Category Archives: Uncategorized

What I wish I knew in my second year

The jump from first to second year:

cat fail kitty leap impawssible

Reflecting back on second year, and taking my learnings from placement year here’s what I would do differently.

Make me-time! Second year can feel a bit intense and you find yourself dreaming of easy-breezy first year. When workload is demanding and yourself struggling to focus take a break. If possible, turn off your laptop to truly switch off from work for an hour or so. Also, don’t only plan social events in advance; if you’ve been working hard and want to go out, just do it!

dance dancing fresh prince of bel air carlton carlton banks

Don’t compare yourself to others  – how far you get in the process isn’t dependent on your capability, it’s dependant on which capabilities are valued by that particular employer.

Don’t let others put you down – the stress of placement hunting can sometimes cause people to belittle you. Don’t let it affect you.  If it becomes a common occurrence call them up on it.

tiffany antm tyra banks tyra be quiet tiffany

Don’t rehearse  – the STAR technique is a useful technique but when you’re reading prepare answers word-for-word it can come across as robotic. Plus preparing in that way can throw you off if they ask you a variation of a question you weren’t expecting. Instead,  understand your different experiences at uni, how you acted and what you’ve learned from them. These experiences are likely to showcase more than one skill.

Understand your priorities – societies and placement searching are important activities but don’t forget the importance of your studies. Create a timetable to help you balance your priorities throughout the year.

school study arthur buster studying

Celebrate successes – you will learn a lot in your second year. Make sure to celebrate how much you’ve grown!

party fun how i met your mother applause celebrate

Exciting Things I’ve Done So Far

Doing a placement abroad means that there is so much more to the experience than just a job. Living in a country as wildly different as Vietnam has led me into some pretty fun ‘extra-curricular’ activities on a regular basis. Here is a selection of my highlights from the first half of my placement.

1. Parasailing 

Parasailing would have been a great activity to try in the UK, but throw in a little Vietnamese-style health and safety (and lack thereof) and boy is that an experience!

But I didn’t die, and it was amazing to be able to see the entire city to one side, and endless ocean to the other.

11045392_10208103810492264_3640459642255344133_n

2. Trips Away

I’m so lucky to have a placement in such a wonderful and diverse country such as Vietnam, and so any opportunity to see more of it and I’m on board.

I have the beautiful Ancient town of Hoi An on my doorstep, and have been able to have weekends away in the old capital, Hue and the bustling, hectic Ho Chi Minh City.

12239697_10208133912455014_8237264003934984632_n

On top of this I was able to spend my Christmas expanding my horizons and exploring more of Asia, visiting Bali, Kuala Lumpar and Singapore.

Each of these trips have given me new and diverse perspectives on life, shown me spectacular views and allowed me to taste wonderful foods.

10002737_10208322561251116_313201832_n

Travelling really has been one of the best parts of this placement.

3. Ending up in the Ocean After Nights Out

We work hard but we certainly play hard too. For such a small city, Danang has a surprisingly consistent night-life. Each week we meet new people travelling through, and make some really great friends in the process.

And what better way to solidify a friendship? Ending up in the ocean at 2am. Yet another perk of having the beach so close.

12074740_10153277062769611_1879537837488153447_n

4. Attending my First Vietnamese Wedding

Weddings are a fantastic way of seeing into a country’s culture, and as luck would have it, one of the best friends I have made on this placement got married in October, and I was honoured to be part of it.

12088011_10153298160179611_7421086045378427338_n

It was slightly crazy, I understood very little of what was going on, but it was a brilliant night, full of joy and love, and I was thrilled to be there.

5. Meeting Ambassadors

For a teaching job I’ve done a surprising amount of networking.  I’ve met a lot of important people I never thought I would get a chance to meet, including both the Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK, and the American Ambassador to Vietnam. I’ve had a chance to meet and work with some great minds from around the world and it really has been a pleasure.

11950241_1207807405904766_2464025217625190468_o

I’ve also taken shots with the keynote speakers from international conferences, but that’s a story for another day…

6. A Few Body Mods

So it looks like I’ll be coming home with at least one new tattoo and one new piece of facial jewellery – but the year’s only halfway through…

Getting a new tattoo and my nose pierced in Vietnam weren’t actually as scary and back-alley as they sound, I did go to well established places.

It was a lot of fun, and tends to worry people when I tell them.

