La Dolce Internship: Tales from Italy’s Erasmus Programme

My experience with Extramus started in September 2022, when I came to Terranova to do a 3-month internship as a UX Designer. And here we are now, almost a year later and I am still in Terranova! But let’s go back to the beginning.

I honestly didn’t have any expectations before coming. I just wanted to practice my skills and spend time in a nice way, whether it’s with friends or even alone, just focusing on myself. But just after a few days in Terranova, I realized how special of an experience this will be! Every day there was something going on. Outdoor events with local Italians, international dinners with other interns, evenings in a lovely pub in a castle… After just 2 weeks I had a feeling as if I was there for 2 months! I already got close to some people and felt comfortable in a new, temporary home.


I was also feeling that I was developing myself in my job. Before coming here, I didn’t have a lot of practical experience in the area I applied for. I was ready to work and learn on my own. In the beginning, I was facing a bit of imposter syndrome. I felt like because I didn’t have a lot of experience and my studies were not explicitly related to what I was supposed to do here, it would be hard for me to do a good job. But every day, I was improving. I was lucky to have a more experienced colleague with me, that guided me through what I needed to know, and after she left – I felt ready to do this on my own. 

LI became a department manager and I was continuing to work on my project. I started getting appreciated by my colleagues and the CEO of Extramus. I was feeling more and more sure that I can actually learn things on my own and feel confident with my skills!


At the end of my internship, in December. I got an offer to stay in Extramus longer, as an employee. Since my experience in this organization and in Terranova was very special for me, I really wanted to stay here. And here I am now!

Terranova is a small town and often people are asking me if I don’t get bored or tired of being here. I think that as long as you are surrounded by the right people, everything is worth it! And Terranova can give you something special that none of the big cities will ever give you. I never before met locals that would be so kind and hospitable, that would invite me to their houses to eat together, bring me fruits and vegetables, organize a birthday party for me, and much more! Being here truly is the best way to experience Italian culture!
The worst part is definitely saying goodbye to people. They come and go and it is always sad to let them go. But this is also what is beautiful about this experience. You get to meet people. Get close to them. Create lasting friendships. Right now, I have friends all around Europe (and beyond!) and I am so grateful for that. Even if they are far away, they are always in my heart and I know we will see each other again, one day.
Choosing to participate in an Erasmus internship in Italy means embracing change and stepping out of your comfort zone. It’s about adapting to a new work culture, building cross-cultural communication skills, and developing a deeper understanding of your field of study in an international context. The challenges you’ll face, whether they’re language barriers or adjusting to different work methodologies, will shape your adaptability and problem-solving skills. I am grateful for this experience and everyone who contributed to making it so special.
Written by Maja Ciesielska
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