of emotion, insecurity and happiness, which I have shared with them. I will also remember the moment of the departure, and their homecoming after 3 months abroad.

Lastly, I have be witnessed the growth of the young participants. I have been able to perceive how many of them have overcome some fears. Even if they cannot see it yet, this program will help them face challenging situations with self-confidence and responsiveness, thanks to all they have lived. And with the surprise of hearing them speaking a fluent Italian at the end of the stay.

These are my conclusions in the final stage of the program which, I hope, will become a distinguishing trait of the professional profile of the participants, and I with that the experience will serve as a boost to achieve their goals.

Sergio Leal