I'd like to do a year abroad, but I don't want to study - what are my other options?

I've heard that you can teach abroad - do I have to find my own placement?

This question was asked on 27th June 2014 and has been read 3872 times.

  • Anonymous Answer · 8 years ago

    Students of Modern Languages who don't want to study abroad can work as English Language Assistants at schools and colleges in Europe, and in Canada and Latin America. 

    This programme is run by the British Council, who find the placements and allocate the students to fill them. Language Assistants (also known as 'ELAs') have different requirements depending on the country they go to. 

    In France, for example, ELAs work around 12 hours a week and are paid around €964.88 per month gross, approx. €800 net (17% social security deduction). ELAs work during term time, so they have free holidays and weekends during which they can travel and explore on their year abroad. 

    Undergraduates whose university has an extended university charter may be eligible for Erasmus status during their Language Assistantship which is considered as a work placement. This means that they will be eligible for an Erasmus grant, although unfortunately this does not apply to Language Assistants placed in Canada or Latin America.

    Here is a week in the life of a Language Assistant in France to give you a better idea of what to look forward to! :)

    Your other option is getting a job abroad, called an Erasmus Work PlacementStudents can apply for jobs through their university's partner companies, or you can find your own placement through contacts or determination! You'll need to check with your International Office if this option is open to you though...

  • Anonymous Answer · 8 years ago

    I worked as a language assistant and loved it - I would totally recommend it. We are supposed to work around 12 hours and you get paid around 800€ (but this goes up or down depending on the country/region you work in). In reality, I was working around 6 hours on a good week and your pay stays the same. You also only work 4 days a week and many people actually only work 3 and their schools give them all their hours over a period of 3 days instead of spread out over 4. 

  • Jacqueline Lenaghan · 8 years ago

    Hi There, you should check out our Study Work Create website run by the British Council. We have a variety of study, work, travel, volunteer and creative opportunities for UK young people and young professionals to participate in both at home or abroad. If you fancy working abroad, you could do an internship in China through our Generation UK programme, or China SIP scheme. Similarly the IAESTE programme offers technical placements or even the Thailand Teaching English programme offers students/graduates the chance to teach English aboard. Have a look at our website for more information - www.britishcouncil.org/studyworkcreate 

  • Lauren Stevens · 8 years ago

    I worked as an English Language Assistant in Melilla through the British Council and I personally didn't enjoy it, but I had some friends who loved it. I think it really depends on the school. I only worked 12 hours over 3 days per week. It was a refreshing break from studying and now I feel prepared to go back to university for my final year.

    I was in a rural area with a very few English-speakers, but at school I was mostly speaking and teaching in English. Sometimes I regret choosing to work at the school because I didn't enjoy the job and it didn't improve my Spanish as much as I'd hoped, but earning money as well as having my university bursary, Erasmus grant, student loan and the money I saved up from working two jobs last summer have enabled me travel during the year and over the summer and I still have some savings left over!

  • Jan Krauss · 8 years ago

    It all depends on your circumstances and your university.

    I studied French at Bristol so did a compulsory third year in France. I chose not to study or be a language teaching assistant. Instead I found my own internship with a photographer in Paris, as well as doing various paid part-time jobs. My university only required a letter from my employer to confirm what I was doing and for how long and then they left me alone.

    The vast majority of third year abroad students do the 'easy' options i.e. whatever the university offers you. This tends to be either studying or teaching. While there is value in both these things I wanted to do something different. Many people don't realise their university will let them do almost anything, as long as it's accounted for.

    Hope this helps!

  • Lameez Dabhelia · 6 years ago

    Try Au Pairing its a great way to discover new cultures, its cheap and if you like children it almost the perfect job!

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