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!

Until then!

Matt Watts

This post is also available in: French, Spanish, Portuguese (Portugal)

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