"For my year abroad, I went to the Universidad de Alicante in Alicante, Spain and had what turned out to be one of the most valuable experiences of my life. I must admit it was very difficult at first - adjusting to a new culture, making new friends, trying to survive the heat(!) - but I was glad I stuck it out because I learnt so much about myself and increased my fluency in the Spanish language tenfold.
Whilst abroad not only did I attend classes, I also completed a 3-month-long work experience with the university's Translating and Interpreting office. I definitely tried to use the whole year to the full and travelled a lot all over Spain, even booking a few modelling jobs in Madrid and Barcelona.
Upon graduating I got my Level 1 in Community Interpreting, did some work experience as an interpreter and also started a Masters in Modern European Studies at University College London. What's more, I had a brief role as a Spanish-speaking waitress in the BBC series 'The Hour' and a few months later took part in the reality TV competition Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model cycle 7 - something I don't think I could ever have gone for without the self-confidence, strength and self-belief living abroad gave me. (I even got an opportunity to use my capabilities in Spanish during filming of the series when we had a task of acting in a telenovela at Telemundo Studios in Miami!)
I emphasise that the year abroad was indeed one of the most invaluable experiences of my life and I believe it has helped and will continue to help me in just about everything I do."