#UCLanians Blog

How Erasmus+ changed my life!

When I first found out that I was accepted for the Erasmus internship programme abroad, I got so excited and I was looking forward to arriving to Birmingham and start working as a professional psychologist. The place Ι was going to work was the Forensic Psychology Practice Limited (FPP), which is a private practice of Forensic and Clinical Psychologists providing a wide range of psychology services to social, health, and criminal justice agencies.

When the day I was about to leave Cyprus arrived, it was hard leaving my beloved ones behind, even if I knew this was about to take a short time of period. Fortunately, my best friend from the university was joining me in this experience. Many thoughts crossed my mind, but I knew this opportunity was a once in a lifetime.

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The first night in Birmingham was difficult, with many worries inside my head about how working in the real world would look like. However, FPP made me feel like home from the first day. Jodie and Lauren, Assistant Psychologists at FPP, made an impressive presentation during my induction training days about the goals and expectations of the organization. FPP was starting to make my dream come true as I knew that I would gain a deep knowledge and valuable experience related to clinical psychology!

After spending a few weeks at the organization, I had to take an assessment, which was referred to my observations of a client’s behaviour, clinical interview and ways to approach him/her effectively and finally arrive at a diagnosis and guide treatment.

Engaging in psychology work experience abroad, helped me gain a wealth of skills that are necessary for my future career. This was a great opportunity for me to apply the theoretical knowledge I had from the university into a practical level. Apart from that, working with people from different cultures and lifestyles, has helped me not only become a better practitioner but a better person as well.  Finally, yet importantly, I’ve become more confident and independent in myself.  

Enough words for my work experience! Let’s speak about what weekends were made for in Birmingham. One of the most impressive events I joined was the LTA Tennis Final in Birmingham, which was something I will never forget! In addition, I joined many networking events that the company organized and met new people from different disciplines. There is also a variety of museums to visit and plenty of English traditional foods and tastes, ranking Nando’s and as Franco Manca as my favourite places for dining.

On the last day of my internship, my colleagues organized a farewell party for me!

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This made me feel special and satisfied with the choice I initially made.

Without any doubts, I’m going to miss working in this place and all these amazing people I met during my placement.

We still keep in touch on Social Media and hopefully one day we will meet again.

I will finish this blog post by explaining why #UCLanians should participate in at least one Erasmus+ programme abroad either as a student or for work placement! UCLan Cyprus participates in the Erasmus+ 2014-2020 programme, giving the unique opportunity to all the current students to work or study abroad for a short time of period.

Erasmus+ programme will help you improve your communication, inter-cultural skills, but also make you valuable and attractive to the future employers. And most importantly, you will make memories for a life.

I would like to firstly thank the MSc Forensic Psychology Academics at UCLan Cyprus who contributed in making this happen, as well as my working colleagues at the FPP who have helped in making my life in Birmingham a lot easier.

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