Hello again to you all, I hope the year is treating you well!
When thinking about school/college life for this blog, I found it relatively difficult to put everything into one concise answer for you. To be totally honest, university life where I am based is far from what I expected it to be – both in a positive and negative way. But I do believe that every experience teaches you something.
From working in the 4th biggest student city in France to studying in a rural town in Spain, I have to admit that there has been quite a striking contrast. And now, with having so much more time on my hands and knowing that my final year is soon approaching, that leaves room for lots of wondering…
What will my final year be like?
What will happen after I graduate?
What will I end up doing for the REST of my life? (and that one is a scary thought!)
Where will I be living?
Questions, questions, questions.. It’s endless, but at the same time very exciting.
With my studying placement in Ciudad Real in the province of Castilla La-Mancha, it is in a more remote area and so with you being more isolated, you do have more time on your hands to think about these things. And now, coming to the end of my Year Abroad these questions start to play on my mind much more.
Here I have joined an adult swimming class and have been giving English tutoring lessons to one of my university lecturers. I will say that joining a swimming class, completely immersed in Spanish, has been probably the most daunting thing about my Year Abroad. That may come as a surprise since I played with a football team in France, worked in a French company and the list goes on, but with it being my weaker language and hearing only half a sentence with your head underwater, you can imagine the embarrassing situations I ended up in… When the instructor said to grab a ‘churro’ from the poolside, and me looking around for well, I don’t know, a churros and chocolate vending machine?! I soon learnt with a face full of confusion that he meant to grab a swimming waddle for the next exercise!
But the point to make, is that I have learnt to throw myself in the deep end (throw that in there since we’re talking about swimming!) and just know that you will make a mistake and 9/10 feel embarrassed, but afterwards you can at least live to tell the tale and say that you accomplished something :-). And in my case, I know now that a waddle is a ‘churro’ in Spanish – word of the day!
I have always found it important to do other extra little jobs alongside my degree to give me an idea of what I like and am good at, so that in the future I do hopefully find that job that is rewarding but more importantly that makes me happy.
Since being here in Ciudad Real, I have looked into so many different options post-university.
Studying for a PGCE – training to be a secondary school teacher in modern languages
Going into the police force – training to be a Police Constable or applying through a graduate programme
Applying for the RAF – looking into roles such as the Intelligence Linguist
Studying for a Masters in Translation – possibly pursue a career in video game translation?
Honestly, this is just to name a few… And as you can probably tell, my brain is scattered over the millions of careers that I have looked into on the internet! Even being a part of the LingoMap program and writing these blogs for you I would say has helped me to further my knowledge on what I enjoy and take pride in.
The best thing I could say about languages, is that it opens doors into all sorts of other environments, ones which you wouldn’t even think of.
Yesterday, I was contacted through my university by a marketing company looking for students who speak other languages to assist stalls set up in the fan zone in Cardiff for the Champions League Final.
For myself being ex-captain of Cardiff Uni Ladies Football, I was straight onto that email and signing my name up under the French and Spanish-speakers. The beauty I have discovered, is that my languages degree has thrown me into all sorts of environments, to many different places, surrounded by all different groups of people. If there is one thing I could say about languages, it’s that no matter what you love, and here I mean just as a hobby, languages always seem to find a way to connect yet another passion of yours.
If there’s one thought to conclude this blog, it would be to not be afraid to take on new experiences and embrace the opportunities that come with it. Whether that be a good or bad experience, everything will provide a long-term learning curve. You never know what might come of it!