What's the deal with this place? Do I have to register somewhere? Where should I start my quest for accommodation? Where do I find my coursebooks? What's a ticket restaurant? What sort of culture shock should I prepare for?
Get help and advice from people in the know, read through our articles and make sure you're kept up to speed on what to look out for once you're in the thick of it!
Charlotte Hale is studying English and French at the University of Southampton, and is spending her year abroad working as an English Language Assistant in Marignane, France. She says, "The town I am posted in is an airport town with very little in the way of social or cultural opportunities, which I was unprepared for." Here is Charlotte's advice about how to cope on your year abroad if you're in a more isolated location.
Holly Walton is studying French and Spanish at the University of Exeter, and is on her year abroad as a British Council Language Assistant in a small town in the Spanish Pyrenees called Barbastro. She says, "I wrote this piece about the benefits of a long-distance relationship, because it's something that I've been talking to my friends about a lot recently, and I wish I had known it a year ago!"
From honeymoon stage to homesickness, culture shock is just something we cannot escape when we go for the big move abroad. From sudden euphoria, to sudden sadness, to gradual acceptance - it really is an emotional rollercoaster.
Craig Debrah is a student at City University London and spend his year abroad studying Law on an Erasmus year at Université Toulouse 1 Capitole in Toulouse, France. Here are his top tips for making the most of your first month abroad. For more of Craig's adventures, check out his website.
Lucy studies Spanish and History at the University of Southampton. While on her year abroad in Madrid she worked for 6 months as a marketing intern in an art museum and then for the remaining 3 months as an intern bookseller in Casa del Libro. She also spent time creating a year abroad blog, travelling throughout Spain, practicing photography and learning to play the clarinet. Here's how she went about taking up an instrument abroad!
Emily is studying Translation with French and Italian at Swansea University, and is spending the first semester of her year abroad at the Università di Bologna in Forlì, Italy, and the second at the Université de Genève in Geneva, Switzerland. Here are her thoughts about struggling with your year abroad, and how important it is not to give up.
Ciara Murphy from County Wexford in Ireland and Cordelia Roberts from England both went to Bremen, Germany, for their year abroad, and each was constantly being asked if they had a twin!
Just jetted off on your year abroad to France or the USA? Love films, theatre, ballet, concerts and opera? You could become a Cultural Ambassador for Arts Alliance!
Katarina Bickley studies French at the University of Birmingham and is spending her year abroad in Paris, working for the website Showroom Privé. These are the things she thinks the French could learn from the British - and that the British could learn from the French!
Jess studies Economics and Spanish at the University of Leeds and spent her year abroad teaching English at the University of Valencia, which she documented on her blog and her YouTube channel. These are her thoughts on why shaking up your friendship group might be a good thing...