Rosie's daughter was a language assistant in France for 7 months
Aux armes, citoyens! by chelmsfordblue
Where did your daughter go?She went to St. Dizier in the Haute-Marne region of France.How long did she stay there for? Seven months, from October 2009 to May 2010.What did she do out there?
She was a language assistant in a lycée, a school/college for 16 to 20 year olds.
What were your main concerns?
That she would be sad, unable to make friends and miss out on a social life, as I knew she wouldn't be busy. I wasn't too worried about the work she would be doing as it was only a few hours a week, but I was concerned about her personal safety, especially travelling alone.
What did you do to try and cope with her year abroad?
I travelled with her and stayed for a week. This meant I could drive her around to settle her into the town and visit places so she could plan how she might spend her free time. I was on hand to help her get groceries, unpack, try to arrange internet and so on. It reassured me to be able to meet her neighbours and see where she would be living.
What advice would you give to parents in a similar situation?
It helped that before going she did internet research of the area and got local maps and tourist information, and researched broadband and phone packages. This gave her confidence and helped me relax a little.
In hindsight, do you think you were right to worry as much as you did?
In hindsight I probably worried just about the right amount! I would recommend that you plan visits out to see your child either by yourself, or get friends and other family members involved; it's much better than leaving them to travel alone, as it helps them explore the area and means you are the one leaving them rather than the other way around.
Is there anything you feel you could have done differently?
I recommend they take out their student loan to help with the delay in cash flow and do all the necessary paperwork to ease the official jobs like opening a bank account and proving residency for internet/phone installation.
Would you recommend a year abroad for students?
Yes! Ellie benefited from travel, working and managing all the aspects of setting up a life abroad, albeit within the support of the language assistant framework. In hindsight it may be good to use the year to try out a career area that interests you.
How do you think you benefited from her year abroad?
I benefited from visiting France and seeing her succeed.
Would you like your child to do it again?
I would love Ellie to keep visiting France and work abroad again.