Natasha studied abroad in Tours and is now a web developer for ITV.com
My degree in the UK was a combined honours Internet & Multimedia Computing and French, so spending the third year in a French speaking country was a compulsory aspect of completing the degree. However, in France I focused entirely on my French language and translation skills. I feel the year abroad was a contributing factor to getting a 1st when I graduated.
Before I had even graduated I had managed to secure a job working in Web Development for a digital agency. A CV boasting a year of true independence in a foreign country really makes you stand out, even if it isn't directly linked to what you're applying for. One of the clients was a world-wide brand name so my language degree was very useful, even for languages which were nothing like French.
After 18 months I started working for ITV.com (TV broadcaster). Unfortunately this doesn't give me many opportunities to use my language skills, but they may be useful in my career in the future. The web is worldwide after all and a growing number of sites are multilingual.
I still keep in touch with many of the people I met in Tours; more so than people I studied with in the UK. It is great to have friends from all over the world, and I visit France almost every year to meet up with some of them.
It would be a great shame if others couldn't have the same opportunities that I enjoyed. I would love to do it again."
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.