Placement year (source=wiki)

By Charlotte Love

Travel and adventure are two things that can often be found at the top of any students to do list. Daydreams of sunset beaches in coastal towns or busy city markets with colourful foods you hardly recognise are never far away when exams kick in.

If this sounds a lot like you, then take the opportunity of a year abroad at some point during your time at Loughborough. Whether to work, teach or study, a year spent in a foreign country doing something completely different can benefit you as an individual and a graduate in so many ways.

Finding yourself dropped in Europe teaching primary school children English may seem completely alien at first, but, it wont be long before you’re meeting other language students (of which there many) in your favourite bar for a glass of the local rosé. Travelling during your weekends off to visit a new city just a trains ride away is a great opportunity to explore. Picking up a new language or improving existing skills is an inevitable spill over of living in a foreign country and will give you an edge in any interview. You will also have the ability to talk about foreign cultures, practices and how much you learnt from being totally independent in another country.

Alternatively, studying in America or Australia can allow you to develop other interests that have been left to one side. Studying art at the University of Sydney in the morning and going for a snorkel in the afternoon may be a way of life you never expected for yourself, and one you will never forget. Meeting new people along the way will not only give you friends all around the world, but it will more than likely open your eyes to what you would like to see in your future.

This is not to say however, that going abroad is all cocktails, culture and beaches. There is work involved and it can be complicated sometimes, for example, initially finding somewhere to live. However, what you will get back in experiences, travel, friendships and so many other things will surpass this ten times over.

So when the question is should I stay or should I go? I say go… that’s what I did and I haven’t looked back since!

For any questions about taking a year abroad:

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