I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at the company. The environment was as friendly as it could be and that seemed to be the thing that surprised most of the other interns as well. Since almost all new company members are recruited through the intern and graduate schemes, the whole internship is worked out very well and no stress is placed on you.
In all the teams I was in, everyone seemed to be overestimating the work that I did and congratulating me for the completion which felt somewhat unnatural, but I can not say I didn't feel valued, as, after all, I was a regular team member and we all seemed to rely on each other for help.
To me, it seems that the supervisors and the managers at the company want you to try and do things on your own, which means that asking questions is your own initiative, which might be a problem for some, but every question I asked got a satisfying answer and I'm generally happy.
I was never without work and the tasks I was selected for were nice, and although they usually required knowledge of the code base which meant that I was given more time than a regular employee would need to do them, which meant that I could get a pretty good idea of how it functioned.
Honestly, it felt like each of the teams I was in treated me like a regular employee, which meant I had just as much responsibility as any employee would. As a part of an agile team, the members share responsibility for the development and the health of the code and I wasn't excluded from it.
Since I joined the company I've worked with 3 programming languages I had no experience with (and one more I knew prior to joining), several different building and testing systems, countless agile tools and many other techniques. As for how they would help me in my degree, I feel like I have a better understanding of how a successful piece of software functions and I hope that the knowledge will apply to any future projects.
Relaxed (dependant on the office space)
As mentioned before the whole scheme was well worked out and it didn't feel like I was supposed to do anything outside of my job to make the internship feel natural.
There was a 2 week training course at the start of the internship, which thought me everything I needed to know.
The company is happy to offer graduate positions to any intern that performs well during their stay with the company.
There were groups of people that organised themselves to go out and perform different activities, we had a good SAS team that was always trying to new and new social events, nights out, holiday specials and many more things. Overall it's easy to make friends in the company and they are generally a funny bunch.
It was standard for Birmingham which means pretty cheap for a city of that scale.
The are around the office doesn't have much "Nightlife" to offer, but the city center is only a train ride away and it's pretty good!
Activities were pretty much whatever you signed up for. As mentioned before there are groups of people within the company that organised themselves to do whatever they like.