Have you got the (foreign) X-Factor?
Looking to make an impression once you head out abroad? Fancy yourself as the next Olly Murs? Why not make your year abroad your chance to have your claim to fame and read on to find out more...In the last two years, English year abroad students, Mary-Jess Leaverland, mid-way through a Chinese and Music degree at Sheffield University, and Matthew Raymond-Barker, studying French and Spanish at Bath University, have won X-Factor-type shows across the globe. Mary-Jess entered the singing contest on her year abroad in China and ended up scooping the first prize, whereas Matthew was closer to home, winning the first prize in France.
Both on their year abroad, they jumped at the chance to realise their life-long dreams. The competition was tough, but despite their troubles and the difference in culture, they made it through. Both have signed record deals worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, to do something they enjoy.
Matthew gets the big news...
And Mary-Jess shows off her career after singing in front of an audience of 70 million...
Whether studying or working abroad, your year there should be your chance to make it big - whether you’re a fan of ballet, you’re into your art house movies and see yourself as the next Marlene Dietrich, or you’ve been pining to be the next comic illustrator. Remember your first year of uni? Probably not your most productive moment - you had fun, you went out and made really good friends. Second year flew by, what with all the year abroad prep and meetings and whatnot.
These are real stories, of students just like you, who seized the moment. Try out new activities on your year abroad, reach out for new friends and contacts and you could end up winning big - be it fame or experience, or both, the likelihood is you’ll make an impact because you’re foreign. Use it to your advantage - who said language students were born to be translators or teachers? If that’s your career choice, fine. If it’s not where you want to be, use your time away as a sounding board to reinvent yourself.
We bet Matthew and Mary-Jess are over the moon - they didn’t quite cut the mustard in the UK when it came to talent shows, but they knew how to work their magic abroad. So, whether you’re practising in front of the mirror, debating whether you should contact the friend of the friend with a camcorder or itching to show your talent to the world, don’t let being away from home stop you - you never quite know where you might end up, both culturally and career-wise!