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Year Abroad Survival

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Mole diaries - get the insider scoop

The pre-year abroad guide

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  • If you fancy improving your language skills, studying abroad as part of your degree or getting international industry experience on a work placement then British Council Study Work Create is the one stop shop to find what you’re looking for.


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  • The Mole Diaries: Galicia

    Wednesday, 19 March 2014

    Becky is studying French, Spanish and Catalan at Durham University. She has just spent a semester in Tours, France, and is now studying in Lugo, Spain. Check out her blog for her latest update, and here is her insider guide to life in Galicia, the hilly autonomous community in the northwest corner of Spain. Read on for tips on the countryside, cities, food, weather and language in Galicia...

  • Erasmus Programme: Hopes and Fears

    Wednesday, 26 February 2014

    Like many other students in Britain (and all over the world), I'm currently in the beginning stages of organising myself to be prepared to study abroad for nine months, and with this organising comes certain concerns and stressful situations. Before going to my Erasmus finance meeting tomorrow, that will also touch on applying to the foreign University of my choice (in my case the University of Graz), I'm going to highlight some of the initial worries I've been feeling, and hopefully some people will realise that they're not alone.

  • Thomas is studying Maths with a Year in Continental Europe at Bristol University, and is spending his year abroad studying Maths at university in Bordeaux. Here are ten things you should know before studying Maths in France...

  • Georgia Scanlon is studying French, German and Italian at Durham University, and spent her year abroad as an Erasmus student in Brussels and Bern. She wrote the brilliant Bern Mole Diaries for us, and here are her 22 reasons for German-speakers to choose Switzerland over Germany for your year abroad...

  • Tim Blore is studying Modern Languages at Durham University. He spent the first semester of his year abroad as an Erasmus student in Tübingen, Germany, and is currently working as an English language instructor for children in Paris. Here is his advice, with anecdotes mixed in, about dealing with paperwork, registering at the uni, the Erasmus programme, meeting and joining in with the locals, making the most of your time, learning new skills, travelling, homesickness avoidance tactics, and surviving university lectures on your year abroad...

  • Katherine is studying English Literature at the University of Warwick, and is spendign a year abroad studying English and German at the Freie Universität in Berlin to improve her language skills and experience the German culture. Here is her advice about finding somewhere to live in Berlin...

  • It has now been around six months since I waved a sorrowful ‘hasta luego’ to Madrid and returned to the somewhat damper shores of England’s green and pleasant land. However, Spain very much remains close to my heart in more ways than one. Indeed, on paper my year abroad has had something of a positive effect on the old interpersonal-cum-organisational-cum-intercultural skills. In practice, though, my year abroad seems to prevent me from communicating like a regular human being.

  • A summer au pair in Paris

    Saturday, 25 January 2014

    Left with the dilemma of both desperately wanting summer plans as well as being very aware of the need to improve my French skills before the imminent year abroad, I hastily made a profile on Au pair world.com. Several messages and one Skype conversation later, I found myself on the plane to Paris where I was to spend an incredible five weeks as a summer jeune fille au pair.

  • Emily is studying French at the University of Leeds and has just finished her job as a Language Assistant near Metz in France. Here is her advice for future Language Assistants, and the things she wishes she had been told about being an ELA (and about living in France) before she began her year abroad...

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