It has come to my attention that as I am finishing my Year Abroad, many of you will be embarking upon yours. Be prepared for a crazy year, full of incredibly good times, new friends and amazing experiences. However it will also be one of the most challenging years you’ve ever had. So I’ve decided to put together a little dummy’s guide, with helpful tips on the things I found the most difficult during my work placement in Paris and Erasmus semester in Rome.
In all honesty, there will be times on your Year Abroad where you just want to curl up in a ball and teleport back to your nice comfy bed back home. There will be times when you find yourself hastily searching for flights, trains, ferries, Eurostars, anything to take you back home, to somewhere where you feel secure, organised, in control and, above all, at home. There will be times where you consider emailing your university and saying look, I just can’t do this (you can, by the way!). Finally, there will be times when you doubt your progress.
After a fabulously loved up pit stop in England between the two halves of my year abroad, I have set sail (or flight) to the lovely city of Rome. The second half of my year will be spent here in the Italian capital where I am embarking on an Erasmus exchange at the unbelievably disorganised Roman university, La Sapienza.
Counting coppers: advice on how to fund a year away
As tantalizing as the prospect of spending a year abroad may be, the one thing you have to do before anything else, is to work out how exactly you’re going to cover your overall expenses whilst you’re out there. From your tuition fees and accommodation to food, book supplies, clothes and travel; you’ll soon see that once you tot up all your bills, it really adds up. Although the UK government has pledged to make educational loans and grants transferable, this has not yet come into effect. Here are several options which could help you finance your study abroad, whether you’re a language student or looking to find something to do as part of a sandwich course. Just have a look at our suggestions for racking in those pounds...
Stressing about what to sort out before you leave? Need a definitive year abroad checklist? What sort of student discounts are available? What exactly should you pack in your suitcase? Sit back, relax and read on through our section on what to take with you and how to get it there, before it's too late!