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The fruits of seasonal labour!Seasonal work is an ideal way to experience a new country, immerse yourself in a different culture, and make new friends, without needing to commit to a long-term contract. This type of work was perfect for Renata Stumberger, a 30-year old Slovenian working in the agricultural sector. Renata wanted to experience a new environment while learning about other European cultures, but did not want to live abroad long-term.
Renata’s first step was to visit her local employment office to find out what her options were for finding short-term work abroad. The helpful staff introduced her to local EURES Adviser Mirica Zver, who talked Renata through a number of options, presented her with specific jobs, and drew her attention to countries where many other Slovenians are working. Mirica then helped Renata register on the Danish website www.seasonalwork.dk – a site specifically for jobseekers looking for seasonal work in Denmark. Mirica also directed Renata to a video with more information on agricultural seasonal work in Denmark, available on the seasonalwork.dk website. Renata had no difficulties in deciding that this would be her best option, particularly as Denmark has a lot of farmland which would allow her to find agricultural work more easily.
Shortly after registering on www.seasonalwork.dk, Renata was selected to work at the Troldebakkens Frugtplantage (Goblin’s Hill Orchard), from June 1 to July 15 2009. The Troldebakken Frugtplantage farm has 38 hectares of strawberries and several hectares more of apples. Each year, during the busy season, approximately 180 people are required to pick the strawberries and plant seeds.
Mirica was then able to assist her with understanding the employment contract and helped her to make contact with the prospective employer to clarify some administrative issues. “My EURES Adviser did a great job of reassuring me about living and working abroad”, says Renata.
While Renata found the work tough, she explained that the earning potential in Denmark is much greater than that of Slovenia. However, the cost of living is also higher in Denmark, which required Renata to live modestly in order to save money.
Despite the fact that Renata was far from home, she was very comfortable working and living with the staff on the farm. She developed some good friendships, as most activities, from grocery shopping to walks along the beach, were done as a group. Looking back on her time abroad, Renata believes that her choice to travel and work abroad had indeed been a worthwhile adventure as it has broadened her horizons and given her a greater understanding of other European cultures. “Working in Denmark was a fantastic experience and the Danish people that I met were very open and friendly. I made new friends from many different countries and I am still in contact with many of them.”
“My EURES Adviser made the whole experience of finding work abroad much easier and I would advise anyone seeking work abroad to contact their local EURES Adviser. The advice and information I received was invaluable.”