Becky was a Language Assistant in Chemnitz and is now an adviser at the Citizens' Advice Bureau
I went to Chemnitz in East Germany to be an English language assistant in a Gymnasium for 9 months. I stayed an extra 2 months in Germany after the teaching job finished. It was a fantastic experience teaching in a school and I loved living in Germany, living on the student campus and making German friends from attending student clubs and activities. Since I left Chemnitz, I have visited my friends there twice a year as well as going on holiday with them elsewhere in Europe, and they also come to visit me in London. This is great as it means I keep up my German. My time in Chemnitz also immensely improved my German speaking and vocabulary.
I have found that it is always impressive on a CV and during an interview to show that you have lived abroad for a year and can speak another language. I am almost always asked about my year abroad at interview. It gives me a potential extra edge over other candidates.
On graduation I did various law work experience placements, then 2 politics internships and then worked in Parliament for 9 months as an MP's researcher. I am now training to be an adviser at the Citizens' Advice Bureau. The bureau where I work is very multilingual and sometimes my clients speak German and find it helpful if I can speak to them in their native tongue.
I think living abroad made me more resilient and better at dealing with new situations, both of which are very useful in a job environment. Teaching English in a school for 9 months has helped me get private tuition to supplement my income."
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.