Despite not spending my year abroad in Paris I have managed to visit 3 times already.
As many of you will know, Paris is an extremely popular destination for a year abroad. I know many people there who have had a huge variety of experiences both good and bad, but each one of them has told me they have had the most incredible stay there. Continue reading
One of my aims for the year abroad was to improve my fitness and join a sports club. Unfortunately joining my company’s basketball club wasn’t such a successful idea as it was mainly frequented by 6 foot+ men, many of whom had previously played professionally. Despite this, France is really perfect for all kinds of sport, especially the southwest. Pau is an hour away from the mountains for hiking, skiing and snowboarding and an hour or so away from the beach, for surfing, sailing and canoeing – perfect! You just need a car. Good thing I have some nice friends. Continue reading
The small city of Pau lies in the South-West of France, a few kilometres away from the foot of the Pyrenees. I will be living here for around 5 months while I complete my internship for a well-known engineering company.
This was perhaps the scariest part of my year abroad yet, as I had never travelled to the South of France before, and I had no previous contact with anyone but the company who I’d be working for. I was going to be all alone!! Continue reading
As my time in Germany came to an end I had the perfect end to a wonderful 6 months abroad, with a play that I directed and produced at the school I was working at.
The best thing about doing a British Council Placement is the flexibility that comes with it. It’s well paid, you only work twelve hours a week and it’s up to you to encourage and help the students learn English, and this doesn’t just have to be in lesson time. Continue reading
Crazy, loud and just plain bizarre.
This was the most exciting weekend that I have had in Cologne so far.
Cologne is renowned for its Karneval celebrations which take place mainly over one weekend in February, but the festival officially starts on November 11th. For the entire weekend Cologne is full of partygoers, dressed up as anything from Minions to iPhones.
My housemate, dressed as an iPhone
Kölle Alaaf! (Long Live Cologne!)
Christmas in Cologne is heaven of sweet cinnamon smells and glittering lights lighting up the grey city – despite the festive season being over, I felt that the markets could not go without a mention here. Many Germans still have their Christmas trees and light up in their windows, so I felt that it was still appropriate…
I really couldn’t recommend Cologne enough at Christmas.
The topic ‘stereotypes’ is a difficult one to deal with – not only in a personal sense but also when living in another country, and when teaching in the classroom. On the training weekend for my placement in my German school we took part in a mock lesson about whether stereotypes are good. Difficult topic – everyone automatically said no, stereotypes are bad and false and we were advised to avoid them.
Yet according to my German flatmates, I embody all things stereotypically British.
I have recently moved to Cologne in the North West of Germany for the second part of my year abroad to take part in the British Council Assistantship scheme. I am based in a little town called Zülpich, working in a Gymnasium (a German grammar school). I only work twelve hours a week there to support English lessons/teach English lessons. I had heard mixed opinions from previous students about undertaking an assistantship placement organised by the British Council and it seems that each person has their own very different personal experience in their own school. For me the British Council has provided an extremely strong professional and personal support system for this placement, and I couldn’t recommend it enough from my experience so far.
I was an Activity Leader at the Chateau for the first few weeks and was given the amazing opportunity to visit many beautiful places in Northern France.
First of all I’d like to introduce Mont Saint-Michel.
I’ve just spend the first summer of my year abroad at a Chateau in Northern France, Pays de la Loire, about 2 hours away from Paris. The Chateau is a Summer School that organises an immersive French holiday for English school groups in term time and then in the holidays it turns into a ‘colonie’ for French children learning English.
View from my window at the Chateau