As the academic year draws to a close and I find myself with my feet placed well and truly back on British soil, it’s hard to believe that I’ve just spent a whole year abroad, on my own, and survived – who’d have thought?!
So this blog post is going to be my final one for Aston’s Placement blog (
cry cry), and I thought it’d be rather fitting to do it in pictures, rather than ramblings. Pictures are always more interesting!
But firstly, I must highlight something quite important. If you’re thinking of undertaking a Year Abroad, there’s one rule I followed. I first set off on my year abroad over a year ago, not having the slightest inkling of what awaited me: lions? the jungle? Goodness knows! But I was only going to France and Spain! Having never lived in a foreign country before, I didn’t have a clue about how to feel. So I shut off the “feeling” part and just got on with it. I did this for the whole year and it worked. This is quite possibly the best advice I can offer. I’ve learnt not to overthink things as it’s not worth the time nor energy, this did wonders for my panic issues. Your family and friends will support you no matter what. Smile, make the most of the opportunity and get on with it – no looking back. Not everyone gets to do what you do, so please, for your own sake, make the most!
I am honestly so thankful to Air France, because, without them, I wouldn’t have got to experience and live in the most beautiful city in France. I miss working for them, they were honestly some of the kindest and friendliest faces and I’ve learnt so much from spending 6 months with them. They did so much for me and I honestly can’t thank them enough. They taught me discipline and focus, and how to make my work exciting. My love for Toulouse is beyond words. Of course, there are ups and downs to every experience, but I feel blessed to have been able to live there.
Toulouse is such a beautiful place and I loved living there. It’s a small city with a massive heart and it felt like home. Aside from my horrendous landlady, I had the best time there, and lived a carefree life (outside of work of course 😉 ).
I got to take quite a few trips from there too because of its fabulous geographical location.
The third biggest city in Spain and my host for the second chapter of my Year Abroad, Valencia is a lovely city on the coast with heaps to do. I enjoyed seeing what the city had to offer and the culture. I’m so happy to have met the people I did and I can safely say I’ve made friends for life. Fallas is the main spectacle of Valencia, which is a festival in March. And if you like buzzing cities, this is definitely one to put on your list!
‘ m As for my placement, I’m not going to sugar-coat it. I studied. I really didn’t get on with my University. I wish I didn’t choose to undertake a study placement because I really didn’t enjoy it. Don’t let this discourage you, everybody has a different experience! But it made me very thankful to be able to study at Aston, who are always at the end of the phone if you need them and offer great support and advice. But you always have to look on the bright side: I was in this lovely city and I intended to make the most of my time there. I did. My Spanish also drastically improved.
The city itself is wonderful. And very big. I never got to know it very well because I felt like an ant. Coming from Toulouse, I didn’t expect the largeness of the city and it was quite shocking. Even the roads are bigger!
I’ve made friends for life on my year abroad, and I’m so thankful for this opportunity. I’ve learned things that I’d never known. The Erasmus scheme has been wonderful and I’ve learnt so much about both foreign cultures and my own. If you ever get this opportunity, get out there and do it – life’s too short!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my adventures as much as I’ve enjoyed writing about them and most importantly, I hope you’ve learnt something from them!
Last and by no means least:
As far as I’m concerned, if you can conquer your Year Abroad, you can do just about anything! – Get out there and have a ball!
Toulouse and Valencia, it’s been an absolute pleasure.
Be positive, be happy!