Jessica studied abroad in Alicante and is now a model and actress
Whilst abroad not only did I attend classes, I also completed a 3-month-long work experience with the university's Translating and Interpreting office. I definitely tried to use the whole year to the full and travelled a lot all over Spain, even booking a few modelling jobs in Madrid and Barcelona.
Upon graduating I got my Level 1 in Community Interpreting, did some work experience as an interpreter and also started a Masters in Modern European Studies at University College London. What's more, I had a brief role as a Spanish-speaking waitress in the BBC series 'The Hour' and a few months later took part in the reality TV competition Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model cycle 7 - something I don't think I could ever have gone for without the self-confidence, strength and self-belief living abroad gave me. (I even got an opportunity to use my capabilities in Spanish during filming of the series when we had a task of acting in a telenovela at Telemundo Studios in Miami!)
I emphasise that the year abroad was indeed one of the most invaluable experiences of my life and I believe it has helped and will continue to help me in just about everything I do."
In partnership with the British Academy and University Council of Modern Languages (UCML) we gathered short reports from graduates on the importance that the year abroad has had for them, in terms of their skill set, their careers and their lives. These reports formed the basis of the Position Statement: Valuing the Year Abroad. Browse the reports below for inspiration, and select a tag within a report to read more on that theme.