"I went to Tübingen, a small but vibrant university town in southern Germany, where I spent the year studying at the University of Tübingen. Before I left, everyone I had spoken to who had previously completed a year abroad had extolled the virtues and told me it would be the time of my life. They spoke with a certain nostalgia, which made me excited to go on my year abroad.
Sure enough, I returned from my year abroad gushing about it in the same way those before me had. It truly was the time of my life, filled with experiences I couldn't have dreamed of. I learned how to communicate with all types of people, how to make myself understood, and how to socialise in another language. I didn't only benefit from the academic subjects I chose to study whilst on my year abroad, but mainly from the social side. I met the most incredible group of people and learnt so much about other countries and cultures. Where else can you sit around a table at the pub with people from over 15 different countries? And more than that, communicate in a shared love, a shared passion for a language and a country that brought you all together.
2009 wasn't a good time to graduate, with the recession hitting hard. Jobs were scarce, particularly for graduates. My first job was as a Tender Writer, which relied on my communication skills, undoubtedly honed on my year abroad. I now work for the ambulance service by day, and by night I am a Special Constable for Greater Manchester Police. Both of these jobs revolve around interaction with different people and cultures, and I believe my year abroad helped me enormously in securing these positions.
As for the future, I intend to go back to the University of Leeds to pursue a Masters of Research in German, followed by a PhD. Such was the passion instilled in me throughout my time at university, in particular the year abroad, I am just itching to return."