“It was a great experience”

"Schichtwechsel": Verabschiedung der ersten drei Praktikanten und Begrüßung des neuen Trios durch Bürgermeister Peter Lüttmann und Reiner Wellmann im Rathaus. (Eine Praktikantin war leider schon abgereist).

Ten-week internships for young people from the twin town Leiria completed

Rheine. They have been back in their home town of Leiria for a few days now: Fabiana, Ines and Joao. For ten weeks, they were guests of the town twinning association Rheine to gain work experience in various places. From January to March, three young people from the “Escola Secundaria Francisco Rodrigues Lobo” spent the first part of their internship in Rheine until mid-March. As in the previous year, the town twinning association gave six young people from the Portuguese twin town Leiria the opportunity to experience the world of work in another European country and gain experience as part of a European Erasmus program. “An exhausting, challenging – but also very enjoyable time for everyone involved,” sums up Reiner Wellmann, Chairman of the town twinning association. The young Leirianers flew back home with many positive experiences in their luggage. “It was a great experience,” was the overall conclusion at the final meeting.

Jao (r.) felt like he was part of a big family with Iris and Thorsten Grünberg.

“I felt like I was part of a big family here!” Joao Borges pays Iris and Thorsten Grünberg, owners of the Echtzeit café, a huge compliment. And he also refers this to the team he worked in for ten weeks. “He was a great team player, determined and willing to learn,” says Iris Grünberg, praising the 18-year-old. “We always had the good feeling that we could rely on him,” Grünberg continues. Joao has even asked if he can come back in the second half of the year to earn money for his studies. The Grünbergs were happy to agree – but there is one problem: Joao still has a Brazilian ID card. And it’s not that easy to get a job in the EU, even if only for a few months…

Ines was strongly supported by Ralf Kamp.
Fabiana at the Europe Direct Center with manager Frank Schmitt.

Ines and Fabiana gained other experiences at TV Jahn Rheine and the Europe Direct Center in the Steinfurt district administration. At the latter, Fabiana Aragao was mainly involved in preparing for the European elections. “Overall, Fabiana was a great asset to us. In addition to her great and reliable support in the many activities for the European elections, her presence was a real benefit for the cooperation within the team at the Cultural Office,” reports Martin Schmitt, Head of the Europe direct Center.

Dinis (right) with Frank Tischner and Aika Drescher (Vocational Training International).

Cristina Alvarez Blanco and Dinis Antonio Caseiro went straight into the world of work. They began their internships in architecture firms in Rheine, Ibbenbüren and Neuenkirchen. They later moved to the district craftsmen’s association. Among other things, Dinis built a picture frame and a chessboard in the carpentry workshop, while Cristina designed graffiti and geometric figures with paint. “It’s our job to give the young people something to take with them,” concluded Frank Tischner, Managing Director of the District Craftsmen’s Association. And as both trainees want to study interior design in Portugal, he concluded by advising them to complete a relevant craft apprenticeship beforehand – and only then study. Incidentally, both gave top marks to the canteen in the district craftsmen’s association, where they were guests every day. Catia Gomes spent ten weeks as a trainee directly in the city administration and especially in the building department.

“We would like to thank all the companies, authorities and service providers who provided internships. We would also like to thank the host families who have taken in young people from Leiria over such a long period of time,” concludes Reiner Wellmann. In return, young people from Rheine and the surrounding area will be doing internships in companies in Leiria and the surrounding area in the fall. The town twinning association is proud of this wonderful European cooperation. “However, the past six months have shown us that tasks of this kind can hardly be managed on a voluntary basis. Therefore, if the internships are to continue in 2025, we will have to look for new ways, perhaps with the help of secondary schools,” concludes Wellmann.