Philippa was a Language Assistant in Córdoba and is now a teacher
More importantly, in my opinion, than the linguistic skills I gained during my year abroad were the opportunities to learn and explore a different culture, the life-long friends I made in the process and the independence I achieved from living so far away from friends and family. Thanks to my year abroad, I have had the opportunity to travel across the globe and visit friends I made whilst in Spain, from Italy to Japan.
Upon returning from my year abroad I felt a lot more confident speaking Spanish and I am certain that, had I not spent my year abroad in Spain, I would neither have the interest or the ability to be teaching A-Level Spanish as I am currently doing. Before my year abroad, I had not considered teaching as a career option, however, having enjoyed my time as a language assistant so much, I decided, after a brief period as a Multilingual Recruitment Consultant, to embark on a PGCE and I am now thoroughly enjoying my career as a French and Spanish Teacher.
I attribute my love of the Spanish culture to my experiences on my year abroad, and now regularly return to Spain for the various different festivals and carnivals that are held there throughout the year. I had never been to Spain before my year abroad, my family preferring to holiday in France and Italy, and had I not had the opportunity to experience living and working there, I may not have ever visited Spain and thus have had the chance to expel the preconceptions I had of holidaying there.
I will be forever thankful of the opportunities experiencing a year abroad has given me and the abundant memories I gained from participating. I am constantly recommending my A-Level students to pick a course with a Study Abroad option, knowing how much they will benefit both personally and professionally in the future."
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.