Don’t do your year abroad the wrong way
Come back from your travels with more to show for it than only a tan
We’ve all heard them: the boring holiday stories told by people who disappear from uni for a year to soak up the sun somewhere else and come back more dull than when they left.
What they keep getting wrong is that there’s more to a year abroad than just learning how to say paella correctly or discovering world music. After all, that’s not going to impress anyone once you get into the real world.
So, rather than treating your latest exotic destination as a backdrop for your latest selfie, try turning your focus the other way and throwing yourself into the local community instead.
That’s where the British Council can help. They offer undergraduates a range of opportunities to go abroad for work experience and traineeships, all of which will be a big plus when it comes to convincing employers you’re a “well-rounded individual”.
What kind of opportunities I hear you ask? Well, here are some of our favourites.
Interested by the idea of helping to teach English in Thai schools?
This project gives you the chance to work as a language assistant alongside a Thai teacher for a couple of months over summer.
You could be based in a school, vocational college, or adult education college, exploring Bangkok and the surrounding area in your spare time.
While everyone else returns from their summer travels with nothing to show for it but a tan and some souvenir trinkets, you’ll have an experience bound to impress any employer.
Work abroad as part of your course for between two and 12 months on an Erasmus+ traineeship, gaining valuable international experience at one of 33 European countries.
Whereas the typical “study abroad” year sees you travel there solely for studying, Erasmus+ helps you develop your language skills by entering a work environment in your spare time.
Think the usual range of student jobs are boring? The completely new environment of working in a foreign country could be the challenge you need. Plus, the chance to earn money can’t hurt.
If you’re doing a science, engineering, technology or applied arts degree, you could qualify for an IAESTE work placement, spending a year abroad on a paid industry internship.
Work in one of over 80 countries, alongside experienced employees in your dream future career, building your technical knowledge and understanding – all while developing your knowledge of another country.
There is a world full of research institutes, laboratories and consulting firms doing brilliant work out there, and this could be your chance to gain invaluable experience at one of them.
If you’re in your second to final year of university, the English Language Assistants programme could be for you.
Spanning four continents, it places students in schools and universities around the world, helping people with their English language learning.
While there, you’ll receive a local salary for your work in the classroom, with plenty of time out of work for you to explore your temporary home.
Want to know more? We might be coming to your uni…
If you want to learn more about the opportunities the British Council can offer you, come to one of upcoming uni events.
18th November Northumbria University, The Domain Space (6.30-9.30pm)
20th November Plymouth University, Illusion Bar (6-9pm)
21st November The University of Edinburgh, The Study at Teviot (6-9pm)
26th November Queens University Belfast, The Main Room (6-9pm)
27th November University of Cardiff, Room 4J Aneurin Bevan (6-9pm)