What next?..

Well, well, well. We have reached our final post in the LingoMap program. I hope you have all enjoyed these blogs and can at least take something away from each of them!

Now that us university students have come to the end of our blessed Year Abroad (how time flies!), it’s now back to reality and thinking about ‘what next?’ Not to be too panicked or anything…

Since returning back from my Year Abroad, I have thought a great deal about the skills I have acquired and the goals I am now working towards; both short-term and long-term. I think when reflecting, it’s important to take the ups and the downs and consider what was gained from each experience, and it’s how you adapt yourself to these situations that develops those valuable skills.

The three main skills I would say that I have developed from my experience abroad are:

  1. Adaptability – learning to go along with the flow and embrace change
  2. Perseverance – to keep challenging myself but allow for mistakes
  3. Confidence in communicating – learning how to understand others’ views and put my own ideas across in a positive way

These three skills I believe are critical and are those buzz words that we always look for.

But where will those skills and my language studies take me?

Considering the skills I have now developed, I can let you guys in on what my current (potential) plans are. I say ‘potential’ here, because the beauty of studying languages is that they take you to places and introduce you to people you never thought you would encounter. And with that, it’s probable that my current plans will change slightly, maybe even completely, but it leaves my future such an open book which will be an exciting post-university adventure!

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I am now thinking about careers such as in the police, the RAF, training to be a teacher, e-marketing, translation and many more. In fact, there’s probably another ten different careers I have not yet even considered.

But here are where my current plans lie in order to help me find my path; post-Year Abroad and post-university.

Post-Year Abroad:

  1. To try and engage in more of the teaching-style events in the Student Language Ambassador scheme through my final year of university.
  2. Possibly look into private language teaching.
  3. Map out potential future career paths and see if they require a next step i.e additional qualifications.

Post-University (the scariest part!):

  1. To look into graduate schemes of possible career paths that take my interest.
  2. Attend post-graduate career evenings to gain further insight into different job roles.
  3. Potentially look for a temporary job until I find the job that really inspires me.

These are the current steps that I will take to try and lend me to the path that I will find challenging but equally rewarding. However, it won’t be something that I rush into and it’s okay to take your time to discover what is truly right for you.

‘But what if I don’t want to be a translator or a teacher?’

The most important point to stress, is to view languages as a stepping stone onto a bigger opportunity. The world is so much more global nowadays, in the sense that there is so much opportunity available and so many new ways to get into careers that may not have existed before. So, languages don’t restrict you to being a translator or a teacher, but rather open up hundreds of doors.

Think of any hobby or job that could possibly exist; I bet that your skills gained from languages (if not the languages themselves) could tie in just nicely. Take Gareth Bale as a prime example, who had to learn Spanish to get into the world’s most important football team!

But why are languages so unique?

Languages…

  • Throw you into a learning environment where just chatting or watching a film in a foreign language counts as revision!
  • Take you to places you otherwise may never get to (not just visit) but live in.
  • Meet people from other cultures and backgrounds, and see the world from an entirely different and renewed perspective
  • Laugh over culturally awkward moments!

The reason for which languages are unique to other subjects, is the confidence, open-mind and the life experience that you gain which the academic environment cannot give you. And it’s this that impresses employers, college/university applications, graduate schemes etc. but your family and friends too!

It may be the case that you don’t use your languages day-to-day, but it’s how these invaluable experiences through learning languages shape you and put you in better stead that is the key.

If you have a look in this bubble below, it shows you how impressive international experience really is, and these transferable skills that are becoming increasingly desirable.

employers-perspective-on-study-abroad

From ICEF Monitor.

Overall, I admit that languages have at times completely thrown me in at the deep end but equally have provided tonnes of learning curves. All of my experiences have taught me to embrace new things and to not be afraid of making mistakes, something which before my time abroad I would struggle with.

As you learn so much about other places, people and cultures, you really get that time to learn who you are and grow so much as a person. I now feel more confident in knowing what my strengths are and what I still need to work on to achieve whatever I set my mind to.

See where languages could take you!

As a little note to conclude this year’s blogs, I’ll say…

Bonne chance pour l’année scolaire prochaine!

Bonnes vacances!

y ¡Hasta la próxima!

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