June 26, 2013, by Matthew Watts
My Year Abroad: My Expectations, Hopes and Fears
It’s revision and exam time but there is light at the end of the tunnel: the Year Abroad. I’ll be starting mine in a month’s time and I’m starting to feel a little nervous! Here’s a brief plan of what I’m doing:
- Studying in a language school in Valencia – June/July
- Working in Madrid teaching English to adults – August/September
- Working as an English Language Assistant in France – October – April
- Working in Brazil – April – ???
It doesn’t look like much when written down, only 4 lines, but it’s more than a whole year of my life! Of course, I’m feeling excited and nervous at the same time and at the moment I can’t wait to go. I’m not too worried about Valencia because it’s a structured course and I will be staying with a Spanish family. For Madrid, however, I’m glad to have finally found a job but I’m nervous about finding somewhere to live, living in a capital city and also teaching adults, it’s something I’ve never done before! I know that I’ll be in the Académie of Poitiers in France but I don’t know exactly where and may not find out until the end of August! France will be the longest part of my Year Abroad and hopefully I will really like the area where I’m living and meet loads of new people. Brazil still seems so far off (almost a year) that I’m not really worried about it at the moment and I will try to find a job for Brazil whilst I’m in France.
A big fear has to be that my language skills aren’t good enough (particularly in Portuguese which I only started at university) but that will be part of the challenge and learning process of the Year Abroad – overcoming language obstacles and mastering the language. Also, although I have become more independent since moving to university, I think it’s next year when the independence really starts – living in a foreign country is a whole different ball game, there’ll be no popping home whenever I feel like it and I’ll have the responsibilities of a job! What’s more, the coming year will be a great opportunity for me to get experience teaching and to experience living in the real world of work. It’s a scary thought that I’ll be away for such a long time but I know that it will be a very rewarding year.
That’s it for now, next time you hear from me it will be from somewhere much sunnier and warmer than England!
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