Alice

January 15, 2016, by Alice Gould

Get off to a Flying Start With a Year Abroad

By Alice Gould, student blogger

Whenever anyone asks me about my year abroad in Lund, Sweden it’s hard not to start spouting every cliché you can think of. The thing is, they’re all true. My year abroad was the best year of my life, I did meet incredible people from all around the globe, and it has broadened my horizons, changing me for the better.

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It only took an oversea train ride to get to Copenhagen – the capital of another country!

It is possible they are the reasons my friends have banned me from talking about my time abroad – I am now used to the collective eye roll every time I start a sentence with: “Well in Sweden…”

As well as changing me as a person, I can’t help but feel that my year abroad has made me more attractive to future employers. Here’s how.

Confidence

One day I got a message from a girl I had only twice before, but who I’d really hit it off with. It started with: “Do you want to go to Poland tomorrow?” And you know what? I did.

I’ve never been a particularly shy person, but my year abroad has made me much more comfortable around new people and it easier to develop relationships with them. I no longer look to networking events with dread!

International Experience

Prior to my year abroad, I was pretty set on working in England – moving anywhere else had never really crossed my mind. Now I’m pretty much the opposite; desperate to have more experience living and working in another country, meaning my employment options have opened up to the globe!

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I loved Budapest – and it’s incredible skyline – so much I went twice in one year.

Interview Examples

When you’re living abroad, you do so many things that you tend to end up with loads of fun stories or anecdotes. While at first these are mostly used to brag about over a pint in the pub, they’re actually really useful for answering tough interview questions.

Can you give an example of a time you creatively handled a crisis? What about that time your plane got cancelled and you were left stranded for a night in Belgium when you had work at 9am the next morning? Or when someone reversed into your rental car while you were in another country? Or the many, many times you got lost somewhere without a map, internet and only knew how to say ‘yes’, ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ in the local language?

Studying abroad was the best decision of my life – and the fact I am now more employable only serves to make me even happier I did it!

Are you considering a year abroad? Check out answers to common questions in ‘taking a year out‘ or book an appointment with a careers adviser for some one-to-one advice.

Featured image: Bardini Gardens in Florence overlooking the city.

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