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Niheeba Gordon case study

My placement was in a restaurant called ‘Le Printemps’, which is a brasserie located right opposite the train station in Bordeaux. My duties included greeting and serving customers, taking orders, clearing tables and setting up the restaurant, tables and buffet.

I was nervous at first as I was struggling to understand my colleagues and I would often stutter, as I didn’t know how to respond. During the week, I started to understand the gist of what everyone around me was saying. It was nice meeting a lot of the customers, many of whom were tourists to the city.

As much as you are interested in the French, the French are very interested in you and ask you many questions about Britain. I learned so much about French cuisine as I ate a lot of their food during my lunch and dinner breaks. Strangely, I’ve acquired a strong liking for baguettes and French apple tarts!

I explored the city centre outside of my placement, as my placement was conveniently outside the city centre and just two stops away from my host family by tram. I went shopping and bought clothes, as well as food from the market. I saw all sorts in the market, including snails! I also walked along the Rue Sainte-Catherine, which is the longest pedestrianised street in Europe.

On the weekend before my placement, my host family showed me how to use the tram system and they showed me around the city centre.

I found that week to be a great experience as it taught me a lot about independence as I had to travel alone to and from my placement using the tram. Although I’m not fluent, I learnt more about the French and gained useful work experience that can be added to my CV! Overall, it was good and I’d recommend Halsbury to other students.