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Is A Year Abroad Worth It?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
Depending on what uni I go to (in 2009) and the course I want to do (choice of 2 now) I have the chance to go abroad for a year or so.

Has anyone done a year abroad and is it worth it?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    Depending on what uni I go to (in 2009) and the course I want to do (choice of 2 now) I have the chance to go abroad for a year or so.

    Has anyone done a year abroad and is it worth it?

    I've not spent a year abroad as part of a university course, but I have lived and worked abroad out of my own choice. I would say it's an invaluable experience. It obviously depends where you are. My friend spend several terms in Sweden and Germany and still talks about it now.

    Where would you be going?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I can go to Spain, Finland or Greece. The only thing that worries me is being homesick. (I don't speak any language apart from English, but have been told that I would be taught the language before I went)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    I can go to Spain, Finland or Greece. The only thing that worries me is being homesick. (I don't speak any language apart from English, but have been told that I would be taught the language before I went)

    well all those places are quite close and with cheap flights you could come back fairly often.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    Has anyone done a year abroad and is it worth it?
    Melian wrote: »
    I can go to Spain, Finland or Greece. The only thing that worries me is being homesick. (I don't speak any language apart from English, but have been told that I would be taught the language before I went)

    I went to America last year and I loved it. Best year of my life! There was a lot of English people there (though my main friends were Americans) & only one of them was badly homesick, but she got over it & loved it.

    My flatmate was in Germany last year & enjoyed it.

    But one of my other friends is in France this year & isn't enjoying it as much. Me and the Germany girl were both attending universities and were mixing in with the locals in good areas, but my friend in France is in a tiny little town in the middle of nowhere, working as a languages assistant in a primary school, with only 4 or 5 other English people to hang out with. Apparently the school teachers are unfriendly. I think she's a bit homesick and has come home for a couple of weekends.

    I'd say its worth it, but she'd probably say not. I think although there are always some people who don't enjoy it, the majority of people doing these years abroad love it and have a great time, so you're more likely to enjoy it than not.

    As for the language, learn as much as possible beforehand. Make the most of the experience. If you can choose your placements, research them! Find a spot that would suit you (probably not a tiny town with nothing but a train station like my friend in France) Like someone else mentioned, those places are all near to home so you can always come back at short notice if you want/need to.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've got several friends on a year abroad at the moment as it's a compulsory feature of the language degrees at my uni.

    Some of them are having a fantastic time, learning loads, making great friends and getting wonderful experience. One of them is hating pretty much every moment of it, has had lots of problems and is very very lonely. It's all swings and roundabouts, and you'll never really know til you get there. Only thing I would say is that the people who have a good time seem to be the ones with a bit more confidence and who are a bit more outgoing, and spend the year either as a language assistant in a school, or taking courses at a uni, rather than working in a more normal job.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's definitely worth it. I did an elective placement in Germany during my degree, it was amazing.

    I've made a habit of spending as much time abroad as possible thus far, I think it broadens the mind and affords you experience you just won't have if you don't take the plunge.

    If they'll teach you the language then that's a HUGE bonus - learning languages is costly and difficult to commit to so I would grab any such opportunity with both hands. Plus, in a University environment the level of English most people had would be generally really good.

    As for country, I would love to go to Greece. A friend of mine was a nanny in Finland and she found it very lonely and expensive... however, a student's experience would vary greatly.

    Go for it or at least think seriously about it :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well I'm currently on my year abroad in Spain and I couldn't recommend it enough. It's hard at times with the language barrier, but it has helped me grow so much as a person and I've had some unforgettable experiences. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i spent a year in china as part of my degree course. when i first got there, I was terribly terribly homesick, simply because it wasn't as if i could hop on a plane regularily and come home. also, because of the time difference i couldn't keep up with the people at home either. the plane got half the way to china and i wanted to tell it to turn around! but i didn't, and after a little bit of upset I threw myself into it and ended up having the best time of my life. yes there were a couple of times when i felt a bit low, but it wasn't the large part of the time. go for it! better to regret doing it than regret not doing it.
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