“Nächster Halt: Schwaz.” (in English: “Next stop: Schwaz”). I wake up from my day dreaming to a sharp, German speaking female voice and take my gaze away from the scenery outside the train. Although the voice has become familiar to me during the last four weeks when traveling between my new summer home and work place I can never get enough of the landscape flashing by the window: blue mountains glimmering in the morning dawn, frisky swallows playing in the air, traditional Tyrolian houses that looked like the witch’s hut in the children book Hansel and Gretel. Once again I remember how lucky I am to be selected for a traineeship in Tyrol, Austria. Before I started studying I spent most of my gap years abroad. My only fear with studying law was that it might be hard to travel as law is quite specific to each country. However, after studying law for just two years in Finland, I found myself participating in the traineeship programme STEP run by the European Law Students’ Association (ELSA) and working in a district commission (in German: Bezirkshauptmannschaft) in Schwaz, Austria.
It was also beneficial to go abroad via ELSA: the local representative for the STEP programme has been in contact with me since I was selected. It made me feel comfortable to know someone was waiting for me in Austria. She also introduced me to my employer on the first day and would have organised the accommodation for me too. Luckily I had a good friend in Tyrol whose parents hosted me for a month. All in all, it was a great choice to participate in the traineeship programme via ELSA because I know whatever happens, I am not alone.
And how do I spend my free time? I enjoy the mountains, of course. Hiking, climbing, paragliding… “Emmi, the world is so beautiful,” a father of a good friend of mine tended to say. “You’ve better go and explore it!” And that’s exactly what I am doing now.
Emmi Simonen
Bezirkshauptmannschaft Schwaz in Schwaz, Austria. 1 month, June-July 2016.
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dominika_novina
I am really happy I got selected for the traineeship in Brno, Czech Republic. Not only was it the first time visiting this beautiful city, but also I feel like I learned a lot and got the feel how a foreign law office operates. I am of the opinion that you really get to know yourself when travelling alone. Living abroad is not just fun and games, you have to overcome many challenges along the way, face your fears and not to be afraid of failure. In the end, you come out stronger than ever. It really is a lesson for life. That is why I am grateful for this one-of-a-kind experience and would like to thank ELSA Brno again for being part of this journey, making it even more special and unforgettable.
Dominika Novina
Kyjovský, Blažek a kolegové in Brno, Czech Republic. 1 month, June 2016.
As a former ELSA STEP Trainee, I cannot stress out enough the confidence that this experience offered me. Not only am I now capable to say that I can survive in any foreign working place, but I can guarantee that I will be further pursuing such workplaces. The ELSA Organisation demonstrated once again the professionalism that is attributed to them and made me feel welcome and sure about my choice. As far as the skills I gained from this traineeship, I treasure specifically the social skills that came by while working in a foreign language office and having to communicate daily with people from a different culture on their own language. In addition to this, I experienced living in a beautiful city for one month and learnt how to transition fast and effectively. All of this could not have happened without the guidance of ELSA Austria and ELSA Graz representatives to whom I feel grateful about it.
Evangelia Nissioti
Magistrat Graz in Graz, Austria. 1 month, August 2016.
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patryk_kulig
Nothing broadens our minds more than travelling and meeting other people. There is nothing better when travelling can be combined with a working experience. ELSA STEP gives us young lawyers across the Europe both possibilities at one time! Great chance and a life lasting experience.
Patryk Kulig
PHH RECHTSANWAELTE GMBH in Vienna, Austria. 1 month, August 2016.
My one-month traineeship in Popov & Partners Law Office in Sofia was a great experience, as it taught me many things (researches, tasks, various fields of law etc). Most of all, my ELSA STEP experience gave me the chance to make a big ``STEP' forward and work with professionals, adapt in new working environments and obtain qualities as discipline, programming skills, quick decision-making and many more. I am fully satisfied!!!!
Apostolia Daskalou
Popov & Partners Law Office in Sofia, Bulgaria. 1 month, October 2016.
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STEFANIA-DESPOINA EFSTATHIOU
I thought that my STEP would be something ordinary. However, it turned out to be extraordinary. Professionalism from both, the employer and the ELSA Hosting Group - Friendly atmosphere - Practical implementation of my LL.M.'s theoretical knowledge and Contacts; this was the outcome of this traineeship. The process remains the same, but it's always the people that change; and this made the difference. Arendts Anwälte was one of the most professional offices I have ever seen, always with a friendly and engaging work environment. I was not only a trainee but I became part of their ``family`` at work. On the other hand, ELSA Munich was really taking care of me throughout the whole month and was trying to make me feel at home. I can only recommend such experience, since STEP is enhancing both, your professional and interpersonal skills, your future career and your international contacts!
Stefania-Despoina Efstathiou
Arendts Anwaelte, Munich, Germany, 1 month, September 2016.
ELSA and STEP gave me the opportunity to visit a new country, meet so many interesting people, learn about their culture and even try to speak a new language!
I lived and worked in Izmir, Turkey for 2 months so I had the chance to see how everyday life is, learn how working abroad is, and make new friends!
Also K&P Legal Law Firm lawyers offered me their knowledge on business and international law and even showed me many aspects of the Turkish law.
It was a unique experience filled with unique people that I will never forget!
Thank you ELSA and K&P Legal Law Firm!
Domniki Papadopoulou
K&P Legal Law Firm, Izmir, Turkey, 2 months, Autumn 2016.
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The traineeship in Cluj-Napoca has been one of the most interesting in my life. In these two weeks, I had the opportunity to work with professionals in law sphere, to get acquainted with Romanian Court system and to learn the main differences between the Romanian and the Ukrainian law system. I met many Romanian ELSA guys, who were simply great with me, who showed me the town, spend a lot of time with me and explained me the main historical and current issues of the Country. I really recommend this experience in the heart of Transylvania.
Tetiana Kotyk
SCPA Campan & Timone in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. 2 weeks, November 2016.