 

These are just a few of the things I’ve been up to both in and out of work. Whittling it down to just these few was hard, as these six months have been so full and diverse. Who knows what your year will hold!

Thinking about studying abroad?

Thinking about studying abroad?

Honestly, I did not really plan on studying abroad. My initial plan was to work abroad for a year and then go back home and complete my degree. However, life doesn’t always go to plan and it was extremely hard to find a work placement or internship abroad which were interesting apart from teaching.

I am studying abroad in Ankara, which is Turkey’s capital city. Yes, I know, I thought Istanbul was the capital too. But, it was a superb decision to study abroad and I have immensely enjoyed the semester I’ve spent here.

So here are some tips on studying abroad for your placement year/exchange:

Number one:

Find out what is being offered by your university. Go to the international placements team, ask questions, and find out which countries your university has links with. Pretty much go crazy with researching. Don’t forget to find out what type of funding you are entitled to receive too.

Number two:

Now that you have a vague idea about where you would like to study abroad, give your parents a heads up. Yeah, you are legally an adult, but you can’t just randomly pack your bags and tell your parents on the day that you are spending four or more months abroad.

Number three:

Now you will need to start the application process. For me it was pretty straightforward since I pretty much stayed in Europe, so had to go through Erasmus. Erasmus is basically the European exchange program.

I rewrote my CV and cover letter, went through the interviewing process and a few emails and stuff later…wala! I had secured my place as an Erasmus/exchange student.

http://www.erasmusprogramme.com/study_abroad.php  (Want to find out more about the Erasmus program? Click on the link)

Number four:

DON’T MISS DEADLINES! My initial plan was to go to another country, but sadly I had missed the January application deadline due to all my exams. I pretty much forgot to apply because I was so busy.

Number five:

Don’t over pack. You can go shopping when you move into your accommodation. Not like you are moving to the middle of nowhere. If you are though….. erm…. You might have some issues.

Number six:

Get a valid visa, make sure you have all the insurance stuff which you need and book your flights accordingly.

Number seven:

Go to your chosen study abroad destination and settle in. Meet new people and enjoy the “honey moon” stage.

Number eight:

Don’t think about home too much, limit talking to friends back home you will see them when you are back. Try to enjoy your time abroad.

Number nine:

Don’t forget to study. You are still a student and you know… your grades abroad will still affect your grades back home.

Number ten:

Time flies. So have as much fun as you can. Before you know it, you’ll be back home again reminiscing the time you lived in another country on your own.

The video below inspired me to study abroad. What he shows and talks about is so relevant. I’ve only been in Turkey for a few months and I’m not the same 20 year old I was back home. I’ve grown so much as a person…and will continue to grow during my stay here. 

Nailing the French Culture

IMG_1571

Stand by some Dior branding and they’ll always think you’re French… or even Parisienne!

Sorry, I’m back again to give some more of the French low downs. So, I thought seeing as it is such a crucial part of moving to any country you might want to know a little bit about the real Parisien culture.

So let’s break it down.

1) Be sure to get some coffee down you at least 15 times per day – I know the British Tea culture is pretty big, but by god it is nothing compared to the French coffee culture. It is not frowned upon to leave your desk for twenty minutes at a time to take a coffee with some chums or colleges, so capitalise on the petite pauses to give your eyes a screen break – even if you’re only a water-drinking freak like myself. Plus its great for practising some French.

2) People running down the métro stations to catch a métro that they don’t even know exists, and sprinting into half-closing doors and getting stuck is completely normal and they won’t even be embarrassed. Sure its fun to try get the train before the buzzer goes, but with my stiff upper English lip I’m not prepared to get stuck in-between the doors when the next one is only ever 3 minutes away.

3) The next culture tip is one that I have come to love. Saying ‘Bonjour’ and shaking/kissing the cheeks of everyone in your office is normal (I mean every morning to each person. I have a team of 30 to kiss or shake hands with). It sounds like a massive effort, but it is a brilliant way to get to know everybody, get some exercise and pass a few minutes before you’ve even set up your work space. Trust me, they also talk about who does and doesn’t do it and asses how rude it is over lunch so it’s worth the effort.

4) Swearing in French chat or to yourself is perfectly acceptable. This doesn’t mean you should follow suit though, I just don’t want you to be surprised. The amount of ‘M’ and ‘P’ words I have heard thrown around the office in casual conversation or when someone is muttering to themselves is quite profound. I mean in the UK if I sat at my desk at said the ‘S’ and ‘F’ word every five minutes people would both look and consider if I had turrets.

