Author: Marco Retta
The following web article informs about my and my school groups stay here in Arvidsjaur, our different internships, how they progress but also about local activities and insights here in Arvidsjaur.
Furthermore, I will bring in my own expectations and impressions of my stay here, as well as adding expectations of the people of my group. First of all, I’m mainly going to introduce myself, my expectations/impressions and my purpose of staying here in Arvidsjaur.
Hi there! I’m Marco, 18 years old and I’m coming from Germany to work on my one month long internship at the Kultur and Fritid department in Arvidsjaur kommun. I live in a small town back in Germany where around 10,000 people live. I’m currently attending a local school there in order to achieve the ”Abitur”, as it is called in German, that functions like a certificate. After that, I’m planning on studying journalism at university to become a journalist specifically working on history.
Arvidsjaur is a nice place to stay and work in, I enjoy the weather here. The purpose of my actual stay here is to collect and archive informations and skills such as learning and acquiring new job skills like writing articles, handling a camera properly, improving language skills and much more.
I am part of a group of german students how take part of the same program for internships. In the following part, I’m going to visualize and explain the different internships and which person out of my group works there respectively.
My brother, Tobias, is with the local electronic store in Arvidsjaur. Most of the time he is unpacking products and deliveries that come in, though most of the time, these deliveries are rather rare to occur, since the main task of the store is to give advice on the store’s products and selling them. According to my brother, he enjoys his work and loves helping his employers out whenever they have a problem or need additional help with something.
Supermarkets (Coop and ICA): There are 4 people out of my group that work at the two local supermarkets here in Arvidsjaur and they are paired up in groups of 2. At the IKA, Jennifer and Alena work there and at the Coop, Tim and Andres are working there respectively. Both of the paired groups are working inside the markets and finish daily tasks like filling up shelves with products, unpacking deliveries, helping out customers if they have questions or problems and so on. Both groups enjoy their stay at their internships and enjoy working with their employers.
Cafe: Another member of my group works at one of the local cafes here in Arvidsjaur, his name is Robin. Robin is responsible for the servings of customers and the preperations of meals. Other tasks include: stocking up dishes, cleaning tables, washing dishes and so on. Robin is pretty happy with his internship and he get’s along very well with his employers. I also visit him sometimes when I eat at the cafe for lunch.
Hotel Laponia: At the last internship in my group, the local hotel in Arvidsjaur named Laponia, there is a group of 2 girls, Christin and Carina, that works together with the caretaker of the hotel who is actually a German. Their daily tasks range from collecting and clearing waste away to cleaning hotel rooms and washing the bedclothes. They enjoy their internship and they also find it great to be able to talk in their mother tongue, since it can be a lot less stressful to talk with your mother tongue, rather than talking english.
All in all, everyone of us have different internships that we attend and we share each day with eveyone together in our group and talk about our work there. It’s fun getting to know more about each other’s internship and how much they differ from each one of them. Also, I’ve shared my expectations with the people out of my group and many of them actually had and still have familiar or even the same expectations and impressions as I do.
The majority of my group went to Sweden because of the silence and the relaxing atmosphere, other than living in a bigger city or town, where it’s mostly hard to relax and work efficiently on something, due to the different atmosphere and environment that you experience. In comparison to other places I’ve visited in the world, Arvidsjaur is one of the most quiet and relaxing places I’ve been until now. It’s a lot of fun experiencing a country that none of us out of the group has ever visited before and getting to know the swedish people, as well as their culture and lifestyle while also being able to live through a swedish work day for 4 weeks. All of us will gather a lot of information through the internships here and I think that, most importantly, all of us enjoy the stay here in Arvidsjaur and some of us might visit the town again, once they are older.
When our internship ends each day at around 2pm-3pm (not every single internship starts at the same time, since a few can start at 10am, while others start their work day at 9am), our group usually meets up in our apartment and we decide each evening on what we do to spend the rest of the day together (this can range from watching movies together, playing video games but also cooking meals for the whole group or just chatting over our internship and different activities we’ve done). Though all of us have different hobbies and interests, everything that we do together, we decide over as a group, so that no one is in a disadvantage.
Most of the time, we stay at our apartment in the evening, though it can happen that some of us or even the whole group decides to go eat or spend time somewhere else around the town. Also, if the whole group feels like it, we sometimes decide to grill sausages, steaks and other meat on the grill. Depending on different interests and thoughts of others out of the group, some may grill vegetables or fruits on the grill, as well as other kinds of meat like fish.
We face challenges within our group almost every day, ranging from buying food and preparing meals for everyone, as well as managing the payments and the household. When viewing challenges in general, there are many other kinds of challenges outside of our working time as well.
One of the most notable one was our trip to a local dog sledding trip that we made together with Mika and his wife. Many of us didn’t know what to do at first and when we were told that each of us would ride their own sledge, all of us were scared about inevitably falling off the sledge, taking the wrong direction or simply not being able to control the dogs that carry the sledge.
After the instructions that we’ve been given by our guide however, the majority of us calmed down and tried to ride their own sledge through the snow together with our guide who led the way with his own sledge that we followed through the whole trip. After roughly 2 hours, we came back to the farm and were surprised that the trip was actually more fun and enjoyable than we thought it would be.
We all wanted to do this trip again, though unfortunately it was only possible for once. Many of us were pretty exhausted after this trip but looking back on it, it was surely a ”once in a lifetime” experience. Another interesting trip was the so-called ”Alcatraz”, which is basically a huge building that houses several different activities such as paintball, sport activities such as football but also more unique ones such as ”prison island”, which Mika booked for us to attend as a group.
All in all, this activity was notably a challenge for us, since it was required for the group to work together and rely on each other in order to gain points and rank high enough on the leaderboards. On top of it, it was a really interesting and exciting experience to be able to participate in such a fun activity. Additionally, me and my group accompanied the lappish people that reside outside of Arvidsjaur and helped them fill the backs of their pendants with reindeer food to feed them later on.
We sat onto the pendants and drove together with the sami people to the respective canisters and filled each one of them with approximately 20kg of reindeer food and watched the reindeers gather around each canister to eat it. It was pretty funny seeing the reindeers gather around the food canisters and sometimes wedge their horns into each others. After we helped feeding the reindeers, we drove back to a nearby frozen lake and cooked ourselfs some sandwiches over the open fire while watching a herd of reindeers crossing the lake. Afterwards, many of us discussed about the reindeers when we drove back and I think that this event left a big memory within us.