Life is full of ups and downs, challenges and a variety of experiences, which from my point of view help make us who we are. I spent the first six months of my year abroad in Barcelona at a job, which was tough, but really rewarding as it allowed me to write articles and be creative. I look back on my time in Barcelona and miss it, partly because of my friends and the weather but also the internship.
I then embarked on the next adventure in Paris but it didn’t turn out quite as I had planned or hoped. I was meant to stay for three months but my internship didn’t work out as it wasn’t quite as advertised. So I’ve had to cut the French adventure short and am returning to England today, but I don’t regret it at all. I was able to spend a month in Paris, a city full of beautiful architecture, which is an adventure in itself.
For all those future year abroaders out there I have a few pieces of advice:
- Don’t take a job just because you’re scared you might not get offered another. You really need to like what you’re doing because chances are you’ll be doing it for a couple of months!
- Think about how hard you want to work, if you’re more interested in travel and not so much about finding an internship, then I suggest you apply for British Council as you’ll have school holidays and the pay is good enough to help you fund your wanderlust fuelled adventures.
- No matter how daunting it is make sure to put yourself out there and try and meet the locals because it will seriously benefit your language learning.
- When you’re out there remember that everyone will have bad days and while many people label year abroad as the ‘best year of your life’, it really is okay for you to not love every single minute of it!
- Don’t believe everything you see on Instagram! Yes, everyone’s year abroad looks fabulous on Instagram but you’ve got to remember that people aren’t going to upload the bad stuff. Instagram is life through a filter and you mustn’t feel like you’re failing year abroad if your Instagram isn’t filled with envy-inducing pictures every single day.
- Lastly, don’t wish your year abroad away as it’ll fly right by before you know it! Enjoy the change in scenery and keep your chin up through those rough patches – everyone will be going through the same emotional rollercoaster as you, trust me!
So year abroad is officially over for me! Seems like just yesterday I was stressing about setting up bank accounts in Barcelona and now I’m on the way back to the land of tea and crumpets! Good luck to everybody about to set off on their own year abroad and keep watching this space for new posts!