|Amelia in the collections office|
On 6th June 2010 I boarded the coach from Sully; a little town where my parents live to Bath, England. On the coach there are people from the twining association between Sully-sur-Loire and Bradford-on-Avon; the president of the association had kindly let me join them on their journey. After a pleasant journey we are quickly at Calais, a short channel tunnel crossing and we arrive in England.
Monday and it is my first day at the Roman Baths, Susan, the Collection Manager introduces me to the other staff in the office; I have to remember a lot of names and try and concentrate on what people are saying to me!
Susan shows me around the Roman remains and the museum, it's a beautiful place; there is a roman pavement around the Great Bath, a hot water spring and around the upper terrace there are various statues of the Emperors and Governors of Rome. We move from the museum into the eighteenth century Pump Room, a very "chic" place, where we can drink a glass of Spa Water - it is good for health but it's not tasty!
It's like an old movie set, in fact, some movies and T.V. programmes have been filmed here.
After a few days I know the name of everyone on the team. There is Susan the Collection Manager and Helen the Collection Assistant, Stephen the Roman Baths and Pump Room Manager, sweet Gladys the Team Administrator and James the Office Apprentice. Then there are the other volunteer’s, Beth from Australia, Edina from Hungary and Penny from Bath.
During my placement I went with Stephen to various meetings: "Public Services Team meeting", "Management Team meeting" and the "Business Team meeting” these all give me great insight into how the site is run. After a while I meet with Pat the Commercial Manager and Maggie the Press Officer and I am given my first task- to translate the Fashion Museum website into French.
I work to a timetable set out prior to my placement and I have a lot of visits: the Victoria Art Gallery, the Fashion Museum, St Johns store and even the Ashmolean in Oxford. During my lunch hours I walk around the World Heritage City of Bath, it is rich in architecture and there are a lot of musicians playing on the street. Very often we can hear a woman singing opera songs as her voice drifts through the office window.
The days go by very quickly and before I know it the end of my internship comes It's time to go back to France. I met a lot of very nice people; a good mix of very different people from various places around the globe. I learnt a lot about English cultural management and improved my English.
So if you want to meet people from all around the world and share learning experiences why not come to the Roman Baths and volunteer.
Amelia’s update: I'm currently on work placement at a museum in France; the Museum of Resistance and Deportation in Loiret. I will be going back to university at the end of the summer and will start a "work-study program" in the Cultural Development Department for the Town Council of Rouen.