“I am studying social work in Paderborn (Germany) and within my studies I have to do two placements to gain practical experience and to make a connection between my studies and the work in a practical field of social work. I wanted to use the chance to not only get practical experience in a new work field but also to go abroad to improve my English.

I definitely wanted to try out a new field which I hadn’t worked in yet, as this was my last placement within my studies. I didn’t know what to expect or how it would be to work and live in another country but I was looking forward to a new challenge.

I am really glad that I did my placement in Sundial House. The Team in Sundial House were great and you got regular supervision sessions which I found very important. Before I started, the Volunteer Coordinator briefed me about Depaul’s services and prepared me for my first day.

I was mainly focused on onsite activities with the residents during my placement. New ideas for activities were always welcomed by the managers and the staff and they always tried to make sure that I had the resources and help that I needed to carry out activities. My supervisor also helped me to achieve my objectives and requirements that I had for the placement from my university and generally helped me to deal with difficult situations and to reflect on my work.

I learned a lot during my placement. To highlight a few things, I definitely have a much better understanding of low-threshold services and the harm reduction method. I also have a better understanding of homelessness in Dublin and Ireland. I also learned a lot about challenging behavior and how to deal with it.

Generally my placement helped me to find out in what direction I want my career to go and in which work sector I want to work.

I got to know Depaul as a great organisation with many different and good services and I am very glad that I had the chance to work in Sundial House for four months. It was a very important experience for me and I learned a lot for my career, but also personally. With my placement in Sundial House I actually got the chance to have a positive impact on the service user’s well-being and to get to know them and their stories and life experiences.”