Samuel Schwaiger reports on his stay abroad in Sweden
When I was offered the opportunity to spend part of my apprenticeship period in another European country, I was thrilled from the very beginning - I didn't want to miss the chance to experience our company structure and everyday working life at an international location, but also the opportunity to get to know a different culture. So in spring 2019, in my second year of apprenticeship, I started my journey to Sweden to spend five weeks in Jönköping and work in the automotive team there.
I was first introduced to the local structure of Kapsch TrafficCom AB and had the opportunity to see all the company locations in Jönköping. I then devoted the majority of my working time in Sweden to planning and developing a database to store all the products manufactured in the Automotive department and information about them. I was also responsible for creating a web interface to illustrate and manage the data. In the course of this work I was able to work intensively with databases, database management systems and scripting languages for dynamic websites and was well supported and coached by my colleagues on site.
I was also able to learn a lot about the (V2X) on-board units that are developed by Kapsch in Sweden.
What was particularly exciting for me, apart from the challenging and interesting tasks, were the differences in the daily work routine. From the very large office, where almost the entire team sat together, to the collectively perceived typical Swedish coffee breaks ("Fika"), I was able to experience many things that I had never experienced before.
I was also able to improve my English skills: I had never before had to rely on this foreign language to talk about technical topics - a challenge for which a job-related English course I took during my apprenticeship prepared me well.
In my free time, too, I was able to experience a lot of exciting things and I am grateful for the warm welcome I received - for example, I went on weekend excursions around Jönköping with colleagues, went on hour-long walks through the beautiful nature of Småland and explored Sweden's two largest cities - Stockholm and Gothenburg - on my own.
I am grateful to have been given and used this opportunity - both professionally and in my personal development, the stay in Sweden was certainly meaningful for me and I am glad to have met many nice colleagues.