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About Me:Hi I’m Nadege and I study French at the University of Leeds, and I have just completed my third year abroad in Montpellier studying literature and enjoying the sunshine! I love art; painting and being creative, as well as photography and baking. Travelling is my favourite hobby at the moment; experiencing the French language and culture. I hope you enjoy reading some of my articles!
This article will give a brief outline of the steps you will need to take to apply for a year abroad. Firstly, you will have many meetings and talks at your University about whether you would like to apply for a year abroad. There will be lots of information given, to enable you to make your decision as to whether you would want to apply.
Normally, you will need to start the application process in your second year at University, in the first few months. Usually you can pick whether you would want to be a teaching assistant, doing a work placement, or studying at a University. Your home University will have links with other Universities across the world, therefore it is easiest to go with these Universities. If you are not doing a language based degree, there may only be the option to study at a University abroad.
If you do your year abroad in Europe, you will complete the year abroad as an Erasmus student. This means that you are under the Erasmus scheme, and therefore receive funding for your year abroad which helps considerably. I knew that I could not pick Canada for example, because I simply would not be able to afford it with only a student loan. However, it is worth looking into the other amazing places you could go to on your year abroad. For French we were able to pick between the French Caribbean, Canada, France and La Réunion. Personally, I chose France because it is the only country where you will experience the real French culture, and pick up the true French accent. When making the decision to pick a country, you also have to take into account whether you would be able to live somewhere far away for the entire year with the possibility of not returning for Christmas, so pick wisely.
Also, it is important to note that if you choose to teach, you will earn quite a lot of money! In some respects, I wish I chose teaching, because you earn a good wage, and have lots of free time for travelling. However, if you decide to teach, you can only choose the department you want to be placed in. Then, you are placed at random into a school, with could be in a city, or in a small village. Consequently, if the idea of being placed in a small village scares you, think twice about becoming a teaching assistant. Additionally, by doing a work placement, or studying at a University, you will improve your language the most as you will have more hours of contact time. Additionally, you are able to pick your work placements and your University yourself, therefore you know in advance where you will be living which gives you more time to look for a house share or an apartment.
There are evidently positive aspects to all three of the choices you are given on a year abroad, and it is up to you to make sure you pick the one which suits you best and which will be more beneficial for you in the future.