Elise studied in Tübingen and now works for the ambulance service by day and is a special constable by night
Sure enough, I returned from my year abroad gushing about it in the same way those before me had. It truly was the time of my life, filled with experiences I couldn't have dreamed of. I learned how to communicate with all types of people, how to make myself understood, and how to socialise in another language. I didn't only benefit from the academic subjects I chose to study whilst on my year abroad, but mainly from the social side. I met the most incredible group of people and learnt so much about other countries and cultures. Where else can you sit around a table at the pub with people from over 15 different countries? And more than that, communicate in a shared love, a shared passion for a language and a country that brought you all together.
2009 wasn't a good time to graduate, with the recession hitting hard. Jobs were scarce, particularly for graduates. My first job was as a Tender Writer, which relied on my communication skills, undoubtedly honed on my year abroad. I now work for the ambulance service by day, and by night I am a Special Constable for Greater Manchester Police. Both of these jobs revolve around interaction with different people and cultures, and I believe my year abroad helped me enormously in securing these positions.
As for the future, I intend to go back to the University of Leeds to pursue a Masters of Research in German, followed by a PhD. Such was the passion instilled in me throughout my time at university, in particular the year abroad, I am just itching to return."
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.