Christopher Walker is doing a BA in Multilingual Studies (French, German and Italian) at Royal Holloway, University of London, and has spent his year abroad in La Réunion and Pisa. Here are his thoughts on what he has missed about the UK while he's been away.
Emily is studying French and History at the University of Warwick and is spending her year abroad as a British Council Language Assistant in Narbonne, France. Here's her brilliant advice to future students about managing your year abroad expectations and actively making the most of your time there instead of waiting for things to happen...
Clare is studying French and Italian at Warwick University and is spending her year abroad as an Erasmus student in Genoa, Italy. Here's her advice about finding somewhere to live, what to pack, getting around town, and the top ten things to do in Genoa ('Genova' in italiano).
George Ward spent nearly four months on exchange in Toronto, Canada, in the first term of his 3rd year Journalism studies at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland. Some of this Mole Diary was originally documented in his blog, but here he tells us in more detail about Toronto and shares some general tips for all exchangers.
While you're preparing for your year abroad, it's useful to find out what other students in your position are up to! Here are the early-stage blogs and words of wisdom about year abroad preparations written by current students, and here's what last year's students got up to: Top of the Blogs 2011-2012. Blogging is a great way to document your year abroad, but here are some other weird and wonderful ways.
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...
The debate surrounding the Spanish tradition of bullfighting is one that continues to polarise, dividing people between those who see it as an antiquated custom that glorifies the torture of animals, and those who consider it simply as part of the country’s history and culture, with very little grey area in between. As a student on a year abroad in Madrid, a bullfight was high on my to-do list when I moved here. I wasn’t being naïve: I knew what the night would entail, but I thought the only way I could have an opinion on the topic was to experience it first hand, so fuelled by a ‘when in Rome’ mentality, last weekend I attended a bullfight at Madrid’s Plaza de Toros de las Ventas.
If you are anything like I was a year ago, you will already have pre-conceived images of how your year abroad will pan out. Personally, I was dreaming of a winter in the French Alps, skiing every weekend and having a view of the mountains from my bedroom window. When I found out that I had got my first choice of the académie of Grenoble, I was thrilled and my dream was one step closer to being a reality. However, my dreams were quickly dashed when I finally discovered that my school was in a tiny village in the Ardèche called Largentière which has no more than 800 inhabitants, and that the Alps were at least four hours away by car, or seven hours using public transport.