"In September 2006 I moved to the city of Tours in France. I couldn't have predicted what an amazing year I had ahead of me. I can say with absolute honesty that my third year abroad was my best year at university, if not my entire school life.
My degree in the UK was a combined honours Internet & Multimedia Computing and French, so spending the third year in a French speaking country was a compulsory aspect of completing the degree. However, in France I focused entirely on my French language and translation skills. I feel the year abroad was a contributing factor to getting a 1st when I graduated.
Before I had even graduated I had managed to secure a job working in Web Development for a digital agency. A CV boasting a year of true independence in a foreign country really makes you stand out, even if it isn't directly linked to what you're applying for. One of the clients was a world-wide brand name so my language degree was very useful, even for languages which were nothing like French.
After 18 months I started working for ITV.com (TV broadcaster). Unfortunately this doesn't give me many opportunities to use my language skills, but they may be useful in my career in the future. The web is worldwide after all and a growing number of sites are multilingual.
I still keep in touch with many of the people I met in Tours; more so than people I studied with in the UK. It is great to have friends from all over the world, and I visit France almost every year to meet up with some of them.
It would be a great shame if others couldn't have the same opportunities that I enjoyed. I would love to do it again."