2007-01-31

The Hospitality Club - a world of friendly people

You find that you are chosen for a traineeship in Luxembourg but you have any idea about accommodation. Yes, the rent prices in Luxembourg are (...) are you kidding? Let's change the topic! The Hospitality Club exist!

But what is the Hospitality Club?
The idea of the club is very simple: "bringing people together - hosts and guests, travellers and locals".
Members of the HC offer each other help when they travel, be it free accommodation, a tour around town or an invitation to dinner.
There are no obligations, what matters is the personal contact. Use of the club is totally free; the HC is not commercial and everything you need to do is register on the club's website. Then you will have possibility to read other people profiles and find out your chances to get a sleeping place for a couple of nights and even a friend forever in all corners of the world.

The club was founded in August 2000 by a restless traveller, Veit Kuehne (25) from Germany and by now the club has more than 220 000 members in 207 countries.
Veit is now hitchhiking around the world trying to find one million members for the club and fascinating people with the wonderful idea of hospitality exchange.

The HC dream: One day everyone can go to a different country knowing that someone will receive him/her with open arms. People will travel in a different way, meet each other and build intercultural understanding through personal contact.

Be careful!
Ok, but how can somebody host people that he has never met before? How can somebody rely on stranger's hospitality? Sometimes it is enough to have a look on person's profile but anyway you can never be 100% sure who is hiding behind your internet fellow, so please be careful and selective.

Website: www.hospitalityclub.org

Kind of people you can meet in a traineeship in the EU

Before arriving in Luxembourg for my traineeship in the European Parliament, I wondered what kind of mates I would meet. Perhaps this post can help you to get an idea of what kind of people you would probably meet during a traineeship in the European Institutions.
In this post I will just talk about my office mates (Milena, Sylvia and Kajus). Of course, there are a lot more, specially Bianca (end your post about Polyglotte Club : )
Well, let's start by the beginning. Before arriving, I have to admit that I preferred to be alone in an office (you know, it's better to be alone, I will work harder, and that kind of nonsenses). When I knew I was going to share my office with other three stagiaires, I thought it was no good. How wrong I was! Just after arriving, I had a good welcome. Imagine, the first thing I saw before entering the office was this:




And it's quite well done! I don't know how they knew my look even before I came! : )

Two of my three mates, Milena and Kai, were already there when I arrived and they gave me some presents (like post-it, postcards from the EP, a badge-holder, etc). They were very nice (even if Kai enjoyed getting Milena out of her nerves : )
Anyway, some other times they enjoyed together working very hard, as you can see...


But Milena was the one who worked the hardest...


Some days later I met Sylvia. She joined soon the rest in the hard working rythm...


Sylvia is a brasilian hurricane. She talks all the time and about everything (I don't know how she managed to work at the same time, but she did!).


She put a brasilian flag in her desktop, and some brasilian posters on the wall. She is proud of her country. We all are now invited to Brasil!!! And we'll go there for carnivals, for sure !! : )

Concerning Milena, from Bulgaria, she was very competent, high level of English. Also very funny (specially when Kai drove her mad). And that even if she had a lot of problems with her f***ing landlord (landlady, as a remember, blame on her!). Milena was always ready to help!! Unfortunately she left us very soon (she didn't die, just came back to Bulgary : ), but we had time enough to make some party-photos with her!!


And Kajus, the very best at computers!! I learnt a lot of things from him. Always ready to help, he even organised training for stagiaires!!!! He teached them how to use Power Point and I learnt how to use Visual Basic in combination with Excel. Great!!! Kajus was always ready for party, as you can see in the photos. Sylvia and him made a terrible team.


Well, now I'm alone (they all finished before Christmas) but I think I will meet them again. Who knows when? Who knows where? I keep a very good memory of my office mates.

Ok, now you know what kind of people can you meet in a traineeship in the European Institutions: the best people!!

2007-01-23

Accommodation in Luxembourg

Hi, I don't know if we already told you anything about accomodation in Luxembourg, but if you are coming here, you will see yourself that it's not easy to find and, of course, not cheap at all. I would say that the best option is: http://www.wfs.lu/ There they offer accomodation for people working in the European Institutions for a certain time. As far as I know (I've never been there) it's 300 € per month and it's quite good. That should be your best option, but you will only be admitted if you have a traineeship in the European institutions. Read the website and apply as soon as possible if you want to have any possibility to be admitted, even if you don't still have your documents certifying that you have been offered a traineeship. Just tell them that you will send the papers later by fax before arriving.
If it doesn't work (it's full, for example), then you should ask to the institutions, they prepare a list of places to stay. At least, I know the European Parliament does it, but just for people working in the European institutions.
If not, then you will need to look yourself. One advice: try to avoid agencies. They will ask you a lot of money (equivalent to one or two months + caution!!).
If nothing works, try in the Youth Hostel (http://www.youthhostels.lu), at least for the first days until you find anything.

Good luck in your search!!!

Information added by Kajus:
Please see also the post: Accommodation & Housing