5) Casual dress – luckily you can take this as you please, it can be literally t-shirt and jeans right up to smart casual for women. There is truly no pressure to dress up. It is, it seems, more common for men to wear suits in the big offices – sorry boys, no jeans for you unless it is dress-down Friday and even then a shirt, jeans and jacket works best.

6) Smoking is bigger than in the UK, but nowhere near what is was just a few years ago, so you shouldn’t feel any pressure to smoke. If you’re worried you’re missing out on socialising and can bear the smoke fumes, go outside with colleges on their smoking breaks and absorb the chat as well as some lovely odours whilst your at it. Just as an example, in my team of 30, 3/4 people smoke.

7) Literally no ‘cares’ are given in most situations. This is doesn’t count for everyone, but it is more common to look and walk on here, so don’t be shocked if you fell over and no one ran to your rescue. This is however different when it comes to striking – there has been at least one a month since I came in August and they can be pretty rowdy.

8) The French love you to use their language rather than English, but don’t be surprised even so if they laugh, correct or tell you they have no idea what your on about – they do, but you either haven’t used the right colloquialism or specific word that only a French person would know. We are far more relaxed with foreigners making mistakes with their English whilst they learn. You just have to let it go in and try and remember for next time, whilst not correcting their English too much – they don’t like that either!

9) Say bonjour to people you don’t know in the toilets – its the done thing and you don’t want to stand out. You can also add a Bonne journée when you leave too, even it is a complete stranger you have never seen before. I mean imagine if in the UK you said Hello to stranger in the toilets and told them to have a nice day, they will either appreciate your kind words, know that you’re French, or think you’re a complete nutter.

10) Figure out several routes to get to work and back! The transport won’t always tell you why a service is delayed or the specific details of where it stops etc, it’s not to say you have no idea, but it’s best to be prepared as we know how much they love a good old strike over here in la belle France.

That should help you get by for now I think.

Have fun with your adventures.

A la prochaine,

DSC_0186

How I got my Placement | What my Placement is.

As promised, I’m going to tell you all about my Placement and how I got it.

During the summer holidays of summer 2014, I had already started thinking about placement and what exactly I wanted to do. I’ve been wanting to be a teacher for a very long time and with the help of working at KUMON for three years, I was able to comfortably decide on which field I wanted to get myself involved in – teaching. Originally, I had the idea of teaching in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is basically my second home – where my parents were born. I love the country. I spent a few weeks emailing International schools in HK asking whether they would take on an intern for one year. To my disappointment, all responses were negative. Nowhere in Hong Kong were looking for/taking on Undergraduates with no real qualifications… Which is fair enough. It was definitely worth asking! Even if I did get a ‘no’ from everyone. I then decided to stop looking as it was during our summer vacation so I didn’t really want to stress myself out before second year of University had even started!

Second year had started and that was when the real search began. I turned to Aston Futures. I’m sure you are very familiar with Aston Futures by now…and if you’re not, what are you waiting for? Get yourself in there with the website! I actually began looking for teaching internships in Asia… There were many on offer in China, Vietnam, but they weren’t quite what I was looking for! So after a while, I gave up                  …on looking for teaching placements in HK.

My next option would be to do my year abroad somewhere in Europe and to my luck, there were several teaching opportunities in Spain – I guess you could say I was spoilt for choice! So in November 2014, I applied for a TA – teaching assistant role at a Spanish International School called SEK El Castillo, Madrid. I was nervous to apply because it was my first placement application but with the ever so useful help from the Blackboard resources, I was able to update my pretty non-existent CV and write up a well-written cover letter. A few days later of applying to this placement, I received an email offering an interview! I was quite surprised at how quickly the process was going – of course, I didn’t know what to expect, being my first application.

The Interview
My interview was held via Skype and was not as formal as I thought it would be. I had prepared by researching the institution and practiced speaking with a confidence attitude. Again, I used Blackboard to help me with what I should expect during the interview.
The questions asked weren’t as ‘serious’ as they could have been. I’ve heard about job interviews and the random questions they ask you to catch you out but my interview was more of a ‘get to know you better’ one. My employer asked several questions from my first year grades to what I want to do in the future to do you like to clean. (Quite a selection, eh?)
I think my interview went fairly well and I was even told that I was ‘beautifully spoken’!
I was told that I’d get told whether I’d been shortlisted in a couple of months so it was a pure waiting game from then on.

