Year 2 placement: Plopsaland De Panne

I am Daniëlle, a second year student of Attractions & Theme Park Management. My placement is at Plopsaland De Panne, which is located in the south of Belgium near the coast. It helps that the same language is spoken, global companies are to be found here as well and that things, such as transportation, work pretty much the same. This makes it easier to get used to this new situation. So far, the only thing I have had difficulty with is the dialect spoken here. I have to pay close attention in order to understand my co-workers, even though I know the words they speak. Other than that, it is pretty simple. It was a bit strange, however, that people do not greet each other when walking through the streets as they do in Brabant. Instead, they nod with a barely noticeable smile. However, I must say that the majority of the people is extremely helpful and friendly. No need to use Google Maps if I want to find certain stores, someone will guide you there. All the times my suitcase was too heavy to carry, someone rushed by to help.

Living on my own all of sudden has not been as impacting me as much as I thought it would. From day one I was in a flow and everything was very natural. Not much has changed really, except that I cook my own dinner now and sleep in a different bed. I work four days a week, have one office day for my project starting next week and have two days off. There is a lot of variety. Right now the park is preparing for the start of the season, which means that most people are busy with maintenance. I spent two days painting and cleaning as well. Mayaland, the indoor part, is open in the weekends. I already operated two attractions there and worked at the reception. It is nice to start this way, so you get to know the park better first. I will get the chance to see what a supervisor does as well and be present during events. I learn things at a rapid speed now and can safely say that my knowledge about theme parks and Plopsa has been doubled at least. I am happy with the choice I made to stay here, even though the transition from studying in the Netherlands to working in Belgium is a bit odd, and I am looking forward to the next months.

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