NEC Experiences Life as an Exchangee First-hand

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24 January 2011

Michael Isdahl, the Swedish National Exchange Coordinator (NEC) talks about his exchange visit to the Secretariat.

“With the third ISEC/CEPOL Exchange Programme well underway, in October I had the benefit of being an exchangee at the Secretariat for two weeks, within the frame of the Exchange Programme. As NEC in Sweden, most of my efforts were put into learning about the exchange programme, but I also wanted to increase my knowledge about the rest of CEPOL and its tasks. My expectation was that my time in Bramshill should not only be a study visit, but also give me the possibility to take active part in the exchange programme work.

After introductions, I was assigned the task of evaluating the second exchange period. This was a perfect way of looking into a completed exchange period and seeing both the appreciation and problems related to the exchanges. I really enjoyed this work and it gave me a different angle on the project.

Meeting most of the Secretariat staff and having the opportunity to discuss their work was also fruitful. It became obvious to me that the Secretariat’s staff is a group of dedicated and very hard working people. However, even though the staff has a heavy workload, I always felt welcome. This exchange has given me a lot of new ideas which will hopefully lead to the development of the future exchange programme work, both for the Secretariat and at national levels. Even though I learnt much, I believe the highlight of my exchange was meeting and getting to know the staff working at the Secretariat. Personal contact and communication cannot be overestimated!

I would recommend similar visits, especially for other NECs. I believe that closer cooperation between the NEC’s and the Secretariat, and increasing knowledge about each others’ work, can only enhance the quality of the exchange programme work. Finally I would like to express how grateful I am to all involved for making my exchange such a positive experience.”

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