On January 23rd 2015, I was offered the role. I received an email of congratulations in the afternoon and I was ecstatic! I didn’t stop applying for other placements after this one – I think I applied for 4 or 5 in total so it felt amazing to be offered the job by the first application!

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 14.59.47

What is my placement? 
My job role is an English Teaching Assistant at a Spanish International School called SEK El Castillo, Madrid. I live next to the school in University halls with full board – this means, I have breakfast, lunch and dinner at the school canteen.

I assist two classes of 20 students (40 in total) and I work with Primary 1 (kids aged 5-7). Some of my responsibilities are;

  • marking work
  • checking their diaries
  • playground and lunch duty
  • preparing classroom materials
  • creating presentations for the school blog
  • taking/picking them up from swimming

I actually don’t speak much Spanish myself but I’ve found that I’ve picked up some words and phrases during my first 4 months here in Spain, so I feel like I can understand a little more than I did before. It also helps that the majority of my students can speak English, despite being so young.

Sometimes I teach the classes alone when the teachers are off sick or busy with some other job – this is a great opportunity for me to gain some teaching experience! After all, I’m just an assistant. But saying that, my teacher treats me like another teacher and my students give me full respect of that role.

Working with young children is rewarding and fun…they always know how to make you smile and your relationship with the students grow ever so quickly. I feel like I’ve grown closer to all of them so much and I know that they appreciate my presence (they tell me off when I am not there haha).

If you’re someone who enjoys working with children and being creative, then teaching could be the role for you. You’re not restricted to one role… you play a big part within the classroom and you’re always occupied.

Feel free to comment with any questions!

– Tiffany

My Class

My Class11903460_10155996912050424_56454141_n      11992207_10156015283560424_1514607772_n (1)

11949589_10155996912020424_1884508556_n

 

6 reasons why you should live and work abroad

I know I know, you’re busy, you’ve got exams and you’re just running off to the gym to keep up with the New Year health hype! But, give me a few minutes to work my linguistic magic and you’ll be a little wiser to a life living and working abroad.

Let’s kick back for 5!

  1. Boosting your confidence – its cliché I know, and I would say I was pretty confident in most aspects of my life, but being thrown into a new team with different working practises and whom don’t speak your language as their first language can open your eyes and teach you to communicate in ways you never knew you could. Expressive hand gestures and personality become crucial to getting the real you across.
  2. Opportunity – There is going to be very little time once you’re a full-timer (after university) to get long stretches of time off to enjoy the same kind of experiences abroad as you can when you’re on placement year – I know I sound like a parent, but it couldn’t be more true. This year is one of the most valuable so make the most of it and get making those lifetime memories and nabbing that chance at going overseas.
  3. New fabulous (French in my case) international friends – Networking is great at the best of times, but when you can do it across social, linguistic and cultural boundaries, the better – who knows what foreign doors you might open up in the future.
  4. Dealing with your problems independently – I think in this case I am referring to personal problems, such as with a property or bank account – Even if your already extremely self sufficient it is ten times harder in a new language with different systems and your parents and other friends might not be able to help. It’s a real life lesson in being put down and learning to pull yourself up again.
  5. Having fun – nothing beats exploring the place where it’s at and Paris certainly hasn’t been a let down with sights, bars, clubs, cultural activities and many more things. I myself am a bit of a geek; I love to read, get lost in some art or spend some time in the library, but I also like to party and socialise like everybody else.
  6. My last and final point, as with everything in life, your experience abroad is whatever you make it, if you put no effort into learning the language or exploring the culture then you’ll get no real benefit back, but if you do the opposite, you will be rewarded heavily. Oh and don’t be nervous – I know its easier said than done, but really, you’ll get over the nerves and forget you even had them once your out and about in your new chez-toi!

IMG_1465

A bientôt guys!

My placement experience so far

Hi everyone, my name is Gemma and I’m at currently on placement at GSK working in the university recruitment team (funnily enough the team that hires placement students). I study Business and Management at Aston and it’s been interesting to see what your course has taught you and what you can only learn in the workplace. To sum up my experience so far:

New

New friends, new city, new lifestyle. It’s almost like Freshers again – oh, except the working part. Occasionally it can be slightly daunting having to settle into a new city again (especially coming from a smaller town) but it’s made a lot easier with the new friendly faces.

