Let us introduce: Jari Blom, 22 years old and living in Hellouw (NL). He is a 3rd year student Civil Engineering at Avans University of Applied Sciences. Father Cor works at subsidiary Hercuton and Jari also works there since he was 17 years old during vacations and days off. And then you get the opportunity to do an internship abroad. What do you choose?

Jari “I wanted to do an internship abroad in the 1st year, but that was not allowed then. Luckily it was allowed this academic year. So I started to look into the possibilities and had conversations with different companies. In the end, I chose Janssen de Jong Groep, because that assignment appealed to me the most.”

What was all arranged for you?

There was a contact person on the spot who we could contact for questions. An apartment was made available from Windward Roads. I lived here together with Maikel. We booked the ticket ourselves, but the rest was arranged by Janssen de Jong Groep. We were picked up at the airport by Danny – a colleague from Windward Roads – who took us to the apartment. He also showed us around the island the day after.

What do you take with you for such a long period of time?

Actually the same as when you go on vacation: mainly clothes and sunscreen.

Photo: Goats caught with all the employees on the project site.

What did you do during your internship?

I spent half of my internship on Sint Maarten and the other half worked on Sint Eustatius. The work was very diverse, from making drawings to helping on the construction site. Among other things I updated the equipment book with all the equipment of Windward Roads. Together with Maikel, I regularly set out GPS coordinates in preparation for the work. The second half of my internship I mainly worked for Statia Roads B.V. on Sint Eustatius. There I had just started a project where they could use an intern. With a propeller plane it is only an 18 minute flight from Sint Maarten to Sint Eustatius. It was a very educational period in which I lived with colleagues in a large house that also functioned as an office.

How was the climate?

When we just arrived it was above 30 degrees in full sun. My skin really had to get used to the different climate and the sunscreen flowed abundantly. We stayed there during the winter period, so the temperature got a bit lower during the months. And of course we had air conditioning in the office, which was a big difference.

What did you do in your spare time?

They are beautiful islands with lots of beautiful beaches. We spent most of our free time at the beach.

And what about cooking?

Almost everything in the supermarket has to be imported. The prices on the islands are therefore considerably higher than in the Netherlands. That took some getting used to when shopping. I cooked a lot of pasta and chicken and of course I ate takeaway Chinese.

What is the most important lesson you have learned?

I have noticed that I enjoy living with other people. For fun, but also for cooking, for example. I spent a few days alone in the apartment and I didn’t like that very much.

Did you bring any souvenirs?

From a colleague on St. Eustatius I got a license plate of an old car, I gave it a prominent place in my bedroom. I also bought some t-shirts and an old map of the whole Caribbean.