Hi, my name is Gaia Vallesi. I am 18 years old and I come from Italy. In this composition I would like to talk about my experience at the Regional Museum of Maribor, the Pokrajinski Museum.
Two months ago I took part in a contest held by the Chamber of Commerce of Macerata, the province of the area where I live. This contest consists in a project, called “Goals for future”, which every year offers 120 scholarships to High school students. The winners of these scholarships have the possibility of a working experience for the duration of one month in one of the following European countries: France, Poland, Slovenia, Germany, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Hungary, Spain, Ireland and Great Britain. We had to undergo two selections: the first was based on school marks whereas the second one was based on linguistic and technological competences. I wished so much to be one of the winners because I believe that this is a great opportunity to test myself, to have a work experience abroad and above all, for my personal growth. When I was told my destination, I was really excited because I had never been in Slovenia before and I was curious to visit this country. Slovenia is such a wonderful country and Maribor has exceeded my expectations.
After some meetings and online English courses, I left on the 2nd of February with my group, made up of 9 students from different schools of my province. Although we had never met before, it was like we had known each other for years and we got on well from the very first day. Together we have lived amazing experiences, even if at first it has not been easy at all. That is why our Italian tutor, Lorenza Natali, stayed with us for four days and helped us to settle in and to get used to the new context, giving us important advice and support. The ZNI organization has been fundamental for us, as well, in particular our coordinator, Vita Cafnik, who planned our accomodation during the internship and has always been available for any problem we may have had.
On the 4th of February I had a job interview with the museum director, Ms. Mirijana Koren and my boss Mr. Drago Oman then, the following day, I began working at the museum. I was happy but anxious at the same time because I did not really know what I was expected to do. I worked from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10:00 to 18:00. During this experience I met fantastic people: kind secretaries, Ms. Maja and Ms. Sanja; comprehensive employees, Ms. Irena, Ms. Nives, who were always ready to help me with my job; Oskar, the museum tour guide; nice colleagues, Tamara, Samanta, Gregor and Ljubica, who made me feel really at home.
In these working days I had to stay at the entrance of the museum to greet visitors and guide them in the tour, opening doors and showing them the right way. Moreover, I worked in the office, where I had to number small antique statues, to take photos of them and to put these information on a digital catalogue. I had the opportunity to work in the restoration laboratory, as well, where I put more than 1400 labels on ancient and precious objects. Initially I felt like I was not so much living up to the tasks, but I tried to do the best I could and at the end I was satisfied with the work done. I really enjoyed stayed at the Pokrajinksi Museum, not only for the work done but also because I think that it is a beautiful and well-organized castle, full of interesting and precious objects. Visiting this museum gices you have the possibility to go back to the past, to discover the history of the town and to understand what the city underwent through the ages. It is also rich of collections, statues, paintings, amazing rooms and archeological finds.
On the 8th of February the visit of the museum was free because it was a national holiday and I was surprised at the number of people who came: it was a very busy day. Sometimes I found a bit of difficult to understand what the visitors asked me and I couldn’t always interact with them because some of them didn’t speak English. Then, I learnt some useful slovenian words that I could use, like »Dober dan«, »Nasvidenje«, »Sledite puščicam« and »Izhod je tam«, so most of the times people understood me and I could not believe it!
Unfortunately, this amazing experience is going to finish and it is about time to come back in Italy. I would stay here for more than a month!
To sum up, I would like to thank all the people who let me have this opportunity, this has been one of the most important experience of my life, which I will bring with me forever.