"During the third year of my studies in Dundee, I was fortunate to go to Grenoble, France, to do an exchange for two semesters. I have been saying this for the last three years now, and can say it again: the exchange year in France was the best year in my life.
By the end of that year, I spoke French, I had gained several life-long friendships, and I had received a university diploma ‘Politique et Administration Internationales’. The experience and knowledge I gained gave me many things I am grateful for. The most important thing I gained, however, was a greater self-confidence and more trust in my own capabilities. I realised that everything is possible, as long as I work hard and trust myself. I applied for an internship in Brussels, and I got accepted after finishing my exchange year in Grenoble. It was a very valuable three-month experience, which helped me realise what I wanted to do in the future.
After that I came back to Scotland where finished my final year and received a first class degree. My grades and experience got me into the Graduate School of Governance in the Netherlands where I did my MsC in Public Governance and Human Development. As part of my studies, I was selected to go to Mauritius to carry out a field work for three months, mainly because of my experience with living abroad and because I spoke French.
The project in Mauritius, the internship in Brussels, the language skills, as well as multicultural experience, all helped me getting my present job in Florence. I am currently working as a social policy consultant for UNICEF’s research centre in Florence. My job involves developing a methodology to evaluate children’s state of well-being in the developing as well as the developed countries. I work in English and French on a daily basis. It would certainly not have been possible to get this position and do a job I really enjoy without the language skills and the confidence I gained during my exchange year in France."