Name: Leo Rekiaro
Type of year: Studying Abroad
Course: International Relations
· Why did you choose to do a year abroad?
I always felt the need to get as much as I could out of my time at university, and a year out certainly offers a lot. I really always wanted to do it simply because I could expand my skill sets, experience new things and open new doors.
· How did you choose where to go?
Because of my eagerness for the scheme I applied to go to several locations that the university offered. It was narrowed down to Strasbourg since it best fit my interests, capabilities and language of study.
· How have you enjoyed being abroad?
Obviously I’m biased owing to me mentally preparing to come here for a long time as well as the fact that I am already a foreigner in the UK, nevertheless it has proved to be very enjoyable so far. There have definitely been bigger settling in issues for some of my peers, but I feel like a positive attitude has lead to a great environment for most.
· What is a typical day like?
It is largely the same. Go to lectures, meet people, go out, work some more, drink some more, have fun and try to do something constructive the rest of the time. Then there are the cultural differences to adapt to (pros and cons) as well as the lack of a ‘bubble’, something Loughborough students in particular may want to experience before they graduate.
· What (if any) problems/issues have you come across and how did you overcome them?
The language for sure has caused a few mishaps and embarrassing situations, but that’s all part of the experience. Again it is a matter of having a good mindset and diving right in, especially for someone as stubborn as me who would not learn anything otherwise.
· How has it/it not benefitted you?
So far my time here has made me calmer, more inquisitive and venturous. At the same time it has made me somewhat distant and restless. I’ll leave the weighing up to you. Also, the French food is a little too good.
· Would you recommend other students to do a year abroad and why?
Absolutely. I can’t imagine anyone at university now is in a tremendous rush to graduate and start the job hunt, and even if they are, the potential in a year out is huge. Not only is it directly helpful for all aspects of your future but it is very beneficial at a personal level for right now. At least that’s how I feel heading towards my last year at Loughborough.
· What are your plans after university?
Not a clue, why do you think I’m so happy about being abroad?