GSKH

Exciting

Placement year is an exciting time both personally and professionally. You are given so many opportunities that you are unlikely to experience whilst studying at university. For example, alongside three other placement students I had the opportunity to plan a large event for almost 80 students from across the UK to provide them with insight into GSK as an employer. It was called GSK Revealed and we actually had several Astoners attend! During this event I was responsible for managing a panel session discussion and facilitating conversation between a crowd of 80+ people, something I never would have considered myself doing before placement.

I’m halfway through my placement now and I’ve had several experiences such as facilitating an assessment centre, attending career fairs and attending a recruitment insight event alongside other key recruiters such as L’Oreal and Microsoft. I also think that placement is what you make it – try to opt for opportunities to put you out of your comfort zone!

happy excited james marsden exciting enjoy

Challenging

Despite the great opportunities, placement does not come without its challenges. In fact, there are some days where you would rather be in peak revision mode (I know!). Placement year gives students a unique opportunity to experience working in a professional environment and  having team members sometimes depending on you to produce results can be slightly daunting! I think that one of the key transitions from the university to work is the shift from the individual (grades) to the team (yours and your colleague’s performance as a whole); even being a team player I found this a strange transition.

Cheezburger funny crying kids mondays

Monday morning feels

You learn a lot about yourself. Sometimes you are shown different ways to improve on what your consider your strength. Other times you can find a hidden talent!

An experience

To sum up, placement is a wonderful challenge and I look forward to seeing what opportunities lay ahead!

IPUNITEPIC

Work or study placement – which is better?

It’s coming to the end of my time abroad and like all I am reflecting back on what an incredible year it has been, trying to cling on to every memory, whilst suppressing all feelings of dread at the prospect of final year. This year I have found myself in a slightly more unusual situation in that I was lucky enough to have a work placement for half of ‘placement year’ and study abroad for the other half. When choosing how I wanted to spend my placement year I had the internal battle of what I wanted to do. I had always thought of myself aiming for a 12 month work placement for the best company I could get. Yet after a bit of a rough time, a change of degree course, a reshuffle of my priorities and watching the experience of my peers come back from their placement year, I couldn’t shake from my mind what an amazing experience the Erasmus students seemed to be having!  I wanted to have the perceived adventure of Erasmus students and the supposed prestige and experience of a work placement – I wanted to have my cake and eat it.

But is it worth trying to eat the whole damn cake? Is it best to do both or is working simply better than studying and vice versa (Is the question on your lips after that tremendously long introduction).  Well, it all depends on what you want out of placement year and what factors are most important to you! Is it to travel & explore? Is improving your language key? Or do you have a target industry you want to work in and need specific experience of? Sadly there is no answer of what is better; it all depends on you and what is most important to you to gain from the year!

There are however a few main differences that I have experienced between work and study that may help you make your decision (or give you confidence in a decision you have already made)…

Study gives you more time to travel

Of course, the student schedule compared to a working week means you have more time and this makes travelling so much easier when studying. Not only can you explore the country your in but it gives you time to go further, take advantage of your location and visit surrounding countries. Being in such a central location in Austria, I found I travelled 10 times as much (even with 10 times less money). Being in another country with other exchange students means there is an abundance of people who also want to explore and to travel with! Something that can be difficult to organise on a work placement.

Working helps build your confidence

In my experience being on workplace improved my confidence and experience in a way my study placement didn’t. There is a big difference in presenting to your boss and colleges compared to a class of students.  Being in a professional environment and having responsibility over your work (I feel) really helped prepare me for my expectations of working life and gave me much more confidence in that I was able to survive in the corporate world. Going through the application process also gives a taster and trail run of the dreaded graduate job application process.

Study placements tend to offer more support

This obviously depends on your workplace or University, but for me the process of moving abroad when studying was MUCH easier than on work placement. Last June I arrived in Germany alone with my suitcase, no where to live and only a few property who had said yes to me viewing. Finding a place to live in another country when you cannot meet them (and you don’t want to let for the whole year) was a nightmare. Especially when you don’t know anyone where your moving – its daunting! You have to deal with all the paperwork/ bills/ forms and make your way to work alone – all in another language.

Compare that to my study experience in January, In which the university has links with a student accommodation which was sorted months before I arrived. The university even has a buddy program where you have a student you can direct your questions too who will pick you up from the airport and help you with your documents. Added to that they had guides for what needed to be done, guides for exploring the area, and even a 3 week orientation and cultural program to take you round the city, help you meet people and give you an intensive crash course in the language before the semester starts.

