Sam was a Language Assistant in Germany and is now a software developer

Sam was a Language Assistant in Germany and is now a software developer Tagebau Inden by Bert Kauffman

This article was written by Global Graduates, published on 29th April 2012 and has been read 34784 times.

Sam did a BSc Hons in Computer Science at Bath University and spent his year abroad as a British Council Language Assistant in Germany. He graduated in 2005 and is now a software developer.
"It was a fantastic experience. From a language perspective, living in a foreign country allowed me to increase my German in a way that simply can’t be compared with study - you are able to encounter the real language in real contexts spoken by real people. It’s also a chance to get truly under the skin of a country in a way that even my previous one-month summer school in Germany hadn’t managed. The chance to travel so easily and see so much of the country in my free time was also a real plus - I even took a sleeper to Prague one weekend!

This year abroad was after my degree, but I was fortunate enough to land a place on a graduate scheme before I graduated which offered deferred entry, meaning that I could come back straight into a job and didn’t have to job hunt from overseas. My job was as a software developer and I’ve remained with that company since.

Despite unfortunately not having the chance to use German in my job, I’ve continued to find opportunities to study and experience the language - I’m very keen to keep my German at the high-level made possible by my year living there.

My year in Germany was a really significant one in my life - the opportunities and experiences of it will not be forgotten. For a couple of years after, going on holiday to Germany almost felt like going home, which has made a real impact on me. It’s left me feeling like I know Germany, not just know about it. My improved knowledge of German has enabled me to enjoy the language a lot more than my pre-year-abroad language skills would have allowed - reading books and watching German DVDs, for instance.

Without the year abroad, I would be someone who had studied German. With the year abroad, I'm someone who has lived it, and I'm really grateful for the experience."

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.

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