Up-close & Personal: How A Global Training Grant Facilitates Cross Cultural Technician Education & Training

My name is Jon Arias. I´m 25 years old and I come from the Basque Country. Last year I finished my studies in higher vocational training, specialty in energy efficiency and solar thermal energy. After achieving my degree, I worked for six months in an energy efficiency company in my country until I was accepted the Global Training grant from the Basque Government. The objective of the Global Training grant is to enhance transnational mobility of young people in the Basque Country for activities and projects related to their academic and professional companies/organizations in foreign countries, with a plan pre-planned practical training.

My expectations are to put in practice, as much as I can, the knowledge I achieve from my studies. I´m also
open minded to learn new skills in different areas, and I´d like to take advantage of this opportunity to improve in my field, learn as much as possible, and be well prepared for my future career. I started this internship in February. My first job was in Mustang Vacuum Systems, a company where I learned about vaporization and sputtering systems. I worked here until April and then thanks to FLATE I started a new way where I lived a lot of nice experiences.

In April I worked as teacher assistant at the State College of Florida’s (SCF) Venice camps. At SCF-Venice I learned about sustainable conservation systems and smart grid systems. I also had the opportunity to participate in interesting workshops such as pressure sensor and Siemens PLC that were facilitated by FLATE at Hillsborough Community College (HCC) in Brandon where I am currently. I have a wide range of areas where I can work, starting from level, flow, pressure, process control to PLC programming. Fortunately, I´m surrounded by very pleasant and qualified people from whom I´m learning a lot.

In summary, the value of what I have been doing these past four months has been very positive. I realize, my
experience would be incomplete without all the places I´ve been, the things I´ve learned and the people. I´m sure this experience will be very helpful for my life in every sense. This experience has improved/enhanced my personal & professional life in many ways. It has helped me learn a different way of working, how to relate to people from different countries, improve my English speaking skills, and expanded my ability to adapt to new situations. I definitely obtained a wider spectrum of knowledge in manufacturing and engineering technology, and appreciate how things are “Made in Florida!” I had the chance to gain valuable experience with real, hands-on, high technology applications. When I move back to Basque, I am sure this experience will contribute, tremendously, in finding future job in energy efficiency anywhere in Spain, Europe or any other country. I feel better prepared to face my career.

Thank you FLATE, SCF, MVS, HCC and anyone else invovled in ensuring an academically, socially and culturally rich experience during my stay.