When you study you meet others from all over the world

Again this is quite obvious. Naturally as a student you will meet more similar aged and like minded people. But what I didn’t expect is how much I would learn about other cultures. I was able to make great friends and work with students from all over the world! Through living and being friends with people from another culture you learn so much about it.  It was much easier to make friends and meet new people than on work placement and the social side of Erasmus (I found) was incredible.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Of course, these things all depend on where you work or study and not everyone’s experience will be the same as mine! If I had to choose, I think studying abroad was an unforgettable and amazing experience and an Erasmus experience (depending on where you go) can be the best time of your life. If you have the chance I would take it, as the experiences I had are something I will never get again  (where as working life, once it starts – never ends). Of course – it all depends on your priority and what you want out of your placement year! But my final piece of advice would be – Do your research before you apply somewhere, consider the social side and your enjoyment too, have a good think of what you want to achieve from your year – make sure you choose something which suits YOU! 🙂

All the best on your placement years!

Hannah

 

May/June Highlights: Summer is that you?!

IMG_4359

This was my favourite picture of the month at Planten un Blomen

Helllooooo guys!

So much has been going downnnnn in Hamburg since May 1st; it was like 1st May just marked summer for us here. It was like event there, event here, mate I can’t complain. Anyways I’ve decided not to write too much in this post and instead have more pictures (because I’m soo lazy to write I won’t lie lol). Anyways, relax yourself and enjoy the pictures!

May – Hafen Geburtstag

One of the first events in Hamburg this may was the Hafen Geburtstag (the Birthday of the Harbour) and to celebrate it there was a festival/carnival along the Harbour, which went on for the weekend and it was unforgettable! It felt a bit like Notting Hill carnival, just smaller, along the harbor, and people were fully dressed.

It was filled with beer huts, food stands, ships, souvenir shops, clothes shops, lights, huge speakers, music stages etc. Carlos Santana performed on Friday, but I didn’t know so I missed this 🙁

(You guys: Who’s Carlos Santana? Me: The guys that sings Maria Maria! You guys: Oh yeahhhhh him)

and if after this you still don’t know………. then this is awkwarddd.

Continue reading

Free time. Me time.

Ironically, I have had little free-time to write anything for this blog for a while. And I know my avid readership cried in despair, waiting in agony for my little name to pop up with another post about my eclectic and wonderful time on my erasmus study placement. And for that, I do apologise…

Anyway.

One thing that you surprisingly don’t hear much about before you do a study placement is the amount of free time you will inevitably have. This is especially the case when studying something like politics. People doing similar courses will agree, we have of course all seen the course booklets “12 hours a week in lectures. 40 hours a week in reading.” Which means, especially for a fresher, “lots and lots of lie ins.” I’m not going to shy away from that fact, subjects in the social sciences really don’t involve a lot of lecture or seminar time, and you will eventually learn that the reading is incredibly important, however, on a study placement, you find that you free time is frequent.

At sciences po anyway, the workload isn’t anything compared to the masters students or even the french undergrad students either. This equates to a heap of free-time with which you have a free reign to think about all the things you could do while you lie in bed becoming a lazy slob… UNLESS you follow my advice.

Find a hobby! Find more than one in fact. In my case, the Braderie of Lille, the biggest flea market in Europe, pulled on my hipster heartstrings and eventually I bought two old, manual cameras on the cheap. I had absolutely no idea how to handle them or whether they indeed worked! Yet, through sheer perseverance, free-time and a useful tool called the internet, I developed a real love for 35mm film photography and I now take my two new-er film cameras EVERYWHERE.

But what I’m trying to say is, it is important to practice the cliché of expanding your horizons. But this isn’t only in terms of integrating into a new country, culture and language, but also in developing yourself, your interests and your hobbies. This helps cure the boredom that not only occurs on a study placement, but in the day-to-day life back at home. I’m happy about my placement because of the people I met and the things I did, and too of how I integrated. But I’m also extremely happy that I developed a new love for something like photography and it has helped in more ways than I originally thought.

Either way, find a hobby. You will have a lot of free time on a study placement and this time is important. University work can also cause stress and you need this time. However, without a hobby or some way of spending this time on you or in a positive way, boredom is only going to add to this stress.

Also, have some pictures from my 35mm cameras. Because why not?