Eve worked and studied abroad in Parma and is now in the civil service

Eve worked and studied abroad in Parma and is now in the civil service Parma by Udo Schröter

This article was written by Global Graduates, published on 1st May 2012 and has been read 44756 times.

Eve studied French and Italian at Bath University and spent her year abroad in Parma, Italy. She graduated in 2010 and after an internship at the European Commission, she now works in the civil service in London.
"I decided I wanted to split my year 50:50 to ensure that I spent an equal amount of time on my languages. I also wanted to experience both studying and working abroad to ensure an all-round experience. I was an Erasmus student at Parma University for the first half of the year and then worked in a tourism agency as both a sales rep and a receptionist at one of their hotels. I have benefitted from both experiences in more ways than can be written down in 500 words but I will try and summarise! I think the most important thing that came out of my Erasmus experience was having the opportunity to meet a range of different people from a range of different backgrounds who all have one thing in common - to learn other languages and about other cultures. The Erasmus scene is a dynamic and exciting scene and it was during this time that I formed a network of international friendships and contacts, which I will have for life.

My experience in France was invaluable in a professional capacity because not only did I make new friends and contacts and improve my language skills but I also had the opportunity to work in one of France's top holiday companies, which was the deciding factor in a job interview after university for a ski company that dealt with a large French client base.

Since university I was lucky enough to do an internship at the European Commission. A large part the application process was looking at your enthusiasm for other cultures and experience working in an international culture and I drew heavily on my year abroad experience to demonstrate this.

I have recently joined the civil service and although my first role is inward-facing, my long-term aim is to have an international/european dimension to my job and my year abroad has given me a solid foundation on which to build upon 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.

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