Winning Year Abroad Advice!
We asked you for your Top Year Abroad Tips and were so impressed, but at the end of the day we had to pick a winner. Congratulations go to Ali Lockett-Burke for her brilliant advice below - have a wonderful time at the Big Chill Festival and let us know how it goes! Read Alison's Top Tips and let us know your favourites...
1. If you have the time then definitely get a part time job. Bar and restaurant work abroad although tiring can be immense - it's an instant way to meet loads of fun and interesting people and have an hectic but awesome social life - beware - you need stamina for this when in Europe, playing petanque by a canal at 6am after a full shift in a bar and a full night dancing your socks off at a club can be exhausting... But definitely worth it.
2. Try and go to a music festival if you can while abroad - they are completely different experiences in another country.
3. Try new things, confront your fears, be the person you've always wanted to be, stay positive, live each day to the full... living abroad can be one of the most exhilarating, exciting and also scary experiences you may have. Embrace it, I look back at my time abroad and the amazing memories bring tears to my eyes.
4. If food looks like dog food then it will probably taste like dog food too.
5. Buy a bike and learn how to use it safely - it gives you amazing freedom and is much cheaper than public transport. Plus you get fit, a tan and, more importantly, you get to ring the bell like a maniac when in busy traffic. Awesome.
6. If you like trying out new and different hairstyles then definitely get your hair cut while abroad. It can be quite interesting especially when you're not 100% fluent in the language. One of the most bizarre experiences I had was getting my hair cut in a smoky upstairs salon by a formidable matriarch in Spain! If you are quite sensible and want to keep your current style then it's probably best to steer clear!
7. As tempting as it is, do not, and I repeat DO NOT get so drunk with your lovely French friends the night before you are due to fly back to the UK that you pack your bag at 3am and arrive at the airport 2 hours later slightly 'tired and emotional' with your passport still sitting on your friends coffee table probably being used as a coaster. Now that would just be silly.
8. If you're single then don't be afraid to embrace the locals... Having a foreign romance can be enthralling and madly exciting, experience being wooed in a different culture, not only will you hopefully have the time of your life but you will experience life in a different way, meeting friends, families, going to family dinners. Just don't fall to deeply in love or you might not come back.....
Which piece of advice do you like best? Let us know below!