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When You Arrive
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!
  • If you're going abroad, chances are you might get a bite of the deadly culture shock... Ranging from the lack of fresh milk, insects in lollipops, awkward besito moments, people not saying sorry when bumping into you, strange New Year traditions, taking ages to open up a bank account... The list is endless!

  • Maybe there’s a bit of truth in what Dot said, before her technicolour dream. What if there was no place like home? What if your year abroad fills you with dread, it’s not going to plan, or you just quite simply don’t want to have it on your degree menu as the main course?

    Most students studying languages have to have a year abroad - it comes with the whole language learning shabang. And that’s fine, for most. But some don’t really like the idea of upping sticks and moving abroad, to work or study. The likelihood is, if you are studying Modern Languages, you’ll have to bite the bullet and go with it. A year abroad can be a real eye-opener, ask anyone who’s been on one - but it can also be incredibly hard at first.
  • Come September, most of you will have landed in your chosen destination, making sense of foreign tongues, weird signposts and being somewhere totally different. It can, and will, be overwhelming at first; for some, it will kick in as soon as your parents leave, for others, it might take a week or so for you to realise you’re actually away from what you’re used to.
  • Of course taking a year abroad requires a good deal of planning and preparation but don't let that put you off as you could be embarking on the experience of a lifetime. Travel plans, insurance, finances, paperwork and accommodation are all important considerations and may seem daunting if you have never done anything like this before, particularly on your own. Always take out adequate insurance before you go as an accident without proper insurance in place will inevitably be much worse to sort out, both financially and emotionally. Choose your insurance policy carefully - don't just take the cheapest one on offer and make sure you will be covered for the most dangerous type of activity you might wish to take part in.
  • Your Year Abroad: The Dark Side

    Written by  Gina Reay Sunday, 30 May 2010

    In all honesty, there will be times on your Year Abroad where you just want to curl up in a ball and teleport back to your nice comfy bed back home. There will be times when you find yourself  hastily searching for flights, trains, ferries, Eurostars, anything to take you back home, to somewhere where you feel secure, organised, in control and, above all, at home. There will be times where you consider emailing your university and saying look, I just can’t do this (you can, by the way!). Finally, there will be times when you doubt your progress.

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