Tanya studied abroad in Buenos Aires and is now on a fellowship at Harvard
Currently, I am a doctoral researcher in Latin American Studies in London. This year, I am on a fellowship at Harvard, and I feel certain that in-depth regional knowledge, based on personal experience in Latin America, greatly enhanced both my written application and ability to answer questions at interview (both for this and several other opportunities); the knock-on effect of that first international opportunity has been access to others, and I will return to the UK with strong global connections as a result.
Moreover, as a direct consequence of living and working in other geographic areas, I feel confident competing on an international level. It is valuable to point out that, whereas students in the UK still regard a year abroad as exceptional, those I met from other countries approached the experience as the norm. For them, the question was where to go, not whether to go. On a national level, then, we should be encouraging and providing the infrastructure for undergraduates to embark on an experience that will likely increase their skills (language and other), confidence, knowledge, international networks, cultural sensitivity and professionalism."
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.